Monday, August 31, 2009

New Cowboys Stadium Grind...

I was fortunate enough to secure two tickets to the new Cowboys Stadium for Saturday's pre-season game against the SF 49ers. It was an unbelievable experience, and I am glad I got to go. Here are some quick hit, scattershooting thoughts, a la Barry Green:

  • ExplosiveMom did us a HUGE favor and dropped us off and picked us up from the game. She dropped us off just East of Rangers Ballpark, and we walked from there. It was a trek, but not terrible. Luckily, we caught a break and it wasn't that hot.
  • The stadium is so big, you think you are close to it. News flash: you are not close to it. Ever. You just keep thinking you are close, and you never quite seem to get there.
  • If you plan on going, pay attention to your "Entry Gate". You can't just go into any door you want to, you have to go to the one they tell you. Unfortunately, Entry Gate "G" was on the farthest possible side from where we were dropped off. Fail.
  • The video board is indescribable. Seriously, the English language does not have the correct words to describe this thing. It literally took my breath away.
  • The floors of the stadium use that kind of coating that makes it look highly polished. It was a nice touch that really gives the stadium that extra bit of shine that make it stand out.
  • Barry mentioned the "dance team" that performed just before each half. He was correct that it was like a stripper revue. I am pretty sure that their shorts were designed to encourage camel toe.
  • I never would have known this if it wasn't for the video board. Again, this thing is impressive.
  • There are still a LOT of problems with the game presentation, specifically that they still lack a constant scoreboard that is easy to see. I didn't find it until the third quarter. I was constantly wondering down and distance and how much was left on the game clock. That should permanently be on the video board.
  • Speaking of game presentation, Jody Dean is TERRIBLE as the VOCS (Voice of Cowboys Stadium). This will warrant its own post later.
  • Let me put the board into perspective. When they showed a cheerleader on the board, you could tell if she had removed her bellybutton ring. It is that big and that clear. I now know which cheerleaders have moles on which parts of their bodies.
  • One of the coolest parts of the video board, obviously, is the replays. What makes it extra special is that you can see things like where Romo's eyes were looking, or you can see Wade Phillips say "dammit" after a holding penalty that costs his team a field goal.
  • Lots and lots of crowd shots on the board, but they need to put a little more variety in the sections. I swear, there was one guy who probably had about ten minutes of face time on the board, because they would cut to the same section over and over.
  • I am pretty sure there was one section where they wouldn't let you in unless your arm flab jiggled when you waved. They showed that one on the board a few times as well.
  • Concession stand situation: Food was ok, but we didn't buy much. During halftime, we waited in line for about 20 minutes for nachos and a Dr. Pepper, while looking over at the "barbecue" concession stand with zero line. Might want to balance those out a bit in the future.
  • Another weird thing that I can't decide if I like or not: While we were in line, not 20 feet from the entrance to the seats, we couldn't hear a thing from the game. No cheers, no PA announcements, nothing. Usually, when you are at a game and waiting in line, you can get a decent idea of what is going on by listening to the crowd, but you couldn't hear it at all!
  • You have to make yourself watch the game action on the field. Gordo on the Ticket described it best this morning: It has a tractor beam. It keeps pulling you in, over and over again (the video board).
  • You can never say again that you don't go to the game because you get a better view on television. Nope. Don't want to ever hear it again.
  • However, it is perfectly acceptable to say you can't go because you can't afford it.
  • Leg room was more than acceptable. I never felt uncomfortable, with my section totally full.
  • One thing that is weird: Not being able to see the other side of the stadium, because of the screen. It is almost like you have that half of the stadium to yourself. It is hard to explain how it feels, but it almost feels like there is a divide and they are at a different game.
  • Not one punt came close to the board in this game. I am sticking to my guns: The only way these guys are going to hit the board is if they are trying to do it, and if they are trying to do it, it is a terrible punt that they would get yelled at by their coach if they did in a game.
  • They are still working out the volume levels. Music was kind of loud (but not as loud as I heard the first game was), but not overbearing. The commercials sounded pretty good, but the levels still need some work.
  • There were a lot of the same complaints about the American Airlines Center when it opened, and they have worked all of those out.
  • Did I mention that Jody Dean was awful?
  • On our way out of the stadium (with about 4 mins left in the 4th), we were walking by one of the really, really close parking lots. There was a guy there waving us towards the sidewalks. As we were about to walk across the driveway, he stops us with his light to allow the car to go through, which I thought was really odd. Most of the time, the cars stop for the pedestrians, but not this time. I said to him, "You are making US stop? Geez!" and he said, "Hey, I don't make the rules.". So the rules are, let the car plow through pedestrians? I can understand if there was a huge stream of people, but it was me, ExplosiveWife and another couple following behind us. The car would have had to wait for 5 seconds, tops.
  • The escalators up to the top sections give you serious vertigo. They are REALLY high up, and you can look over the edge into the abyss. Holding the handrails is highly recommended.

I will say this, though: This place is amazing. Flat out breathtaking. Every single detail seems to be attended to, and the 2011 Super Bowl will be so freaking cool to have here, with the Party Pass concourses and all. Kudos to the designers, architects, and workers who busted their asses getting this thing ready for the season.

Jerry Jones is going to make SO MUCH MONEY off of this thing.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Child’s Estimate of Parents’ IQ

Child’s Estimate of Parents’ IQ: "

song chart memes

God, if this isn't the truth. I must admit, I was guilty of this with my children, but why do all parents think that their child is the most brilliant thing of all time? I ran around telling everyone who would listen that my child's head size was in the 95th percentile. That means her head is big, so her brain is big, so she is smart! I heard a new parent the other day telling everyone that their son was in the 98th percentile in foot size! So effing what!

The new parent always amazes me, and they ALL do this. My nephew, who is the cutest kid on the planet, is suffering through a mild case of this right now with his parents, but his parents are nowhere near as bad as most parents. Just because your kid eats veggies two weeks ahead of schedule does not mean he is going to finally crack the genetic code when he gets older. Let your kid live! Just enjoy that they are there, and savor every moment.

And yes, I am a hypocrite, because I did this too. I will say, though, that it is allowed within the family. Outside of the family, I can guarantee you that no one gives a crap. :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

How Secure Are Your Private Photos?

How Secure Are Your Private Photos?: "

The Found Photos project consists of a collection of private photos which file-sharing users have unknowingly made public when installing P2P software.

The result is a pastiche of modern life upon which you can’t feel at least slighty guilty for intruding:

The Found Photos project started in 2004, while searching for mp3’s using a filesharing program.

After downloading a folder of mp3’s, I came across a folder named ‘pictures’ inside of the album folder, and found a handful of digital camera photos. This made me wonder what else was out there, what people are publicly sharing - after a few quick keyword searches I came across thousands of them publicly shared.


From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by Nick9000.


Monday, August 10, 2009


A couple weeks ago, a good friend asked if we wanted to accompany them to center (formerly Smirnoff, formerly Starplex) for Cruefest 2, featuring Drowning Pool, Theory of a Deadman, Godsmack and Motley Crue. I immediately agreed, as Godsmack has always been on my list as a must-see band.

So, on Saturday, we packed up a cooler and made our way out to Fair Park to stand for 4 hours. We were out on the lawn, natch, and we found our seats. Unfortunately, we didn't get there until after Drowning Pool was finished, which kind of disappointed me. We found our spot in the lawn, about a quarter of the way up.

Theory of a Deadman
was the first band that we saw, and they were very...average. I really like their album, and they do indeed, rock. They have the title of Nickelback Jr. all sewed up. Give them the trophy.

After TOADM came Godsmack. I have been a big fan of them for quite some time, so this was the band I was most excited to see, and they delivered. Sully is one of the best in the business at putting on a live show, and he didn't disappoint. I will say that I got tired of hearing how "fine" he was from our female companions, but I wasn't paying attention to that. :) The band delivered a fantastic performance, and didn't try to overthink it. They did what they did best, which is to rock.

After about a 40 minute wait, Motley Crue took the stage.
They decided, for some reason, that it would be a good idea to play the entire Dr. Feelgood album from start to finish. I didn't have too much of a problem with that, because that album was really the first one from them that I liked, but they were playing songs that no one has even heard in 20 years, so there were a lot of lulls in the show as people looked at each other and said, "What the hell is this song?". After they played their album, they played most of their big hits, and finished out the show with "Home Sweet Home" and "Girls, Girls, Girls". It That is about all I could say. There were no life changing experiences, nothing that made me say, "Wow. Now that is awesome."

I should explain, though. My very first concert I ever went to was Metallica, 1994, Starplex, 17 years old. We were in the lawn, but it was the most amazing, jaw-dropping experience I had ever had up until that point. Metallica played for 3 hours, never let up, and made sure each person in that venue left happy. I couldn't hold my head up because three hours of head banging will do that to a person. It was so loud, so perfect, that it set the bar for all future concerts WAY too high. Since then, there has only been one other concert that I have been to that made me feel remotely close to how that one felt (Green Day, American Idiot tour).

My really, really big complaint is pointed at center. Your sound system sucks. No, it blows...frankly, you should be ashamed at that sound system. NEVER should I be able to talk to someone on the lawn in my normal voice while a band is playing. It shouldn't happen. But, that is what happened. I was able to chat with my friend during the bands. I should have to yell. Plus, the sound was so muddy it was hard to tell what song was playing sometimes. My ears weren't ringing...let me repeat that...I went to see Godsmack and Motley Crue, and my ears weren't ringing. That is pathetic.

  • Some other observations:
  • Vince Neil needs to hang it up. He only sang about half the words that I could tell. His voice sounded OK, but he looked like he was having trouble making it from one side of the stage to the other
  • Sully is one of the best in the business.
  • Don't bring your 10 year old kids to a rock concert and complain when people are dancing to the music.
  • Don't bring your 10 year old to a rock concert, just to see them fall asleep on a blanket.
  • Ladies: Wearing the straw cowboy hat with the brim folded down does not make you hot.
  • Beer is expensive. Thank you to those who subsidized my buzz for the evening. You know who you are.
  • The $16 margaritas contain about 25 cents worth of alcohol in them. You just paid $15.75 for kool-aid.
  • I will give the props to the venue for having free parking. God bless you for that.
  • You need porta-potties in the parking lot.
  • Getting in and out of the venue, both parking and otherwise, was very painless. I was surprised.
  • Mick Mars did NOT look well.
  • Not a lot of teens there. Guess that really isn't their scene.
  • Why do people insist on wearing black concert t-shirts to an outdoor concert in Texas in August?
  • Godsmack's drummer might be the most entertaining drummer of all-time to watch. I wish I had brought binoculars.