Monday, December 22, 2008

From Hubcaps to Selling Raps

I wasn't the best salesmen, but I was far from the worst. In many respects, I was very successful. For a time, I was the number 1 Amalgam Separator salesmen on Long Island in late 2007.

My problem was: I wasn't willing to screw people over for my own gain. I gave too much when I should have been taking. I cared to much about other people instead of myself. A salesmen has to be ready to seek and destroy on command. Go for the jugular. I didn't have that killer instinct.

In 8 months, I got published in the Times of Smithtown, got a PT job at News 12 and Newsday part II, and today, December 22, I was published on my own page in Newsday (page B21). If you read it, it was a story about a 5th and 6th grade dance to raise money for the poor. It's not online yet, but I'll post it when the time comes.

I can't help but be proud of this and tell you guys how much it means to me. I hope 8 months from now, the life and times of Bob Doda will be even more exciting.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The McLovin's

I post (or sometimes lurk) the PT (Phantasy Tour) message boards pretty much every day just to see what the buzz is in music and pop culture. There are always interesting conversations and funny characters. Vets and newbs. Recently, a video was posted featuring a band called "The McLovin's." These are some 14-16 year old kids that are absolutely SICK. Rate and Comment. Phish - YEM Best cover ever. Cissy Strut- The Meters Funk. Under The Bridge- RHCP They need a legit front man but they sound great.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Most Important Questions You Will Ever Answer

I usually don't do these 'answer the question so everybody knows about you' jobbers but I'm trying to get into the holiday spirit early this year. Here are all of my Christmas dreams.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Like Vanilla Ice, I'm one of the worst wrappers of all-time. I'm a bag man.

2. Real tree or Artificial? The Doda household has a FAKE tree. Not a fan. Maybe I'll get my family fake presents this year.

3. When do you put up the tree? The end of November.

4.When do you take the tree down? March 12

5. Do you like eggnog? "....It's good....It's good...." -Clark Griswold

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Hockey equipment, Computer, Genesis, Rangers vs. Whalers in Hartford, first Row on the glass, 12/28/93. Rangers lost.

7. Hardest person to buy for? My grandmother would be happy if I got her pocket lint but she is still the hardest to shop for. What do grandmother's like? I've been buying candles and perfume for years.

8. Easiest person to buy for? Ron Joseph Doda Jr. We buy our gifts in front of each other days before Christmas. We just pick out what we want. It's ridiculous.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. Funny Story. It's seriously a 30 year old Nativity Scene. Somewhere along the line, my pops lost Joseph. For as long as I have been alive, we have had a wise man fill Joseph's shoes. I always thought there was something wrong with having an impostor next to Mary and Jesus.

10. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? Cards are overrated.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Costo Clothes

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? December 15th

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Not a chance.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Is there anything better than Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies...

16. Lights on the tree? Colorful lights.

17. Favorite Christmas song? James Taylor 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas'

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Everyone knows the Doda household is the Christmas base.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dancer, Prancer, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph, Sneezy, Doc, Cupid.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel.

21. Presents on Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning before breakfast.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? It's freaking cold.

23. Favorite Ornament theme or color? Don't understand the question. But my favorite ornaments are the Peanuts gang ones...

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Christmas dinner is really like a Thanksgiving re-mix. I stick with turkey, gravy, apple sauce, and my Grandmother's unreal stuffing. She has skills.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I don't really need much. Maybe some really expensive threads.

26. Who is most likely to respond to this? Cavy

27. Who is least likely to respond to this? The rest of Planet Earth's population.

Monday, November 10, 2008

November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day. Truly a great American holiday. A good day to kick back and watch Saving Private Ryan, Platoon, The Thin Red Line... or to look back in your own family tree. My grandfathers (RIP) were half way around the globe chopping peoples heads off with bayonets. That's why they are called the greatest generation. They were just teenagers and young men.

I wonder what Abraham Lincoln would say knowing that there is going to be a black president leading the United States. I don't care if you are the biggest McCainite of all time; if you were listening to Obama's speech after his victory, you felt really proud of the country. Why did McCain lose?

1. George W. Bush

2. The collapse of the U.S. economy.

3. Sarah Palin

4. People just aren't that scared of Bill Ayers and Rev. Wright. If that was the ace in the whole, it lost to an inside straight.

5. McCain is old.

He's also an American hero. Have you ever been captured behind enemy lines before? Tough spot I would imagine. But he had the opportunity to leave that POW camp and chose to stay. If that isn't movie-type heroism, I don't know what is.

Barack Obama. Ex-smoker from Chicago. Captivating, charming... Not George W. Bush. These are the things that got him elected. He now has a real opportunity to make his presidency effective right out of the gate. Before we start putting his face on Mount Rushmore, let's see what he does in his first 90 days.

Metal Gear. I was introduced to Metal Gear by Aaron "Father" Niderno, now happily married with their beautiful boy Aiden. It was my sophomore year of college when I played Metal Gear Solid 2 Sons of Liberty. Extraordinary game of stealth and international intrigue. I was hooked. When Cavy let me borrow his PS3 recently, I got to experience the last chapter in the gaming series... Metal Gear Solid 4 Guns of the Patriots.

Visually stunning, unbelievable game play and graphics, engaging storyline with familiar characters and an epic finale to one of the best game series of all time.

I was wondering recently what dogs think about. Personally, I think my dog Snowy thinks:

ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball bones bones bones bones bones bones bones bones bones bones ball ball ball ball ball sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep stretch stretch stretch stretch stretch stretch sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff bones bones bones ball ball ball.

I'm sure they aren't thinking about TiVo and Stock options. I think that would be one of my questions if I ever met someone that was omnipotent.

Recent DVD pick ups:

The Office Season 4

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 3

Have a wonderful November 11, 2008.

The ramblings will continue.

Bob Doda

PS Let's talk Rangers hockey for 2 seconds. This looks like a serious team that wants to win. Chris Drury is a great and obvious selection for captain of the crew and Henrik is on top of the league yet again in save %. The one year I don't have season tickets they are freak nasty. Figures. I do miss my section 409 squad though....

P P S Congrats to Mike and Lorraine. Prego with twins. good luck to ya.

P P P S Congrats to DD the Don and Janine. Engaged.

P P P P S: I wonder if Bryan Harmon knows what dogs think???

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Next Up:

Metal Gear Solid 4 reaction
The surprise exodus of Matt Cavallaro
Top 5 Best Cereals Ever....

Monday, October 13, 2008

No noose is good noose

I'm working the 3-12:00am shift tonight here at News 12 in Woodbury. My only responsiblity in this last hour of my shift is to report the final score of this Giants-Browns debacle, post the Dodgers-Phillies final, and shut off the lights. I thought it would be interesting to show everyone the titles of the articles I have been writing from all over the tri-state area (not exactly the titles but this is what I saved them as):

Baby Murder
Bronx Fire
Bronx Gunfire
Cop Fatal Crash
Dead Wife
Deadly Elevator
Domestic Violence
Execution Style
Fatal Bike Ride
Greenwich Mold
Keanburg Flooding
Love Triangle Murder
Mount Vernon Shooting
Newburgh Murder
Stocks Fall
Violent Robbery

This is a small sample. Who says there's no such thing as good news?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

For Cavy..

I found out last weekend that I do a really good Robocop impression. Maybe the best in America. I can do a perfect "Drop it." Kind of like this here..

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

1663 Days: Phish Reunites in Virginia March 6

After years of phishless summers and grooveless winters, Phish has decided to reunite in the (almost) spring of 2009 in the famous Hampton Coliseum in the heart of Virginia. The break-up will last 1663 days.

I wrote a few month's ago during the saturation of speculation of a reunion that I would be incredibly curious to see them again. How will they sound? Will they be as tight as they once were? Obviously, Trey's legal problems have helped his career in the long run as he performed at some epic concerts this past summer. Without a head full of painkillers, I think this only improves his chances of making this comeback totally worth the wait.
Will I go to VA for the show? Probably not. When they announce additional dates, I'll guarantee a Nassau Coliseum show. A summer tour ending in Limestone, Maine for a 2-day festival would be something I wouldn't miss for the world.

But what is with the break-ups and the reunions? Trey said in 2004 (and I'm paraphrasing) "This is not like the hiatus we took, WE ARE DONE."
My advice would be stop playing with the fans emotions and play some straight funk instead.

I would advise anyone interested to check out for more information and a pretty cool video about the released VA dates.

I was lucky enough to see 10 shows in my day, including the "final" show in Coventry, Vermont. The music was weak but the scene was phenomenal. I was really sad to them go. October 1, 2008 was a very happy day in the life of Bob Doda and many other fans.

It's all about the groove. Welcome Back.

10 Ten things said during a smerce match:

10: You can't turn that fast
9: I can't face
8: I hit R/L
7: What are you holding?
6: I hit both buttons
5: You heard it, Everybody heard it
4: That was a Yamaguchi
3: I'm getting up dazed, Get up dazed? or I'm getting up Enrique Iglesias
1: How are they not going to give that to me?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Last week, John McCain said that the economy was relatively strong. Today, he has suspended his campain because we are looking at another great depression. So, we went from relatively strong to depression in less than a week. He's not suspending anything. He's hoping people look at him and think, "Wow, he puts the country first....I think I'll vote for him." Honestly, suspending his campain and trying to weasel out of a debate on Friday is a mask. Obama wants to talk about about America on Friday and I think the American people need to listen. My point is McCain lost some serious points today with the American people.

P.S. Sarah Palin is an idiot.

P.S.S. Think about those poor bastards at Ole Miss that have been planning this debate for months... Come on.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Lost and Profound

I lose a lot of things. Recently, I lost my wallet in A.C. but got it back in the mail from an unknown source. I have lost my keys before, some cash, multiple hooded sweatshirts, t-shirts, shorts. I lost one sandal at a friends house once... that always bothered me. I was only there for two hours. Anyway, I was just looking for my Ipod when I realized something. An item becomes lost when you start searching in impractical places for that item. For example, if I was looking for my belt in the refrigerator, that item is officially lost. Not forever, but in that time frame. I was just looking for my Ipod in drawers I haven't opened since 1982. It turns out, it was underneth the very computer I am typing on right now.

I guess my point is... sitting down, taking a deep breath, and cursing very loudly is the only way to find something that is lost.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


We got attacked while I was walking to my political science class at 9:00 am. When I got to my American Politics class, the lights were dimmed and CNN was on a projected screen.

Cousin and Firefighter Richard Allen, who now has his own street name in Rockaway, died at the World Trade Center. Just wanted to put some remembrance out there on this seventh anniversary.

Michael Doda JR is also my hero...and he's about to become a captain in the FDNY. Does the FDNY have a card system like the PBA and the DEA? I'm going to have to do some research on that. Till then, lets take a second to remember some heros today.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What is Bob Doda Doing?

I can't believe I haven't updated this earlier. Sorry to all my loyal readers. I promise to be more effiecient.

Goodbye, Summer. As someone that is pro-global warming, I have always wanted to extend Summer into October on the East Coast. Think about trick-or-treating in seventy degree weather... wouldn't that be great kids???? Green House Gases?? More like Fun House Gases. Summer doesn't end until my flip flops are in the closet for good. I can't stand people that say they like the Winter better then the Summer. T-shirts and shorts or fourteen hoodies? You make the call.

I have two jobs. One at Tandem Medical in Smithtown getting sales leads for a radiology firm. The other is the dream coming true.

I am, for right now, a Temp Producer at News 12 Long Island, writing and editing the top stories for the website and the interactive channel (612). I am only 24 more steps away from being the next Edward R. Murrow or Dan Rather. But still, I couldn't be happier.

So, this Summer was interesting to say the least thanks to a lot of new friends, the reliability of the old ones, and the weekly adventures with good but mostly bad results. It saw the resurgance of No Mercy too, (aka post phage aka universe aka "Lets play smerce until our faces melt" aka "Lets play smerce until the cows milk themselves") which was always fun. I'll miss you snake.

Some things to look forward to:
1) The Conor Sussillo Weekend
2) Halloween/Halloween movie sequels
3) The Presidential Election. I'm pretty sure I'm not voting. I'll get into that.
4) Thanksgiving
6) The Birth of Jesus Christ....Brian Harmon.
7) NYE
8) Groundhog Day "....oh yeah, don't drive on the railroad tracks."
9) St. Patty's Day
10) Summer '09

Till then, check out the News 12 website periodically. I can't believe I actually work for them. Like my friend Brill from BC once said "Start Small, Think Big" That's what I plan to do.

P.S. Somebody sent me my lost Atlantic City wallet back through the U.S. mail. No return address. Can you believe that? I would send every single way to contact me and the address of all of my former employers. I can't believe I'll never get the story about where it was found. I'd rather not have it, honestly.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mike and the Mad Dog Ends

When I was a dental salesmen, I would drive about 100 miles a day and wait to hear Chris Russo and Mike Francesa take on the New York Sports world. It was an opinionated show; a funny show about the failures and triumphs of the local sports heroes that we lived and died by. Nineteen years after their first show, the Mike and the Mad Dog show has ended. Chris Russo has left the show in pursuit of a new challenge. Personally, I am pretty upset.

This was truly my favorite radio program of all-time. There is something about Chris Russo that I find amazing. This guy seems like he belongs in a mental hospital. His laugh is infectious and his passion for broadcasting is unmatched. I'll be very interested to see where he goes next; whether it be satellite radio or television. Mike has signed on to do his own show for the afternoon drive on WFAN which should still stay on the top of the New York sports talk scene. I am guessing that the YES network will carry The Mike Francesa Show but we will have to wait and see.

There is a classic Chris Russo rant on youtube about the Pacman Jones shootings in Las Vegas. He is going nuts about how he is still able to play in the NFL. Some guy from New York made an impersonation of this rant and it is unbelievable. Check it out.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

For Cavy. Enjoy.

Check out this No Mercy glitch...

Friday, August 1, 2008

GRE: Dips and Valleys

When you walk into a GRE exam, you should be greeted by a 124 year old man who takes your license (luckily, I just received mine in the mail a day earlier) and gives you a confidentiality agreement to sign stating that I will not disclose whatever is on this test. But you have to write out the entire statement in cursive (or script for the layman). It's like a 43 word statement. I felt like Adam Sandler writing 'Rizzuto' on the blackboard. Can somebody tell me how to make a capital F in cursive?

Anyway, you are escorted into a room where the crypt keeper askes you some more vital questions like, "do you need an extra pencil?" and "do you want headphones to tune out any distractions?" So I grabbed my headphones, walked into my cubicle and began.

45 minute- Pick an arguement and support it however you wish
30 minute- Critique an agruement: how well does the author support his/her claim?
30 minute- Verbal
45 minute- Quantitative (Math)

I think I did really well on my writing section. It was definetly the highlight of the exam. As for the verbal and math, I might as well have been seven years old. I think I did average at best... but there is always next month. Till then, I found a new book. '30 Days to a Better Vocabulary'.

So that's that. I'll take it again. I wish I could clue you guys in on some of the questions but I fear a S.W.A.T. team is going break in my home and kill Snowy and I. Enjoy your weekend.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Shark Week '08

I can't think of anything more entertaining than a bunch of dudes jumping in shark infested waters searching for new ways to get eaten at sea. "Let's see what happens when I paddle out into the South Pacific..." "Check me out....I'm a baby seal." Classic.

If only Shark Week were every week. Shark Month....That's what we need.

This is a clip from Planet Earth. HD Sharks flying right out your screen. Enjoy.

Bob + Doda = Bob Doda by Bob Doda

When I was expected to do math in middle school, high school, and a small part of college, I was an Absolute Zero (worst math joke of all time but I'm leaving it). Recollecting on all the hours I put in trying to find the sum of X never helped me in my numerous ventures outside of school. What the hell is a cosign? How do you use a graphing calculator? While all of my buddies seemed to excel at Math, my junior and senior year of High School was broken down into 3a and 3b. I'm sure the A stood for something other than asshole but who knows. Maybe it did stand for asshole. Either way, I was stuck in idiot math whether I liked it or not.

The reason I'm thinking about this now is because my GRE exam is on Thursday. The math is not that hard; it's actually 8-10th grade stuff. I consider myself to be a wordsmith of sorts. I know how to use words and phrases; how to edit and proofread. But I'm a little nervous about the vocab in my near future. I have been taking practice exams and reading The Complete Idiot's Guide to Acing the GRE which is helpful, but still... when am I going to use:


in a sentence. It's really the same principle when it comes to math. When was the last time you were walking down the street and had to use the Pythagorean theorem? Thanks for letting me vent...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Atlantic City: The Wallet and Soul Swallowing Capital of the World

Have you ever been to the Beach Bar in Atlantic City? I have. Actually, two guys that looked like they were out of the show Pacific Blue asked me to leave. As a cordial individual, I stood up from my seat, walked out of the establishment without the comfort of my wallet or my friends. How was I supposed to know your not allowed to go on the stage and make an announcement? It seemed like a great idea at the time....

Little did I know that friends Gannon Gambeski and Jonathan Lesch and Company were getting strangers to scream "BBBBBBBoBBBBBBBBBB!" on the boardwalk. We were separated but I hope they know I appreciate the sentiment. It's important to be alone sometimes in strange places. It's like exercise for your interpersonal and problem solving skills. Nobody deals with strangers better than Bob Doda.

All in all, it was a good weekend. Lots of friends and drinks; sand and surf; dancing and falling off banisters. I wouldn't change a thing.

The ride home on the other hand was a pure endurance challenge. My brain was in a fog; throbbing and yearning for a few more zzzzz's. Not even the fresh eggs and sausage could solve the problem I had. Two hours of traffic at the George Washington Bridge did not help. Finally back in Smithtown, our trip still did not come to an end. My friends and I decided to find a Pizza Hut with a red top, red cups and circular ice cubes. My GPS brought me to Brentwood (or as I like to call it Crimewood) first but it was red-topless. Off to Centereach. One Cesar's salad and a slice of stuffed crust pizza later, I felt like I was going to die right there in the booth.

Surprisingly, I didn't.

My bed was screaming my name, "BBBBBBBBBBBBoBBBBBBBBBBB...."
I obliged and slept for 32 hours.

In closing, there are 3 things to consider:
1) I am a fabulous poker player and paid for the whole trip in 54 minutes at a table.
2) Random dance parties with hot chicks can lead to intense bruising.
3) Never leave your wallet in a cab in Atlantic City with a guy named Sunil

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Online Discovery

Keep your eyes on the words and your fingers on home row...

I might be solidifying my legacy as a world class dweeb but knowing how many words you type per minute is an interesting stat. Try it out.

As of right now, my record is 60 words per minute with 2 mistakes.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bobby Murcer 1946-2008

Bobby Murcer, one of the voices of the New York Yankees, died today after a battle with brain cancer. He wasn't the greatest yankee, nor a hall of famer, but he was loved amongst the fans and the franchise as a whole. The YES network just learned of this news after the Yankees win today against Toronto and is playing old footage of Murcer as well as player reactions. This should make the All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium next week even more special. RIP Bobby Murcer.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Resurrection of Phish?

Recent comments in Rolling Stone by Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon have led many bloggers and fans to believe that one of the most successful touring acts in the country, Phish, might be ready to take to the stage again. In this digital age, the rumors came full circle incredibly fast prompting Page McConnell to post this statement on the bands website:

Given the volume of speculation and rumors that have bubbled up recently, I have been asked to make a statement…Here goes. For me, the last four years have been great. I’ve spent quality time with my family and have watched my daughter grow. I took great pleasure and pride in writing and recording an album. I’m living a healthy lifestyle. I travel as little as possible and I sleep in my own bed. It took a couple of years after the break up to begin talking to my old band mates, but once the conversations began to flow it wasn’t long before the friendships were rekindled. And I can honestly say that I’m closer with all of them now then I’ve ever been in our 20-year relationship. Recently the conversations have turned toward the possibility of spending some time together. Currently many of us have plans and projects already in the works, most notably Mike, who made a great album and is about to hit the road in support of it. Given that I might not even see some of the guys for the next six months, I would say that the announcement of a reunion is premature. However, later this year we hope to spend some time together and take a look at what possible futures we might enjoy. In fact the only real decision that has been made is that when we do get together, it will only be the four of us, hopefully with no distractions. I am really looking forward to that.I want to say just a few more things. The prospect of Phish reuniting is something I consider very seriously, and I think about it a lot. And lastly, as always, there is plenty of misinformation floating around. Try not to focus too much on secondhand sources and random gossip. If there is anything real to announce, it will come from the four of us as a group.

Until then,

What can we gather from this letter?

1. Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.
2. Page obviously wants Phish back. The band is closer then they ever have been? It has to be only a matter of time.
3. Page has been hanging out with his fam for the past few years eating soy and carrots.
4. He says that calling this a reunion is premature, but they plan on getting together later this year to evaluate things. It looks like patience is golden.

Trust me, I have no aspirations for jumping on tour and following a band around the country. If they come to The Garden or Nassau Coliseum you can bet your boots that I'll be there. Why?
1. Mere curiosity. Could they revive that groove after so many years?
2. Because they are my favorite band of all time and all of their shows are downloadable practically within hours of the performance.
3. Because Coventry, their last show/festival ever, sucked.

If you got through all of this, thank you. Most of my friends here in Smithtown HATE Phish. But to me, it would be a dream come true to hear those dudes once again.

Life Stats

I was driving to Matt's Pizza in St. James the other day. After hanging a left turn on to Lake Ave. I started to think, "I wonder how many times I have made this left turn in my career as a person?" This, of course, led me to think of other questions that I will never know the answer to.

-How many total words have I spoke?
-How many meals/pound of food have I consumed?
-How much total money have I earned/spent?
-How many yawns?
-How many sneezes?
-Overall beerpong percentage?
-Phone calls made/received?
-How much distance have I travelled by foot/car?
-How much time have I spent watching TV/movies/in the bathroom?
-Awake/Asleep ratio?
-How many total concerts/sporting events have I been to?
-Total number of friends made? Total number of enemies?
-Total number of insects killed?
-My overall Ice Hockey stats?

There must be 14,000 more questions you could ask about your life. The scary thing is that all of those questions have an answer. Feel free to enter your X or R rated "Life Stat" questions in the comments section.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Tonight's topics:

Calculating Life Stats
The Resurrection of Phish?
In The Classroom with Bob Doda
Sean Avery to Dallas: What are the Rangers THINKING?????
Wall-E: Disney's Charlie Chaplin

Friday, June 27, 2008

Idiots, Grand Theft Auto, and Newsday

On Tuesday night, a group of six teens in New Hyde Park robbed and beat a man waiting for a bus, armed themselves with blunt instruments found in tool sheds, destroyed cars and vans, attempted to hi-jack a woman in a 2008 BMW, and were arrested by police who responded to a 911 call, all according to today's Newsday.

Teens aged 18, 17, 16, 15, and 14 were on a crime spree; a strong armed wrecking crew. "The teens told detectives they were imitating the 'Grand Theft Auto' video game series where characters steal cars, beat up other characters and commit crimes, authorities said."

This has always made me so mad. If I just got arrested as a fourteen year old, I would blame everybody and anything for why this happened to me. Witchcraft, talking dogs, drugs, alcohol, video games, death rock, cool jazz...ANYTHING. So, one of these idiot kids says "Oh, we were just imitating a video game we play. Is it wrong to mug people and destroy property? Ohhhhhhhhhh I didn't know." Give me a break. Video games had nothing to do with this.

Basic morals and code of ethics start at home with PARENTS and in schools with TEACHERS. If your kid is learning about society from video games and isn't smart enough to tell the difference between reality and entertainment, then there are greater issues going on. I say lock these kids up forever because the world is chock full of IDIOTS. There is no room for six more. Instead of "Inspired by 'Grand Theft' video, 6 teens rob man, try carjacking, smash van with bat, police say" in bold on page 1 it should say "Teens go on crime spree, where are the parents?"

Newsday was praying for a story like this. I feel like MATTHEW CHAYES ( dropped the ball here. Let's stop passing the buck and finding out what's really wrong with these idiot kids? Are you letting you're fourteen year old out at night on a Tuesday? Irresponsible. If I get a response from Mr. Chayes I'll be happy to post it.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Matt Cavallaro: Man, Snake, and Mind

I can't think of a ruder or cruder dude. He has been through 45,239 women and you are next. He's a millionare and a WWF champ. He was the 2005 poker player of the year. My advice: Don't turn your back on Cavy.


In the Classroom with Bob Doda

The following is a short essay on the impact of old muckrakers have on the new media. It's for a class so if anyone has any suggestions I'm happy to oblige.

Muckraking and The New Media

It is a journalist’s greatest tool and a politician’s worst nightmare. The term “muckraker” refers to an investigative reporter exposing an injustice that society never would have known about if it wasn’t for that particular story. Some of the most famous muckrakers are Nellie Bly and her reports from inside Blackwell’s Island mental institution and Upton Sinclair’s expose of the impoverished in The Jungle. That spirit of exposing the underbelly of society is arguably more alive today than ever before. Modern day journalists have taken cues and learned many lessons from muckrakers of the past, only it is a more ruthless network.
No matter how caring or clean someone in the spotlight may seem, there is always a skeleton hidden in the closet. This has become a rule of thumb for most 24/7 news outlets. Barack Obama and his family once were members of Reverend Wright’s congregation in his home town of Chicago, Illinois. Months into his campaign trail for the democratic nomination, the various internet videos featuring the Reverend ranting about how America has stomped all of African Americans became a major talking point for all candidates involved. Primarily, the Reverend’s speech has nothing to do with how good a president Mr. Obama would make. But by stirring the pot and by digging into his past, ABC news found and exposed Obama as a possible racist himself with this story in March of 2008.
Muck sells. Muckraking circles the globe before the parties involved has a chance to respond. In Obama’s case, he responded with a forty five minute speech discussing race. His eloquence probably won him more votes than hurt him in the long run. Muckraking can be very costly as well. Dan Rather lost his job at CBS news subsequently following a story about George W. Bush’s military records which turned out to be forged documents. That pursuit to break controversial news and stir the pot backfired and destroyed more than one career. When muckraking was just beginning, the stories exposed harmful aspects of society which caused many policy changes. Today, most muckraking stories are about the defamation of individual’s character with some important exceptions.
The horrific stories and images from inside the Abu Ghraib Prison sent shockwaves through the entire world when a report aired in April of 2004. The war was still in it’s early stages and was not going exactly as planned by our commander and chief. After seeing the American atrocities, the public began to really come out against our war effort in Iraq. The remainder of public nationalism was drained and the Iraqi detainee became a sympathetic figure. Around the world, the image of the United States has been tarnished, possibly forever due to one reporter’s work.
The importance of this type of journalism cannot be underestimated. Muckrakers historically have changed the world and become famous. As long as there are awful people in this world, there will be a “Shame, Shame Shame” segment on the evening news.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Incredible Waste of my Time

What this world needs is more Incredible Hulk movies. Please Hollywood. Please give me another Incredible Hulk movie every two years or I will throw myself off a cliff. I left the movie theater angry...and you would not like me when I'm angry.

I love Edward Norton just as much as the next 18-35 year old. The list looks something like this:

1) American History X
2) Rounders
3) Primal Fear
4) Fight Club
5) 25th Hour

These are all film achievements and blockbusters at the box office. He is very likable in the press. You never hear about him getting DUI's or calls from the IRS. This is the Hollywood poster boy. I guess the opportunity to play a dorky doctor/green monster was too much to pass up for a man who is used to playing somewhat normal white guys.

Bruce Banner finds himself on the run from U.S. Army, making his stay in the slums of Brazil. Just months earlier, he was testing gamma rays on himself which conversely turns him into The Hulk. During his escape from the lab, he puts his lover in the hospital for a few months and makes an enemy in her father who happens to be General Ross, the brains behind finding and capturing Banner. We get all of this information from the opening credits of the movie told in a flashback format which helped the storytelling process. The foundation was built, but then starts to crack.

Norton does all that he can do with this role. His presence on-screen is always captivating but he interjects no levity to his situation. Even Toby Maguire makes you smile here and there, but the way Hulk was written left no room for any laughs. Norton's leading lady Liv Tyler, the damsel in disgust, is awful. I understand that she is not exactly playing Susan B. Anthony here, but her acting is paper thin. I was not buying what she was selling.

The film follows Banner's quest to rid himself of the beast that lives inside of him culminating in a face-off between the Hulk and an Army produced replication in Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth- Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs) in the streets of Harlem, New York. The action sequences display the pinnacle of what can be done on computers nowadays but cannot make up for the boring Bruce Banner and company. Be on the look out for a Robert Downey Jr. as well as Lou Ferrigno (the original Incredible Hulk and still jacked out of his mind) cameo performances.

If you do not mind being dazzled by CGI, then this could be you're movie. If you are tired of save the girl while saving the city while saving their own reputation as a superhero story, then save your money. This has been done before and if history serves us correctly, I'm sure Hollywood will take another crack at making the perfect Incredible Hulk movie. Who knows? Maybe Barry Bonds will be the next big green machine. I give this flick 1.5 out of 5 shines.

Get Smart or Get Out

Connery, Bronson, Cruise, Schwartzeneger…Carrell? Would you believe that this was a movie with no flaws from the beginning to the end? No? Would you believe that it ridiculous, very entertaining but ran a little bit too long? Exactly.

There is no better person on Planet Earth that could replicate Don Adams’ fast wittedness and dweebish persona than Dunder Mifflin’s own, Steve Carrell. On screen, he is physically dwarfed by his co-star Dwayne Johnson, known to many as “The Rock” from the WWE fame. I guess at one point in life, the public has to come to grips with the idea that Dwayne is not an inanimate object. But it was still the funniest name in Hollywood. Keep it as “The Rock” Dwayne!!!! Anne Hathoway plays the sultury Agent 99, the brains behind Maxwell Smart’s bumbling crime solving operations.

The opening credits of the movie mentions how CONTROL, where the TV Maxwell Smart worked as a true guardian of freedom and democracy, was disbanded after the Cold War. Since they mention there was a CONTROL in the past how is there another Maxwell Smart? Is Steve Carrell playing Maxwell Smart Jr.? I was probably the only one thinking along those lines but it still confused me. Sometimes, I have a hard time suspending reality.

Maxwell is the best analyst CONTROL has ever seen. His reports are lengthy and in depth (much to the dismay of his fellow employees who do not bother to read them). Seeking a promotion as a field agent, the Chief played by Alan Arkin, lets Smart know that he too valuable as analyst. Fate steps in as CONTROL is broken into by the evil and unseen genius known as CHAOS. Apparently, his henchmen can reach all aspects of crime from petty theft to a nuclear arms race. After CONTROL is compromised and field agents have been exposed, Maxwell Smart is given his chance becoming Agent 86 and teaming up with love interested and deadly assassin Agent 99.

In the long history of spy films from James Bond to Austin Powers, there is a formula that must be followed.

1) The bad guy. He usually has a limp, groomed facial hair, or a prop of some sort to make him look more interesting. In this case, we have a man by the name of Siegfried who plays the violin. One of his henchmen is famous for his portrayal of Borat’s road trip friend. I could not help but picture him naked on a hotel room bed while watching Get Smart which actually added to the comedic experience.

2) The hero is usually lucky with the ladies and winds up with whomever he chooses.

3) There is usually a great escape scene and somebody usually winds up in a ventalation system.

In many ways, Get Smart is your basic spy tale on a predictable time table but it does succeed in ways Austin Powers never did. The comedy is sudden, neat and does not cornerstone on sex and toilet humor. Steve Carrell is a familiar face and a Hollywood box office cash register for a reason. He take cues from his role as Regional Manager Michael Scott on the smash hit The Office, using that dry and underscored cleverness to craft different jokes. This movie is perfect for a Carrell fan and a nightmare for some who takes themselves to seriously.

Though the movie does execute, it does run somewhat long. Also, the absence of a current Cold War takes away from its potrayal of the television series. This film gets 2.5 shines out of 5.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Smithtown Library, Going Postal, and Rolling Stone

I have never considered myself much of a reader. Actually, I think I may have read a total of twenty fiction books in my career (and I'm counting old school R.L. Stine). If it was up to me I would read A Catcher in the Rye, 1984, Moby Dick, and Robinson Crusoe just because of there cultural and historical impact, not for fun. Well, I guess it is up to me and I chose not to. I choose movies, no... films. In the last three months I have watched:

-Hell's Angels (Howard Hughes war epic)
-The Deer Hunter
-One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest
-All The Presidents Men
-Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
-Cool Hand Luke
-The French Connection
-Bridge Over the River Kwai

And it has all been courtesy of the Smithtown Library. Now I know what your thinking. Bob, you need another hobby...and maybe a girlfriend. Maybe so. But I find these flicks, as well as other classics absolutely fascinating. Maybe I should write a screenplay and move to Hollywood like Cosmo Kramer. I think if I wrote a script it would be a comedy drama about the Post Office. It's an untold story what goes on there. A young dude gets a job as a letter carrier and he gets into all types of crazy situations along his route. You know what? That's not a bad idea. It's a good thing nobody is reading this blog. If you are, I would love to here some ideas. I'll give you a nod in the credits.

Tonight, for an assignment in my News Literacy class at Stony Brook, I have to write a letter to an editor of any publication. I have chosen Rolling Stone magazine and an article they wrote about the top 100 guitar songs of all-time. The cover is graced by B.B. King, Jon Mayer, Carlos Santana and others but excluded is Trey Anastasio. Maybe he doesn't deserve the cover but I can still argue that he does. Boom. Assignment done.

I'm off to get started on that. I'll probably wind up posting it tomorrow. Till then... Onward and upward.

WILLIE FIRED!!! and why am I still awake?

Breaking News 3:23 AM ET:
The New York Mets Fire Manager Willie Randolph

Smithtown, LI 3:41am: This is the headline on the The New York Times website. Now if I'm reading this correctly, Willie Randolph has been fired by the New York Metropolitans in the wee hours of the morning, June 17, 2008. Hopefully, I'm the first person in cyber space to give an opinion on the matter.

Willie had it coming. His team had all the talent a coach could ask for. In the shadows of last seasons historic and cataclysmic collapse, Mr. Randolph lost his clubhouse and could never win it back. And to think that the Mets were one strike away from the World Series in 2006. If Carlos Beltran could have worked a base hit or a walk in that last at bat, I could guarantee you Willie would not have been fired today.

Now the real questions will be answered. Will this shake up positively affect a team deep in the muck and mire? Will Willie ever work in New York again? Who is the next head coach of the New York Mets?

As a self admitted untrue Yankee fan, maybe I have no business commenting on this story. But there is something very exciting about knowing a juicy bit of info before the world has a chance to stretch out and have a cup of coffee. I'm jumping back in the sack for now...

Willie Randolph....Close but no cigar.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Happening: What happened??

Leaving the theatre, I found it hard to classify what kind of movie I just saw. Was it a psycological thriller, a 'thinker' drama, or just another straight up creepy film by M. Night Shyamalan. Right from the opening scenes of the movie, I knew I was in for a bumpy ride. Basically, the film is about Planet Earth finally getting even with a human race in a bloody and freaky way.

Apparently, the wind and the trees might have the ability to flip the switch in the human brain breaking down our natural instinct to protect ourselves from harm. Instead, the switch is flipped to "throw yourself under a lawn mower" mode. It makes for an interesting premise but is far too outlandish. Where the movie succeeds in creating a cloud of fear for the audience, the acting fails to ignite the story.

Mark Walhberg has impressed me throughout his movie career. Especially in The Departed where his is the only surviving character in an all-star cast. Playing a middle school science teacher with marital problems, Walhberg resurrects his Dirk Diggler voice from Boogie Nights for some reason. It's sort-of afeminent but not enough to question his sexuality. I just don't understand the choice. His best friend in the film is potrayed by John Lenguizamo, an interesting selection for a supporting actor. I didn't see him coming but he does a well enough job.

Watching people extinguish themselves without any emotion whatsoever is very entertaining, but a group of four people trying to out run wind just makes my head shake. How dumb does Hollywood think I am? How many bad one-liners and cheesy sense-of-urgency scenes is enough?

The idea is interesting and conversation worthy. What would a plant say if it could speak language? If an oak tree could buy an AK-47, would it? I guess there are some questions that will never get answered. To stay safe, I recommend singing "When The Saints Come Marching In" to your front lawn and house plants before going to sleep every night. I give this movie 2 out of 5 shines.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Another Day, Another Crane

May 30, 2008

The day started like any other day. In dreamland. If I recall correctly, I was at some banquet surrounded by strangers...and I was on the dais...and for some reason...

Then my Father woke me up:

"Bob, turn on the news. We are going to the city to serve food to cops. Make sure you bring your suit for Denise's wedding. Can you believe another crane collapsed?"

This was a lot to process for being awake for eight and a half seconds. Surely enough, a second crane had collapsed in Manhattan; the second in three months. Have you ever heard of anything this ridiculous? With all the things to consider while living in a concrete jungle like NYC, watching out for falling cranes should not be one of them.

Needless to say, this was going to be a big day. It began at Costco; buying waters, donuts, coffee, paper plates etc. Also, 300 skinless hot dogs with all the fixins. Big Ron and I loaded up his DEA Canteen Truck and I followed him in my burgendy Chevy Blazer '03 full of suits and ties for my cousin's wedding later on that same day.

When we got to the scene of the accident, the police made their presence known to everybody. Sirens everywhere, cops posted on every corner, and the suits with detective badges anxiously awaited their waters and hot dogs. If you don't know by now, New York City detectives aren't only the smartest and hungriest of the police force, but they are also the best dressed.

The journalist in me couldn't help but wonder about the scene that the eyes of the nation has turned to for a brief moment of time. So, I began to walk down the block to take some pictures of the collapse that claimed the life of two men just a few hours earlier. An officer stopped me:

"Excuse me, Can I help you"

"...oh, I'm with the food." I responded.

Feed these people and you can rob banks. Trust me.

The devastation was hard to believe. Somebody is not doing there job. Imagine for a second: You are in your living room enjoying a bowl of honey nut cheerios watching the opening bell of the NYSE, maybe on the phone with your boss laying on a real thick sick voice, when all of a sudden..........craned.

We were stationed in front of a Marriott Hotel which was actually a big plus when it came time to suit up and get going to this wedding in Island Park, Long Island. After finding a men's locker room, I was able to shower, shave, put on these threads, and lace up the leather. Clearly, I clean up better than most.

The bad news was that at the end of this wedding (whenever that was going to be) my pops and I were going to have to come back for this truck. So instead of getting into the sauce with some family members, I was going to keep a clear head and my eyes on the prize for the rest of the day. Five minutes later on our way to the church I was asleep.

And I picked up where my last dream left off. I was on the dais... and somebody gives me an introduction... and the strangers are applauding... and I walk up to the podium.... take out my speech.....

Then we got to the church (the third smallest catholic church on Long Island). Denise is my father's niece. She is an absolute delight, as well. My brother arrived and then my mother, and all of a sudden I was in wedding mode.

It was a pretty nice service. The priest kind of lost me when he compared prayer to email but other than that it was standard. The husband to be hopes the bride shows up, they light a few candles, a couple of rings later they kiss, and we file out row by row.

Being at a wedding makes me think about what mine is going to be like. In my best estimation, it will be to a woman and indoors. That's as far as I usually get. A wedding is whatever the bride wants it to be. The husbands job is to do everything he is told to make that happen.

Off to the reception. It was here that I discovered something that I now am a huge fan of. Martini glass do-it-yourself mashed potatos with all the toppings you would imagine for a treat like that. Mine was graced by sour cream, gravy, and cheddar cheese. I busted out the "shakin, not stirred" James Bond one-liner for a few family members but I wasn't getting that many laughs. Since that day, I'm putting potatos in dixie cups and waffle cones.
The band was legit. They played all the great wedding songs of our time. "Let's Groove Tonight," the Bee Gees catalog, Meatloaf, Journey, and even some traditional Irish tunes. After the gig (which ended at 12:15am) I approached the guys and complemented there ability to play fourteen songs in a row without stopping between songs and to offer one piece of advice.
"You gotta play Pick Up the Pieces by Average White Band."
Surprisingly, I got a positive response and not a glaring look.
Two captain and cokes and one Chilean sea bass later, we were back on the road heading to NYC to pick up that catering truck. It was there waiting for us after serving more than 700 cops during another careless crisis.
Nobody wakes up expecting to get craned. It seems like such a awful way to go. I thought about that on the ride home. This time I let my pops sleep as I cruised down the LIE.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hillary Clinton: Come ON Now

That should be the ball game. When asked if she think she is hurting the democratic party by staying in the race, she referenced the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. I think she might hire a bad guy straight out of Foxs 24 to clap Obama as soon as he accepts the nomination. Now, it has come down to Puerto Rico and Montana, the most important territories in the world. By the way, what is a superdelegate???

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Indiana Jones and Kindom of the Cystal Dull

After a twenty year hiatus, Indiana Jones is back...and he stinks. The action is non-stop which was part of the problem. The movie should have relyed more on sovling riddles and interesting events from actual history. Sure, the mayans are just as cool as the next tribe, but I guess I don't know enough about them to get really wrapped up in the story.

Close calls and cheep thrills seem to be the newest form of Hollywood action. Peter Jackson's King Kong, Transformers, and the Spiderman franchise have made it their cornerstone. The problem is, you would expect a little bit more out of Indy. The best part about a movie is the absurd punching sound. Personally, I have never punched somebody as hard as I can in the face, but I would imagine it doesn't sound like a grown man jumping on an unfolded tarp. Our gritty warrior doing battle with Holy Grail protectors on a speed boat seems almost believeable compared to what you will see in Crystal Skull.

No human on earth would be able to wiggle there way past towering waterfalls and an entire army shooting AKs from point blank range. I have seen Indiana Jones movies before and understand that the formula includes being able to dogde bullets, but the line must be drawn.

It's nice that George Lucus and Co. bring back Marion from the first Indy flick, Raiders of the Lost Ark, but she contributes practically nothing. Shia LaBeouf (the kid from Transformers) is making a name for himself as a young action star with quazi comedic timing. You can hear the age in Harrison Ford's voice but I thought he looked alright. What made other Indy movies great was the pimp factor. The guy was always getting hot chicks no matter what jungle he was in. I found myself wanting to hear that classic banter more and more but was left with corny jokes and bad one-liners.

Overall, I would say the movie is entertaining enough to sit through. When all is said and done, it's still Indiana Jones...the badass history teacher I grew up wanting to be. As for the future; lets hope that Indy has hung up his whip for a final time. Let Nicholas Cage discover history from here on out. I give this movie 2.5 out of 5 shines.