Lt. Governer, I choose you!

Whelp, it’s the second week of November which means I can finally start considering the waves of campaign signs that have infested my world for the last two months as what they really are:

Red white and blue litter.

I don’t mean to sound anti-elections. I love elections. I just hate election time.

I think every two years (even though it turns out we have elections every year. Who knew?) everyone other the age of eighteen (and especially those over 60) goes election stupid.

We chose sides, we wear obnoxious buttons, we even stand in the street and yell at each other like shopkeepers in a country only Indiana Jones would visit.

And the voter guilt. Heaven forbid you decide your not informed enough to make a proper decision and decide to stay home. You, sir, are the scum of the earth. You don’t deserve to live in this great country where every man and woman has the right to let their voice be heard!

Now get your butt down to the grade school and vote for who I tell you to vote for

Fortunately I did vote this year. In fact for the first time I voted by mail a couple days before the election. It was nice, I got all the joys of looking down on people who didn’t vote with out all that hassle of actually going some where and smelling old people.

There is a downside to voting by mail -- two actually if you count the fact that filling in bubbles on a sheet of paper still gives me an stress headache. Since I voted days prior, late at night when I should have been playing Starcraft 2, I don’t actually remember who I voted for in several races. And now that results are in, I’m not sure if I should be happy or not.

I’m also not sure how I should feel about knowing who a voted for. On the one hand, I know that I’m not one of those stupid, straight-party ticket voters (more on this later). On the other though, I can not, with 100% assureity, say that I didn’t not just trust the future of my state to eenie-meenie-miney-mo.

Plus this doesn’t exactly speak volumes for my ability to do the basic things required by adulthood. I’m not going to read too much into it. I know I’m smart. I can program complex software, understand most episodes of Nova and perform 6 hit combos in Street Fighter 4. Who I voted for just happens to be one of those things I can’t remember, like where I put my keys or that the end of the first Matrix is actually really dumb.

In fact this may through into doubt whether or not I should be trusted with the responsibility to even vote at all.

Maybe I’m not...maybe the country is like my little league baseball team and would have been better off if I had just stayed home.

Nah, I voted. And according to all the celebrities, that’s all that matters.

I promised I say something about straight ticket voters. I don’t mean to speak ill of people who want to save themselves the labor of filling out 12 bubbles, but I’m just against it in principle.

I just can’t understand having so much faith in a political party that you will vote for them regardless of who the individual candidate is. I mean, I love the New York Yankees, but if the kid who used to pants me at the bus stop stepped up to the plate in pinstripes, you better believe I’m hoping he takes a bean-ball to the crotch.

It’s the same thing with parties. You can vote for each candidate from a party if you want, but be sure to vote for each candidate from the party. It’s just a matter of principle.

Principle. The same reason I always write in Jean-Luc Picard in one unopposed race every year. Principle.

Geek On.

Holy crap it feels good to type that again.

Steve Shinney is happy he voted, happy he wrote, and happy that eggnog is back in the stores. Comments below make him happy too.

Here we are again

Watching the US vs Ghana game on Saturday was a familiar feeling. Not a warm fuzzy familiar feeling like well-warn shoes or a hug from your grandma. It was more like the familiar sting of dentist drill. Gnawing, grating and painful, but at least all the waiting is over.

Normally I hate people who look down on people who are new to there chosen hobby. I think it's elitist and counter-productive to mock the people you should be welcoming into the family of the fandom.

But as elitist and counter-productive as it is, I can't help but think a lot of the reaction from newer US soccer "fans" is down right pants-on-backwards stupid. There is a real sense of anger among some of these people. They feel the team is nothing but a bunch of "posers" who have let them down personally.

These people who obviously weren't watching back in 1998 when these United States took butt last in the tournament and were flat out told by the world that we didn't belong there. When some one says America let them down after their first time ever winning their group, I want to scream, I want to yell, I want to point back in time and demand to know where they were when we were picking up the pieces of 2006 saying "Well, at least we did OK against Italy" (and we really didn't).

Now am I upset that the American's aren't going to the quarter finals? Of course, that second goal 5 minutes into extra time stung like a soccer ball to the gut when playing on the "skins" team. I was devastated that they lost. It was a winnable game, and after watching so many unwinnable ones, I was distraught to see this one slip away.

The difference is that I knew full well at some point between June and July 2010, team USA was going to break my heart and I was going to enjoy every minute of the ride until then. It's like if the head cheerleader decides to "go out" with you as part of a horrible joke, but you go along with it for the free make outs.

People new to cheering for the red, white and blue aren't used to the fact that rooting for the Yanks is like being a Milwaukee Brewers fan. You know you're not going to win, you just hope the team makes a good show on the way.

And did they ever give us a good show!

The luckiest shot in the history of the game.

A come back from down 2 only to have the go ahead goal taken away in a hair pulling example of what makes this game so awesome.

And finally, a stoppage time goal to lift the team from elimination to the round of 16.

The Mighty Ducks would never have such a script because no one would believe it. And I don't know if my heart could handle the US going all the way to the final game and this rate.

It was a heck of a ride and I enjoy (almost) every minute of it.

And so, I say to Team USA, thank you.

Thank you for playing your hearts out.

Thank you for showing the world what American grit is all about.

Thank you for winning your group.

Thank you for proving that Americans can play soccer and play it well.

Thank you for never giving up, and I promise I'll never give up on you.

Next time though, trying to have some semblance of defense for the first 15 minutes of the game. Thanks.

Besides, now that my team is out, I don't have to worry about a single other game. I can just watch the highest possible level of the beautiful game and enjoy each game for the event that it is.

That's the real thing for me, I may be a US soccer fan, but I'm a soccer fan first. I want to see America do well, but when they don't, so long as I can watch some one else do well (in a completely separate match mind you) I really am ok. I wish the World Cup would never end. I wish every day of the year I could turn on the TV (in America) and see world class soccer. I can't though. That will not be happening any time soon. So for the one month out of 48 when it does happen, I don't have time to be pissed off for very long.

I've got too much great soccer to watch.

Steve Shinney is a huge Soccer fan. He hopes to get back to the business of this blog soon. Comments can be left below.

Whenever my son counts I hear lightning, is that normal

Father's Note: I started this column when Grant was only two weeks old and I was super sleep deprived and still more than a little freaking out about the whole being a daddy thing. This whole mind set kept me from ever really sitting down and finishing this piece or any other for that matter. Now things have calmed down enough that I want to start writing again. Unfortunately, I'm now such an awesome father that no one would believe a lot of the stuff I had planned. This piece for example no longer makes sense now that I've been taking care of the the kid for 4 months. Still there are some days when he really is a monster.

My baby is a vampire.

I don't know why no one has noticed this before but he is definitely a frickin' vampire.

I'm not sure if all newborns are Nosferatu or just mine is but there is no way around it: He only sleep during the day. He terrorize innocent people at night. He get all their nourishment from sucking fluids out of another living human being.

I can't be the only one to connect all these dots.

So I have a tiny little vampire bundled up in small wooden box in my room. What am I supposed to do?

The day I became a registered Libertarian, I sworn to battle the undead wherever I encounter them, not wrap them up in little puppy dog blankets and sing to them about rainbows and rubber duckies.

And yet, this vampire is just so cute.

Every time I get the crosses out and sharpen all of my stakes I look at him there, snuggled up like the world's cuddliest prince of darkness and my heart just melts.

It's a real conflict of interest for me. I'm sure you can understand.

Babies hate it when you rub garlic on their faces.

So here I am, trying to come up with a plan. I can destroy my own flesh and blood, totally piss off my wife and be forever know as that guy who dropped his infant into the Holy Water fountain at the local cathedral or I could create an elaborate plan where I raise this vampire as my own son so that I can one day turn him against his own kind.

I've decided to go with number two because this way I get to play with a baby, which is always fun.

Babies can't go out in the sun or they'll sparkle.

So now that I have a plan of action, I need to figure how to go about doing it. You can't just start something like this by making stake-hurling crossbows and bullets infused with sunlight in your garage.

I need to contain the child and keep him under control. I've gotten his crib treated with salt and made a crucifix mobile.

I'm looking into a way to surround the nursery with running water and I never go in there without a mirror. It's a small start, but I figure by the time he's four he should be stronger than a pro football player and able to turn into a bat. I figure that's we can start training.

Babies can make women do whatever they want just by looking at them.

So that's father hood for me so far. I'm looking forward to receiving my first father's day gift: The severed head a vampire clan leader.

Babies look really good in a tuxedo.

Geek on.

Steve Shinney is a little bit disappointed his first born was a vampire. He was really hoping for a werewolf or a matador. It could be worse, he could have been a girl. Comments and vampire raising suggestions can and should be left below.

Premptive Critic: When in Rome

When in Rome, you should do as the Romans.

When in a (Rome)mantic comedy, you should do as the idiots.

When in a (Rome)mantic comedy, main characters must be very attractive, have incredibly cool jobs and not smell like a combination of old meat and butt. Yet they still remain hopelessly single and clueless about how all the ugly schlubs with regular jobs and a slight rump odor manage to hook up all the time.

Let's be serious, this is Kristen Bell we're talking about, with the way she rocks that blue dress in the wedding scene in the trailer, I'm not buying the “I haven't found anyone yet” story.

Wait, I think I've done this Preemptive before. Several times.

Let's get back to the when in Rome part of things. Just are when you are in Rome there are certain things you should do (see The Coliseum, eat fresh gelato, get yelled at by an old woman), there are some things that you should not do.

And at number two on this list is don't go into the ancient fountain while wearing a blue dress you rock so well do dig around for the European equivalent of 37 cents.

“Don't go into the wishing fountain for the money. It's rude and dirty.”

Those are seriously the first words I remember my mom ever saying to me.

Wasn't this woman every four?

And yet through this act that was the worst breech of cultural courtesy since President Bush barfed on that Japanese dude, we get our plot.

That's right, despite being in a (Rome)mantic comedy, this movie has conflict that is not entirely based around two people simply misunderstanding each over and being too attractive to sit down and talk about it. No, violating the local wisdom of Western Society's oldest city will bring a crap storm of (supposed) hilarity that no last minute run through the airport can solve.

Apparently, to undo this kind of bad mojo, you have to drive a mini into an elevator with Danny Devito.

I preemptively love this movie.

I'm serious, blue dress.

Premptive Critic: The Spy Nextdoor

“Secret Agent Bob Ho (Jacky Chan) is about to face his most difficult mission ever.”

Please don't be kids please don't be kids.



Seriously Jackie, what happened to you? You were second coolest celebrity (after Jenny McArthy) of the whole 90s. Now look at you.

Don't get me wrong. I idolize you (literally, I have a gold statue of you that if anyone takes a boulder in the shape of Mr. T's fist will come done and crush them) but you have lost the plot?

You keep making this feel-good, family movies and I'll tell you, my family does not feel good.

Do you even remember that scene in “First Strike” with the ladder? That was you man. That was you making the entire United States of America crap its collective pants.

That's how cool you used to be.

Look at you now in this one. The only people crapping their pants are your co-stars.

Ok, I'll admit. I'm being a little hard on you Jackie. It seems no matter what film you end up being in, you give it 100 percent and make some of the worse premises into truly enjoyable experiences and I'm sure you'll do the same here.

I'm just wistful for a long gone time, I guess.

A time where the only movies you stared in featured either beating people up with chairs or two misfits from different worlds overcoming their cultural differences to beat people up with chairs.

I guess I'll have to face facts that those days are gone just like dollar-a-gallon gas, grunge music and Jackie Chan movies where the most threatening looking person from the trailer didn't look like he belongs in a Avril Lavigne video.


I preemptively hate this movie, but I know I'll love it later.

Oh and if you're really reading this Mr. Chan, I'm still pissed about the last ten minutes of “The Myth.”

Premptive Critic: DayBreakers

Well it was bound to happen. These days you can't go into a Hot Topic and swing a stick without hitting some kind of new-age, gothy vampire merchandise. This new, brooding brood of the undead are big money these days.

Now, I'm not going to get into how dumb the emo vampire thing is. Lets just say I'm against anything that makes vampires good looking.

They can't use mirrors people, vampires constantly have stuff in their teeth.


Fortunately, for us DayTrippers is not trying to cash in on current preteen girls vampire crush fad. It seems that somebody finally took a lot at their 12-year-old daughter's closest and asked them selves “Wait weren't vampires suppose to be monsters?”

Unfortunately for DayCampers, the only people not sick of vampires are preteen girls with vampire crushes.

I don't want to get anywhere near any movie where I may hear misplaced squealing.

However the biggest problem that I have with Day Dream Believers is that the plot is waaaaaaay to convoluted to be creditable.

You expect me to believe that vampires could defeat mankind (which includes me remember) even though they can't go out at night or eat at Olive Garden.

And then you expect me to believe that they able to form an international corporation whose soul purpose is to round people up, keep them alive and use them for their own benefit like cattle, all the while never coming across two perpendicular pieces of wood?

Seriously, why don't vampires just drink cows blood? They're way cheaper to raise and they can't make holy water.

This whole plan is way more work that they would need.

Think about it. There are millions of young women out there who would give anything to stare into the eyes of a sparkly bloodsucker.

There are millions of young men out there who will let complete strangers take a considerable amount of blood for nothing more than a couple cookies.

Vampires, if you're out there, her's what you do. Make yourself all shiney. Let girls look at you in exchange for cookies. Then turn around and trade those cookies to college-aged guys for blood.

So basically, for the price of some glitter paint, they vampires can eat all they want, not upset anyone and not have to invade any towns in Alaska.

It's a win-win.

The movie, however, lose-lose.

I pre-emptively hate this movie.

Because it sucks.

Get it? Sucks. Because of the vampires? Never mind.