Thursday, March 01, 2007

Congrats, Cinnaminson (N.J.) boys basketball...and Mike Fries

Junior T.J. DiLeo scored a game-high 26 points to lead the Cinnaminson High School boys basketball team to a 69-63 home win over A.P. Schalick in a South Jersey Group 2 quarterfinal playoff game.

Head coach Mike Fries* had his team focus on taking care of the basketball in preparation for the contest. "We practiced the last three days on our passing, not turning the ball over and making crisp, hard passes, and it worked," said Fries.

Worked indeed. The Pirates turned the ball over just three times in the second half.

Cinnaminson, the No. 4 seed, will travel to top-seeded Collingswood on Friday for a South Jersey Group 2 semifinal matchup. Collingswood cruised past No. 9 seed Pleasantville, 84-62, in another South Jersey Group 2 quarterfinal contest played Wednesday night.

Let's go Cinnaminson!

(BK note: Mike Fries is among my circle of friends from my days at Rider.)

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Monday, February 26, 2007

YouTube: An intelligent commentary on the Phillies' Pat Burrell

As a Phillies fan, I am often embarrassed by the "baseball stupidity" of those who root for the Phillies with me. They boo people based on reputation and stories put out there by equally idiotic media types and the cosmically idiotic Dallas Green, instead of actually looking at stats and seeing how productive players actually are.

Philly has a tendency to cheer for the guy with the bloody face and dirty uniform...even though he is batting .240 and has a lower on-base percentage than I do. I actually heard a guy sitting a couple of seats away from me at Citizens Bank Park say, "I love Tomas Perez. I hope the Phillies never get rid of him."

Now, Tomas Perez sucked...but fans loved him because he would throw shaving cream pies in the faces of his teammates after exciting wins. Ugh.

Anyway, here is a great video that actually offers a intelligent, statistics-based argument why current Phillies left fielder Pat Burrell is undeserving of much of the criticism dumped on him over the past couple of years, but especially as of late.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ads Gone Wild: More antics in Boston

Well, I already posted my opinions on the city of Boston's overreaction to the Aqua Teen Hunger Force guerrilla marketing campaign that led to the city practically shutting down a few weeks ago.

However, a new advertising tactic has again agitated Boston officials.
BOSTON (AP) - Less than a month after highways and bridges were shut down during a bomb scare touched off by an advertising stunt, a new marketing scheme has led angry city officials to shut down a historic site.

A clue in a Dr Pepper promotion suggested a coin that might be worth as much as $1 million was buried in the 347-year-old Granary Burying Ground, the final resting place of John Hancock, Paul Revere, Samuel Adams and other historic figures.

After contestants showed up at the cemetery gates early Tuesday, the city closed it, concerned that it would be damaged by treasure hunters.

"It absolutely is disrespectful," Boston Parks Commissioner Toni Pollak told The Boston Globe. "It's an affront to the people who are buried there, our nation's ancestors."

OK...I have to side with Boston in this case.

Cadbury Schweppes PLC, the makers of Dr. Pepper soda, should have known better than to hide a valuable coin in a cemetery, especially one serving as the burial site to some of the founding forefathers of the United States. The company should have worked with City Hall on this one.

That being said, I also think Turner Networks/Adult Swim should have informed the cities involved in the Aqua Teen campaign of the plan before implementing it. However, I still say Boston overreacted to that one.

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Artist to Watch: Illinois (the band)

I was trying to catch up on my reading about bands featured on WXPN's My Morning Download and came across a band from Bucks County, Pa., strangely named Illinois. Yep, the band took the name of a state.

Because of my ties to the Bucks County area, I decided to check them out...and you know what? They're pretty good.

Illinois consists of:

Chris Archibald-guitar,keys,banjo,vocals
Martin Hoeger-bass,backing vocals
Dru Lee-guitar,keys,backing vocals
JohnPaul Kuyper-drums

The band is on Ace Fu Records and has an EP scheduled for release March 6, 2007.

Here's an MP3 sample: "Alone Again" by Illinois

Also: Illinois on MySpace

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Remember Apple's "Think Different" campaign?

Apple used an advertising slogan of "Think Different" back in the late 1990s...and it actually still pops up from time to time. However, as a fan of the company and its products, I must admit that Apple has never really been thinking different(ly). It would be more apt to say, "Think Cool."

Apple just does things in a cooler fashion than the rest of the industry. The products are great, but they don't really produce anything that is so different than what's already out there. The genius lies in CEO Steve Jobs' "Barnumesque" showmanship skills, clever marketing strategies, and a brilliant design team. why am I bringing all this up? Well, about a year before the "Think Different" campaign started, the first issue of MacAddict magazine showed up in 1996 with this graphic (source:

(Click on image for larger version)

HEY! That looks an awful lot like:

(Click on image for larger version)'s not about thinking different(ly)'s all about making things look cool.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Britney goes for alien look

OK...this is scary.

And I don't mean that picture of the newly bald Britney Spears...although that is pretty scary looking.

What I find scary is that a few weeks back, there were all sorts of media reports going around that Russell T. Davies, the executive producer of my favorite TV show, "Doctor Who," wanted Spears to appear in "Doctor Who" as a group of sex-crazed aliens cloned to look like her.

I dismissed the stories as, what the Brits would say, rubbish. However, looking at these pics of a bald Britney Spears, I am scared that she might be getting ready for that "Doctor Who" role after all.

Now, THAT would be scary.

I usually love all episodes of "Doctor Who," no matter how weak they might be. But I would have to say any "Doctor Who" story featuring Britney would be, as The Simpsons' Comic Book Guy would say:

Worst. Episode. Ever.


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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy (Pythonesque) Valentine's Day!

This is the best Valentine's Day I have ever had. First of all, I have somebody with whom I can spend Valentine's Day...and pitchers and catchers report to spring training! How much better can a day get?

Anyway, since it's Valentine's Day, I thought I would post this YouTube video featuring the romance of "Wuthering Heights" combined wiht the comic genius of Monty Python...this sketch is one of my favorites.

The Semaphore Version of Wuthering Heights

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

RIP Dave "MVPsoft" Snyder

As you probably know, I am a huge Phillies fan. I also consider myself relatively intelligent and, of course, I'm an Internet geek.

That's why one of my favorite Web sites is, which features the Renegade Phan Phorum. The Phorum has some of the most intelligent baseball--and non-baseball--conversation around and exists at the opposite end of the spectrum from Philly's so-called sports radio station, 610 WIP-AM.

I haven't posted too often on, but I read it a lot because there are many conversations about sports, news, politics and even religion. was started several years ago by a Philly-area transplant named Dave Snyder, who was the owner of MVP Software in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Before tonight, that sentence would have read "...Dave Snyder, who is the owner..."

I went to check the site earlier this evening to see if anything was going on and saw this thread title:

Is MVPSoft OK?

Now, MVPsoft is...was...Dave's screen name. The thread's initial poster went on to say he saw on another message board that Dave had been killed in a car accident today (as it turned out, the poster had been on a Rutgers message board where Dave's cousin, whose son recently signed to play college football at Dave's alma mater, Rutgers, broke the sad news). Since there had been no comments about it on the board Dave created, that first poster figured there was nothing to it.

But soon links started appearing on Michigan news sites that confirmed the worst...

I-196 clear after fatal accident

One Man Dies in I-196 Accident

So, yeah, my only connection to this man was that he created a Web site that has become a big part of my daily routine. Yet, it still feels like I have been punched in the gut.

He gave intelligent Phillies fans a place to go and get away from the idiotic rhetoric written in the Philly newspapers and being talked about on WIP.

At least I know I'm not the only one who feels like this.

The reason for this outpouring of emotion is because when Major League Baseball Advanced Media first took over the Web sites for every MLB team a few years ago and completely messed up the fan communitiy the old site had built, Dave stepped up to host a Phillies message board that would foster intelligent conversation based on analysis and thought...not one that would allow trolling and name-calling. Through the years, evolved into one of the best online communities around.

However, there were several dust-ups that led to many popular posters being banned by Dave for breaking his rules one too many times. But those dust-ups would lead to the creation of new Phan communities, and, which are now called home by former and current members. In fact, it was just this past December when Dave pulled the plug on the Phorum for a few days after a thread went out of control and he contemplated shutting it down for good. However, he was convinced by the members to bring it back under new registration and posting rules.

So even though many members had battles with Dave at one time or another, one thing is certain: He was a man of principle devoted to his family and the Phillies. And a huge number of Phans "met" through the community he built.

You will be missed, MVPsoft.

UPDATE (2/11/07): I have just read that, in a strange twist of fate, it was exactly six years ago today that Dave launched the Renegade Phan Phorum at


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