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Post Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:03 pm 
 

Mars wrote:I just watched what has been labeled by the announcers as "the greatest moment in American sports" - how many of you saw this too?  Joey Chestnut has defeated Kobayashi in the great American Independence Day classic to bring the title back home after a 9 year drought.  Kobayashi had won the past 6 six years but was defeated this year with a world record setting 66 hot dogs to Kobayashi's 63 (which also beat the previous world record).  It amazes me how much these can stuff down their throats in 12 minutes.


Whoever said that a hot dog eating contest was "The Greatest Moment in American Sports" has got my vote for the biggest asshat in the world.  Hot Dog Eating is not a sport.  Hot Dog Eating is a contest.

Now if it was a contest to see how many habanero peppers they could eat before passing out from the pain....maybe I could consider that a sport.  :shaking2:


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:08 pm 
 

Kingofpain89 wrote:Now if it was a contest to see how many habanero peppers they could eat before passing out from the pain....maybe I could consider that a sport.  :shaking2:


He wasn't there but the jalapeno pepper eating champ was there and so was the girl who could eat more than 10% of her body weight in cheesecake - she's nicknamed "the black widow".  It seemed like everyone there was an eating champ of something: spam, watermelon, fried asparagus, etc.  One guy was a vegetarian except he eats meat for competition.

One of the announcers was one of the guys who regularly does auto racing commentary (like IRL and the Indy 500 stuff).

For anyone who missed the moment, it's up on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_V-2NKUlzns

Sport or contest? You decided.  It should also be noted that Kobayashi was competing with an injury - he had a sore jaw but his acupuncturist was there with him and prep'd him for competition - no I'm not kidding.  His injury did show at the end though:  :puker: .

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Post Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:46 pm 
 

Been meaning to post this for a while.

Are any of you Texas boys fans of the 13th Floor Elevators?  

Man, that song Splash 1 is un-fricken-believable.  I love those guys.

'Course, I am into the psychedelic perspective...


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:10 am 
 

bombadil wrote:Been meaning to post this for a while.

Are any of you Texas boys fans of the 13th Floor Elevators?  

Man, that song Splash 1 is un-fricken-believable.  I love those guys.

'Course, I am into the psychedelic perspective...


Roky Erickson is the MAN!

You can still run into the dude if you live in Austin and hang around the right clubs for awhile....he's actually playing some gigs nowadays! His mental health problems are basically gone due to medication, and he's actually traveling around the US occasionally for concerts.

It's a damn shame what happened to him (read wikipedia entry if you want some info, sad story), but it's great he's finally getting the kudos due him for being a pioneer in psychedelic rock....

Favs:  You're Gonna Miss Me, Rollercoaster, Red Temple Prayer, Fire Engine...

Funny story, I once played "Red Temple Prayer" for a fellow music afficiando that knew little about Roky, afterwards he thought about if for awhile and said "Well, it's the best song I've ever heard where the chorus contains the worlds "Two Headed Dog......"

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Post Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:33 am 
 

OK...10:35!

Almost time to pack the kids into the van and head to over the Barnes and Noble!

We do it for the fun of being part of a historical event...and the Harry Potter novels are publishing history.

Woot!


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:48 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:OK...10:35!

Almost time to pack the kids into the van and head to over the Barnes and Noble!

We do it for the fun of being part of a historical event...and the Harry Potter novels are publishing history.

Woot!


You'll have to tell us how long the line was. Thats all they sort of showed on the news was the lines and how long people have waited in them :?

ShaneG.


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:45 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:
Roky Erickson is the MAN!

You can still run into the dude if you live in Austin and hang around the right clubs for awhile....he's actually playing some gigs nowadays! His mental health problems are basically gone due to medication, and he's actually traveling around the US occasionally for concerts.



Sounds like a damn good reason to visit Austin!

Yeah, he's a freakin' genious.


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 3:43 pm 
 

Plaag wrote:
You'll have to tell us how long the line was. Thats all they sort of showed on the news was the lines and how long people have waited in them :?

ShaneG.


Well, the local Barnes and Noble had a crowd of some hundreds packed into the rather large local store.

I had visited the store in the morning and I picked up two coded bracelets (letter and color to show place in line).  We had pre-ordered the book, so we were in the mid part of the first 200 or so people.

My wife read the first three chapters of the book out loud for us, so we ended up going to bed something like 2:30 AM.

Mark


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 10:26 pm 
 

We went to Wally World at 10:30 AM, picked up a copy from a huge stack, and did a bit of grocery shopping too. My wife is a serious Potterphile; I could give a shit personally. The movies were OK, with the last one being the most boring. Although that insane chick, Fellatrix or something, was pretty scrumptious.
So can anyone illuminate my minute intellect as to why this series is so popular?


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 11:45 pm 
 

I tried reading one once, can't recall which one it was.  Found it insanely boring.  Too much long-winded dialogue.  I prefer dialogue the way Hemingway and Bukowski wrote it.


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Post Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 12:03 am 
 

bombadil wrote:I tried reading one once, can't recall which one it was.  Found it insanely boring.  Too much long-winded dialogue.  I prefer dialogue the way Hemingway and Bukowski wrote it.


"Oh, Jake," Brett said, "we could have had such a damned good time together."
Ahead was a mounted policeman in khaki directing traffic. He raised his baton. The car slowed suddenly pressing Brett against me.
"Yes," I said. "Isn't it pretty to think so?"

Last lines of The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway


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Post Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 12:17 am 
 

Badmike wrote:
"Oh, Jake," Brett said, "we could have had such a damned good time together."
Ahead was a mounted policeman in khaki directing traffic. He raised his baton. The car slowed suddenly pressing Brett against me.
"Yes," I said. "Isn't it pretty to think so?"

Last lines of The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway


Mike B.


A big fan of the noir writers of the 20s-40s, where the writers got paid by the word so editiors (especially Cap Shaw of Black Mask) would cut stories mercilessly down to the bare bones.  What resulted was some of the leanest, meanest, sparely bleak literature in history.  But undeniably great stuff!  Those guys could say more in one line spouted out of a Private Eye's mouth than some "fancier" writers could ramble on about with an entire page....

"When a man's partner is killed he's supposed to do something about it. It doesn't make any difference what you thought of him. He was your partner and you're supposed to do something about it"

Sam Spade in Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon

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Post Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 7:55 am 
 

If you like a pared-down style, I would v. much recommend the short stories of Raymond Carver.  Great stuff, perhaps sometimes a bit bleak, but well worth reading.


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Post Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 11:13 am 
 

red_bus wrote:If you like a pared-down style, I would v. much recommend the short stories of Raymond Carver.  Great stuff, perhaps sometimes a bit bleak, but well worth reading.


I'm a big Raymond Carver fan also. But he's definitely not for everyone.  Sometimes you finish one of his stories and just scratch your head and say huh.  But when he's on it's brilliant.

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 3:40 pm 
 

As for why the Potter stories were popular:

Rowling tapped into a rich mythology, language and literary tradition and made it accessible and immersing to younger readers and readers who do not usually read fantasy (female elementary school teachers, to name just one group).

Things that are common and well known to RPG gamers are new and wondrous to the uninitiated.  Rowling managed to string together a quasi-believable magical world and squeeze it into the traditional English boarding school story framework.

Some large flaws in logic...and not the way a gamer would have done things...but fun nonetheless.


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:57 am 
 

[Begin mini-rant]

Damn, do I hate creep bidders.  When you put in a dozen bids, each one minimum incrment + 1 cents apart, it's a fairly good bet that everyone knows what your last bid was.

When you do it extremely early on in the auction, it makes even less sense, as everyone knows what they need to enter to snipe you just before the auction ends 4 days from now.  :roll:

[End mini-rant]

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:09 pm 
 

WARNING!  NO SPOILERS, BUT SOME DISCUSSION OF THE LAST HARRY POTTER BOOK!


Finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Overall, I rate it at a 4 out of 5.

Rowling ended the series well.  Good thing, too, because she was repeating plot devices, re-hashing storylines and recycling old situations throughout the book.  She was clearly out of ideas.

A lot of people die.  I give Rowling credit for hard writing choices.

Rowling needs to work on writing action sequences.  She can't describe action and grows extremely fuzzy whenever some sort of struggle or combat starts.  

Too many times she makes up for this by having one of her characters get blinded or stunned by something, and then waking up in safety so another character can outline what happened.  Harry, for instance, must black out about six times during the story..."Wow.  What happened?"

Rowling even has one entire important chunk of storyline happen off-stage.  We hear about it later.  "It was amazing!" says Hermione.

In order to make the storyline work and make any sense, Hermione becomes a logistics genius.  She literally pulls plot devices out of her sleeves.

Part of Rowling's problem is that she is bound into the school-year formula of the series.  Several times she writes things like, "in the days and weeks that followed..."   Weeks?

Rowling held back on so many story points that she has to make major, chapter-long digressions...including two of the final four chapters, in the middle of the biggest action...to somehow explain how everything worked out and why.

The final action sequence is a nice example of run-on sentences and poorly worded drama.  Rowling focuses on exactly the wrong things.  

The epilogue is a nice example of clever-but-unclear writing.  

If Rowling had been an unpublished writer, rather than the 21st century's best selling author, her editors would have made her re-write many scenes.

The book does get good in the final chapters, when the major goodguy characters decide to start acting like real people instead of characters from some sort of fantasy cartoon version of A-Team.  (For six and a  half books, the evil characters are acting impossibly evil and no one seems to want to hurt them for it.  In fact, the only curses that really work are "unforgiveable.")

All in all, however, not a bad ending to a very imaginative collection of fantasy fiction.  Pruned down and edited, it should make a good movie.

One question I would like to have one of the story's characters ask:  

"God, dude, why don't you have, like, seven wands hidden all over your body?  I mean I would have, like, one million of those things!"  

Or:

"Whoa, dude, if a sword or a knife will work then why not try an Uzi?  You could, like, charm it so no one could see it and..."

Neville's story is the best one.

Mark   8)


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:33 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:
"Oh, Jake," Brett said, "we could have had such a damned good time together."
Ahead was a mounted policeman in khaki directing traffic. He raised his baton. The car slowed suddenly pressing Brett against me.
"Yes," I said. "Isn't it pretty to think so?"

Last lines of The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway

Mike B.


I think Hemingway can run close to self parody sometimes  :D .  Especially read today.  But the romantic in me does like the Sun Also Rises.  I would also recommend, A Moveable Feast.  

On fantasy (or perhaps, mythology), I recently re-read some of the Ulster Cycle.  A good collection is in Marie Heaney's, Over Nine Waves.  Really great inspiring D&D stuff  :study:

Also nostalgic for me.  We had it in school for the first year!  Happy times.  :D


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