... A Sour Apple Tree

Your source for fast and/or frozen food reviews, Huntington and/or West Virginia commentary, rasslin' (not wrestling) nostalgia, bad parody, dumb satire, rejected slogans, pointless lists, unreliable sports predictions, and funny local pictures.

Location: Huntington, WV, United States

I'm a 37 year-old guy from Huntington, WV.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Look at that lady's Virgina

It appears that a lack of basic spelling skills is no longer the realm of the blogger; it also can get you a job with the people that run the NIT basketball tournament.

NIT officials were quick to repudiate the typo, declaring that West Virginia is a lovely place and that their cousin lives in Roanoke.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Circuit City to employees: "go fuck yourselves"

In a move that stinks of desperation (and general assholedness), Circuit City announced that it is shit-canning (actually "buying out") 3,500 of its highest paid (ie most experienced and most loyal) employees in order to replace them low paid noobs (I will avoid unleashing my admittedly unfair stereotype of teenage retail workers).

CC is graciously going to allow the employees to re-apply for the crappy jobs after a 10 week window.

While I'm sure that Best Buy, Target, and Walmart all have their fair share of rotten eggs in their labor relations closet, I haven't heard of anything this blatantly anti-worker coming from them in a while. Therefore, they get the James family business (for now) and Circuit City can, well, go fuck themselves.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Massive pet food recall

If you live in the United States or Canada and own a cat or a dog, check your pet's food against these recall lists.

At least ten deaths from kidney failure have been identified and countless more animals have been made ill.




Initial impressions: Raines

In addition to Andy Barker P.I., NBC also gave us another new series to enjoy (or not) last Thursday: Raines, a vehicle for Jeff Goldblum.

When I first saw the previews for Raines, two thoughts about the show immediately thwacked me in the head. First I thought that it was going to essentially what would result if House M.D., was a homicide detective show and knocked up Ghost Whisperer. Then after the showed the quick slide show of Jeff Goldblum at his most Jeff Goldblumiest, I thought to myself "oh, this is Jeff Goldblum as Jeff Goldblum in The Jeff Goldblum Show.

Well, i was kinda right in both regards, but not really.

First of all, the similarities with Dr. House end with Goldblum's character being 1) kind of difficult and 2) really good at his job. The Ghost Whisperer comparison goes right out the window, too, as the dead people that talk to him are figments of his imagination (and, quite frankly, Jennifer Love Hewitt has much much nicer breasts than The Fly).

Also, Goldblum isn't as the same wacky-yet-likable guy that he is when dropping by the late night talk shows. Instead, he is less wacky than slightly whacked-out, but still entirely likable.

In terms of supporting cast, the show also features Nicole Sullivan, the only person/thing that I ever liked on or about MADtv. Her character does a good job wrangling Detective Raines. It is good to see her back on the air after last season's almost universally forgotten ABC train wreck, Hot Properties.

Overall, it seems quirky enough to work (as long as it can stay fresh) and was a nice break from ER, which has essentially become Uncle Jessie M.D.

Not quite must-see, but I will give it a look again in the future and would recommend it to everyone that thought"hey, that looks pretty cool."

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Initial impressions: Andy Barker P.I.

Last night, NBC offered up its first serving of two new shows, Andy Barker P.I. (a sitcom starring Andy Richter and EP'd by his old boss, Conan O'Brien) and Raines (a quirky cop show with Jeff Goldblum). First, ...ASAT will take a look at Barker, with a review of Raines coming soon.

As a long time fan of O'Brien, Richter, and co-star Tony Hale (Buster Bluth on Arrested Development), I have to admit that I have been pumped about its premier for months now. I had been greatly disappointed that NBC had repeatedly pushed back the show's debut until giving the show its late season push.

Well, it was worth the wait. The pilot was penned by O'Brien himself, and his comedic fingerprints are all over the show. The premise is somewhat complicated (at least for a sitcom). Richter plays the title character, a CPA who finds work hard to come. Borrowing heavily from the plot of Chinatown (they even discuss the similarities in the episode), Barker is drawn into the world of sleuthing when a mysterious blonde mistakes him for a private dick (the previous occupant of his office was a PI) and offers him 4 large to find her "husband." Needing the money, he takes the case with the help of Hale, who plays a film geek that owns a video store in the same strip mall as Barker's office.

I won't divulge too much more of the plot and would instead direct you to NBC's website to watch for yourself. You will be glad that you did.

My only beef is that they took 30 Rock (an ...ASAT favorite) off of the air for a few weeks to show Barker. Both are smart, well-written and (most importantly) free of laugh tracks. Since Scrubs seems poised to jump to ABC next season, I hope that NBC picks up Barker to add to its Thursday night comedy block along with Rock, Earl, and The Office, which is my personal favorite night of TV right now.

I am also concerned about NBC putting all of the episodes on the Internet. Hopefully this is to promote the show and not garbage dump theatre.

Check back later for my take on Raines.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

"When I say dance, you best dance, motherfucker..."

March is the time of year when the opening lyrics to the Violent Femmes' proto-alternative jam ring truest of all.

Whatever cliche you use for the men's NCAA b-ball tourney (March Madness, the Big Dance, etc), it all equates to single most exciting multiple-game annual sporting event in the world.

Here are ...ASAT's picks for the Cinderella, the final four, and the overall champ:

Cinderella: Winthrop (11 seed, Midwest). I see them in the round of 16 and possibly even the regional finals.

Midwest: Florida.

West: Southern Illinois.

East: Georgetown

South: Ohio St.

Champs: I'll take Georgetown over Florida.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

13.2: Hybrid mode

As of this evening, WOWK's 13.2 is now a hybrid of its two previous incarnations.

In other words, it is the Doppler radar map with CBS sound.

Frankly, this isn't too bad. There is lots of storm activity on the maps. Couple it with Mandy Patinkin describing a serial killer, and you, my friend, have destination television.

It looks like 13.2 is going to be mostly a standard def digital feed of 13.1 (the HD feed) with the Doppler map when it is a' stormin' something fierce, like it is tonight.

More to come, I'm sure...

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Maybe this was Jirsa's problem all along...

The FDA is now warning takers of popular sleeping pills/brain candies like Ambien and Lunesta about the dangers of "sleep driving," a condition akin to sleep walking only...well, you get it.

No word yet if pharm companies plan to release a new pill for the affliction.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go to a sleep meeting before doing some sleep spreadsheeting.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

March Madness

Well, as is the case every March, the NCAA men's basketball is upon us.

Wanna watch from your desktop at work?

Sign up at March Madness On Demand from NCAAsports.com and CBS Sportsline and you can catch all of the games that are not being aired by your local affiliate at that moment.

There is even a cool "boss button" feature that turns the viewer into a spreadsheet in an instant.

Just don't come cryin' to ...ASAT if this gets you sacked.

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More on 13.2

It seems that the evolution of WOWK's digital sub-channel 13.2 has continued unabated. The sound is now turned on and the signal acts as a standard definition digital broadcast of WOWK's programming.

While the channel will be kind of pointless during the HD (16x9) prime time shows and sporting events, it will still be a good alternative for shows broadcast in SDTV (4x3) format. For whatever reason, 13.1 (the HD digital feed) is skewed to the right for SD shows, leaving a weird overhang thingie (technical term) on the left.

While it is a good thing to have for now, I would still like to see WVMH add another channel, a la My Z. As of right now, they are basically just broadcasting the same stuff in triplicate, which is kind of boring.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Jirsa gone

The HD reports that Marshall University has shit-canned the Ron Jirsa era.

No word yet on whether or not people will start dragging out the (highly unhelpful) ol' "They shoulda hired D'Antoni."

Oh, wait, I guess someone just did. :)

Seriously, though, this is a good time for the university to re-examine sports priorities. We can work toward having a great basketball program in a solid basketball conference, or we can gripe about how C-USA never gets noticed in football.

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OK, now I miss the weather map.

Well, WOWK has been tinkerin' with their new 13.2 digital sub-channel. When it first went live the channel was basically just WOWK's Doppler 4 radar map. While a map didn't make for exciting viewing, it was at least utilitarian.

Now, 13.2 is exactly the same as the analog broadcast, only with no sound.

Not much of an upgrade, in my book. I hope the engineers at West Virginia Media have something good up their sleeves.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Nosferatu is thinkin' Arby's

When I first saw this graffiti, it was just Nosferatu showing his support for the Green and White, which was pretty cool in and of itself. Now, someone has vandalized the vandalism by adding the Arby's hat from those commercials (I'm thinkin' Arby's).

Check it out near the intersection of 8th Avenue and 10th Street (across from the Amtrak station) before they finish whitewashing over it.

(Note: ...ASAT does not condone vandalism or destruction of property in any way (especially the Zombi guy: we get it, you have a marker...wait, I did think it was funny when that one guy added the letter "G" to where people had put the word "war" on stop signs, thus changing the initial vandal's "stop war" into "stop Gwar.") and is only commenting on the ironic postmodern socio-artistic implications of this artwork. Or something.)

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Strollin' down the Hershey Highway

Now you too can learn what it is like to be a NBC scripted drama, from conception to development to air.

Actually, its just a giant inflatable colon through which you can walk. You can check it out this weekend at the Huntington Mall.

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13.2 is a go...

A little while back, I pondered why WOWK had not yet launched a digital sub-channel on 13.2 akin to WSAZ's My Z on channel 3.2. Well, last night a new channel butted its way onto my digital tuner at 13.2: Live WOWK doppler radar.

Not exactly groundbreaking, but at least they are doing something with the bandwidth.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Now they are just going too far...

It appears that an unholy alliance of nutritionists and anti-commercialization activists have teamed up to denounce my personal favorite literacy program, Book It!.

To those that do not know, Book It! is sponsored by Pizza Hut and sort of acts as a mechanism to bribe elementary school children into reading. It's pretty simple: if you read a book, you get a free personal pan pizza.

OK, I hear what the critics are saying and what you may be thinking: this looks like a tool for an MNC to market their unhealthy food to children. But my logic for supporting the program is twofold.

First of all, it worked for me. I was a bright kid, but I probably had what would now be diagnosed as a mild case of ADHD and boy did I hate to read. Nothing my parents or teachers tired would get me to read anything longer than a newspaper article. Nothing until Book It!. Yea, it was a bribe, but it worked. Without it, I might be blogging about how awesome Dane Cook is instead of pointless events in a small geographic region for an audience of dozens (barely plural).

Secondly, growing up in said small geographic region (West Virginia), I saw poverty. I had friends that were only assured of 360 meals per year (school breakfast & lunch X 180 school days). To those kids, Book It! gave them a few more meals per year and to them it was something of a luxury to get Pizza Hut, a treat they may otherwise get only once or twice per year. As you could imagine, if the free personal pan got my middle class butt to read, imagine what it did for their desire to read (some of those kids have college degrees now, for what it's worth).

I'm not saying that Book It! is a good fit for Greenwich, Connecticut or Huber Heights, Ohio, but in places like West Virginia, I suspect the perks outweigh the cons.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

The greatest invention...ever

TMZ.com reports that some very brilliant person has invented a pizza vending machine. For $5, you get a hot pizza in 90 seconds with 3 topping selections and a crust crispiness control feature.

Where was this when I was in college?

I do know one thing: if I ever hit the lottery, this will be purchase #16, in between a walk-in humidor and a helper monkey.

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