Author Archives: Dennis Burdziak

Guess the Pedestrian

I spend a lot of time driving for work, and as anyone who does knows, you need to do something to alleviate the boredom of the road. That’s why I came up with the game Guess the Pedestrian.

It’s a simple game, and you can play it alone or with friends.

In my experience, unless you live downtown in a big city, there are only a few kinds of pedestrians out and about:

  1. People too poor to afford a car
  2. People with DUI’s
  3. Kids

People exercising don’t count as pedestrians – they’re doing something else all together.

The fun is trying to guess which type each pedestrian you see is. The girl in a Sepultura T-shirt and pajama pants pushing a baby stroller and smoking a cigarette? No car. The 40-something guy carrying a 12-pack and a bag of groceries down the street? DUI. Keep tabs on how many of each you see, or with a buddy, each pick a type, and see who gets to 10 first. It’s fun for everyone! Except, of course, those poor pedestrians.

My New Favorite Podcast: Affirmation Nation with Bob Ducca

I have started listening to an excellent new podcast over the past few weeks. Listeners of Comedy Bang Bang will recognize the character Bob Ducca from his frequent appearances on that podcast. Affirmation Nation with Bob Ducca has turned what I thought might have been a one-note character into a 5-day-a-week 3-5 minute dose of awesome.  Seth Morris (the man behind Bob Ducca) is a comedy genius as far as I’m concerned.

Every weekday, Bob shares a story, gives us a health tip, responds to listener e-mails, or reviews a health product on the show. Every episode is funny, often in an unexpected way, like when Bob started recording an episode and got kicked out of the recording studio by the person who had booked it, or when his guided meditation turned into 2 minutes of the sounds of him removing all of his medical devices before he could begin.

I laugh out loud at this podcast more often than I do with any of the other comedy podcasts I listen to.

If you’re not listening to Affirmation Nation, check it out on iTunes or at Earwolf.com.

George Washington!

My brothers showed me this video, and I thought it was great.  As far as I know, it is historically accurate.

Shut Up, Internet! #5

This is the fifth in a series of posts on internet trends or memes I think are just plain stupid. Please be advised that my opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Mike Bobbitt, Off the Mike, any other contributors, Stephen Hawking, the United States Navy, M&M Mars, the Newsboy Legion, my mother, my dog, or my wife.

Taking Comedians Seriously on Twitter

Twitter is a lot of fun, and I really enjoy following my favorite comedians on there. The problem I have lately is the deluge of stupidity coming from other Twitter users. Not a day goes by that one of the comedians I follow doesn’t  retweet an idiotic answer to a rhetorical question, someone accusing them of being dumb or offensive because of a joke they made, or explaining something to them like they’re a child because the feigned ignorance for humor.

You are reading posts made by comedians. They are usually trying to be funny. Let’s all just take that for granted. It’s usually pretty obvious when they are being serious, otherwise it’s safe to assume anything they say is for humor. If you’re following your senator, by all means, take him or her seriously all the time and tweet your outrage to them. If a comedian offends you or says something you don’t like, unfollow them, but don’t send them a message about it. They’re just going to retweet it to show the rest of us how stupid you are. Yes, we will all look down on you from our lofty comedy nerd towers.

Why do idiots try to ruin everything for us?

Reality Show Rundown 2: Storage Boogaloo

As I have stated in a previous post, I am totally into reality shows about real people doing their jobs. This summer I have become a bit obsessed with them. The latest two my wife and I are watching revolve around the people who attend storage unit auctions. When storage unit renters default and stop paying their monthly fees, the owners of the facilities will put the contents up for auction to try and recoup their losses. These two shows follow the auctions, auctioneers and the regular buyers of said units.

Storage Hunters

This show mainly follows a couple of jerks and the other jerks they run into. The couple the show revolves around, Brandon and Lori Bernier,  don’t shut up about how much research they do about who owned the units they are bidding on, and constantly get into bickering fights with the other regular bidder on the show. Seriously, check out the hair cut on the lady. What the shit? We watch it to hate them and root for them to overpay for garbage. It gives me great joy every time the open a box to find out it’s empty.  We watch this show if we stumble on to it, but don’t much care if we miss it.

Find Storage Hunters on Tru TV: http://www.trutv.com/shows/storage-hunters/index.html

Storage Wars

Storage wars is a much more entertaining show, which follows a whole cast of characters as they try to outbid each other for storage units all over California. The cast includes Jarrod “The Young Gun” and his wife Brandi, a couple who run a resale shop, and are always trying to one-up each other, Barry “The Collector,” an older hipster who is out looking for valuable collectibles, Dave “The Mogul,”, the owner of a larger consignment business, and Darrell “The Gambler,” a home-based buyer and seller looking for his next big score. The bickering and posturing between the different buyers is the fun on this show, as they each try to outdo the others. There is no real villain on this one, each buyer is likable in their own way, and easy to root for or against. This show has a season pass on my DVR.

Catch Storage Wars on A&E: http://www.aetv.com/storage-wars/

Shut Up, Internet! #4

This is the fourth in a series of posts on internet trends or memes I think are just plain stupid. Please be advised that my opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Mike Bobbitt, Off the Mike, any other contributors, the Catholic Church, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the rock band KISS, Batman, my mother, or my wife.

 

Nyan Cat

Seriously, internet, what the fuck?

Spoiler-Free Captain America Geekout

This summer, I loved Harry Potter and I really enjoyed Thor, but Captain America is what I’ve been waiting for since I was 7. I am an unabashed Cap fanboy, and have been for as long as I can remember. This summer has been a countdown to Cap for me, and my wait finally ended this last night. Holy crap did I love this movie. Do not expect a blow-by-blow story breakdown or analysis of the finer points of technique. I am about to geek the fuck out.

This movie made me giddy, like I wish the Star Wars prequels had. Every frame on the screen was my childhood coming to life. The special effects were phenomenal, if I didn’t know better, I’d swear they starved Chris Evans and shrunk him to play skinny Steve Rogers. The shield slinging was so cool, which was important, because without it, this wouldn’t have been a true Captain America movie.

The character were all spot-on. Captain America has always been my favorite because he was just a regular kid who was given the ability to be a hero, and always knew the right thing to do and how to do it. They pulled that off perfectly. Chris Evans was awesome in the role, both as the determined, awkward weakling, and as the great hero. Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull was brilliant, too. He was evil, menacing, and not too over-the top. The Howling Commandos were great, though I wish they had mentioned them by name.

I didn’t mind any of the little changes they made to the original story, everything worked for me, and I think allowed them to tell a cleaner story, rather than having to explain a lot of unnecessary back stories.

There were some cool nods to the comics, too, like the way we first see Arnim Zola. The Stan Lee cameo was quick, but funny and didn’t take away from the story. The use of the comic style Captain America uniform was also a great nod, and made great sense in the context of the movie.

The only complaint I have is that the movie was over too quickly. As it was wrapping up, I suddenly realized it was about to be over, and very much wished it was longer. Also, don’t forget to stay after the credits. The post-credits sequence is awesome.

One final note, I have never been to a movie where I have seen more people wearing T-shirts featuring the character from the movie. There was even a little kid wearing a full Captain America costume, who had his picture taken with me because he liked my Cap costume hoodie so much.

Dennis’s Guide to Public Restrooms

When you’re on the road all day it’s inevitable – it’s going to come up. You’re going to need to use a public restroom. Quite possibly for #2*. I have spent the last several years at a job that requires me to drive all over Michigan and Ohio, and I have spent plenty of time in public bathrooms. So I give to you Dennis’s guide to public restrooms!

Are you a public restroom novice? Don’t know which ones to use and which to avoid? There is an easy rule of thumb. When stopping for a much-needed potty break, refer to this scale:

#1. – Retail stores – usually the cleanest – most major retailers have a policy about cleaning them at least daily, and the employees themselves have to use them.

#2. – Restaurants – Usually pretty gross. With the constant flow of people in and out, the staff is too busy to keep them clean. Especially at fast food places, those are the worst. Try to avoid.

#3.  – Gas Stations – Almost always Gross. I have seen things in gas station bathrooms that would horrify some.

#4.  – Rest Stops – Last resort. Gross, rarely cleaned, and if rumors are to be believed, havens for illicit behavior (dirty sex stuff).

Retail bathrooms are the best, but some are better than others. My top 4 by chain:

#4. – K-mart – Not terrible, it’ll do in a pinch. The toilet paper at K-mart is pretty weak, though.

#3. – Target – Usually decently clean, but fairly busy bathrooms. Not for the shy.

#2. – Toys R Us – Surprisingly clean and usually empty in my experience.

#1. – Wal-mart – Surprising, right? It seems, though, that they have  a several times a day cleaning policy there. Rarely do I ever see a dirty bathroom at a Wal-mart. Also, they usually have two sets of restrooms in a store, one in front, and another in the back by layaway or site-to store pickup. The one in back is usually less busy, mostly used by employees. Also, if you have no shame, they often have a family bathroom in the back, which affords you a totally private experience.

Of course, your results may vary. Get out there, don’t be afraid to poop in public! Remember, everybody poops!

* (#2 is code for poop.)

Reality(?) Show Rundown

Is it a dirty word? “Reality” show. I hate them. The manufactured, bullshit scripted dating, people in a house who stop being polite, singing contest shows. I hate the spoiled 20-something “Contestants” on them. My wife watches the worst of them, including the Real World and the Real World Road Rules Challenge shows, and I can’t even be in the room with her while she does. They make me sick.

I have discovered that while I hate those type of shows, I can’t get enough of shows about people doing their jobs. It started with Dirty Jobs, on which Mike Rowe is a delight to watch slog through the worst occupations on the planet. It grew from there.

Here I give you, my favorite “Reality” shows about people doing their jobs:

Parking Wars

Parking Wars follows the parking enforcement officers of the cities of Philadelphia and Detroit as they ticket, tow, boot and impound the vehicles of law breaking citizens. The officers are amusing characters, I will watch Ponytail ticket in Detroit, and Garfield boot all over Philly any day. The best parts are, of course, the reactions of the ticketed, booted or impounded car owners. They flip the fuck out, trash their cars trying to escape, and just do not understand the laws of the cities they live in. It’s pretty awesome. Check it out on A&E. Full epsisodes are available  on their website: http://www.aetv.com/parking-wars/

Hardcore Pawn

I just recently discovered this jem of a show, which follows the happenings at American Jewelry and Loan in Detroit, Michigan. Les Gold and his son and daughter run the shop, along with a colorful cast of characters. The family fights constantly, battling for each others’ respect. The best part, is of course, the ridiculous customers who come in trying to sell things, and get upset that they can’t get a thousand dollars for a piece of junk. they flip out even more than the Parking wars people. I guess it helps that the store is at 8 Mile and Greenfield roads, right on the edge of Detroit. This show is the only one of the three I have added a series recording of to my DVR, it’s great. watch it on Tru TV. They also have full episodes online: http://www.trutv.com/shows/hardcore-pawn/index.html

Mounted In Alaska

This is another recent discovery. After seeing it on The Soup, I have become an avid viewer of Mounted in Alaska. This show isn’t as crazy as the others I’ve mentioned, but it’s still a fun watch. The show follows the happenings at Knight’s Taxidermy in Anchorage, Alaska. The owner, Russ Knight and his staff of cantankerous taxidermists goof around and build some pretty neat things out of dead stuff. It’s a funny show to watch on a quiet evening. Check it out on the History Channel. This one only has one full episode available online currently: http://www.history.com/shows/mounted-in-alaska

Happy Birthday, America!

Wait, they're making a new movie? What about me?

Woo! I was going to post the Team America theme song, but decide maybe we should be the only web site that doesn’t do that today. Instead, enjoy the trailer for Captain America, which is going to kick ass all over the place in a couple of weeks.

God damn, i can’t wait for that movie.

E.T: Jedi?

My five-year-old son Alex came home a few days ago insisting that he had learned from his friends that E.T. “Has the Force.” My wife chalked it up to him being cute and a believer in all things Star Wars, but he insisted it was true. Of course, she decided she’d show him by ordering E.T. from Netflix.

My wife and I had not seen E.T. since it was originally released 19 years ago, so the details were fuzzy, but she was sure he was no Jedi. Well, we watched the movie, and Alex is more convinced than ever that E.T. “Has the Force,” but now I agree with him.

In the movie, E.T. displays telekinetic powers, not unlike a Jedi might manipulate his surroundings with the Force.

Additionally, E.T. passes a kid dressed up as Yoda for Halloween, and tries to follow him, saying “Home, home.” It appears he recognizes Yoda, or at least his species.

Then of course, a delegation of E.T’s species is visible in Star Wars episode I.

This may not be a new idea, but I am now convinced that E.T. does exist in the same universe as Star Wars, and that while E.T. may not be  Jedi, he, and maybe his entire species, is at least Force-sensitive.

Alex and his friends were right.

Shut Up, Internet! #3

This is the third in a series of posts on internet trends I think are just plain stupid. Please be advised that my opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Mike Bobbitt, Off the Mike, any other contributors, my mother, or my wife (maybe).

A couple of quickies:

First!

Every comments section, especially if you read Ain’t it Cool News, starts off with the “First!” nimrod, often with several. What are you hoping for? A pat on the back? I have never seen a “First!” post followed by a “Nice One!” post. I’m sure your mom’s very proud of you.

Twitter Hastags on TV

Why do all of my favorite shows now have hashtags watermarked in the corner of the screen? If I’m smart enough to use Twitter, I can probably figure out that if I want to talk about or search for Bones, the hashtag is #Bones.

Once again, the lowest common denominator determines what happens online. Idiots. I’ll be over here listening to comedy podcasts and blogging about why I hate you all.

Movies I Won’t Be Seeing This Summer

Summer 2011 is shaping up to be a pretty awesome time for movies, especially if you love all things nerdy. Who ever thought we’d see Thor, X-Men First Class, Green Lantern, Harry Potter  and Captain America movies all in one summer? It’s a great time to be a geek. Sadly, though, into every summer falls a few garbage family movies. As I’ve stated before, I’m the father of two young boys, and am bombarded with advertisements for things people are trying to sell them. Lately, it’s been movie ads.

These are worst I’ve seen this year:

Mr Popper’s Penguins

What a piece of crap this looks like. I can hear the Hollywood brain trust coming up with this one:

“They’re penguins, What should we call them?”

“Well, what do they do?”

“One is kind of loud.”

“Loudy!”

“One bites Jim Carrey a lot.”

“Bitey!”

And so on… My 5-year old could have come up with more imaginative names. Yeahbsolutely.

The Zoo Keeper, or Night at the Museum at the Zoo:

“Hey, kids like the King of Queens guy, right? …and funny animals? …and T.G.I. Fridays?”

The girl won’t marry him because he’s a zookeeper? Really? Don’t you have to have a degree to do that?

I’m going to make a bold prediction about this one. He realizes the blonde girl is a bitch and ends up with Rosario Dawson. Credits.

I will not be taking my family to either of these CGI animal turds. Luckily, they haven’t shown interest in either, I guess I’m raising them right.

Shut Up, Internet! #2

This is the second in  a series of posts on internet trends I think are just plain stupid. Please be advised that my opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Mike Bobbitt, Off the Mike, any other contributors, my mother, or my wife (maybe).

Grrrr...

Zombie Apocalypse

I know everyone loves zombies lately. They’re everywhere – movies, comics, books, video games. I get it. People like to be scared, and they make an easy villain – they can be faceless hordes, or they can be your mom, as the story calls for. The problem I have is the numbskulls out there who are seriously preparing for the possibility of zombie apocalypse.

I’ve heard it on podcasts, and all over the web, some idiots feel that a zombie apocalypse is not only possible, but inevitable. Do they go so far as to actually stockpile supplies and weapons? I don’t know, but they read things like the Zombie Survival Guide as if it were a self-help book.

They build things like this:

Click this pic for more on the zombie-proof house.

The fervor has even lead the CDC to actually release a document on their zombie apocalypse strategy, which I’m convinced they only cooked up to shut these ass-hats up. Find it here. (They do make light of it a bit).

To all you zombie fans: enjoy what you love. Watch the Walking Dead. I have my nerdy passions, too,  but I don’t look to they sky expecting that one day the Avengers are going to fly in to town. Please don’t be one of these idiots. Go play Plants Versus Zombies, it’s pretty fun.

If you are one of those that think this is really going to happen, I’ll give you some advice I learned from the gang at Mystery Science Theater 3000, “Repeat to yourself it’s just a show, I should really just relax.” While you’re stockpiling rations, I’ll be on the internet looking for cosplay pics from the next comic con.

Shut Up, Internet! #1

This is the first in what I’m hoping (planning) will be a series of posts on internet trends I think are just plain stupid. Please be advised that my opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Mike Bobbitt, Off the Mike, any other contributors, my mother, or my wife (maybe).

Planking

Um... OK?

This is what we are doing on the internet for fun lately? Laying down on things? I’ve seen a few dumb memes and trends on the internet in my time, but this is up there with the lamest. Planking is people laying face down on things, trying to look like a plank, just like the name implies. I guess the object is to look like something that shouldn’t be able to hold you up is holding you up. I don’t know, I don’t get it. Maybe I’m just another out-of- touch old white guy.

Why?

Dude, you're not even trying.

The internet is a magical place, full of wonderful things, like limitless porn and cute kitten videos. That is where I will be spending my time, not looking at pictures of people laying down on crap.

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