And a Happy 2014 to you, my dear readers, and thanks for taking the journey with me again; hard to believe this is my fifth year doing Wide World of Stuff; time flies when you’re trying to keep an audience interested, I s’pose.
My 2014 got off to a great start; had a low-key New Year’s Eve with my wife and her best friend, continued to be mildly annoyed that Ryan Seacrest is the heir to Dick Clark (I just really loathe Ryan Seacrest), and was shocked to discover I’d actually heard of most of the musical acts on the various NYE shows.
But the best part of 2014 so far was the NHL’s annual voyage into outdoor hockey. The game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs was fabulous; it was played at the University of Michigan football Stadium (aka The Big House) before 100,000-plus people, the ice held up pretty well, and best of all, it snowed throughout the entire game.
There were breaks in the action for snow removal, the fans froze their rear ends off, and OK sure, the hockey was played at 2/3rds normal speed due to the conditions and it was hardly a “classic” hockey game. But it was as usual, a wonderful visual to see hockey played the way it used to be when these players were all kids: outside.
There are going to be five more of these outdoor games this year, which just proves the NHL is trying to kill its golden goose. The beauty of the Winter Classic is it’s special, a one-off every year. I just hope they don’t overexpose the outdoor feel, and hope they go back to one or two per year at most, next year.
The Maple Leafs won Wednesday, but that didn’t matter too much: Just seeing the breathtaking views was enough to get my 2014 off to a great start.
**This cracked me up: A website called elephantjournal.com (wish I’d thought of that name for MY blog!) published a list compiled from Reddit of what companies’ slogans should be if they were really honest. The one for Nature Valley granola bars is hilarious to me since I am addicted to eating them, and they always make a mess no matter how careful I try to be with them.
Here are some of my other favorites (whole list is here):
Ben and Jerry’s: Who are we kidding? A pint is definitely one serving.
Comcast: We’ll be there between 7 a.m. and fuck yourself in the face, or, Comcast—every single one of our customers hates us, but there isn’t anything they can do about it because we are an oligopoly and there is very rarely any alternative for high speed internet in most of our coverage area. Or, Comcast—Because Fuck You. (Editor’s note: Also applies to Time Warner).
Taco Bell: “You obviously don’t care what you put into your mouth, so why should we?”
**Finally today, making note of incorrect predictions from the past is usually like shooting fish in a barrel, and way to easy to mock. I generally avoid making fun of people whose prognostications were really off, because hey, none of us knows what the future holds and pundits are paid to make forecasts, and they’re never gonna be 100 percent accurate.
But on Andrew Sullivan’s blog Wednesday night I came across this from N.Y. Times columnist, and incredibly smart man, Paul Krugman. In 1998 Krugman wrote this:
The growth of the Internet will slow drastically [as it] becomes apparent [that] most people have nothing to say to each other…. By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s.
Umm, yeah, not so much.