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Friday, June 27, 2008

Games of the 'Gate, Grain Belt, Grilling, and Guilty Pleasures: Inaugural Heavy Soul House Party

WHAT: A Summer Jam dedicated to Heavy Soul.

WHERE: Chateau Pete, out in the NW Omaha Suburbs

WHEN: Saturday, July 26, 2008. 4 P.M.-11 P.M. (I get the feeling that this is all my pompous neighbors will stomach. Actual closing time is TBD.)

WHY: Because I decided this was a good idea. It's worth mentioning that I haven't brought this up to a single soul yet, including my wife. Yikes. Therefore, no one has talked me out of it yet, so we party on!

BRING: Attendees will be responsible for their own meat, booze, coolers. Per Delusional KC Fan, steaks will be cooked to no more than medium rare. Koozies will be supplied until supplies are diminished so come without one at your own risk. Music is not required but recommended (more on this later).

WHAT'S PROVIDED: The venue. A limited supply of Koozies. A grill. Grilling tools. Boiling beer for sausages (though only sausages from Stoysich, Just Good Meat, Fareway, or Wohlner's will be allowed in my kettle. Any other sausages will require prior approval from me. I fucking dare someone to audaciously throw Johnsonville's in my kettle.), a stereo (more on this later), bathroom facilities with necessary amenities, running water, plates, napkins, silverware, towels, horseballs, beer dice, dartboard, darts.

DETAILS: What's a party without a theme? Usually a better time than one with a theme. This, cherubs, will be the exception. This is where you all come in.

The theme of The Inaugural Heavy Soul House Party is guilty pleasures. Basically what I am asking for is a burned CD, an IPod playlist, or an MP3 CD of everyone's most noteworthy guilty pleasures to regale the masses over the course of the evening. Keep in mind that I have several hours of what I consider to be fantastic guilty pleasures, but I'd like the evening to be as democratic as possible. Therefore I am begging you all to get cracking on this and come up with your favorite guilty pleasures for the delight of all throughout the evening. You have one month.


What is considered a guilty pleasure?

Use this guide:

Guilty Pleasure: "Now That We've Found Love" Heavy D and The Boys

Not Guilty Pleasure: "Let Me Ride" Dr. Dre

Guilty Pleasure: "I Ador Me Amor" by Color Me Badd

Not Guilty Pleasure: "Say No More, Mon Amour" by Rex Manning

Guilty Pleasure: "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" by Whitney Houston (which I seem to recall being played on the bus during my wedding)

Not Guilty Pleasure: "Never Said" by Liz Phair

Guilty Pleasure: "Hold on Loosely" By .38 Special

Not Guilty Pleasure: "Wheels in the Sky" by Journey (all right, maybe I'm the only one that likes this song not ironically, whatever, bring it I guess)

Guilty Pleasure: "A Little Respect" by Erasure

Not Guilty Pleasure: "Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order, see also Joy Division

Any questions or comments should be left in the comments. Godspeed gentlemen, feedback is appreciated.

Thursday, June 26, 2008



"The Greenest Show On Earth."

LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL, et. al., etc.

..."each meal should include 'at least three of the following colors: red, green, yellow, blue/purple, and white.'"



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Monday, June 23, 2008

Random Thought

Vinny Del Negro looks like he should be the assistant pro at North Platte Country Club, not the head coach of an NBA team.


More Cubs vs. White Sox: The Series That Made Chicago Love Jim Edmonds?

Short answer: shit no.

Longer answer follows, from the Goat Riders of the Apocalypse:

While I’m not totally convinced Jim Edmonds isn’t here to destroy us, hitting two homeruns against the hated Sox in a “meaningless” series is sure going to help his popularity around Wrigleyville. In no way do I now “like” Edmonds, I just hate him a little less.

Couldn't have said it better. Hales and I were having this conversation last night, and I know that I've had it with several people, but here's the hypothetical:

Question: What if "Jimmy" Edmonds hit the walk-off homer in Game 7 of the World Series? Would you still hate him.

Answer: Yes. I, and Cub fans all around the world, would owe him a debt of gratitude. And we would all cherish that moment for as long as we lived. But a vag-sac is a vag-sac, no matter how you paint it. You may paint it Cubbies blue and red, but the thing still smells terrible.

All that said, the series sweep was more than enjoyable. It bumped the Cubs up to 13 victories in June (13-7 overall) in possibly the toughest month of the season. Not bad when you consider Soriano breaking his hand, Big Z getting hurt (and pitching like shit the 2 games before being put on the DL), and you haven't had your best pinch hitter in Darryl Ward. Add to the fact that Derrek Lee and--especially--Aramis Ramriez are both heating up considerably, and things look pretty good.

So here we are. It's June 24th, the Cubs are 20 games over .500, and still sitting there with the best record in baseball--by 2 full games, mind you. 4.5 games above the "still hanging around" Cardinals. And still flexin' strong nuts with that incredible +112 run differential. I guess things like this happen when 2 of your biggest question marks going into the season--Kerry Wood switching to closer and former closer Ryan Dempster switching to starter--are both currently #3 and #4 on ESPN's Cy Young Predictor. (I had never seen this page before, by the way. Another bit I picked up from the Goat Riders.)

Finally, I'll get to see this baseball juggernaut in person next weekend at The Cell. I'll be sure to bring some 40 ouncers and used tires that we can burn outside the stadium. Can't wait!

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Burn After Reading

Holy crap, this movie looks awesome. The Coen Brothers + George Clooney + Brad Pitt = WOW.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Don't feel so bad Cub fans

Your recent sweep at the hands of Tampa Bay does not put you in exclusive company. Tampa Bay has successfully swept 3 teams this year that are currently in 1st place -- Cubs, Red Sox and Angels. They also took 3 out of 4 from the white sox a few weeks ago. Pretty impressive for a team that most people could probably not name 3 players.

Oh, and giddy'up for round 1 of the crosstown showdown. May Chicago's best prevail.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

NBA Finals: You got Rondo'd, son!

Quick discussion point: has there EVER been a more fun blowout to watch than the pounding the Celtics put on the Lakers last night? That game was an absolute blast to watch the entire way through. It felt like a college game! And the Gatorade bath for Doc Rivers???? Fantastic. Weird, but fantastic. The way that the Celtics bench/sideline was about to burst at the seams the last 3 minutes of the game or so?

That was an incredible way to end the NBA Finals. A team that completely let down their guard at the end and looked like a bunch of kids winning the State Title. A crowd that didn't sit down for, seemingly, the last two quarters. Genuine celebration. KG being crazy-ass KG.

Just awesome. Congrats, NBA. You just had the biggest feel-good ending to a season since....well, I don't even know.

And yes, I know that Boston fans are insufferable, and the last thing that town needed was another championship. However, that crowd had to have been one of the best professional championship crowds in the past 10-15 years--especially when you compare them to the ridiculous "crowd" in LA.

So, what did you think of the game last night?

(Note: When I say "has there ever been a more fun blowout than last night," I am talking about blowouts in games that feature teams that you don't care about. Obviously, Nebraska blowing out Florida or Tennessee in their National Championship games is more fun personally.)

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

U.S. Open Review

Go check out my main man Joe Posnanski's blog post about yesterday's events and what was one riveting golf tournament. If you have never visited that site or aren't familiar with Mr. Posnanski, you're welcome. Maybe it was the best major ever, maybe it wasn't, I don't know enough about golf to bestow such platitudes upon it.

What I can say with absolute certainty is that I have never seen another golf tournament with such enthralling storylines as this particular U.S. Open. To recap:

Thursday: Tiger vs. Phil, knee injuries, opening round on a course they both love
Friday: Journeyman atop the leaderboard, Tiger lurking with bum knee
Saturday: Tiger's back nine, as documented by The Deuce
Sunday: Tiger vs. Rocco, part one ends in tie
Monday: Tiger vs. Rocco, part two ends in tie, then ends in sudden death

I can also say that NPGage and I passed up the chance to attend the LSU-UNC CWS game that we were pretty excited about to sit (actually stand) at the church bar, drink Coors Lights out of plastic bottles and watch the tournament. No regrets at all. It was a 10 out of 10.

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The Hold Steady: "Stay Positive" is available on iTunes!

Go buy it, you cheap ass!

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Monday, June 16, 2008


It is June 16, and the Chicago Cubs are 20 GAMES ABOVE .500. This hasn't happened pre-All Star break since 1977 for the Cubbies.

The Cubs still have the best Runs Scored/Runs Allowed ratio in baseball, and by a lot.

(SIDE NOTE: Bill James is a genius. His pythagorean winning percentage--which uses runs scored and runs scored against to come up with a predicted record is crazy. Using the PWP with the Cubs, it comes up with EXACTLY what their record is. Amazing.)

Since May 9th, they have won over 70% of their games.

They haven't lost 2 games in a row all season--the only team in baseball to accomplish this feat.

Being as objective as possible about it, the Cubs are the best team in baseball.

So what is this asshat's problem? What "objective" writer would even consider ranking the Red Sox higher than the Cubs?

Oh. J.D. Drew has been hot for a week and a half. And David Ortiz is a U.S. citizen now.

Well, that explains why the Red Sox should be ranked ahead of the Cubs in SI's Power Rankings.

I understand that these Power Rankings literally mean nothing, and it's all about who has the best record at the end of the year--especially for home field advantage in the World Series. (Wait, that doesn't matter anymore either?)

I guess it is just disappointing that Sports Illustrated would pull an ESPN here. And it's disappointing that SI would put a kid who just three years ago was still writing columns about how kids should be learning how to be kickers instead of playing other positions on the football field because college kickers suck. Or something like that. Anyone that uses "futbol" in an article about Football loses all credibility for me, anyway. And questions like "Has football begun losing its best legs to the increasingly popular sport of soccer?" are ridiculous, even if you are attempting to write a fairly ridiculous article. The answer is no. No, no, no, a thousand times no. Idiot.

ANYWAY....the Cubs are the best team in baseball. Still.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008


I know most of this blog was preoccupied with the start of CWS play yesterday, but the show Tiger put on yesterday at the US Open might be the single greatest performance on a golf course I have ever seen. Granted he started out the day with a double-bogey, but the two eagle putts and the chip-in birdie were just beyond belief. A good golfer makes one of those puts during a major in their lifetime. Tiger made two in the same round and then chipped one in on a hop just for good measure. It would be easy to say that he just got lucky, but the odds of doing all three during the same 18 holes is probably about the same as getting hit by lightning while sitting in your basement. I can't wait for this afternoon when Tiger gets to square off against Lee Westwood who is the embodiment of everything I hate about British golfers. He has terrible teeth, talks with that stuck-up British accent, and constantly is one of the more gloating members of the Euro Ryder Cup team. I hope he shoots 80 and then contracts Cholera playing next to Tiger today.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

It's College World Series Time!

Yes, that's right kids! The College World Series has descended its glory down to us in Omaha once again.

To celebrate, npgage, EZT, and myself will be tailgating it up all day Saturday. Join us for bags, washers, lemonade and vodka, and beer.

npgage has a parking pass, so we will be in a lot. Give us a call if you want to meet up.

(By the way, EZT--I'm expecting a CWS preview out of you today.)


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I Thought We Were Supposed To Be Excited About LSU Fans Coming To Town?

Right? Don't Omaha people talk about how much fun it is when LSU makes the CWS?

I suppose it is, and we probably shouldn't lump the entire fanbase together--as you shouldn't with anything--but this seems pretty f'n crazy:

Now, I believe this is in reference to UCI's coach saying something along the lines that some of their fans "haven't figured out the Civil War is over yet." But still.

The scariest thing: the guy in the top left corner standing and applauding. Yikes.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

To Lighten Up The Mood A Bit...

While the news of the day hasn't been great, I thought I would like to link to Big Daddy Drew's "A Special Balls Deep Message To The Class of 2008." It is unbelievably hilarious, particularly the part about "unless you work for a clothing designer, never wear polos with your company's name on it." Hilarious. Then depressing.

Anyway, enjoy.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Little Sioux Scout Camp

Our hopes and prayers go out to the families and friends of the children and administrators that were at the Little Sioux Scout Camp.

GA Hill EDIT: Creighton Medical Center said that 4 Scouts were taken to CMC, and thankfully they are all stable and doing well. There are also apparently 40 or so Scouts at an Alegent-run hospital in Sioux City. So it sounds that as of now, the total of fatalities remains at four.

SECOND EDIT: Missouri Valley Alegent Health admitted 11 Scouts, 3 were flighted to Omaha, and the other 8 sustained rather minor injuries (from the way this spokesman is speaking). More (relatively) good news.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Chicago Bulls Announce Their New Head Coach!

After much speculation and anticipation, the Chicago Bulls hire....

Vinny Del Negro??????

Is this a joke? The Bulls have one of the youngest teams in the NBA, and that is about to get younger with their upcoming #1 pick in the draft. So what does John Paxson do?

Hire a coach with--literally--no coaching experience. Literally. None. He's the Suns Assistant GM right now. He was a VP of Player Development. Before that: TV announcer.

So this should go really well, in other words.

The only thing in the Tribune's article that even caught anything remotely approaching "interest" was the following paragraph:

Del Negro was born in the birthplace of basketball, Springfield, Mass. His father, Vince, played basketball at Kentucky for the legendary Adolph Rupp.

Sweet. I guess it fits two of the things that are listed in the "Job Requirements" section of the Monster.com job posting for being a head coach in the NBA:

1. Father must have played for a historically great college program.
2. Must be born in Springfield, Mass.

When you look at it that way, I guess the pool of people to pick for a head coaching spot probably is pretty small. Great hire, Johnny!


On a totally unrelated note, the new Apple iPhone is out. It looks incredibly sweet, and is now only $199. And they're going to put out an all-white version, which will be even more badass.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Sunday Night Links Are Back!

That's right, my peoples. Sunday Night Links is a running feature on Heavy Soul, if "running" means "once or twice." Without further ado...

--First of all, everyone at Heavy Soul hopes that everyone was alright after last night's EF-2 tornado here in Omaha. I know that Hales and I were right below a funnel cloud here in the Dundee/Country Club area, but thank God it never touched down. People in Millard, unfortunately, were not so lucky. Here's to a quick response from your insurance company and a speedy recovery.

--Am I the only person around here needing a late pass in regards to the movie "The Rocker?" Coming out in August, it's a movie about a former '80's rock drummer who gets a second shot at stardom with his nephew's band (A.D.D.). It stars Rainn Wilson and Demitri Martin, which is an absolute home run combo. Not to mention Emma Stone who is, in a word, hot.

--Speaking of home run comedians, Todd Barry is playing The Slowdown! July 9th--tickets are only $12! Seriously, if you enjoy stand-up comedy whatsoever, you need to be there. Barry is absolutely hilarious, and his new material on his new album From Heaven is great.

--An interesting quick read on Charles Barkley and his ability to do whatever he wants and never deal with the repercussions that most people in the public eye suffer. I guess it's pretty obvious--be honest, don't rely on ridiculous PR people--but you'd think that more people in the public spotlight would take his lead.

--Another great piece from last week's Sports Illustrated (why don't I subscribe to this magazine again?) on the Texas Rangers' Josh Hamilton. Pretty incredible story; here's to hoping the guy stays on the straight and narrow. Between Dusty Baker and the Reds letting Hamilton go for nothing, I'm guessing Cincinnati fans are feeling pretty good about life these days.

--I can't remember where I saw this, so you may have seen it already, but here's a link to a story about the new adidas KG Commander KG NBA Finals Sneaker. It's all yours...if you can find it at retail, and if you can pony up the $1,017 to buy them. They are only producing 8 pairs per game of the Finals. I'm a big sneaker dork (which is kind of funny, considering I never buy them--I'm a big browser), but this shit is getting crazy.

--Here's an early, er, "review" of The Hold Steady's Stay Positive from Stereogum. I'm holding off on my review because, well, I just haven't had time to do it yet. This guy is probably a bit rough on it, although it sounds similar to pete's first impressions. Personally, the more I have listened to it, the more I love it. The one place we totally agree on: the first track ("Constructive Summer") is absolutely the best track on the album. That song hits you right in the proverbial nuts, but unlike when it happens in real life, you feel pretty good about it.

--Here is an incredible story about Dov Charney, American Apparel's CEO and Founder. It goes into detail about how this creep forces female employees to masturbate and do other unsavory things in order to keep their job (not to mention the obnoxious drug culture that is involved there). Reading the stories about this guy, it is officially "uncool" to buy their shit t-shirts. I hope.

--It's College World Series time! Here's a nice article on Georgia's coach David Perno, who has been involved in 4 of 5 of Georgia's 6 CWS experiences. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution believes he could end up being one of the best coaches in college baseball of all time.

That might be about it. Hiding out in the basement at 3am this morning and staying up until about 5am watching the storms come in and out of the neighborhood pretty much killed me today, and I'm not even sure how the hell I'm awake.

Hope everyone has a neat-o Monday!

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Consumer Reports Loses all Reliability

So Consumer Reports did a ranking of light beers and clearly had a group of already drunk frat dudes do the tasting. The top three ranked beers were Michelob Ultra Amber, Michelob Light, and Michelob Ultra. Pete and Hales will be happy to know that Coors Light came in a close fourth. That doesn't shock me all that much. However, the Consumer Reports' Best Buys were Busch Light, Natural Light, and Keystone Light. WHAT? Aside from GA's irrational love of Busch Light, does anyone over the age of 22 actually drink any of those beers on a consistent basis? Consumer Reports is supposed to be the most well-respected, impartial product reviewers on the planet and they think drinking Natty Light is a good idea? This blew me away when I saw it. They also ranked Miller Lite lower than Busch Light, Natural Light, and Keystone Light. What contributor on this blog would rather have 30 Stones than a case of Miller Lite bottles? Not only that, all three were rated higher than Labatt Blue Light, Heineken Light, Amstel Light, and Corona Light. Not that I'm in the least bit partial to any of those beers, but I would take an Amstel Light over a Blue Goody any day. After finding out this dismaying news, I should probably check their wine ratings to see which is the top rated: Boone's Farm or MadDog 20/20.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Steve Phillips=crazy

As a Twins fan I tuned in a little late to tonight's Twins-Yanks broadcast on The World Wide Leader, and before I could realize Steve Phillips was involved in the broadcast and hit 'mute' I watched Derek Jeter hit a single, giving him 2,411 hits for his career. This is noteworthy because he is closing in on Mantle, who has 2,415.

Anyway, Steve Phillips said that Jeter has a "legitimate shot" at 4,000 hits. 4,000!

A quick look at the facts as I see them: Derek Jeter will be 34 years old on June 26.

If he averages 200 hits per season from today, he will reach 4,000 sometime in late May, 2016.

He will be 41 years, 11 months old.

He is hitting .271 as of this second on the season, and is on pace to get 165 hits this year.

Although it may be too early to tell, it does appear that he is on the decline ever since his .343/.417/.483 2006 campaign.

At any rate, we can say with close to certainty that his numbers will get worse before they get better, especially on the other side of 35, not to mention 40.

What are the odds he even gets 3,500? 10 percent, if we're being generous?

As I sit here with the TV muted, I'm no longer surprised, just saddened.

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