Thanksgiving in Maui: Random Thoughts

Since we spent Thanksgiving morning at the beach, and I spent the evening being the token American at a holiday potluck at our Canadian-filled timeshare, we didn’t go on an adventure yesterday. Instead, here are some random thoughts from the trip:

  • People keep asking me if I’ve had any Spam since arriving in Hawaii, and I’m all like, “Don’t you realize I can get the freshest Spam at home just down the road in Austin, Minnesota?”
  • We were watching the news yesterday and they interviewed a couple waiting for a mall in Oahu to open up at 6 PM. They mentioned that they were going to need new suitcases to take all their stuff home. In other words, they traveled to Hawaii to wait in line and shop for stuff they could get back at home. Hooray for the foot soldiers in the War for Christmas.
I certainly hope our intrepid consumers don't get their shopping gift wrapped and dispose of it on the Road to Hana.

I certainly hope our intrepid shoppers don’t get their shopping gift wrapped and dispose of it on the Road to Hana.

  • Despite my love of fancy cocktails and Tiki drinks, I’ve come to love the following beverage this week: Rum, POG Juice (Passion Fruit, Orange and Guava juice) and Sprite. Delicious.
  • While the pronunciation is different, Pi’ikea Street certainly looks like an equation required to build a bookshelf.
  • I try to pack the exact amount of clothes I need for vacation, but I always end up wearing the same three things. “Well, I went hiking in these socks yesterday, and we won’t shower until we get back from today’s hike, let’s see what new and interesting smells can come from my feet.”
We're going on one hike this morning, and these clothes are ready to go on a different one.

We’re going on one hike this morning, and these clothes are ready to go on a different one.

  • Maui: One of the Ten Most Remote Places in the World You Can Litter.
  • I haven’t written about Maui’s fine casual dining because we have a kitchen in the timeshare. This means out of fifteen possible meals, we’ve only eaten out twice.       Although, I haven’t had beef since we left, so I’m not sure if I’ll be allowed to reenter Minnesota on Tuesday.
  • My Adidas Terrex Swift Solo Approach shoes are about as good a hiking tennis shoe as I’ve ever had. The rubber coating over the toes has prevented about three million foot injuries climbing over rocks and roots. (Not a sponsored comment, but if Adidas wanted to send a men’s 10.5 and women’s 8.5 our way, I wouldn’t complain. *wink*).
  • Everything that isn’t described as a natural wonder in Maui seems to be covered in graffiti.
  • When we were in the visitor’s center at the Haleakala Crater, someone called in to ask about the weather, which can change drastically from the time you call and the time you arrive. We were talking with the folks working there and they said that once the received a call from someone asking what the weather would be like in thirty days. Your own ten day forecast can change hourly (at least on weather.com) and we had several days in Minnesota where a zero percent chance of rain was forecast while it was raining, so I have no idea in the world how someone would make hiking plans 29 days and 23 hours in advance of driving to the park.
  • I’m very much missing my annual Black Friday tradition of eating at Wally Waffles in Tallmadge, Ohio with my college pal Lisa. It’s funny how traditions like that just sort of happen, and how you really notice when the tradition is broken.
  • I left Minnesota with three internet ready electronic devices, two credit cards and six bucks in my wallet. When I went to England in 1995, I had one Sony Discman and all of the travelers’ checks. In just two decades, the fundamental way we travel is completely different—although you are carry just as much value, just packaged in larger, lithium ion powered, packages.

Honking to Hana

If you like green, you’ll love the Road to Hana!

Settle down Kermit, with a billion inches of rain annually it is easy being green.

Settle down Kermit, with a billion inches of rain annually it is easy being green.

The Road to Hana is one of the “Must Do” events on any trip to Maui. If you don’t spent the entire three hour drive there and the three hour return trip constantly exclaiming, “My God! It’s so beautiful!” to no one and everyone around you, then it’s probably time to get a family size bag of Cheetos, turn on “King of Queens” and sit on your couch until the Grim Reaper comes to take you away.

Okay, it's not all green. Some of it is orange too.

Okay, it’s not all green. Some of it is orange too.

We set out early, and after picking up some coffee to fortify us for the morning drive, we watched a dog surfing on a container in the back of a pickup truck. As was foretold in the ancient scrolls, there is no better weather omen for any trip in Maui. Also, dog surfing on pickup truck.

The world's most awesome dog.

The world’s most awesome dog.

We started the first leg of the journey sort of hustling through the road to Hana with the idea that we’d beat the traffic on the way to Hana and be able to drive back with less obstructions and stop where we wanted to on the way.

Around the midpoint on the road, we pulled off at a stunning view over a bluff. A local was there.

“You guys are out here early.”

“We wanted to get a head start and when you are from Minnesota, the time difference makes it easy to get on the road.”

“Well, I was just hoping to get some cell service, but that looks like it isn’t going to happen. Enjoy the rest of your trip.”

It was at this point that I’d like to note that the most arduous part of this adventure is that Fiona and I went nearly nine hours without cellular service. *Shudder*

This is better than a cell tower.

This is better than a cell tower.

We continued on our way to Hana and noticed nearly every roadside stand was closed. Not sure if it was because of the looming holiday, or if people just like to have Wednesday off after working a long weekend, but we didn’t mind.

After a sold three hours of driving and honking (more on that later), we arrived at the “other” Haleakalā National Park. I say “other” because my geography is absolutely terrible and I swear we were looking at Haleakalā crater on the drive home going the other direction (Note: The national park covers 33,265 acres so I’m okay, even if my geography is bad).

You don't get to see this on your average commute to work.

You don’t get to see this on your average commute to work.

It seems as if most people terminate their drive on The Road to Hana by visiting the ʻOheʻo Gulch, also known as the “Seven Sacred Pools.” I much prefer the other hike in the park, the Pipiwai Trail. The trail is a two mile walk that starts uphill over rocks and a billion roots which might pull you under at any moment. It continues on into a well maintained path through a bamboo forest which, while it looks pretty much the same throughout, makes the most amazing sounds when the wind blows. The forest sounds like an old wooden boat struggling against its ropes on a dock. It reminds me of the marina I worked at growing up.

We chased it and caught it.  Now what do we do with it, TLC?

We chased it and caught it. Now what do we do with it, TLC?

At the end of the bamboo forest, you can scramble over a couple of small rock-covered streams and reach Waimoku Falls. Which is where we sat down on the rocks and had lunch. While the waterfall was light during the time we were there, but it was still nice. If the waterfall had been fast-flowing, then of course we wouldn’t have been able to have lunch about 20 feet from the basin. So there’s that.

Foodies haven't yet figured out how to get a truck down here. Yet.

Foodies haven’t yet figured out how to get a truck down here. Yet.

After lunch, we did head over to the Gulch for a few minutes, but between the woman who was trying to get her boyfriend to take the perfect photo over the ocean—although the wind was not cooperating and Marilyn Monroeing her white swimsuit cover-up, much to her embarrassment and her boyfriend’s and our exhaustion, and the guy who walked to far out on the rocks he was likely to be swept away by the tide after photobombing everyone’s attempts at an amazing nature photo–we decided to call it a day and head back.

Our drive home was somewhat eventful. Going there, it’s called “The Road to Hana” but coming back it’s called, “Why the hell aren’t you honking your horn?” Multiple times, my wife and I remarked how The Road to Hana reminded us of driving in the Lake District in England, but with slightly wider roads, sunshine, and mongooses instead of hedgehogs. To that point, while most of the drive is a winding two lanes, there are a countless number of single lane bridges and blind turns which by law require you to blow your horn. As a matter of fact, ona daily basis there is more horn blowing on the Road to Hana than there is in Manhattan.

Which, if you think about it, is a uniquely human way to experience nature. Or if you are a feral dinosaur rooster howling for the sun to rise at 4 AM.

Start the day with a surfing dog and end it with a rainbow.  Not a bad way to spend a day in paradise.

Start the day with a surfing dog and end it with a rainbow. Not a bad way to spend a day in paradise.

Cloud City

“It’s going to be 40 degrees. We’re from Minnesota. I don’t need to wear pants.” My life has been littered with the utterances of bad ideas, but this detritus was from the bottom of the barrel. I realized it once we reached the summit of Haleakalā Crater, roughly 45 minutes before sunrise. When I stepped out of the car, I was blasted with an Antarctic wind reminiscent of the McMurdo Station. It actually wasn’t that bad, and my legs weren’t cold, but my light jacket, no hattedness (it would have blown away), and a blanket from the timeshare weren’t enough to keep me from shivering away and to keep Fiona from asking me every five minutes if I was okay (I was). It wasn’t polar vortex cold, but I would recommend wearing all of the clothes if you plan on attending sunrise.

We ate sandwiches in the car as the last vestiges of stargazing were replaced by the pink and orange hues of the looming day. Clouds covered the entire world below us, but on the summit of Haleakala, it was clear above.

Hey Chewie, why do you go in the back and see if Lando has any more of those Colt 45s.

Hey Chewie, why do you go in the back and see if Lando has any more of those Colt 45s.

About twenty-five minutes before sunrise, we decided to brave the weather and evacuate the warmth of the car. Swaddled together in a blanket, we waited patiently. A tiny sliver of the sun peaked over the horizon and suddenly the clouds were on fire. Not the “HOLY CRAP THAT FARM IS ON FIRE!” moment we had driving past a sugar cane field preparing for harvest at 4 AM. It was a slow burning ember that started to grow at the bottom of the world. The clouds continued to heat and the fire spread until a fully formed sun was birthed just a few minutes later.

The sky is totally on fire, you guys.

The sky is totally on fire, you guys.

Haleakalā translates as the “House of the Sun” and according to our friends at Wikipedia, Haleakalā was home to Māui the Hawaiian trickster. Māui and his grandmom captured the sun and forced it to journey across the sky.

It was one of the most breathtaking moments of my life (and not just because we were at 9,740 feet in the air and it was super windy). To be honest, there’s only one other thing in my life that would get me up at 3:30 in the morning, drive for an hour and a half and then stand in the freezing cold for what was essentially a five minute reward: girls. Happily, I’m married now. History aside, at least with girls, there wasn’t someone with a camera obstructing my view.

We're considering inviting this guy on all of our vacations for consistency.

We’re considering inviting this guy on all of our vacations for consistency.

The best photos capture what the human eye wants to see. The challenge with Haleakalā is the depth of the views don’t translate well to my point-and-click camera. I see all these dads trailing behind their families with their super-zoom, hyper-shutter, extra-optical-fancy-pants-aperture cameras slung around their next with a diaper bag sized accessory carrier and have to wonder if they actually are taking better pictures than me. They can’t all be photographers on family vacations, or maybe it’s a fancy toy. Is it really worth the effort though? I can snap off a couple of pictures good enough to prompt my memory and then get back to the beauty of what I’m looking at. I’m there for the experience, not the photo.

The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was forged by the gods in the clouds of Haleakalā.

The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was forged by the gods in the clouds of Haleakalā.

*Posts several mediocre pictures to his blog*

Tangent ends.

Endangered species don't care about your thigh gap, Caitlin.

Endangered species don’t care about your thigh gap, Caitlin.

After the sunrise, we went to the summit and hit a couple of other trails in the park. Mostly, it was vistas of the clouds below. Very enjoyable, but nothing compared to what we were rewarded with the two mile round trip on the Halemauu Trail. This short rocky jaunt was simple compared to our previous day’s hiking. We navigated the rocky path which ended on a cliff where we could toss a ring into the crater of a dormant Mordor, although this is a terrible metaphor.

Crater

Honey, have you seen my precious?

Haleakalā’s crater was not formed from a massive eruption and collapse, or orcs clambering up the sides, but rather from centuries of have rain wearing away the rocks. As I peered over the edge, the clouds blankets separated into wisps and we had an unobstructed view of the crater below. We lingered, by ourselves, for about ten minutes before we heard two people headed toward us on the path. Our connection to nature broken, we wished them a good morning and worked our way back to the car. Tired and satisfied.

Walking [’til] Dead

We got a late start on Monday, and by late start I mean we had been up for over four hours by the time we hit the road at 7:30 for a full day of walking.

I don’t believe in Fun Runs because I think the intersection of the two is a lie. Also, when I’m running I have no fun, and given my track record at 5 and 10K races, there isn’t much running either.

It's just math.

It’s just math.

Yet for some reason, every time we’re on vacation I’m like, “Honey, do you know what will be awesome? Let’s walk for miles and miles through painfully uneven terrain until everything is sore and I’m miserable. Then let’s spend 15 minutes panting so heavily that I can’t even focus on the beautiful bouncing vista we worked so hard to get to. It’ll be AMAZING!”

See those wind turbines on the horizon? They kept moving further away from us.

See those wind turbines on the horizon? They kept moving further away from us.

Today’s bout of bipedal masochism was the Lahaina Pali Trail, a five mile extravaganza if you have two cars or a five mile extravaganza if you want to walk halfway and then back and leave the other half for another day. We chose to do the Maalaea side of the hike, reach the midpoint of suffering and then return back to our car. The hike climbs over a mile with wind turbines in the distance that never really seem to get closer until all of a sudden you want a donkey and a lance to tilt the bastards. The walk up to the midpoint is a zigzag hobble over lava rocks and if you can stop wheezing long enough to turn around, features stunning views of the valley below. While the trip up was an exercise in cardio, my core got enough of a workout on the way down that I can cancel Pilates for curling for the next decade.

My deep breath powered sixteen homes in Maui today. #Green

My deep breath powered sixteen homes in Maui today. #Green

After a quick lunch at the Shops of Wailea, as our waitress was more interested in getting us in and out so that she could have the restaurant to herself again, and a few more minutes shopping (I totally got a cool new island hat. Totally. Cool. I am not your father).

This gardener's portfolio is more diversified than mine.

This gardener’s portfolio is more diversified than mine.

We did another three miles on the Coastal Nature Trail. This paved path runs along the ocean, between the beach and the fancy pants resorts where the other half third one-percent vacations.

"God, this view is incredible! Let's go get a taco."

“God, this view is incredible! Let’s go get a taco.”

The stunning vistas are only compromised by the even more stunning opulence on the other side. It’s a worthwhile walk, but only if you bring comfortable shoes and a lot of drinking water—surprisingly the richies aren’t throwing a lot of shade on the path. Speaking of which, it’s pretty clear by the signs every five feet where you belong.

In Hawaiian, "Aloha" means both welcome and Do Not Enter.

In Hawaiian, “Aloha” means both welcome and Do Not Enter.

We wrapped up all of the walking with a thirty minute dip in the ocean and hope that our backs, calves, feet, shoulders, knees don’t seize up in the middle of the night. Eddie Money might have two tickets to paradise, but after walking over nine miles, if he doesn’t have two pair of comfy hiking shoes, I’m not interested.

No mention of the risk of drone strikes for walking on private property.

No mention of the risk of drone strikes for walking on private property.

Costco in Paradise

We sat on a beach, watching the last few golden wisps on sunlight drop below the cloudy horizon while little crabs popped in and out of their holes scuttling to and fro with no apparent drive to do much of anything but wrestle and hunt for food.I think I'll have the crab and the crabs will have the sunset.

I think I’ll have the crab and the crabs will have the sunset.

I said to Fiona, “Don’t those crabs even realize how beautiful this is?”

Twenty minutes later, we were sitting on the balcony of our room, munching on cheese and crackers when it dawned on me. The only thing that differentiates us from these crustaceans is that occasionally we do stop and look at the sunset. It was the perfect ending to an imperfect first two days of vacation.

I sat in front of Satan’s daughter on the first leg of our flight. Fiona’s bag decided to do an overnight in Seattle to see the Space Needle, toss some fish and hang out with Irene McGee for a bit. We spent 22 straight hours awake, only to land and go to the grocery store for coffee. We crashed hard but woke up only three hours later from noise and the time change. We broke the key in the lock of the timeshare.

While often called the Space Needle of Maui by Seattle tourists, Fiona's bag was not here.

While often called the Space Needle of Maui by Seattle tourists, Fiona’s bag was not here.

Most of our first twenty-four in Maui was spent blocking and tackling #sportsmetaphors. Costco, the grocery store and the like because we must have our POG juice and rum. But first, we headed to Moose McGillycuddy’s in Kihei so that I could saddle up to the bar and watch the Browns game. Yes, I understand I’m in paradise, but 40 years of watching the Browns means no matter where I am, I must watch the Browns. It’s like having a medication case with the days of the week on it, but only contains a pill on Sunday (or Monday or Thursday or Saturday).

Moose McGillycuddy’s is an excellent place to watch a game (Tip: If you get there at least 30 minutes before kickoff, you can pick your spot and they’ll change the TV to the game you want to watch). A pair of beers and a three egg omelet so packed that they must have used dinosaur eggs to make it. This is not as unlikely as you might think. Hawaii + Hurricanes + liberated chickens = the closest thing we have to dinosaurs in the modern world. There are chickens all over the place in Maui, just hanging out. Running errands. Surfing. Voting. Anyway, the Browns looked terrible but still managed to win the game.

With the chickens and plants like this, Maui is getting all Jurassic Park up in our business.

With the chickens and plants like this, Maui is getting all Jurassic Park up in our business.

 

Invasive species like the one pictured here are a problem on all of the Hawaiian islands.

Invasive species like the one pictured here are a problem on all of the Hawaiian islands.

We did sneak some touristing in. Between the Browns game and Costco, we drove out to Iao Valley State Park to see one of the most recognizable landmarks on the island, the Iao Needle. The needle extends 1,200 feet into the air and is stunningly green. The park itself is a very short walk, but is a nice primer to the more adventurous walks we’ll be taking the rest of the trip. Ample vegetation and pretty views, it gave us a few minutes to enjoy Hawaii before we went to pick up Fiona’s bag at the airport and do the most American of touristy things-shopping.

Honey, I don't think that's the way to Costco.

Honey, I don’t think that’s the way to Costco.

Halloween: Get on My Lawn (Please)

I wandered into my neighborhood liquor store on Wednesday to pick up a six pack of aiming juice for curling and noticed they were setting up for Halloween.

“So, you guys going to hand out little bottles of liquor to the kids?”  (This is my favorite old man liquor store joke next to “It’s not like I’m going to return it,” when asked if I want a copy of my receipt).

“No, we are going to give little tastes of wine to any parents who want one, and we have all of that for the kids.”

I looked to my left and saw three massive pumpkins full of individually wrapped, tiny, plastic sealed sugar goodness.  There isn’t a king sized pillowcase in the world that could have hauled off that diabetic booty.

My heart sank a little bit since I knew that parents feel more comfortable letting their kids get candy from a store than to actually take them door-to-door through our neighborhood.

Here’s what happens every year:

We buy a bunch of candy and get really excited to see all of the kids in their costumers—little Batkids, robots, ghosts and football players (I expect a lot of Jared Allens tonight as nothing says “fun” like dressing your child up in a number 69 jersey) being forced to mumble “thank you” by their parents all night.  Then a few hours before the big event, get really irritated at the grocery store as all of the kids are in massive lines, blocking everything I need to get to (mixers and cheese) because they are trick-or-treating INSIDE the store.  Between 5:30 and 7, maybe ten kids stop by our house for candy.  Then we have a break until 8 PM, when the high school kids show up uncostumed.  By the third one of them, I drop an entire bag of no-longer-fun sized candy into the kid’s bag and turn off the porch light.

Normally when we talk about the commercialization of a holiday, we think of CVS stocking Christmas stuff in October or Valentine’s Day chocolates the day after Christmas.  We talk about how holidays exist solely for the purpose of selling us stuff, and not how companies are taking the holiday from us.  Minimum wage retail employees being forced to work on Thanksgiving Day is the real war on Christmas.  That’s not a real door buster HDTV, Charlie Brown.

Instead of Smarties from the odd family on the corner house, it’s Peppermint Patties at Subway.  Rather than chatting about how cold it is with our neighbors, it’s kale chips at Whole Foods.  “I hear the Trader Joe’s is handing out full flax-seed bars! Score!”

One year when I was little, I got a pair of white dress shoes from my grandpa and borrowed a briefcase from my dad.  I slicked back my hair, put on a red sweater vest and went as a door-to-door insurance salesman, thereby illustrating my generation’s well developed sense of irony before I even understood what irony was.  Also, my briefcase was stocked with candy cigarettes.  I predated the integration of Halloween and companies years before I had the tables turned on me.

This isn’t Citizens United; these are just some employees handing out candy in lieu of me getting to do it.
Much like the tiny shopping carts advertising “customers in training,” this too perpetuates the concept that commerce is essential to our identity.  It defines our communities by our stores rather than by our people.

Maybe I’m just turning into a cranky old man, but one night a year I do want kids on my lawn.

On the bright side, I hear Chipotle is handing out cups of guac.

Post-Traumatic Webinar Disorder

Illustration by Bill Jordan

Illustration by Bill Jordan

I’ve seen things, man.
Things which cannot be unseen.

Slides full of paragraphs, full of jargon, full of more bullets than an M16.
Like the phantom vibrating of a cell phone that’s not in my pocket, I can’t escape The Webinar.

I wake up in a cold sweat, screaming out “TEN STRATAGIES TO CONVERT CLICKS TO CUSTOMERS!” and “TRANSLATING YOUR PERSONAL BRAND INTO SALES!” to no one in particular, but at society as a whole.

My wife and kids left. Then the dog abandoned me.

Now, it’s just the cat and I and even he isn’t interested in the dozen slides I put together on “Under the Couch: Fur to Kibble Ratios.” It must be the slide on vacuum power vis-a-vis tuna consumption that has him bugged out. I don’t even know anymore.

I don’t shower. I don’t shave. I telecommute now and have no need for the cubical. I’ve transcended the need for a human’s touch. My laptop and internet connection are my only ties to the physical plane. I have become the living embodiment of the duality of the mind-body split.

YOU NEED ME TO WORK ON SATURDAY???

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I never stopped working on Friday, bossman.

THE NEVERENDING CONFERENCE CALL

Who just joined, please?

Illustration by Bill Jordan

“Who just joined please?”

“Who just joined please?”

“Who just joined please?”

Conference calls are the Thunderdome of boredom. Ten men enter and nine men sleep. They are like Sunday afternoon before the discovery of Netflix. It takes ten minutes to call the roll of beeps. To discover who are the true vocal warriors. The winners, as is their custom, will claim their prize by accepting an invite to the next concall. Trophies are proudly posted to an Outlook Calendar like moose heads on a tavern wall. Their next challenge is exactly like the one they just attended and exactly like the one before that. Some thrive in this environment and can’t wait to dial in again. The rest?  Well they keep talking, but don’t take themselves off mute–too busy in Excel calculating the exact number of days until retirement to notice.

Masters of the Gridiron – 1986 Cleveland Browns

While the Chicago Bears were making the cringe worthy Super Bowl Shuffle, the Cleveland Browns were doing something just as amazingly painful.  Here I live blog the “Masters of the Gridiron” the 1986 Browns straight to VHS film featuring Mike “The Baabarian” Bab.

0:15 – It’s as high tech a production as paint on black cardboard can be.  The title cards remind me of Bob and Doug Mackezie’s: Mutants of 2051 AD – which quite frankly isn’t that far away now.
0:41 – Glad to see they swiped the font from every Death Metal band ever for the title.
0:53 – Oh nothing, just some smoke to cover up their Star Wars licensing violation.  Note: This is the smoke monster’s first appearance on film.
0:59 – I’m so old I remember when eye black didn’t have to make a statement that enhanced your off field personal brand.
1:01 – Clay Matthews, Jr. would really like his dad to put on a shirt right now.  At least I think that was Clay Matthews, Sr.  I was only 12 at the time and wasn’t really into memorizing abs and mullet combos.
1:13 – I too lose more buttons on my business casual dress shirts while combing my lustrous chest hair than I’d like to admit.
1:23 – Man Bob Golic and Ozzie Newsome have the type of relationship that Batman only wishes he had with Alfred.
1:29 – First mullet close-up.
1:34 – You can’t tweet from the locker room on game day, but a telegram is cool?  Well, I guess if it’s from George Voinovich then everyone better listen.
1:35 – Do you remember Pony being viable a sports company because one guy on camera with two thumbs does.
1:56 – Oh those shoulder pads of the 80’s, on football players and women’s suit jackets.  The really were slimming, we’re they.  “Lydia, call the dry cleaners and have them put should pads in all of my technology company branded polo shirts!”
2:11 – You can’t smoke cigars in the stadium anymore mother bleeper, so get ready for the future!”
2:15 – If you hear the music during the Lions’ game and don’t think, “All your Browns, your Browns. All your Browns are belong to Cleveland,” well then we can’t be friends anymore.
2:25 – I miss multipurpose stadiums.  Quite honestly, I think every football stadium should have a dirt infield just to make things fun.
2:30 – The Lions.  LOL!
2:50 – Glad to see the cameo from like 18 Freddie Mercury impersonators.
3:00 – Glad to see “Wake up!” hasn’t changed as the NFL’s first test for concussions.
3:24 – If you are ever wondering what decision to make in life, do the opposite of what Opus Dei asks you to do.
3:40 – MOUTH CLOSEUP.  My god, this is worse than an Arby’s commercial.
3:42 – My precious!  Looks solemnly at beer and considers throwing Lord Stanley’s Cup into Orodruin.
3:53 – The mysterious Lord of the Ring is mysterious because he suspended Ray Rice two games for beating the shit out of his future wife while simultaneously suspending Josh Gordon for testing positive for a drug that isn’t connected to violence.
4:01 – Many dangers include, but are not limited to, the following final bosses of Madden: Detmer, Couch, Pederson, Wynn, Holcomb, Garcia, McCown, Dilfer, Frye, Anderson, Quinn, Dorsey, Gradkowski, McCoy, Delhomme, Wallace, Weeden and Campbell.
4:06 – Bears, Rams and Falcons are not nearly as scary as that lot because they haven’t been our quarterbacks.
4:12 – The people from Erie, PA are probably confused right now.
4:21 – I guess swords would make the NFL even more interesting.
4:36 – Is that horn made from Eric Dickerson’s ear?
4:49 – Not sure if that is a unicorn or an extra from a college performance of Lysistrata.
4:55 – The map looks a lot like Game of Thrones but is missing all the naked boobs.
5:06 – Are the “Hills of Linebacka” in Boston because they’re missing the “r.”
5:21 – Looks like Ozzie Newsome is modeling an Uggs prototype.
5:33 – Mike Pagel foreshadows the typical fan reaction to every Cleveland quarterback reactions from 1999 on.
5:45 – A shotgun??? What are we, the Bengals?
5:59 – Hanford was so nice to my father last year I can’t bring myself to be snarky.
6:08 – Winter is coming for the Clan of Modella.
6:22 – A USFL joke.  Donald Trump was part of the USFL and he’s a joke.  LOL, still good comedy nearly 30 years later.
6:47 – A montage!  Sometimes we need these while watching games live.
7:24 – Is it stranger that Weird Al is in charge of negotiations with the NFLPA or is that Meatloaf?
7:33 – Welcome to my nightmare?  I thought we were over seven minutes in???
8:20 – Listening to these rhymes makes me thing John Facenda is making others roll in their graves.
8:39 – I’m pretty sure there isn’t an NFL team called the ninjas, but we probably wouldn’t hear about it if there was.
8:55 – Okay, we’ve got Michael Stanley – he’s like a beloved Stan Bush of Cleveland.  High Five!
9:10 – I don’t know if Alex Bevin is in this video or not, because there’s a whole lot of Andrew McCarthy looking people.
9:23 – These are some of the worst fight scenes since we watched the Falcons and Buccaneers on Monday Night Football just two weeks ago.
9:28 – There’s a bear fighting a man in a furry diaper.  What the hell?
10:00 – I don’t want to work, I just want to bang on my dad all day.
10:10 – I’m running out of words to express what I’m seeing.
10:34 – I *think* that flip was a personal foul and should be a fifteen yard penalty, but NFL refs are only part time employees, so who knows??
10:42 – Why is that bear just watching?  Also, I’m pretty sure bears don’t just hang out in Cleveland.  Unless they are from Chicago, in which case they are eating wings at the Lizard – which makes NO sense at all in the animal kingdom.
10:44 – More inexplicable diapers.
11:02 – Metaphor alert.  We’re comparing diaper wearing, sword wielding men to other men who don’t carry swords and make five times your annual salary.
11:24 – Bernie alert.
11:28 – Those two weird guys from gym class who love dodgeball are shirtless boxing again.
11:40 – I really appreciate the black on red on moustache contrasted with the pink on black on mullet combo.
11:48 – Most of the people being carried off by trainers will be listed as “Probable: Decapitation” on next week’s injury report.
11:49 – I still don’t get the deal with the girl.  She should just jab him with a facemask.
11:52 – Tan on red to confuse the back on red and pink on black band mix.  Daring!
12:19 – I don’t get it, but the sword swinging is FANCY.
12:48 – That’s some Bro quality fish pumping right there.
13:46 – My blood is delicious.  Tastes just like ketchup.
13:21 – Dude, Baab just stabbed the crap out of that shadow.
13:36 – Not looking forward to the cameo from Jose Mesa where he loses the ring.
13:49 – Welp, there it is.  The metaphor for all Cleveland sports.
14:10 – Shout out to me for remembering Fike’s first name was Dan prior to Googling it.
14:18 – Whoa very Gone in Sixty Seconds to show the credits in the Baabarian’s ring.
14:58: Shout out to Dave Puzzuoli for being the Puzzmong, which is pretty much the dirtiest sounding name in quite a while.
15:22 – I thought this was supposed to be artistic, but the credits aren’t in Helvetica.
15:27 – We’ve got behind the scenes footage without some director waxing rhapsodic about the postmodern existential crisis of some minor character.  Score!
15:33 – Sleeveless shirt, mullet combo alert.
15:46 – Based on the credits, at least 750,459 people got their SAG card with this production.
16:05 – I want to know if the person who did the credits also voiced the computer in War Games.
16:20 – Where the heck is Felix Wright???????
16:25 – “Tony Roma’s: A Place for Ribs” provided food for the production which is good because Tony Romo’s would have had their meals intercepted.
16:34 – Kind of bullshit that ring considerations for the film weren’t provided by Gollum.
16:41 – This film needed two limousine companies.  TWO!  All I need is a taxi to make a film.
17:00 – Anyway, two thumbs up, would watch again.  3 thumbs up if there are officially licensed Baabarian Underoos I could buy.