John Mc

This is a collection of my thoughts. Some of the thoughts that I once had, I no longer do. Some thoughts I have now I have never had. Yet none shal be discounted. This blog is soley for the enjoyment of the author and the readers. On occasion the views expressed are overly exagerated in order to prove a point. Also there may be a dirty word or thought in some of the posts. Grow up and take this for what it's worth - a blog that barely anyone will ever see.


UIC Police & Dominick's

From the same guys that brought you "I'm On My Cell Phone," here are three other videos I was able to find that are great. The first one is probably for the same class that he has at UIC.

With all that respect for UIC police, I thought it best to show this video as well.

And finally back to Terry, apparently he worked or currently works at Dominick's.

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Pink 'N Knights

As most of you know, I am a wedding DJ and have been for over 11 years. While most weddings are pretty standard, I have seen some pretty strange stuff. This month I seem to have gotten all of the weirdos. Now begins the first in this series of weddings that will document all the weirdness that I have experienced recently.
It was two weeks ago that I had the honor and privilege to be a DJ at Holiday Banquet. (While the pictures provided here are ones taken with my awful cell phone, feel free to click on that link to show the pride that they exhibit in their "gallery" section.) We arrived to a dark banquet room and figured we must have just been very early. So, after going back outside we realized that there was a buzzer on the main door. After alerting the "staff" that we were there, they flipped on the lights and told us we were able to load our equipment through the back door.
We moved the van around and opened the doors. We examined the route we would take and found it involved stairs preventing us from wheeling in our equipment. I took this as a sign that tonight would be a great night.
We decided that the best option would be to carry each piece in. Each of us grabbed a speaker and turned around to have a guy appear from the wooded alleyway beside the building.
"You DJ?" he asked.
"Yes. We DJ." I responded.
"You unload here?"
"You wait fermadug."
I looked at my assistant who shrugged his shoulders. "What?" I asked.
With a slight hint of frustration he responded, "You WAIT FERMADUG."
We nodded as he stood in between us and the building and whistled. A HUGE rottweiler with a barbed wire collar appeared from the alley and made his way into the building. We assumed that he wanted us to "wait for my dog." They disappeared into a door marked "private" and "beware of dog." This door, I have deduced, lead to their home on the property. I'm pretty sure that they live in the back. They probably have Grandma cooking her ass off each Saturday making what looked like food later on.
This was the START of the evening.
After carrying in the speakers to our "stage," we realized that there wasn't a table to place our system on. The rottweiler handler happened to be walking by when we asked for a table. "You not bring a table?" he asked us rather confused. When we responded "Nope" he rolled his eyes as if we were supposed to supply that.
A guy in an apron with long hair carried a folding table with the handler up to the stage and dropped it off. Mr. Handler took off while Mr. Apron stood next to me as we looked at the room.
The room that we were in was pink. Everywhere there was pink... and knights in armor. To go along with this theme, the bride and groom's seats were thrones. Very fitting. The walls all had mirrors from 1986 that had great designs on them. They showed off music notes, a vertical piano, a palm tree and a martini glass with a lime wedge. (Because that's how I enjoy my martini's. Keep your olives. I want a lime.)
Mr. Apron took a deep breath while taking in the room and turned to me over his shoulder and said "pretty."
"Oh yeah! I have a room in my house done up the same way."
He nodded.
"Should we expect a lot of guests?"
He nodded again. I realized now he has no idea what I am saying.
"I think that the pink and the knights are a bit much though."
He nods and smiles as he walks out of the room. Either he realizes that the Sixteen Candles motif is outdated or he fears another follow up question.
After we set up our equipment, my assistant notices that there is a red rope of lights that span the bottom of the stage we are on. "Well, hell! Plug 'em in!" I recommend. I figured when in Rome, be as tacky as the Romans are. It really put a nice touch on the whole image.
It was time to get changed out of my jeans and t-shirt so I would look very respectable for what I assumed would be a very discerning crowd. It is there that I noticed the "instillation art" that someone had placed upon the bathroom wall. Very nice. On my way back to the "stage," I couldn't help but note the Solo cups on the tables to toast the bride and groom in style.
As the bridal party was arriving, the hall made sure to plug in the trellises that framed each doorway. They had flashing white Christmas lights on them. "Perfect" I thought.
When the bride and groom arrived, I realized she was white and he was black. Plus, as the room started showing up, it was apparent that the half to my right would hate the music that I played for the half on my left and vice versa. No matter what I played, no one was going to be happy. Including me.
The night keeps getting better and better!
The bar had one bartender for the 200 people in the room. This was not a good decision. From the time the bar opened to last call, there was a constant and obscenely long line that crept onto the dance floor on more than one occasion. (Including during the bride and groom's first dance.) I guess Mr. Handler was busy not getting killed by his dog to hop back there to pull a cap or two off of some beers. It also didn't help that the bartender also spoke English as well as Mr. Apron.
The waitstaff was an interesting bunch. One kid couldn't have been more than 14 at the most! I got the notion that the completely Polish staff was probably all related. The hall/bridal couple had me assist them in cutting their cake right before soup and/or salad. This is usually a sign that they are going to serve it for desert. My assistant and I killed time during dinner sitting in the other room and making fun of things. (This is standard at weddings. The DJ will constantly make fun of everything and everyone possible. This is a HUGE part of the job description.) We opted to not dine with the guests for fear of health code violations killing us within a few days. Grandma may have made it, but it most certainly was not with love, probably with rat instead.
We get back to our DJ table, which is right next to the cake table to see that the cake was still sitting there. I nudged my assistant and pointed out that "someone has dropped the ball on this one." He nodded and smiled and we began looking around for a server to see if there was something we were missing, or instead, something they had missed. It is then that a swarm of waiters and waitresses descended upon the cake and quickly ushered it into the back. After some rather quick and dirty cutting, (I say dirty not as a part of the phrase, but due to the condition of the hall) they got the desert out nearly in time. Only 20-30 minutes late. I'm fine with this. This is a half hour that I don't have to work and if everyone around me looks bad, I don't have to try as hard to look good.
The first dances go well. We start with a slow song and then move into "Celebration" and "We Are Family" as I do at EVERY wedding. This is when one of the groom's guests graces us with her presence at our DJ table.
"When you gonna play some of our music?"
"What?" I asked.
"You know, black people music."
"I could be mistaken, but wasn't there a few black people in 'Kool N The Gang?'"
She then made some noise with her mouth, tilted her head and stormed off. Only to join us again with the beginning of the next song.
"Ya all got some booty, ghetto music?"
"Ya gonna play dat shit?"
"What you got?"
I tossed her the list of songs that the bride and groom requested.
"This it?"
"No. That is what the bride and groom want."
"You gots to be kiddin'. When you gettin' to da good shit?"
"I have some good news for you. We have 2.5 hours of dancing tonight. At some point tonight, EVERYONE'S request will be played. Give me time to make the bride and groom happy and then we will get to what you want."
She stormed off again. I took "Gold Digga" out of the cue list that was due up next. I told myself if she could let three songs go by without requesting one of her own, then I would play her request. I'm not a racist. I just don't like assholes.
She never let that happen.
Soon it was time for the dollar dance. If you are not familiar with this, it is the most insulting thing that a bride and groom can ever do. Everyone has assembled to celebrate their marriage. Everyone has given them a card with cash or a wedding present. The bride and groom, being the greedy bastards that they are, attempt to raise more cash by making their guests pay at least $1 for a dance with one of them.
It is during this time that I play all the boring-ass slow songs that have been requested that evening to get them out of the way. What I did here was play 5 country songs in a row. "Amazed" was played followed up by "I Hope You Dance" and "Bless This Broken Road." It was right around this time that my "Gold Digga" friend gathered up her group and headed for the door. I'm not too sure why. My assistant was outside smoking at this point and hurried back in to let me know what occurred past the doors.
Apparently her friends were trying to convince her to give them her keys due to her great and apparent intoxication.
"No, I's fine."
"Well, at least let us take your drink from your hand before you get to your car."
"I'm gonna finish it!"
They then proceeded to play a CD in the parking lot and dance to that. Which is perfectly fine, because when you attend someone's wedding it is all about getting your favorite song(s) played, not the celebration of their union.
The remainder of the evening was decent. Nothing else of mention occurred other than the bride saying that we "made her night" and that "we did better than expectations." I was surprised, because I thought the evening kinda sucked. However, her perception was all that mattered. I had hoped that her great opinion of the evening would equate to a tip. In hind-sight, I'm glad that I didn't get my hopes up too high.
I guess most people don't realize that the DJ is a part of the service industry (like waiters, movers, valet, etc.) and get tipped. If you drop $1200 on a wedding for the DJ, I expect AT LEAST $100 from you. That isn't even 10%!
Yet, when you have a country-filled dollar dance surrounded by used Solo cups and knights in shinning armor, I can't expect that much from you.

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I'm On My Cell Phone

A co-worker of mine did this for a project in college. It is hysterical. I must warn you, the song will get stuck in your head. There is no way around it. However, you will be ok with it after you see this video.

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A White Sox Victory Without Playing

Nearly two months ago, I was on the Southside of Chicago. It was Friday, September 12 and I was joined by a dozen other people to tailgate for The Chicago White Sox vs. The Detroit Tigers. We drove up to the stadium EXTREMELY early to get to the park by 10 am. The reason for this is so that we could go on a tour of U.S. Cellular Field. What a great experience. Next season, I recommend that every baseball (Sox) fan goes on this tour. I was expecting $30-$50 a person. Nope. Only $5 to take the tour. Plus all the money goes to White Sox Charities which helps out under-privileged children in the area.
So, I got to sit in the dugout where Ozzy yells at people and chews on sunflower seeds. It was a great start to the day.
However, at this point a mist filled the air that looked threatening enough to develop into actual rain. After my many trips to Da Cell that year with inclumate weather looming, it always cleared up by the time the first pitch was tossed out. Surely this would be one of those times.
After a quick adventure on the Red Line into the city to pick up the remainder of the supplies necessary for tailgating, we were back in the parking lot under the sign that can be seen from the Dan Ryan.
We had hot dogs and hamburgers. We even had steak. We drank Miller Light and Apple Pie Shots (Thank you, Sarah!) We played bags or stayed under the trees when the rain really picked up.
With determination that God would not let Da Sox (His favorite team) to be rained out, we marched to the field that we had behind-the-scenes access to earlier that day. We paused for a moment at the 2005 World Series Championship monument (as every true fan should do before each Sox victory.)
It is there that we met up with three of my other friends, Dan, Tatiana and Liz.
After getting our Official, Limited-Edition 2008 Halfway to St. Patrick's Day White Sox Hat at the gates, we went on a quest for the Miller Lite Sports Deck to fulfill a tradition started at the beginning of the season. Should Marcus and I have a tall Miller Lite as soon as we enter the field, Da White Sox win. However, because our friend Josh had too much fun awaiting the game, he needed assistance to his seat by Marcus.
Irregardless, the quest for the deck went on with me and three others. The winding ramps and escalators all blended together and the passageway to the sports deck which was once easily found was extremely illusive.
With the game about to start, we ventured up to our seats and gave up on tradition. We climbed nearly 3 hours to get to our seats at the very top of the stadium. (We could see three separate states from where we sat.) Halfway through the announcement of our team, the game went on rain delay.
This opened up the opportunity to search for the sports deck again. This quest was mainly fueled by the fact that half of our party was already down there. After getting my tall Miller Lite, things felt as if they were beginning to look up. Alas, I was mistaken.
Not even halfway through my Miller Lite I was taking part of my first ever rain cancellation in my many years as a White Sox fan. How very depressing. I hadn't even had an opportunity to have a ball-park dog yet. Let alone enjoy a brat or Polish sausage!
I couldn't stand by this. The three who had joined me on my quest to enjoy 24 oz of Miller Lite in one sitting still had enough adventure surging through their veins to sneak onto the 100 level to get the best brats and Polish sausages in the entire ballpark at The Straightaway Cafe under the bar in center field.
These cylindrical meals of goodness are made by God Himself and handed to you by Jesus. "Enjoy, my son." One of the participants in this expedition was my Second City friend Liz who has a website that talks about food and stuff. Click here for her take on the best bratwurst in the city. (She has a great value in my refined palate.)
While we were all soaked and disappointed that the day ended without the expected White Sox win, it still was a good day to catch up with old friends and hang out with new ones. The comradery enjoyed by everyone there was apparent and appreciated. Plus, our tickets are still valid for next season, so it won't be a total loss. (Like The Cubs in the postseason!)

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The Others In Week 8

This is always a weird week for me. I look forward to it as I do every Sunday in football, yet, not with the same excitement as the others. There is football to be played, just not Bears football. While they take a breather, I will as well. Instead of being glued to the TV while I live and die with each down, I will probably get some much needed grading done while the game is on in the background.
Everyone enjoy the week off while we watch the "others" in the league.

BAL over OAK
CAR over AZ
TB over DAL
WAS over DET (Won't find your first win here, Detroit!)
MIA over BUF (I feel good about this upset. Not sure why. Oh yeah, due to bye weeks, I have Williams and Pennington playing this week. Damnit!)
STL over NE (Another upset. STL is on a roll and NE is rolling down the hill.)
SD over NO (In England, you have to factor in the Crumpet Factor. Plus, "I can't wait to see the Eifel Tower!")
NYJ over KC
PHI over ATL
JAX over CLE
TEX over CIN (Where have you gone, Pennington?!)
PIT over NYG (Should be a great match-up!)
SF over SEA (Sunday Night Game is this crap? It is starting. I expect the last half of the season to be dripping with mediocrity.)
TEN over IND (A no-brainer. I don't care what anyone says about Peyton + Monday Night = Victory.)

That's it for this week. Short and sweet. Enjoy your football.


The Whitest Kids U' Know

Set your Tivos to record this show. It can be found on IFC (Channel 550 on Direct TV) MUCH better than any other sketch comedy show that I have ever seen.
Granted, not all are winners and some are just strange, but each episode they hit one out of the park. Here is just one of their sketches:


Important News

Coming soon - Wedding Extravaganza!  There have been SO many wedding I have been a part of in the past few weeks (Working and as a guest) and they will all be re-capped in one big post.
The rained-out White Sox game that I went to was documented.  Info and links on that.
Finally, the most important news of all, a good friend of mine (and one of the 8 readers of this blog), Eric is undergoing surgery on Friday.  Please keep him and his family in your prayers.  He should be ok, but let's collectively make sure.
Stay tuned. 

Tiger Buys Food Too!

I'm at Jewel Food Store last night buying some essentials.  I got some spaghetti and sauce.  Some milk, eggs, cereal and English muffins.  You know, the essentials.  Nothing big.  I was out of there with less than $30 worth of stuff.
However, as I leave there is a small Asian man at the door with his cart right up against the entrance to the exit.  (You know, where they have the guide rails in betwee
n the entrance doors and the exit doors?)  
His cart was there and he was a few steps behind it facing the window that looked out onto the parking lot.  Was he checking his receipt for accuracy?  Was he awaiting a ride?  Making sure that it wasn't raining before getting out of the store?
Nope.  He was practicing his golf swing... without a club.
I decided within a nano-second of evaluating the situation I was n
ot going to confront this guy and just nudge his cart out of the way and keep on going.  However, when he saw me coming, he quickly dropped his imaginary club and shuffled out the door in front of me.
As the automatic door swung open for him, he cried out "Million dollar golfer!"  

Why me?  Why always me?


Let's see...

Dems say "Give mortgages to those who can't afford it."
Repubs say "That isn't a good idea. We recommend that not happen."
Dems say "But, we will have a VERY pretty 'Housing bubble!'"
Repubs say "It's going to burst."

Then the housing market tumbles. The bubble bursts.
The market holds for a little while, then falls with it.
The biggest hurt were (obviously) the lenders forced to give homes to those without credit, and in some cases, without citizenship.

The Dems and Repubs get together and give $700 BILLION to companies that failed. Letting all big companies know that they don't have to be responsible for their mistakes as long as they are big enough and important enough for the country. Or, maybe it was just that the congress (who has the lowest approval rating in the history of the country at 9%... has Bush ever been that low? No.) felt guilty about forcing their hand in putting that chained pen in the hands of those they knew couldn't pay for the loan.

Who recommended all of this? It doesn't matter. Let's focus on the solution, not the problem. I heard a quote recently that said it was as if we had "hired the arsonist who burned down our home to rebuild it." Good analogy, but not great. It is more like giving a monkey a gun and then once the shooting is over, a scalpel to be the surgeon on call.

Maybe there is a reason why in some polls that voters feel that McCain is better suited to handle the economy than Obama. Check out what I posted in AUGUST - LONG before all of this came to a head!

Dems say they can handle the economy.
Dems make illogical moves to prove that they are incapable of currently handling the economy.
Dems ruin the economy.
Obama (D) says that he can handle the economy.
Seems logical to give him the reigns.
That way he can work together with a highly respected democratic congress (9%) to solve our issues in the best way possible - illogically.


Orton = Tylonol PM

Think back to where we were last year. We were busy wringing our hands over Grossman. We saw interception after interception. Bad choices. Throwing the ball away when frightened. Heck, even dropping the ball after the snap to give it up. Rex is REALLY inventive at giving the ball away. (I wonder what his completion percentage or QB rating was with opposing teams.)
Now we have Orton. Who would have thought that this guy would give us sleep-filled nights. Enough from everyone saying "Is he a Super Bowl QB?" He's a Sunday QB. Each Sunday he goes out and quietly does what is necessary. Soon he will be a Play Off QB. Finally, he will be a Super Bowl QB. He is progressive and I feel that we will enjoy the progression.
We just need to finish more games. Playing 45 min out of 60 is no way to win a game. Those precious 15 minutes while we catch our breath, everyone else catches our points. Step it up against MIN for the 95th time today! They may have stepped up their defence, but that doesn't mean that WE can't still pop 'em! Jam the middle, shut down Peterson and force What's His Name to throw to Who Is That Again.
This week is the easiest week to pick for. I HAD to choose some upsets to make it interesting. The NFL is fairly evenly matched (Many teams at .500) yet, this is the most lopsided match-ups that I have ever seen. And now, only because I said that, expect more than two upsets.

BAL over MIA
TEN over KC
CHI over MIN (Of course.)
PIT over CIN
CAR over NO
DAL over STL (Even without Jessica's boyfriend)
BUF over SD
HOU over DET (The crap bowl comes early this year. Just kidding, Hou, you have finally showed up to play this year. Go thank Andre' Johnson!)
IND over GB (Here is an upset. Can you believe it? Watch the tape from last week, My Favorite Marvin is back.)
WAS over CLE
NYJ over OAK
TB over SEA
DEN over NE (My only other upset of the week)

Enjoy your football. GO BEARS!!!


Investment Advice

My friend Mark sent me this via e-mail.

If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Delta Airlines one year ago, you would have $49.00 today.
If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in AIG one year ago, you would have $33.00 today.
If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Lehman Brothers one year ago, you would have $0.00 today.
But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the aluminum cans for a recycling refund, you will have received $214.00.

Based on the above, the best current investment plan is to drink heavily & recycle.
It is called the 401-Keg.

In fact, a recent study found that the average American walks about 900 miles a year.
Another study found that Americans drink, on average, 22 gallons of alcohol a year.
That means that, on average, Americans get about 41 miles to the gallon!
Makes you proud to be an American!"


NFL Picks

I was out of town last weekend. (Details on that later! My return to Effingham was quite eventful.) However, I was unable to make the NFL Picks that all of my readers (both of you) enjoy making fun of each week. Let's just consider that I got 'em all right.
I have very little time before the noon kick-offs, so let's get right down to it!

CHI over DET (By A LOT. At least a hundred points or more.)
TEN over BAL
CAR over KC
GB over ATL (As much as it pains me to say)
IND over HOU (Amazingly, this is considered an upset!)
NYG over SEA (SEA always has difficulty on the East coast, but they have added to their offence this week. I'm torn here!)
PHI over WAS (Washington is pretty banged up. Expect McNabb to take 'em down.)
SD over MIA
TB over DEN (This will be a great game. Perhaps the game of the week. Both are great teams who aren't getting very much press, but the tide seems to be turning on that aspect.)
BUFF over AZ (This is ANOTHER upset! What is going on with the league?!)
DAL over CIN (Duh!)
NE over SF
MIN over NO (Again, see above.)

Enjoy your football. And your White Sox! Perhaps ONE team will avoid being swept in the post season!