Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to wish everyone out there a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving. I hope each and every one you get to spend some quality with loved ones today.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fantasy Football Funnies...

FYI, it's hard to see without clicking on the image...

Yes, that's EIGHT of the 10 teams (including mine) at 5-6! I would be the #2 seed right now if the season ended, leading the West with my "My Name Is Inigo Montoya" team (bonus points if you can tell me what movie that's from). Hey, I won a league two years ago with a 6-7 record (running the table in the playoffs as a #4 seed), so anything's possible.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Another Reason Why I LOVE Carrie Underwood!!!

In this week's TV Guide, Carrie Underwood explains that she refuses to say who she's backing for President going on to state:

"I lose all respect for celebrities when they back a candidate. It’s saying that the American public isn’t smart enough to make their own decisions. I would never want anybody to vote for anything or anybody just because I told them to. Music is where you go to get away .... Whether it’s from politics or just the world around you, music should be an escape.”

AMEN, Carrie!!! Given that I've ALWAYS felt the same way, it's very reassuring to me that my favorite music star shares my views on something so important.

And this is just plain old fashioned common sense, isn't it? I mean why would you want to alienate perhaps half of your fanbase by expounding on your political views and forcing them on your fans? Carrie's not a politician, she's a musician! Look at what happened to Bruce Springsteen's popularity when he got all political. The Dixie Chicks? John Mellencamp??? Same thing... they all lost A TON of fans when they decided to make politics the focus of their music and concerts. And did you hear what Madonna said about Sarah Palin at a recent concert? It doesn't bear repeating here, but let me tell you that it was so gross, vulgar and disgusting that it led me to delete every song of hers I had on my computer and iPod. And rest assured, "Madge" isn't going to listened to me again EVER unless she makes a public apology to the current Republican Vice Presidential candidate.

And by the way, did anyone notice what happened to talk show host Oprah Winfrey's ratings when she decided she was going to make a huge deal out of supporting Barack Obama? Yes folks, her talk show's ratings are DOWN by 20% since she did this!!! Before Oprah made her gaffe, her favorability rating was at 74%. Today, it stands at 55%. That's a drop of OVER 25%!!!

Someone named Forrest once said "stupid is as stupid does." Celebrities making political endorsements fit this to a T!!!

Kudos to Carrie for standing up for what's right... if only the rest of the world thought like her!!!


Monday, November 3, 2008

Should of gone to VEGA$!

For many years, I've been doing ESPN's Pigskin Pickem' game just for fun. OK, one year I did so well that I came in 4th out of nearly 200,000 entries. And what did I get for fourth place? The same thing I got for finishing in second place in many of my fantasy baseball leagues this year. ZERO! Every week, I do one "straight up" entry where you just try to pick the winners, and another where you try to pick "against the spread."

For those of you who don't know anything about "the spread" what it basically means is that Las Vegas sets a gambling "line" for football game, making team a "favorite" and the other team the "underdog." What you try to do in ESPN's game is pick the team which is either going to "cover the spread" or the team that will "beat the spread." For example, let's say the Colts are 7 point favorites over the Patriots. The Colts win 16-13, so while they won the game by 3 points, they didn't cover the 7 point spread. To get the game right, you would have had to pick the Colts not to cover.

Now I'm not much of a gambler - OK, I really don't like to gamble at all actually though a friendly small stakes game of "Texas Hold 'Em" amongst friends is always fun. Anyways, this week I correctly picked 12 of the 14 games against the spread in Week 9's NFL games! That's pretty good... ok, that's REALLY good! So which two games did I get wrong? The Jaguars were tied for the third biggest favorite this week as 7 1/2 point favorites against the "Bungles" in Cincinnati. An underrated Jaguar team, a winless Bengals team without their starting QB and #85 playing more like "Ocho Stinko" than Chad Johnson... it seemed like the Jaguars were a good bet to cover. So what happens? "Ocho Cinco" makes a surprise appearance scoring TWICE and the Bengals not only beat the spread, they win the game outright 21-19!!!... My only other misstep this week was taking the Texans to lose by less than 4 1/2 points against the Vikings in Minnesota. The Vikings behind three touchdown passes from QB Gus Frerotte (not to be confused with "Gus Frerotten") won 28-21 to cover the spread by 2 1/2 points.

Yes, I was thisclose to perfection this week.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Life Can Be So Random...

... it seems like lately I'm running into people I know in the most unexpected places. I don't know about you, but this kind of thing always puts a big smile on my face, especially when it's someone who has in some way (even if it's a small one) had a positive impact in my life.

A couple of months ago I ran into a friend of mine from my church (Cornerstone Community) in Simi Valley at my gym in Thousand Oaks. Given it takes about 15-20 minutes to get from one place to the other, seeing her pretty smile at the gym was an unexpected, but pleasant surprise as I just assumed she lived in Simi. Apparently, there are many of us who live in Thousand Oaks and happen to make this particular church in Simi our home.

And then there's tonight. I went to church in Simi and after the service I noticed a girl who looked very familiar. The problem was that I was having trouble placing where I knew her from. After a few minutes it finally clicked with me - she worked at my local Best Buy in Thousand Oaks! The main reason I rememered her (asides from her stunning looks) was that she had outstanding customer service skills and always gave me service with a smile. I have to admit I thought so highly of her that I even filled out one of those customer service surveys one time, giving her a glowing review... So, I walked up to her and recounted a fond memory of there for both of us - the in-store Lifehouse concert from June of last year! What's funny is that I haven't been to Best Buy in literally forever. I actually thought about going there yesterday while out shopping to get a new memory card for my camera, wondering if she still worked there. It turns out she's not, but she's simply moved across the street to my favorite local sporting goods store - Big 5.

Speaking of concerts, this week I'm going to THREE Carrie Underwood shows in the course of five days starting Wednesday. It's gonna be fun!!! As per usual, lots of pictures will be coming provided I purchase that new memory card!


Saturday, November 1, 2008

What does Billboard's Hot 100 measure?

In it's current form, just what does Billboard's Hot 100 truly measure?

While it does sometimes happen to coincide with what song is truly the most popular in the nation at a given time, more often than not, it doesn't. Songs such as Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love" were multi-format #1's and sold lots of singles and albums over a long period of time and obviously were worthy of the peak position...

Other songs have only reached the #1 position on that chart thanks to the repression of downloads (i.e: Rihanna, Mariah Carey), while still others have peaked at #1 there thanks to lots of downloads/sales by a fanbase (i.e: multiple American Idol artists).

Other artists, such as Taylor Swift and the Jonas Brothers have had new songs sell a lot of units the first week and then drop off dramatically in the following weeks, often resulting in a top 10 debut and a drop outside of the top 40 within a week or two. Was it a song's popularity that made these songs sell a lot, or was it fanbases?

Still other artists such as Kid Rock are victims of the chart's methodology thanks to the chart having a bias against songs that aren't available for individual sale. Kid Rock's recent hit "All Summer Long" peaked at #23 on the chart despite being top 5 at three different formats. Since there was no single available for download it received ZERO Hot 100 sales points. The latter despite the fact that people were flocking to stores to buy his Rock N Roll Jesus album to the tune of over 100,000 units a week at the song's peak.

We also have a special case with Estelle's recent hit, "American Boy." This song was at #11 on the Hot 100 when the label decided to pull the single in an effort to move albums. The song dropped to #37 on the Hot 100 the next week. Did the song suddenly lose popularity? I think not. Shortly thereafter, "American Boy" became available again and voila, it ended up "rebounding" into the top 10 of the Hot 100.

The above said, what does the chart actually measure? If you know, please respond with a comment!