Friday, January 11, 2019


2019 is a helluva year for 50-year anniversaries. Here's a list of 50 of them; below are my personal favorites.

First Manned Moon Landing
Apollo 11 began its historic voyage to the Moon on July 16, 1969. It reached its destination on July 20 and on July 21, Neil Armstrong became the first person to step onto the lunar surface, with Buzz Aldrin following him about 20 minutes later. The mission marked the beginning of the U.S. putting a dozen men on the moon.

Monty Python’ Flying Circus
On October 5, 1969, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam changed the face of sketch comedy forever with the BBC debut of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

The Internet
There’s been a long-running debate about when “The Internet” was born, with many tech-heads citing April 7, 1969 as the web’s official birthdate. That’s the day the first official Request for Comments, or RFC, was published—which included research, proposals, and ideas for the creation of true internet technology.

The Beatles Rooftop Concert
On January 30, 1969, right around lunchtime, The Beatles made their way to the rooftop of the Apple Corps building, their record label’s headquarters, for an unannounced performance. It was the first time in more than two years that the band had performed live, and they didn’t miss a beat. The Fab Four spent 42 minutes testing new material out on a crowd of onlookers. Eventually, a bank manager called the police to lodge a noise complaint—and the plug was pulled.

On November 3, 1969, PBS was founded as a successor to National Educational Television (NET) and quickly became the country’s preeminent broadcaster of educational, cultured television. Among its most popular series in those early days were Sesame Street, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Nova, The French Chef with Julia Child, and Masterpiece Theatre (some of which are still going strong).

Looks like an onion ring, tastes like an onion-flavored chip. Funyuns have been offering the best of both worlds since 1969.

Cracker Barrel
On September 19, 1969, Dan W. Evins opened the first Cracker Barrel Old Country Store in Lebanon, Tennessee, where made-from-scratch fare was always on the menu. Today, the restaurant chain operates more than 650 locations across 45 states. 
Also this is the first time I’ve heard of this one:
Several months before Monty Python’s Flying Circus made its debut, another sketch comedy show—one that included Albert Brooks among its writers—made its premiere on February 5, 1969 and disappeared just as quickly. Though two episodes were filmed, only one aired. Leaving the series to be remembered as one of the biggest flops of all time. (Yes, it’s important to commemorate that, too.)
Monty Python AND Albert Brooks? Yes please!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Tackle

The 1982 NFC Championship Game is rightfully remembered for "The Catch", which occurred 37 years ago today. But what we all forget is that Dallas came without a fingertip of immediately scoring to take the lead, thanks to an absolute perfect pass by Danny White into triple coverage. How much would the futures of both teams have been different throughout the 80's if not for this miracle tackle?

Via extensive internet research (ie Wikipedia):
This game was a watershed in the historic fortunes of both the 49ers and the Cowboys. The 49ers began the 1970s winning three consecutive NFC West titles (1970–1972), but spent the remainder of the decade as a losing team. San Francisco went on to win four Super Bowls in the 1980s, and made the playoffs eight out of the next ten seasons, making the 49ers a dynasty. 49ers quarterback Joe Montana went on to gain a reputation as a clutch performer.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys, one of the most successful NFC teams in the 1970s with five Super Bowl appearances (and two wins), never made it back to the Super Bowl in the 1980s. In the following season, the Cowboys reached their third straight NFC Championship Game, where they were defeated 31–17 by their archrival Washington Redskins. After their 31–17 loss to the Redskins, the Cowboys managed to make the playoffs in two of the next three seasons, only to be knocked out in the first round. They never made it to postseason for the rest of the decade. In fact, beginning in 1986, the Cowboys went on to suffer losing seasons for the remainder of the decade,
Great Joe Cool quote, tho:
According to Clark, Jones reacted to the play by stating "You just beat America's Team" to Montana after the pass was caught, to which Montana replied to Jones, "Well, you can sit at home with the rest of America and watch the Super Bowl."

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Trump's Wall Speech

Don't know why the Democrats are gonna bother with a response to Trump's speech tonight, but this should be it.

30 Years Ago Tonight

The single-most famous scene in BBC history aired. Generally considered to be the funniest of all time (with the punchline maddeningly given away by whoever titled this YouTube clip grrrr), it's quintessential John Sullivan at his best. Personally, I put it #2 behind the chandelier scene, but a total winner nonetheless. :) Here's a clip of David Jason discussing the bar scene and how they pulled it off.

AND David Beckham nailed it too! :)

Oh, Carol!

Anytime Carol Burnett gets a shoutout, it's a great thing:
"For more than 50 years, comedy trailblazer Carol Burnett has been breaking barriers while making us laugh," HFPA president Meher Tatna said in the announcement of the award. "She was the first woman to host a variety sketch show, The Carol Burnett Show. She was also the first woman to win both the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and Kennedy Center Honors. And now we add another first to her running list: the first recipient — and namesake — of the new Golden Globe top honor for achievement in television, the Carol Burnett Award. We are profoundly grateful for her contributions to the entertainment industry and honored to celebrate her legacy forever at the Golden Globes."
More importantly, of course, is her being in the official Xmastime Hall of Fame.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Bonnet de Douche!

The iconic tower block that was the exterior for Nelson Mandela House where the Trotters lived is being demolished:
Harlech Tower, which was used to portray the outside of the fictional Nelson Mandela House where Derek 'Del Boy' Trotter and his family lived, is to be torn down.
That's cold, motherfucker. Stone cold.

Xmastime Super TV Recommendation

Derry Girls

Available NOW on Netflix! A rare show in that every character is really funny. Also the best example of a show that spends the entire series making you laugh over and over & then punches you in the gut in the final minutes since Blackadder Goes Forth. Awesome. Can’t wait for the next series!

Tunguska 2019

Years ago I somehow stumbled upon the Tunguska event, which I'd never even heard of (I know - me!). I also later stumbled into an answer for it, which turned out to possibly be more correct than anyone other than myself woulda thought:
I get an F- for thinking that the trees would somehow "rebound" even if at the perfect epicenter of energy. What an idiot. But I'm giving myself a little bit of credit for thinking that the "ground zero" trees would survive because the energy would immediately spread like a drop of water on a table that hits so hard the middle remains dry while the wetness spread sideways.
Anyhoo, the geniuses over at the Stuff You Should KNow podcast talked about it this morning, and I've decided I arrived at an answer more directly than they do. Ta-DA!!!

Picky, Picky

I was a picky eater when I was a kid, which much to my regret has made me a picky eater as an adult. every once in a while I'll be brave - just three years ago an oyster made it all the way to my throat before being returned to a kitchen table, much to the delight of my uproarious friends - but those times are rare, and I stick to what I know. Part of this is not my fault - my parents never pushed me to "try new things", and we generally had the same bland meat/potato combo for most meals. If I didn't like something I wasn't forced to sit at the table until I tried it, my father would simply say "oh well, it's a long time 'til breakfast" and somebody else would swoop in and eat it. Unlike what I witness today, my parents made no effort to replace what they'd served me with something more to my liking, and my dad's saying about breakfast what buttressed by my mother's indifference later that night if hunger pangs hit me: "tough, the kitchen's closed." The only trick they'd ever use to get me to try something would be my mother insisting, "oh just eat it, you can't even taste the (ingredient)", to which I'd exclaim "then why is (ingredient) in there??!?!"

Today, kids are used to eating out for most of their meals and have more access to a more exotic menu. When I was a kid, any time the possibility of eating restaurant food arose it was met with delirious ecstasy; today, I've actually seen kids whine "can't we just eat at home?", which I still cannot wrap my head around. At all. The scenario at my house was more like his:
About once every, oh, 9 years my parents would decide you know what, let’s go into town for takeout instead of cooking dinner. Which would send my brother and I into a frenzy; we’d start shaking like soda, frothing at the mouth and just to make sure our folks would get our point we’d jump on chairs at the kitchen table and start our “mother and father, perchance you’d like to go into town and purchase some pizza we’d be much grateful, not only for the substance but for the love and support you’ve given us, providing a blanket of warmth in family in such a cold, cruel world” song, the lyrics of which were “P-I-ZZ-A!! P-I-ZZ-A!! P-I-ZZ-A!!!” One time we were doing this and from across the table I saw my brother slip off his chair, and in slow motion I saw his fall momentarily stopped by his temple meeting the edge of the table before his 8 year-old body fell to the floor. From my chair, I couldn’t see him on the floor, and it was all I could do to barely, quietly keep our chant going – hey, any momentum lost and we were right back to regular home-cooked dinner. Finally, after an amazingly long pause, I see a little, white paw fly up into he air and land SMACK! on the table...he’s up!! Dramatically dragging himself up to his chair, egg slowly rising on his temple and with a single-mindedness rivaled only MAYBE by the guy in Princess Bride looking for the 6-fingered man who killed his father, he found his feet, got himself together and our joyous chant resumed.

Was there any 60 minute stretch longer than when my mother would go into town to pick up the pizza? My mother would barely be out of the driveway and my brother and I would start our watch, noses pressed up against the living room window. You could see down the road about a quarter mile, each time we saw a glint of metal in the distance our frenzy would roil. At least if it was still light out you could quickly ascertain if it was her or not. God forbid it was nighttime; every pair of headlights creeeeeping down the road “is that her? Is that her? I think that’s her!!! It’s here-“ ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM car speeding by us. No mother, no pizza. Whoa. Has there ever been a sadder sentence written than that?
Over at Serious Eats today, we finally see a defense of the picky eater:
Yes, picky eating is often a repudiation of family, of culture, of the basic tenets of politeness. But it also marks the formation of an individual taste. We tend to be uncomfortable with firm stances on quality, often for good reason: The word “judgmental” started out positive, but now carries an unpleasant aroma. Though my son turns down some foods I love and consider good, he also has a knack for tasting artificial flavors or combinations that are slightly off. He is ever critical, but only sometimes wrong. And his resistance to parental pressure forces him to be creative in finding things he does want to eat.
Based on the opportunities he'll have that I never did, I doubt this kid will be a picky eater as an adult like I remain today. Maybe I'll email the writer to check back in with us over the years?
Since hearing about it almost 20 years ago on the WONDERFUL PBS documentary Sandwiches You Will Like, the Kentucky Hot Brown has always been on my bucket list. And every few months like clockwork, an article comes out about it:
The hot brown is many things: a celebration of place; a simple dish elevated by a derivative of one of the mother sauces of classic French cuisine; a culinary fascination. But many believe the exact recipe for the hot brown has changed in the nearly 100 years since it was first created, with the details differing even among Brown Hotel employees.

What works in 1926 works a century later, too. In an episode of the PBS show The Mind of a Chef, chefs David Chang and Sean Brock make a hot brown amidst discussion of a night of drinking. “I think we were in agreement that whoever invented it was drunk, or was cooking it for drunk people,” Chang jokes.

While it may have originated as a late-night drunk food, it’s also plenty popular with more sober guests: The Brown Hotel sells an average of 1,000 hot brown sandwiches per week, and on Derby weekend, it sells that number in just three days. “At any given time we could be serving 100 people and 90 of the orders will be hot browns,” says Adams.
Do yourself a favor and watch the Sandwiches doc, which I've referenced many times here over the years. Including, of course, the time I made one of them myself.

We're Fucked.

10 years ago, I wrote about the 1918 Influenza.

And now it's back.


Wednesday, January 02, 2019

RIP Marty Funkhouser

Bob Einstein, the older brother of the brilliant Albert Brooks, died today. Obviously he was Super Dave Osbourne and wrote with Steve Martin for the Smothers Brothers, but most people know him best for his brilliant turn on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Here's a list of his 5 funniest moments, not including one of mine: when they're trying to get onto the golf course and Richard Kind is taking his sweet time eating so Funkhouser perfectly delivers, "Will you please finish shoveling that shit into your face?"

A truly funny guy, and a sad loss for us.
Will you please finish shoveling that shit into your face?

Read more:

London Calling Again

Thanks to Brothatime! I got to go to London again, and it was even more fantastic this time as we stayed in Soho, which is bumpin', and did such cool things as toured Buck House (I touched Queen Victoria's throne - not a euphemism), had a private tour of Churchill's War Room, visited Winchester Abbey again, and stayed at a creepy hotel Anthony Bourdain used to stay at. Every restaurant/pub we went to was awesome (save one Chinese restaurant misfire, but oh well), and a great surprise was discovering how wonderful Windsor is. I'll start this morning by posting some of my Instagrams, then later on when I get off my lazy ass I'll post more pics. Can't wait to go back!! :)

(Click on first picture to increase size and then click through them all.)

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Say What You Will About Trump...

...but nobody’s ever brought jazz hands to the Oval Office like he has. Nobody!

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Only Fools du Jour

Oh for Fuck's Sake

Haven't they already been through enough this week?

Great List

The 10 Greatest Sports Duos ever.

I feel lucky I got to spend sop many Sunday afternoons with Madden/Summerall, and can listen to Wilbon/Kornheiser talk about anything all day long. And of course I've prattled on for hours on this blog about my love for Mike and the Mad Dog (which inspired the single greatest blog post ever.)

Monday, December 03, 2018

Newest BBC Sitcom du Jour


Written by the always amazing Jennifer Saunders (Ab Fab), this cast is like an all-star team. Other great sitcoms represented by this cast:
The Royle Family
Father Ted
French and Saunders
The Vicar of Dibley
The Wrong Man(s)
Absolutely Fabulous
The Young Ones
Peep Show
Upstart Crow
I'm Alan Partridge
The Detectorists
The Mighty Boosh
Friday Night Dinner
A Young Doctor's Notebook
White Gold
And these are just the sitcoms that I personally am a fan of. Obviously a testament to Jennifer Saunders' reputation and resume as a writer - when she calls, you answer the phone.

Thoughts. I Have Them.

Word that means the opposite of how it sounds: MIRTH

Word that means exactly how it sounds: SLOPPY

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The White Shadow: 40 Years

The New York Post points out that 40 years ago tonight, The White Shadow premiered:
“It was very ahead of its time, man. We did so many things that were shocking, unheard of things on TV in the ’70s,” said Thomas Carter, who played authority-challenging guard James Hayward and now is one of three former Carver players to go on to successful careers as Hollywood directors. “I really liked that the show from the start didn’t want to be simply a show about basketball, but was going to be daring and ambitious enough to try and say important things and make a difference.
“It really made you think about where these kids, many of them African-American, really live. What kind of things do they have to deal with every day? What are the consequences, what are the costs, of their environment? So much of it, I don’t remember it being done before anywhere on television.
“Honestly,” he added, “groundbreaking really isn’t a strong enough word to describe it.”
I've blathered about how much I love this show several times throughout the years, including this gem:
One funny thing about the cast is no matter how many times I watch the show, maybe twice a day, I still can’t get the fucking names of the core group of 4 or so black guys straight. Call me a racist, but other than Coolidge I have no idea who’s who when coach is shouting out “Heyward! Thorpe! Jackson! Reese!” My only defense here is that a while back in this post I said the same about Hoosiers, so…apparently no matter what color you are - if you put on some tight shorts and run around a basketball court with a coupla other half-naked guys, my mind goes blank and I can’t remember your name.

State du Moi

The office tv being switched from CNN around the clock to the Hallmark Channel means asking yourself wait why the fuck was this not already so?

A Good Question.

Are the best 7 words in the English language, "Him? Oh no, he's not my boyfriend."

Still Working On It.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Thoughts. I Have Them.

Seems pretty ridiculous that in 2018 the # hasn’t made it onto the first set of special character options.