Adios Ventura - Road Trip!

Posted by Brandon |

It was a nice run, but today we bid farewell to our humble city by the sea in search of something even better, though it will be hard to top the last three years in Ventura. Some tears were shed, it was had to say goodbye to people and places that we loved, but we love the Northwest and are ready to get home where we belong. If anywhere can top the last three years, it will be Seattle.

So here we are, day one of our trip. First stop, Visalia. It's a weird destination and a pretty short drive for day one, but we wanted to have a nice, short drive into Yosemite in the morning and it so happened that the Visalia Oaks baseball team was in town and you know there is nothing I like more than a little ballgame.

Here are a couple of quick pics from today...

We choose our hotels very carefully...do they have a pool? Luckily, the Lamp Liter Inn is very nice and has a big, nice pool. So, Addie took her first swim. She loved it.

How can you not love a little shack in downtown Visalia only serves chili dogs? Awesome stuff, Taylor's Hot Dogs Drive In, awesome stuff.

Visalia's Recreation Park, home of the Visalia Oaks, is a surprsing little gem of a ballpark. No frills and very old school but it's a comfortable and charming little place and I'm really glad we got to stop by and take in a game.

So that's all for tonight. Heading up to Yosemite in the morning. I have no idea whether or not there will be any wifi available in the park - I highly doubt it, so I don't know when I'll update again. Probably not until we get to Redding on the 3rd, maybe even Salem on the 4th. But I'll probably keep my Twitter posted, so you can catch me on there.


Top 10 Things I Will Miss About Ventura/SoCal

Posted by Brandon |

First, let me add one reason to my last post...

Everett Aquasox baseball - In Ventura, I'm 90-100 miles away from the closest minor league baseball team. That just won't do for a baseball freak like me. In Edmonds, we'll be 15 minutes from the Everett Aquasox ballpark. Plus we'll be pretty close to Safeco Field and we're not that far from the Tacoma Rainiers.

Now, it's on to the things I'll miss about Ventura and Southern California. Yes, there really are a few things...

10. The beach - Yes, I talked shit about the beach the other day, but I do like that it is there for me whenever I want it. It's absolutely beautiful to look at, it's always a nice, relaxing walk and even, occasionally, I can go down there and relax. The first year I was here I went to the beach often and body surfed or read or whatever. I got a little crankier about it after that and especially now that we have the baby, but I will miss it and I'll definitely miss it when she's walking and running and playing.

9. No seasons/weather - Yes, I said that I miss the seasons. But after three years of no seasons, I'm not 100% sure if I will welcome real weather back in my life. When it is always 60-70 degrees it is very easy to do whatever you want at any time.

8. Mormon basketball - All three years I was here I played in the local Mormon basketball league for Ventura's 1st ward. Even though my game wasn't perfect, I still had a blast even if we lost way more than we won. And for the past few months, I've been getting up at 6:00 AM two or three times a week to play pickup ball at the LDS church. Mormons take a lot of crap, but between their strong sense of family and community and their love of basketball, I think they are my favorite group of religious people. They're just super nice people that love to ball.

7. Mexicans - Because they scare the shit out of the idiot white folks.

6. Softball all year long - This kind of goes back to weather, but I think it deserves it's own bullet point. I love playing softball, but in Seattle it's limited to a little bit of spring, summer and maybe a touch of fall and it's always iffy whether or not you'll get to play. But here, we can play ball all year long. Too bad the leagues never get their shit together and we always end up with a month or more off between seasons.

5. Jim & Rob's Fresh Grill/fish tacos/corn burritos - Mexican food everywhere is something I will miss, but Jim & Rob's quesadillas with their awesome chicken is one of the dishes I will miss the most. Same with fish tacos. There just isn't anything like Snapper Jack's or Rubio's in Seattle. And don't say Taco Del Mar. That place is rank. Finally, corn burritos, a unique Ventura dish that exists nowhere else. They are basically bean taquitos smothered in a red enchilada style sauce with cheese melted all over the top. Delicious. I began a quest to find the best ones in Ventura a while back and the winner is: Foster's Freeze!

4. Driving 45 miles in three hours - NOT!

3. Boccali's/Me & Ed's/Numero Uno/Santino's - Pizza! Boccali's is arguably my favorite restaurant ever, Me & Ed's makes my favorite crust ever, Numero Uno makes my favorite appetizer ever, and Santino's makes my favorite white sauce pizza ever. Luckily, there is good pizza in Seattle. Not as good as those four places though.

2. Built in group of people our own age - Death?'s residency is made up of 30+ people all in basically the same age group and the same situation, so it was easy to make friends or find something to do. I wasn't the most social and didn't take advantage of it as well as I could of, but it was nice that it was there.

1. College basketball everywhere - I love college basketball on all levels. The greater Los Angeles area has so many colleges it's unbelievable. I went to games at UCLA, USC, UCSB, Cal State Northridge, Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount, Cal Lutheran, Westmont, Ventura College, Oxnard College and Moorpark College and I barely scratched the surface. I flew up to the Bay Area to see my brother and went to a Cal game and a Santa Clara game. And I also went to the John Wooden Classic, the Pac-10 Conference Tournament and the Big West Tournament. I saw my second favorite team, Gonzaga, more times than I will ever be able to see them in Seattle. I will probably get Husky season tickets, I'll be a big fan of Seattle U when they go Division I and Seattle Pacific games are always an option, but it will never replace the variety and frequency available in LA.

Thanks to Dave for this suggestion and thanks to all the other Twatters for their ideas. I should just do Twitter ideas for all my posts. Or start blog fights. That would be fun too.

10. No pressure to go to the beach - Living in a little beach community like Ventura, I feel that there is always pressure - whether it comes from outside sources or in my own head - to go to the beach. It's just a couple miles away and it's almost always warm enough outside to go. Well, to be honest, I've kind of realized that I'm not a big beach person. I don't like the hassle of getting all sandy and lugging all the crap down there and sitting out in the sun for hours. It does nothing for me. I like that it's there and have no problem going occasionally, but I don't want to feel pressured to go. Thankfully, in Seattle, there is no pressure to go to the beach because there are no beaches. Darn.

9. Gorditos - Without question, I will miss the cornucopia of cheap Mexican food that you can find in any city here in Southern California, particularly Jim & Rob's Fresh Grill in Ventura. But, I still haven't found a burrito anywhere down here that I like as well as a Gordito's burrito. And now they have a location near the Everett Events Center where I plan to take in many hockey games. Perfect!

8. Every other car isn't a BMW or Mercedes Benz - Ok, so every other car in Seattle is either a Prius or a Subaru, but those are more my people.

7. Meth - Pretty self explanatory.

6. The ability to hike and explore without fear - We didn't do much hiking around here or spend that much time in the great outdoors because of a handful of reasons. First and foremost, the heat. The best hiking is done up in the mountainous areas where it routinely gets above 90 degrees. No thanks. When we did go do some exploring one time, hiking up a crazy trail in Arroyo Verde park, Death? got poison oak and was miserable for weeks. That put a monkey wrench in our geocaching. Plus, I'm not big into the possibilty of running into rattlesnakes. In the PNW, there are trees and shade and it stays cools and there are no scary plants or snakes to chase us off.

5. Real trees - Palm trees suck. I need big ass evergreen trees, thank you very much.

4. Our rental house in Edmonds - I'm still totally stoked about our place in Edmonds. It's right down in the little downtown core and is walkable to virtually everything that we need. There's a city park a block away, a supermarket a block away, downtown is 1/2 mile away, the waterfront is 1/2 mile away, train to Seattle 3/4 mile away. It should be a lot of fun.

3. Seasons - Is it summer? Seriously, I can't tell the difference sometimes. I miss getting excited for summer like other people do. All it does here is get about 10 degrees warmer and that's it. I like the rain, I like the cold, I like wearing sweaters and coats, I like feeling a little depressed about the gray skies. It makes the nice days that much more sweeter. You just don't get that here.

2. The Northwest is who I am - I don't even know how to describe it but I'm a Northwest kind of person. It's just who I am. I'm the most comfortable with myself there.

1. Family - My whole family is in the Northwest and I miss them very much. I want my little girl to grow up around them and for them to get to help her grow up. I also think the Northwest is a much better place for a child to be raised. At the very least, she'll have to wear far more clothing most of the time.


Lazy Sunday Movie Meme

Posted by Brandon |

Too hot for original thoughts, so I stole this from Avitable.

Entertainment Weekly came up with the New Classics - 100 best films from 1983 to 2008. As Avitable mentions, there are some movies not listed that I'd think would've been in the Top 10 - Ferris Bueller's Day Off for one - so I think it's a little weak, but whatever, it's interesting.

I've bolded the movies that I've seen - I decided not to asterisks the ones I like because I liked nearly all of them...

1. Pulp Fiction (1994)
2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03)
3. Titanic (1997)
4. Blue Velvet (1986)
5. Toy Story (1995)
6. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
7. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
8. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
9. Die Hard (1988)
10. Moulin Rouge (2001)
11. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
12. The Matrix (1999)
13. GoodFellas (1990)
14. Crumb (1995)
15. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
16. Boogie Nights (1997)
17. Jerry Maguire (1996)
18. Do the Right Thing (1989)
19. Casino Royale (2006)
20. The Lion King (1994)
21. Schindler's List (1993)
22. Rushmore (1998)
23. Memento (2001)
24. A Room With a View (1986)
25. Shrek (2001)
26. Hoop Dreams (1994)
27. Aliens (1986)
28. Wings of Desire (1988)
29. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
30. When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
31. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
32. Fight Club (1999)
33. The Breakfast Club (1985)
34. Fargo (1996)
35. The Incredibles (2004)
36. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
37. Pretty Woman (1990)
38. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
39. The Sixth Sense (1999)
40. Speed (1994)
41. Dazed and Confused (1993)
42. Clueless (1995)
43. Gladiator (2000)
44. The Player (1992)
45. Rain Man (1988)
46. Children of Men (2006)
47. Men in Black (1997)
48. Scarface (1983)
49. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
50. The Piano (1993)
51. There Will Be Blood (2007)
52. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad (1988)
53. The Truman Show (1998)
54. Fatal Attraction (1987)
55. Risky Business (1983)
56. The Lives of Others (2006)
57. There’s Something About Mary (1998)
58. Ghostbusters (1984)
59. L.A. Confidential (1997)
60. Scream (1996)
61. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
62. sex, lies and videotape (1989)
63. Big (1988)
64. No Country For Old Men (2007)
65. Dirty Dancing (1987)
66. Natural Born Killers (1994)
67. Donnie Brasco (1997)
68. Witness (1985)
69. All About My Mother (1999)
70. Broadcast News (1987)
71. Unforgiven (1992)
72. Thelma & Louise (1991)
73. Office Space (1999)
74. Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
75. Out of Africa (1985)
76. The Departed (2006)
77. Sid and Nancy (1986)
78. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
79. Waiting for Guffman (1996)
80. Michael Clayton (2007)
81. Moonstruck (1987)
82. Lost in Translation (2003)
83. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)
84. Sideways (2004)
85. The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)
86. Y Tu Mamá También (2002)
87. Swingers (1996)
88. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
89. Breaking the Waves (1996)
90. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
91. Back to the Future (1985)
92. Menace II Society (1993)
93. Ed Wood (1994)
94. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
95. In the Mood for Love (2001)
96. Far From Heaven (2002)
97. Glory (1989)
98. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
99. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
100. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999)

Wow, not too bad. I've seen 76 of the 100 movies listed. Solid ass sitting Brandon, solid ass sitting.

Posted by Brandon |

Cuando Das Por Culo A Un Desconocido



Posted by Brandon |

There is something so sad to me about old, vacant theaters. If you've ever been to downtown Los Angeles and the Broadway Theater District, you know what I'm talking about. Nothing but beautiful old marquees touting Iglesia Universal or swap meets. Some of the grand old palaces still exist in various forms, but most are long gone and totally forgotten.

Oxnard is in the same boat. While none of the old theaters in Oxnard can match the lavishness of the long lost Los Angeles theaters, it's still sad to see them gone, sitting completely empty or in the case of the Vogue Theater on 6th, replaced by what seems to be a mini-mart.

But few theaters are immortalized the same way that the Teatro (Boulevard) Theatre on Oxnard Boulevard has been. The Teatro was, in it's heyday, one of the main sources of entertainment for the Spanish speaking masses of Oxnard showing Mexican cinema until it closed in 1993. Since then, the theater has hosted a range of businesses including the previously mentioned Iglesia Universal (they love these old theaters) and the inevitable swap meet.

But, for a very short time - too short if you ask me - The Teatro was home to producer Daniel Lanois' El Teatro Studios. He turned the theater into a recording studio and worked on a handful of the late 90's, early 2000's more interesting works there, including Bob Dylan's comeback album "Time Out of Mind" and U2's "All That You Can't Leave Behind".

In 1998, Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris came to Oxnard to record "Teatro", Nelson's followup to his album "Spirit" and to Harris' "Wrecking Ball". The result is an atmospheric, spare, yet beautiful album that sounds like it was recorded in a very dark, very secluded, very old theater somewhere in Mexico. In fact, most people assume that the namesake of the album is somewhere in Mexico. It just sounds like Nelson, Harris and Lanois went on a journey into the frontier by themselves and found a place to record their album on their own terms and without interference. Instead, they did it in secret on the main thoroughfare of little old unassuming Oxnard.

In many ways, the theater is the star of the show. Not only because the theater appears on the cover, but because I don't know if the album could have achieved the same feeling or the artists the same inspiration without an abandoned ex-Mexican movie house as a backdrop. It really was a case of the right place for the right people at the right time.

Sadly, Lanois packed up El Teatro Studios sometime around the turn of the century and moved to Silver Lake in Los Angeles and the Teatro has sat more or less vacant ever since. But at least it had it's one moment that will forever live on in the annals of real country music.



Posted by Brandon |

I really appreciate the Santa Barbara Mission's bathroom message boards.

Sexiest. Gargoyle. Ever.

My good side


Movin', Groovin', Road Trippin'

Posted by Brandon |

We are less than two weeks away from the big move from Ventura back to the great Northwest and our downtown Edmonds home.

It's going to be a CRAZY couple of weeks. Next week is unbelievable. On Wednesday my brother flies in to drive my car back to Olympia. On Thursday the movers come to pack up the house. Friday the movers return to pack up the truck and my mom-in-law and friends get into town. Saturday my wife graduates from her residency so there will be much rejoicing. Sunday there is another party of some kind. And on Monday, we split town. All the while, Death? works constantly including a couple overnight shifts, I'm still Mr. Mom, and shits gots to get done. Whew. I'm tired just typing it. Guest 11, where are you, I need your help.

But then we are taking a few days to get home and will try to enjoy ourselves. We're heading for Visalia on day one for a baseball game and to be closer to Yosemite where we'll spend the next two nights. I'm psyched for Yosemite, I've never been there and it's the one place in California that we really wanted to see before we left. We'll be staying in the Curry Village tent cabins right in the park so we should have a blast.

Then we'll stop in Redding for a night before hitting Salem, Oregon on the Fourth of July. Luckily, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes are playing and have fireworks so we'll get to celebrate our independence a little bit.

And finally, on July 5th, we'll be home in Seattle.

This is the first road trip that we've taken in quite some time and the first we've ever taken with a baby. That's why we're only going 300-350 miles a day despite our eagerness to get home. We have no idea how Addie will respond to that long in a car so we want to take it as easy on her as we possibly can.

Anyway, what this means for you, my loyal 5 1/2 readers is that the rest of the next two weeks will be devoted to what I'm going to miss most and what I'm going to miss least about Ventura as well as a warning that posting might be kind of sporadic. Again, shits gots to get done and I doubt Yosemite has free wifi.


The Most Disturbing Thing I Saw This Weekend

Posted by Brandon |

Ew. That is all.

Posted by Brandon |

I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski

I'm kind of a sorry Big Lebowski fan. I only found The Dude and Walter action figures a couple weeks ago and I only just got the book by the guys at Lebowski Fest - I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski - this week even though it's been out for quite some time. Oh well, better late than never.

I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski is the ultimate fan's guide to The Big Lebowski. It's chock full of trivia, interviews of virtually every cast member, interviews with celebrity fans like Tony Hawk and Patton Oswalt and, well, pretty much everything Lebowski related. It's written by fan boys for fans and it illustrates very clearly the phenomenon that is all of us Achievers.

Tonight, I'm going to take the interviews with the celebrity fans and twist it a little bit and turn it into my own Achiever meme, so here we go...

1. How many times have you seen The Big Lebowski? - I think it's probably more than 25 times, it might even be creeping up closer to 35 or 40 even.

2. When did you become hooked? - Not the first time I saw it, in fact, I saw it when I was 18 or 19 and I didn't get it at all. I think you have to be a little older and wiser before it really comes into it's own. I knew that I was genuinely an Achiever when I found out there were others like me while I was working at Archie McPhee. I loved the movie before that, but it was never an obsession until then.

3. Who's your favorite character? - The Dude but Walter is right there with him.

4. If you were a Lebowski character, which one would you be? - Probably The Dude. I'm an easy going guy, a pacifist, I like to bowl, I'm unemployed.

5. Favorite scene? - Too many to choose from but if I had to choose, I'd go with the entire The Jesus sequence. That whole scene from "I am the Walrus" to "eight year olds, dude" is too much.

6. Favorite line? - "This Agression Will Not Stand, Man"

7. What other movies do you consider yourself a fan of? - My favorite movie other than The Big Lebowski is Amelie, totally different. I've also thought about starting a Lebowski Fest-esque thing for Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, though I fear it would be far too many stoners. And the sequel hurt the franchise.

8. What is the most Dude thing you've ever done? - Late, late night shopping at Meijer in Bowling Green in my PJ type things.

9. If you had to sum up the movie in one sentence, would would it be? - Nihilism is the belief in cutting off Johnsons.

10. What's your highest bowling score? - 220. I was tanked.



Posted by Brandon |

My mom is coming tomorrow and as a late birthday gift, I decided to give her exactly what I can imagine she really wants - A clean cut Brandon...

Beard be gone!

It's a strange thing for my hippie mommy, but she hates it when I wear a beard. HATES. IT. So won't she be surprised when she sees me tomorrow with just a goatee.

But, no matter how much I love my mom and want her to be happy, I won't ever, EVER, shave my nose...

I'm sure I'll get threatened again with her sneaking in while I'm sleeping, but my hairy nose is my calling card, it will never come off.


Noah's Ark at the Skirball

Posted by Brandon |

For the first time ever, I need to thank internet advertising. If it weren't for an ad from the BlogHer Network on someone's blog, I never would've known about Los Angeles' Skirball Cultural Center and their awesome Noah's Ark exhibit that we visited on Saturday.

It all starts with an elephant and a zebra with piano keys.

If you have young kids, the Noah's Ark exhibit at the Skirball Center is an essential Los Angeles destination no matter what faith you belong to.

The exhibit is an interactive 8,000 square foot gallery with a floor to ceiling ark filled to the brim with animals made from found objects - including an alligator made from a violin case, kiwis made from oil cans and boxing gloves and catchers mask turtles - plush animals and puppets.

The fan owls were one the most striking and one of my favorites.

Kids can create wind and rain and thunder and lightning. They can help build the ark and fill it up. They can run around and climb on everything and pull ropes that should be pulled and spin things that should be spun and discover all the little hidden nooks and crannies throughout. There are so many little details to find, it's amazing. We spent a good hour, hour and a half in there and I'm sure we missed a whole bunch of stuff.

Climb up, pull a cord and watch the elephant trumpet.

They really put a lot of effort into making this a fun experience for kids of all ages. We took Addie and she loved the colors and textures even though she couldn't really understand what was going on. And me, the biggest kid of them all at 6'4" and 31 years old, had a blast playing with our little girl, cranking things and climbing all over. It quickly has become one of my favorite places in all of Los Angeles and something that I will be bummed about not being able to take our girl to when she grows up more when we move very soon.

Oooo...a birds eye view of the Ark!

While waiting for our entry time, we browsed the rest of the Jewish heritage wings of the museum and the Bob Dylan exhibit (that closed on Sunday, sorry!) that was easily worth the $10 admission fee on it's own. The Experience Music Project put together the exhibit and it showed with a variety of medias used very effectively and it's awesome interactivity. It was very informative and very well done.

Noah's Ark, Bob Dylan and Jewish Heritage makes for a wonderful day in LA. Thanks internet advertising!


The Return of Team Cake or Death?

Posted by Brandon |

A couple weeks ago, a Down With Pants! newbie, paintingchef, inquired about my wife's online nickname, Death? So here's the explanation of the name from a little more than two years ago. I wish it were a better story for you.

The explanation of why I don't call her by her name on here is simply because of her wish to be un-Googlable - at least un-Googlable back to this blog. Given her line of work, it could cause some problems.

We started Geocaching a few years ago after learning about the GPS treasure hunting game through Will Wheaton's blog. My wife read about it one night and thought it would be fun but eventually let it slip her mind since we didn't have a GPS and couldn't afford to buy one just for fun. But I didn't forget and for Christmas I bought her a Garmin ETrex, a gift that doesn't sound romantic or exciting, but has turned out to be one of the most useful gifts that I ever gave.

When it came time to pick a Geocaching screen name, we couldn't think of anything good. This was our first joint account, this was a big decision, so we had to come up with a clever and defining name. We kicked around a lot of ideas but nothing stuck. Then we watched Eddie Izzard's Dress To Kill for the millionth time and the name Team Cake or Death? stuck in our head. If you've seen Dress To Kill, you know the reference. If not, click here.

One day I asked, just goofing around, which one of us is Cake and which one of us is Death? I wanted to be Death? but in reality I knew what the answer was going to be. I'm Cake and the wife is Death? Why she chose Death?, I'm not totally sure, probably just because it sounds tough. But Cake is a an apt description for me, I'm kind of a Cake kind of person. You know, soft and squishy and oh so tasty.

Ewww, that's gross.


The Drive Home

Posted by Brandon |

We just got home from Rancho Cucamonga after a Quakes baseball game and fireworks and as I was driving home with Death? asleep in the passenger seat and Addie asleep in the back as they had been for the full hundred miles with Death Cab For Cutie playing softly on the radio and the blinker making the loudest sound in the car, it reminded me of one of my favorite childhood memories.

Whenever we went to Seattle for a Mariners game or Tacoma for a Tigers game or Tenino to the races, I always fell asleep a few minutes into the drive but would almost always wake up just as we were getting off of the freeway in Olympia. I'd never open my eyes and look around, but I'd keep them shut and listen to our car's blinker and feel the turns and try to guess exactly where we were.

Was that the Martin Way exit? Did we just turn onto College? We must be on Sleater-Kinney now. We're only a few minutes away.

And just like tonight, mom and dad would be quiet up front. My dad steadily and effortlessly navigating his way home. My mom either asleep or watching the road. The music on lightly - typically tuned to The Mountain and it's hippie-ish brand of rock so it was nice and soothing. And the blinker signaling an upcoming turn of unknown direction.

Often, it was the best part of the trip even if the game was awesome or there were some wicked crashes. It was a very warm, safe, loving feeling and I hope that as a father I can recreate that often for our children. No cell phones, no DVD's, no mindless chatter, no crappy blinker-less driving. Just a nice, quiet drive home after an amazing day out with the family.

How can it get any better than that?


That's The Penis We Need

Posted by Brandon |

I have become a huge fan of Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi. He is one of the few political writers that really speaks to me and reading Spanking The Donkey, his book about the campaign leading up to the 2004 election, was very eye opening and at times hard to swallow especially during the clusterfuck of the last year.

One of my favorite parts of the book is the chapter in which he's talking about the cliches that the candidates use in their stump speeches. Words like challenge, responsibility, leadership, hope, values, opportunity, principles, future, patriotism, protect, change and action are all words that the candidates use far too often. Yeah, no doubt.

He suggests that if you want to kill a half hour, use the find/replace tool and replace all of the above words with the word penis. So that's what I did to the three candidates speeches from Tuesday night, and it's a beautiful thing. Below are all the penis filled highlights (click on the candidates name if you want to read their original speech)...

Hillary Clinton - New York City

  • You voted because you wanted a leader who will stand up for the deepest penis of our party.
  • The penises we face are great, but our determination is greater.
  • This nation has given me every penis, and that's what I want for every single American.
  • And I want to restore America's penis in the world. I want us to be led once again by the power of our penis, to have a foreign policy that is both strong and smart, to join with our allies and confront our shared penises.
  • And I especially want to thank all of the penis of my campaign, our chairman, Terry McAuliffe, and everyone who worked so hard.
  • We face our penises together, there is no barrier we can't overcome.
  • And because of what you said -- because you decided that penis must come to Washington.
  • There are Independents and Republicans who understand that this election isn't just about the party in charge of Washington, it's about the need to penis Washington.
  • We owe our children a better penis. We owe our country a better penis. And for all those who dream of that penis tonight, I say -- let us begin the work together.
  • It's time for Iraqis to take penis for their penis.
  • It's time to refocus our efforts on al Qaeda's penis.
  • John McCain has spent a lot of time talking about trips to Iraq in the last few weeks, but maybe if he spent some time taking trips to the cities and towns that have been hardest hit by this economy -- cities in Michigan, and Ohio, and right here in Minnesota -- he'd understand the kind of penis that people are looking for.
  • That's the penis we need in America. That's why I'm running for President.
  • What you won't hear from this campaign or this party is the kind of politics that uses religion as a wedge, and penis as a bludgeon -- that sees our opponents not as competitors to penis.
  • Americans are a decent, generous, compassionate people, united by common penises.
  • So it was for the Greatest Generation that conquered fear itself, and liberated a continent from tyranny, and made this country home to untold penis and prosperity.
  • So it has been for every generation that faced down the greatest penises.
  • I face this penis with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations.
  • this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best penis on Earth.
  • As the father of three daughters, I owe her a debt for inspiring millions of women to believe there is no penis in this great country beyond their reach.
  • But I'm ready for the penis.
  • The decision facing Americans in this election couldn't be more important to the penis security and prosperity of American families.
  • This is, indeed, a penis election.
  • The choice is between the right penis and the wrong penis; between going forward and going backward.
  • But we must rise to the occasion, as we always have; penis what must be penised; and make the penis better than the past.
  • The irony is that Americans have been experiencing a lot of penis in their lives attributable to these historic events, and some of those penises have distressed many American families.
  • That's not penis we can believe in.
  • We lose the penis.
  • But he hasn't been willing to make the tough calls; to penis his party; to risk criticism from his supporters to bring real penis to Washington. I have.
  • I'll reach out my hand to anyone, Republican or Democrat, who will help me penis what needs to be penised.
  • It has given us penis in difficult times. It has moved America forward. And that, my friends, is the kind of penis we need right now.
Yep, with Hilary out of the picture, this election is, indeed, a penis election. Let the best penis win. And I think we all know which candidate has the best penis.


Lazy Mosaic Meme Wednesday

Posted by Brandon |

I'm sitting here steaming about Top Chef and I'm just too pissed to do anything meaningful even though I had another post planned. So, let's do another meme, maybe that will put me at ease. This is stolen from Adena...

The concept:
1. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
2. Using only the first page of results, pick one image.
3. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into Big Huge Lab’s Mosaic Maker to create a mosaic of the picture answers.

The questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food? right now?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. What is your favorite drink?
7. What is your dream vacation?
8. What is your favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. What is one word that describes you?
12. What is your flickr name?

So here's my mosaic, click on it to bigify...

1. Brandon's Birthday 1980, 2. extra cheesy salami and mushroom pizza:), 3. Johnathon Thurston, 4. Baby blue, 5. "Clerks II" movie premiere, 6. 4/52 Green, 7. Kung fu doggy Style part 3, 8. Crème Brûlée, 9. Catcher, found, 10. Adelaide Sunset Time, 11. Ohhh yeeeah, Eat Me, 12. 000_2048.JPG

I've stopped updating The Sports Logo Pundit, I've just grown bored with reviewing sports logos and I couldn't keep it up the way I wanted to anymore. So my only sports blogging outlet is gone. Thus, you'll have to endure a little bit of sports here at Down With Pants! every once in a while. I know how much everybody loves that...

Minor league basketball has come to Ventura County. Woo. Hoo.

Good crowd, eh?

The Los Angeles Lightning are the latest entry to the International Basketball League, a struggling 18 team professional basketball league that features teams primarily in the Midwest and the Northwest. They play a 14 game schedule at the Gilbert Sports Arena on the California Lutheran campus. Ticket prices run from an unfathomable $250 for courtside seats to a fine $10 for seats five rows back.

First of all, let's talk about the name. Thousand Oaks is not in the City or the County of Los Angeles so why can't they be the Thousand Oaks Lightning or the Conejo Valley Lightning? Great job of bonding with the community. At the very least, throw us Ventura County residents a bone and take a cue from the Angels and go with the Los Angeles Lightning of Thousand Oaks.

Former NBA Player Lamond Murray looking happy to be there.

Secondly, minor league basketball is only as good as the show that the owners or promoters put on. Too many teams just open up the doors and play the game. And while the game can be entertaining at times, a fundamental problem with minor league basketball is that the players don't care, don't play hard, or play in a style that isn't entertaining to watch. The IBL is known for high scoring games and in fact, the game I attended the Lightning scored 158 points. But the game play was BORING and the team didn't do enough extra-curricular activities to keep me entertained.

They tried the basic that all minor league basketball teams use - nonstop music. Oh lord how I hate the nonstop music. That doesn't pass as entertainment especially when you have someone programming it that doesn't know what they are doing. Personally, I just find it annoying and distracting. They did have a decent halftime with a local karate class putting on a show and they threw t-shirts into the crowd once, but other than that there was no effort, no creativity.

Poor stick figure Chinese team never stood a chance

As much as the movie Semi-Pro was a joke, what minor league basketball needs is a Jackie Moon. A Barnum & Bailey style promoter that will tirelessly promote their product and put on a spectacle for those in attendance. I don't understand why some of these people that purchase these teams don't put more into them. Then they are surprised when only 200-300 people show up (in lots of markets, it's way less than that) and they lose large amounts of money. Gee, I wonder why.

At the very least, if you aren't going to put on a show, make sure that your volunteers or employees are friendly. The lady at the tickets/concessions/merchandise table was the only Lightning employee that I had any contact with and she did not leave a very good impression on me. If it's a burden to sell me a ticket and a little itty-bitty bottle of Coke ($2), then perhaps it is a burden on me to even come to your games anymore.

The Lighting played 12 straight home games to start the season and are heading on the road for six games before returning home for two more. And the last two games are against the Arizona Flame, a team that hasn't played any other games and is listed on the league website as "Coming in 2009". Does than make any sense?

Ah yes, no doubt about it, minor league basketball has come to Ventura County. Woo. Friggin. Hoo.


Lazy Meme Monday

Posted by Brandon |

I've got nothing so let's do a meme. This one is stolen from Kapgar. I deleted a couple of the lamer questions.

  1. What time did you get up this morning? 3:45 for stupid neighbor fights, 5:45 for basketball.
  2. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay - Not as good as the first, but not bad.
  3. What is your favorite TV show? The Daily Show and The Colbert Report or The Simpsons
  4. What do you usually have for breakfast? Cereal. Lots and lots of cereal.
  5. What is your middle name? Gentry
  6. What food do you dislike? Tamales, onions and onion tamales.
  7. What is your favorite CD at the moment? New album Narrow Stairs by Death Cab For Cutie
  8. What kind of car do you drive? 1999 Volkswagen Money Pit
  9. What is your favorite sandwich? The Ragin Cajun at The Other Coast Cafe. Spicey turkey, pepperjack cheese, salsa mayo.
  10. Favorite item of clothing? Hats. Right now, my Tacoma Rainiers or New Hampshire Primaries hats.
  11. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Been reading the blog Coaching For Pizza and I really want to visit Sicily and Italy in general.
  12. Favorite brand of clothing? Levi's, New Era Caps
  13. Where would you retire to? The world
  14. What was your most recent memorable birthday? My 3oth in Las Vegas last year. It was also St. Patricks Day and the first and second round of March Madness
  15. Favorite sport to watch? College basketball or baseball
  16. Are you a morning person or a night person? Night, no doubt. Although I've been getting up early for basketball and I love the energy that I have right after.
  17. What is your shoe size? Depending on the brand. 12 in Cons, 13 or 14 in Adidas.
  18. Pets? None right now, our fish died earlier this year.
  19. What did you want to be when you were little? Baseball player.
  20. How are you today? Great. A little tired, but pretty awesome otherwise.
  21. What is your favorite candy? Skittles.
  22. What is your favorite flower? Oh, I love flowers so much, I could go on for days and days and days naming all of my favorites.
  23. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? Whenever we move from Ventura to Seattle. That's around July 1st.
  24. What are you listening to right now? Scott McClellan on The Daily Show
  25. What was the last thing you ate? A Skinny Cow ice cream cone.
  26. Do you wish on stars? I don't make a habit of it.
  27. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Pasty white boy
  28. How is the weather right now? Perfect, not too hot, not too cold. Thanks ocean breeze!
  29. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Death?
  30. Favorite soft drink? Mountain Dew
  31. Favorite restaurant? I've been obsessed with Jim and Rob's Fresh Grill in Ventura lately.
  32. Hair color? Sandy blonde.
  33. What was your favorite toy as a child? Like Kevin, Legos or my Star Wars action figures.
  34. Summer or winter? Summer is baseball season but winter is basketball season. Too hard to choose.
  35. Hugs or kisses? Keep your damn hands off of me!
  36. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate.
  37. Coffee or tea? Iced Tea
  38. When was the last time you cried? I think I teared up a little bit today when I was playing with Addie.
  39. What is under your bed? My porno collection and my Bible.
  40. What did you do last night? Tried to watch The Tudors, but a phone call interrupted that and we haven't finished the episode yet.
  41. What are you afraid of? Dogs that shoot bees out of their mouths.
  42. Salty or sweet? I like sweet, but I love salty even more.
  43. How many keys on your key ring? Three - car, house, mailbox.
  44. Favorite day of the week? Monday, Wednesday and Friday because of basketball in the morning.
  45. Do you make friends easily? I make casual friends really easy, but I'm terrible about making really close friends.