[Quick Review] North American River Otters

North American River OtterOtters are the single greatest creatures which God’s hands had ever placed upon this earth.  Not only do they remind me of Gollum from Lord of the Rings, they have these things called “group rubbings” where they all get together and rub against one another.  It’s a giant, fuzzy hullabaloo of squeaky goodness that makes you want to jump in and kiss an otter on the mouth.

Final Words

They’re such capable creatures that they put the “can” in Lontra canadensis.


  • They are masters of both land and water.
  • They eat crayfish so I don’t have to.
  • They can be trained by humans to catch and retrieve fish.


  • Sadly, they are part of the weasel family and must overcome all of the bad connotations associated.
  • The ability of flight eludes them, thus preventing these otherwise flawless creatures from soaring through the skies and wrapping their adorable paws around a perfect score. Which they would probably use as a tool to open shells.

Score:  9.5/10

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[Awkward Forced Socialization Review] A Nonspecific Casual Work Party I Was Required To Attend

Business Casual

I’m not, by most accounts, a classy guy.

I don’t dress particularly well, I use an old cardboard box as a bedroom nightstand, and my eating habits are so poor that one of my two best friends in the world recently requested I photograph the contents of my refrigerator and email them to her so she could put them on her blog to allow her “high-minded” readers the chance to “find endless supplies of amusement at the absurd notion that someone with such a ridiculously unrefined culinary pallet could inaccurately convince himself that he is leading a worthwhile existence*.”

So naturally, I was less-than-enthusiastic when just two weeks into a new sports writing job, my employer “suggested” I spend a rare night off attending a Chamber of Commerce-sponsored business casual shindig of “all the Big Whigs of (my residing) county,” some of whom I would be expected to make professional connections with.

The evening garnered mixed results.

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We’re Back!

Er… kind of. Editor Clay and myself have been trying to get things up and running again here lately, but I forgot how much it sucks to have to be motivated and to do things like writing and caring. At any rate, I’ve managed to get most things functioning again, so feel free to either sit on this page clicking “refresh” every 18 minutes or to come back at a later date and see if we’ve actually managed to follow through.

[Unfathomably Popular Hellacious Season Review] Spring

When you live in a cold weather region, there’s no denying that enduring winter can be an appallingly horrendous ordeal. It’s miserably cold and excess amounts of wind, snow and ice can make travel and most other general life functions an unfairly difficult affair. Aside from temperatures that make for favorable sleeping conditions, there’s really nothing about it that’s pleasant.

So when one is forced to take on such gruelling conditions for several months at a time, it’s not hard to understand why there tends to be an aura of excitement when people anticipate being injected with “new life” by the upcoming spring season, which promises to offer relief from the arctic awfulness.

While this degree of anticipatory optimism is understandable, blindly ignoring the obvious fact that spring is nothing but a never ending nightmare of thunderstorms, hail, floods and 3 a.m. tornado siren wakeup calls, with an occasional nice, pleasant sunny day peppered in once or twice a month, is not. Call me a cynic if you must, but when I’m spending a third consecutive day uncomfortably crammed crotch-to-ass with people I barely know in a dingy apartment complex storm cellar, rarely does the thought “hey, at least it’s not snowing” enter my head. Continue reading

[Game Review] Disney Epic Mickey (Wii)

System: Wii (Exclusive)
Developer: Junction Point Studios
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Release Date: November 25, 2010
Genre: Action Adventure

I can’t tell you why, but something about this game had me more than just a little bit excited before its release. It was very strange, because I’m not generally interested in anything Epic Mickey had to offer. I’m not really a huge fan of Disney. I’m not one who cares greatly about decision/consequence gameplay. And the game’s biggest selling point to hardcore gamers, having Warren Spector behind production, didn’t excite me in least because I had no idea who that even was.

Still, I couldn’t help but getting hyped up for what I had convinced myself was going to be the next great Wii game. And then it actually hit store shelves, and the flood of reviews stating it was merely “average” or simply “good” caused my interest to wane immediately, and the game fell off of my radar until Christmas, when I received it as a gift from Santa Claus.

I can now confirm that the game is merely “good,” as many other critics have stated, but there is something special about Epic Mickey that makes the experience much more satisfying than I had expected.

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[Movie Review] The Fighter (2010)

Hollywood produces, on average, about one boxing movie a year. Boxing. This year’s installment, The Fighter, might just be the best one ever. And yes, I know it’s lame to proclaim that after seeing a movie once, but The Fighter packs a hell of a punch all around, and also boasts 2010’s best performance: an enigmatic turn from Christian Bale as boxing prodigy/crack addict Dicky Eklund, while also elevating itself as being traditional, and unique, at the same time.

The Fighter centers on the improbable rise of “Irish” Micky Ward through the boxing ranks, despite having a ridiculously dysfunctional family in his corner. Ward is from Lowell, Massachusetts, and director David O. Russell does a great job right from the start of highlighting the pressure on the shoulders of Ward (Mark Wahlberg) to do something with his boxing career, and also the pressure on Dicky to return to his former glory in the ring while battling a severe crack addiction.

Lowell is portrayed as a locked door of a town, with Micky potentially holding the key to escape. As the movie develops, Micky becomes involved in a relationship with a dive bartender named Charlene (Amy Adams) who urges Micky to focus on his career without his family.

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The Top Five TV Shows of the Past Decade and One Year

Last year at decade’s end, I compiled a few best of and worst of lists to commemorate the first 10 years of the new millennium. However, when doing this, for some reason I neglected to compile any sort of list for my favorite entertainment medium; television.

And seeing as how I am without question the most reputable voice of opinion on the internet, it doesn’t seem fair to the masses who suckle at my every word not to put something together regarding my opinion on TV. So with that, here are the shows that wielded through the cluttered reality TV mess of the past several years and showed there will always be a place for quality, scripted television.

Honorable Mentions:

The Office (US Version, NBC), Modern Family (ABC) Extras (HBO/BBC), Arrested Development before it became unbearably smug and entirely self-referential (ie, Season One)

5. Flight of the Conchords (HBO)

Sure, this import from New Zealand only ran for two seasons. And sure, only one of them was truly good. But if there was any one season that yielded a spot on this list on its own individual merits, it’s the first season of Flight of the Conchords.

From the quirky songs, hilariously bizarre dialogue and situations and a nearly perfect cast, FOTC was one of the great comedy creations when it hit the airwaves in 2007, and even though it petered out surprisingly quickly, it still left a lasting impression on me and dozens of others.

4. Mad Men (AMC)

Perhaps the most critically acclaimed series of the past few years, it took me a few seasons to truly embrace this series about sexy people and their sexy adventures in the sexy world of 1960’s Madison Avenue Advertising. While I’ve enjoyed it from the get-go, for some reason it just didn’t make an overwhelming impact right away.

However, over the past few years, series creator Matthew Weiner (allegedly pronounced “why-ner.” Yeah, fucking right!) and the rest of the cast and crew have pulled me in with some of the most intricately plotted dramatic television today. And while it did create one of the most shockingly bizarre scenes in recent memory, Mad Men is arguably the least flashy great show of its time, and must be credited for being compelling without feeling as if it needs to constantly dazzle its audience.

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