Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Search for ESPN360

My plan to watch the Federer/Nadal final at the Aussie Open in Australia -- an event only 20 times more important than the Superbowl, only with worse commercials -- has been a complicated one.

Since I don't have cable, watching it on TV doesn't seem to be an option. BUT, I did discover that the game will be broadcast live online through ESPN360. A quick tour of their website ( reveals that they "broadcast" all sorts of things through that channel, if you don't mind watching your sports through a computer monitor, including the Demon Deacons traumatizing loss today to some ACC cellar-dwellers. (Why do the Deacons have to start losing games just when I start caring?? **sniffles**)

In any case, a kink in the plan occurred when I discovered that my internet service provider -- Time Warner Cable -- does not support ESPN360! How could they do this? Apparently AT&T and Verizon both allow a person to watch events online through ESPN360, but not Time Warner. Lucky for me, it appears that I'll be able to leach onto a local stranger's unsecured network to watch the Aussie men's tennis final (thanks "Madam M", whoever you are...). But if Time Warner doesn't start supporting this in the future, I may choose to vote with my dollars to switch horses and give AT&T's internet service a spin.

Time Warner, you are on the clock, and it is ticking!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mmmm.... A taco interlude

Sorry folks: I must admit that I have been struggling to find time to blog now that work has been piling up at the start of the year.

HOWEVER, as Winston-Salem's occasionally intrepid taco adventurer, I did feel it was my duty to put work aside, take a short timeout, and make a quick post to spread the world about this most amazing taco from Taco Town (thanks J.J. for bringing this beauty to my attention):

Mmm... taco. The only thing this baby is missing? That's right: Chicken McNuggets.

I swear, there will be some more substantial posts sometime soon.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mr. Obama goes to Washington

A couple pictures from the Inauguration:

It took us about two hours from the time we started walking near the Capitol to when we ended up at this joint near the Washington Monument to catch the Inauguration Ceremony. A good view of (just a SMALL) part of the crowd...
At one point I hoisted up some young kid in the air so he wouldn't be stuck watching people's butts as Obama was taking the oath of office. But we also found that other kids had elevated themselves above the masses through other creative means...
At the Eastern Ball, J.J. and I somehow found ourselves standing right next to Massachusetts Governor Patrick's wife, Diane Patrick, who had made it through the crowd to join us as we watched James Taylor perform.
Finally, the Obamas made a surprisingly early appearance. President Obama talked briefly with the crowd, then danced with his First Lady Michelle for approximately 2 minutes before leaving. Total length of the visit: maybe 10 minutes max. But I still managed to snap off over 20 photos :-)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Another post about toilet paper

This is what they did to the main quad at Wake Forest after the Deacons won a big game against Carolina:I'm not sure how I feel about a university that encourages TP-ing the Quad. I heard that the old basketball coach Skip Prosser even joined in with the students on a couple occasions. Doesn't it feel like officially condoning TP-ing would somehow take out all the fun?

Monday, January 12, 2009

A New Day in Fairweather Land

AP Photo/Chuck Burton
Well, I thought that my local Fairweather season may have come to a close after the Wake Forest men's soccer team got eliminated from the NCAA tournament in December, but it has come to my attention that the Deacons are also fielding an amazing basketball team this season.

It is perhaps interesting to note that my fandom of the University of Illinois' Fighting Illini basketball team only took off after the Illini crushed (krushed?) the #1 Demon Deacons in December of 2004 to catapult past the Deacs and claim the #1 seed themselves.

Oh well... I will go wherever the fairweather winds blow. Go Deacs!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Old Scores to Settle

**DISCLAIMER: Some will find this post to be a little disgusting, I suspect.

As a Seattle-ite and fairweather fan, I was naturally pumped to see the Seahawks go to the Superbowl a couple years ago to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Detroit. My friend Melissa was a die-hard Steeler fan, and so this provided an opportunity to begin some very pleasurable smack-talk.

Eventually, Melissa gifted me a package of Steelers napkins, and so I sent her this email reply:
"I wanted to thank you for the Steelers napkins that you gave me. Haven't used them yet, but when I run out of toilet paper, I will make sure to use them. This of course will be roughly analogous to what the Seahawks are going to do to your Steelers in Detroit."
Of course, we know how this ended up: some crooked referees ended up handing the game to the Steelers on a silver platter. But that isn't the end of this story. Fast-forward to two days ago, where I got back from my extended trip and found that the toilet paper in my bathroom was gone. What had my resourceful roommate decided to use instead while I was out of town? That's right. The Steeler napkins. I had not told him this story, and yet he also intuitively grasped the most appropriate use for Steelers napkins.

SEE YOU IN HELL, PITTSBURGH STEELERS! The Seahawks just suck so damn bad this year that I'll continue to live in the past thank you very much.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dispatch from the SoCal beat

I've been out of town for almost three weeks in sunny Southern California, and, as is my way, went into a pretty thorough blog-shutdown mode while on vacation. This led to leaving a big downer as my last post for a period of almost two weeks (sorry!). I assure you, I was not spending the last two weeks mourning as much as enjoying everything Sunny CA had to offer. Since it looks like I'll be back there soon, methinks I'll be adding SoCal as another part of my beat ("a Northwesterner writes about life in the Southwest?").

A couple highlights:
  • ArcLight Movie Binge. The ArcLight cinemas boast the finest audio and visual experience of any theater in the nation. DW2 and I went over there first to see The Wrestler -- which is a stupid movie to use to appreciate these things given the movie's deliberately gritty video style. So... I went back there with my good friend J.J. and proceeded to watch Milk, Revolutionary Road, and Frost/Nixon...
    All great movies!, and as of today's check, Winston-Salem is 0 for 4 on showing any of them.

  • Weather! I was in Palm Springs for Christmas, and so instead of having a White Christmas somewhere, I was resigned to plucking grapefruits, lemons, limes, and oranges off the trees in 65 degree weather. I had a lot of time to miss the chilly winter weather I've been accustomed to as I drank fresh-squeezed orange juice by the pool.

  • Food, food, food! I was very intent on following Cindy Price's path up the California coast to try some of her picks for the finest tacos around. Unfortunately, we hit Santa Barbara on a day when all of the taco joints were closed. J.J. and I thus shifted gears and discovered The Palace, which served Cajun food, and where I had some of the best scallops I've ever had... they were so perfectly cooked that they melted in your mouth. Back in LA, we discovered Jitlada, rumored to serve the hottest Thai food in Thai-town. We tried the Thai mussels, which featured the biggest mussels I've ever seen (and also the greenest) in a sort of lemongrass broth. For the record: Thai basil is amazing on mussels.
There is much more to write about from the L.A. experience. However, suffice it to say that outside of 8-dollar beers at some places on the Sunset Strip, L.A. was not quite the contemptible town that I had prepared myself to encounter. I can't wait to go back!