Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Those Crazy Mormons

Rumor has it that this video was shot in Hobble Creek Canyon - home to one of my favorite golf courses of all time.

I wish my FHE activities at the BY would have been more like this and less like standing around the Liberty Square gym waiting for the "spiritual" thought to get over so I could go back to my apartment and continue my Final Fantasy game.

Mission Accomplished

Last Friday I was having a discussion with one of my friends regarding the recent Oscar nominations and the reactions of some of our mutual friends. The bulk of our conversation centered on people's reactions as opposed to the actual nominations themselves. The conclusion I came to is that the nominations are purposely controversial to spur debate and increase exposure. For some reason people seem to care more when they disagree with something as opposed to when they agree.

My conclusion has recently received quite a bit of anecdotal support thanks to the assistant for one of the executives at DreamWorks Animation. The assistant who shall not be named sits outside our audit room at DreamWorks and may or may not be the loudest, most abrasive woman I have met in quite some time. She is very opinionated and cusses like a sailor. It is no surprise that she is from New York. Thanks to her gregarious personality I am privy to each and every one of her conversations. Even when we close the door. Recently she was yelling at some poor assistant for some other studio exec and yelled "I don't mean to be unprofessional, but you are an f$%&in' joke." The other assistant proceeded to burst out in laughter at the ridiculousness of the whole situation which of course resulted in getting the assistant who shall not be named even more worked up. I thought her head was going to explode. But I digress. So now I will get back on point.

This last week has been quite interesting because the assistant who shall not be named has a heavy emotional investment in the film Dream Girls because of the DreamWorks association. Ever since the assistant who shall not be named found out that Dream Girls was not nominated for best picture she has been on the warpath. She is completely disgusted that Little Miss Sunshine was nominated and Dream Girls was not. To her, the fact that Dream Girls garnered more nominations than any other film is immaterial. Not an hour goes by that she does not complain about the perceived snub. Her ire was revitalized on Monday when DreamWorks held an employee screening of Little Miss Sunshine. I was afraid to walk near her for fear of the flames streaming from her mouth.

My point behind this story is that I don't think the assistant who shall not be named would have spent nearly as much time discussing this years Oscar nominations if she would have agreed with them. Because of her anger she has provided a ton of word of mouth publicity. Everybody she comes in contact with now knows that Little Miss Sunshine was nominated for best picture and Dream Girls was not. From the perspective of the Academy, I am sure they are saying "Mission Accomplished."

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Do fries come with that VoIP?

Gregg Easterbrook (AKA The TMQ or Tuesday Morning Douche depending on who you talk to) mentioned in his article for Page 2 at today the ridiculousness of the importance of hundredths of seconds in sports. The discussion then segued to an article in the New York Times from April 2006 that I found fascinating. It appears that McDonald's and a few other QSRs (quick service restaurants) have been testing out the use of call-centers to take drive-up window orders in an effort to maximize productivity of employees and improve customer service.

This idea appeals to me because I love specialization, innovation, leveraging technology, and capitalism. I would love to roll up to a Taco Bell window and be able to easily place my order without having to repeat myself or ask the person on the other end to repeat themselves because they were distracted by multi-tasking or because their language skills were not fantastic. This technology makes life easier for the people working at Taco Bell as well as the people ordering at Taco Bell. It is a win/win situation. I bow down to the greatness of specialization.

Monday, January 29, 2007

George Clooney: Potential Assassin?

I recently finished reading Manhunt: The 12 Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson and loved it. The book was put together so that it read like a story while drawing on original source documents to provide actual details and quotes. As far as historical non-fiction goes, it was very compelling and I would recommend it to anybody who is interested in learning more about the assassination of President Lincoln.

Prior to reading Manhunt, my knowledge of the subject was quite limited. I knew that John Wilkes Booth was the assassin and that the assassination occurred at the Ford's Theater. And that was it. I had no idea that the story and characters involved were so compelling. The most interesting part in my opinion was the cultural prominence of John Wilkes Booth prior to the assassination.

Booth was the premier actor of his era. All his shows would sell out and his services were always in high demand. Additionally, he was widely considered to be one of the most attractive men in the country. The best way to summarize his persona and popularity is to say that women wanted him and men wanted to be like him. He was an icon.

The modern day equivalent of the assassination of Lincoln would be George Clooney assassinating President Bush. That idea literally boggles my mind. Imagine if one of the world's most attractive men according to People Magazine, who is also considered to be one of the premiere actors in Hollywood, AND has a taste for politics assassinated the President. Think of the media circus that would ensue. I think the entire interweb would collapse due to the volume of traffic on message boards, blogs, and gossip sites such as and Perez Hilton. The world would cease to exist as we know it. I don't think even Jack Bauer the vampire could save the day.

So my one request for Mr. Clooney is to please not assassinate the President. I like the interweb and I like our country. Keep making movies and enjoying life at Lake Como. I want to be like you.

PS I loved you on The Facts of Life. Thanks for keeping it real.

Friday, January 26, 2007

A Lifetime of Wiener

A few weeks ago I was at FHE and having a discussion with my friend Mr. Caffee regarding the importance of putting yourself in situations where you have the opportunity to succeed. The conversation quickly progressed to the subject of applying this concept to interactions with the female gender due in large part to another one of our friends trying to convince us to go to a concert in Hollywood with him rather than staying at FHE. I declined the invitation because I was trying to be responsible and go to bed at a reasonable hour. Mr. Cafee declined based on the extremely high probability of the concert being a "sausagefest" if you will. He was tired of hanging out with "the dudes". He had had his fill of wieners. I then responded that I had had a lifetime of wiener and no longer had the desire to spend all my free time with "the dudes."

I feel the need to emphasize the fact that I do enjoy hanging out with "the dudes" and talking about the latest movie trailer or YouTube clip. However, I also need to have balance in my life. As such, I also need to spend time with those of the opposite gender discussing things like the new Mac store that just opened on the Promenade.

Mr. Caffee, in an effort to put himself in a position to succeed and find balance in his life vowed to never spend another weekend with just "the mantourage." In an effort to accomplish this goal he even convinced a girl to watch a midnight showing of Enter the Dragon with him and a group of friends. I am betting that she was the only woman in the group. Good odds for her though.

In conclusion, I would like to express my support for Mr. Caffee and his resolution. Finding balance and putting yourself in situations where there is opportunity for success are key ingredients to a happy life.

PS These principles are meant to be applied to more than just interactions with the opposite gender. They can be applied to all aspects of life.

PSS I consider myself to be wise beyond my years. I can solve any dilemma as long as it is not my own.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ever Since Honeyz Was Wearin' Sassoon

A few days ago I was g-chatting with my good friend Mr. Lybbert and he asked if there was any new hip-hop worth listening too. I told him that I wasn't too plugged into the rap game anymore because I was not that into most of the new stuff I was hearing. After a little thought though, I realized that my love of everything gangsta was not dead. Even though I am an O.G. (and by O.G. I mean O.G. as in late 90's and early 2000's) at heart there are still a few new tracks that I am currently enjoying. As you will see, the O.G. bias is readily apparent. So here is what is currently playing on my iPod in no particular order:

  • Grew Up a Screw Up - Ludacris

  • Runaway Love - Ludacris

  • Get Back - Ludacris - this is included in the list of new choices because I am hooked on the Smokin' Aces trailer

  • Pac's Life - 2Pac featuring TI and Ashanti

  • Watch Yo Back - 50 Cent featuring Tony Yayo

  • Know What I'm Doin' - Birdman and Lil Wayne

  • Cali Dro - Birdman and Lil Wayne

  • The entire Doctor's Advocate album - The Game (west coast rap as it was meant to be)

  • 30 Something - Jay Z

  • Lost One - Jay Z

  • I Luv It - Young Jeezy

  • We Fly High (Remix) - Jim Jones

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


How do you know when you spend too much time with people? When you show up to work wearing the exact same clothes. At work today, Ruby and I both wore pink shirts with gray pinstriped slacks. Divya and Leland both wore blue shirts with black slacks. I called them the Ho-Hos and Ruby and I were the Twinkies. Yes accountants are nerds.

The not so Amazing Spiderman?

I have been meaning to put together a post regarding Spiderman 3 with some "inside info" for quite some time now. As such, the content of this post may already be common knowledge.

I loved the first two Spiderman movies. I thought Toby McGuire was a great Peter Parker. I loved the stories. I loved the characters. I loved the special effects. When I first heard about Spiderman 3 and that Venom would be involved, I naturally got excited. Especially after seeing the firt teaser with Spiderman looking at his reflection and seeing Venom. However, as more and more info regarding the movie became available, my excitement began to diminish. I started to worry that there were too many plot lines being packed into one movie and ultimately all plot lines would be under developed and the overall movie would suffer.

A group of friends and I were talking with one our friends who has spent the last year and a half working on Spiderman 3 and my fears were confirmed. The essence of the conversation was that the movie would be visually spectacular but the story was woefully undeveloped. Supposedly, the director, Sam Raimi, was in love with the story behind Sandman and thought that the story of Venom was not compelling enough. Therefore, he decided to dump millions and millions of dollars into the development of Sandman. After months and months of discussion with the other producers and Stan Lee, Raimi finally realized that Venom was in fact a very compelling character and wanted to incorporate him into the movie. However, Raimi still loved Sandman and didn't want to "waste" all the time, effort, and money put into developing Sandman so the role was not removed. Sunk cost anybody?

The net effect of the Sandman/Venom "conflict" is a story with two villains who are sufficiently compelling to merit their own movie resulting in underdevelopment of both characters. The viewers get cheated and end up with another version of Lex Luthor in Superman Returns (which, by the way, I am still upset about). As if this wasn't enough, Raimi decided to throw in an additional villain which is worthy of its own movie - The Green Goblin/Harry.

Why do directors/writers/producers feel the need to fit this all into a single film? Give me a 90-110 minute film that sufficiently addresses each character and the associated story. Give me characters with depth and stories with meaning. I don't need a four hour epic that is not so epic because everything is glossed over in an attempt to leave nothing out. Why the rush? Is Spiderman not a viable franchise? Is Spiderman 3 the last of the series? I wouldn't think so based on box office results of the first two installments. Come on.
Hopefully, now that my expectations are lowered, Spiderman 3 will be pleasantly surprising. At the worst, I will be able to enjoy some sweet special effects and a few visually appealing scenes. When it comes down to it, I will still be waiting in line outside the theater on opening night.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

My Personal Abraham Lincoln

Growing up I never really watched very much TV. This is not because I was to cool for school or anything like that. It was because my parents decided that they wanted to live in what may or may not be considered a third-world country. Cable TV was not an option for me because the cable company conveniently decided to stop its network approximately 1 mile from our house. Therefore, I watched whatever was available on the channels picked up by the gigantic antenae my father bolted to the roof of our house. My options were limited to PBS, Fox, CBS, and if somebody climbed up to the roof and adjusted the antennae every few minutes I was able to watch a fuzzy ABC. As you can imagine, I didn't watch that much TV.

When I went away to college I was exposed to a whole new universe. The universe of cable TV. A universe dominated by Dawson's Creek, Felicity, Smallville, Real World vs Road Rules, and of course The World Wide Leader. But even though I now had access to such a variety of programming, my viewing was still constrained by scheduling and time. It was impossible for me to be home every Wednesday at 8 PM to watch the latest episode of Smallville. I tried recording the episodes on VHS and watching at a later time with a group of friends but something always seemed to go wrong and an episode was missed. I specifically decided to not watch 24 and Lost when they originally aired on TV because I knew that there would be no way I could keep up.

And then I got Tivo and my life instantly changed. My viewing consumption easily quadrupled. I can watch more TV in less time. I am no longer a slave to scheduled air times. If I see a show that might be interesting, I can just click a button and watch it whenever I have the time. TV molds to my life instead of forcing me to mold my life to TV. Tivo is my Abraham Lincoln. And the greatest feature next to the dual tuner which allows me to record two shows that air at the same time is the season pass. With a simple click of the remote I can schedule every episode in a series to record and I never have to worry about missing a thing. Here is a list of what is currently on my season pass:

  • Lost

  • 24

  • Heroes

  • Prison Break

  • How I Met Your Mother

  • The Office

  • My Name is Earl

  • Scrubs

  • Thirty Rock

  • Syndicated Seinfeld

  • Syndicated Scrubs

  • UFC Ultimate Fight Night

Monday, January 22, 2007

I'll have a Tab

One of the on-going themes at work is to make jokes about Morgan and his age. For some reason, I have developed the reputation of being old. One of my co-workers was even kind enough to put together a spreadsheet to track all the jokes about me and my age. The jokes range from me making reference to an "ancient" programming language that I studied in college to me playing basketball while dressing like John Stockton in his prime.

At lunch today, we were talking about sodas and I attempted to make a joke that made reference to Tab soda. The joke brought the conversation to a screeching halt because nobody had heard of that brand before. Of course, the next logical step in the conversation after I explained that it was a popular cola was to make the requisite joke that Tab is for old people and that everyone at the table was too young to have enjoyed Tab in its prime.

Once we got back to the audit room one of my co-workers performed the now obligatory wikipedia search to educate himself on the intricacies of the mysterious Tab. This then prompted a discussion on Back to the Future because I made reference to Marty McFly and when he tried to order a Tab and then a Pepsi Free at the diner. I now know exactly how Marty McFly felt when everybody looked at him like he was crazy for ordering a Tab because I got the exact same look at lunch today. Plus, I wore a down vest on Saturday. Luckily, nobody asked why I was wearing a life preserver.

I guess what I am trying to say with this post is that I like Back to the Future and I like having a pop-culture gap between me and most of my co-workers. It provides hours of entertainment and makes what could easily be a very boring day much more enjoyable.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

My Lunch With Jerry

So on Friday I was enjoying a pleasant lunch with my co-workers and guess who should happen to sit down at the table next to us. Actually, you don't need to bother trying to guess. I will just tell you. It was Jerry Seinfeld. That's right THE Jerry Seinfeld. And I really had to stop myself from laughing and running the risk of choking on my delectable bite of pot roast. The reason I had to stop from laughing was because it looked like he had just stepped off the set of a Seinfeld episode. He was rocking a tucked-in button-down shirt with the button down collar, tapered jeans (I think he may have even scratched out the 1 to make it look like he was wearing size 30), and white sneakers. It was so funny. As one of my friends said, "way to keep the 90's alive Jerry." I was so tempted to bang my hand on the table and make yipping noises to see how his focus compared to that of the Yankee Clipper. Thanks Jerry for making my day. I really owe you one for giving me the opportunity to see you cruising around "in character."

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Everything Sucks Era Sucks

I have been reading articles on the world wide web by Bill Simmons since late 2000 or early 2001. I can't really remember the exact date because it seems like it has been forever. I used to love him and thought he was the funniest guy on the interweb. Recently I have grown tired of his gag but continue to read what he has to say. In his article today he makes a very good point about the climate in today's society. He said:

"Now we're on six years of football euphoria. And I get the part where the outside world is ready for another team, because that's the way our society works now: We embrace something new, digest it, beat it into the ground and move on to something else. One minute, "Borat" is the greatest comedy of all-time; the next minute, it's overrated. One minute, everyone loves "Lost"; the next minute, we're wondering if it jumped the shark. One minute, everyone loves The Killers; the next minute, they're self-important sellouts. It's the Everything Sucks Era. We spend an inordinate amount of time bitching about everyone else. Nobody's good, nobody's worthwhile and everybody needs to go away. That's the prevailing theme."

I'm tired of the Everything Sucks Era and I think the Everything Sucks Era is largely a product of the interweb. Why, I don't know. Maybe humanity sucks because it is inherently negative and now that the interweb provides a readily accessible medium for anybody to express their opinion we are getting a glimpse of the prevailing traits of human nature. I hope not because that sucks. I can't think of a single website, message board, or blog that I visit that is not dominated by this Everything Sucks attitude. Nobody is happy with anything... the government sucks... John Beck sucks... Kobe sucks... Lost sucks... The Sports Guy sucks... you disagree with my opinion so you suck... This has gotten really old, really fast. I think the Everything Sucks Era sucks. I know that this is quite hypocritical to post a "rant" about hating "rants." However, I just want to express that my goal for this blog is to not talk about how everything sucks. I am going to focus my efforts on things I like or find interesting. I hope I can stick to it and not take the easy way out and make a cheap joke at some body's expense when looking for content.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

To Live and Die in Thermopylae

While watching TV this weekend I saw the trailer for 300 for the first time. It totally caught me off guard because I didn't remember hearing anything about the film earlier. I ended up watching it 3 times in a row before continuing on with my TV viewing. The colors combined with the beat of the trailer sucked me right in. What put it over the top for me though was the music. This trailer is awesome. I hope the movie doesn't leave me with a bad case of the blue balls though because of my possibly unrealistic expectations due to the "legen...wait for it...dary" nature of the trailer.

The film is based on the Frank Miller graphic novel of the same name. You may remember Frank Miller from previous titles such as Sin City. The similarity in style between Sin City and 300 is readily apparent. I am definitely looking forward to the theatrical release.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Las Vegas Bowl Highlights

Quality highlights of the BYU vs Oregon Las Vegas Bowl 2006 became available today. After watching them, it reminded me of how nice it was to watch the entire game and not worry once about losing. I never felt that the outcome was in doubt. I will gladly take a "boring" blow-out victory over an emotional last-second victory any day.

Economics and the NBA

I love economics and I love sports. I love when economic principles are used to view sports in a new light. This is why I loved reading Moneyball even though I HATE baseball. I found it fascinating to see the application of the concepts of competitive advantage and market inefficiencies to the lamest sport in the world. It is for these same reasons I have been fascinated by the debate surrounding the latest offering of economics and sports - Wages of Wins. While I don't necessarily agree with the methods used by Dave Berri to arrive at his conclusions (his bias of playing the game the "right" way drives me nuts. I bet he has a life-sized poster of Larry Brown giving Red Auerbach a smooch above his bed and may or may not be suffering from vision loss), I do appreciate the way he challenges the established methods currently employed to assess the "worth" of NBA players.

The geniuses at published a must-read analysis of the book today. I highly recommend reading it to get a solid overview of what Wages of Wins is all about as well as a solid critique of the associated conclusions. Also, for a different perspective, check out Malcolm Gladwell's blog to read his article published in the New Yorker regarding The Wages of Wins.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Who needs Isotoners when you have Drew?

When this hit happened, I was in the midst of swallowing a swig of my Weinhard's Dark and it almost came out my nose when I flinched. When he went back to the ground and started crawling, I thought he was going to puke up a rib or two. Welcome to the NFL Playoffs Reggie.

Friday, January 12, 2007

It's an illusion Michael

This clip is the perfect example of why I love Arrested Development. The juxtaposition of emotions is perfect. It brings the characters to life and helps form an emotional bond between them and the viewers. This is also the key to the success of The Office. Using drama, as shown in the clip below, adds so much more depth to the characters and ultimately makes them more funny.

This same technique has also been subtly used to perfection by the writers of The Office with the development of Michael Scott. It also made me really happy to see this same technique being applied to Dwight K. Schrute in the episode last night. As Dwight's character gains depth he becomes more and more funny to me.

Welcome to the Terror Dome

Due to the increasing popularity and affordability of high-def home theater systems and emerging technologies such as Blu-Ray DVDs, video content via iTunes, and Apple TV, motion picture studios are faced with the challenge of how to approach the traditional release model which places the initial emphasis on the theatrical window. Especially when the price of a single movie ticket is often equal to or greater than the price of a "loss leader" DVD at Wal-Mart or Best Buy. Because of this changing landscape, many consumers prefer to watch the movie in the comfort of their own home rather than at the local megaplex. I am not one of those consumers.

One of the greatest joys I experience in life is being "sucked into" a story on the silver screen. Especially when the film is being projected in all its glory on the 32' x 86' screen in the Dome at the ArcLight Cinema.

The ArcLight puts all other theaters to shame from the moment you walk through the doors. When purchasing tickets, you choose which seat you would like to sit in which eliminates the hassle associated with finding a seat upon entering the theater only to find out that it is "being saved" by the Douche Bag on the other end of the row. Also, the seating arrangement is unique at the ArcLight in the sense that every seat INCLUDING the front row is the perfect seat with the perfect view. The center seat in the front row is arguably the best seat in the house. But wait, it gets even better. When walking to the screen you are greeted by a host of ushers whose only goal in life appears to be making one feel like a visiting dignitary. But wait, it gets even better. When visiting the concession stand you will be pleasantly surprised that the selection does not include the standard 4 week old hot dog and nasty nachos. Instead, the ArcLight offers a variety of quality options. My concession of choice is the amazing caramel corn. And for those who are inclined, each week, one of the theaters is designated as a 21 and older theater and alcoholic beverages are served. But wait, it gets even better. Upon entering the theater and finding your extra wide seat with extra leg room, you will notice that there are no annoying commercials blaring over the sound system. Instead, the curtain is drawn and there is a peaceful silence. Prior to starting the film, an actual person will come out and ask everybody to be sure to turn off their cell phones as well as give a brief intro to the film including a few pieces of trivia. And then the curtain is raised and the excitement begins.

The first time I saw Miami Vice was at the 3rd Street Promenade AMC two blocks from my apartment. I left in a bad mood because I was so upset that Michael Mann would spend that much money on making the movie look so good but then cut corners on the sound editing. Honestly, it sounded like crap. Come to find out, Michael Mann did not cut corners on the sound, the sound system in the AMC was just terrible. Thanks to my friend Peter who told me that one of his favorite parts of the movie was the incredible sound, especially during the climatic shoot-out, I decided to make a trip to the ArcLight and give it another chance. And I was not disappointed. My entire perception changed. The movie went from a solid effort to one of my favorite films of the year simply because it sounded so good. Thank you ArcLight for having the greatest sound system on earth.

So just to give a quick recap, The ArcLight equals the greatest place on Earth. You will be treated like royalty and enjoy a visual and audio spectacle that is unparalleled. Plus the caramel corn is amazing. So next time you are excited to see the latest blockbuster, I recommend taking the time to enjoy it in classy style at the ArcLight.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Burn Rubber Not Your Soul

Each day I receive a newsletter-ish email courtesy of Ernst & Young called the Daily Connection. Usually the email is pretty lame, but every once in a while there is something worth reading. Today, the Daily Connection provided a link to the website for Tesla Motors. Tesla Motors is our newest Strategic Growth Markets client in the Pacific Northwest Sub-Area and has raised $60 million from EY priority venture capital funds since its founding in July of 2002. Sounds kind of boring right? Who cares about start-ups in the Pacific Norhtwest?

Well the story is a little more interesting when you consider that Tesla Motors manufactures a car that goes from 0-60 MPH in 4 seconds. That is Morgan on his Triumph Daytona fast. But wait, it gets better. The car is 100% electric. Whaaaaat???? An electric car that is fast? There must be a catch. It's shaped like a tic-tac right? Well I have a newsflash for you Walter Cronkite. It isn't. The Tesla Roadster is hot. And when I say hot, I mean hot in the Angelina Jolie prowling around in nothing but a towel in Tomb Raider sense.

Who needs Al Gore to promote alternative fuel sources with his inconvenient truths when you have innovative technology with a sweet design like this? Why scare when you can seduce? The Tesla Roadster is my new sports car of choice. Not only does it look amazing, but it is eco-friendly AND I can ride in the HOV lane. Does it get any better than that? Come on.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Miami Vice - Long Beach Style

Over the last couple of years I have become quite enamored with the sport of sailing. On October 31st my interest increased exponentially after cruising the Long Beach Harbor aboard a sleek Hunter 49. I was able to help trim the sails, navigate, and I even had the opportunity to pilot the ship. The feeling of the sun on my shoulders coupled with the breeze in my face was quite exhilarating yet surprisingly therapeutic at the same time. At the close of the day I was literally jumping up and down with excitement. I attended a Halloween party later that night and could not stop talking about my experience. I must have told 20 people about my harrowing adventures with the Old Man in the Sea and each time the story became a little more grandiose. I definitely had a little Captain in me at the end of the day.

As the days passed, the excitement wore off and the memories began to fade. After many conversations with my friend Dan I began to develop an interest seaworthy powerboats and yachts. I watched a few superyachts shows on the Travel Channel and the Discovery Channel and my interest continued to grow. How cool would it be to hang out on my plush powerboat? I could motor around the harbor or sit on the deck and sip fruity drinks with little umbrellas. I could even have a sweet 4th of July party and watch the fireworks from my the comfort of my yacht. Plus, I think it would be easier to maintain and maneuver the powerboat as opposed to the sailboat. Theoretically, I could spend more time relaxing on the powerboat than I could on a sailboat.

On Saturday I had the chance to repeat the cruise of the Long Beach Harbor but this time aboard a luxury powerboat with a top speed of 52 mph. It was pretty sweet making sweeping turns through the harbor at 50 mph and jumping the wakes of passing freighters. When I had the chance to pilot the boat I totally felt like Sonny Crocket cruising to Havana to enjoy a nice mojto except without the mojito and the annoying woman who doesn't speak english very well and almost ruins the movie.

So after having tried the powerboat and the sailboat I think I have to say that the sailboat was much more exciting and much more relaxing. I felt much more adventuresome piloting the sailboat and much more in touch with my inner primitive-man. The act of harnassing the elements was more fulfilling. Also, I realized that there is fundamentally nothing I can do on the powerboat that I can't do on the sailboat. Also, it doesn't require 80 gallons of fuel at $3.50 per gallon to cruise the harbor for 3 hours in the sailboat.

The decision has been made. When I purchase a yacht, it will be a yacht with a sail. However, this by no means that I will ever pass up an opportunity to cruise around or hang out on a powerboat. I simply prefer the sailboat to the powerboat. No hard feelings powerboat?

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

The iPhone Has Landed

It's a wide screen iPod. Wait, it's a cell phone. No, it's an internet communicator. No it's the iPhone and I want it. However, I must admit that I was quite disappointed when I read that it only has 8 gigs of storage. Come on. How can I have all 3 seasons of Arrested Development at my finger tips with only 8 gigs of storage? However, I still want it. And I am totally infatuated with the touchscreen functions and the widescreen viewing capabilities. Plus, it is by far the most aesthetically pleasing smart phone I have seen. If Apple is good at one thing it is design. Now I just have to find $599.

The "Cover Flow" method of browsing your music library is sick. Watch the demo on the website to see what I am talking about. I think I may be in love.

**Update 2.0**
The iPhone has built in sensors that will automatically change the content of the display to landscape when you rotate it. Also, it will automatically turn off the display to conserve battery life when you raise the iPhone to your ear to talk. I no longer think I am in love. I know I am in love. My apologies to Kate Beckinsale, but she has just been replaced as the object of my desire.

Dining Like Brad Pitt

It has recently been brought to my attention that I have developed a reputation of being a connoisseur of fine dining in the City of Angels. So in an effort to live up to this reputation I thought that over the next couple of weeks I would share a few of my favorite restaurants in the LA area. I will leave it up to the reader to determine whether or not my reputation is deserved. Disclaimer: I don't really like The Valley so recommendations will not make reference to any location in The Valley. My apologies to Satan and his minions.

Mastro's Steakhouse: The Beverly Hills steakhouse of choice for the former couple of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. Before the oh so seductive Mrs. Smith showed up on the scene, Brad and Jennifer had permanent reservations for their favorite table. And it is easy to understand why. Every time I walk through the doors I feel like I might bump into Frank Sinatra or Sammy Davis Jr. When I have Eric Foreman-ish fantasies of being a member of the Rat Pack, I picture myself at Mastro's. The upstairs piano bar coupled with the dignified downstairs dining room provide the ultimate ambiance.

If I was being held captive by the Foreign Legion in Algeria I would request my last meal to be a bone-in-ribeye from Mastro's. I have eaten steak from many "high-end" steakhouses such as Outback.... that was a joke, I hope you laughed.... Morton's, Nick and Steph's, as well as Ruth's Chris and none of these even comes close. The flavor of the Mastro's steak is unbeatable. Plus it is served on a plate so hot that the steak is still cooking when it is served to you. One time, my plate even left a burn mark on the table cloth. Really, nothing else compares.

In addition to the bone-in-ribeye, I also recommend the crab-stuffed mushrooms for an appetizer and be sure to try the fresh-baked pretzel bread. If you are in a very decadent mood, I also recommend the lobster mashed potatoes. As far as desserts, you can't go wrong with anything on the menu. However, the strawberry shortcake, is surprisingly good.

Finally, good luck spending less than $70-$80 per person. If you decide to visit my food Mecca, I recommend being prepared to comfortably spend a sizable amount to fully enjoy the Mastro's experience.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Keith Paugh - EQ President

Keith Paugh. Naked. Farmer's Tan. What more can I say? Actually, there is a little more that I can say. This is Keith's first paid commercial. And it looks like it is a national spot. Congratulations Keith, it makes me happy to know that you didn't become almost famous by shilling for greasy hamburgers while pretending to talk like you had a mouth full of marbles.