Thursday, August 1, 2013
El Wingador's Secret
Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Been pretty slow this week aside from getting ready for the Oregon trip this next week. REALLY excited about it… and we’re going to hit up a LOT of the sights… so stay tuned for magnificent pictures & stories to come. Last night, I met up with Bubbles & we had our “catch up” dinner. This time it was at “Little Nepal” in Bernal Heights (nice little area) and we enjoyed some great Nepalese food… which is a lot like Indian food to be honest. We shared some vegetable curry with potato, black eyed beans & bamboo shoots… some momos (like vegetable pot stickers) and I enjoyed the tandoori chicken, lamb & salmon. It was all pretty good. I highly recommend it. We recanted our Utah trips that happened around the same time, caught up on gossip, all the usual fun stuff… but yeah, nothing major to report. No marriages, babies, deaths, etc.
NBA 2K13 Update: Well, a third straight championship ring & finals MVP as you may have expected… so the big news… is where did I take my talents in free agency? What was… The Decision? Or as I prefer to call it… The Be-Reckonin’? Did I stay in Milwaukee, the town that took a chance on me in the late lottery, so full of potential? Did I head back home to Utah to play for the Jazz? Or my beloved San Antonio Spurs? Perhaps I took a challenge like bringing the Charlotte Bobcats out of the depths of professional franchises that have gotten so bad that they literally needed to change their names to no longer be associated with their horrible deeds? Did Jay-Z holla at me from Brooklyn to come ball in his backyard? Maybe go to Toronto to attempt at replacing Hockey (ice soccer) as the national pastime? Well, first off, apparently with this game, it’s not really by money but by points… and apparently it maxed out at a certain point because… well, there were a dozen teams that wanted my services (currently #2 rated player in the league behind LeBron, who plays for Mark Cuban in Dallas in this alternate universe BTW) and they all didn’t budge “on their prices” cuz I think they were maxed out… so then it became about what I wanted… and who I wanted for teammates. Since, let’s face it, I’m hot sh*t in a champagne glass, who was surrounded by ballhogs & probably the lowest ranked frontcourt in the league in Milwaukee (we started Ekpe Udoh & Ersan Ilyasova… congrats if you also know about them) and still led them to 3 straight NBA championships. So who would I like to team up with? Well, since I’m the small forward or 6’9” two-guard in most lineups… I’m thinking…
A) Rebounders & Defenders – One man does not a good defense make. I can’t be everywhere, especially when if I give my man more than 3 feet, I mysteriously stop so that they can hit a wide open three in this game. Also, with Milwaukee, I led the league in rebounding… because I was the only one that could & would. Did I mention that we started Udoh & Ilyasova at the 4 & 5? Just want somebody else who can help with boards on the defensive end so they don’t get three chances at a layup.
B) Pass-first Point Guard - Brandon Jennings is not a point guard. He’s just a short two-guard, but still extremely talented. Same with Monta Ellis except he can’t even pass in a virtual games. To maximize my potential, I need a point whose not afraid to give it up, but at least won’t throw the ball to the other team. Shooting is a plus.
C) Decent Bench – In Milwaukee, there was Drew Gooden… and about five other power forwards with rankings in the low 60’s. Because the games are only 20 minutes, we don’t need a lot of minutes from the bench… just don’t want them to be a liability. Most of them couldn’t even catch a pass. True story.
So… with all these factors in mind… max contracts offered by nearly a dozen suitors… I decided to go with… wait for it… wait for it… The Minnesota Timberwolves!!!
Yes, they fit the mold that I was looking for PERFECTLY!!! In this virtual 2015, they had Ricky Rubio at the point (not horrible & injured), Brandon Roy at the two (defender & again NOT injured), and a front court that features former #2 overall pick Derrick Williams (I still believe in him) and rebounding aficionado, Olympian & my own brother from another mother Kevin Love!!! Plus, there bench still has Nikola Pekovic (star center now) and a host of others rated in the 70’s… so yeah, we’re basically set. How set? I played one game with my new team… and just wanted to see how many three-pointers I could make & see how the team would react. Well, I made 15 of them (record was 10), set a team record for points (50, old record was 47 by KG) and we won by over 40 points against the Clippers. I think that we’re going to be okay… by the way, is it weird that I’m this in depth about an alternate NBA universe in a f**king video game? Maybe… but I still enjoy it. Watch out, Prince!!! There’s a new King of Minnesota!!!
The other night I watched “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” starring The Rock, Channing Tatum, Bruce Willis, Ray Winstone & others… and from the director of the “Step Up” trilogy (Jon M Chu). Now, I think I mentioned this in a previous post… but the first G.I. Joe movie was pretty horrible… even though it starred my alleged doppelganger (Dennis Quaid, not Channing Tatum… but thank you). This one was actually a little better… but still pretty bad. Okay, so… the first movie ends with the President of the United States kidnapped by the ultimate terrorist group bent on world domination, Cobra… and a master of disguise named Zartan replacing him. Basically in the first few minutes of the movie, the President replaces the secret service with Cobra soldiers (like within a day & not even masking it, like… explaining it in a press conference) then sends the Joe team to Pakistan to get some nukes… and then eliminates all but three of them (The Rock, hot chick & random dude who doesn’t do much in the movie except have a pouty face). Well, now they have to save the world from Cobra with nukes… but there’s only three of them. How do they fix that? They add to their team the original Joe (Bruce Willis, who’s badass but in his sixties) and three ninjas… and now they can take down an elite fighting force. Oh… and they’re split between two fronts most of the time too… so it’s really still three against the world… but in two separate hemispheres. Will they win? Or will everybody be speaking Cobranessssse by Labor Day? Okay, with that all being said, it’s an action flick… and though some parts seemed really awkward, rushed & unnecessary (still think The Rza was just thrown in at the last minute) but there are explosions, sword fights & CGI galore. There’s even a fight scene between The Rock & Ray Winstone where they’re basically punching with gunfire. If that intrigues you, check it out. If not, you’re not missing much. Here’s a little somewhat related news…
Warning Shots - A Washington state man who fired a shotgun in the air to chase away car prowlers says he was following the advice of Vice President Joe Biden. Jeffrey Barton, of Vancouver, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in a Clark County court to a charge of illegally discharging a firearm. The 52-year-old fired the shot Monday when he thought people were breaking into his vehicles. Outside of court, Barton told KOIN, "I did what Joe Biden told me to do. I went outside and fired my shotgun in the air." In an answer to a home defense question in February, the vice president said Americans don't need semi-automatic weapons because a couple of blasts from a shotgun will scare off intruders. Sheriff's deputies said that's not allowed, except in self-defense… which is all well & good until reality sets in. I’m guessing the deputies haven’t found out that the whole “cocking the shotgun” thing in the movie doesn’t have the desired effect from more than 10 yards away. So what is Mr. Barton to do in that situation exactly? “Hey, you bastards get away from dat der Chevy!” and then they snicker, one of them maybe goes up to subdue him… and gets a chest full of buckshot as his entrails ruin the new finish of Thompson’s waterseal on his deck? Now that I think about it… maybe that would’ve been better. Definitely a better action flick. Seriously, all I’m getting from this story is that warning shots are for pansies… is that right? Heaven forbid that it should wake a neighbor… who probably won’t have to worry about their car getting broken into now as well, since historically (and from personal experience) threatening somebody who tried to break into your vehicle can work for the neighborhood too. Whether it’s unloading a warning shot to let them know you mean business… or threatening them (and their family, friends or anybody who looks like them) with a baseball bat once you’ve beaten & pinned them face down in the grass as the rain falls on your angry naked ass. I wonder how the Washington sheriffs would view that altercation.
Drone Hunting – Speaking of rednecks firing into the skies, a small town in Colorado is considering an ordinance that would create a license and bounty for hunters to shoot down drones. "We do not want drones in town," Phillip Steel, the Deer Trail, Colorado, resident who drafted the ordinance, told Denver's ABC7 affiliate. "They fly in town, they get shot down." (The ghost of Johnnie Cochran lives on) Steel's proposal, recently submitted to the town board, calls for a $25 drone hunting license and outlines "rules of engagement" for hunters looking to shoot down the unmanned aerial devices: The Town of Deer Trail shall issue a reward of $100 to any shooter who presents a valid hunting license and the following identifiable parts of an unmanned aerial vehicle whose markings and configuration are consistent with those used on any similar craft known to be owned or operated by the United States federal government. The best part: Steel said that while he's never seen a drone flying in Deer Trail, the ordinance is a "symbolic" one. "I do not believe in the idea of a surveillance society, and I believe we are headed that way." According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Deer Trail's population was 559 in 2011… and I’m guessing maybe 5 with a skin tone darker than eggshell. "They'll sell like hotcakes," Steel said of the proposed drone license. "It could be a huge moneymaker for the town." Fun fact: $25 per license times maybe 300 residents who are of legal age to carry a licensed gun is about $7,500… or enough for a good used truck. Also, I’m guessing that $100 bounty for actually shooting one down will be taken either out of that fund or education, correct? That's of course a best case scenario... and without administration fees to provide the licenses, background checks, etc. Anyway, David Boyd, one of Deer Field's seven board members, supports the drone ordinance. "Even if a tiny percentage of people get online (for a) drone license, that's cool. That's a lot of money to a small town like us. Could be known for it as well, which probably might be a mixed blessing, but what the heck." There's even talk of the town—which claims to be home to "the world's first rodeo"—hosting the world's first drone hunt. "A skeet, fun-filled festival," town clerk Kim Oldfield said. The board will consider the drone hunting ordinance on August 6th. See what happens when you don’t have a lottery to drop your money into???
Old School Drones - Turkish authorities detained a bird on suspicion it was spying for Israel… but freed it after X-rays showed it was not embedded with surveillance equipment, newspapers said last Friday. Perhaps Turkish authorities haven’t heard about drones yet. This kestrel aroused suspicion because of a metal ring on its foot carrying the words "24311 Tel Avivunia Israel", prompting residents in the village of Altinayva (shire adjacent) to hand it over to the local governor. The bird was put in an X-ray machine at a university hospital to check for microchips or bugging devices, according to the Milliyet newspaper… which also carried a front-page image of the radiogram with the title "Israeli agent". See? It’s not just our journalism that’s in shambles. Ties between Turkey and Israel, long military allies, have been tense since May 2010 when Israeli commandoes killed nine Turkish activists aboard the Mavi Marmara, a ship in a Turkish-led convoy seeking to break a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. Yeah, that could raise tensions I would think. It’s not exactly Mexican drug cartels doing heads on spits in border cities or anything… but still, pretty bad. What if that’s the answer? What if Israel really was using falcons as surveillance gatherers from thousands of miles away? That would actually be more impressive than octocopter drones or something like that. My God… could you imagine one of those birds being captured? Tortured? “Tell us who you work for?” (High pitched squeal) “We have ways of making you talk!” (Somehow I doubt it) Anyway, sorry for the little bird interrogation anecdote… no raptors were harmed in the making of this blog.
El Wingador’s Secret - A five-time Buffalo wing-eating champion known as “El Wingador” has pleaded guilty to a cocaine distribution charge in New Jersey. Gloucester County prosecutors say William (not Bill) Simmons pleaded guilty Monday to possession with intent to distribute. The 51-year-old Woodbury Heights resident faces a seven-year prison when he's sentenced in September. Prosecutors say they won't object if he applies for an intensive supervision program that could shorten his sentence. Several drug charges were filed against Simmons following a June 2012 traffic stop. Simmons admitted he was using "a little bit" of cocaine at the time. My guess: That’s his secret weapon. It’s a lot easier to eat massive amounts of spicy buffalo wings when you can’t feel your gums! “El Wingador” last won Philadelphia's Wing Bowl in 2005, when he gnawed through 162 chicken wings… or as I prefer to think, permanently hobbled 81 chickens. Fun fact: The Wing Bowl was started as a way for Philadelphia sports fans to blow off steam before the Super Bowl… since they’ve never won a single one & have only been a part of two of them the last half-century. GO EAGLES!!!
Prison Hotels - Some prisoner’s in Northern California are upgrading to better living spaces – but only if they’ve got the cash to pay. That’s because a jail in Fremont is offering prisoners the chance to pay-as-they-go for a cell in the prison. And the rent isn’t cheap, running $155 a night, the same as a local three star hotel, according to local affiliate WTKR. “You do get cable TV, but you don’t get a warm cookie on your bed,” Lt. Mark Devine, of the Fremont Police Department told the station. The $10 million minimum security prison is far from luxurious with standard prison beds, shared bathroom and shower space. But it does come with various recreational options, including a HD widescreen TV. Built in 2000, the prison facility has 54 beds and can house up to 96 inmates at a time (doubling up?). And the space is only eligible to misdemeanor offenders who receive prior approval from a judge. While the program is unusual, the Fremont Police Department said that similar “Pay to Stay” programs currently exist in Southern California cities such as Anaheim and Beverly Hills. So, why would a prisoner pay so much money to essentially live in the same conditions they’d find in one of the other state prisons? It turns out, they’re not paying for added value, but rather what’s not there. “The only other thing you’re really paying for is the smallness and the quietness of the facility,” Devine told WTKR. California Governor Jerry Brown was recently tasked with finding ways to reduce the burden of the state’s overcrowded prison system… and it could provide an economic boost for the local economy. Devine told the Sacramento Bee that if at least 16 inmates stay at the facility for two nights a week, the city would make an annual profit of about $244,000. Devine says the prison was originally intended to be used for misdemeanor offenders to perform work while they served out their time. But the prison had remained unused until it was opened for the pay-as-you-go system. “We are the trustees of a large facility that was paid for with taxpayer money. Now we need to be good stewards of that investment and maximize its use and efficiency for the taxpayers,” Devine said. “There is a cost to government. And that cost, where appropriate, should be borne by the people using the program or facility, or what not.” Hence to furthermore indeed, good sir… and so on. Okay, back on track despite police grammar. Shocker! The pay-as-you-go plan has drawn criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union, who said it creates a bad precedent by giving more preferential treatment to wealthier inmates. "There should not be one form of punishment for those who can afford to pay and a different form of punishment for those who can't," ACLU National Prison Project attorney Carl Takei (George’s brother) told the Bee.
What’s that? Oh you’re wondering what I think about this situation? Or the criminal & justice system in general? Well, you probably know from previous posts that I’m one of those… let’s say “old school” kind of guys who isn’t opposed to ideas like chain gangs picking up the side of the highway (only because we don’t build railways & mine for precious minerals anymore) or actually making criminals work for their food, room & board like everybody else… but that may just be me. It doesn’t have to be manual labor by the way… if they have other skills that’ll benefit society, go for it. Do you want your cell to be in the “rape-free” cell block? Well, that’s going to cost you about $100 a night… it’s basically the same decision you make when it’s “do I pay to stay at this sleazy motel or in my car at that dimly-lit truck stop where all those hikers’ corpses were found last week?” It’s really a mixture of cost-benefit & risk analysis… or a pros & cons of going to prison.
Pros: Free shared apartment, clothing, laundry, fitness center, access to library, basic cable TV, three meals a day, conjugal visits, gated community with intense on-site security team.
Cons: Constant threat of ass & mouth rape, limited wireless internet & cellular phone access, background checks on roommates aren’t too restrictive, cozy accommodations.
I’ll give you a hint which con isn’t exactly the same living in the Presidio… and I pay handsomely to live there & have my garbage ravaged by raccoons and wake to flocks of birds on the weekends. The way I see it… and since I’m paying for it then I feel my input should be considered… if inmates want to pay $150 per night for better accommodations, then I say it’s about time. As for the rest that don’t want to pay for anything & continue to be a drain on society, you missed a spot (as I throw a half-full Big Gulp on the side of the freeway). Remember when being in prison was a really bad thing instead of an inconvenience? Eh… whatever. Enjoy paying for it until they hire me to run that place like a f**king hotel. “Ah yes, we have an excellent cell for you next to the ice machine. Oh… and we weren’t able to guarantee the double bunk bed requests but I’m told that your cellmate Buck is a gentle lover after the first few romps. Maybe next time you’d like to upgrade to our Executive Level or not spat in that officer’s face. Good day, sir!” Ah, a man can dream…
Anyway, now I’m off to Oregon for a fantastic road trip with my ladyfriend & meeting up with Chick’n’Wing’s family. Ugh… if you only knew how awesome this trip was going to be… pictures coming soon!!! Have a great weekend everybody!!!