Times are good. Great football game last night (though Jay Cutler should’ve had like 5 interceptions but the refs bailed him out with a lot of BS pass interference calls) and overall over the weekend (MVP stands for Michael Vick, Playa!). Yesterday morning, I saw my first bear since moving up here too. It was on the way to work, just driving along the mountain roads as always, when out of the drivers side window, there’s an adult black bear just kinda trotting along the side of the road, then v-lines into the trees. No pieces of fresh kill on his face or anything like that, just kinda hopping along. You’ve seen how bears run. So yeah, that was cool.
Something else that’s cool, I have a SECOND date with Candy. “$teve, so soon?” Why not? I have to go into Reno to pick a few things up anyway (projector TV on the fritz & upkeep on Gretchen) so why not top off irritating trips to the nearest Best Buy with a little hot sushi action with a lovely woman? Am I right? You know I am. I know what you’re thinking, “Second date? Whoa, this is serious. When are you two planning the wedding for?” Hold your horses there. Just because this is basically the first second date since I started this blog (sigh…) over three years ago (double sigh…) is a great step… but yeah, not getting too ahead of myself. Still doesn’t hurt to be optimistic about it though. Maybe I’ll hold off until date number three before I make my move… or divulge that I am the Father of Panda Porn, think that snakes are going to take over the world & have a fantastic idea to start a magazine that follows & rates bank robberies. I figure once she starts showing a little trust in me, it will be reciprocated. That’s the way to do it, right? Sorry I have to ask. As you may know, I’ve only been on so many second or third dates in my prestigious career… and usually the lady is the one with her foot on the gas. I’m not complaining, I’m just saying. Anyway, here’s some news…
Bank Robbing Monthly – As previously mentioned, here’s the latest in the world of bank robbing. Two would-be Albanian bank robbers were arrested Wednesday as they tried to drill a passageway into a bank vault from a shop they had rented above it, police officials said. In an aborted heist echoing the plot of the Woody Allen film "Small Time Crooks," the two men were caught after the noise from their drilling between the upper floor shop and the bank vault alerted the authorities (go figure). "We moved in when they were in the last stages of finishing the tunnel," Tirana police chief Tonin Vocaj told reporters. Armed robberies at small, lightly protected branches of 16 commercial banks have risen over the last few years in Albania, a small and impoverished Adriatic nation of 3.2 million (and home to some of the greatest female asses in the world). Okay, so now it’s time for their marks. Overall: I have to give it a D+. Pros: They may have based it on a Woody Allen movie that nobody saw instead of “Inside Man”, though it kinda had the feel of a Three Stooges episode. Cons: They got caught. They didn’t have a muffler on the drill and it’s obviously going to be loud. It’s a drill… at a bank. Even after hours, the neighbors would hear (unless you bought out the block or something). There are definitely other ways to rob a bank.
BRM Part Deux – Bank robbers pulled off a dramatic heist last week, strapping a bomb to a teller and ordering him to steal as much money as he could grab from the vault — all while his father was being held hostage. Sound like a plot to a movie? Heat 2? Well, it began when the three masked, gun-toting thieves burst into the teller's apartment shortly after midnight. The men held the teller and his father hostage in the suburban Kendall apartment for seven hours, waiting for morning when the teller usually helped open his Bank of America branch near the University of Miami campus, according to the FBI and local police. One suspect stayed with the father, while the other two and the teller left for the bank in the teller's red 1998 Ford Mustang. Strapped to the teller's body was a device the robbers said was a bomb. Once at the bank around 8 a.m., the thieves sent the teller inside. "They said, 'We have a triggering device. Get as much money as you can and bring it out to us,'" Coral Gables Police Chief Richard Naue told reporters. Also inside the bank was the female branch manager, the FBI said. After the teller took an undisclosed amount of cash, the robbers took off in his car and the manager called police. That triggered a huge response of heavily armed police and shut down traffic on a segment of U.S. 1, a major Miami thoroughfare, leading as well to lockdowns at several nearby schools. Authorities initially feared there may have been hostages inside the bank. Shortly before noon, after police bomb robots had been sent inside, the possible bomb was removed and the shirtless teller was led out of the bank. Neither the teller nor his father was injured. The robbers never entered the bank, apparently relying on the teller's fear of a possible explosion and the potential danger to his father to ensure he would do their bidding inside. "It is an unusual event to have explosives strapped to a victim and sent in," said Dena Choucair, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI's Miami field office. She said there were bomb-making materials in the device, though she said she could not reveal what they were. The FBI and Miami-Dade Police Department's bomb squad were examining the device to determine if it was a working bomb or a fake. They were also questioning the teller, whose name was not immediately released. Although Naue and other officials described the teller publicly as a "victim," authorities wanted to make sure he had no involvement in the plot. "I can't say either way at this point where this person stands," Choucair said. There was no immediate sign of the suspects. Police were still searching late Friday afternoon for the teller's red Mustang, which had the Florida license tag R958DY. Bank of America said in a statement that "the safety of our associates is our highest priority and Bank of America is working closely with law enforcement to assist in the situation." That’s great… but you’re insured either way. Okay, grade time: I gotta go with a B-minus because, well first and foremost, they didn’t get anything… but they get to try another day. Now, the whole hostage AND bomb-strapping combination has promise… but seriously, what was the plan? Have an employee just go in there, take a bunch of money & then walk right out with it in a duffel bag, hand it to you in HIS car & then watch you drive off? With a pinky swear that you wouldn’t hurt his dad? Honestly, if I was doing it, I would’ve just had the teller as the inside man… and this is the perfect alibi. The dad wasn’t harmed, right? Is there any evidence that the other guys aren’t his buddies? A lot of questions with this one… and that’s why it gets a high score for essentially being a wash… because it keeps the authorities guessing, even when it goes bad. Keep an eye out for a next attempt. Yes, I may need psychiatric help… but that has nothing to do with this story.
Flying Belgian Love Triangle - A Belgian woman went on trial last week charged with the murder of a fellow skydiver and love rival who plunged to her death after her parachute was sabotaged (GASP!!!). Els Van Doren, 38, smashed into a back garden from some 4,500 meters (14,764 feet) in November 2006 because both her main and reserve chutes failed to open after she jumped from a plane with defendant, Els Clottemans, 26, their lover, Dutchman Marcel Somers, and another man (who wasn’t getting any). Tehehe, I just thought of a show called “Two Els, a Marcel and a Pizza Plane” that only lasts one season. Anyway, Clottemans, an elementary school teacher (oh yes), is accused of cutting through key parts of the parachute system the weekend before the jump to remove her rival and have Somers for herself. Lawyers for Clottemans, who herself only spoke in court to confirm basic details such as her date of birth and profession, issued a statement expressing their firm belief that their client did not kill a woman she regarded as a friend (but rather she believes she killed a harlot b**ch who’s been f**king her man). In a red top and black trousers and flanked by two police officers, Clottemans showed no emotion as Prosecutor Patrick Boyen read the 68-page indictment. Interest in the case was so great that a live television feed was laid on in a larger room in the courthouse in Tongeren, a town in eastern Belgium. Several police guarded the entrance. Laying out details of the love triangle, Boyen said that bachelor Somers entertained Van Doren, a married mother of two, most Saturdays and the younger Clottemans often on Fridays. Boyen said Clottemans was an experienced skydiver and would have known how to sabotage a parachute and that she had the opportunity to do so when she and Van Doren were with Somers a week before the fatal drop. Van Doren's pilot chute, a small parachute deployed to pull the main chute out, was detached from that, while a line that should have connected the reserve chute to the harness was free. Experts ruled that both items had been deliberately cut and that it could have been done in just 30 seconds with scissors (still wanna go skydiving?). Psychiatric experts have identified signs that Clottemans suffers from a psychopathic disorder (GASP!!!). Clottemans' lawyers say that is no hard evidence against their client, whom they say investigators intimidated and belittled in hours of questioning. "She was continually accused of lying by investigators. The investigators had formed their own version of the truth and were no longer prepared to deviate from that." The trial, which is likely to feature video of the fall shot from a camera on Van Doren's helmet, is due to last four weeks. I know what you’re thinking, “When can I see that footage?” Patience. In due time. What’s the moral of the story? Don’t be involved in a love trigon (because triangle is overused & improper mathematically. It’s not like you call the Pentagon a Pentangle, right? Steroid popping MMA fighters don’t fight in the Octangle? Think about it) unless you’re absolutely certain that both women are sane. The odds of that one? Well, I only took Calculus in the 6th grade & I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer that complex of a computation. Good luck playa…
Full Moon Belgian Booze - Full moons are often associated with tides, insanity and creatures like werewolves & horny sorority girls, but it turns out they're also good for brewing beer. In Peruwelz, a small, sleepy town in southern Belgium, a family-owned brewery has produced its first batch of specialist beer brewed by the light of a full autumnal moon. It isn't so much a nod to mythology as a recognition of nature's impact on the science of brewing. "We made several tests and noticed that the fermentation was more vigorous, more active," explained Roger Caulier, the owner of Brewery Caulier, which began in the 1930s when his grandfather started selling homemade beer from a handcart. "The end product was completely different, stronger, with a taste lasting longer in the mouth," he said. The full moon speeds up the fermentation process, shortening it to five days from seven, which adds extra punch to the beer without making it harsh, according to connoisseurs. The finely balanced, gold-colored beer is 10% alcohol by volume, extremely strong by most European or U.S. standards but not uncommon in Belgium, where traditional monk-brewed beers frequently hit 10-12%. "It goes down very well, no problem at all," said Joseph Francois, a journalist and beer expert who has tasted the brew. Brewery Caulier, which uses methods dating from the 1840s and is well-known for its artisanal beers, plans to produce about 12,000 bottles of its full moon beer, called Paix-Dieu (Peace-God), which go on sale on October 31. The idea came to Caulier after he visited a friend in Alsace, a winemaking region of eastern France, who told him about how he planned his entire production schedule according to the lunar calendar. Caulier began experimenting and eventually came up with a nine-step process that includes using two types of hops and involves a two-week secondary fermentation process inside the bottle, not unlike the technique used to produce Champagne. "It gives the product greater fame, a bit like for great vintage wines," he said. "It could lead to collectors checking the differences between one vintage and another because there could very well be differences between every batch." Being from a three-generation brewing family, Caulier is fascinated by the science behind the process. But he doesn't discount the mythical aspects of full moon beer either. "Many farmers are convinced that the moon influences the quality of some of their products. You can feel agitated on full moons, you have births, you get many myths around the full moon and I think there is some truth behind them." Either way, he's hoping that Paix-Dieu proves a hit and is even in talks to distribute it in the U.S. and Japan. We can only hope… but unless it’s fairly affordable, we may never know for sure. Still can’t understand the thousands of dollars for a bottle of rotten grape juice with wine, so there’s absolutely NO WAY I would understand it for rotten barley juice. Regardless, I like the idea of experimentation within the beer realm. It’s like Willy Wonka & the Whiskey Factory or something. “This beer was brewed on a full moon… and turns even the most timid drinkers into raging sexual animals. Observe. Wait, where did all my Full Moon Brew go? Oompa Loompas?” “Sorry Mister Wonka, that behemoth $teve came in again. He pumped gas through the air ducts, took dozens of incriminating photos with our unconscious bodies, put all of us in a gunny sack & drove off with all the beer saying something about putting a hurtin’ on the 49ers cheerleaders.” “BLAST!!! Oh… and next time, try to sing it out like you guys usually do. I understand that you’re flustered by the whole thing… but I don’t pay you guys to be eye candy.”
Avengers Update – Speaking of movies gone badass, "V," "Stargate" and "Firefly" star Morena Baccarin is the latest name rumored to be joining the cast of Marvel Studios' upcoming "The Avengers" reports Mania. Is she in talks to play The Wasp? The report sounds extremely dubious at best… but gives me an excuse to put a few pics up of her. In more confirmed news, Mark Ruffalo talked with Vulture and revealed that his incarnation of The Hulk will be motion-captured in "The Avengers". The previous two "Hulk" movies with Eric Bana and Ed Norton used entirely CG creations for their Hulk scenes. Finally, director / nerd demi-God Joss Whedon has spoken about the project to SFX and how he intends to juggle both action scenes and so many characters together (and knowing Joss he’ll probably kill a few of them off randomly): "What I will struggle with, in the outline and throughout, is that I would like to put these actors in a room and just make Glengarry Glen Ross. We’re talking about really exciting people and at the same time I have to keep the momentum of the thing going. I can’t let it turn into a lull fest. Knowing that I have enough time to do both of those things – that by the end of the movie you will feel ‘in’ with these guys – is the trick. It’s not an easy one but one that Marvel absolutely honors." Whedon also spoke about Ruffalo's involvement in particular. "They don’t hire Mark Ruffalo [the new Hulk] to say one iconic line and strike a pose. They hire him because he has so much humanity in him. He’s the antithesis of the iconic actor. He’s so human. He was my first choice to play the part, and the fact he is playing the part is nuts! They went to great lengths to make that happen and they understood exactly why he was right for the part" he says. So… okay, no Edward Norton this time around. That’s okay. I understand. He’s got some Academy Award winning role lined up I’m sure so what does he want to be part of an ensemble cast action flick? As any nerd would be, I’m excited for this movie… and adding more eye candy like Morena just makes me moreso… even if it’s just an unfounded rumor. By the way, did you know that Neil Patrick Harris is going to play Hawkeye? Oh you didn’t? It’s on the internet now… so it must be true.
Well, that’ll do it for tonight. Really excited about the SECOND date coming up. Gonna try not to screw it up just yet… but we’ll see. Any tips? They’ll definitely be considered. If not, just wish me luck & have a great day everybody!!!