Saturday, April 30, 2011

Anytime you can draft a former basketball, you HAVE to do it. (Laughing at ESPN's expense)

The NFL draft is over, which is about the time I take a cursory glance to see what the Broncos did over the unbearably self-indulgent spectacle of an event. As much as I love NFL football, hearing gasbags pontificate on who had a good or bad draft makes me crazy...NO ONE KNOWS!! (And they won't know for several years in many cases.) Still, I like to check in to see what my Broncos did, which lead me to this gem from the not-exactly-overzealous editors over at (Click on the picture of the caption to see it larger, if you can't read the teeny-tiny print.)

Apparently, the Broncos drafted a former basketball named Julius Thomas in the fourth round. I didn't even know used gym equipment was eligible to be drafted, or that anyone would give a name to a former basketball, but it's good to know that anyone can achieve the dream to play in the NFL, even a former basketball. I do wonder what he did to reform from his "being-a-basketball" ways which makes him a former basketball.

It is also interesting to read that starter Daniel Graham and backup Richard Quinn are primarily blockers and they are not much blockers in the passing game...I think the people writing up recaps of the draft may have been running a little low on sleep when they produced this one. Not that I am immune from misspellings and terrible grammar, but is a one man show, not a multi-million dollar company...

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 107 - 04-30-11 - Preparing for the End of the World

The end of the world as we know it has apparently been scheduled for three weeks from now, yet Vertically Striped Radio feels fine...Episode 107 had the VSR gang discussing all manner of topics. The folly of NFL draft coverage, the fact that John Gruden loves everybody, the mailing habits of drug smugglers, houses that call 911 all by themselves, and the relative velocity of the Millenium Falcoln. (In the name of full disclosure, I was wrong about it's actual speed...It made the kessel run in less than 12 parsecs) 

 We also planned Craig's funeral, with some slightly non-traditional choices...although we did decide against releasing deadly snakes. The Week in Wankery had a beloved contributor in it's cross-hairs for crimes against the City of Denver. We decided that the next He-Man Movie Watchers Club meeting would be in two weeks, and that the boys would be discussing "The Damned United." The Vertically Striped Music Recommendation was "Hang On" by Dr. Dog. 

Many thanks to The Whale, Face Ventura, and Elevation for popping in to chat with Craig, and a special thanks to Craig's brother Bruce for sitting in for a few minutes for the first time in ages.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 106 - 04-23-11 - Whigs in 2012!

Craig, Face, and the Whale were all on hand for an odd but fun edition of VSR. We laid out the platform for the newly reformed (by us) Whig Party with a Magnificent Seven list which put forth the Top 7 Planks of the Whig platform. We had a curious edition of "Something to Think About" and we took a look into the oddly Hebrew world of Shalom Seasame, the Jewish version of Seasame Street. No, really.

 We finished up all of that silliness with a look at the Phallological Museum of Iceland and it's newest exhibit. And yes, that is what you think it is. After a bit of trying to stumble upon the next movie for the He-Man Movie Watchers club, we were just about to call it a day when The Ed showed up and blessed us with about 25 minutes of classic The Ed comedy. The Ed is a great guy, but not what I would describe as easy to get off of the phone.

After finally forcibly extracting Mr. Miller from the phone, we closed up with a Vertically Striped Music recommendation of "Down in the Valley" from the self titled album from The Head and the Heart. In my humble opinion, this was the best VSR in some time...I guess we were due.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Bulldog and The Basketball: A Love Story

What? Like you didn't need a bulldog dribbling a basketball in your life? Don't judge me!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 105 - 04-16-11 - We're not a Sports Show?

VSR isn't a sports show, but you wouldn't know it by listening to Episdoe 105. Face and Craig discussed the folly of a WNBA Fantasy Basketball League, Craig revealed his lack of baseball knowledge, and the boys broke down their Top 7 Most Despised Athletes in the Magnificent Seven. 

 We also had a story about a brother and sister who were reunited by online dating, a story about a topless newspaper, we met a Red Sox fan who has parenting figured out, and we shared in the sorrow of Stormtroopers. 

 Elevation even showed up near the end of the show as we did a tiny bit of previewing the NBA playoffs that are kicking off this weekend. The Vertically Striped Music Recommendation was "Damn These Vampires" by  The Mountain Goats from their Album "All Eternals Deck"


Now where have I seen this logo before???

This is the logo for the new Milwaukee team in the Arena Football League. Funny, I thought that league died a few years ago, but I guess arena football is like a roach never really get rid of it. 

Anyhow, my only thought when seeing this logo is to wonder whether Pat Bowlen should sue for copyright infringement NOW, or wait until the lockout is over so as not to divert his attention from getting the NFL labor quagmire resolved. Could the be ripping off the Broncos any harder??

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Oregon Legislature is kind of awesome.

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 104 - Technical Difficulties and Mallrats

Episode 104 was a walking technical difficulty. At various points, my phone starts sounding like C3PO under water, my internet goes out which means my switchboard is dead, and my computer craps out on me leaving me to my own devices for long stretches. If you can deal with the technical difficulties, we have a bit of good stuff including a Week in Wankery in which Grampa Craig discusses how he dislikes the federal government and Chuck E. Cheese. The man of the match was a state legislator in Oregon who pulled an amusing stunt. We also had a duel between two of the worst callers in the history of the show, appropriate for this, one of the worst shows in VSR history. 

 Doing their best to save the show were Face and Aaron Young from the No Name Show. They went head to head in Mallrats trivia and Face proved that he may have a severe problem with watching this movie...we may need to stage an intervention. After the trivia, we held a meeting of the He-Man Movie Watchers Club in which we tried to discuss Mallrats...much like the actual movie, it was a bit of a scattered mess with tiny bits of brilliance sprinkled in. I like Mallrats, but not to the level that Face and Aaron do. 

Craig mercifully wrapped up the show by playing the first Vertically Striped Music Recommendation from the field of hip hop. Lupe Fiasco's "State Run Radio" from the album "Lasers" which is pretty solid. As for this edition of VSR, well, they can't all be winners. Thanks for listening, and I promise we'll try to do better next time.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Frank's 95th Birthday: An Audiomentary of the Dodge's trip to Chicago

In March of 2011, the Dodge family flew to Chicago for the 95th Birthday party of Jennifer Dodge’s grandfather. Craig decided to record the trip for posterity and create a whole new genre he is calling an Audiomentary. I have no idea if this is entertaining beyond a very narrow scope of people, but I enjoyed it. There are cute moments, embarrassing moments, funny moments, and touching moments. 


There is limited commentary on the audio as it is mostly a series of sequential audio clips in chronological order, but for your reference, I have included a breakdown of the primary characters involved below: 

Craig – (Me) I am the narrator, producer, editor and host of Vertically Striped Radio and this audiomentary. Also I am very bad at waking up coherently in the morning. 

Jennifer – (Craig’s wife) Sometimes referred to by her nickname of “Jo” Somehow she manages to tolerate my foolishness, for which I owe her unending thanks; and as her daughter says, her hair smells so smushy and so beautiful. 

Ellie – (Craig’s six year old daughter) My girlie is a sweet, shy and sensitive, although occasionally crazy, girl.  

Luke – (Craig’s three year old son) Luke is a precocious, some might say impish, boy with oodles of energy.  

Grammy/Joan – (Craig’s mother-in-law) Joan is a wonderful, giving, and often silly person; which you quickly learn in the audio. 

Julia – (Jennifer’s sister) A sweetheart of a girl. She is owed many thanks for being the logistical guru for our trip into Downtown Chicago. 

Marat – (Julia’s husband) He’s the one with the Ukranian accent which he developed as a result of growing up in the Ukraine…funny how that works. He is also apparently an evil mastermind, although I’ve only ever known him to be a friendly guy. 

Olivia – (Marat and Julia’s 2 year old daughter) Olivia is very sweet and even-keeled kid. 

Gabriel – (Marat and Julia’s 1 year old son) – A wide eyed little guy who was drooling so much due to teething that I don’t know if I ever saw him in a dry shirt the whole trip. 

Jeff – (Jennifer’s brother) – He’s a big hearted guy. Jeff was my partner in basketball crime who watched a bit of March Madness on my iPod with me at Frank’s birthday party and who was devastated when Kansas lost to VCU. 

Kristi – (Jeff’s wife) She is a doctor and a smart, interesting and thoughtful person. Her voice is on the audiomentary sparingly, but she was there. She is with child at the moment, so our next family gathering will have even more family. 

Jace – (Jeff and Kristi’s 2 year old son) A doppelganger for Luke, and a friendly fun kid. 

Uncle Jim – (Jennifer’s uncle) Perhaps the nicest man you could ever get to know. Jim is the owner of the super friendly cat and formerly an owner of a stunt cat. Jim is unflappable in prayer in the face of screaming children. 

Aunt Ellen – (Uncle Jim’s wife) She is pretty much only in the background on the audiomentary, but one of the sweetest women you could ever know. 

Amanda – (Jennifer’s cousin) Amanda is a very friendly and kind lady. She’s the one who was making friends with strangers, hugging waitresses, and fiercely defending the word “Hoagie” in the audiomentary. 

Gigi/Giselle – (Amanda’s 4 Year Old daughter). Gigi is very outgoing and confident girl. She is the voice wishing Grandpop (Frank) a happy birthday at the birthday party and is heard in a lot of the ambient noise. 

John – (Jennifer’s cousin) Johnny is a large and very friendly bear of a man. He speaks in a crappy Boston accent along with Craig on the way home from downtown Chicago. 

Aunt Carol – (Amanda and John’s mother) Carol is a funny, friendly outgoing lady who spent a lot of time with her Sister Joan on the trip. She is not featured heavily in the audiomentary and is primarily in the background. 

Frank – (Jennifer’s Grandfather) Frank is a stalwart of a man and makes for a great patriarch for this wonderful family. He is also the man of the hour on the audiomentary, celebrating his 95th birthday party. He is Joan, Carol, and Jim’s dad. 

Grace – (Frank’s wife) She married Frank after his wife (and mother to Joan, Carol and Jim) passed away a few years ago. She is aptly named. 

Zoo Guy – (Employee of the Zoo) Random guy who works at the Brookfield Zoo with whom I started talking with about Bears. I don’t know him, but he certainly had a lot of info on Bears.

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 103 - 04-02-11 - Stupid People Shooting Things

After a week off, Craig was raring to return to the fake airwaves, and a nasty sore throat could not stop him. An early bit of BlogTalk-style technical difficulties allowed Craig to unveil VSR's new technical difficulty music, but things got swinging relatively quickly with a newscast that had a very "shooty" feel to it.

We also had a story about the thirtieth anniversary of one the craziest letters ever written. Could you love Jodie Foster so much you'd be willing to kill the president for her? That might have happened...or there may have been a gigantic conspiracy to kill Ronald Reagan by the Bush family. No matter what...every option seems unreasonably wacky.

A new edition of "Something to Think About" allowed us to discuss selling personal naming rights, telemarketers and zombie intellectuals.

Craig's final segment was a Magnificent Seven list of the Top 7 Actors that increase his interest in seeing a movie. 

Craig finished things up with a lukewarm music recommendation of "For You" by Band. (Yes, that is really their name.) The recommendation was really more due to the story behind their name than their music which is only average, but their chutzpah is first rate.

Bras, the Gothic Theatre, and my church...

James 1:27 - Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.