Saturday, May 26, 2012

How Sick Does it Get?

Click on the link for a shocking story with a happy ending:

How sick does it get?

Friday, May 25, 2012

My Memorial Day Question

It’s Memorial Day Weekend, and I have the same question I have every Memorial Day Weekend: WHO WOULD EVER SIGN UP FOR THE ARMED SERVICES? Wait a second, you signed up for this? At eighteen years old you said, “Forget college, forget chasing girls on Friday nights, forget sleeping late on Saturdays and just being young and having fun, let’s go to war in Iraq?” First off, does anybody have any idea why we were ever in Iraq or are still in Afghanistan? On the news last night, I saw a clip of American Troopers stalking through the Afghan Desert, heads on a swivel, guns ready, waiting to shoot somebody or just waiting to be shot themselves. I guess the soldiers were guarding some desert-looking wall. Why? They literally looked like warm bodies with guns, sheep to the slaughter.

Don’t misunderstand me, I have massive respect for people who risk their lives like this, but at the same time, I don’t understand the mentality of a person who willingly walks into that life. That’s all I’m saying, I don’t get it. “But, Brian, the Army pays for college.” First off, that’s kind of untrue, can we just admit that and move on. There are hoops within hoops within hoops, i.e. they own you. Second, if you’re asking me what I’d take: college debt or five years in Iraq waiting to die, um, give me the student-loan debt, I’ll work it out. When I was a high school kid, and I saw that local recruiter, every instinct told me to stay away, because he was going to try to lure me into signing a piece of paper, and once I did, my freedom was gone. I treated that recruiter like a telemarketing Jehovah’s Witness.

“Brian, you’re a coward.” No doubt about it. The lion from the WIZARD OF OZ would make fun of me. I’ll take it. This is my life. I’m chasing my dreams; I’m living the way I want to live. I can’t miss a thing. Honestly, I don’t care about free and fair elections in Iraq. I’m sorry, I don’t. I want to be here, in America, the best country in the history of the world. I want to be with my family, my friends, I want to watch every NY Giants game, and wake up every morning in my own bed. In my mind, the Armed Services are like prison. I know that sounds disrespectful, I know. What can I say? We are living in a Capitalistic World and I am Capitalistic Girl (I mean boy). Sign up for war? Give up my youth and all that fun that goes with being young? Sorry, Charlie, the American Party is too good to miss right now. And I know what you're gonna say, you're gonna tell me if I want to maintain this American Party, somebody has to fight and die for it. Look, I'm not trying to go all Ringo Starr on you (peace & love), but why do they have to die in the dirt of Afghanistan? Is it about 9/11? Didn't we get bin Laden and everyone behind 9/11?

Which brings me to my final question: Does anybody have any idea what’s going on in Iraq or Afghanistan? Eleven years? What? Who are we even fighting? Why have 7,000+ Americans died since 2001? Do you mean to tell me all this death and war is to stop Al Qaeda and the Taliban? What does that even mean? Hey, Mom, your son just got mortar bombed fighting those guys from the grainy training videos who do the monkey bars and crawl through tires in the dirt with rifles. Sorry, I thought he was going to be a doctor or schoolteacher too, mom. That’s who we're fighting? We could be in Afghanistan for a hundred years, and some guy is still going to try and blow up a JFK-bound commercial flight or some major city’s bridge.

The American Revolution, the Civil War, WWI & WWII, those wars HAD to be fought, of course, they made America what it is today. But I have no idea why we went to Iraq and I have no idea why we’re in Afghanistan. If we’re worried about terrorist operations taking root, let’s protect OUR borders, OUR airports, and OUR roads, etc. In Afghanistan, we cannot win; there is no winning anything over there. We need to protect ourselves, here, on the home front. These American boys are like sitting ducks over there, just waiting to die. Are they heroes? Of course. Are the power players and politicians to blame? No doubt about it. But, to be perfectly technical, these young men & women did sign up for this. Nobody forced them, maybe outsmarted them, but not forced. That’s what I don’t get.

And maybe some of our brave, nineteen-year-old service men will be at Lake George this weekend, partying and having fun, and being young, home on leave, etc. But, I promise you, Lake George on Memorial is WAY more fun when you don’t have to go back to a war in Afghanistan on Wednesday. When this weekend is the beginning of a summer of part-time jobs, the beach and girls, Alive at 5s, just being young, it’s much better. That’s what I wanted for me. That’s what I want for my son when and if I have one. Is that selfish? It is.

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Brian Huba

Sunday, May 20, 2012

25 Random Thoughts

1.Why doesn’t the Government find a way to outlaw tanning beds A.K.A. Fake n’ Bakes? Anybody who would actually do that to themselves probably isn’t the brightest bulb in the tanning bed.

2.Kobe Bryant played the best game of his career on Friday night, in a must-win situation against the OKC Thunder. The next night, he played another brilliant game, but couldn’t close the deal.

3.Speaking of the NBA Playoffs, I predict the Heat vs. Spurs in the NBA Finals this year. Miami is going to win 4-1, and then LeBron is going to 3-Peat.

4.If you’ve never done a Saturday Brunch at the Iron Gate in Albany, do yourself a huge favor.

5.The Season Finale of Saturday Night Live this weekend, with Mick Jagger as host, was boring and really hard to watch. Yikes.

6.At dinner on Saturday night, we had a debate about FOX 23’s John Gray. I said he’s an Albany A List Celebrity, and the person I was debating with said, “Albany D-List, at best.” Really?

7.My favorite Beatles Song is “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away.” My favorite line, “How can I even try? I can never win.”

8.Who would ever go and see DARK SHADOWS starring Johnny Depp? It looks horrible.

9.Why does the NYS Lottery only allow “cash” transactions when buying Lotto tickets or Win-For-Life games? No credit or debit. I don’t get that.

10.I am trying to sell my house right now. I still don’t fully understand what the Real Estate Agent does. Can somebody explain it to me?

11.I used to live for Memorial Day Weekend, going to Lake George, then three days later: the first Alive at Five. I haven’t been to either in years.

12.I am currently reading THE LAST CHILD by John Hart.

13.I am listening to Elton John sing about the power of sad songs on Pandora right now. “Turn em on, turn em on, turn on those sad songs.”

14.Speaking of music, I have no interest in seeing any concert this summer. DMB? Nope. Aerosmith? Nah. I saw McCartney last summer. What’s the point of anybody else?

15.Speaking of summer, we are debating between Cape Cod and Washington DC as a getaway sometime in July or August. I’ll let you know.

16.I’m going to put a flat-screen TV outside over the deck this summer. I think that would be really cool.

17.I tried watching BRIDE’S MAIDS again. It was worse the second time. I don’t understand anybody who LOVED that movie. Are there maybe two different versions of it?

18.How do airplanes NEVER crash? There are 28,000 domestic flights a day in this country. How does nothing EVER go wrong? The TSA is the best product in the world.

19.When does the Kim Kardashian thing just end? Is she getting ‘fake’ pregnant now?

20.Speaking of TV, I didn’t even watch the season finale of my favorite sitcom: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER. Why, you ask? Howard Stern on America’s Got Talent, of course.

21. Speaking of TV Part II, I watched a great ESPN 30/30 the other night: One Night in Vegas. It was the story of the Mike Tyson fight the night TuPac was shot in LVN.

22. Speaking of Tyson, when I was growing up, there was nothing more exciting than a Mike Tyson fight. The ring walk, the brutality, the uneasiness and excitement that rippled through the arena and into my living room. There will never be another one like Tyson.

23. My three most popular blogs (most read) are 3) Bride's Maids vs. Hangover (970 reads), 2) 14 Aspen Drive (1,170 reads), and 1) Howard Stern & Billy Joel (2,720 reads).

24. The three blogs that brought the most comments are 3) Is Crossgates Mall Guilty of Profiling, 2) I Don't Understand Tattoos, and 1) Bride's Maids vs. Hangover II.

25. Has there ever been a more powerful line of commercials than the NYS Quit Smoking spots? I can't even watch them. I turn the channel as fast as I can. Smoking? Really?

Brian Huba

Sunday, May 13, 2012

TV Finale Talk

Tonight is the series finale of the ABC show DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. This is big business in my house, and I have been relegated to the other room, left to think about some of my favorite series finales in recent history, while the latest finale plays out in my house, on the other side of two closed doors.

The first finale I remember happening in my life was the last episode of M*A*S*H. I don’t know much about M*A*S*H, except it starred Alan Alda and was about the Korean War. I actually always confused it with HOGAN’S HEROES. To this day, the M*A*S*H finale is the most watched in TV history, something like 107 million people watched. I don’t know if the show itself was hugely popular, but for some reason, the finale has never been surpassed in viewership. What happened in this episode to garner a Superbowl-sized audience? I don’t know. I was waiting for HOGAN’S HEROES to come on.

OK, here comes the sitcom finale montage, in no particular order. NEWHART, it was all just a dream. That was cool. THE COSBY SHOW was a big one. I can’t remember what happened. CHEERS ended with Sam Malone standing behind the bar by himself, “Sorry, bar’s closed.” ROSEANNE was a great finale. It was sad and clever. How she had been writing the story the whole time on her own typewriter, changing events to appease her sense of good storytelling. THE WONDER YEARS was the saddest finale I’ve ever seen. I still get choked up a bit when I watch it. ST. ELSEWHERE was nothing but the workings of an autistic child’s mind. SEINFELD’s ending was brilliant, the gang arrested for breaking the Good Samaritan Law then ending up in prison together, leaving the door open for a revival. I thought the 90210 finale sucked, but the DAWSON’S CREEK finale was surprisingly well done (Jennifer dying, Pacey gets Joey).

FRIENDS just kind of ended, Ross got Rachel, of course, but he also got 83 million people to watch the last episode. WILL & GRACE was a show about their four-way friendship that ended on the premise of their friendship having gone dry for 20+ years. Disappointing. SEX & THE CITY was a good series ruined by two terrible movies. I wish I had stuck with SIX FEET UNDER. The finale was amazing, but I was too disconnected. I wish I had been a part of the LOST experience, because that seemed like a cool finale, but I had no idea what was going on. I watched the first five episodes of THE SHIELD and the last five, nothing in between. HOUSE is on the way out. Great show. I’ll be watching the finale, if I haven’t already missed it.

I just got a DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES update. Bre has apparently been acquitted of murdering Gabby’s father, but Gabby and Carlos actually killed him, and Karen has confessed. I have no idea what any of that means, but it sounds thrilling.

Anyway, there are many series finales that I liked (FRASIER), some I didn’t (KING OF QUEENS), and others that I was too young to remember (MARY TYLER MOORE) or not faithful enough to the show to understand (DALLAS). But the best finale ever is, of course, THE SOPRANOS finale, fade to black screen. Did Tony die or not? Many hints throughout the last season led viewers to believe that this would be TS’s final stand. The first episode of that season features a conversation between Tony and Bobby, where the two men talk about the end. “In the end, the lights just go out.” Many believe Tony died in that New Jersey juke joint. Others believe the building blows up, etc, etc. I think Tony lived, and when the screen switches in and out of his perspective, Tony is hawk-eyeing everyone and everything, filled with fear and paranoia. The people he’s watching aren’t meant to be ‘clues,’ it’s just a reflection of the way Tony sees the world. Everyone is a potential threat. In that moment we get a glimpse of what it was like to be Tony for the past ten years, the constant paranoia and mental torture of being the Crime Boss. So why did the lights go out as Tony waited for Meadow to make it inside the restaurant? I think TS had another panic attack. Why not?

But that’s the brilliance of the greatest finale ever. We can never know what happened, but we’ll debate it until the end of time. Everything about THE SOPRANOS was perfection, right until the final scene of the final episode. God, I miss that New Jersey crew of gangsters, drug dealers, and killers. Great people, they were. As much as I’d like to see a revival of the Soprano family, I hope David Chase doesn’t go there. Leave it alone. Nothing will ever touch THE SOPRANOS.

I'm being called to watch the last hour of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. So that means it’s time for me to put a cap on all this TV talk. Have I missed any GREAT or TERRIBLE or SOUL SUCKING TV show finales?

Last scene of THE SOPRANOS:

Best TV Finales ever:,,20302134_20387623_20789048,00.html#20603513

Brian Huba

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hail to the Chief

Today President Obama makes his third visit to the Capital Region. Originally planned to hit the Global Foundries Plant in Malta, he is now U Albany bound. Air Force One will hit Albany International at 11.30AM, the Prez is expected to speak at the college at 1.30PM, and he’ll be gone again by 2.30PM. Last night, I heard a continuous wave of huge-sounding planes rocking low over my house (I live in Clifton Park), and I wondered if it was the Secret Service or the President’s Security people coming in ahead of time. They didn’t sound like Delta and United flights coming in. As the Region’s businesses and roadways brace for the crush of Barack Obama’s people, I got to thinking about our current Commander and Chief on another level.

This past weekend, I came out of the shower, and I had the TV on. I could only hear it from where I was, and I thought, wow, there’s an old JFK or FDR speech on the channel I left it on. You know how powerful and Presidential all those sound bites from the great American leaders always sound. “Think not what your country can do for you . . .” Who doesn’t get goose bumps hearing those old grainy clips, when America was America and Presidents were Presidents? When I went in the room where the TV was, I didn’t see JFK or FDR on the screen, I saw the 44th President, Barack Hussein Obama. He sounded better than JFK or FDR when he talked about ending the Iraq and Afghan wars, and using the surplus to rebuild roads and schools. Wow, I thought, that’s what a great American President sounds like. Just say the name: Barack Hussein Obama. It doesn’t get more baseball and apple pie than that.

Kidding aside, we have one of the all-time great Presidents in Washington right now. And the thing is: Nobody gets how great he is. He's like the Eli Manning of Presidents in that regard. His first four years in office have been tough at times, of course, but they were also great. He had a Grand-Canyon sized mess to clean up. But, despite the huge hole GW left us in and the way this Senate and Congress have fought Barack at every turn, he still got a lot of historically-great things done. Let’s list a few. He saved General Motors. He was the Prez when America achieved the greatest military capture in our nation’s history. He ended that ridiculous war in Iraq. He’s going to end the war in Afghanistan. He’s going to rebuild the ‘Trade Towers.’ The economy is on the upswing, and our reputation around the world is getting back to good, all this with the GOP fighting him every inch. It should take this nation a generation to reverse the GW disaster. Barack is going to do it in six years.

If you can’t see how great Barack Obama is for this country, you’re probably one of two things 1) A really, really, really rich guy who only cares about the Bush tax system staying in place, or 2) A complete hillbilly. Am I stereotyping? Of course, but it's becoming the Larry the Cable Guy Party, isn't it? “But, Brian, I need a President I can drink a beer with.” First off, why should the #1 job qualification of the most powerful man in the world, the man charged with running this country, be your ability to suck down alcohol with him? I want the smartest, sharpest guy on the planet running this country. And secondly, why couldn’t you drink with Barack, but you could with Bush, a millionaire who’s had everything handed to him? Barack put himself through college, worked his way up the American political infrastructure, dethroned the Clintons, and, in November is going to crush Mitt Romney, a billionaire businessman. Not bad for a black kid from Chicago. Did you see Barack on Jimmy Fallon? He was fantastic. Smart. Funny. Witty. Everything. He handled the Secret Service Scandal perfectly, crushed it on the spot. God, we’ve got an A+ President right now. Nobody gives this guy the respect he deserves. Like I said: the Eli of Presidents.

If I was Barack Obama, I wouldn’t even debate Mitt Romney during the upcoming election season. Debate this joker? It’s an insult. Mitt Romney isn’t even in the same galaxy, politically speaking. After Obama eviscerates Romney in November, the beginning of the Great Awakening will start in this country. I promise you, Barack’s final four years are going to be four of the greatest this nation has ever known. History will remember Obama as one of the best Presidents ever, even better than Clinton, I bet. And many years from now, some guy is going to get out of his shower, hear the TV in the other room playing some long-ago President’s speech about better roads and better schools, and say to himself, “Wow, that’s when America was America and Presidents were Presidents.”

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Watch Prez Obama 'Slow Jam' the news on Jimmy Fallon:

Watch Prez Obama on JImmy Fallon:

Brian Huba

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Brian Huba on the Herd on ESPN

Brian Huba on ESPN's the HERD, talking to Colin Cowherd:

Click on this link and fast forward to 7 minutes into it. At 7.15: Me and Colin Cowherd talking Carmelo Anthony on ESPN. My moment of fame. Enjoy!

Brian Huba