Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tis the Season

This past weekend,for the Thanksgiving Day Holiday, we had some family to the house. It was a good time had by all, as the emotional transition from Autumn to the Christmas Season took hold. Per tradition, on Black Friday night, we popped in Chevy Chase's National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. Everybody loves this flick and it really gets the engines turned on for the December run up.

But this year something I simply can't believe happened. One of Lou's "Canadian" cousins, Cousin Jim, he refs high school basketball and soccer, told us he had NEVER seen National Lampoons X Mas Vacation. What?! A grown man? He wanted to go downstairs and watch NCAA b-ball, but we made him watch the movie instead.

After 20 minutes he got up and walked away, saying it was stupid and he hated it. What?! We made him come back and watch when Cousin Eddie shows up, because everybody knows that Cousin Eddie is super funny. I mean, come on, everybody knows that. But guess what? Cousin Jim hated Cousin Eddie. "Save the neck for me, Clark." Nothing? I give up. Have you ever met someone who has NOT seen National Lampoons? Have you ever met someone who HATED National Lampoons?

Of course this got me thinking about the greatest X Mas movies ever. I hate You'll shoot your eye out, and Miracle on 34th Street, and It's a Wonderful Life. Let me quote Tony Soprano on this last movie, "Enough already."

For what it's worth, this is the list of my 10 Favorite X Mas Movies.

10. Four Christmases
9. Elf
8. Home Alone 2
7. Santa Claus the Movie (Not Tim Allen. Dudley Moore)
6. Trading Places
5. Scrooged
4. The Family Man
3. Home Alone
2. Bad Santa
1. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

So in closing I leave you with a Christmas Song: I pledge allegiance to the flag . . .

Brian Huba

Monday, November 21, 2011

20 'Great' Songs I Always Turn Off

The following is a list of 20 songs that are considered historically great and/or popular. Billboard #1 Hits, One-Hit Wonders, Signature Songs, I-Pod mainstays, etc. The music buffs may call them classics, I say when they come on the radio, or the Satellite, or Pandora, I turn them off so fast, there's smoke on the dial.

20. Turn the Page by Bob Seger

19. American Woman by the Guess Who

18. We Will Rock You/We are the Champions by Queen

17. Foxy Lady by Jimi Hendrix

16. Brown Eyed Girl by Van 'the Man' Morrison

15. Paradise City by Guns N’ Roses

14. Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones

13. Life is a Highway by Tom Cochrane

12. No Scrubs by TLC

11. American Pie by Don McLean

10. Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC

9. Layla (acoustic) by Eric Clapton

8. Only the Good Die Young by Billy Joel

7. Lose Yourself by Eminem

6. In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins

5. More Than a Feeling by Boston

4. Barracuda by Heart

3. Walk This Way by Aerosmith/Run DMC

2. Start Me Up by the Rolling Stones

And finally, the ‘Great’ song I turn off so fast, there’s smoke on the dial. I’ll give you a hint. When Ronnie Van Zant says ‘Turn it up’ that’s my cue to turn it off.

1.Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Brian Huba

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tom Petty = A True Great

So, last night I am sitting at the counter, listening to Pandora Radio. I don’t really notice it until I am about to turn the page…. red freckles down the right side of the paper. It is of course Tom Petty’s fault. In my opinion, every one of his songs has a great beat and immediately lifts your mood; tranquility.

At this point I decided to indulge myself in a little of my own research. Tom Petty, now 61, was born in Gainesville, Florida. When he was only 17, he dropped out of high school to join the band, Mudcrutch. By 1975, when Petty was 25, the band had split up, but fortunately he met guitarist Mike Campbell, bassist Ron Blair, drummer Stan Lynch, and keyboardist Benmont Tench, a.k.a, “The Heartbreakers.” With the band, he achieved ultimate success and a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7018 Hollywood Boulevard. Think “American Girl” and “Refugee.” In 1988, Petty joined his fellow music greats, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, and Jeff Lynn to form “The Traveling Wilburys.” According to, “this Wilbury environment [was] where five stars could enjoy an ego-free collaboration. Everybody sang, everybody wrote, everybody produced - and had great fun doing so.” They made great music, “End of the Line” and “Handle with Care” obviously take the cake from the Wilburys. I honestly cannot pick a favorite from the Hearbreakers though….

I grew up in a small town, where the air reeks of cow manure on hot, summer days and radio stations play English music but speak in French. If you heard a new hit, we finally heard it three months later. However, Petty always played on those stations and I grew up listening to his music. He always stayed with me through the times that I actually liked the Chili Peppers or when I thought “Oops I Did It Again” rocked. One thing is clear, I never wavered on liking his music. These are the types of artists who will always be remembered. I mean, a few years ago in 2006 when we still had pro basketball in this country, he even played the opening music for the NBA Playoffs; “Running Down a Dream.”

So I guess my whole point is this: Go to your Pandora account and create a “Tom Petty” station. You will not be disappointed, believe me. Last night I heard Dire Straits, the Grateful Dead, and Bob Seger on it…. They aren’t too bad either.

In closing I leave you with these words:

Well it's all right, even when push comes to shove
Well it's all right, if you got someone to love
Well it's all right, everything’ll work out fine
Well it's all right, were going to the end of the line.

Watch End of the Line:

Canadian Lou

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Another Mother Gem

Did anybody see how good HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER was on Monday night 11/14/11? It was incredible on every level, again. The scene where Robin shakes Barney off in the bar after they agreed to be together . . . the second that would last forever in Barney's memory. Oh man, it was awesome. I mean, come on, people, it's brilliant sitcom writing and acting. And the tick, tick, tick time motif. What can I say? Another Mother Gem.

Uhhh!!!!! Why doesn't this sitcom get more respect than this? Why!!!!

That lowbrow beating of dumb one liners, TWO & A HALF MEN, gets 25 million viewers a week?! Why?! It's awful. And HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER is on right before it, same channel, same night, and gets half that many people tuning in every week. God Almighty. Sometimes I just don't get this country's Larry the Cable Guy comedic sensibilities.

Watch the episode:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Penn State of Mind

What allegedly happened at Penn State in ’98 and ’02 is the definition of disgusting. Any crime committed against children cannot be tolerated. And the man who allegedly committed these atrocities is going to pay the price, believe me. His name is Jerry Sandusky. He is a former defensive coach with the college’s football team. He is a very sick man who will never see the light of day again.

This scandal has brought the abrupt and shameful end to Head Coach Joe Paterno’s 61-year run with the team. And the school’s president was booted out just as fast. I'm fine with that. As for the assistant coach (McQueary) who saw Sandusky in the shower with a child in ’02, he's been put on leave, under the threat of death. Keep in mind, Paterno and this assistant coach did nothing 'legally' wrong. Morally, yes, that can be debated, but they are not the executioners of these crimes. Remember that.

Which leads me to my first problem with the Penn State story.

Paterno should’ve been out 15-20 years ago. It's the school's fault for letting an old man play the part of Head Coach for so long. In fact, it's now the school's fault Paterno has to face this humiliation and the media blitz of this legacy-ruining event on the brink of senility. An 84-yr-old man cannot run a major football program. Imagine what you would get away with at work if your direct boss had been born during the Depression. We know what they were getting away with at Penn State. Don’t try telling me that a man who doesn’t wear a headset on the sidelines is doing any real coaching. He doesn’t even stand on the sidelines. He sits upstairs in the press box. Translation: He’s a figure head. Should’ve been gone 15-20 years ago, but he wasn't ready yet. Get real.

That’s what happens when you build statues for people, compare them to Gods in little places like Happy Valley. When this assistant coach saw Sandusky in the shower in '02, he didn’t go to the police, he went to God. And in Happy Valley God is an old man named Joe Pa, who hasn't actually coached a lick since '94, and shouldn've been asked to handle that then as 'Boss.'

For those who think Paterno, the local DA, and Penn State powers were covering up what was happening, protecting Jerry Sandusky, you are insane. There is no way anyone would risk the reputation of the school, the standing of a football program, and their own backsides, to cover up for an assistant coach. If Paterno knew what was happening when Sandusky was still on his staff, he would’ve put the professional and legal bullet in Sandusky himself. But guess what? Paterno didn't know because he was 75 years old, and the boss of Penn State Football the same way Uncle Junior was 'the boss' of the Soprano Family. Paterno found out way later, for the first time, after Sandusky was retired from the team. Then JoePa reported it to his superiors the same way it was reported to him. Legally, right. Morally, not enough. We get that. Same thing goes for the assistant coach that reported it to Paterno. The next day, Sandusky was kicked off Penn State’s campus, forever, the same way he was kicked out of his children’s charity when the allegations made it there.

Which leads me to my second problem with the Penn State story.

How much more false outrage do we have to endure through media mediums? There is no half-sane person who DOESN’T get why this is horrible. A bomb threat on game day? Good God. There were actually people who freaked out when Ashton Kutcher Tweeted that he was mad that Paterno was fired. So of course he had to issue a Tweeted rebuttal and blame the original Tweet on being in a ‘bubble’ with work and rescuing his marriage.

Some outlets called for the ending of the current football season. First of all there’s way too much money involved in doing that. Money rules. Don’t believe me? Turn on ESPN right now. Second, does anybody get the fact that every current Penn State player and student was like 8 years old when this happened, nowhere near Happy Valley? Why should they be punished and told their season's finished? As for the students themselves, one day they are rioting, flipping cars and trashing city streets for JoePa. The next day three coeds are crying their eyes out for the 'children,' on camera of course. Are we really supposed to believe any of these reactions from people who were in elementary school when this happened? It’s all starting to come off kind of false.

What do I mean by that? For example, did Matt Millen, who went to Penn State 25 years ago, and now covers college football for ESPN, have to cry on air this week? Brought to tears by the mere thought of those ‘poor kids.’ Doesn’t that sort of ring false to anyone else? A bit staged for effect? I mean if it’s all about the kids for ESPN, why is the Penn State football game being televised nationally on that network as I write this? I thought it was all about the kids. Oh wait, it’s about the kids AND making money in advertising and ratings. Thing is I don't need a talking head to tell me that rape against children is a bigger deal than defensive schemes, and say it like he just unveiled the cure for Cancer. Nobody is impressed or emotionally moved by that. Why? We already know that.

JoePa, the Penn State powers, and everyone involved with what allegedly happened, are going to pay the price for the rest of their lives. For not morally doing enough. And that's OK with me. The man who committed these acts, Jerry Sandusky, will die in prison, and the football program at Penn State will survive without any of them. Because, as important as victimized kids are to everyone in this country, making money and playing football probably ranks higher, and probably always will. Rest assured, there was no cover up in '98 or '02, no conspiracy, just a very sick, twisted old man, and a series of unfortunate decisions by the important people along the way.

In a daring move, US WEEKLY chose to ignore the whole Penn State scandal and focus on the important news: Kim being 'depressed and devastated' after her split with Kris. I don't know who actually has the right idea anymore.

Read More:

Brian Huba

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Eli!!!! Enough Said

He's a winner. ELI...ITE. Thank You San Diego for taking Rivers in a draft-day trade.

NY Giants' Eli Manning says he's 'honest' about being in the same QB class with New England Patriots' Tom Brady

"Michael Vick is the opposite Eli Manning. Vick is all flash and no substance. Eli Manning is no flash and all substance." --Colin Cowherd, ESPN

Read more:

Check out pics and video live from New England when Eli wins it:!/vinbarbershop

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Oh, Brothers

The death of Chad Brothers, 32, at the Gold’s Gym in Latham will bring about another round of debate on police brutality. In case you haven’t heard, Brothers, 6’1” 240lbs, and full of muscles, reportedly launched into a tirade at 6.18AM on Monday Morning, punching an innocent man, tossing 45lb dumbbells, tipping over 700lb Universal Machines, and tearing a gym office to shreds. I know. Who can get so mad about anything at 6.18? Long story short, the cops were called, the tasers came, Brothers wrestled with a female cop, more tasers, and he went into cardiac arrest, was later pronounced dead at Albany Medical. Cause of death? We shall see.

Everyone I have spoken with about Chad, those who knew him, all describe him as a nice guy, and are utterly shocked and saddened this is how his too-short life abruptly ended. Was it a Roid Rage? Was he on some other crazy thing that made him snap and trash a public gym? We shall see with toxicology, I suppose. It is a tragedy of titanic proportions, no doubt, but I must side with the cops, and defend their use of force in this situation, if the reports are correct on it.

Here’s the deal: Every day when you walk out that door, you’re putting yourself to the test of life, and life is hard. It takes smarts, toughness, and a lot of will power to get through. A football analogy: You can’t fumble the ball, throw INT’s, rack up dumb penalties, and still come out on top. As Tom Coughlin would say, “Can’t win in this league doing that.” So if you decide to bust up a gym, punch an innocent patron in the face, throw dumbbells around, attack a cop, trash an office, resist arrest, all this after leaving the gym twice then coming back for more, you have to be ready to accept the societal consequences attached. Sometimes those consequences are fatal. It's sad but true.

If you allow yourself to lose control like that, whether it’s from a Roid Rage or because you had a fight with your girl, or who knows what, understand that you are handing your fate to someone else, willingly doing it, and if only you or that person can survive, understand that that other person is going to do whatever it takes to survive. In a world where we are at the mercy of a thousand external things that can blindside a life, or even end it, there’s no way you can go ballistic like this, and guarantee you are going to live to tell about it. Can’t do it.

If you want to blame the cops, that’s OK. If you want to say they were excessive, since this man was technically unarmed, that’s your right. But imagine a 240lb man, built like a backhoe from all accounts, throwing dumbbells, trashing equipment, operating cyclone style, and you’re the one who has to shut him down safely. Trust me, the blue uniform and 40K a year salary won’t mean anything, so don’t tell me “That’s their job.” It’s me against you. It’s survive or die, because for all those cops knew, this man wasn’t going to stop until somebody was dead, which was the result here. What would you do? Talk him off the ledge? Talk? Please. Restrain with hands? Huh? What would you do? I applaud the cops for not putting a bullet in him, for trying to finish the situation with tasers alone. In this country, you touch a cop, especially a female cop, game over.

And before you claim the tasers were too much, understand Chad Brothers, at one point, tasered himself, according to reports, and that might’ve triggered his cardiac arrest. Maybe. This man was so cartoonishly out of control from all accounts, that you almost have to entertain the theory his was a wildly misguided act of suicide. Maybe. It’s a tragedy, of course, but no way did those cops do anything wrong. If you’re one of those who want to question a cop’s training, or lack thereof after this, understand they were facing a muscle-bound man in full maniac mode. How else do you propose stopping that? How do you train for that? It’s survive or die, sorry to say.

Many years ago, I was out on the town, it was late-late, about 2AM, and a man about Chad Brothers’ size and description lost his temper, started tossing bar stools, making threats, talking violence. By all appearances, this volcano of rage was ready to erupt, majorly. At the time, my friend was a bouncer at this bar, a huge guy he was, always ready to get physical if the situation called for it. (Ironically he is currently a trainer at this same Gold's Gym.) With his fellow bouncers, they circled around this one-man gang, waiting for the right moment to spring. In every one of their eyes, I saw wide, white fear. Because the possibility of somebody dying right then and there was very, very real. I had never been more nervous for my friend, for myself, for everyone there.

Eventually they talked this maniac down, got him out of there before a bloodletting was unleashed, but my friend, one of the toughest guys I know, was shaken, shaken bad, and afterward, he admitted he was shaken, super relieved that he didn’t have to deal with that nut job at 2AM, even with three 250lb monsters behind him.

I can only imagine the multiplied fear if that same man happened to be throwing concrete dumbbells at people, flipping over 700lb machines like picnic tables. I can’t imagine having to stop that freight train. Life is too hard to get through without giving it away to craziness like that. If there’s any lesson in this, it should be that. If there’s any blame in this, it should be there. We are already at the mercy of so many earthly forces, some for us, most against us. And sometimes when you walk out that door, looking for a death fight with the world, well . . . you may find it, and find it fast. This is a sad, sad thing that happened.

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Brian Huba