Last night, Pork Chop & I went to the Best in the West Rib Cook-Off in Reno. Why? Because there was ribs, free music, cold beer, and it was a great way to meet my community while getting my rib on. You would expect some kind of rib festival on a Thursday night to be pretty standard with easy parking and more than standing room only. You would be wrong. I can’t imagine what this thing is going to be like Saturday night when the Gin Blossoms perform (remember them?) or Sunday when Asia is live on stage singing “It was the heeeeat of the moment…” which should be epic. Anyway, I had about two full racks of ribs & quite possibly the most perfect wrap ever. “What? $teve ate a wrap at a rib festival?” That’s right, it was called the Big Bleu Wrap from Bourbon Q… and it’s basically a wrap with pulled pork and a bleu cheese cole slaw. I know, perfect. After a few years, we headed back because I had to work in the morning… but not a bad way to start off the Labor Day weekend… and I very well may be going back this weekend sometime. Good times. Here are some pictures… followed by the news…
Philly Update – Have I told you that Pork Chop is an Eagles fan? And from Brooklyn? Being from the East Coast, he has a very straight forward, dare I say LOUD persona that is very different from what I’m used to. Great guy and never means any disrespect or to sound like he’s yelling at ya, that’s just the way that he talks… all the time. My only other real experience with this mannerism is my dad… and he hasn’t lived in Pennsylvania since the late sixties, so it’s mellowed down a bit. Apparently this is an East Coast way of life, which is okay. For Mike Monteiro though, a transplanted Philadelphian who now lives in California, his T-shirt says it all. When he moved to San Francisco a decade ago he realized he needed to explain his direct language to Californians who seemed to have a different approach to communication. After an exchange with an official who accused him of being rude and angry when he was just trying to make a point, he designed a T-shirt, not to get his feelings off his chest, but on it. "I'm not angry. I'm from Philly," it said. The T-shirts proved to be popular and are now being snapped up by Philadelphians. "I am very proud to be from Philadelphia" said Monteiro. "I'm deathly homesick even after 10 years." The T-shirt's expression of Philadelphia's gritty, blue-collar image also doesn't appear to bother the city. "I'm glad he's showing a sense of humor," said Cara Schneider, a spokeswoman for the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corp. "That more than anything defines Philly." That’s right, more than cheese steaks, the Liberty Bell, Rocky Balboa, rooting for the Eagles, the Philly Phanatic, Benjamin Franklin or pelting Santa Claus with snowballs… sounding like an angry prick while meaning no disrespect is what defines the City of Brotherly Love. Anyway, just a funny little tid-bit, not really news… but when do you REALLY expect “news” from my blog?
Mine’s Bigger – See, that’s not news either… but it kinda leads into the next story. Cambodia is aiming for the record books with an ambitious plan to construct Asia's tallest building, a 555-metre skyscraper worth $200 million, Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Wednesday. The building would be FIVE times taller than the country's present highest structure, the new, 32-storey Canadia (I told you that’s how you spell it) Bank Tower, which dominates the Phnom Penh skyline, where buildings of more than five floors stand out. If the project goes ahead, it would top the Taipei 101 Tower, the Shanghai World Financial Centre and Kuala Lumpur's Petronas Towers -- the world's three tallest buildings after the 828-metre Burj Khalifa in Dubai. "It will be shorter than the one in Dubai and taller than any buildings in Asia, and I think we can do it," Hun Sen announced during a university graduation ceremony on Wednesday. "We don't have to be too conservative and we also don't need to be too outdated," Hun Sen added, brushing off criticism from cultural groups concerned that a construction boom was threatening the city's French colonial architecture. Hun Sen said the proposal had been made to the country's Land Management Ministry and local lender Canadia Bank would be involved in the project. However, real estate companies questioned whether there was much demand for a building half a kilometer high in the capital of one of Asia's poorest countries (which is a VERY valid argument). "Where would the investors come from?" said Sung Bonna, CEO of Bonna Real Estate Group in Phnom Penh. "We are concerned about the shortage of demand and occupancy rates so we need time, but we hope this dream comes true." So add this to the animal-shaped cities in Africa & the new towers in NYC as some construction idea that, at best, will take a really really long time to come to reality. Just thought I’d mention Cambodia without having to refer to drugs and/or genocide. It’s rare when that’s the case.
Dino Update - The fossil of a stocky new dinosaur with two sets of claws on its feet unearthed in Romania has given researchers a window into what European predators looked like in the final years of the Age of Dinosaurs. "We've all been waiting for something like this," said study author Mark Norell, chair of the Division of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History. "Balaur bondoc is heavy, with unexpectedly stocky limbs and fused bones. It shows just how unusual the fauna of the area was during the waning years of the dinosaur era." Balaur bondoc (which means "stocky dragon") is related to the Velociraptor but has 20 unique characteristics. It was relatively small, about 1.8 to 2.1 meters long including its tail, with a body about the size of an oversized turkey, and walked on powerful hind legs. Enormous muscles attachment areas in the pelvis indicated it was adapted for strength over speed. Its hand was atrophied and some of the bones were atrophied, which would have made grasping difficult and indicates that the lower limbs were used to grasp and disembowel prey. "Balaur is a new breed of predatory dinosaur," said co-author Stephen Brusatte, a graduate student at Columbia University. "Its anatomy shows that it probably hunted in a different way than its less stocky relatives," he said in a statement. "Compared to Velociraptor, Balaur was probably more of a kickboxer than a sprinter, and it might have been able to take down larger animals than itself, as many carnivores do today." It prowled Romania during the Late Cretaceous period (about 90 to 65 million years ago) when warm temperatures and high sea levels fragmented Europe into small islands (déjà vu?). Herbivores unearthed from the period were also dwarfed -- like sauropods the size of cows and tiny duck-billed dinosaurs -- but Balaur bondoc is the first reasonably complete skeleton of a carnivorous dinosaur discovered which was dated to that time. "Balaur might be one of the largest predators in this ecosystem because not even a big tooth has been found in Romania after over a hundred years of research," said co-author Zoltan Csiki of the University of Bucharest. Fragments of Balaur had been discovered more than a decade ago, but its body was "so weird we didn't have any idea where to fit them," he added. "As European dinosaur faunas were known to be peculiar, we half-expected to find peculiar predators as well," Csiki said. "But, as the first good record of these, Balaur surely exceeds our most daring expectations." The new dinosaur was described in a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Sometimes though, don’t you think that maybe some paleontologists are just taking random bones and piecing them together? Just a thought I have every once in a while. Like if millions of years down the road, some future paleontologist from a snake-human hybrid (after the Apocalypse when we become their sex slaves), they find like… the rib cage of a man… and the leg bones of a horse… and they think we were all centaurs. “And look, they have the massive wings of a whale!!! I shall call it… Pegacentarus $tevonia, after the region of which it was found.” I don’t know, maybe… but at least I enjoy their imaginations. Sound crazy? Well, think about this for a second. All of the crazy creatures in nature today… and then remember that 99.9% of all species that have lived on this planet are now extinct. So for every freaky deaky platypus, there’s a thousand times as many past possibilities for crazy concoctions of creatures.
Texting Don’t - General rule of thumb: when looking to buy marijuana, don't text the sheriff. It kinda goes without saying, right? Well, authorities said a teen from Helena, Montana sent out a text message last week in search of pot, but instead of contacting the drug dealer, he hit a wrong number and inadvertently sent the message to Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton. The text read, "Hey Dawg, do you have a $20 I can buy right now?" Dutton told the Helena Independent Record he initially thought it was a joke (from one of his sheriff buddies), but he quickly realized it was a real request for drugs (probably with the text messages every few minutes saying “Come on f**ker, I’ve got some chicks coming over. Where you at?”). He responded to the text, and a detective pretending to be the dealer organized a meeting with the boy last Wednesday (entrapment?). The detective spotted two teenage boys and a man (one with a driver’s permit) at the arranged meeting spot and called the number three times to make sure he had the right person. Dutton said when the detective showed the teens his badge, their faces turned white and their knees began to wobble. One of the boys even fainted. The man in the group turned out to be the father of one of the teens, and no citations were issued after the parents of both boys got involved. "Trying to buy drugs is a crime, but it's probably worse that they had to face their parents," Dutton said. Wait, okay, a few questions. First & foremost, why the hell does this kid have the phone number for the sheriff in his phone? Did somebody purposely give him the wrong number for a “new dealer” to f**k with him? Because that’d be hilarious. Otherwise, he should seriously not be texting his contact while high, when he has the sheriff’s phone number programmed on his phone. Secondly, did the father not know WHY they were meeting? How did the dad not get a slap on the wrist? “What? Son, you told me that we were waiting to pick up your homework from a classmate… because you’ve been home sick the past few days. I’m very disappointed in you. Officer, I’m sorry. I’ll be sure to take him home and tan his hide… er, discuss this in a calm & collective manner.” Okay, what really happened? I’ll tell you. There was no transaction. Even if there was, it was only twenty bucks. They didn’t have any drugs or paraphernalia on them (hence why they were meeting up in the first place). It’s borderline entrapment. Therefore, the cops hope that they get a little scared straight as there really wasn’t anything they could do in the first place… or that would be cost-effective to prosecute. There you go, all broken down for ya. This next one’s even funnier…
Wyoming Wake – During a traffic stop near Farson, Wyoming, troopers pulled over a suspicious vehicle. During their stop, one of the troopers noticed a powdery substance in a zip-close bag. Bingo! Obviously these hooligans have been dabbling in the Columbian nose candy, right? Well, the powdery substance that Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers found in a zip-close bag during a recent traffic stop didn't turn out to be drugs after all. Sgt. Stephen Townsend of the patrol said then when troopers pulled over two men in a car Wednesday, they did find small amounts of marijuana and drug paraphernalia… and thought the bag might hold illegal drugs. Troopers contacted the car's owner — the girlfriend of one of the men — and asked her. The woman told troopers the baggie… held her grandmother's cremated ashes. That’s right, ashes. She said they had been very close and she always keeps the ashes in her car. Townsend said troopers put the ashes back. Hmm… but did they taste it to confirm first? That’s the real question. Or send it back to the lab for tests? Maybe the girlfriend was just quick thinking… then again, she did loan her car to her unemployed stoner boyfriend and his friends, so she may not be the brightest bulb on the tree… but hey, perhaps there are circumstances I just don’t see. Anyway, pretty funny, right?
Zombie Update – As you know, I’m always on the pulse of zombie-related topics in the world, whether it be mind controlling parasites, the dead rising from the grave or simply movie updates. This is one of the latter. Scarlett Johansson (“Lost in Translation”) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“500 Days of Summer”) are loosely attached to join the zombie-themed black comedy/romance "Breathers: A Zombie Lament" for Fox Searchlight reports Pajiba. Oscar-winning scribe Diablo Cody ("Juno," "Jennifer's Body") penned the script about a dead man reanimated as a decaying zombie. He soon must come to terms with living as an undead citizen in a society that ostracizes him and denies him his basic rights. No director is yet attached. Cody herself is also currently working on "Young Adult" which Charlize Theron and Jason Reitman have been linked to. Sigh… so now zombies are becoming p**sies? F**k!!! Diablo Cody, stay the f**k away from martial arts movies or so help me I can’t be held responsible for what happens. I’ll judo chop a grizzly, so I’d have no problem with chopping down somebody named after a stripper in Wyoming and turns every character into a whiny 12-year old valley girl regardless of age, gender or supernatural abilities. That being said, will I probably end up watching this movie? I watched “Jennifer’s Body” didn’t I? There’d better be some hot Scarlett brain-sucking action. Hmm… do you know what the world needs? Diablo Cody to team up with Michael Bay to make a movie. Why? It would suck so bad that it could clean up the Gulf of Mexico. Forget Cold Fusion, we could simply arrange for some kind of series of hydroelectric plants to be within a certain radius of the temporal rift created by this swirling vortex of suction… and we could power the world, with the only emission being tweet-worthy similes that can be merely projected out into space. The only fear would be that extraterrestrial beings would stumble upon these transmissions… and want to destroy the source. However, then they would see the rift and figure that we’ve developed some kind of “black hole” technology that allows us to travel through time & space with the greatest of ease… and therefore keep at a distance & merely put up some kind of force field around their home planet. Am I overreacting? Really? I’m just coming up with solutions. If you have a better idea, please feel free to share.
Anyway, enough of that. Labor Day Weekend is upon us… and I don’t really have any plans established other than I know that Bubbles is coming to visit Sunday, so that’ll rock hard core. Between now & then, who knows? I’ll probably go play some hoops, watch some football, by the way, congratulations to the University of Utah on yet another victory. I’m not sure why everybody’s saying this is some kind of upset over 15th-ranked Pitt, because we’re talking about the two-time National Champion Runnin’ Utes here. F**k the BCS for not recognizing them, but they’re hands-down the best team of collegiate amateur players out there. You never hear about the Utes in any kind of “benefits” scandal, they’re just the best… and I know you all agree with me. Just wait until they join the Pac-10 (or Pac-12 or whatever they’ll be called) next year and run off a few championships in a row. Urban Meyer can suckiteasy. Have a great weekend everybody!!!