Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy new year to all

"It doesn't matter how whiny James is or who his father, now an ESPN analyst, happens to be"

I think this is exactly backwards. If Adam James had been a kid from another family -- say, with a working-class single mother who had complained -- it's a completely different scenario. Tech simply had buyer's remorse with Leach and took the first opportunity to dump him. That the father is so famous gives Tech's actions a veneer of legitimacy. And gee. Who could have been ESPN's "source close to the family?"

Well, too bad for Craig James. He used to seem at least likeable. And too bad for Tech students. They just lost the only person that made Lubbock half-way interesting.

UPDATE: Hmm. I wondered how boosters would feel about this. But look: here's a year-old email exchange between Tech officials and Dallas booster Jim Sowell (I assume that's this guy). Sowell hates Coach Mike Leach and offers this interesting opinion: "I promise you our prospects of getting a better coach are much higher than Mike's prospects of getting a better job." Riiiiiiight.

I have never wanted Michigan State to win so bad in all my life.

MORE: It's slow here at my desk so I am taking immense enjoyment in the Texas Tech email exchange, especially when another booster -- seemingly tired of Sowell's bitterness -- chimes in with a defense of Coach Mike Leach (he's "filled the stadium, sold all the suites, been to 9 straight bowls") and warns: "he is not a 'good 'ol boy' [sic], he's a quirky intellect who is a football coach. Love him or hate him, you guys should not be bowing your necks and running him off because you can't get along with or relate to some city slicker Yankee agents. I agree that you need to make some changes to his contract but, they should be done in a spirit of good will." Voice of reason, ignored as usual.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Enjoying your week off?

I'm headed back in to work! I work tomorrow too! I'm not bitter!

Like except all your matches are dead people

There's something odd about the tv spots. Maybe it's the way they portray researching a family tree, like it's a way of filling a hole in your life or healing an emotional wound. Therapy by other means. Isn't that a dangerous overpromise? Their earlier stuff had a much simpler message. I actually enjoyed watching those.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"We wanted to make sure that the world got to experience the demolition of such a historic facility"

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese will sponsor the implosion of Texas Stadium.

"He, however, refused to call himself a hero, saying: 'I never use that word about myself or my friends. We just did a job.'"

Knut Haugland's obituary is more action-packed than most spy novels you'll read. Here's a little bit:

He was selected by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) to train with three others for Operation Grouse, the raid on a hydroelectric power station near his hometown where the Allies suspected that heavy water, a key component in the atomic weapons process, was being produced in order to build a Nazi atom bomb.

He parachuted with three others onto the Hardangervidda plateau on October 18 1942. But a planned rendezvous with British engineers never materialised after the Britons' gliders crashed and the survivors were tortured and executed.

As a result the Germans were alerted to Allied interest in heavy water production, but Haugland was ordered to wait on Hardangervidda, where his team subsisted on moss and lichen and, just in time for Christmas, a wandering reindeer. In sub-zero temperatures he kept in contact with the British using a radio to which he improvised spares using a stolen fishing rod and an old car battery. Every night at 1am he would make contact, often unable to control the chattering of his teeth, using the password "three pink elephants".

It was February 1943 before Operation Gunnerside (named after a grouse moor owned by Sir Charles Hambro, head of SOE) was mounted. Six Norwegian commandos were dropped by parachute, and after a few days' search, met up with Haugland for a new assault on the hydroelectric plant.

The heavily defended plant was now surrounded by mines and floodlights and accessible only across a single-span bridge over a deep ravine. The Norwegians climbed down the ravine, waded an icy river and climbed a steep hill where they followed a narrow-gauge railway and entered the plant by a cable tunnel and through a window. In the ensuing sabotage hundreds of kilograms of heavy water was destroyed. Though 3,000 German soldiers searched for the saboteurs, all escaped. The Nazi heavy water project never recovered.

Oh, and then there's the part where Thor Heyerdahl asks him to be a crewman on the Kon-Tiki.

Hey did you have a nice holiday?

Hope so. Do you have to work this week? So do I!

LATER: Oh. Well. I can see by the complete absence of rush-hour traffic that you're not working this week. Only me. Fine.

Friday, December 11, 2009

"The watch...was appraised and found to be a fake worth only around $100"

And just like that the White House party crashers go from intriguing and cheeky to tacky and dumb. Or?

I mean, they had to know that their fake Patek Philippe would be discovered by a court of law, didn't they? Maybe this is part of the bit too. Quick! Someone check her David Yurman bangles. Hmm.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Las Vegas area "prosecutes roughly 200 cases involving gambling debts a month"

Still, there's a special place in history for the guy who lost $112 million in one year

It's not hush money if everyone's talking about it

What, exactly, is Tiger buying here? Is what's in the email and texts worse than what everyone can guess is in the email and texts? Especially after we've already read about the "crazy Ambien sex?"

I don't know if publicly paying out a million dollars to this cocktail waitress, a million dollars to that cocktail waitress, and a couple hundred million to the wife is quite the way to repair an image. Or are these ridiculous dollar amounts meant to distract us from all of Tiger's prescription drugs?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Has ClimateGate made the Prius less of a status purchase and if so, what's a carmaker to do?

Audi just spent $10 million to debut the new A8 at Art Basel Miami Beach. Audi "couldn't find a venue grand enough for the occasion. So it built one instead. Rising five stories above an oceanfront Miami Beach parking lot north of the Eden Roc hotel, the boxy and black temporary complex boasts 42,000 square feet of space. That includes a 1,000-seat auditorium, an underground kitchen, a stage with two revolving platforms for showing off the new $100,000 Audi A8 and an art gallery for installations from Miami's Rubell Family Collection. The pavilion opens Wednesday."

Two spinning platforms? Maybe there are women in evening gowns! Or at least celebrities! Sorta?

I just hope Audi's bold show hasn't been overshadowed by that visit from the US Marshals. Or by the news that someone paid $50,000 for a painting by Sylvester Stallone.

Anyway: which is now the bigger marketing/PR showcase -- Miami's Art Basel or New York's Fashion Week? I'm thinking it's the art fair!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

"'There is interest from Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to bring the fight to his new stadium"

The Pacquiao-Mayweather bout in Arlington? Why? Because, in May, football then the NBA All-Star Game will be long gone and we can't forget about Jerry or his new stadium ever, ever, ever, even when baseball season starts up.

But a fight is different. And this fight is huge. Let the Nevada Athletic Commission and Las Vegas handle this. They have experience. Texas can't manage the crazy.

'There’s a lot of mainland Chinese buying; either they didn’t know what the items are worth or they wanted them so badly that price didn’t matter'

Record-setting prices for gems at Christie's Hong Kong auction. More evidence, I think, that the worldwide economy is screwed big-time and long-term.

Just as interesting though? The auction coming up Dec 10 in New York City. As for the identity of the "distinguished private collector" who's selling "magnificent jewels," any irresponsible guesses?

ADDED: Oh my gosh, did you preview tomorrow's Country Music Auction? LOOK AT IT! There's stuff from Roy Rogers, Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn! What's not to love? I want the Dale Evans hand-tooled leather fold-out purse (lot 21) and I'd marry the man who buys one of the Nudie suits and wears it.

Yeah, that talk about Halloween sales being off might have been crap

At least Michaels did OK: "the largest U.S. arts and crafts chain...swung to a third-quarter profit on the strength of Halloween and improved sales in other categories....The Irving-based company also noticed that shoppers showed up later for fall and Halloween merchandise, continuing a trend of making purchases closer to when they need items."

Don't tell Forbes or Martha C. White.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Christmas displays near and far

If you're going downtown to play in the Neiman Marcus windows, check the hours of operation first. The schedule definitely does not correspond to store hours. Even on weekends. And you can't make kids understand that.

But if you're anywhere near the state of Florida, oh my gosh. Go see the Osborne Family Lights. There is no way to hype or overhype how great this is and the effect it has on a crowd.

Finally: someone asks John Daly about the Tiger Woods story

I was waiting."The thing that Tiger needs to look at is, whatever happened, just tell the truth." Also? My two cents? Maybe ease up on the painkillers. Oh, let's not dwell on it. Instead, let's think back to a time when advertisers could still make Tiger seem likeable.

And hey! Isn't John Daly cute now? His girly friend used to be a marketing manager at Hooters, which is funny. The thing with Daly is, he's gotten into all kinds of trouble, all of it seedy and not sponsor-friendly, and still he's a fan favorite. It might be because he never really tried to "manage" a "crisis."