Friday, November 30, 2007

Who Invited You to Thanksgiving, Seda Moon?

So, just who invited you to thanksgiving, Seda Moon, you and your billions of highly contagious germs? One by one we've all of us, to a man, caught your rotten cold. I mean, for god's sake, even the freaking dog is coughing. What? You think just because you're the daughter of my sister that means you can come waltzing in as you please, eating turkey and spreading bacteria all over the whole damned state of Ohio? Oh, please, don't even try to pull that "part of the family" card. Cripes, that bloodline crap is soo tired. You think you're born and, voila!, you get a free pass? Well, not from me, toots. Hell, you've only been part of the family for three stinking years! Sure you do some cute things from time to time, when you're not doing your best impersonation of a petri dish. And is a little cuteness worth all you're putting us through? Gagging on my umpteenth dose of cough medicine, I have to wonder.

Now you're gone, but your infernal germs remain. Who knows how many bedridden patients you'll have been responsible for when all is said and done. Hundreds? Thousands? And let's not forget the hours lost at work, doctors' bills, skyrocketing health insurance costs. And never mind that I've run through enough Kleenex to deforest half the Midwest. Really, you're like some microbe-ridden, one-person wrecking crew, aren't you?

Anyways, I'm taking my grippe and going to bed. Hope you're happy, you little so-and-so.

With all my love,

uncle nwb

Pictured above: Seda Moon, purveyor of germs.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cavs Whip Celts!

Last night I witnessed the Cavaliers take on the anointed ones in a 109-104 overtime victory. The game had a real playoff feel to it, with players trading barbs and the crowd going wild. There was much to praise, like Drew Gooden sticking jumper after jumper in Kevin Garnett's face. LeBron making Paul Pierce look bad. Ray Allen missing two free throws after a HORRIBLE bailout call when he dribbled off his leg. Sasha Pavlovic draining a game-tying three in the corner to force overtime. Our three best players outplaying their three best players was particularly satisfying.

The loss was just the second for Boston, but it won't be the last.

Make no mistake; they are a good team. A very good team. They are not a great team. We all know their strengths. The media have been pointing them out as much as they have the Cavs' weaknesses. But the Celtics have weaknesses of their own.

To wit:

The bench. In a word, it's crap. James Posey makes a positive impact, but after that it's pretty much a junk heap. Scalabrine, Pollard, House and the walking armoire Glen Davis do not make for an impressive second unit. As I recall, Scot Pollard couldn't crack our rotation.

Their center. Kendrick Perkins has got to be the luckiest player in the NBA. With Garnett drawing double teams all over the place, Perkins gets more bunny shots under the basket than maybe anyone else in the NBA. It's no coincidence that his shooting percentage is up 10 points from his career average. After all, it's tough to miss a wide open dunk. Still, the fact that big Z left Perkins wide open time after time is a testament to the center's lack of skill.

Their point guard. The more Rajon Rondo shoots the ball, the less chance the Celtics have of winning. He's quick and talented but he can't shoot from the floor or the stripe. Still, if he gets better, watch out.

I've always loved Kevin Garnett's game, and I don't envision him being abused by Drew Gooden too often, but didn't he go to that kind of slow developing, poor man's version of the dream shake a little too often. He's long enough to get his shot off from anywhere, but that move looks extremely guardable to me. And it earned him traveling violation at least once.

To me, the Celt's 11-2 start is misleading. Glancing over their November schedule, the competition has been mediocre at best. Look for an early playoff exit. If they do make the finals, they will be murdered by San Antonio. Collectively their big three has won absolutely nothing.

I love hating the Celtics. Always have. I'll be waiting your response, Kiwi Bird.


Tonight the Cavs play the Pistons in Detroit. Detroit did not play yesterday, so expect a 20 point blowout in the Pistons' favor and lots of perimeter bricks from the Cavs. This will be the fifth back to back for the Cavs in the young season. On each occasion, the other team did not play the previous night. Over the past several years the NBA has instituted changes in the rules in an effort to improve the entertainment quality of the game. Does anyone really think that defensive three second violations make that much of a difference? Who watches basketball for free throw shooting.

Hey, NBA, if you're serious about improving your product, then ELIMINATE BACK TO BACK GAMES! A fatigued team makes for some seriously bad basketball. And who the hell wants to watch a leg-weary, flat-footed team play a rested team on the road in an unavoidable 20 point blowout? NOBODY.

Figure it out.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Great Pat Robertson

Just watching a little Pat Robertson this Saturday night as he went through his mailbag in the closing moments of the 700 Club. The letter read as follows: I recently found out that members of my family worship Buddha. Does this have implications on my family and what should I do?

The answer?

The answer was a most emphatic yes! said a muttering, almost unintelligible Mr. Robertson. He warned the author of the letter to be wary of worshippers of the "occult" and of people shrieking in the middle of the night and rolling around on the ground. Pretty much I have no idea what he was talking about.

Neither did he.

Good thing he's so influential.

Intolerant, senile bastard.


By the way, Pat: my wife is a Buddhist. While sometimes she shrieks in the middle of the night, it's usually because there's a spider in the room.

Fuck you.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Nate Recommends...

Why do we like zombies so much? What fascination has kept the movie industry churning out zombie hits for decades? Personally, I think it's a universal yet secret yen for the sweet, sweet taste of human flesh. Socially, we're not allowed, but Hollywood has provided a reliably entertaining way to vicariously fulfull this dark fantasy. Come on, McBoners. Are there any of you out there who hasn't dreamt of sinking your teeth into the flesh of another living person? I doubt it. Mmm. Then you tear meat from bone as the victim screams, warm blood trickling down your chin...

Anyhow, I'm off track (and hungry!). What I meant to say was, if you like zombies as much as I do, then you'll love the film Fido. Fido is the story of small town life after the Zombie Wars were won by humans. Yes, the zombies have fallen, but thanks to technology, specifically electronic collars that subdue those troublesome urges, zombies have become a race of slaves who wash cars and mow the lawn, or, if needed, fill in as a dance partner. Keeping up with the Joneses no longer means having the right car or the right television set. As important is having a zombie (at least one) to do manual labor around the house.

But when those collars malfunction, whoa boy! That's when the fun begins.

See it!


McBone is Back

It's been about a week since my last post, but as family comes first, McBone took a little holiday.
BUT, I would still like to issue the following words of goodwill:

On behalf of McBone Inc., the NOML and the NIML, here's hoping everyone had a very, very, very, very good Thanksgiving.



Monday, November 19, 2007

Just Out of Curiosity...

OK, which one of you McBoners out there would choose to have a beak of all things? I mean really, a beak? Obviously, this poll is anonymous, but I sure would like to know who and why and what exactly would make a beak appealing.

Anyway, about 10 days remain before the poll closes, and, as expected, wings is the body part most McBoners would choose. Who hasn't dreamt of being able to fly? I am somewhat surprised, however that nobody has as yet selected gills, which of course would allow us to stay under water for as long as we pleased.

But I never expected a vote for a beak. Fascinating.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Nate's Friday Sports Extravaganza!

Boy, what a lousy week.


As I sit here devouring my mother's leftover pot roast (yum), contemplating the Cavaliers loss to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday (yuck), I cannot ignore the fact that this was another loss that the presence of Anderson Varejao would have prevented. The Cavs are scoring a lot of points. That's fun to watch, I guess. They are also giving up a lot of points, and that makes for some pretty shitty basketball. Anderson is our second best defensive player (behind LeBron), and there can be little doubt that he would have come up with a couple of decisive plays in the paint that would have turned the tide of at least two games in this early season, the other being that excruciating loss at Utah. So, until he returns, here is a new Cleveland stat: Projected Record With Varejao, or PRWV. The PRWV now stands at 6-3.

People like high-flying offenses. It's nice to have a potent offensive attack. It's even better to have a great defense. I'm still waiting for this team to put together its first great defensive game. That's not going to happen when opposing point guards continuously break down our perimeter D. There have been way, way too many easy layups and dunks so far. That starts with poor backcourt defense. It ends with a Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who is too slow to rotate on help, and Drew Gooden, who doesn't really know how to. Again, Varejao would solve this problem, somewhat.

Watching Dwayne Jones try and clog the middle is just painful.

I guess what I'm really saying is: sign Anderson Varejao! Or rather: sign, Anderson Varejao!

Larry Hughes. He gripes (and lets Gilbert Arenas gripe for him) that he's used wrong in the offense. This year the offense is more up-tempo. What happens? Larry's numbers go DOWN. Not just down, but WAY down, as in down to 29% shooting. He's gotten to the foul line 6 times. As our point guard, he's averaging 2.3 assists. Against Orlando? Try 4 points, 4 rebounds and a whopping one assist in 30 minutes. He misses layups, mid range jumpers, threes, basically everything. After vowing to slash more, he's still chucking bricks. He's the one player on the team who seems to have poor chemistry with LeBron. What the hell happened to this guy???

Daniel Gibson, meet Allen Iverson. Gibson got an NBA education against Denver, to the tune of 37 points for AI. Gibson is an electric shooter who has been abused on defense this season. Not that he doesn't play hard; he's simply been schooled by wily veterans. I suppose that will change in time, but right now he's being exposed.

Anytime you want to start hitting your jumpshot, Sasha Pavlovic, would be just fine with me.


They don't beat Pittsburgh, won't beat Pittsburgh, and simply cannot seem to beat Pittsburgh. Last Sunday the Browns burnt two timeouts on a challenge that was not overturned and then had a critical (phantom) holding penalty that cost them field position in the final seconds of the game. The result? Phil Dawson misses an unmakeable field goal attempt and down we go in flames once more. This is the stuff that curses are made of.

Let's hope we recover this week against the hapless Ravens. If not, kiss the playoffs goodbye.


Sure, C.C. Sabathia's shiny new Cy Young Award is a really neat thing. He is, after all, the first Indian to be voted best pitcher since GAYLORD PERRY. That was 1972, for crying out loud. But getting completely outclassed by runner up Josh Beckett in the ALCS was not such a neat thing. Think C.C. would swap his fun but ultimately meaningless award for the really, truly meaningful one Beckett earned in October? Me and Dirk Nowitzki bet he would. Cleveland needs a title, man. It's about the ring!

Am I bitter? YES!!! How completely unbearable to see Boston run away with absolutely everything. What the hell?

Congrats, too, to Eric Wedge, AL Manager of the Year. He did a lot with a small payroll. Well deserved award that also doesn't really look quite as good as a World Series Ring.

If this was an especially nasty version of NFSE, I apologize. All will be forgiven if the Cavs score a victory tonight at home vs. Utah, a game I will be attending.

Nate's unreasonable prediction of the week:

Larry Hughes will have a good game.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Nightmare on Elm Street, a McBone Mini-Review

Halloween has come and gone, and finally I've managed to squeeze in an annual horror flick. I'd seen eighties classic A Nightmare on Elm Street already, but probably not for fifteen years.

The premise is simple but clever: an undead psychopath enters into the dreams of teenagers to kill them. But why? The question is enough to keep you watching.

It took me maybe 2 minutes to love this film, or approximately from the time an off-screen Freddy Krueger first laughs his maniacal, madman's laugh. There is nothing better than a bad guy who LOVES being a bad guy. And Freddy absolutely delights in what he does to amorous teenagers who commit that unforgivable sin of having lustful thoughts, or, much worse, actual sex. Such an act of lechery summons our villain, and, voila, we're treated to an early bloodbath.

And so much about Freddy is iconic, and was so even when the films were being churned out at a rate of about one every other year. Beat up felt hat, dirty striped shirt, scorched face and, of course, those razor claws.

But maniacal laughter and claws do not a classic make. Too often a horror film is undermined by having a cool antagonist but an uninteresting hero. After all, scary scenes are much scarier when we have something invested in the victim. Fortunately, in Nancy Thompson Wes Craven drew up a protagonist that we can genuinely root for. While Nancy spends most of the movie swilling coffee and popping pills in efforts to stay awake and thus avoid Freddy, she also knows this can't go on forever. You face things. That's your gift, says Nancy's mother, and so Nancy goes on the offensive, hatching a plan to lure her nemesis out of her dreams and into her house, where she has set up a series of booby traps meant to finish the villain off once and for all, or until at least until the sequel. While Freddy is ingenious enough to kill from beyond the grave, his archrival proves more than a match.

Maybe that's why Nightmare has vaulted its way into the horror canon, in spite of the wooden acting (even by a debuting Johnny Depp) and hokey special effects (although some are not bad). A good story is a good story, and in this one we have two clever adversaries who will inevitably face each other. Alas, Nancy must fall asleep eventually, but how will she seize the advantage? That's the genius of the film.

Also noteworthy:

John Saxon had a great toupee in Enter the Dragon (1973), and he has a great one here (1984) as Nancy's father. I love John Saxon.

Heather Langenkamp is indeed wooden as Nancy--at first, but she really loses herself in the role and by the end is actually a joy to watch.

The final two minutes are a complete waste, which is too bad. Obviously Craven or the studio or someone wanted to leave things open for a hundred sequels, which of course undermine the potency of this first film.

There are excellent sets throughout, particularly when we visit Freddy's boiler room and various deserted dark alleys.


Browns 28, Pittsburgh 31

Somehow, the Browns always find a way to lose in Pittsburgh (and in Cleveland, of course). I don't suppose this will ever change in my lifetime, and probably not for all eternity. The Football Gods, ever mysterious, have ordained it so.

At least they gave the damn Steelers all they could handle, I guess. That's some consolation.

Not really.



Thursday, November 8, 2007

Nate's Friday Sports Extravaganza!

After a brief post ALCS meltdown hiatus, NFSE is back, and hopefully better than ever. There's much to discuss, some good, some bad, from the always colorful world of Cleveland sports.


The first thing that jumps out at me is the defense this team is playing. Basically, it sucks. Dribble penetration is killing us, to the point that I'm actually missing Eric Snow. Case in point, Deron Williams' barely contested game-winning layup with 2 seconds left on the clock. Devin Brown let that happen. Eric Snow wouldn't have. Let Williams beat you with a jumper, but under no circumstances should he be allowed to drive the length of the floor and lay it in.

Furthermore, Zydrunas Ilgauskas is slow footed and could not get in front of Williams. No other play has underlined how bad Anderson Varejao is screwing his team. He would have been right there between Williams and the basket. This team is much better when Anderson is playing in the fourth quarter and not Drew Gooden.

That said, the Cavs played Utah tough.

Other observations after 5 games:

LeBron is the best player in the NBA. His leadership skills are a match for his talent now, and he is going to keep his team competive. Put four dead slugs on the floor with him and the Cavs will make the playoffs.

LeBron's achilles heel is the free throw. I can live with that for the most part. Hell, it's not like he's Shaquille O'neal out there, but it can be awfully frustrating.

Larry Hughes apparently learned nothing from his sessions with Mark Price over the summer. Amazingly, he's been more valuable to us injured. I hate to say that because I really like the guy, but man, what happened to him?

Devin Brown is not the answer. He plays with a lot of energy, but he's no good.

Daniel Gibson is a keeper. A great shooter who electrifies the crowd. Let's hope he's a Cav for a very long time.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas is playing some of the best ball in his career. He's got new energy and he's rebounding like a 7 foot 3 guy should. I don't expect him to average 13 per game, especially after Anderson signs, but he's definitely justifying his big contract right now. Aside from LeBron, he's been the most consistant Cav.

If Shannon Brown ever makes a name for himself in this league, it will be in another uniform. Somehow he's found himself behind Ira Newble in the rotation.

Dwayne Jones may be a hard worker, but he can't play, not from what I've seen so far.

If Damon Jones is unhappy and wants to be traded, he's not playing like it. Nice to see him dealing some assists and even making a couple of nice drives to the hoop.

I want the Cavs to sign notorious chucker Earl Boykins. No, I don't. Yes, I do. Hell, I don't know. How much can he help?


I'm stunned, stunned that they are 5-3. Incredibly, the playoffs seem possible. This is very cautious optimism though, because...

The defense SUCKS. By some grace of god they have come up with some big stops late in games and they were clutch in keeping the Seahawks out of the end zone in the fourth quarter, but overall, yuck. They don't pressure the quarterback, can't stop the run and have absolutely no secondary. In other words, Phil Savage will be drafting for defense this offseason.

Thank the good lord that Ted Washington is gone. He had a very nice career, but at this point, he's an inanimate blob. Removing him from the d-line alone makes the team better defensively.

Derek Anderson is a pro-bowler a the midway point. No question about it.

The Browns have one of the best receiving corps in the NFL. The size of the receivers make them impossible to defend.

I love how hard Jamal Lewis runs. He simply powered his way into the end zone against Seattle. Four times. Great stuff.

Braylon Edwards decided he wanted to be a great receiver, and that's exactly what he's been this season. Forget the drops. He is a big-time playmaker and seems to have found the maturity to match his talent. Watch out.

Team MVP after eight games? Hard to choose. The candidates are: Derek Anderson, Edwards, Kellen Winslow, Eric Steinbach, Josh Cribbs and, amazingly, Joe Thomas.

Ron Chudzinski could also be an MVP for this potent offense he's installed.

Joe Thomas was a genius draft pick by Savage. The rookie had one rookie like game in the opener against Pittsburgh. Since then, no one can get past him. The Thomas/Steinbach tandem is devastating, and Derek Anderson should buy them both a beer.

Romeo Crennel. Wow. I thought he should have been fired after the Pittsburgh debacle. In two years he went 5-11, 4-12 and all signs pointed to another steaming pile of a season. He has totally turned his team around. Chemistry is good and, for the first time since forever ago, the Browns are WINNING.


Nope. Still can't talk baseball. No way. Ugh.

Nate's unreasonable prediction of the week:

The Cavs will aquire a competent point guard.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

McBone Presents: The Official 2007 Aunt and Uncle Rankings

The votes (mine) have been tabulated. McBone is proud to present the 2007 Aunt and Uncle Rankings:


1. Susan Johnson
2. Gail
3. Denise
4. Susan Good
5. Fay
6. Ann


1. Al
2. Jeff
3. Glen
4. Pete
5. Ed
6. Don Sims (No longer in family)
7. Don Holm

The standings represent an unexpected freefall for Glen and Susan (Good) Kerkian who had maintained a longtime stranglehold on the coveted top spots. The couple is unseated by Al Kerkian and Susan Johnson. The ascension of the restauranteurs will undoubtedly send shockwaves through the Bowler-Kerkian family, though expected recount demands and groveling are unlikely to alter the outcome.

Bringing up the rear are the reliably execrable Don Holm, who for the 17th consecutive year will occupy the lowest rung of the uncle standings, and Ann Kerkian, who likewise failed to rise above her status as a bottom feeder.


Friday, November 2, 2007

I Admire...

Zombies. For that never say die attitude.

Pirates. Genuine free spirits.

Robots. Always turning against their creators.

Mad scientists. For thinking outside the box.

Dracula. For his way with women.

Alien overlords. For knowing how foolish we humans really are.

Criminal super-geniuses. Conquer the world? Bah! Conquer the galaxy! The universe!

Disembodied brains under glass. For having a chip on the shoulder.

Hunchbacks. For fealty undying.

Dinosaurs. Extinct but immortal.


That's More Like it...

After Wednesday's unspeakable (yet predictable) disaster versus the Dallas Mavericks, a game in which the Cavs showed no effort or interest whatsoever, the New York Knicks rolled into town. The Cavs still have a lot of work to do on defense after a 110-106 victory, so chalk this one up to the handiwork of these two guys:

LeBron James: 45-7-7.

Boobie Gibson: 24 points. 6 of 9 three pointers, including four consecutive fourth-quarter back-breakers.

An 0-2 start before a long west coast swing would have been a big letdown. For one night, all is well.