Shameless self-promotion

I’m an old man and not wise to the ways of the Interwebs.

caveman lawyr

But I’m trying to learn. This year, my blog is my pet ‘net project. Last year, it was Twitter, and my goal was to average a tweet a day. I still tweet 2-3 times a week with the handle of @MCScrewy. If this blog doesn’t put you to sleep, head over to the Twitter machine and check it out. Here’s a small sampling of the amazingly witty, pithy, highbrow bon mots you’ll find there:

blog

 

Steve Martin, eat your heart out.

But if you really want to get a chuckle from Twitter, I highly recommend that you check out and follow Tim Siedell, aka @badbanana. He tweets prolifically, and every one is hilarious. Like this one:

badbanana

 

Tim’s website is here. He is now writing for “The Nightly Show” on Comedy Central, which means more of the world will get to enjoy his comedic genius.

Live long and prosper

Just read that Leonard “Spock” Nimoy passed away.

kirk-uhoh-thumb-550x417-71985

kirk no

ck

I know how you feel, Kirk. I’ll miss that old Vulcan too… I grew up pretending a portable cassette player/recorder was a tricorder.

cassette-player Spock-with-Tricorder

 

Live long and prosper, friend.

Spock_performing_Vulcan_salute

 

 

 

Parks and Recreation, we hardly knew ya

I’m so far behind the times that I keep expecting the milkman leave a quart of milk in a glass bottle on my porch each morning. And I keep my 8-tracks in a climate-controlled storage locker just in case they make a comeback. So it’s only fitting that I just started watching the inaugural season of “Parks and Recreation” right as it was wrapping up its  seven-season run.

Thanks the the magic of Netflix, I can binge-watch and get caught up quickly. But thanks to the magic of the interweb, I can save even more time and discover everything I need to know about the series in half a minute:

“Parks and Recreation” is very funny, another in a long line of off-kilter, quirky comedies that are adored by a small but loyal audience and ignored by the mainstream (see also “Arrested Development”, “Get A Life”, “Fernwood 2 Night”, et al). I just wish I could get the entire series on LaserDisc.

ComicCon has met its match

This has to be the best headline of the week:

meatcon

 

Great photo too – the two gentlemen appear to be very excited about the meat in their hands. Er, the package… Nevermind!  What is that anyway, a pancreas?

Say what you mean, but don’t mean what you say.

When someone says “No offense, but….” you can be pretty sure that whatever comes next will be offensive. And saying “no offense” first doesn’t make it any less so. In the sports section of my local newspaper yesterday, I read two quotes that seemed eerily similar in how the speakers complained about fans while trying to make it seem like they weren’t trying to rip fans.

Leading off is Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto, who draws criticism for being perfectly content to walk every time he comes to the plate, when he’s one of the few players in the Reds lineup who can actually drive in runs if he swings the bat.

votto quote

Thanks a bunch, Joey, for clarifying that you’re not going to use the word “ignorant” then using it a second later.

Next let’s check in with North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams:

 

roy

 

At least Roy admits that he’s criticizing. And he used the word “daggum” in a sentence too, so we have to give him some style points.

No offense, but Joey Votto and Roy Williams were pretty mean to the fans who help pay their big fat contracts. I don’t want to use the term ‘ingrates’ but they seem like ingrates.

Hard (to understand) Candy

Please help me solve one of life’s great mysteries: Why does this type of candy still exist?

hard-candy-story-top

Seriously, it was “old person candy” when I was a kid, and that was several decades ago. You would think that anyone in the world who actually liked this candy would have died off by now. They may have been “The Greatest Generation” but they sure had the worst candy.

It only has two things going for it:

  1. it’s colorful
  2. it has some interesting shapes and designs

But that “curb appeal” is far outweighed by these liabilities:

  1. the alleged “flavors” are gag-inducing
  2. it’ll pull out your fillings
  3. after 10 minutes at room temperature, an entire dish of these candies will stick together in one giant glob

Maybe #3 is why these candies are still around – no one eats them, they just use them as faux brass knuckles when an intruder comes into their house.

It’s a shame that you can still find hard candies at stores, yet a tasty candy bar like the Marathon bar is long gone…

01-Marathon-Bar

 

 

 

 

 

“I’ll take foolish final wagers for $400 please, Alex”

Why is it that people smart enough to make it onto “Jeopardy” in the first place make foolish decisions for their final wagers?

jeopardy

Twice in the past week, the person in third place going into Final Jeopardy could’ve easily won by not betting a nickel. Instead they both risked it all, and both wound up with a year’s supply of Aleve. They’ll need that Aleve, because they’ll keep kicking themselves for making such a dumb decision.

Here’s the deal: if all three contestants scores are close enough going into Final Jeopardy that any of them could win, then your job as the third place contestant is to:

A. realize you’re not going to catch the leader and

B. bet nothing (or very little) and hope everybody gets Final Jeopardy wrong so you can back into a victory.

 

Last night, the scores and the end of Double Jeopardy were roughly this:

First place: $13,000

Second place: $11,000

Third place: $8000

The only person locked in to a specific wager amount is the person in first place. They have to assume that the second place person is going to bet it all in an effort to double their money, so they have to risk enough to beat them, usually by a buck. In this case, that would mean wagering $9001, which would give them $22,001 (a buck more than double the second-place’s money) if they get it right. But it leaves them with $3999 if they get it wrong.

The second place person typically does bet it all, which is not that smart either, but more on that later. So they wind up with either $22,000 or $0.

If you’re in third place, you can use the fact that the other two contestants are maneuvering against each other to your advantage. Just sit tight and risk nothing. Or if you’re feeling especially daring, risk $4000. That way even if you get it wrong you still have $4000, which is more than the first place person will have if they get it wrong…. and if they get it right you’re not gonna catch them anyway. You’re not trying to top the other two contestants’ highest potential scores, you’re trying to top their lowest potential scores.

OK, now let’s deal with Number Two… er, the contestant in second place. They usually risk it all, in a futile effort to catch the leader. Have you ever seen an episode where the leader doesn’t bet enough to outdistance #2 by a buck? Didn’t think so. So #2 could hedge their bet a bit by risking a lot less cash in Final Jeopardy. Instead of trying to beat #1, they should be focused on trying to top #3. The highest total #3 can get is $16,000. So #2 could risk $5,001. That gives them $16,001 if they get it right, and $5,999 if they get it wrong, which is usually enough to top #3. But being in second place is tricker than being in third, because #3 has the easy option of wagering nothing whereas #2 has to plan for a wider range of wagers on the part of #3 (anthing from $0 to $4000). Personally I’d risk the $5,001. If you and #3 both get it right and #1 doesn’t, you’ll wind up ahead. If all 3 contestants get it wrong and #3 risked nothing, you’ll lose, but them’s the breaks.  I’d rather lose that way then lose by getting topped by #3 if we both get it right and I didn’t risk enough.

Bottom line: if you’re smart enough to make it to Jeopardy, make a smarter wager…

jeopardy connery

That way Alex won’t be the only one with a smug look on his face.

o-ALEX-TREBEK-facebook

 

 

Media synergy

This match made in media heaven was bound to happen:

storytellers with bri-lie

 

Glad Bri-lie has a fallback plan. With his six-month unpaid suspension, it was going to be tough to support his family on a measly $5 million a year.

Well played, Snow Miser

After a relatively mild and blissfully snow-and-sleet-free November, December and January, winter has come on with a vengeance. This morning while I was standing in half a foot of snow and waiting for my bus, the temperature was ten below. Reminded me of the “Snow Miser” song from “The Year Without A Santa Claus”:

I’m Mister White Christmas

I’m Mister Snow

I’m Mister Icicle

I’m Mister Ten Below.

snow miser

You win, Snow Miser… now please go away, and send us your brother Heat Miser. Not only does he bring the heat better than habanero hot sauce, but he also has a killer Billy Idol hairdo.

Heat-miser

Come to think of it, all of our horrible winter weather started right after Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow.

Groundhog-day-Celebration-in-Punxsutawney-Phil-2

I know he’s a groundhog, not a gopher, but maybe we need Carl Spackler to take him out.

carl-spackler

“I’m not that strong a swimmer”

Saturday Night Live just celebrated its 40th anniversary, and everyone is weighing in on their favorite actors, characters and skits. Below is the skit that’s my all-time favorite. It’s certainly one of the most underrated, but the future movies of Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer have proven their genius.

The 40th anniversary celebration made me miss Phil Hartman even more. What a gifted character actor, not just on SNL but in “NewsRadio” and “The Simpsons” as well.

phil as sinatra phil caveman phil_hartman-as-ed_mcmahon-2 phil-hartman-simpsons-uproxx

Check out this clip from “NewsRadio” when he spoofs PBS’ old singing political satirist Mark Russell.