Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Screening the News 12-22-09

Sometimes I sit back and wonder what goes through people's minds.Maybe its the holiday season wearing down on our psyches or something, but people are flat out losing it. That's why I love to read the headlines in the morning, so I have some material in which to pick them apart.

Take these for instance:

- A four-year-old in Tennessee was arrested last week for breaking into a neighbors house, drunk, and stealing Christmas presents. Apparently, the boy has a history of trying to get in trouble so that he can be with his father, who currently resides in a local prison. Well son, don't you worry, if your role model is daddy, then you're sure to follow the same path. No need to rush there now.

- A D.C. police detective pulled a gun on a crowd gathered for a snowball fight recently. Puts a whole other meaning into "you'll shoot your eye out kid."

- Hulu and other online video services recently pulled a Saturday Night Live sketch which made fun of the newly deceased Brittany Murphy, and which may have had some reference to the stars drug usage. Listen, I'm all for not sullying the memory of the girl when her family is grieving, but seriously, if it wasn't tasteless to run the sketch in the first place, then you should stand by your material and keep it up after her death.

- The Yankees are supposedly ready to pull the string on yet another trade, this time for a starting pitcher. Is it me, or does it seem like New York is the only active team this off-season? Seriously, its time for the other major players to step up to the plate and make some noise. And yes, Theo Epstein, I'm talking to you!

- Director Brian Singer is returning to the X-Men franchise for the prequel: X-Men First Class. No doubt, this will be better than watching Brett Ratner fumble through it like he did with X3, not to mention it will be nice to have a story that establishes the characters for the audience that may not be aware of their backgrounds. Then again, the danger of doing such a prequel, especially if done the right way, is that it will disqualify some of the way the other films have played out, specifically with Iceman and Angel.

Well folks, maybe I'll return a bit later, but I have to get some work done right now.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Baseball Will Always Persevere

The very root of life is persistence; nothing more, nothing less. Baseball is a shining example of this.

As I’m sitting here thinking about how to start this post off, I realize that the thought posted above is perhaps the best way to go. You see, I just got done reading Peter Gammons’ farewell to ESPN and quite frankly, it’s the first thing that popped into my mind. If you haven’t done so already, I highly suggest you take a moment to read it, and you’ll see why.

Gammons is a guy that I have made every effort in the world to read at any given time, and quite frankly, is one of the reasons I got into sports blogging in the first place. Sure, I guess it could be skewed that my respect for Gammons and his work could have something to do with his obvious affinity with the Red Sox, but that would be missing the big picture. My respect for Gammons is more due to his almost childish love for the game of baseball and the need to gather as much information about the game to fuel it

So it’s not without surprise that after reading the aforementioned address, it becomes easier for me to clear away the clouded vision and see the game again. We forget the joy of the game when we get side-tracked by the propaganda that the media gets lost in these days. Sometimes we just need a small reminder of how special the game is in order to forget about the cuts on the ball.

And Gammons got that. He doesn’t go on at length about the scandals that ripped at the game and threatened to destroy it. He doesn't rant on about how money and greed are destroying the game. He doesn't care about the slew of records that have fallen because steroid usage ran rampant for the better part of a decade. Rather, he talks about the memories of World Series heroes, of the games great moments, and of the players that simply went out there to play the game. Gammons talks of these things not as a reporter, but as a fan sitting in the stands with a beer and a hot dog, and he has no regrets about it. He gets it.

And maybe that’s the lesson we need to take from it, as bloggers, as writers, and most of all, as fans. Despite the scars the game has taken or inflicted upon itself over the years in the name of business, greed, or vanity, it is still a game and will always be a game. It has persevered through wars, through depressions, through tragedies, and through controversies. It has risen time and again like the phoenix from the ashes, renewed and reinvigorated. It has not been broken because forever behind it has been the strength and intrigue of wide-eyed youth to keep it going.

Sometimes we just need to remember how to get in touch with the kid inside again.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Unkept Thoughts On Christmas

Well, winter is finally here in Vermont. After a November that included a great deal of unseasonably warm temperatures, the cold snap followed on the tails of a twelve inch snow storm, meaning relief is over. And while my oil budget was enjoying the warmer temps, it is nice to know that there will be snow on Christmas, and I’m sure the ski industry is more than ecstatic with the change as well.

But speaking of Christmas, my brain was kicking into gear again the other night. I’m not sure what contributes to these things, but I’m sure my odd tastes in movies and television has no affect on my thinking. That said, Christmas and the holidays were on the brain in full force the other night, so I thought I’d once again share my strange waves with you all.

-         If Santa is watching kids all year-round, shouldn’t he be required to register with the sex offenders list?

-         Anyone else find it odd that we can no longer celebrate Christmas in schools, but we can still allow our kids to dress up as Indians for Thanksgiving?

-         Want to know why I don’t think kids play outside as much anymore? It isn’t video games or the internet. It’s the fact that they no longer show Saturday morning or after school cartoons. Take away the imagination from the kids and you get kids that want to be grounded in reality, plain and simple.

-         I wonder if Tiger Woods is asking for a mulligan for Christmas!

-         If the BCS committee was auditing Santa’s naughty and nice lists yearly, the same five kids would be the only ones getting presents.

-         Whatever happened to the BurgerMeister MeisterBurger? Maybe the Bumble got him.

-         Why can’t we send the Salvation Army to Afghanistan? At the very least, the bell ringing could be categorized as psychological warfare.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Unkept Thoughts - 12/8/09

Sometimes I get concerned with the things that float in and out of my head at any given time. What makes it worse is that generally speaking, I do most of my best thinking lying in bed at night, which not only prevents me from falling asleep in a timely manner, but also makes it extremely difficult to retain any memory of said thoughts when the morning comes around and I can put them on paper.

So, I’ve come to the point in my life where I try and keep a pen and paper on my nightstand at night for those very occasions. This has the benefit of helping me remember what came to mind the night before, but also has the drawback of irritating my wife every time the light goes on so that I can see what I’m scribing. It also adds pressure to the thoughts that in turn leads to more sleepless nights. Oh, the pressure!

Anyway, here are just a few of the things that have come to mind in recent nights.

-         Ever hear the expression “burning the candle at both ends”? Let’s make it more fun and do it with dynamite!

-         I was sitting around the other day and had some stray thoughts about Fluffers. Firstly, how does one come into a job like that? Secondly, how do you play that up to Mom and Dad or the In-Laws at Thanksgiving time; tell them you’re a Motivational Engineer or a maybe a Secret Stiffening Agent?

-         Maybe I’m just hitting this one of the hozzle, but I think the real motivation for all the talk about Tiger Woods’ “trangressions” isn’t controversy, it’s the excuse to roll out all of the golf euphemisms.

-         Speaking of Woods, I wonder whose green he’s putting around today….

-         Kenneth Biros, a convicted murder and current resident of Ohio’s death row will be given a previously unused execution method. My first thought was that he’d have to listen to Imus non-stop until his brain explodes.

-         With the sudden rise of services like Twitter making it necessary to convey things instantly in 140 characters or less, I’m going to beat everyone to the punch and create the next big thing called Caveman, and make it all happen with a series of grunts and flashing lights.

The Microwave Monkey Rant

Alright folks, I’m going to go off on a tangent here for a bit. Sure, it’s unrelated to a movie website, but what the hell, it’s my site, so I’ll use it for what I like to.

So to sort of lay the groundwork a bit, I’ll let you know that I’m a little bit of a quirky person. I wouldn’t say that I run around checking to make sure the oven is turned off or anything, but there are little things in life I count on. Put another way, there are little things in the world that piss me off like no other. For me, it’s the microwave.
So, right about now, you’re asking how the microwave, an item made for the convenience of all mankind can piss a man off so badly. Well, I’ll be honest, it isn’t so much the microwave itself as it is the people who use it. Specifically, I’m talking about the no-good bastards that use it before you who take their food out before the timer goes off and then walk away from it without clearing the time off of it. I f***ing despise that person!
I have a certain expectation in life, that when I go to use the microwave, that I can stick my food in it, and enter the time I need to cook my food for. Instead, I find that I get there, pop my food in, and then push buttons and nothing happens; no noises, no food cooking, nothing, all because some tool left time on it. I end up looking like a monkey who doesn’t know how to use technology, beating on it trying to figure out why the hell I can’t get it to work. You might as well give me a stick or a small rock to beat on it with because nothing is happening until I clear that time out.
Sure, I can make it a habit to press the clear button before anything else but that’s not the point! I should be able to automatically assume that someone else took the initiative and did their job rather than continue to fall into the stereotypical American mold and expect someone else to pick up your slack. Where is the convenience to me if I need to take an extra step to make up for your short-comings?
But don’t get me wrong, I know who the douche is doing it! He’s the same guy that doesn’t fill the Keurig after making the last cup of coffee, and he’s the same guy who leaves the wet finger prints on the roll of paper towels because he can’t manage to rip a towel off by holding it with his forearm. Either that, or it’s a group of them, all working in conjunction, a bunch of gremlins like the one from the Twilight Zone or those flying apes from The Wizard of Oz, working hard to f*** up my morning and then giggling the corner after witnessing the fruits of their labors.
So do me a favor, next time you see a douche bag, taking his cup of coffee out of the microwave in your office without clearing off the two seconds left, slap him across the back of the head for me and tell him, that’s for Frag!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Testing..Testing...Is This Thing On?

Yes, it is still here.

You know, after almost a full year, I would have expected blogspot to remove the site, but yet here we are, and it still stands, albeit a bit dusty and unused.

So why am I here?

When last I wrote, I had opted to try and build my own site, FragOnFilm, because it gave me the leeway to be able to fully manage the site, including incorporating multiple pages and full editing of the HTML if needed. Well, there's a lot to be said about being able to do that, but to be honest with you, while it was fun at first, it ended up, in combination with the day-to-day operations at YouGabSports, being nothing more than a lot of extra work. It sort of sucked away from whatever creativity I could put into the writing. When the writing isn't there, is it really even a website or just a shell?

So in the end, I sit here before you all, in full realization that I have something to say, and I intend to say, err, write it. No more being straight pidgeon-holed by writing on a topic specific website. No more extra chores of having to experiment with HTML, CSS, XML, or any other acronym or initialism. I at first thought about setting about and creating a new blogger site, called Frag Of Frag, but realized that I already essentially had that here. So with that out of the way, ReelToField is hereby reopened for business with the intention of getting back to my roots and doing what I love to do; writing.

This doesn't mean that I am done with YouGabSports, quite the contrary, it will free up more time for me to also add content there as well.

Believe me, there is more than enough stuff that has been locked away in here and eaking to get out. Now we just need to open Pandora's Box and see what comes first.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Update Your Bookmarks, Reel To Field Is Moving

Well folks, you've probably seen this coming.

With my recent dedication to helping get YouGabSports off the ground, its been tough to get over here to Reel To Field and update the site accordingly. And with me dedicating my sports writing over there, it was also making this more like Reel With No Field. Anyway, I digress.

So, this quick post is to let you all know that I have set myself up a new movie only site called FragOnFilm, where I will resume casting my movie reviews and opinions at will. Having the site over at Spruz, which hosts YouGabSports, enables me to use the existing log-in I already have, while also giving myself more creative leeway in terms of site design, something I'll be taking advantage of in order to help perfect YouGab's appearance as well. Another thing it does is allow those of you who are already members at YouGab to use your user ID's to register and comment at the new site as well.

So, I thank you all for your continued support at Reel To Field, and I look forward to seeing you all at the new digs!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Caption This...The Square Peg Edition

Hey folks, I promise to post something real over here soon, but I saw this and couldn't help but post another Caption This filler.

Let em fly.

I'll even get it started....

- Little Ritchie Cunningham's childhood wasn't always "Happy Days".

Friday, February 6, 2009

Caption This...The "Um Yeah" Edition

Ever trip around the web because you're bored and come across some things that just strike you as, well, stupid? Here's a few items that may be worth your viewing and captioning expertise.

MLB Weekend Update - 2/6/2009 - At The Gab

Welcome one and all to the first webisode of MLB Weekend Update here at YouGabSports.com, where I’ll try to keep you abreast of all the happenings within the world of Major League Baseball within the last week.

Being that we are just a week away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training, now seems to be a perfect point to pick it up and start hurling the ball around again. So grab your gloves and let’s get this started here.

Opening Monologues

- Manny Ramirez recently rejected the Dodgers latest offer, a one-year deal worth $25 million, which would make Ramirez one of the highest paid players in the game. The move would have also enabled Ramirez to reenter the free agent pool after the 2009 season, when the hitting class is significantly weaker. Instead, Manny appears to be ready to sit out the 2009 season, perhaps because he feels he can make more money on Pros Versus Joes.

- Speaking of contracts, Ramirez’s former teammate Jason Varitek recently re-upped with the Red Sox, on a one-year deal worth $5 million, plus either a team option for 2010 at $5 million or a player option worth $3 million. Ironically, Varitek could have made upwards of $10-12 million in 2009 has he and his agent chosen to accept the Red Sox offer of arbitration. Instead, he had to crawl back and accept a one year offer for half the salary. Rumor also has it that one of the clauses written into the contract was that both Varitek and Boras had to watch Larry Luchino and John Henry bath in the other $5 million.

- A federal judge today released numerous documents detailing the government’s case against all-time home run king* Barry Bonds, including a positive drug test that they say can be linked back to the slugger. In a related story, Greg Anderson, Bonds’ former trainer and best friend, has stepped forward with a condom to prove how much shrinkage the star endured while on steroids.

- The World Baseball Classic is set to begin at 6:30pm on March 5th when China and Japan open the tournament, continuing the only worldwide baseball competition now that the Olympics no longer fields the sport. At 6:32pm, a collective yawn will be heard worldwide, slowly followed by a symphony of crickets, and the running of the tumbleweeds. Still, we need to give Bud Selig a $3 million dollar raise every year.

Want to read this in its entirety? Skip on over to YouGabSports.com where the remainder of this post and others can be seen. We've already got some great conversations started over there, and we'd love to have each of you jump into the madness.