Friday, July 31, 2009

Baseball Midway Point.

Well, since the non-waiver trade deadline is here in the big leagues, I figure I'll run through my preseason picks and see where I stand. There were a flurry of trades and some big names got moved, though my Rangers couldn't land Halladay after their hard push last night. Jake Peavy is moving to the Windy City, Victor Martinez is in Bean Town, Cliff Lee is now part of that Fraternal Love Fest in the city of Brotherly Love, and Matt Holliday (pictured) is a Red Bird. How does this affect my predictions? Well let's check it out.

Here are my opening day predictions:

AL West: Texas Rangers
AL Central: Detroit Tigers
AL East: Tampa Bay Rays
AL Wildcard: New York Yankees
NL West: Arizona Diamondbacks
NL Central: Chicago Cubs
NL East: Philadelphia Phillies
NL Wildcard: Los Angeles Dodgers

World Series: Detroit Tigers v Los Angeles Dodgers
Winner: Tigers in 6

Now let's check out where they are now.

AL West: Rangers are 3 games behind Anaheim, and 1.5 games behind Boston in the Wild Card
AL Central: Detroit is up by 2 games.
AL East: Yankees by 2.5 games, Tampa is 7 games back
AL Wildcard: Yankees lead the East.

NL West: Clearly the DBacks were a horrible pick at 19 games out.
NL Central: Cubs have a .5 game lead on St. Louis.
NL East: 6 game lead for the Phillies
NL Wildcard: Dodgers are the best team in baseball, right now Colorado leads the Wild Card.
So overall, apart from Tampa and Arizona, my picks are all doing pretty good, and Tampa is still in the wildcard race. Let's hope my World Series pick stands. It will make me feel good about myself!

Besides that, I just moved to a nice apartment in Downtown Fort Worth, so if you are ever in the area hit me up and we'll grab a beer over at the Flying Saucer.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ménage à trois

  1. July 30, 1932, Walt Disney releases his first cartoon in color. The cartoon, Flowers and Trees, was made in three-color Technicolor; Disney was the only studio that used the process for the next three years, because of an exclusive contract.
  2. The Governator turns 62 today, Hilary Swank is 35, Tom Green is 38, and Lawrence Fishburne is now 48. So happy birthday to those celebrities.
  3. 101 Dalmatians and Peter Pan (Wendy) are the only two Disney cartoon features with both parents that are present and don't die throughout the movie. (See Picture)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Damn You Shreveport

Dear Shreveport-Bossier City,

I would like you to know how much I hate your damn fucking piece of shit trashy city areas. I'm not just saying that because I spent the night in Bossier City jail a few years back either. I'm not juts saying it because of all the cities in the country that have legalized gambling that I have been to, your is the only one that I have still yet to win at. I'm not saying it's because the fuckass' at the Horseshoe banned me for life from all Harrah's owned casinos.

Wait a minute, that is exactly why I hate your trashy and dirty city. I suppose I probably hate the entire state of Louisiana equally.

In closing, come this hurricane season, if some storms were to stray their way up through the Red River and your city, and all your casinos are destroyed, I won't feel an ounce of sadness. I may even throw a party in honor of the great storm maker, even if that is a little crass on my part, I don't care. Your city and state is the opposite of awesome. You are unawesome.

Sincerely,

J.J. "Captain Awesome" Lanzillo, IV

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ménage à trois

  1. On this day in 1885, just after completing his memoirs, Civil War hero and former President Ulysses S. Grant dies of throat cancer.
  2. Daniel Radcliffe, the boy who plays Harry Potter, turns 20 today. Monica Lewinsky is now 36, and crazy ole Don Imus (pictured) of racist talk radio fame is 69.
  3. Each of the suits on a deck of cards represents the four major pillars of the economy in the middle ages: heart represented the Church, spades represented the military, clubs represented agriculture, and diamonds represented the merchant class.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Captain Awesome's Cigar Reviews: CAO, Part 2

Well after a tasting with Kinky Friedman and his own line of cigars, I considered to skip CAO part 2 and write on the Kinky lines, but then I figured I can just do that next. So I will go ahead and continue with part 2 of my review of CAO cigars, and this one will contain 2 of my favorite cigars around. Well let's begin.

CAO Lx2:

Well the Lx2 is probably the heaviest cigar in he CAO line in my opinion. It features a sun grown Nicaraguan wrapper, a Honduran binder, and a filler that has a mixture of ligero tobacco from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The flavors consist of a bittersweet chocolate, a bit if paprika for some spiciness, and some woody flavors. This cigar is less consistent than other CAO products as some cigars are better than others, even in the same box. Though when something is hand rolled, that will happen. Overall, if you are a fan of full bodied sun grown cigars that have an overall spicy flavor, then you will enjoy this cigar. If you don't then I will not recommend this cigar. It is good, but not that good.

Price: Ranges from $6-$15

CAO Italia:

Well, the Italia happens to be one of my favorite cigars, so it is going to get a favorable review. It's a full bodied, robust, dark, and smooth smoke. It has an excellent draw, and is very consistent. The anatomy is Honduran wrappers and binders, and the filler consists of tobacco from Italy (hence the name), Nicaragua, and Peru. The flavor is very earthy and sweet. Your palette will be blasted by a sweet coffee flavor, followed by a cocoa flavor, and it finishes with a brilliant mixture of chocolate, sweet cocoa, and what I think may be caramel, but either way, it is a sweet finish. You will also see notes of herbal flavors throughout the cigar. While this cigar has a full flavor, it is hardly noticeable, so even a beginning smoker will get enjoyment out of an Italia. I have purchased several boxes of the Italia in the "Ciao" size. Clearly I recommend this cigar to everyone.

Price: $4.50-$9.50

CAO Vision:

So, it was pretty clear that I liked the Italia, but let me tell you how much I love the Vision. This is hands down probably my favorite smoke from CAO, and possibly my favorite smoke of any cigar. To top it off, if you by the box, well this box is special, as it is a travel humidor that uses the Sensi-Box technology. The flavors burst out of this medium bodied cigar, and when they pass through your sinuses you just want more. You get bits of cedar, leather, dark cocoa, and roasted nuts. It is a brilliant mixture of flavors, clearly the man in charge of mixing had a vision. The anatomy has the wrapper and binder coming from the Dominican Republic and the filler from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Brazil. This is a pricey cigar, but it will get you hooked. It is worth breaking out the bank to but a couple of these cigars, of course that is if you can find them anywhere. The box itself, has Vision smokers buying these cigars by the box, meaning that it is hard to keep them in stores if you just wanted to by a couple of cigars. If you get the chance, give the Vision a try. I definitely recommend it.

Price: $14-$20

That is it for the CAO products that I have personally smoked. They have several other cigars in their line such as the Miduro, the Criollo, the Cx2, and the Conmemorativo. Perhaps I will try them eventually, but as of now, I have not made it around to those bad boys. I hope these reviews have helped you learn a little bit about the CAO line, and hopefully you enjoy them as much as I have. Next up, you'll get a review from the Kinky Friedman lines. So until next time, the Captain says to stay awesome.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Captain Awesome's Cigar Reviews: CAO, Part 1

So, like I have done with gambling, and sex hunting, I am going to go in depth into another subject I am dearly fond of; cigar smoking. I mean cigars are just awesome.

I plan to write reviews of some of the more known and even some lesser known cigar companies. I review the major lines that these companies have released, and I will describe the flavors, and talk about the wrapper, binder, and filler in each cigar. I will only be reviewing cigars that I have personally tried, as it would be bad business to write about something I have no idea if it's good or not. I will include price in U.S. Dollars and if it is worth buying and trying. I hope this is good information to anyone who may want to get into cigar smoking, or if someone wants to try something new, but they aren't sure what they like. I will also spent one post on accessories like punches, cutters, and lighters.

I am going to start off the series with one of my favorite companies, as I have had an extreme majority of their cigar lines. So let's get this series kicked off with CAO. Because of the large amount of cigars I've had of theirs, I will split this up into sections, and the same will probably occur with Rocky Patel. So time to begin.

CAO Brazilia:

To start off, I will begin with the anatomies of the cigars, and the Brazilia has a wrapper that actually comes from Brazil (hence the name). The binder and filler however actually come from Nicaragua. This is a medium to full bodied cigar, but definitely leans heavily toward the full body side. This is a maduro cigar and it has a very good draw to it. The majority of them are consistent and burn evenly, a sign of a well made cigar. Some of the flavors that I seemed to notice, were pepper and a hint of chocolate, though it was a bitter chocolate. It has a very earthly flavor, almost like a woods type flavor. Overall it is a good mixture of flavor that is powerful and this cigar is a must smoke for any maduro lover.

Price: Ranges from $6-$9 depending on size.

CAO Sopranos Edition:

I know what you are already thinking, a Sopranos edition cigar, it has got to be one of the best. Tony Soprano was crazy about the cigars. My answer to that is yes and no. This is another full body cigar, that in regards to flavor, it is quite pleasing. You immediately can notice the coffee and chocolate flavors, but overall the cigar is leathery in flavor. The anatomy is a Brazilian wrapper, a binder from Honduras, and the filler gets it's tobacco from Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, and Colombia. The draw from the cigar is not good at the beginning of the smoke, and I find that many of them need to be loosened up prior to smoking. It rarely burns even, but the flavor can make up for that to a degree. The main line is worth trying once, but the price tag makes it not worth a continued smoke (you are paying for the Soprano's name). The Tony Soprano Limited Edition is another horse on it's own. It boasts the same flavor but the ring gage is much larger, making for a longer smoke. I found more consistency in the limited edition, but for the price their are better cigars. If you like medium to full bodied cigars, give it a try, if you really got into the Sopranos, give it a try. If you are a light cigar guy, avoid it.

Price: $10-$16 for the main line. $20 for the Limited Editon Tony Soprano.

CAO America:

A more recent edition to the CAO line, this double wrapped cigar is quite good. The anatomy has a wrapper that is two different ones grown in Connecticut, a binder grown in Brazil, and the filler comes from Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Italy, and the United States (Connecticut again). There is no problem with the consistency in the burn, as it burns evenly, which is good considering the double wrap. This is a medium to full cigar, and it has a very good mix of flavors. It is quite a nutty cigar, but it also has a good hint of coffee. There are also hints of a woody flavor, similar to the Brazilia. The last bit of flavor is a leathery flavor, but it is not a strong leather flavor in my opinion until you reach the end of the cigar, then the leather really hits you. If you smoke several cigars a day, this is a good morning cigar to go with a cup of coffee or two. I happen to like to smoke this on the Fourth of July, but that's because I am a proud American. I definitely recommend this cigar, as the price is definitely right.

Price: $6.75-$20 (The $20 price is for the Anthem, a long limited edition version)

CAO Gold:

The anatomy has a wrapper and binder from Ecuador, and a filler from Nicaragua. This is a good value cigar as the price is not too bad. It is a very mild cigar, and has hints of vanilla flavor, as well as a nutty flavor with a bit of oak. Most of the flavor is seen at the beginning of the cigar. The draw is tight at the start, but loosens up after a bit. It burns for the most part evenly, and there is some decent consistency between cigars. I am not a light cigar smoker, but if you are, or you are just starting smoking, this is definitely a good cigar to start on. It has good flavor and smokes well. The price as well makes this a cheap cigar for new cigar smokers. Overall it is a recommended cigar, though it is not something I will purchase myself.

Price: $4.50

Overall I liked these cigars, as I like most everything that CAO puts out. I like their lines, and they are available most everywhere. They have cigars for fans of all different types of cigars, from mild to medium to full, and with flavors ranging from chocolate, almond, coffee, vanilla, and oak. Part 2 will showcase my 2 favorite CAO lines, with 2 others that I have had. So until next time, go out and be awesome, and this time you can be awesome with a good cigar.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ménage à trois

  1. On this day in 1790, the young American Congress declares that a swampy, humid, muddy and mosquito-infested site on the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia will be the nation’s permanent capital. “Washington,” in the newly designated federal “District of Columbia,” was named after the leader of the American Revolution and the country’s first president: George Washington. It was Washington who saw the area’s potential economic and accessibility benefits due to the proximity of navigable rivers.
  2. In Yekaterinburg, Russia, Czar Nicholas II and his family (pictured) are executed by the Bolsheviks, bringing an end to the three-century-old Romanov dynasty. Civil war broke out in Russia in June 1918, and in July the anti-Bolshevik "White" Russian forces advanced on Yekaterinburg, where Nicholas and his family were located, during a campaign against the Bolshevik forces. Local authorities were ordered to prevent a rescue of the Romanovs, and after a secret meeting of the Yekaterinburg Soviet, a death sentence was passed on the imperial family. Late on the night of July 16, Nicholas, Alexandra, their five children and four servants were ordered to dress quickly and go down to the cellar of the house in which they were being held. There, the family and servants were arranged in two rows for a photograph they were told was being taken to quell rumors that they had escaped. Suddenly, a dozen armed men burst into the room and gunned down the imperial family in a hail of gunfire. Those who were still breathing when the smoked cleared were stabbed to death. The remains of Nicholas, Alexandra and three of their children were excavated in a forest near Yekaterinburg in 1991 and positively identified two years later using DNA fingerprinting. The Crown Prince Alexei and one Romanov daughter were not accounted for, fueling the persistent legend that Anastasia, the youngest Romanov daughter, had survived the execution of her family. Of the several "Anastasias" that surfaced in Europe in the decade after the Russian Revolution, Anna Anderson, who died in the United States in 1984, was the most convincing. In 1994, however, scientists used DNA to prove that Anna Anderson was not the czar's daughter but a Polish woman named Franziska Schanzkowska.
  3. It is in my opinion that the economy will not be getting better anytime soon. It will likely be 2-3 years before we see anything back to what it was pre-recession. The only hope the economy has of a quick turnaround is a full scale war with Iran or North Korea, or both. Similar to how World War II pulled us out of the Great Depression.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Who wants a Mustache Ride?

So for the past few weeks, I have been rocking a pretty solid stache. It's not the best, and I attempted to even make it a fancy handlebar mustache, yet that failed. One thing the experience taught me though, is that it is still cool for a guy in his mid 20's to rock a mustache...

However, I don't think that it is for me. I am a beard guy proud and true, so back to the beard I go. It was fun while it lasted, and it had it's memorable moments. I don't think I will rule out a return to the stache, but for now I will say goodbye. Maybe I will try the toothbrush next, or give the handlebar a second attempt. Who knows, all I do know is that no matter when and what I do, it will still be awesome.

The rest of my face however did feel extremely naked. Four plus years of having a face full of beard and then removing it for just a mustache I suppose will do that to someone.

Wearing a mustache with a suit was also quite enjoyable, and it even looked good with a fedora, and of course a solid pair of Aviators and a mustache is a never fail combination. So I will post a few pictures for your viewing pleasure, and will let you know of the next time I try some new facial hair awesomeness...
So remember, facial hair is quite awesome, and it does it's job. So go out be awesome, try out a mustache, and always offer up as many mustache rides as you can.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ménage à trois

  1. In American naval slang, submarines are the only vessels referred to as "boats", whereas surface vessels are colloquially referred to as "ships".
  2. On this day in 1941, crackerjack British cryptologists break the secret code used by the German army to direct ground-to-air operations on the Eastern front. British experts had already broken many of the Enigma codes for the Western front. Enigma was the Germans' most sophisticated coding machine, necessary to secretly transmitting information. The Enigma machine, invented in 1919 by Hugo Koch, a Dutchman, looked like a typewriter and was originally employed for business purposes. The Germany army adapted the machine for wartime use and considered its encoding system unbreakable. They were wrong. The Brits had broken their first Enigma code as early as the German invasion of Poland and had intercepted virtually every message sent through the occupation of Holland and France. Britain nicknamed the intercepted messages Ultra.
  3. Today, Fred Savage of Wonder Years fame turns 33. Tom Hanks is 53, who I am sure you all know, and if you don't, I recommend seeing these movies: Bachelor Party, Big, The 'burbs, Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, and Road to Perdition. These of course are only a small sampling of his acting genius. Also celebrating a birthday today (in a Nevada State Prison) is the Juice. That's right, O.J. Simpson (pictured), who accumulated 11,236 rushing yards in his 11 year NFL career, including 2003 yards in 1973 for the Buffalo Bills, well he turns 63 today.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Annie are you ok?

The answer here is clearly a resounding "no." Annie is not ok today, as today is the memorial for the King of Pop.

Just like the musicians before him who died before their time, Michael Jackson (50) will be remembered for his contributions to music. While he may not have been as young as Jim Morrison (27), Janis Joplin (27), Jimi Hendrix (27), Bradley Nowell (28), etc.; he still had something left in the tank. Similar to Elvis Presley (42) and John Lennon (40), he had reached his peak, but was still doing what he loved. He was planning a comeback tour of sorts, which included several sold out shows in London.

Judging on the dress rehearsals that have been playing on your TV for the last week and a half, I have no doubt that these would have been stellar concerts. Elvis was doing the same thing at the time of his death. But enough with the comparisons and whatnot.

Michael Jackson, despite all of his personal problems, was a blessing in the music industry as well for the people of the world. His music brought people together, and that is in part why he wrote it. He was pushing for change back when Barack Obama was praying to Allah and banging Indonesian hookers in Jakarta. He also could dance. I mean, does anyone remember the lean in "Smooth Criminal?" If you don't, it's pictured...

Today, his family and friends, and practically the entire globe will remember him today as his funeral service goes on. Even if you believe the allegations against him, and as a person him you found him off center and a little eccentric, you can not say that his music wasn't brilliant, because it was. To say that he didn't have a major influence on pop music in the MTV generation is just ridiculous. Songs like "Billie Jean", "Black or White", "Bad", "The Way You Make Me Feel", "Beat It", and "Thriller" will always have a spot on the radio, just as the videos will always have a spot on TV. The only problem was that he never changed his man in the mirror, and it would appear he had a drug problem, like many of the musicians who died before him.

Today, Captain Awesome is going to support the King of Pop, and I will continue to support the music that MJ made, and I hope that future generations appreciate Michael Jackson in the same way that we appreciate Elvis Presley or Jimi Hendrix today. So I will leave you all with one question...

Who's Bad?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday America

Well, it's July 4, 2009. That means that the United States of America is officially 233 years old today (in a we declared independence on July 4, 1776 way).

So for all you American readers, you better be out there kicking ass and being awesome. That's what today is about. You need to go out and be awesome just like those brave souls who were out being awesome for our freedom 233 years ago.

Uncle Sam wants you to be awesome, how can you argue with that?

Go out and celebrate America hard, the American way. Kick ass and be awesome, and remember these great lyrics:

America...
America...
America, FUCK YEAH!
Coming again, to save the mother fucking day yeah,
America, FUCK YEAH!
Freedom is the only way yeah,
Terrorist your game is through cause now you have to answer too,
America, FUCK YEAH!
So lick my butt, and suck on my balls,
America, FUCK YEAH!
What you going to do when we come for you now,
it’s the dream that we all share; it’s the hope for tomorrow

FUCK YEAH!

McDonald's, FUCK YEAH!
Wal-Mart, FUCK YEAH!
The Gap, FUCK YEAH!
Baseball, FUCK YEAH!
NFL, FUCK, YEAH!
Rock and roll, FUCK YEAH!
The Internet, FUCK YEAH!
Slavery, FUCK YEAH!

FUCK YEAH!

Starbucks, FUCK YEAH!
Disney world, FUCK YEAH!
Porno, FUCK YEAH!
Valium, FUCK YEAH!
Reebok's, FUCK YEAH!
Fake Tits, FUCK YEAH!
Sushi, FUCK YEAH!
Taco Bell, FUCK YEAH!
Rodeos, FUCK YEAH!
Bed bath and beyond (Fuck yeah, Fuck yeah)

Liberty, FUCK YEAH!
White Slips, FUCK YEAH!
The Alamo, FUCK YEAH!
Band-aids, FUCK YEAH!
Las Vegas, FUCK YEAH!
Christmas, FUCK YEAH!
Immigrants, FUCK YEAH!
Popeye, FUCK YEAH!
Democrats, FUCK YEAH!
Republicans (republicans)
(fuck yeah, fuck yeah)
Sportsmanship
Books

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ménage à trois

  1. Only four months into his administration, President James A. Garfield is shot as he walks through a railroad waiting room in Washington, D.C. His assailant, Charles J. Guiteau, was a disgruntled and perhaps insane office seeker who had unsuccessfully sought an appointment to the U.S. consul in Paris. The president was shot in the back and the arm, and Guiteau was arrested. Garfield, mortally ill, was treated in Washington and then taken to the seashore at Elberon, New Jersey, where he attempted to recuperate with his family. During this time, Vice President Chester A. Arthur served as acting president. On September 19, 1881, after 80 days, President Garfield died of blood poisoning. The following day, Arthur was inaugurated as the 21st president of the United States. Garfield had three funerals: one in Elberon; another in Washington, where his body rested in state in the Capitol for three days; and a third in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was buried. Charles Guiteau's murder trial began in November, and in January 1882 he was found guilty and sentenced to death. In June 1882, he was hanged at his jail in Washington.

  2. On this day in 1776, the Second Continental Congress, assembled in Philadelphia, formally adopts Richard Henry Lee's resolution for Independence from Great Britain. The vote is unanimous, with only New York abstaining. The resolution had originally been presented to Congress on June 7, but it soon became clear that New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and South Carolina were as yet unwilling to declare Independence, though they would likely be ready to vote in favor of a break with England in due course. Thus, Congress agreed to delay the vote on Lee's Resolution until July 1. In the intervening period, Congress appointed a committee to draft a formal declaration of independence. Its members were John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Robert R. Livingston of New York and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson, well-known to be the best writer of the group, was selected to be the primary author of the document, which was presented to Congress for review on June 28, 1776. On July 1, 1776, debate on the Lee Resolution resumed as planned, with a majority of the delegates favoring the resolution. Congress thought it of the utmost importance that independence be unanimously proclaimed. To ensure this, they delayed the final vote until July 2, when 12 colonial delegations voted in favor of it, with the New York delegates abstaining, unsure of how their constituents would wish them to vote. John Adams wrote that July 2 would be celebrated as the most memorable epoch in the history of America. Instead, the day has been largely forgotten in favor of July 4, when Jefferson's edited Declaration of independence was adopted.

  3. There is a decent amount of celebrity birthdays today, so I figure I will just name some of them, Lindsay Lohan is 23, Ashley Tisdale is 24, Michelle Branch is 26, Jose Canseco is 45, and Larry David is 62.