Michael Jackson is Dead

UPDATE: Apparently Jacko died from food poisoning!

He ate some 12 year old nuts!

Alternate title for this article:

“Kids Across America Sleep Soundly Tonight”

michael-jackson-nose

The King of Pop died today.  Apparently, he had a troop of boy scouts over at the Neverland ranch, and it was just too much for his old heart to handle.  He was eating those kids like popcorn when the ticker just gave out.  I’m sure he died with a smile on his face, and a little eagle scout in his arms he exhaled his final “He Heeeeee!”

“Have you been up my wishing tree
Its where I come to think and dream,
and now I’d like to show you my wishing tree
where we can laugh and giggle and scream (He He),
imagination is the key, wont you imagine along with me,
we can be spacemen, or pirates on the sea,
yes we can do everything and i mean everything,
up in my wishing tree!”


My favorite Jacko Moment:

Link: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/06/26/2609021.htm?section=entertainment

I’m Dead

I’m Dead.  Ian Grist died on Monday, April 8, 2002.  I had a good run though!

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/ian-grist-729899.html

In private, he liked his Guinness, was grateful to have escaped with his life when a Jaguar wrecked his own car on the M4, read a good deal of science fiction and loved listening to music. He knew his own mind and, …was always a fount of shrewd common sense.

Cable TV and the home field advantage

I received an email today from Scott Rosner, who recently had his op-ed article published in the Union Tribune.  With permission, I am re-posting his article here, titled “Cable TV and the Home Field Advantage”.  A pretty interesting article considering I have AT&T and don’t get access to those sports channels.  (Not that I watch all that many sports…but still!)  Check it out:

Cable TV and the home field advantage

By Scott Rosner

2:00 a.m. June 21, 2009

If consumers in San Diego and Philadelphia wanted to watch their hometown baseball teams play against each other recently, they could not go to just any television carrier. Each city is facing a squeeze play by their local cable companies: Cox owns Channel 4 in San Diego and Comcast owns Sportsnet in Philadelphia.

Since the dominant cable companies own these regional sports networks, guess who decides whether to allow others, such as satellite providers, to offer local games to consumers? That’s right, Cox and Comcast. If you’re a sports fan in either city who wants – and maybe needs – to root for the home team (including the Comcast-owned Sixers and Flyers in Philadelphia), you’re largely beholden to the cable company.

There are four main ways to receive home video service in the United States: traditional over-the-air broadcast, cable, satellite and now over lines from new competitors such as AT&T and Verizon, who have invested billions in infrastructure and marketing. This kind of competition is good because it means lower prices, more innovation and better customer service. It translates into lower bills for consumers as well as an increasing number of HD and non-HD channels, better DVR technology and bundled service. Consumers win as a result of this highly competitive marketplace.

That is, unless you are a sports fan living in San Diego or Philadelphia. The 1992 Cable Act has program access requirements that promote competition and diversity in video programming. The law prevents cable companies from acting in an unfair or anti-competitive manner when selling the huge amount of cable channels and programming that they own. So why isn’t what is happening in San Diego and Philadelphia illegal? In fact, it would be except for a technicality. At the moment the Federal Communications Commission is reviewing the rule that allows this to occur – the “terrestrial loophole” in the federal Cable Act. By their own admission, cable companies are taking advantage of this outdated exception to program-access laws. The loophole makes the law applicable only to satellite-delivered programming and not to programs delivered via a terrestrial signal. It’s a technicality that serves no rational purpose. Using it, cable companies are able to prevent their chief competitors – currently AT&T and DirecTV/DISH in San Diego and DirecTV/DISH in Philadelphia – from accessing the coveted sports networks.

The FCC has provided evidence that cable operators are using this loophole to keep out competition: In a 2007 order, the FCC noted that “withholding of terrestrially delivered cable-affiliated programming is a significant concern that can adversely impact competition in the video distribution market.” It specifically addressed the situation in San Diego and Philadelphia, stating “there is empirical evidence that such withholding has had a material adverse impact on competition in the video distribution market.”

According to a national research firm, in Philadelphia people are 43 percent less likely to live in a home with satellite service than they are in the rest of the United States because of cable’s lock on the home teams. In other words, of the nearly 6 million residents of the Philadelphia Direct Market Area, an additional 772,000 would have satellite service rather than cable if the area matched the national patter. In San Diego, there are 41 percent fewer households subscribing to satellite service than one would expect based on the national average. This translates to nearly 281,000 households. That’s more than 1 million homes in the two cities combined. No wonder the cable companies are withhold their prime programming from satellite companies.

Cable companies argue that because satellite providers such as DirecTV have exclusive programming of their own, such as the NFL Sunday Ticket package, this home-team monopoly is justified. However, the NFL Sunday Ticket, and sports packages like it, provide access to games played outside the home team’s territory. Unless a carrier has access to the home team, potential competitors simply can’t compete and local fans are forced into a “take it or leave it” deal with their cable company.

The loophole leaves fans perpetually stuck in the 1980s when they had little choice beyond over-the-air broadcasts or cable. The FCC should close this loophole in the law and make a serious statement about competition and consumer protection. Cable companies should not have the home field advantage over sports fans.

Rosner is associate director of the Wharton Sports Business Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania. He may be reached at srosner@wharton.upenn.edu .

Evan and Ian Sell a Truck, Hilarity Ensues

TrucknBoatWe put our ’04 F150 extended cab long bed up for sale since its just way too long with the boat and our driveway.  We are selling it to get another truck with just a regular size bed that will have a better turning radius.  The response off CL has been insane, so many people want this truck…apparently long beds are hard to come by.  We weren’t exactly ready to get rid of the truck immediately since we still needed it to move some equipment and take the boat out to the lake on sunday.  Some guy had cash and wanted it NOW, Evan told him that it wouldn’t be available until monday, so he emailed Evan this morning with a poorly spelled but nonetheless hilarious message:

Evan:

Looks lije you don’t want to sell your truck……

I don’t recall ever, when i was selling a car, having the customer with the cash at hand, and playing hardball like a god dam’n moron with my hand out… waiting to get paid !!!!!

Sounds like an idiot’s scam…..

to which Evan replied:

Hi Martin,

Thanks for the great email.
I apologize, I left my phone at work yesterday, and did not have it with me last night at all.
I saw the missed calls from you, and just got your message.
I was about to call you back, explain what happened, and see if you wanted to pick the truck up this weekend, but I decided to check my email first.

Thanks to your email, I’ll pass on that.
Surprisingly, at the low price I had the truck posted, you’re not the only one that called on it. You were next in line to look at it, but I don’t appreciate getting this kind of message at 8:30 in the morning.
Thanks, but I’ll just call the next person, the truck will be sold this weekend.

I’m no scammer, and this is no scam, I’m selling a nice truck for a killer price, just not to you.

Evan

EDIT – THE GUY WROTE BACK:

I am very sorry for that mail Evan, I was drunk and angry, because some guy on craigslist send me a check on the mail wich was a fraud, and yesterday I had the money in my pocket all day to buy your truck. So again my apologies for hat email.

HAHAHAHAHahahahhaHAHaHaHaHahahaaha~!!!  Classic!

Pics from Dying To Wake at U31 Last Night

We played our first show at U31 in Northpark last night, and rocked the fuck out of the place!  We drew a pretty decent size crowd, and got a bit of a mosh pit going halfway through our set.  Although at the end of it someone fell into the stage, knocking the power plug out of Bo’s pedal board, thereby unplugging his guitar and we finished the last song sans lead guitar. haha

We got great feedback from the people there, and the promoter was stoked on us and already booked us at the Ken Club on July 9th.  We’re playing tomorrow night at JT’s too – so be sure to come and check that out!  Some chick was videotaping the entire thing…I don’t know who she is or how to find her, but I’d like to get a copy of it somehow.

Check out some pics:

The W is Closing Downtown

thewThe W Is closing! What was once the hottest hotel downtown just can’t compete anymore with the shitty economy and the stiff competition of the new hotels like the Hard Rock and the Ivy.  My buddy told me this at work today, and I had to look it up on SignOnSanDiego.com to be sure, and yep – its gone!

Their sandbar up on the roof was pretty sweet.  Sucks to see it go, but I know all of these hotels are hurting (although you wouldn’t know it from our party at the Ivy last week for Pete’s birthday with an $1800 tab for Bottle Service!).  I know from my friends that work at the Ivy that they are hurting too – both of them received a 10% pay cut, a bunch of people were let go, and some other people in management demoted.  Sucks to see this kind of stuff happen!

Check out the article about the W here:

http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/jun/09/competition-declining-occupancy-add-propertys-woes/?uniontrib