Monday, December 29, 2008

Coach Fired! Quarterback Stays?

Well, it has just been announced, Jets head coach Eric Mangini has been fired but Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum says he wants Brett Favre to return for the final year of his two year contract.

Maybe the Jets can talk Mike Holmgren out of taking a sabbatical. Might as well hire an old Green Bay Packers coach and reunite him with an old Green Bay Packers quarterback.

Wow, imagine the excitement that would generate among Jets fans!!! I can hear the buzz already, or is that just tinnitus?

Get ready for the new headgear as the Jets become Green Bay East:

Ironic Or Inevitable

Irony - a state of affairs that appears perversely contrary to what one expects
Oxford Dictionary - Tenth Edition

Well, the word most often used by the sports pundits today is "ironic."

Ironic that a quarterback who led the Jets into the play-offs three times was unceremoniously cut and then proceeded to lead Miami into the play-offs.

Ironic that to do that he beat the Jets in New York.

Ironic that Chad is the second rated quarterback in the NFL this year while Brett lead the league in interceptions, throwing as many of them as he threw touchdown passes.

Ironic that Miami has their quarterback to continue to build around and the Jets don't have a clue as to who their quarterback will be for even next year.

Ironic that the injury-prone Chad plays the whole season unscathed while the indestructible Favre now says that he injured his shoulder earlier in the season and that this may have affected his play in the final five games.

Ironic that a rookie Miami head coach orchestrates the biggest one-year turn-around in NFL history and the Jets coach, once known as "Mangenius," may well be out of a job.

Ironic that so many Jets fans and almost every sportswriter in New York thought getting rid of Chad was a great idea and bringing in Brett was positively brilliant.

Personally, I think the appropriate word should be "inevitable."

What truly is ironic is that Brett Favre is going to the Pro Bowl while Chad Pennington is not.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Blue Seas Saga

As many of you who follow my blog know, the Mysterious Chinese Woman and I go to Puerto Vallarta every year. For the last eight years or so we have owned a fraction in what used to be Playa del Sol. Well much to our surprise it has now been renamed Blue Seas and is being marketed as Puerto Vallarta's newest and hottest gay resort and spa.

Check out the new Blue Seas website by clicking this picture:

I have set up a new blog to deal specifically with Blue Seas issues, things that may not be of much interest to my usual readers. However, if you are interested in seeing what is going on, you can access my new blog by clicking this picture:

When I go to Puerto Vallarta my more general comments about my stay will be posted here while Blue Seas specific issues will be posted in my new blog.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pro Bowl Toilet Bowl

Chad Pennington vs Brett Favre

Team Record
Miami 10-5 Jets 9-6
Passing TDs
Chad 17 Brett 21
Chad 7 Brett 19
QB Rating
Chad 96.4 Brett 84.0

Okay, as long as I am on my Football tirade, explain to me how Brett Favre goes to this year's Pro Bowl and Chad Pennington does not.

Let's see, Chad has led Miami to a good chance to win their division after they won only one game last year without him. He is also, last I looked, the second highest ranked quarterback in the AFC.

Brett Favre, leading the league in interceptions, was ranked eighth, last I looked.

If you throw the NFC into the mix, Chad is still ranked number two but Brett falls to number eighteen.

And yet Brett gets to go while Chad stays home.

Does this really seem fair to anyone?

Okay, that is it for now. I would say no more posts about football, but I have the vague feeling I will have more to say after this Sunday's games.

One thing about this year's football season, though, it has largely gotten my mind off the Knicks.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Will I Become A Striped Goat?

Well, I have made a serious decision. Going into the last week there is a very good chance that Miami will win their division. All they have to do is beat the Jets, which is looking easier and easier as the weeks roll buy. This almost seems like fate, and I will be vindicated for my prediction that Miami might very well do better than the Jets with Chad at their helm and an aging Packer leading the Jet's charge. I will say that there is no way I could have predicted that not only might Miami do better than the Jets but that they might win the division and go on to the playoffs.

A second equally acceptable scenario, and the least likely, the Jets beat Miami and the Patriots lose. This puts the Jets on top of the Division because they will have beaten Miami twice and have a point advantage in the games they split with the Patriots, or something like that. This is still okay with me because I am a long-time Jets fan. I will kind of hate the way they will have backed into it, though.

Worst case scenario, but not all that unlikely, the Jets beat Miami and the Patriots win, thereby winning the division and moving on. Also, I believe that if the Patriots and win and the Ravens lose the Patriots get in as a wild-card.

If New England gets into the playoffs and neither Miami nor the Jets make it, I am going to become a soccer fan. I am going to support Club Deportivo Guadalajara, more commonly known as Chivas (Goats). Because their uniforms feature broad red and white strips they are often called The Striped Goats.

I Already Have My Shirt, And A Shot

And you have to love a team that has Bimbo plastered across the front of their shirts. Bimbo, a large bakery affiliated with Bambi in the United States, is their primary sponsor.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Jets And Miami

Well, what can you say. Chad throws for 235 yards, three touchdowns and one interception and Miami wins. Brett throws for 187 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions and the Jets lose.

Cutting Chad to pick up Brett sure looks like a brilliant move now, doesn't it?

Short of a miracle, there will be no play-offs for the Jets this year.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Robin, The Boy

Awhile back the Mysterious Chinese Woman, me, and a couple of our friends, Frank and Kathy, headed to one of my favorite French bistros for a fun-filled evening and great food.

Robin des Bois aka Sherwood Cafe

I have written about this place before because it really is a great French bistro that is just a short walk from where I live. It really captures the flavor, in all respects, of a bistro you might visit in France.

Mysterious Chinese Woman, Kathy, and Frank

You may remember that they have a lovely outside garden area that is a lot of fun when the weather is nice. The weather wasn't all that nice this evening, though, so we decided to eat inside. Kind of cool in here too with all kinds of interesting stuff on the walls and all over.

A Bit Of A Religious Theme

Not Sure About The Theme

I like old movies and old movie posters so these were kind of fun:

They have a real fireplace in here that makes for a romantic setting in which to share a cocktail or two.

Voted Cutest Couple

I had, as I usually do, the hanger steak and it was, as usual, delicious. I almost ordered the lamb shank but backed out at the last minute. Someone at another table ordered one though and the waiter showed it to me so I could see what I missed. It looked delicious and, I swear, I will get it the next time I eat here.

We met a fun couple while we were here and I promised to send the copies of the pictures that I took. As is getting more and more usual, though, I lost their email address and don't remember their names. If you see this picture and recognize yourself, please get in touch. I really have to start taking notes again because my memory is obviously shot.

A Friendly Couple

As usual, a great time was had by all. If you are ever in the neighborhood I strongly suggest you stop in here for a bite to eat. You won't be disappointed.

Robin Des Bois on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tailgate Therapy

Okay, here is a million dollar idea.

The other day, as yet another New York sportswriter began to ease themselves off the Brett Favre bandwagon, Gary Meyer's wrote in the New York Daily News that if Miami beats the Jets in the last game of the year to win the AFC East and knock the Jets out of the playoffs, it would "qualify as the lowest moment in franchise history" and "Jets fans will need years of counseling..."

Years of counseling. Hmm. You have to pay for counseling, don't you? And one of my Mysterious Sister-In-Laws is a therapist of some kind. Not sure what kind though, I never talk to her about her work. I do notice, though, that at family get-togethers she is always giving me funny looks and then scribbling in that little notebook she carries around.

Anyway, I suggested to her that maybe she could drum up business by offering discounts to new clients that show up wearing Jets paraphenalia. You know, tee-shirt, cap, boxer-shorts, whatever. I guess they could just bring them in a brown paper bag if wearing the stuff was too traumatic. I also suggested that maybe she could hire someone to pass out flyers after the final game of the season if the Jets lost.

My Mysterious Sister-In-Law immediately saw the potential in this. She said that there is a courtyard where she has her practice and thought having group therapy sessions in a tailgate-like atmosphere could work. She said the realism of the setting could help people work through their issues. And she said an added bonus would be that she could get free BBQ.

We will be testing the waters on this and looking to franchise the concept in the near future.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Jets and Favre Revisited

After watching the Jets almost lose to Buffalo on Sunday, and seeing them win one out of their last three games during which our savior Brett Favre threw for a grand total of one touchdown and four interceptions, I felt compelled to revisit a post I made in August, part of which follows:

August 27, 2008

Okay, don't get me wrong, I will still root for the Jets and wish them well, but the concept of being a fan, while waning for years, is now pretty much gone.

To have stuck with the Jets since they played at Shea Stadium hasn't been easy. But stick I did. I will have to admit though that when they played the Vikings in the play-offs a few years back my loyalties were indeed torn. I am originally from Minnesota and grew up with the Purple People Eaters.

Now this year the Jets have brought in an aging quarterback from the Vikings arch-rivals, the Packers. Whoo Whoo, the New York papers are going crazy. He will be the salvation of the Jets. Hell, he might even get them into the playoffs this year. Ah, so what. Didn't they make the playoffs in 2002 and then blow out Indianapolis in the first round with Chad Pennington. Oh, Chad also led the league in passer rating and completions percentage that year. And then in 2006 Chad got us into the playoffs again. But we sent him to Miami so maybe Favre can lead us to the playoffs this year. Am I missing something here? It wouldn't surprise me if the Dolphins have a better season than the Jets. Okay, so I am a bit bitter.

Well, so far this year the Jets and the Dolphins have the same 9 and 5 record. Big difference is that last year the Dolphins only won one game. Guess Chad has helped them a bit more than Brett has helped the Jets.

Oh, and guess who is having the better year at quarterback this year? According to ESPN's latest ratings, Chad is currently the number four rated quarterback in the NFL with a 95.1 rating. Brett, well he is number 15 with an 86.5 rating. Ah, but Brett can really wing that ball, can't he? Funny then that Chad averages over a yard more per attempt despite having a slightly lower completion percentage. And Chad has thrown 11 fewer interceptions.

Watch it all come down to the final game of the season to determine whether it is the Jets or the Dolphins who make the play-offs. If it ends up being the Dolphins watch everyone who touted getting rid of Pennington and bringing in Favre as the smartest move since the Yankees picked up Babe Ruth scramble for the exits.

I said all along that bringing in Favre had less to do with winning games and getting into the play-offs than in generating some buzz and semi-justifying the huge Personal Seating License fees they are going to be charging. And, of course, all of the brain-dead sportswriters around here bought right into it. I notice, however, they are already starting to jump ship. None more so than Tim Smith of the New York Daily News who today proclaimed:

A lock to run out of miracles and fall short of playoff berth.

Don't get me wrong, I still think the Jets have a decent shot at the play-offs. I just think they would have had as good a shot if they had kept Chad. And a lot better shot if they hadn't handed Chad over to Miami.

I am still a bit bitter.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Things That Make You Go "Huh!!!"

I am heading to Las Vegas on Monday for a bit of a mancation. Just me and a few buddies from Minnesota. I am flying Jet Blue, one of my favorite airlines. Reasonable prices, good service, and you get your own little television screen where you can choose which channel you want to watch.

I just got this email from Jet Blue though and, I must say, it raises a couple of questions:


We know you'll be jetting with us soon and wanted to let you know about T5,
our new home sweet home at New York's JFK International Airport.

Starting October 22, 2008 all JetBlue flights will operate from this
brand new, state-of-the-art terminal with great features and amenities:

  • Smooth & simple kiosk check-in
  • Up to 15 security lanes
  • 26 gates with seats aplenty
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • 55,000 sq. feet of great food and shopping
  • Large children's play area
  • and much more

    Please allow yourself a little extra time when arriving or departing
    T5 for your JetBlue Airways flight #187 on Monday, December 08, 2008.

    T5 is so light, bright and new, and filled with tempting food and
    retail experiences, you'll be glad you had the time to linger!

    We are grateful you have chosen to jet with us and look
    forward to seeing you at T5.

    Happy Jetting!


    First, Is there a play area for small children?

    Second, Why, if this new terminal has so many amenities with kiosk check-in and up to 15 security lanes, do they advise you to allow yourself extra time?

    I guess I will find out Monday. Maybe they just want you to have time to experience their tempting food and retail opportunities.

    By the way, I am slipping in my standings with Urban Spoon. Do me a favor and click on one or more of the links below to see if we can jack up my standings. I know this is shameless, but then, so am I.

    Chip Shop on Urbanspoon

    Ferdinando's Focacceria Restaurant on Urbanspoon

    Giando on the Water on Urbanspoon

    Peter Luger Steak House on Urbanspoon

    Lumi on Urbanspoon

    Queen on Urbanspoon

    Footprints Cafe on Urbanspoon

    Tatiana Restaurant and Nightclub on Urbanspoon

    Cargo Cafe on Urbanspoon

    Robin Des Bois on Urbanspoon

    Smoke Joint on Urbanspoon

    I will post more links next time and, remember, if you don't click a link the terrorists win.
  • Monday, December 01, 2008

    A Mini Bar Trek

    After spending a few fun-filled days out in New Jersey celebrating Thanksgiving with the Mysterious Chinese Woman's family, I returned to Brooklyn on Saturday to hook up with an old friend of mine, Allen. He and a few of his pals had taken a bus from somewhere in Pennsylvania to do a bit of a bar trek along Atlantic Avenue. Of course I was only too happy to join them and act as a bit of a guide.

    The plan was to stop at Montero at one end of Atlantic Avenue and then work our way up to Hank's, about a mile away. Much to everyone's surprise, Monetero wasn't open at their usual time, noon. So there was a change in plans and we made our first stop at Waterfront Ale House.

    First Stop

    Luckily, my favorite bartender, the always cheerful Gaid, was on hand to give the crowd a true taste of Brooklyn hospitality. He was a bit camera shy though so I didn't manage to get a shot of him. Here is the crew:

    D.J., Allen, Leslie, and Brett

    Allen had imposed a strict 45 minute maximum per bar that was immediately violated. I am not sure what everyone else had, but I managed to down a couple Brooklyn Brewery East India Pale Ales before we headed out.

    On The Road Again

    Montero's sign was still unlit so we stopped in at Floyd for our next libaton


    Here we were well served by Paden, the bartender.

    Hey, Paden, Where's The Dog?

    I didn't bring along a pad and pencil, stupidly, so I didn't remember the names of most of the bartenders. I remembered Paden's name though because I had just watched Silverado for about the fifth time the other day. Paden, as you may remember, was the name of the character who spent time in jail because as the rest of his gang rode away from a posse he stayed behind to tend to a wounded dog.

    Floyd is a good hanging out and drinking bar with a bit of a bordello look to it.

    See Anything You Like?

    The also have a bocce ball court giving this place a unique ambiance.

    A Bit Other-Worldly

    After a couple of beers I peaked out of the door and saw that Montero had lit their light.


    Not too surprisingly, Montero worked its usual magic and we slid into the decadence of beers and shots.

    It Just Seemed Right

    Montero was a big hit because of all the memorabilia on the walls and my friend Allan was there to give a bit of a guided tour. The other Allen, the one who came down from Pennsylvania, was a bit disappointed because Pilar wasn't there. He wanted to meet her because he had read so much about her in my blogs. Pilar is more of a Sunday person, though.

    For some reason, after we toddled out of Montero Allen decided to stop and buy a bouquet for Leslie.

    What A Romantic

    Our next stop was another favorite of mine:

    Brazen Head

    As you would expect, we were having a good old time.

    Frolicking At The Bar

    The bartender, whose name, of course, I don't remember, took refuge behind the spigot handles.

    Is It Safe?

    The afternoon was drawing to a close and there was still one last stop that we had to make.


    Of course my attention span was starting to fade right about now. I did manage to get a picture of the bartender and, of course, forgot her name.

    The Tolerant Bartender At Hanks

    By this time I was a bit shot, and was also being shot.

    Shooting The Shooter

    I am not sure I want to see how Leslie's picture turned out.

    We had a rousingly good time and as we said our good-byes we agreed that we would get together in the spring and hit a few of the bars in Coney Island while they are still there. Ruby's, Cha Cha's and Freak Bar would be good candidates. Needless to say I will be sure to post about this get-together when it happens.

    Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    Spleen Ain't My Scene

    After our brief stop at the Atlantic ChipShop we continued on our way to Ferdinando's Focacceria Ristorante. The block that it is on, Union between Columbia Street and Hicks is really quite a throwback to a bygone era and is truly worth visiting. When is the last time you have seen an actual dry goods store? Well, there is one right across the street from Ferdinando's. And right next store is a tobacco shop with a cigar store Indian right in front. Next time I visit I will take more pictures of the places on this block. And visit again I shall.

    The Angles On Ferdinando's

    I came here for the spleen sandwich and, by golly, a spleen sandwich is what I got.

    Spleen, And More, Much More

    This sandwich, called a Vastedda, is a Sicilian style sandwich made with spleen,layered with ricotta and grated cheese, and baked. It is served on a hamburger style bun, but they make their buns and all of their breads on the premises and it is delicious. The bun, that is. The rest of the sandwich, not so much.

    Now don't get me wrong. I am sure that if you like spleen you would consider it delicious. It turned out I don't care for it that much and it still was not too bad. I guess I expected the spleen to be more like, I don't know, a heart or something. A bit crunchier maybe. Spleen is more like chicken livers, both in texture and in taste. And I am not a big fan of chicken livers, although I do like gizzards.

    Nonetheless, I did eat the whole thing. Like I said, it wasn't bad, actually okay. Just not my cup of tea.

    Didn't Stop Me From Eating It, Though

    Actually, I am glad I tried it because now I can say that I have had a Vastedda and, if I ever see it on a menu again, I will know not to order it.

    The Mysterious Chinese Woman fared much better with her order, sticking with the relatively commonplace Chicken Parmigiana.

    Lot's Of Chicken Parmigiana

    I thought those brown tube things were sausages but they were nicely crisped potato croquettes. The Chicken Parmigiana itself was kind of ho-hum though, and the spaghetti wasn't freshly made. A bit disappointing, because this was one of their "specials."

    Still, this place is one I will go back to again. I just like the ambiance and some of their food is very good indeed. Kind of like McSorley's, though, you don't go there just because you like their beer.

    Next time I am having the Trippa, tripe in tomato sauce with peas. I know I like tripe.

    Ferdinando's Focacceria Restaurant on Urbanspoon

    Friday, November 14, 2008

    Spleen, Just Got To Love The Word

    Okay, no spleen on this post, but I was on my way to get a spleen sandwich, really. In fact I even got there and ate it. But, that will have to wait until my next post.

    Why, because I passed the Atlantic ChipShop and I am a sucker for a good British Beer. Or any beer, if one must know.

    Come Into My Parlor

    As you can see, they are touting their selection of British Beers this month and I would really suggest that, if you can, you stop in.

    Repeating Myself

    Ironically, I missed a three day cask ale festival at Brazen Head the other day. Really pissed me off because I walk by the place every day, almost. How I missed it, I do not know. I have now signed up for their email thing though.

    Anyway, the irony was that ChipShop was out of their cask ale too. They said to come back tomorrow, but I missed that too. I will make it a point of getting back one day soon to see what they have.

    Today, No, Maybe Tomorrow

    The bar here isn't all that big, but it is a decent bar with a nice selection of draft beers and a bit of a bar ambiance. I think it should be set back a bit more from the windows, but it is a small place. I guess they did the best they could do.

    Nice Selection, Though

    And the bartender, Adam, is really a nice fellow, or mate, or chap, or whatever they call them across the pond. Even though he is from Britain he didn't know anything about snooker. Quite disappointing. But a good guy anyway.

    Adam, The Snooker Challenged

    I have been in here before and I am sure I mentioned that they have dynamite fish and chips. Probably the best I have ever had. Let me emphasize that a bit, if you have better, let me know. You can eat at the bar, but they do have a nice little dining area in the back.

    Cozy, In A British Kind Of Way

    I had a draft Well's Bombardier, a really nice ale. I would strongly recommend that, if you can, you stop by the Chip Shop on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn before the month is over to try a selection of their British offerings.

    My next post will address my spleen sandwich. Trust me when I say that the Mysterious Chinese Woman says the combination of spleen and beer is a truly repellent mixture.

    Atlantic Chipshop on Urbanspoon