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Soda, The Pope, Okposo and Kittens

 

My grandfather made fancy soda.  Only we called it “pop”, cause we were in Canada.  I used to say “soda” as a joke, until I realized I was saying it seriously after almost 6 years in the US.  He worked at a bottling plant in Saskatoon, where we spent our summers when I was younger.  I’m not sure what the policy was (bring home a 6-pack every week?), but this guy had a room in the basement full of the stuff.  Lime, orange, black cherry, all those original flavours, and all in those classic clear bottles.  They were the best.  Since my jaw surgeries, I’ve been on antibiotics more often that not.  I’ve been avoiding drinking to make sure the meds are doing their job, so I rediscovered fancy soda pop (I’m so confused about what to call it it’s earned full name status).  Brands like Stewarts, and Henry Weinharts, this stuff is top drawer.  If you’ve been neglecting your inner child, do it.  Forget diet this or hydration that, enjoy a cold, quality, old fashioned pop.  I had forgotten.

I need more information:

Did the GOP just name a black guy as the head of their party?  Isn’t the party’s foundation built on avoiding black people?  Where did they even find one within their party?  Just cause he’s black, doesn’t mean he’s Obama fellaaa’sss…

Is it okay to like drinking tea and listening to hip hop?  Can I like crushing beer at the bar and reading at home?  Do I have to disclose to people teaching me about mortgages that I still have stuffed animals?  I need a transition team.

In an effort to better get it’s message out to followers, the Vatican has purchased a YouTube channel.  They called it PopeTube.  PopeTube??  The jokes for this range from potty to pious.  Insert your preference here.

What’s Jack Cafferty’s deal on CNN?  Does he have an actual program?  Or does he just chime in with Blitzer once in awhile to read emails?  He seems like the biggest nice/creepy cross since the Adams family.

A few thoughts on Kyle Okposo of the New York Islanders.  I played against him in college, and then on his team for a few months in Bridgeport last year (even on his line on occasion, thank God we’re on different teams, I was tired of lugging him around out there).  He has to be one of the nicest teammates I can remember, so young it was painful.  You forget when you see young guys excel how young they really are.  You always assume they’re doing so well because they matured early or something.  Every morning when you go to the rink, out of your 22 or so teammates there’s always a couple who look hurtin’, whether from drinking the night before, injuries, whatever.  When Opo came in looking rough, it was because he had stayed up super-late playing Halo for Xbox.  We were talking about a lottery sign, and he said something along the lines of “Man, it’d be so sick to have that much money!  You know what I’d do with that?”  And all I could think is, wow, you have no idea how rich you’re about to be huh?  That innocent perspective is a 180 from the large majority of kids who’re obviously destined for the NHL.  That 10 million dollar lottery pales in comparison to what Kyle’s career earnings will be.  I saw he scored twice last night, and couldn’t have been happier.  Despite his penchant for verbal viciousness on the ice (as my college roommate can attest), he is a great kid and an all around nice guy who deserves his success.  I wish him the best.

Random sidebar:  If I ever get a cat when I’m older (Bri and I want a kitten and puppy at the same time.  What a waste of money, I know, I know) I want a “Scottish Fold” cat.  Check out how stupid cute the kittens are.

stupid cuteThen again, any cat is better than Mojo, right Uncle?

The Tylers, who live kitty-corner to my apartment, have a stupid cute fully grown bulldog named Frodo.  Bri and I think we’d like something a little more active, but man, it’s tempting.  Check out one of these puppies.  Stop it, dog, just stop it.  I would clean your wrinkles to have you.

 

Maybe I should pick an apartment before a pet, I dunno.  Anyways, rookie party in Idaho tonight, look out Boise! For those of you who don’t know what a rookie party entails, it might be a good night to get out to the bars and have a look at some of our youngest guys dressed like its… um, a stagette, really.  Unfortunately, I won’t be out, but I have a feeling the young guys might have a drink anyways.  Enjoy!

A Doff of the Derby, A Tsk of the Tongue

 

Some companies just live on, don’t they?  In college I read the book “Fast Food Nation”, and it describes the rise of McDonald’s, some of its business practices, and how they’re doing today.  And today, they’re in a better position than anyone, offering quick, cheap food in a poor economy.  Plus, they keep doing other sneaky good things.  As I mentioned in a previous blog, I had been pining for some McD’s since the busted up jaw.  When I noticed I couldn’t open my mouth wide enough to fit a particularily chubby blueberry in, I ruled out the QPC.  But I figured I could get a cheeseburger in (you remember McDonalds cheeseburgers, they’re thinner than an O.J. alibi).  So I made the trek over to McD’s, and outside they have that redbox DVD rental machine.  Come on, who can trust a machine set out by McDonalds offering 1 dollar renals?  I figured there was some criminal intent behind it.   But as I walked by I saw that they had Chris Rock’s new stand up “Kill The Messenger”.  I’ve tried to rent it the past few nights but its been out (yes, I’m renting movies on a nightly basis).  I hit RENT A DVD, then the letter K, then KILL THE MESSENGER, then CHECK OUT, I swiped my card, and 11 seconds and a $1.03 later I was holding the DVD.  Huh.  Impressive.  I was trying to figure out this business practice (thinking that most new releases rent for 4 times that price), when it occured to me I’d have to take it back tomorrow.  To McDonald’s front door.  Aha.  Verrrryyy sneaky.  Good luck gettin outta there tomorrow without a sacka nuggets and a coke, Bourne.  McDonalds 1, Bourne 1…burger, 1 small fries, 1 small coke and 4 nuggets. (Am I up 7  – 1 or down $4.50?)  A doff of the derby, Redbox.  Tsk of the tongue, McDonalds.

The price of alcohol in Idaho (the US in general) is insanely low.  For some reason, Canadian beer gets a lot of good press in the American media.  And really, there are a lot of smaller breweries that make great beer in BC.  But it seems that the hype is about the higher alcohol content.  That 70′s Show had the kids driving up to Canada for beer cause “it’s like moonshine up there”.  The US does have that strange 3.2 percent beer offered in certain gas stations in certain states.  In fact, the state to state rules are kinda tough to keep tabs on, in particular if you’d like to have beer with your Sunday football.  Some states sell it freaking everywhere, you can’t get a head of lettuce without ending up with beer in your bag.  And some have it on lockdown, I DARE you to try and locate a normal beer anywhere in Utah on a Sunday.  But as much as the laws vary, the price remains in a reasonably close bracket (with Idaho the current leader in low price, from my experience).  If you’re in Kelowna and want to buy a dozen Coors Light or Kokanee bottles, which is your standard cheap domestic beer, you’re looking at paying $33.00+.  The Albertsons that’s 150 yards from my door in Idaho has a Superbowl special on right now (2 bucks cheaper than normal) for 20 bottles of Coors Light for $12.97.  Pardon me?  You can barely bottle water for that price.  The last bottle of Pinot Grigio I bought there (PS, it’s a grocery store, for you Canadians) cost $3.99, and it wasn’t the cheapest bottle.  And I liked it.  I think thats what Evian actually sells for.  Apparently the differences is the taxes, but man…  man.  That’s a pretty big swing.  A doff of the derby, America.  Tsk of the tongue, Canada.

And my last point is, American Idol sucks.  So does Canadian, British and Ethiopian idol.  But if someone has it on,  my face aims at the screen while my brain tries to get out.  Tractor beam.  I hate everything about reality TV, glorifying idiots, awkward moments and brutal concepts.  But I get why people like them, I really do.  It’s like the metaphor of watching a train wreck, you know it’s awful, but you have to watch (do you know anyone who knows anyone who’s actually seen one wreck?).  Yet still, I reeeeaaalllly think it’s a cultural virus, creating more of these monsters who believe you can actually get famous (which you actualy can) by acting like a complete donkey in public.  We have to stop this, don’t we?  I think we can be a little more responsible here.  Here’s the clincher… why can both you and I picture that weird asian kid singing “Livin’ La Vida Loca” (William Hung, I just looked it up) right now?  Not.  Okay.  A doff of the…. wait.  Um… face punch for American Idol.*

*Just because I don’t like watching it doesn’t mean people with good voices shouldn’t exploit the show for exposure and a break.  There.  Rock it out in Canada, Brown-town.

Wordplay

 

Today I placed some premiere Superbowl bets.  One of my wagers is on who the Superbowl MVP will thank first (I didn’t take God because I don’t think the Cardinals will win, therefore Warner won’t get the Mic).  Other bets placed include what colour the gatorade dumped on the winning coach will be (orange) and an over/under on John Madden food references (I took the under on 1.5 and immediately regretted it).  How great is that?  I couldn’t damn well figure out who to put my money on, so I opted for the ridiculous bets.  I plan on fully enjoying the game.  Another offered category was an over/under on the amount of times they show Kurt Warners wife.  Curious that they seem to do this so much.  I mean, I get it if they’re hawking Mrs. Tiger Ohmygodshe’shot, but Mrs. Warner?  I mean… Kurt has a trophy wife too, but apparently it wasn’t first place. Ohhh, that’s not fair, I kid.  Plus, that joke is a blatant rip-off from Steven Wright (“the weather here has been crazy, it’s like the earth is bipolar”.  He’s got some great one-liners).  Anyways, the fun for me on Superbowl Sunday is going to be rooting for orange Gatorade and for Madden to keep his love of fried foods suppressed until commercial breaks.

How about David Justice this week.  In  regards to steroid accusations, he recently told a reporter: ”thats a bald-faced lie”.  Bald-faced?  Maybe he feels that lies from a shaven face are more vicious than ones from a bearded man?  How did he feel about the ”Mission Accomplished” part of Bush’s tenure as President?  Would it have hurt less had Grizzly Adams been standing under the sign?  HommeeeRunnn.

Sure, people in sports say ridiculous things (and they all have to pay royalties to Sean Avery when they do).  But what rattles me is how often people use sports metaphors that don’t seem to go as planned.  One of my  favourite songs by The Postal Service is “Nothing Better”.  But it drives me hair-pulling insane that in trying to stop a girl from leaving him, he says “And I will block the door like a goalie tending the net / In the third quarter of a tied-game rivalry”  Tending … goalie… quarter… wait.  What?  What sport could he possibly have been thinking of?  Sports have lingos.  The soccer field?  Call it a pitch.  You call a segment of a baseball game an inning.  And you describe a guy like Troy Aikman as queer as a football bat.  There’s a few terms to know, thats all. 

Even a great writer and sports fan like Mitch Albom stumbles occasionally.  He recently wrote a wonderful article in Sports Illustrated on Detroit fans (and the city), describing them as scrappy, hard working fighters (I assume he’s referring to the remaining population, while the rest ambled to a town with people, jobs and sunshine).  In describing the  hockey passion of the city, he says something along the lines of  ’what other entire city erupts when that blue light goes on?”  Every single reader in Canada just went “the goal light is red, bud”.  This is the stuff that I’m going to be yelling when I’m wearing that really nice jacket my kids got me, you know, that stark white one with the buckles, straps and funny sleeves?  Alright, I’m done ranting.

Lastly, I’ll just say that Chris Berman is one of the best sports personalities left on television (with Skip Bayliss as the worst).  He’s the most level-headed, entertaining mediator in football, earning him a spot on the 21st century’s all-broadcast team, with nominations to Ron McLean of CBC, Bob Cole and Harry Neale of Hockey Night in Canada (both have made every all-broadcast teams from the 1840′s to present) and Dick Vitale of AnythingHeSaysIsFunny.  I spent a little time in the Idaho Steelheads booth with a banged up knee this year as the colour guy, and it’s a blast.  I got good reviews, but I don’t think I was making any of the greats nervous.  Plus, Vitale sets the bar so damn high.  Get a load of this guy:

My vote for worst Dicky V was George Karl’s high-pitch rendition.  But come on.  This guys a legend!  Random shout out: Neal DeGrasse Tyson for another awesome interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.  He’s the Dick Vitale of Astronomy.

And lastly, a friend just sent me this link.  Now here’s the best speecher in America.

Aw, Sidney. You're A Good Boy.

 

I figured it out Canada.  I know why hockey isn’t being embraced by the rest of the world (read: the United States).  Personality.  Thank God Ovechkin showed up, he’s given our game a chance.  The problem started with great ambassadors to the game like Gretzky.  Sure, the Gretzky trade to L.A. was probably the single biggest influence in bringing the game to Americans, but it wasn’t his playing or his personality that damped enthusiasm.  It was his level of class.  

It didn’t do harm in his era, because there was still a volume of loud mouth entertainers playing at the same time (Tiger Williams used to ride his stick.  Actually.  That happened).  The  problem became that kids grew up idolizing Wayne and in turn were speaking with respect about their opponent and modestly about their own contributions. I respect Gretzky’s public persona, and wish we could sell that game to the US without a little unnecessary flair, but I’m not sure it’s possible.  They love that stuff. 

Kids wanted to be Gretter.  And our parents wanted the same.  Whaaattt a wonnnderful example he set.  Cordial, polite and professional, he simply achieved the highest goal:  Win.  Facts and polite smiles at every turn.  Other leagues have their biggest stars saying the most obscene things and creating sub-plots fit for theatre (Slapshot reference: how about the implied storyline that never develops any farther then “He’s been living in semi-seclusion in Northern Quebec, Andre “The Poodle” Lessard…”).  These sub-plots are everywhere in hockey, but they exist behind closed doors.  Frankly, the media isn’t savvy enough to dig them up.  I think the guys covering the NFL wiretap the room or something.

But take Sidney Crosby, Gretzky’s protege.  What a player.  Whether you think he’s the best, or a baby, or whatever, you can’t deny that he’s good.  But he’s the last thing the NHL needed.  A superstar saying the right thing.  Sean Avery wasn’t a fair representation of the NHL (though he was of himself), but, man.  ESPN couldn’t get enough of this guy.  I literally didn’t know Mats Sundin played for the Canucks until I got home on the weekend.  But I knew how many pinstripes were on the suit Avery was wearing at his internship for Vogue.  I knew his dating history, his slightly effeminate manner for an agitator, and could have diagnosed him with a psychological condition. 

If Mike Comrie would say”I could care less that we lost, I’m going to Hannah Montana, er, Hillary Duffs birthday party tonight”, like he’s actually thinking, people might follow our game a bit closer.  Everyone in America cannot wait to hear what Terrell Owens says after he finishes a game with 1 catch for 8 yards.  It’s a soap opera.

(I enjoy both the hat, and that the clip helps my case at the start, in the middle, and to finish)

And thats whats lacking in our game.  We don’t need constant rule fixes, highlighted pucks or outdoor games (but those are great, keep those going).  The teams and the league need to stop worrying so much about bulletin board material.  You know, those apparently motivating comments like “The Islanders defence sucks” before you play the Islanders.  You know what?  The Islanders defence does suck.  Just because they know that you think it, doesn’t mean they can stop anything. 

This black-balling of flair from the game may be the NHL’s biggest turn-off, including Gary Bettman.  Coaches love to warn their team about the evils of disrespecting your opponent in the media and how it’s going to give them fuel.  It’s just not true.  Plus, you can respect your opponent and still say something interesting and relevant into the microphone can’t you?  Hockey definitely leads major sports in regurgitated answers.  Phrases like “gut check” are nauseasting.  I used to think it was because hockey players aren’t that smart (they aren’t), but I reeeeeaaalllly don’t think basketball or football players finished with higher GPA’s.  But it’s just not necessary to be so wary of what we say.  Never once in my career have a I thought “I can’t believe Steve Defenceman doesn’t think our team can score.  I’m gonna score so many more goals now to prove him wrong”.  I was already trying to score. 

Please, coaches, Gary Bettman, team captains… loosen up.  Let the fans see a little of that passion,  and a few of those storylines that stay buried.  I promise it will be more fun if they notice that right from the drop of the puck #17 has been clipping #22 in the mouth with his elbow everytime they line up for a face off.  I promise if will be more fun if more people notice your game.  Enough Sidney.  You’re a good boy.  You’re a good boy.

     Okay, maybe we could use a liiiittle censorship. 

I haven’t seen an NHL highlight in the US since that clip.  Loosen up boys.

The Trifecta

 

Howdy folks.  Sorry I’ve been away.  I’m finally reaching a stage of jaw-healing that allows me to function beyond the couch, so the bevy of blogs may temper a tad.  Tomorrow I’ve been green-lighted to chew food and skate, two of the basic rights I assumed I was afforded under the Constitution of SpoiledWhiteCanadianKids, but those have recently been denied.  This also allows me the opportunity to add something to my own constitution aside from skin, a skeleton, and tape.  Sigh… tomorrow shall be a glorious day.

Two crucial things to do on my green light day…

Eat a Quarter Pounder w/ Cheese from McDonalds.  I’ve been dying for a piece of red meat ever since I sat down for dinner on Christmas Eve and laid eyes on that perfectly done beef tenderloin with gravy and peppercorns and onion and oh-God-don’t-think-about-it.  From there, an amalgamation of good advertising and location to my front door have down-graded my red meat fetish to a simple QPC.   The textures.  The ketchup.  The disgusting feeling after.  I’m going to destroy one of those things.

Not hurt myself trying to be a hero.  One thing I truly love about being a hockey player is being the first player on the ice before a practice.  It’s corny, but there really isn’t anything like a fresh sheet of smooth zamboni’d ice, knowing that your coach isn’t coming on for 20 minutes, and a bucket of pucks.  The big rinks we play in are warm, and the air off the ice feels crisp on your face.  When  I was in my home rink (ie. slept well for once), there was no part of my job I enjoyed more.  A couple strides, handle the puck, snap it high.  Counter-clockwise skate.  This is the mandatory lazy warm-up before coach steps on the ice at the exact second he said he would, and you have to start trying (with exceptions.  Top 2 line guys don’t have to try in warm-up drills until they’ve earned the status of 3rd line guy, by not producing in 2 straight games).  And so, with all that said, tomorrow I get to skate.  Not with the team though, as my face is still extremely fragile, and the risk of getting hit with a stray stick or deflected puck is constant.  So tomorrow morning, I’ll set out on my own to do my favourite thing about being a professional.  I can just see me flying towards the net from the right side, snapping a puck as hard as I can at the net, hitting the crossbar and eating it as I skate towards it.  Or falling. I haven’t been scared to fall since it was a possibility.  This could be interesting.

I haven’ skated in 45 days and I haven’t eaten solid food in the same.  The way I see it, I have at least double puke-tential tomorrow.  I could skate, puke, then eat a QPC and do it again.  I only hope I don’t end up at some bar with the guys after.  Who knows?  Maybe I can go for three.

Chemistry Experiment #39

 

Today I wrote a draft on life as a hockey player, what it’s like and what it does to a guy.  I wrote that every winter you were immediately handed 20 new friends, of which I usually got along with about 19, genuinely liked 5 and found 1 gem.  In my college years, I was thrown into a dorm room with 3 other guys I’d never met, and that dorm room was a mine chalk full of those gems.  My college roommates are some of my best friends today.  I couldn’t have lived through 4 Alaskan winters without these guys (my college life partner Charlie Kronschnabel, girlfriend Nick Lowe, and good friends Chad Anderson and Brandon Segal).  I’d have lived in Siberia if I had these guys for company (when you already live in Alaska, finding an awful exaggeration of cold is hard).  So when I went on to play pro, I knew I was in for a change of lifestyle.  And I was.  There’s no stability, no constant housemate, and you can be gone in the drop of a hat.  But man, did I have amazing luck that first year in Utah.  There were some duds, but my stall was in a lively corner, and I’m thankful I got to play with the guys I did (Ford, Dwyer, KJ, Serty, shut up Hart).  But I’ve never met anyone quite like Travis Rycroft.

Talk about passion for the game.  Ryks lived and breathed this stuff.  A Dave Matthews die hard, Trav wrote and played his own music at team parties.  He was a motivator.  He never quit.  But most of all, everybody liked him.  I mean everybody.  And that doesn’t mean he liked everybody.  In fact, if I had to guess I’d say my figures of 19-5-1 would be a little high for him (minus the 19, he probably got along with 21 of every 20 guys).  He literally says “you betcha” when he agrees, and isn’t being the slightest bit facetious.

So I got to thinking…. How important is team chemistry?  Our team in Utah was about an “okay” out of ten on the talent scale, but managed to go deep into playoffs as a scrappy, hard working team.  To start this season, I was in Reading, PA, where all we heard was how good we were going to be.  The dressing room was garbage, a bunch of guys interested in self-promotion who’d have worn their jerseys backwards had it been allowed.  A game into the season I was headed to Idaho thinking, man, it sucks that that group of guys is going to be successful.  They’re dead last in a 30 team league.

There has to be a certain level where talent trumps chemistry.  I’ve never been a big believer in team chemistry, thinking that if a talented team with a good coach were to hate each other and play, it wouldn’t matter.  But the more I think about it, the more skeptical I’ve become of this idea.  Rycroft (4 year team captain) never got his chance at the next level, but he had to have been close.  Scouts today could care less about something like character, but maybe it isn’t so invaluable.  Rycroft missed some playoff games with a torn mcl (after being an iron man the previous season, never missing a game) and called the team in for a meeting without coaches to talk about that nights game.  He cried.  He was so busted up he couldn’t play, he cared that much.  You don’t think that motivates a group of people who like him?  Of course it does. Some guys were playing for contracts, but the focus shifts a bit when you see something like that.  Something about it just sets you straight.

The Dallas Cowboys are a poster for the team I had been thinking of, all talent and no chemistry.  They were a huge disappointment this year.  I’m starting to take this theory a little more seriously.  All I know is that when I leave this game, I can take something from Ryks.  For one, he’s a good friend, but two, that this sort of stuff matters in any job.  No matter what it is you do, if you dread seeing your boss or co-worker, it’s miserable.  But if you’re pumped to see them, any day can be decent, and your job can be a treat.  I know I didn’t enjoy everything about being in Utah (bite tongue bite tongue bite tongue), but Trav made it fun.  I know which co-worker I wanna be.  And for that little tidbit that should have been picked up in grade school, I say thank you.  Go.  Grizz. (not really Steelheads fans, chill, it’s an old insincere joke).

The Blog Days of Winter

 

On the heels of my stand-up comedy assessment, I watched Patton Oswalt’sNo Reason to Complain” (funny stuff).  Great excerpts:

On stand-up comedy if the comdian actually had a decent life: “Did you ever go out with someone and notice after three months of dating that they’re actually a muffin-basket made of rainbow-kisses?”

“Everytime you eat a steak, a hippie’s hacky-sack goes in the gutter”

On people getting praised for sober-living or having babies: “What about people like me, I get no praise cause I learned how to stop after 2 scotch’s and choose not to pollute the earth with more humans?”

Lastly, I left off reviewing one other comic that deserves mention.  He deserves it because he’s such a hack I want to save you the time.  Carlos Mencia’s entirely Mexican based comedy is obvious and delivered like the kid in class who knows the answer, yet doesn’t know the entire class wants to slap him.  If I were asked to judge his stand-up routine, on my scale it would get rewarded Dick Cheney’s conscience, because it’s an awful, awful thing that doesn’t do its job well.

Yesterday The Daily Show played a couple clips, as did CNN, of Dick Cheney getting wheeled out to the inaguration ceremony.  Stewart made jokes that Cheney should have be stroking a cat in his lap or something, he looked so evil. But was anyone else struck with the image of Mr. Potter from it’s a wonderful life? It’s uncanny.

           (If the middle picture wasn’t in colour, would you have any idea who it actually is?)

I’ve decided to let people who make their dogs wear sweaters live, conditionally.  That condition being that they do it to make their dog look cute, fancy, posh, whatever.  The ones who say they do it so their dog will stay warm still have to die, sorry.  I really don’t think this needs much of an explanation (read: fur), so we’ll leave it at death for dumb dog dressers.  Unless it’s in a catepillar costume, in which case thats just cute (yay for Kendra living!).

What’s with the new breed of male that eats a meal out of a tupperware containers at the gym the second their workout ends?  Have you seen these monsters?  I know how the whole muscle recovery thing works, in my line of work there’s enough people spouting nutrtrition that I’m thinking we should cannabalize them.  But unless you’re a body builder who’s training to have the best body in a judged competition, is a 1:4 protein to carb ratio meal necessary for your job in “sales”?”  I want to slash their mustang tires using the barbed wire around their biceps.  Even though 1 out of every 100 girls loves this type of guy (“boo hoo I just can’t seem to meet a nice guy… I’m gonna buy a cosmo and find out what I’m doing wrong”), the other 99 dread them at the bar (“what’s up” – chin up head nod).  But that’s just my opinion.

I hope everyone is enjoying their new USA, I thought it was cool how Obama turned that huge resovoir to cabernet sauvignon yesterday (Thanks for peeing in the pool, Geithner).  What’s going on in Canada these days?

"Blog Blog" "Who's There?"

Off the top:

1)  I can’t believe I wrote a blog combining football and religion and didn’t call it “Hail Mary”.                                                                        

 2)  With this blog entry I officially surpass my record for “Combined Words Written Towards One Thing”, a title previously held by “University”.    

3)  The wires are off!  The bands are on.  I scrubbed the individual angora mittens off each tooth, so If I can just learn to talk with a British accent, that should  justify my bottom row…

4)  Cliff from Cheers’ real last name is Ratzenberger.  The Pope’s is Ratzinger.  That’s all I’m saying.

 (DO NOT rule this theory out)

5)  This morning after almost 6 weeks of a wired mouth I put on a hoodie inside-out and backwards. A hoodie backwards, really?  It turns out rock bottom looks like complete darkness and smells like cheap hair product.              

It’s hard to make people feel how you want them to feel.  When someone prefaces a story with “listen to how hilarious this is”, it isn’t.  That’s why stand up comedy has to be so difficult. If the President ad-libs a little pit-a-pat baziiing everyone melts like the wicked witch.  But when you stand in front of a group of people who know it’s coming, you’ve made that bold “I’m hilarious” statement tenfold.  I love stand-up comedy, and think I’m becoming somewhat of a connoisseur of it.  I started going every week in Kelowna during the summer and watching it on tv.  Now I rent as many as possible and buy the keepers.  It’s a difficult art and deserves to be recognized, so here I go.  I’ll save you the sifting through the busts (endless) and give you the comedians that are gold (that I’ve seen. I’m sure there’s many more).  Watching junkers can be fun in person, not so much at home.

Gold:

The single best stand-up comedy routine I’ve seen to date is Jerry Seinfeld’s I’m Telling You For The Last Time.  And it’s clean, a remarkable feat in comedy.  I know some people don’t find Jerry funny, and to be honest, I thought most of his stand up wasn’t any good.  But the idea behind this routine is that he’s retiring all his material and starting from scratch, so this will be the last time he ever tells his best jokes.  So in this hour, on broadway, he does his best bits, the ones he knew were gold, and man, were they ever.  Very PG observational stuff. 

Seven minutes long, worth it if you have some time 

Classics

If you haven’t seen Eddie Murphy’s Delirious or Raw, you’re missing out.  NOT PG, but start to finish funny.  I can’t speak to classics like Rickles, Dangerfield or Pryor just for lack of viewings.  But some of the older stand-ups that were money any time you can catch ‘em are guys like Dennis Leary, George Carlin and Bill Cosby.

Todays Mainstream

Dane Cook is aimed at someone younger than me, and those people LOVE him.  It’s a real turn off.  This guy loves himself like John Mayer.  He never actually says it, but he’s clearly very impressed with himself.  Dave Chapelle does a great job everytime he touches a mic.  He’s one of those guys that doesn’t need great material to be funny, he could read an instruction manual and bust you up.  If you like political humour Bill Maher is aimed at that niche of liberal leaning funny fans.  He’s kind of take-it or leave-it, and for me, it’s great (Dennis Miller is the poor mans version, Lewis Black is better than him).  The complete other side of these guys is those Blue Collar yahoo’s (Foxworthy, Cable Guy, White, Engvall… the last guy is awful).  A lot of fun if you’re into the no-thinking low brow kind of comedy, which is fun at times.  I bet its a blast in person, you could get wrecked and never miss a punchline.  And lastly for mainstream is your black comedy (hey black guys, you can tell a different genre of jokes, watch Murphy and Chapelle).  Katt Williams, Chris Rock and Everyotherblackguy kinda do the same shtick, but those first two do it best.  It’s a laugh a minute, and jokes are every 7 seconds. I still enjoy it.

Hidden Gems

Last Comic Standing is doing a good job of turning people out.  Stars from the show like Ralphie May and Dat Phan are a must see for new stuff.  You really have to like watching stand up to enjoy it I think, but they do it very well.  Just as good or better are newcomers Iliza Shlesinger and Gary Gulman.  You have to stomach a commercial first cause I couldn’t figure out how to embed this one, but you can check out gary doin’ his thing here: http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?videoId=78446&title=gary-gulman-fig-newtons

So that folks, is my comedy State of the Union address.  If I forgot anyone, or you have someone to recommend to me, drop me a line, I’d love to hear!  Here’s Eastwood trying his hand in Gran Torino:

Rum and Egg-blog

 

Alright, I’ve got my movie scale.  Each movie will be treated like a person I know, and it will get a gift from me on Christmas morning.  That gift is the movies rating.  For example, National Geographic: Stonehenge Decoded would get a RE-USED TEA BAG (technically it’s good for something, but come on, that sucks), for it’s exceptional use of a narrator with a lisp and its time wasting re-enactments of 4500 year old barbarians forming relationships and shooting wild boar.  It dragged on a tad. 

In the past 5 weeks + I’ve watched more movies, documentaries and stand-up comedy routines than I had in the previous 26 years of my life combined (thats to the day, I might add.  Thanks for that little gift).  I won’t break them all down now, but I’ll do it in parts.  I’m gonna lead with documentaries because they got the most attention.

Who Killed The Electric Car?

Good morning, Merry Christmas!  I’m fine thanks Whokilledtheelectriccar, and you? Open this.  Cool right?  I gave this film that badass $150.00 spy pen from SkyMall. It looks like you’re writing, but you’re recording colour video with sound.  How clandestine.  Not like I’ve checked any sources or anything, but if what this film documents is true, the American people (and more, I’m sure) were robbed of a wonderful product that could have single-handedly made L.A’s air quality feel like Whistler (well, in comparison).  It was well done and enjoyable, despite the curious obsession of the EV club (electric vehicle).  It contributed to my hate of oil companies.  Oil companies are awful, awful, stomach sickeningly evil places at the top (the people raping making the money) with one thing in mind (these new “green” campaigns are the worst. For what it costs them to run an off-shore drill for a day, they spend a quarter of that figure a year on their new eco programs).  I caution myself against being too polar on any one issue, but to take any stance other than this one is indefensible.  Ahem, anyway.  It was good.  Here’s your super-sweet pen.

Who the #$%@ is Jackson Pollock?

He’s a famous artist, you crazy hillbilly.  To this documentary, I give a Female Sideline Reporter.  I give this gift because I didn’t believe a word the lady was saying, and I thought anything she did say that made sense came from someone else.  She has had zero experience in Art, and that made it tough to take her seriously.    In this documentary, an older female truck driver buys her friend a painting from a junk store for $5.00.  When she’s selling it at a yard sale, someone points out it might be a Pollock.  It has no signature, and the films journey is this lady arguing with the art community that it is.  She hires a CSI type guy to help her figure it out.  Her, CSI guy and an ex-con out of prison (on parole for art fraud) try to convince the art community that its legitimate.  If it is, its worth between 35 and 50 million.  CSI guy does a wonderful job of semi-proving that it is a Pollock but nobody buys it.  Dead-broke-living-in-a-trailer-and-raiding-dumpsters lady gets offers of 2, and later 9 million from a Saudi to buy it, but refuses on principle.  The principle being that she’s retarded.  I say save yourself the time.  And I hope she enjoys her gift.

Where is Jimmy Hoffa?

Spoiler Alert: “We’re pretty sure he was trash compacted”.  Ha, I loved that.  This film served its purpose for me: I had no idea who Jimmy Hoffa was or what he did (I suspected Mob ties), and I wanted to find out (there were Mob ties).  He wasn’t actually in the Mob though, who knew?   –Everyone over 40 just shrugged and went “I thought everybody”. –   It’s a good documentary, though not high in entertainment value.  The bulk of the entertainment value lies in the interviews with 75 year old Italian men who don’t seem to ”know nuttin’ bout nuttin’”.  “You were with him the morning Mr. Hoffa disappeared Mr. Notsayingshit, did he make mention of where he might have been going?”.  “Who, Jimmy?  No, we didn’t talk that day.  Or any others.  Ever.  He hired me because he felt more attractive besides an ugly guy.  Lookit this scar.  I’m hideous”.  And that concludes the film.  To this film, I give this gold Rolex that just fell offa that truck.  It works and you’re glad it came around.Add to Technorati Favorites

Presidential Ibloguration

 

Cindy McCain is hot.  I don’t think anybody would disagree with me here.  I used to see John McCain in years past on the Daily Show or wherever else he was allowed to be himself and he was an awesome guy.  I distinctively remember thinking “man, that’s one Republican I could get behind” (please keep in mind this was years ago, before they attached the marionette strings – sidebar – did anyone else think that McCain moved liked those wooden characters in the Canadian Robaxacet commercials?  I guess Hotel Hanoi will do that to you).  He was smart and funny, and actually, pretty liberal.  One great thing about Canadian politics (it sounds like there aren’t many these days) is that the choice stretches beyond A or B.  You would think in a country with 304 million-ish people, the US would like to extend their selection beyond 2.  The country is divided, sure, but not into two groups.  McCain was forced to act like he held every Republican belief even though he winced when he lied because that was the group that happened to pick him.  But wow, was that a digression.  Cindy McCain is hot.  Does anybody feel bad for John out there?  He doesn’t have to deal with the stress of this country’s recession, he just got even more stupid famous, he’s dumb rich, his wife is crazy hot, and he owns so many houses he can’t tell you the exact figure (7)… the man is gonna be fine. 

How exciting is it that Barack Obama is taking over?  It just seems it should be a given that the President be smart, but it’s been 8 years.  He’s very smart.  With great social skills, and energy.  He seems to have wonderful core values (thanks for the buzz word, CNN) and his wife is unbelievable.  If you ask me, she’s more likely to be the first female president than Bitterly Clinton.   

It’s just an amazing time in the US and they really needed something positive like this here.  It’s like when you’re sick and you start your course of antibiotics.  They won’t kick in right away, but you really hope to see some positive changes before too long.  And when you do, feeling that little bit better is going to feel a whole lot better.  It’s a proud day to be an American, because enough people got over bigotry and bitterness to elect the right person, despite his skin colour.  He won the election handily, and was black.  It would have been a run away if he wasn’t (Slavery isn’t coming back Georgia, catch up).  The smooth transition of power is not a given in every country in the world, and it’s a pretty special day for democracy, not to be corny.  Things are going to be tough the next little while in the US, with ripples up to Canada, but it feels good to know that the man in charge is really going to be trying.  Trying, like that was too much to ask from Bush.

Bush.  It almost seemed like Bush was that kid you tried and tried to teach to do something, and when the kid couldn’t, he got frustrated and gave up entirely.  He was CLEARLY underqualified (the guy didn’t even get good GRADES.  He didn’t excel at anything, actually.  How did this happen?  How did he get any votes?), but once he was elected, he got the only job you can’t be fired from.  The only boss-less (the public is his boss, blahblah yeah, nice hire.) job in the US, and this guy knew it.  He  just played around his whole life, the ultimate life of privilege, and it was nauseating to watch.  “I’m a ranch-hand, ya’ll” YOU’RE FROM CONNECTICUT!  Breathe… breathe…. okay…. okay.  It’s over Justin… It’s over. 

 (I picked a nice image of him, because we’ve all seen the other ones, and it seemed redundant)

Today, I’m going to the oral surgeon to get the wires on my teeth replaced with rubber bands, enabling me to open my mouth for the first time in 40 days.  After I make a quick stop to buy a rake to remove the fur from the inside of my teeth, I’m going to make my first stop at the gym to sweat out some toxins (not that my organs care, 6 weeks of antibiotics, painkillers, and nausea medicine have hardly blackened them, I’m sure).  Then I’m going to come home and watch CNN in sweat pants and get swallow food with some texture (still no chewing).  Either way, Its a happ-happ-happy day people.  Rejoice!Add to Technorati Favorites

Holy Wars

 

Thank God the Baltimore Ravens didn’t win the AFC Championship game.  Do you realize what would have happened?  Catastrophe, thats what.  I don’t mean catastrophe in the hyperbolic sense like “ohmygod Renne Zellwegger’s dress at the golden globes was a catastrophe”.  I mean like, tsunami’s and hurricanes would have wiped out Tampa Bay.  Haven’t you thought of this?  It’s God’s two favourite teams.  You can’t make Him choose between his two favourite sons (after Jesus).  I think he would’ve called the game on account of thestadiumdoesn’texistanymore (worse than hail).  If Kurt Warner thanks Jesus one more time I’m gonna be like a one man tsunami all up in his business.  Hi-yah!  I just can’t take it.  And the Ravens have Ray Lewis.  Ray tends to thank God though, and Warner Jesus, so… I’m not exactly a priest/minister/pastor/reverend/father/padre guy, but I think that that final would have pitted Jesus against God, and what a grudge match that would have been!  Talk about “smash-mouth football” hey, Tom Jackson? (Say it again Tom, and see what happens.  Yeah.  Hi-yah! to you too)   And after the game, they could all brush the mud off, have a laugh, and tend to the flock.  And by flock I mean Ray Lewis’ 6 kids with 5 women.  (Hypocrises 5:2 “For he whose team I cheer for most may have great success; spread the word of my name and thy shall be acquitted of all murder charges)

Breaking news from Trisha Takinowa for Canadians:  The NFL is really great.  I know the CFL is a lot of fun.  I like the Roughies and Lions, which means I’m a fan of one quarter of the league.  I like my odds of my team doing well.  But this league has a whole bunch of teams from all sorts of places.  It’s pretty cool.

Dear The Entire United States:  The NHL is really great.  I know you’ve got a lot going on.  And with global warming, you’re pretty much out of places that can have ice (PS. please slow global warming.  And then call China and see if they want to too.  Maybe it’ll be like the bridge thing.  Look, Canada jumped!).  But you can make ice indoors with fancy machines.  I have a selling point, wait:  White guys can be good at it too!  It’s a fast, tough, smart sport (with exceptions) that rewards quick thinking and decision making along with athleticism.  I think that’s where you’re getting things messed up.  I know you like to call a play and have a commercial break.  But it’s pretty exciting to watch if you can figure it out.  Try it on for size again, there’s some Crozvechkin kid that’s supposed to be rrreally fast.

*Post blog afterthought.  Does Kurt Warner really play for the Cardinals? They should move the Vatican and be the Vatican Cardinals, and they wouldn’t even have to sign a new QB.  When God makes final judgement on what play to call next, white smoke comes outta that little chimney over there.Add to Technorati Favorites

Blog-ojevich, and People Who Matter

 

Fitzy of Boston

This guy is basically the reason I’m moving to Boston.  Sure, he’s the stereotypical Mass-hole (I love that expression), but what’s not to love?  The people in Boston love their sports.  Adore.  Obsess? …Yeah, they obsess over their sports.  There’s something appealing about living in a place where playing the gentlemen is borderline offensive (“who’s this queen?”).  It’s one of the last places you’re allowed to indulge every man-urge you want.  It’s probably not the formula for a perfectly functioning society, but for a Canadian kid, the entertainment value is high.  Just check out Fitzy’s webcast before last years Superbowl:                                                                                                                            *Disclaimer: May contain language not suitable for children, or people who gave birth to me.  You can imagine how the follow-up webcasts went.  I know it’s pretty low-brow, but come on… you laughed.

Rod Blagojevich

My favourite joke du jour is Jon Stewarts “Rod Blagojevich, seen here being digested head-first by some sort of hair shaped alien…”  Blagojevich looks like the mama bird might come back any second to feed the starving chicks on his head.  It looks like if he were to come in out of the cold, he would take off that thing on his head and have bad hair underneath.  The only thing funnier than this mans hair is the legitimacy of his level of corruption.  He’s like Bond-movie-evil-villain bad, complete with legitimate triple long laugh and slow mustache twirl.  I keep waiting for the breaking news about him escaping to a secret lair and exposing the star-cannon he’s had aimed at Earth this whole time.  And he’ll use it if we don’t comply with his requests (I can see Blagojevich decreeing “Henry Burris is to be an Illinois state Senator!” and Obama going “Is this guy still on that?”).  I assume the blueprint for the plot has been written on his forehead this whole time.

Boo Weekley

Never has anyone made me laugh and like them so much while simultaneously embarrassing me so much as Boo Weekly during last years Ryder Cup.  He’s like a parody of what people pretend hicks are.  It’s like SNL or Mad TV tried to make a funny hick skit, but it flopped because the person over-acted the role (over-acting in SNL?… noooo).  This is the guy who said “it’s been a windwhirl” while wiping his brow.  How can you not like a guy with a bottom lip dip of Redman in while putting for national pride.  Talk about an apt representation.  If I were Lee Westwood (who was politely bothered by Boo’s attempts to fire up the crowd), I think I would have had to laugh.  Boo didn’t even look athletic enough to make that awkward motion athletes make to pump up the crowd (And how about that motion? It’s getting pretty overused isn’t it? I just saw Tim Tebow do it after he was announcing he was coming back for another year.  The fans are grateful and love you Tim, they’re showing their appreciation.  Asking for “more effort” out of their thank-you sort seems needy).  Maaayyybe he further pigeon-holed us into the pigeon-cave Bush dug with the Europeans.  But come on.  The guy rode his driver off the tee-box at an international event.  Now that’s what being an American is about!Add to Technorati Favorites

Bourne With Two Passports; No Jason Jokes

 

I’m not sure how to spell. 

 Have you seen The Departed?  There’s a scene where Mark Wahlberg (Sgt. Dignam) is verbally tearing Di Caprio (William Costigan jr.) apart.  Di Caprio had a criminal family with parents from different parts of Boston.  Wahlberg is trying to make sure Di Caprio isn’t trying to become a cop so he can use the power the wrong way.  He says  ”You had different accents didn’t you, you little f@#k? ”.  He talks about how Di Caprio was one kid one week with his mother, and a different kid when he went to live in the Southie projects with his Dad.   His whole life he’s always been pretending to be somebody depending on where he is.  This is how I feel when I write.

How the F am I supposed to spell as a duel citizen??

Can our 2 nations come together here, guys?  Here’s what I propose.  A set up, like in Disney movies.  I’ll call Canada and have him meet me for dinner somewhere mutual, like a Pizza Hut.  You call the US and do the same.  Then WE won’t show up and the two of them will have to run into each other.  They’ll be forced to sit there and work out  the “u” thing.  On my hono(u)r, it’s my favo(u)rite idea. It’s colo(u)rful, flavo(u)rful and full of vigo(u)r.

I usually try to keep in mind who my audience is, but in my blog I’m confused.  Please vote.  I’ll do my best to limit myself to that style, the way Marky Mark and the funky bunch disappeared so Mark Wahlberg could limit himself to acting.[polldaddy poll=1287771]Add to Technorati Favorites

It Bloggles My Mind.

 

Are you over the NBA slam dunk yet? I cannot believe that anybody is still impressed by this. I mean, these guys are huge.  There’s a lot of huge people in the world.  This league has selected the very best athletes of the very huge. Hugesketball. And we’re impressed that they put it in something highSlllaaaamm Dunk!  I’m not trying to take anything away from the NBA (it wouldn’t be fair, what with all those soccer players out there… and leagues that begin in “W”), but this sport seems to have an odd quality.  It seems to be the only sport you can beat.  In a way, you can beat the game like when you had that cheat code for Super Contra (left-right-left-right-a-b-b-a, was it?)

There’s is no physical way to overcome a golf course.  Nobody gets to begin the hole a lick closer than the next person. Sports like hockey, football and soccer are played against other players, on a surface with the goal on the ground.  But in basketball, we could literally see the day where some monster has arms that go above the rim, and he stands there and sets the thing in the peach basket  (note: that guy looks like a Hobbit beside Yao).  Scouts who judge a players potential seem to use a sliding scale of size and talent.  For every inch you drop below seven feet, you need to be a half point better on the talent scale to make the NBA.  A 7 footer needs a talent rating of about 4/10 to make it. If you’re 6’11″, you better be at least a 4.5. You say you’re 6′ 10″?  We’ll take you as a 5, sure.  You could completely phase out the need for talent if you were tall enough.  I think it’s possible. At least the guys trying to stop Giants running back Brandon Jacobs  (6-foot-4 and 267 pounds) can grow with him.  That poor lil orange circle, however, cannot.

Basketball is a wonderful sport.  A ton of fun.  Out on the playground, and in the gym, there is a huge basketball following, including myself.  But for the elite of the elite, the most monstrous of the monsters, the game has become silly.  I’m starting a campaign to raise awareness for all you NBA players out there.  You looked ridiculous when you celebrated that dunk just there.  There was nobody in your way and you’re 6’6″ with long arms and a 40 inch vertical.  Celebrating needs to have some correlation to the difficulty of the play (listen up, NFL safety’s. As Bill Simmons pointed out, if the guy you’re covering drops it, you don’t get to face the camera and wave the “nu-uh” finger)  You did well for your team, you can celebrate, don’t get me wrong.  But did you really just flex?  Growl?  You’re the best -insert player name here-.  You’re the f@#$ing best. (That was Kevin Stevens, and one of the classiest men in hockey, Bryan Trottier assaulting Brian Bellows.  Ha…now that’s classy.)

 

 We would love to dunk.  We dunk on our nephew’s Fisher-Price hoop.  We dunk on the lowered hoop that neighborhood kid’s family owns. We dunk our garbage.I like to see some dunks mixed in to my NBA game.  And I don’t want the rims at 12 feet (is 10.5 out of the question?) I just want youuu tocalmtheFdown.  Proof that a slam (ps, is there a sporting term more lame than “slam dunk”?) anyways, proof that a slam dunk is as easy as convincing someone that  “PC” has lost the war of advertising versus the Mac (Bill Gates is Justin Long’s bitch), is that we have a contest to see who can do the most stuff in the air before the dunk.  Human beings have a max hang time of like, a second, and this task is so mundane that these guys have time to spin, switch their ball hand and switch the pocket they carry their ridiculous roll of money in.  The term itself has become synonymous with not difficult.  “Is that guy going to use our company for the job?”  “For sure… It’s a slam dunk”.  As in “there’s no chance of it not happening”.  A kicker going for an extra point in football is more likely to miss than the guy going for a dunk.  And during the Steelers game, I tried to bet a buck during live betting that the kicker would convert, and my return was 3 cents.  And to this, Sportscenter devotes 6 spots out of every top 10.  “Ohhh!! That one’ll be on a poster! I wonder if he’ll sign it for himhahaha” HAHAHA!  Ha.

                                 (SHE DUNKED IT!)                                                    ((I LOVE that the female commentator chips in about 2/3 of the way through and goes “BOOM!”))

                                         Add to Technorati Favorites

Cool's Right Commercials

 

How about those Coors Light Commercials?  Barry Switzer is so cute in this commercial I just wanna pack his lunch and send him off to his first day of school.  I can’t believe how good they are.  And not just because the coaches are saying funny stuff, the guys in the commercial are so money.  When they ask for the second roll-away and the black guy goes “yyyyeah”, I die everytime.  Like he’s jussst not quite comfortable bunking with the white guy.  They aren’t gay!  Two beds….  Hilarious.

I decided I like them because they’re almost childish.  Something about it reminds me of the “I’m not hitting you” game that siblings play.  Plus, does any sports fan out there not LOVE when NFL Films Presents -or whoever it is that does it-  plays a half hour or so of having guys “Mic’d Up”?  I think it’s because I never played football growing up that I’m so interested in what’s going on behind the scenes.  Oh, and I never played any sports in a largely black environment.  As a white guy who likes rap music, and thinks it’s hilarious to hear black guys verballing each other, these shows are the absolute highlight of my sports watching week.  I just caught a preview for todays Ravens-Steelers game, and they flashed back to a defensive player saying to 35 year old receiever Derrick Mason (apparently old in the NFL)  ”You gotta be the only guy collecting social security AND an NFL paycheck”.  I love that shit.   How about Brian Billick demanding Ed get him his beer? …. I just can’t handle it.  ”…Coach says you better go Ed.”

Oh Nooo!  Noooo!  Haha… What was actually happening that a 40 year old man was yelling “oh no”.  Don’t toddlers say that when they spill their grape juice?  Shouldn’t Billick be yelling a procession of words that involve an ampersand, some ”at” signs and the number symbol? Great stuff.[polldaddy poll=1286442]

Other sport-related commercial shout outs: Anything Peyton Manning does, the Kevin Garnett press conference clips (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llmi2o7sWh8), LeBron’s “chalk” commercial (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SiQKxja79M) and Greg Oden’s “I’m a chameleon” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXbpB-rlung)  Also, anything with Scott Van Pelt (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge1LtDlK75Q) and/or Kenny Mayne.  Retro shout-out to the “Terrible Terry Tate Office Linebacker” Reebok commercials.  They’re old, but amazing (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oU1jra7RKCQ) I was obsessed with the Terry Tate ones years ago.  They’re a tad long, but still classic. I  have a lot of time on my hands.  More blogs to come.Add to Technorati Favorites

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