Lou Pickney's Online Commentary
June 29, 2001
6:13 PM EDT
I'm pissed as hell right now, and I have some things to say. It's no secret that the individualfreedoms held by you and me and every other American (sorry to you non-American readers) are being infringed upon on a daily basis... invaded by all sides, by law enforcement and insurance companies and corporate ownership and ten thousand special interest groups who are spending money right now to ensure that they have a political edge. And if there was ever any doubt
in my mind that this is a reality, that doubt was eradicated completely after watching a pair of stories on 10 News tonight at 6 PM.
The first story involves cigarette smoking. Now I don't use tobacco products, and I don't encourage anyone to use tobacco products, as it's a rather stupid thing to do (at least in my opinion). But, and this is important, I *STRONGLY* support the freedom of all adults to use it if they so choose. Granted, I'll highly question your self-preservation instincts, but who am I to tell you what you can and can't do?
There's a city office in the Tampa Bay area that has banned employees from smoking. Now, I know that banning smoking in public places is important from a standpoint of second-hald smoke, but that's not what this story is about. As of June 15th, anyone who takes a job with that office has to sign a promise not to smoke.... PERIOD. Not at work, not on your break, NOT IN THE PRIVACY OF YOUR OWN HOME. I predicted awhile back that you'd start seeing smoking be
outlawed in places by 2010, but perhaps the process is being sped up. So what now, are they going to take a "drug test" for tobacco? In an era of paranoia, in a country obsessed with maintaining puritanical values behind its bravado of "land of the free and home of the brave", your freedom is being eroded. So while drug addicts get jail time and alcohol is legal but less dangerous substances are not, now you can lose you job over a Camel. Give me a break.
And as mad at that first story made me, it's a drop in the bucket compared to the real life
1984 going on here in Tampa. Back at the Super Bowl, the police here unveiled a new
technology where a camera scanned everyone coming through the gates and did a check for people
with outstanding warrants. That made a lot of people angry (myself included), and now the
cops are doing that with the police cameras up in Ybor City. Big Brother is watching, and you'd
better fall in line... or else.
June 26, 2001
9:52 PM EDT
Time is short, as I must be getting to work... but I finally received NBA Street in the mail
today, and wow... it's a great game. Very fun, for sure. More later...
June 25, 2001
8:21 PM EDT
"There's too many who know what I'm talking about"
-Grand Funk Railroad "Bad Time"
Once again, UPS is testing my patience. Last year, I ordered a Playstation game called
Super Puzzle Fighter from Capcom (it was an older game that was about impossible to find in
stores). So, Capcom shipped it to me from California... via UPS. And so I waited. And
waited. Turns out that they somehow managed to MISPLACE the package at their handling center
in Oakland, and it turned into a total cluster. I finally got the damn thing, but way later
This time around, I ordered NBA Street directly from EA.com. The
Playstation 2 title has gotten rave reviews from nearly all circles, and I figured I'd give it
a try myself. Plus, EA had 25% off all games ordered from their website. So, even with the
expensive $6 UPS "Second Day Air", it was still $10 less than I'd have paid at any store here
in Tampa (and they were all sold out of it, anyway). Now I placed the order on Thursday
morning, and it's now Monday evening, and still no game. I am not amused. Apparently EA
didn't ship the order until Friday, and evidentally UPS doesn't count Sunday as a real day
with its "2 to 3 day delivery" schedule. And it's not like it's coming from the west coast
or anything -- it shipped out of Louisville. Oh well, hopefully by this time tomorrow it'll
I didn't see King of the Ring last night, but apparently Kurt Angle and Shane McMahon stole the
show with their match. Unfortunately, the spree of injuries continue, as both Angle and Steve
Austin had to be hospitalized. Also, the wasted pushes of Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit came
to an end with a whimper, not a bang, though that wasn't a surprise. After the amazing two
weeks those two had, winning the tag titles over Austin and HHH and then getting the huge pops
in Canada, you could totally feel the backstage influence by HHH on getting those two buried
pronto. What a waste. Meanwhile, the time is still right for another player to come on the
U.S. pro wrestling scene, but the question is: who? (Not Neidhart) It will be interesting to
see how things transpire in those ranks in the next few months...
June 24, 2001
9:58 AM EDT
"Detours, fences, I get defensive"
-Concrete Blonde "Joey"
I really do mean to update this page more often. Really. And if this were as recently as even
two and a half years ago, I probably would be alot more successful at that attempt. But
life seems to move faster now, which increases the challenge level significantly.
Orlando was a great time last weekend. My buddy Gary Graham lives up there, and it was cool
hanging with him and his friends. Firehouse was an interesting club, with plenty of room (at
least while we were there), and three different live DJ's in various sections. From there we
all went to H2O, an all-night club. With my shift, I'm used to being up all night, so I was
right in my zone there. None of these people saying "I'm tired" etc. etc. at midnight. Though
it's not like I run into that all that much in Tampa (Huntington wasn't too bad about that, but
Evansville... well that's another story).
I've been listening to alot of really cool bands lately that I've only recently discovered.
Some like Akinyele and Afroman on the hip hop side, others like Scapegoat Wax and Rehab in the
California Sublime sounding category, and still others like My Vitriol and Minibar on the rock
side. And then I've gone with some older bands like Concrete Blonde to mix things up on the
playlist. I love the internet.
Work continues to go well for me. Like with any job, some days are better than others, but at
this point in my life I don't know what I'd rather be doing. I mean, playing tennis all day
would be better, but I mean in terms of work, I enjoy my job quite well. Plus living in Tampa
has been everything I'd hope it would be (and then some).
Friday night, my friend Scott from work and I went to the Yankees/Devil Rays game. Now, for
the past month and a half, they'd been running promos at the Rays games for Friday night, June
21st -- Fred McGriff bobble head doll night. Now, for you people not particularly familiar with
bobble head dolls, they're pretty cool -- little figurines with big heads that bobble back and
forth. They were particularly popular back in the 50's, but now they've come back in a major
way. Doubt it? Then check out
ebay.com and see for yourself.
Anyway, I could expect to fetch at least $15 for a mint McGriff in original wrapping, which
would more than pay for my $8 ticket and $5 for half of the parking cost. Or I could keep it,
and watch its value go up over time. We're talking limited quantities here! So at work on
Thursday and Friday, I pitched the idea of going to the game to Scott. Given our completely
different work schedules, it can be tough to find a common time to hang out, but we agreed to
meet up and go to the game.
Now let me emphasize that I am a major New York Yankees fan. I've been a fan since back in
1988 when I met Joe Martin at Oak Hill Day Camp. Joe was a Yankees fan, and I started following
baseball pretty in-depth at that point... and cheering for the Yanks myself. So, I'd have gone
to the game, freebie giveaway or none. I really don't understand why the Rays management picked
the first Yankees game of the year as giveaway night, since they'd be a draw by themselves.
Wouldn't it make more sense to do it when, say, Kansas City comes to town? Though maybe
they were trying for a sellout (not even close though -- but there were many more people in
attendance than usual for a Rays game).
Scott and I decided to meet up at 5:30, but due to Tampa/St. Pete traffic slowdowns, we both
didn't get to our meeting spot until 5:45. So from there we booked it over to the stadium,
where there was a crazy long line for tickets. Now see, while the Rays are the home team, this
is very much Yankees territory. The Yanks have their spring training down here -- they have
for years -- and that, coupled with a large retirement community from New York, has really
bolstered their fan base here. Plus, the Devil Rays didn't come into existence until 1998. So,
while it was a road game for the Yankees, it was like a home game for them. Plus, the Yankees
are three time defending World Series champions, while the Rays are the worst team in baseball.
So, I shouldn't have been too surprised with the line, but it was just a marked departure from
how the scene was at previous Rays ballgames I had attended.
After our wait, Scott and I had our tickets. Then came the moment of truth -- did they have
any bobble head dolls left? I joked with Scott that it was like an episode of Seinfeld. I've
mentioned before in these pages that my life imitates Seinfeld quite often (or perhaps it's
more like Seinfeld as a dark comedy), and the whole bobble head doll thing seemed right out of
a Seinfeld script.
Anyway, we got our ticket ripped, and saw where they had tables set up... tables that were
EMPTY. The workers were putting some empty crates away. Scott and I looked around and saw
people in front of us with bobble head doll boxes, and we found out that they had JUST RUN OUT
of the dolls. They had promised dolls to the first 15,000 in the gates, and we were there an
hour early, but it seemed that our luck had gone dry on that.
Rather disappointed, we made our way up to our seats. Well, I dunno if Scott was as disappointed
as I was, but dangit, I wanted that bobble head doll. On our way to an escalator, we saw some
idiot kid drop and break his doll (if this were The Simpsons,
Nelson would there to say "Ha Ha!")
I then commented "14,999", meaning there were only that many remaining (to potentially compete
with selling on the internet).
As we made our way to the second escalator, I spotted a side entrance... with stacks of white
boxes. Extra dolls! Ecstatic, we burst through the outside door. The woman at the table was
a little hesitant, but when her supervisor said it was ok since they were out at our entrance,
they hooked us up. So, yes, I got my McGriff bobble head doll.
As it turned out, McGriff (nursing a sore hamstring) only made one plate appearance, striking
out with two on and two out. Yankees win 6-3 -- Mussina gets the win, Revera the save. Plus,
the Blue Jays beat the Red Sox, so the Yankees picked up a game on Boston in the standings.
Life is good.
I ended up at Club Hedo last night, which was my first time there. I had wanted to go to
Masquerade, but the $8 cover (even for all you can drink) made me decide against there, and
then Club Fun, my second choice, had a ridiculously disorganized line to get in. After dealing
with that hassle, I walked across the street and gave Club Hedo a try... and I'm glad I did,
cause I had a fun time there. It's the only club I know of that has an actual tree growing
in the middle of the dance floor. Plus, they had good service and good drinks there (and some
nice women too)...
June 16, 2001
8:13 AM EDT
"The world doesn't just disappear when you close your eyes, does it?"
-Leonard Shelby, a character in the movie Memento
If you haven't seen the movie Memento, you really owe it to yourself to check it out. I thought
that it was great, absolutely masterful and brilliant. In an era where so many
terrible movies are out there, it's nice that
there is some originality around. It's too bad it didn't receive even half the push that some of
the recent major studio releases out there have received... It'll be a must-buy for me when
it comes out on DVD later this year.
I saw Memento on Thursday night. I woke up early to go catch a 4:40 matinee showing of it,
but it was down at the Channelside 9, which, while being only two or so miles from here, is a
place that I had never been before (there's still a great deal of Tampa, let alone the Bay area,
that I need to explore). Unfortunately, one of the turns wasn't marked, so instead of making it
to the theatre, I found myself driving way the hell down in the wrong direction, past this big
industrial area and finally to a dead end. So I had to shell out an extra $2.50 to see Memento
on the 7:10 showing, but it was worth it. Plus, on the drive home, a jeep filled with hot girls
pulled up next to me at a stoplight. They were wearing similar looking shirts I noticed, and
all looking over at me (nothing unusual about that part). Then one of the girls lifted up her
shirt, and on her boobs was a sticker for VoyeurDorm.com, which
is one of many of the "webcast from a house full of girls" type websites in the Tampa area. I
have to give them credit though for some pretty original grass-roots type marketing. I gave
them a big thumbs up and a smile, which got them laughing. You never know what will happen
The Lakers are once again NBA Champs. How incredible is it that since April 1, they've only
lost one game. And that was in overtime. Unfortunately, the end of the NBA season issues in a
bit of a sports lull, with only baseball to tide us over until the start of football season in
August/September. But... the Yankees are coming to town next weekend, so I'll be getting my
fill of live baseball then.
June 13, 2001
10:07 AM EDT
Work this morning sure was an adventure. We had some major breaking news, the kind of stuff
that I had figured would happen more often in a market this size. First, police issuing a
warrant ended up burning down a house in south St. Petersburg late night. Then, a wreck on the
Howard Frankland Expressway ended with a vehicle IN THE WATER, knocked off the bridge. Thanks
to some major hustle by everyone at the station, we covered both stories very well, and had a
dynamite newscast this morning.
I got an e-mail from Katherine Knight this morning, who mentioned that she got married three
weeks ago. I swear, I'm starting to feel old with all these friends and people from my past
who are getting hitched. Between Katherine and Brad Ott and Phil Cahoon and Aaron Thompson etc.
etc., it's crazy. But it was good to hear from Katherine. I think the last time I talked
with her was 1996? At latest 1997, but I think the summer of '96, when I was living in
Nashville. Time flies, doesn't it?
What else to discuss? Well... major props to the Supreme Court, which anymore seems like the
only sane voice of reason in this country, protecting the Fourth Amendment rights of everyone
earlier this week. It was a narrow vote, 5-4, but the Bill of Rights still
apparently mean something, which is a good thing.
The Timothy McVeigh execution, there's an interesting case. I have mixed emotions about the
death penalty. There's the argument that the government kills people who kill people to show
that killing people is wrong, which is interesting. But then you get someone like McVeigh,
who killed so many innocent people, and you have to think that *if* you were ever to support
the death penalty, it would be for him. It's a tough call...
Lakers/76ers Game 4 is tonight. It's an important one for Philly, but I'm not making any
predictions. Hopefully it will be another exciting game -- so far, it's been a pretty fun
series to watch.
June 12, 2001
8:36 PM EDT
"She comes in colors everywhere
She's like a rainbow..."
-Rolling Stones "She's a Rainbow"
"THE LABEL MAKER
(Episode 98): Jerry & Elaine think that Tim Whattly (the dentist) is a "re-gifter" after Jerry
gets the same label maker that Elaine gave to Tim. George dates woman with male roommate; Jerry
gives and tries to get back his Superbowl tickets. Kramer & Newman play RISK... Air Date: Jan
-Description of Seinfeld Episode #98, from
Not much to say right now.. except that life imitates Seinfeld again. You figure out which
subplot I'm talking about...
June 8, 2001
9:15 AM EDT
Not much time to write, but I figure a mini-update would be good. The weekend is here, which
is a good thing.
I saw Shrek on Wednesday night. Perhaps it was overhyped to me, but I was rather underwhelmed
by it. There were some funny parts (including the Pinocchio character, which was a riot). The
gingerbread inquision scene wasn't bad, either. But overall.. I didn't think it was an ideal
first date movie (as was the case for me). And it's nowhere near the same league as Toy Story
or Toy Story 2. Or Lion King, for that matter.
It's amazing to me how excited people are to be getting their tax rebate, which President Bush
is set to sign into law. I say: where's the interest that the government has been leeching
off my money? Think if I jacked you for $300, then told you that I'd give you a check for it
in September, sans interest. Would you be super-giddy about how you were going to spend it? No -- you'd be
livid at me for having the nerve to expect you to take it as fair and ok. But... who's going
to argue with $300 (or $600 or however much) that they wouldn't otherwise have?
Over the last few days, it's rained on a daily basis here in the Tampa area. It's a marked
difference from my first month in a half here, where it seemingly never rained. But the area
desperately needs the rain, so who am I complain?
The Devils lost last night to the Avalanche in the NHL Stanley Cup Finals, which sets up
tomorrow night's deciding game 7. I was talking with Tali last night, and she and I both
agreed that we should be watching the game in Huntington at Yesterday's (like we did for last
year's OT thriller where the Devils beat the Stars on a Saturday night to capture the Cup).
Meanwhile, the Sixers pulled a shocker against the Lakers. Something tells me that Kobe won't
be as rusty in game 2.. and that the Lakers will come out super-pissed. If anybody wants to
put some scarilla down on Philly for Game 2... let me know...
June 3, 2001
5:57 AM EDT
Wow, this weekend has been a very fun time. Adding an extra day to the weekend mix can really
do wonders (especially when things were as eventful as they have been for me). I rode a
Wave Runner for the first time yesterday (which is essentially a jet ski that you can sit down
and ride). I had to pop a Dramamine so I wouldn't get motion sick, but it was worth it (or
woooorth it, as the Corverre guy from Beavis & Butt-head would say). $38 for 30 minutes, and
it was worth the payola for sure. Luckily my SFP 48 suntan lotion did a pretty good job for me,
though I did miss a few places where I got a bit sunburned (Florida's sun can punish us people
with minimal skin pigment).
The midget from 93.3 FLZ's "MJ Morning Show" was out at Bar Tampa last night, and in a hysterical scene he was giving
girls dancing on the bar shots of some sort of alcohol straight out of the bottle. I don't
think my account of it can bring across the humor value involved. I really do need to start
bringing a disposable camera with me when I go out...
And if anyone is reading this was at Bar Tampa on Saturday night... was that really Lou Bega
up on the side stage with the two chicks in blue? I have my doubts... but after the celebrity
run-ins that have taken place since I moved here, who knows.
Let there be no mistake -- making the decision to move to Tampa is one of the best things I've
ever done (at least up to this point). Living the good life can be quite fun. Granted, the
hours I work blow, but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make to get where I need to be in the
But one difference between radio and TV morning producers -- unlike Spice Boy from the
Bubba the Love Sponge radio show, or the myriad
of other on-air people who make appearances at clubs, TV producers can't go out and make
public appearances for a little side scarilla. Of course, the flip side is anonymity and not
having to worry about "being recognized" at a bar. Would Nick
Bakay dub this as an advantage: push?
I bought the movie Traffic on DVD yesterday. Best
Buy had it on sale, and actually it's selling on eBay for more than what it cost to get it at
Best Buy (if the profit margin weren't so low, it might be worth a buy-and-sell quick turnaround
on a bunch of them). Anyway, it's a fantastic movie. Gritty, brilliantly cast, and intelligent...
all qualities I like in a film. Granted, there were a few parts that were a bit hard for me
to suspend disbelief on, but by and large it is an excellent movie and one that it worth your
time and money to see.
The NFL season will be interesting this year. I'm getting psyched, especially with this being
the last year with the old conference setup. Unfortunately the NFL has decided to put both the
Colts and the Titans in the same division, which won't do me any favors in the divided loyalty
department. Then again, living in Tampa I will face pressure to cheer for the Bucs (a team
that I do like, and luckily they are NFC so they won't face the Colts or Titans in the postseason
unless it's the Super Bowl).
A great song worth checking out on AudioGalaxy.com is
"Do You Really Like It" by DJ Pied Piper & The Masters Of Ceremonies. You've probably never
heard it before, but the song is very big in England, and with good reason.
Gran Turismo 3 is coming out soon in the U.S. for the Playstation 2... and from all accounts,
it should be nothing short of incredible. We'll see how it stands up in actuality...