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Friday, May 26 2017 @ 08:49 AM MDT

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Bad Odds

BlogTwo bad bits of gambling news this week.

First off, two West Virginia counties went to the polls to decide whether table games could join slot machines at race tracks there. One measure passed, one failed. Naturally, the one that failed is less than two hours from me and the one that passed is five hours from me. I could almost get to Vegas in the time it would take me to drive there.

Two more counties will vote later this year, but both are in the four-hour range by car, which isn't going to happen. I'm not that hardcore. Atlantic City is just about that far, and I'd rather be in A.C. than the sticks of W.V.

In Delaware, a bill to add sports betting to their racetrack slots parlors is in the legislature, but doesn't seem likely. The governor said she will veto it, which makes her my least favorite governor in the whole world.

Could you imagine the sports take at Dover Downs on a NASCAR weekend? Penn State-Michigan is the same weekend as the fall visit to Dover. So is South Carolina-LSU. And Central Connecticut State at Western Michigan.

So that last one isn't so sexy, but you know someone would bet on it. And lots of people would bet on Sunday's Giants-Redskins game.

The good thing is, just as I suspected, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has decided to start thinking about slots. I knew he wouldn't during the first legislative session since he took office for a number of reasons, but had a feeling it would pop up sooner rather than later. I'm not the biggest fan of slots, but would go there on occasion if it were close by. The closest one in PA won't open for a while and isn't as convenient as the possible locations in Maryland.

They'll find some way to screw it up and piss me off. And I'll just have to go to Vegas.

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Now This is Music!

BlogMy friend Dave hit me up with this. Go to www.popculturemadness.com and find the year when you turned 18, then check out the songs that were the top hits. I have listed a few with a personal connection here.

June 7 - June 13: Live to Tell - Madonna and August 16 - August 29: Papa Don't Preach - Madonna - Two pretty underrated Madonner songs for me.
September 6 - September 12: Venus - Bananarama - Such a great video and a fun, fun song. Also, the top hit the first week I was at college.
September 13 - September 19: Take My Breath Away - Berlin - My freshman year RA made it a point to take every guy on our hall to see "Top Gun." I think 19 of the 20 of us took him up on the offer. He ended up joining the service because of that movie.
November 8 - November 21: Amanda - Boston - I had a crush on a girl whose name sounded similar to this. I would change the lyrics when I sang it to myself. I was stupid.
November 29 - December 5: You Give Love a Bad Name - Bon Jovi - A girl on my floor that year, more or less, aspired to stalk Bon Jovi. Now the song is a guilty pleasure, but I still remember that scary, scary girl who really needed help.
December 20, 1986 - January 16, 1987: Walk Like an Egyptian - The Bangles - If you're a male in my age group and you don't remember Susanno Hoffs' eyes in this video, you have no soul.

Go check it out and let me know what you get.

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Everybody into the Pool

ColumnsNow that school is out, my wife has a dilemma on her hands. She needs to keep an almost 7-year-old occupied all day.

We have a few things planned to take care of that. We'll go to Hersheypark one day. Bridget will go to day camp for one week. And we have our annual family beach trip.

But she'll also hopefully start to enjoy something which kept me out of trouble and saved my mother's sanity for many years.

The swimming pool.

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You Must See "Knocked Up"

BlogI usually don't make these kind of ultimatums. I usually hate them. But this movie defies that kind of thinking.

You need to go see this movie. From the hilarity of Seth Rogan and his stoner buddies (including Jason Segal from "How I Met Your Mother") to the gut-busting trip to Vegas to the awkward chemistry between Rogan and Katherine Heigl's characters, this movie hits the jackpot.

I only have one quibble. I know Heigl has a great career ahead of her and doesn't want to do a nude scene, but considering the way they shot the sex scenes, not much was left to the imagination. Did she have to wear her bra in both of them? Couldn't they find another way to not show her breasts?
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Try These Three

BlogWhile listening to music at work today, back-to-back songs came up from artists that I feel are criminally under-appreciated. So I decided to throw a few names out there in order to try and spread the word.

Everybody Else - I first found out about this LA band from my friend Dave Lifton, who runs the Wings for Wheels podcast and blog. They have been in heavy rotation on my CD player and iTunes mixes ever since. Great upbeat music for this time of year.

Jason LeVasseur - I saw Jason when he played at the college where I work a little over a year ago. His solo acoustic shows are outstanding because he gets to showcase both his music and his sense of humor. "Driver is the DJ" is one of my favorite songs ever.

Tullycraft - A mix CD that was given to all the guests at a friend's wedding helped me discover this Seattle band. I am stunned they are not more popular. You can't help but want to get up and dance when you hear their songs. Even my daughter, almost 7, thinks they rock.

So, there you are. They are all also available on iTunes so give them a listen. Let me know what you think and leave some of your suggestions here for music we should all listen to.

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Rock On, Regular Guy!

ColumnsI have dreams. Big dreams. I want to play the guitar.

To some, that might not seem like that big of a dream. But I have pretty much no musical ability whatsoever, so playing the guitar represents a big dream for me.

With such a handicap, some might wonder why I have this dream. Well, first of all, I like a challenge. Second of all, I still have part of that 14-year-old who wants to rock living inside of me.

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Make It Stop

BlogCan someone put a muzzle on Rosie O'Donnell, please?

This isn't political. In fact, if I actually listened to that vapid group of women, I'd probably find myself more politically aligned with Rosie than the chick nailing the Seahawks' quarterback. It doesn't have anything to do with her sexuality. It doesn't have anything to do with her gender.

It's just that I'm sick of hearing about Rosie and how great a person she is and how everyone is so mean to her. To act as if part of her whole routine isn't rooted in self-absorption is naive at best, stupid when taken to the extreme.

She's a performer, and she knows when the camera is on. She's a loudmouth who likes to pretend that she is just a regular schlub like the rest of us when she is, in reality, a multi-millionaire who looks for every opportunity to get attention.

Let's please stop giving her that chance. Be a regular person, Rosie, and stay off TV and out of the newspapers. Please.
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Top 5 Concert Songs

Columns Now this is the kind of weather I can get behind. When the sun shines like this, all I can think of are care free days, drinking something cold and listening to good music.

While I generally abhor columns that are lists, I couldn’t resist this time. I wish I have had more to choose from, but here are the top five songs I have ever seen in concert.

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Podcast Mania!

BlogEnjoy a podcast this fine weekend.

I have recorded a new episode of Regular Guy Radio, which you can subscribe to with ease by clicking the links on the home page. I also have a new episode of Soccer Talk, which is produced pretty much weekly. There is also an iTunes subscription link there.

But this - for a change - isn't just about me. In Regular Guy Radio this week, I recoomend a few other podcasts. Here are the links.

Check them out and tell them I sent you.
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Whiny Idol Fans

BlogI have made my disdain for "American Idol" clear before, but pretty much ignored the whole thing this year. Thankfully, Idol fans give me plenty of reasons to make fun of them even when I'm not paying attention.

When the latest person not talented enough to carry Kelly Clarkson's jock (I have never watched the show, but like some of Kelly's stuff and find her to pretty much be the only listenable person to ever come from the show) was crowned, some of the country missed out on the "excitement" because the show ran over it's two-hour time slot.

This would normally be no problem, right? If you're obsessed with the show and need to know every detail, you would have been glued to the TV set, right?

Not anymore. Thanks to Tivo and other recording devices, people could skip the show and watch at their own leisure. But if they were stupid enough to do this without padding their recording time, they missed out on the announcement of the winner, which came a few minutes after many recorders stopped at 10 p.m.

Nelson Muntz would have a field day with these people. A-freaking-ha. I have read that Television Without Pity (I'm not linking to this site because it is an example of why people shouldn't be allowed to play in the Internet unless they have real-life social skills) was abuzz with people stupid enough to not think that a live program - one that had gone over in pretty much ever finale the past few years - might run a little late.

In the words of one TWOP genius, "I was smart enough to program my DVR to go over by 5 minutes, but not smart enough to go for 10 minutes."

You were watching Idol. You care enough to get worked up about something that was utterly and completely your fault. You have no right to call yourself smart in any context.