Monday, October 29, 2007

Monday morning second-guessing

So Joe Girardi will be offered the job of Yankees manager.

Not that it matters greatly to me overall, but I was looking forward to enjoying more "Simpsons"-induced irony.

Remember my list of the top ten episodes? (Of course you do, it's just below this post.) In "Homer At The Bat," toward the end of the episode Mr. Burns throws Don Mattingly off the team due to his sideburns. (Adding to the humor is that Mattingly was not sporting any hair on the sides of his face, nor have sideburns even been in style for over a generation--Beverly Hills 90210 notwithstanding.) As Mattingly walks off the field, he says, sotto voce, "I still like him better than Steinbrenner" (referring to Burns).

Oh, if Don had wound up as the Yankees skipper...

Speaking of baseball, let the pundits start typing and yakking about how the Rockies were overrated, the Red Sox were unbeatable, the series was boring, etc. My take? The same thing that happened to the Diamondbacks in the NLCS took place with the Rockies in the Series. Bats went quiet, pitching wasn't quite good enough, momentum ran out, and the result was a sweep by the opposition. And in my humble opinion, that's what makes the game fun. You just never know...

How is it that USC loses on Saturday but only drops one point in the AP poll?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Top Ten Simpsons episodes

As promised, the top ten Simpsons episodes as decided by yours truly.

My fan credentials? Let's see, I began watching in 1990, shortly after the series' debut. Only recently did I cease watching new episodes (see here for the explanation). I own several of the DVD's, all the way through Season 6. (I plan to own Seven and Eight, but I might stop the DVD purchases after that, as the quality of the series really began to nosedive in Season 9.)

I actually composed this list just prior to the movie's premiere, but never had the time to write the accompanying narrative until recently. Without further ado, here goes:

10) Some Enchanted Evening
I know what you're thinking. A Season One episode in this list? Sure. In my humble opinion, the first season did have some high points even if the animation was a bit rough and the characters were not yet fully developed. This is a well-constructed story that sets the stage for numerous episodes to follow (largely Homer's lack of basic intelligence). And Penny Marshall's voice work as the Babysitter Bandit is classic.

9) The Boy Who Knew Too Much
This is an ep that doesn't seem to get much airing in syndication. Still, the plot starting with Bart ditching school and being chased by Principal Skinner, followed by a courtroom satire, concluding with Bart having a rare case of ethics is a laugher from start to finish. Look for the parody of the Kennedy family, plus a side-splitting reference to "Westworld."

8) Deep Space Homer
Those who know me know I enjoy movies dealing with the space program, such as "The Right Stuff" and "Apollo 13." So this episode was a natural for my list. Hail Ants!

7) Marge Be Not Proud
My favorite of all the Christmas episodes. I'm not a big fan of the "hugs and lessons" shtick but I'll make an exception here. Plus the characterization of Marge in this episode reminds me of my own mother.

6) Lisa's Substitute
Another somewhat sentimental episode. In this one from Season 2, Dustin Hoffman (uncredited) showed celebrities to follow just how a guest voice can add superb dimension to Our Favorite Family.

5) Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming
Kelsey Grammer appears as Sideshow Bob nearly every season, but this jewel from Season 7 is the topper. Too many priceless moments to mention here, from "the esteemed representatives of television" all the way to "the Stingy and Battery Show!"

4) Who Shot Mr. Burns?--Part Two
Part one was good drama (such as it is for an animated comedy program), but this one, the Season 7 opener, has so many references to other cult television creations that it compensates for the anticlimactic ending. "Speedway Squad--in color!"

3) Homer At The Bat
Nine of the best players in Major League Baseball (at the time of this episode's production) as guest voices. How could I leave this one off the list? And a bonus--the closing song: "We're Talking Softball."

2) Marge Versus The Monorail
For many years this was my all-time favorite. A short description won't do this one justice. Just one line, courtesy of Homer: "I call the big one Bitey." Also featuring the voice of Leonard Nimoy, who also appears in....

1) The Springfield Files
This one is just about perfect. A solid storyline, beginning, middle, and end. Guest voices engaging in the right amount of self-parody. "X-Files" parody supreme. Fox-network-bashing supreme. Is Homer right, or is Homer a dope? "Keep watching the skies!"

Others that didn't quite make the Top Ten:

Bart On The Road: "That's it--back to Winnipeg!"

Call Of The Simpsons

You Only Move Twice: Marge--"I think owning the Denver Broncos is pretty good." Homer--"Marge, you just don't understand football."

Trilogy of Error

Girly Edition (Lisa does the best slow-burn ever)

You think I missed one, or you could make a better list in your sleep? Use the comments section and throw down!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dry Well

It sure feels that way today.

And it's not just me. Take a look at the front page of your local newspaper. Not much going on in the news right now. And these things happen from time to time--a phenomenon known as a "slow news cycle."

Plus I don't believe I have anything to add that's of substance. Not much happening at the Geohouse for the time being.

So, to other blogs I go. Checked out Hugh Hewitt's entries over the last few days. This one really caught my eye.

As the regular readers of this site know, I used to work in the broadcast news business. So the Howard Kurtz book and interview piqued my interest. I put the interview from Hewitt's show onto my iPod and an amazing thing happened. It held my interest for the entire length of the Hewitt-Kurtz conversation. There's nothing wrong with my attention span, but I do tend to "zone out" from time to time listening to the same types of podcasts, usually while I am at the gym. Not so this time.

Plus, the Hewitt blog entry also had a link to a Wall Street Journal story about the flop that is Disney's California Adventure. You see, Geogal was born and raised in Orange County, and lived there her whole life until she left for college. As such, I have heard numerous stories of how Disneyland visits were the norm in her family. Along with these stories I also am subject to wailing and gnashing of teeth about how Disneyland is just a shell of its former self. And don't ever get Geogal started about California Adventure. Suffice to say, she did not approve of its creation or construction.

So, I've got to direct her to that article....

Hmmmmm. That turned out to be a longer blog entry than I expected, this being a dry well day and all. I might not be so lucky for the next try, so I will pull out one of my evergreens. Next entry: The Top Ten Simpsons episodes (as determined by yours truly)!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Random stuff

No theme tying all of this together, just musings from a stressed mind:

Latest Netflix choice was "Stagecoach," widely considered to be John Wayne's first successful starring role. Good flick. I watched it Sunday while doing laundry (Geoguy is domesticated!). It triggered long-latent desires to live the life of the Old West cowboy, plus the thought of "when do I next get out of town and take a drive through aforementioned Old West?"

Answer: When you get a couple of new tires and some front-end work done on that truck, Geoguy. Not to mention a free Saturday.

No wonder I have Walter Mitty-esque fantasies of living the cowboy life.

It's amazing to me how the Arizona Cardinals are doing a few things right. Most folks didn't know how much of a coup it was for the team to sign Tim Rattay when Matt Leinart went down. When you see the other injured quarterbacks around the NFL, plus Vinny Testaverde putting on a uniform once again, it makes you wonder just how many teams are sending representatives to Idaho, looking for Jake Plummer.

Is it just me, or does Diana Krall sound like a guy when she sings? Really. Listen to her rendition of "The Look of Love" and tell me I'm wrong. (Or, better yet, go here and listen to the "Cry Me A River" ringtone.)

Another season (or series, as they say across the pond) of Doctor Who is over. Fortunately, I have several episodes of "Torchwood" on the DVR awaiting my viewing. I just watched the first one yesterday. Whoa! Apparently British TV allows for more swearing than here in the U.S. (Just a few profanities and obscenities--we're not talking "Deadwood" here.) Looks to be an interesting series, though. If they manage to keep up the quality established in Doctor Who, then they just hooked another fan in yours truly.

The Diamondbacks? Let's just say Colorado has me worried...

Friday, October 05, 2007

Not getting overconfident, but...'s still gratifying to see the Diamondbacks win games in convincing fashion.

Yes, I'm well aware the NLDS isn't over yet. And now the series is headed to Wrigley Field.

But what a difference one week makes! Last Friday, I was sitting in a barber shop in downtown Chandler, waiting my turn for a haircut. While waiting, I perused a copy of the Arizona Republic. The sports section contained a page listing all of the possible scenarios regarding the National League playoffs. (Remember, the teams in contention at the time included the Mets and Padres.) Yes, there was a small blub which stated the Arizona players might be "going fishing" come Monday. Yes, mathematically they had a chance to not make the playoffs. But by the next morning, the D-Backs were in.

Now let's see if they can close this one out.

Yet regardless of how the Diamondbacks do in this postseason, I consider it all gravy at this point. My only real wish for the end of this MLB season is that the Yankees do not win it all.

Besides, the Colorado Rockies look REALLY, really good. How long can they sustain this momentum?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Living in the real world

Little Geoana is a huge fan of Hannah Montana.

But she probably should not set her sights on going to the "HM" concert, which will hit town on November 9. Why? Because of this.

Geogal and I are just a couple of working stiffs. And we certainly do not feel the need to indulge our child's every whim. Fortunately for us, Geoana has not made any requests or demands to see Hannah Montana in concert--yet. Perhaps this will blow over without incident.

I just think it's early enough that we can tell the little one "no" to certain things. Geogal and I believe in some old-fashioned things, such as delayed gratification and the importance of working hard. Hopefully the two of us will have the fortitude to follow through on our convictions.

After all, Geogal and I still have not seen Steely Dan in concert and we're functioning OK.