Sunday, April 26, 2009

every move I make feels lost with no direction...

Probably a short one tonight... the blog, I am writing. Nothing else, pervs.

What's new? How have you been? Great to hear that. That is so exciting! Congratulations on the _________.

Now that we have that out of the way, let us recap some things.

1. I still haven't heard any word on the job I interviewed for about 2 weeks ago. That is fine. No hurry. I keep crossing my fingers, though. This job could add a few years back onto my life. Not talking to crazies every day can do that.

2. The Brewers went on a little winning streak. It is about time. Dave Bush might have his game back. We are going to need that down the stretch. The game on Saturday night was exciting as hell though. Extra innings and a win! Yes, please! I will take that any night. Better yet is that the Crew played a little small ball and produced runs.

3. Packers drafted twice in the first round with a surprise trade. Ted Thompson must have eaten a bad burrito because he never trades his way up. He sure did yesterday and we got some kid named Clay Matthews. Yes, he is the some of THAT Clay Matthews. I was at Lambeau Field during that part of the draft for the annual draft party. It is a cheap little bit of entertainment. For $25 bucks you get a free had and a ticket to an autograph session where you get two players to sign your shit! Well, as luck would have it, my brother, nephew, and I were sitting in the right place as a man just handed us his autograph tickets. AWESOME. We had 5 tickets at this point. Then we found another ticket on a table, so Nathan and I had access to all three sessions by the end of the day. Then we got Dayton in with us under the justification that we couldn't leave him on his own. Which we technically couldn't because I didn't want to chase him down after he wandered off. So, whose autographs do I have? How about James Jones, Aaron Rouse, Jordy Nelson, Will Blackmon, and former player Aaron Taylor. He was wearing his Super Bowl ring. It was impressive. Oh, I forgot to mention that Mark Chmura gave me an autograph as well. I had to bite my tongue because I really wanted to ask him about “it”.

Quick hits:

Ever see the channel Palladia on cable? It rocks, literally. They show all kinds of concerts in HD as well as actual music videos. MTV should take note.

I bought a bobble head gnome on Saturday. It rocks. I love bobble heads. And the amusement of gnomes stretches back about 9 years, so it was an awesome combination.

Anyone out there want to see Star Trek with me?

21 days until I go to Vegas! Anyone know of any good attractions out there that I might not know about?

I had some gut rot today. It was either the Taco Bell or Little Caesar's.

Ever been in a situation where you realize that although you are surrounded by a shit ton of people, you really don't know any of them? Awkward as hell, right? Yep, sure is. Those are times where spending the evening at home in front of the TV is not such a bad idea.

The weather is getting nice. Thus, I need to break out the bike and get off my ass a bit more.

People like to cry on the phone when they call us at work. Apparently that is supposed to make them appear sympathetic to us. Well, it usually means we aren't allowed to get to the core of their problem. Then it just gets worse from there. Cut the crying bullshit, people. Save it for when you really need it in life.

Anybody want to come up and watch some Packers Training Camp? I am going to pick some random days off in the middle of May so I can go. Granted it is right down the street, it is still a good time.

Time to eat a little something and go to bed.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

When your mind's made up...

Do you want to know what I like? It is that little “Like” link you can click on Facebook news feeds. It really is just a wonderful way to provide feedback to someone without having to say or type a damn word. It is the Facebook equivalent of a head nod or a wink. You gotta love that, right?

Also, it really is a way to say “Hey, I caught that news feed about you and wanted to give you a nonverbal heads up that I like what you did there.” Essentially it is a form of electronic acknowledgment of another person. Or in other words, it is e-attention. Who the hell doesn't like attention and acknowledgment? Nobody I know, that is for sure. Sure it might be just another way to be in a sort of spotlight, but that is something I can't complain with. Spotlight? Yes please. Sign me up right now.

Ultimately, the best use of this feature is done by the hardcore Facebook users. You know who I am talking. These are the Facebook stalkers. Yeah, I know, it is like the pot calling the skillet a cooking apparatus. I wouldn't want to speak of this concept if I didn't know it inside and out. Now, if you have done your fair share of Facebooking, you probably know what I am getting at with the “Like” link being a useful tool for “stalking”.

Why is it useful, Nick? That is a great question. It is useful when you are surfing through Facebook and come across a complete stranger or a long lost acquaintance that draws your attention. Perhaps this person is interesting. Maybe they are smoking hot and you want in on that action. Hell, they may even have some unresolved beef with you. Regardless, you need an ice breaker and what better to do it with than use the “Like” link. It is a blessing in disguise.

Think about it. Clicking the “Like” is basically your way of saying, “hey, I saw this and I agree with it”. It comes right from the news feed and is public as can be. There is nothing awkward or strange about it. You don't think twice about getting the notification that someone liked your news feed. In fact, there isn't a disturbing bit about it....

Well, unless you think about it like I do.

So, there you are on a lonely Sunday night. You just finished watching a marathon of Mythbusters and are winding down the weekend before you go back to work for the man. You are in dire need for a fix of the Facebook. Everyone needs a little of that on a Sunday Night. Oh, look at that! Someone from college that you haven't spoken to in 5 years accepted your friend request from 4 months ago. Time to go stalk the shit out of them. Gee, I wonder what in the world I should say to them. “Hey, how is it going” is almost too cliché. “What's up?” is boring. Hmm. I should maybe not say a word. If I said anything I would come off as eager and disparate for attention as I really am. How in the world do I get myself on the inside without directly saying, “Hey you, girl who showed me your chest back in the dorms! Look at all my cool Packer pictures on my profile and comment on how funny my notes are!”. Hey! I got it! She just watched an episode of “Law and Order: SVU”. I hate that fucking show. But hell, she doesn't know that.


“Nick Wallander likes this.”

That should do the trick. Now she'll just think I came upon this in the news feed. She might not talk to be if she knew I was staring at her roommate in a bikini on her most recent photo album. But hey, as far as she knows, I just scanned by her status. I am just very observant. Not creepy one bit.

So, Facebook, I thank you for this simple little feature that goes beyond a few little words. You have no idea how much it has done for me- errr - people out there on the site. It is much more safe than handling chloroform. And cheaper. You use the wrong amount and you have a body to dispose of. I don't know about you, but that is a problem I would not want.

Monday, April 13, 2009

You think this blog is about you....

Last Friday morning would have been such a waste of time had it not been for one's man's confusing comments. You see, there was this guy on the phone with me who was (surprise!) pissed off that our company didn't pay for a claim of his. We'll call him Ed since that is the simplest of names for the simplest of minds I was dealing. Good old Ed had a claim for an orthopedic surgeon that treated him while he had a stay at a hospital. This surgeon was not in his network, which means that despite his deductible being met, Ed had to eat up that charges all by his lonesome. It was a tough break, but completely within the guidelines of his plan. Ed didn't see to think that is was quite right. He had many interesting supporting arguments.

One was that he “hired” our company to pay his claims. Yep, “hired” was the word he used. As if it made logical sense to him that one could give someone $X.XX and they would decide to turn around and pay $XXX.XX out on claims on their behalf. Somewhere in his thick skull, it was not resonating with him that no business model is designed to spend more money than they bring in. I pointed out the policy guidelines and hoped shit for brains would just shut up and get back to beating his wife and children. Nope. That didn't do it. He had other ideas in store for me. For instance, I was not aware that he hired ME personally to negotiate all his claims for him whenever they came in. Fuck, that was news to me. I probably should be getting a pay raise if I am supposed to be doing all this negotiating. Ed was mistaken again as we only negotiate with contracted network providers and not with anyone out of network, especially after the fact. Essentially this was a tough break and the guy should just deal with it by drinking his worries away.

Well, Ed wasn't going to settle for just drinking anything away. Not that he didn't drink anything. I am wagering to bet that Ed smelled like a hobo who broke into a medicine cabinet. He had other ideas. Fantastic and ridiculous ideas. He then went on to ask me why our company went ahead and hired him an out of network surgeon. I had to remind him that we were not there with him calling the shots when he chose where he would be treated. I kindly reminded him that technically, he hired the guy who worked on his leg. He didn't take kindly to that. Probably because I was right. I wish I could apologize to his wife for the mark he inevitably left on the side of her face later that day because of this. You would think that Ed would realize that at this point he was defeated and perhaps he should just go out to the backyard and shoot some beer cans. Ed had yet another idea in him as whom to blame. He then asked, “Well, then why did the hospital hire an out of network provider?”

At this point, I probably should have said, “I don't know. Perhaps you should ask them”. But then out of courtesy and good will towards someone at the hospital, I defended the hospital by stating that they hire people based on credentials, not what insurance company they work with. All this did was get us back into a circle where he then insisted I should be negotiating rates for him. The real kicker here is that our friend Ed had his policy for 3 or 4 years by the time he had this big surgery. He had no issues paying a premium when he wasn't seeing any doctors for anything at all, not even preventive visits. For some reason, the guy suddenly thought he had the shittiest insurance in the world. I got the classic, “Well what do I have insurance for” comment. I loved that one. Seems to only come up after people go years without using their policy and then because they had never bothered to read the damn thing, they are suddenly appalled by it. They like to claim we are finding new ways to avoid their claim. Nope. We sure as hell are using the same ways to avoid paying your claims that we used 4 years ago before you started using your benefits. I decided to remind Ed what he was paying for. I pointed out the $20,000 he saved with contracted rates and coinsurance.

Oh, you were dead right if you just guessed that Ed had an answer for that one. He insisted that “everyone knows damn well that you can go to any doctor and they'll reduce the cost to a competitive rate”. This was another point where the perfect words were in my head and I should have said them.

“Go ahead. I hope that works out for you,” is what I wanted to say. I didn't though. At this point we had gone in circles and I was ready to give this ignorant jackass his appeal rights. In fact, I assumed he was getting tired of it himself. Then, when I thought he had played all his cards, the ace came out of his sleeve. Ed apparently had a new theory brewing. He had no problem sharing it with me.

“I wish that you could see right now the demons that I an envisioning while I am talking to you,” said Ed.

Verbatim, folks. Word for word, what he said to me. Demons. Bloody fucking demons. Just like an episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. Needless to say, he immediately impressed me with his ability to unleash such a surprise. Well, played, Ed. Bravo!

Now, at this point, I couldn't pay complete attention to what the man was bitching about. Some of it could have been real funny shit, but I was in deep thought at the moment. I couldn't help but wonder “How exactly did he see this demons?” Was he seeing them in the room with him? Perhaps he was imagining me with horns, a tail, and glowing eyes while wearing a headset. I opted to believe he meant the latter of the two.

He had me speechless upon this whopper of an accusation. This was another point where the perfect words were in my head, but I was not at liberty to say them. I should have though. Maybe they would have done some good and we could have gotten somewhere. I could have reached out to him through the phone with the simple utterance of the words, “The power of Christ compels thee”.

An exorcism could have done that man some good. However, I wouldn't want to be the one who would have dealt with him when he found out that his policy didn't cover it....

Speaking of ridiculousness, let's talk about those Brewers. Now I know that The Crew lost a couple big pieces of talent to free agency, mainly Sabbathia and Sheets, but we still expected them to have a fire lit under their asses. Okay, so maybe the offense has a fire under their ass. The boys have been hitting the best they can. Hell, they have put up some runs. Corey Hart has been solid knocking shit out of the park while Rickie Weeks is hoping to launch a career renaissance. Then there is the pitching.

Holy crap is there the pitching. The god awful pitching. It seems like the starters can't seem to keep their shit together long enough to give our guys a chance to take a lead. Their control is as solid as Lindsay Lohan is sober. A complete and utter joke. Someone on the jsonline comment board noted that Jeff Suppan is the most expensive batting practice pitcher in the league. That is true to an extent, but batting practice pitchers actually throw strikes. I would have pulled that guy as soon as Soriano made contact with that first pitch.

Regardless, The Crew has some problems to sort out.

By the time any of you read this, it will be 34 days until LAS VEGAS! As the days count down, the excitement grows more than I could have anticipated. However, along with the excitement grows a little anxiety. I don't want to deal with the nonsense that goes with the traveling portion of the trip. Now, I don't fear flying in any way at all. I just am not thrilled about the whole process of getting on the plane. Seems like a lot of shit could go wrong. How will I pack everything? Should I bring more than one suitcase? What about all those security checkpoints? I would prefer not to get a random strip search. Add to that the fact that we have a layover in Houston. Yeah, Houston. Not sure about that.

Random thoughts:

I had to restrain myself from buying half off Easter candy today. As much as I love those Reese's Eggs, I know better.

Job interview on Friday. I'll tell you more about it after it is done and over with.

I am quite fond of the newly formed Michael Scott Paper Company.

I bought some clothes this past weekend. Haven't done that in a while.

Mark Chmura is signing autographs at this year's Packers Draft Party. Yeah, that does amuse me. My brother thinks we should have him sign the police report.

Speaking of Packers, their schedule is released today.

Demon, he says!

I am so tired right now, but I haven't been able to sleep lately. I hope that mess figures itself out.

Saturday night was fun. It was a bachelor party of sorts for my good pal from work, David. We had several good laughs and even got into a discussion with a random girl in the bar about the bartender's chest. We assumed they were fake.

MLB: The Show 09 is addictive. I finally made the majors, however. We'll see how that works out. I sure as hell don't want to pull a Suppan.

Fast and Furious made more money this weekend? Thanks, America! Glad to see we have taste.

Alright, time for this demon to try sleep. Goodnight.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Yeah, I will be watching Wrestlemania, deal with it

I feel like a god damned Nyquil commercial. Hell, that or I could go out and audition for one. I have the sneezing, the congestion, the runny nose, and the occasional headache to go with it. I downed the required dosage and allowed myself to sleep in this morning. Yeah, sure didn't do the trick. I guess I will have to give it a go again tonight. Is it feed a fever, starve a cold? Or the other way around? Regardless, I think I need to drink more fluids. They obviously will help more than all the various medicines I have been taking.

Needless to say, I hate being sick. But then again, who doesn't? It would be a better use of my time and energy if I had a real medical condition rather than some bullshit cold. If I am going to be sick, it better be something legit and worth “get well' cards and all that. Like having my tonsils removed. It is too bad I already lost my appendix, because that would also be a better use of my time that this passive aggressive cold.

I need to get reasonably better before tomorrow night. You see, Sunday night is Wrestlemania 25. It has become a tradition to watch this yearly event and this year will keep up with that tradition for the most part. The family is coming over to watch it with me. We'll have a buffet of heart attack food as well as some sno cones. I think.

Anyway, this brings me to the part where I get to make my predictions on a show that is predetermined. Ha. It is silly, isn't it? But hell, it is no fun if I don't believe anything could happen. Let's not waste any more time here. Predictions are forthcoming.

Chris Jericho vs. Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka, and Ricky Steamboat

The stipulations for this one state that Jericho must pin or force submission on all three of his opponents. Only only of them has to pin or force submission upon him to get the win. Add to this the fact that Ric Flair will be in the corner of the three legends and it does not look good for Jericho numerically. However, Jericho had a killer 2008 and single handedly made RAW worth watching going into Wrestlemania. For that alone, I do not see him losing this one. The legends can save face with a post match embarrassment of Jericho. Oh, also, Micky Rourke is rumored to be on hand. Money says that he takes a shot at Jericho. WINNER: Chris Jericho

25 Diva Battle Royal

So, 25 woman from the current WWE and ones from the past will all be involved in this battle royal to be crowned Miss Wrestlemania. Well, since there are only 3 or 4 women on the current roster that can wrestle, I am going to assume that the Divas from the past will do some damage. Expect to see Victoria, Molly Holly, and Trish Stratus here. Any one of them winning this thing is fine with me. I am also fine with Mickie James, Beth Phoenix, or Melina winning. There is a lot of talk that Santino Marella will get involved and try to win. I see him sticking his nose in. He will drop his guard and me eliminated by the WINNER: Mae Young. Yep, she is older than dirt, but Vince loves the woman and is not above honoring her like this.

Money in the Bank Ladder Match (featuring Shelton Benjamin, CM Punk, Mark Henry, Kane, Christian, Kofi Kingston, MVP, and Finlay)

The stipulations of this match is that there is a briefcase above the ring that contains a contract that will allow the owner of the case to have a title shot against any champion. The catch is that they must climb a 10 foot ladder to get to it. Anything goes and only one man can win. They've got two big guys in there who won't do much climbing (Kane/Henry). There is a man who has to be in his 50s by now (Finlay) and I don't see him doing much jumping around. He has done well in the past with these matches, but I wouldn't consider him a threat. Punk won last year so he is out. That leaves Christian, Kofi, Shelton, and MVP. I'll get to them in a minute. Now, first let me tell you how I would do this. If I were booking the match, I would make the winner the least obvious and have the big monster Mark Henry somehow manage to climb to the top to get his shot. However, I am not, but I wanted to share that idea anyway. If it happens, I look like a genius.

Of the remaining four on that list, Kofi Kingston has the least chance. He is still practically a rookie. He'll get a chance to look good however. MVP lost his chance for a main event spot. That leaves Shelton and Christian. Shelton now has experience under his belt and he can go in the ring when motivated. In the previous 4 MITB matches, he was the one who did the crazy spots. He may get rewarded for that. Then there is Christian, who Vince McMahon apparently doesn't like, but he hired him back so that TNA couldn't have him. Christian busted his balls for Vince during his original WWE run. If he wins, then he could move right on to a potential feud with anyone after Mania since he could easily turn if need be. This my WINNER: Christian.

Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker

WWE is making it way too obvious that Taker is winning and maintaining his Wrestlemania streak. Hell, he hasn't gotten in one bit of offense on Shawn Michaels in the last several weeks. On top of that, they keep touting that Taker has never beaten Shawn one on one. To me, that is telegraphing an ending. My heart says that Shawn gets to win in order to pull the wool over our eyes. MY gut and brain tells me that the WINNNER is : The Undertaker.

That WILL be the best match of the night, btw.

Tag Team Unification Match: Carlito and Primo Colon vs. Miz and Morrison (Lumberjack style)

This was an attempt to get everyone involved in the show. It will be mid show filler. However, my understanding is that these four can put on great matches. That's good enough for me. It is great to see the tag titles on the line at Wrestlemania for the first time in what seems like ages. I doubt anything significant will happen since everyone is out there. I am waiting on Morrison to turn on Miz, but it can't happen during a lumberjack match. However, this match is the perfect setup moment for the eventual turn. This I see The Colon Brothers as the WINNERS. It'll set up a rift between Miz and Morrison.

Matt vs. Jeff, the Hardy Extreme Rules Match

This feud is long from over. If Jeff wins, then the upcoming matches will be anti-climactic. Matt has been great as of late and he hasn't had drug or attendance problems. The 'E' will probably award him for keeping his brother out of jail and the detox tank. I expect this one to be the potential show stopper. There will be plenty of spots and action. It will probably out-do the MITB match, and will intentionally be that way since I expect the MITB to be scaled down so this one can shine. I expect something cold hearted and dastardly by Matt and thus he will be the WINNER.

JBL vs. Rey Mysterio for the Intercontinental Championship

Unless my research is bad, this is the first IC title match at Wrestlemania since X8 (18). Yep. Seven years. It is a dirty shame that they have shit on a once prestigious title. To make matters worse, I heavily dislike Rey Mysterio and wish that J BL would retired again. Lucky for us, one of those two could be less of a problem for me since there is an open announcing spot on Friday nights. WINNER; Rey Mysterio

World Heavyweight Championship (RAW title): Big Show vs. John Cena vs. Edge (champ)

Only one of these three has consistent wrestling ability. The other two are either too large (Show) or being made to be larger than any wants him to be (Cena). I get it. John Cena is the wonder child. They want him to be the next Hulk Hogan. News flash, this isn't 1987 anymore. People expect more from their wrestling stars than a little showmanship. John Cena is mostly attitude with little ability. That won't cut it. His act has gotten stale and he seems more worried about movies than wrestling. So, fuck him. He can lick some sweaty balls. Probably the Big Show's. I just can't see The Show winning this one. No chance in hell of it. Cena winning gives the kids something to scream about in excitement. He makes me want to hate children. It is not fair to them. Edge is the one I want to win, but I am not entirely confident in pulling the trigger on him as my winner. So, I have to get used to hating children. Winner: John Cena.

I hope you are happy, Mr. Cena. I will be disliking the world's children because they all seem to bow before them as their hero. How dare you misguide them! Shame on you! Lay down and lose already!

WWE Championship (Smackdown's Title): Triple H (champ) vs. Randy Orton

Orton has been on fire since well before the Royal Rumble. He deserves a legitimate title run in the near future. If it comes on Sunday night is up for debate. There was a time where Orton could have fell by the wayside and never been heard from in the main event again. He overcame that with tenacity and improved microphone work. The writers gave him a solid storyline and his own stable to get him over. It has been working like a charm. I love Triple H and know that he is capable of bringing it on any given night. He makes people look great in the ring. He will probably do so for Mr. Orton, although he won't need to put in as much effort as he would if it were Cena (cuz he sucks and all). Triple H doesn't need this win. He'll still sell t-shirts and action figures. Randy Orton's entire futures hinges upon him walking out of Wrestlemania as a star. That will be difficult if all that hard work is flushed down the booking toilet. The Age of Orton does arrive upon Randy's win. It dies upon his loss. I anticipate that his goons, Dibiase and Rhodes, will be removed from ringside, making it a one on one match until the McMahon family comes down to give the match a look. They will wait for the perfect moment and then one of them will strike with a furious vengeance. It will be merciless and and justified in the eyes of the offender. The three count will then be made with Randy Orton as the WINNER. Yep, you heard it here. I am on the train that sees a McMahon turn in this one. Probably by Vince. Remember when he was nearly killed with the falling set pieces? Sure you do. Many have forgotten, but it needs to be resolved. My guess is that Vince is placing blame on Steph, Shane, and Hunter, who all would gain a whole lot with Vince's demise.

Think about it.

Let's recap:

Jericho over the Legends with Rourke/Flair post match
Mae Young becomes Miss Wrestlemania
Christian wins Money in the Bank
Taker defeats Michaels and goes 17-0
Carlito and Primo defeat Miz and Morrison for the unified tag titles
Matt defeats Jeff in extreme rules
Mysterio defeats JBL for the IC title
Cena defeats Show and Edge for the World Heavyweight Title
Randy Orton defeats Triple H for the WWE Title with Vince's help

There you have it. Go ahead and post your predictions. I welcome some debate on my thoughts.

I am going to go drink some NyQuil and call it a night.

I love that giant Q