SimonHey, y’all! Simon here! OK, so I had a rought week last week, only going 8-8. I’m still 31-17 for the season, so let’s see if the Football Feline can do better this week!  Enjoy the sweaty mens, girls!



San Francisco at St. Louis: My handsome mens from San Francisco will bounce back this week, easily defeating a subpar Rams team. Take the 49ers to win this one easily, girls!

Baltimore at Buffalo: Those cute lil’ mens on the Bills are having a much better season than Simon thought they would… but they’re gonna have a tough time against Joe “I’m Elite!” Flaccid. Take the Ravens to win this one, but not in a blowout. hehehe… “blowout”: that’s dirty!

Cincinnati at Cleveland: Gross. Take the Bengals to not bungle this one, though.

Chicago at Detroit: My MAIN MAN Calvin Johnson [insert “Johnson” joke here] is putting up crazy numbers here lately… but I’m afraid it won’t be enough to win this one. My OTHER Main Main, Julius Peppers (and how cool of a name is THAT?) will feast this week, ladies! Take Da Bears to win this one easily!

New York Giants at Kansas City: It wasn’t until I watched the Carolina Kitties game last Sunday that I realized how TRULY AWFUL the Giants’ O-line is! I mean, Pittsburgh’s o-line is like, Hall of Fame quality in comparison! And Kansas City is for real, people… so take the Chiefs to win this one, big time!

Pittsburgh at Minnesota: Sigh. Take the Vikings. Better yet, just read a book or go out to brunch when this game is on.

Continue reading “SIMON’S PICKS – WEEK 4”

Editing Firefox Bookmarks

I’ve been using Firefox full-time since 2003 or 2004, and have amassed a pretty large collection of bookmarks. I’m also one of those guys who regularly has 150+ tabs open across 3-4 Firefox windows.

Of course, when you have that many tabs open for a week, Firefox tends to hog up a TON of RAM. So what I sometimes do is bookmark all the tabs in one (or more) window(s) by clicking a tab, choosing “Bookmark All Tabs” and saving the folder as “2012.09.17a” (or whatever the date is; the letter is if I have more than one window to save). I save this in a bookmarks sub-folder called “Sessions”.

An odd thing happened recently: I was using Firefox with 100+ tabs open (like you do) when the Firefox window suddenly “blinked”, as if Windows was having trouble redrawing the window. I didn’t think much of it until a few minutes later, when I noticed that a giant chunk of my bookmarks were missing! There hadn’t been any kind of error message or notification; the stuff was just gone. I bookmarked three of my four open windows in my “Session” sub-folder, then exported the remaining bookmarks to an HTML file, and restarted Firefox… and my bookmarks were still missing.

Getting most of my missing bookmarks back was easy. Firefox keeps backups of your bookmarks, so all I had to do was open the bookmarks manager and choose “Import and Backup” > Restore and choose the day before:


But the previous day’s backup did not include the session windows I’d just bookmarked. I checked History > Recently Closed Windows, but the windows I’d bookmarked only a few minutes before weren’t there, only a couple of windows I remembered closing a few days before.

The bookmarks for those three windows were “trapped” in the BOOKMARKS.HTML file I’d saved before I started all this. How could I get them back?

Well, I could always open a new Firefox window, open the BOOKMARKS.HTML file with that, and manually re-open each tab. But that seemed like a huge pain in the ass: I’d bookmarked three windows with 120+ tabs. Manually clicking each link in the BOOKMARKS.HTML file and saving it all over again seemed laborious.

I could have also manually edited the BOOKMARKS.HTML file in a text editor. But when I opened the file in Notepad++, I found that it’s not exactly human-friendly:

(click to embiggen)

So… what to do?

In a flash of inspiration I thought of it: Internet Explorer! I opened a Windows Explorer window and created a folder on my desktop named “Temp Faves”. I then went to the favorites folder in my profile (c:\users\&username&\Favorites) and moved the few IE bookmarks I have to the temp folder on my desktop. I then had IE import the bookmarks from the BOOKMARKS.HTML. Going back to the Windows Explorer window, I deleted all the new “Favorites” except for the “session folders” I’d saved just before this whole mess started. I then went back to Firefox’s bookmarks manager and told it to “Import Data from Another Browser”, choosing only to import my IE favorites. Firefox imported them into a folder called “Favorites from Internet Explorer” (or something like that). I then used Firefox’s bookmark manager to move those sub-folders to their rightful place in the “Sessions” folder of my bookmarks. I then deleted the “Favorites from Internet Explorer” folder… and BOOM! In the most roundabout of ways, I was back where I had been before!


SimonHey, y’all! The Simon went 11-5 last week, for a total of 23-9 for the year. The Simon needs to get BETTER, not worse! I’ll stop staring at the handsome mens and pay attention to the GAMES this week. Let’s see if I can do better! 



Kansas City at Philadelphia: The Walrus™ comes home to Philly this week, against Chip Kelly and that AWFUL Michael Vick (solidarity, doggie friends!). This could end up being a really good game, y’all! Kansas City will BRING IT against their coach’s old team, but I think the Eagles will squeak out a win here.

Green Bay at Cincinnati: It’s the Cheeseheads versus the Chiliheads! The Krappy Kitties are looking pretty good this year, but I think their luck will run out on them this week, when that SEXY MAN Aaron Rodgers comes to town. Girl, that man could DISCOUNT DOUBLECHECK me all night long! Take the Packers to win this one!

St. Louis at Dallas: Oh, Tony Romo… you’re the opposite of fabulous! But you and your Cowboy mens are gonna win this week!

San Diego at Tennessee: Tennessee beat (what’s turned out to be a not very good) Pittsburgh team, then took the Texans to the limit. Maybe they’re better than people give them credit for? In any case, I think the TItans will win this one at home. The Chargers look better than I expected them to (“Yoo-Hooo! Antonio Gates! Simon’s lookin’ for yoooooouu!”) but they just don’t play as well on the east coast as they do on the left coast.

Cleveland at Minnesota: The Factory of Sadness takes a road trip this week, but the result is the same: the Vikings win.

Tampa Bay at New England: And, like lambs to the slaughter, the Buccaneers take the field. This probably won’t be the beatdown it could have been in years past, but Tom Terrific will get it going well enough to beat these jokers. Patriots win!

Continue reading “SIMON’S PICKS – WEEK 3”


SimonHey, y’all! Simon here! Wow… was Week 1 WILD or what? My handsome Texan mens came back to win a thriller, and there were FOUR safeties this week (and only 13 all year year!) That’s CRAZY! The Simon went 12-4 last week, as always let’s see if the Football Feline can do even better!



New York Jets at New England: Well, that HANDSOME Geno Smith was able to pull out a win against the Pretty Pirates last week, but he’s going to be in for a TREAT this week. Tom Terrific is pretty solid at home, and even pulled out a win against a rejuvenated Bills last week. My gut says that Tom will lead the Patriots to another win this week! Because he’s too beautiful not to!

St. Louis at Atlanta: What did The Simon tell you about Atlanta not being able to win in New Orleans? That’s OK, honey: my MAIN MAIN Matty Ice will get his mojo back this week, when the DUUUURTY BIRDS play the Rams at home. Take the Falcons to win this one, baby!

Carolina at Buffalo: Poor Cam! So, so handsome… such a bad team! Now the Carolina Kitties looked pretty good on defense last week, but The Simon is pretty sure that those mens from New York will be able to win this one. I’m going with the Bills! But come home soon, Cam… We miss you!

Minnesota at Chicago: Ooooo! The Purple People Eaters versus the Monsters of the Midway! The Simon TREMBLES with excitement! I say go with Da Bears at home this week!

Washington at Green Bay: The Iggles shut the ‘Skins DOWN for the first two and half quarters on Monday night. Let’s hope the Packers’ DC was watching the game… ‘cos I’m going with the Packers in this game!

Continue reading “SIMON’S PICKS – WEEK 2”

Quote of the Day

“I DO NOT KNOW whether Martin Luther invented mustard gas, or George Fox manufactured tear-shells, or St. Thomas Aquinas devised a stink-bomb producing suffocation. If wars are the horrid fruits of a thing called Christianity, they are also the horrid fruits of everything called citizenship and democracy and liberty and national independence, and are we to judge all these and condemn them by their fruits? Anyhow such a modern war is much greater than any of the wars that can be referred to religious motives, or even religious epochs. The broad truth about the matter is that wars have become more organised, and more ghastly in the particular period of Materialism.”

– G.K. Chesterton
Illustrated London News
July 26, 1930

Georgia Tech and the SEC

TRUE STORY: Georgia Tech won the college football national championship in 1928, but in the following years the team struggled. Head coach William Alexander decided that he needed a new assistant to “shake things up”. In 1930, Alexander asked his line coach, Mac Tharpe, to drive to Knoxville to watch the game between Tennessee and Tech’s next opponent, North Carolina. Fate then intervened: Tharpe’s car broke down on the way to the game. It was an easy repair, and Tharpe was on the road again in a couple of hours. But by the time he got there the game was over, so there was nothing for him to see. Not wanting to return to Atlanta empty-handed, Tharpe sought out Tennessee coach Bob Neyland for his thoughts about the Tar Heels. Neyland suggested that Tharpe talk to one if his assistants, a guy named Bobby Dodd. Tharpe was so impressed with Dodd’s analysis that he raved about him to Alexander. Alexander had heard other good things about Dodd, and decided to hire him. And so Bobby Dodd became an official member of Tech’s staff on December 28, 1930.

Dodd would, of course, eventually become head coach, racking up a regular season record of 165–64–8 and a bowl record of 9-4, including three wins in the Sugar Bowl, two in the Orange Bowl and one in the Cotton Bowl. Under his leadership, Tech won a national championship and two SEC championships.

Bobby Dodd in 1962

Which is interesting. Georgia Tech won five SEC football championships over the years, which is more than half the current SEC schools combined. Arkansas, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt have never won an SEC championship, while Mississippi State has won one and Kentucky has won two. Tech is only one SEC championship short of Ole Miss, who won their sixth (and, so far, last) SEC title in 1963.

But why did Tech leave the SEC anyway? Why did the school play as a football independent from 1964 to 1978, when it joined the ACC?

Part of it was a personal feud between Dodd and Alabama coach Bear Bryant. In 1961, Tech traveled to Legion Field in Birmingham to play the Crimson Tide. At one point in the game, Tech had to punt the ball to Alabama. After the Alabama receiver had signaled for a fair catch (but possibly before the referee blew his whistle), an Alabama player named Darwin Holt launched himself at Tech player Chick Graning, viciously hitting him underneath his face mask. Graning had five teeth knocked out, and suffered fractures of the alveolar process (facial bones),  the right zygomatic process (bone beneath the right eye), the right maxillary sinus, and had several other facial bones broken. He was knocked unconscious and suffered a serious cerebral concussion and (possibly) a fracture at the base of his skull. Graning was a very popular student at Tech, and Sports Illustrated said that he was “basically too gentle to be a truly great football player”. No need to worry: after Holt’s hit, Graning never played football again.

Dodd (and everyone else on the team, and all the Tech fans in the stadium, and faculty back in Atlanta, and alumni everywhere) thought Holt had committed a cheap shot that he should have, at the very least, been penalized for. After all, everyone involved – even Alabama’s players and local media – agreed that the hit had come after the fair catch had been called for, which effectively ended the play.

Continue reading “Georgia Tech and the SEC”

Goodbye, Underbelly?

The sixth season of Underbelly, the Australian true-crime series that drew occasional comparisons to The Sopranos and The Wire, ended on Sunday. And it’s likely gone forever.

The cast of Underbelly

Part of it is due to falling ratings. The first series – 2008’s Underbelly, about a gangland war in Melbourne from 1995–2004 – was intended as a one-off mini-series. But the series got massive ratings: each episode averaged 1.26 million viewers, which is especially impressive considering that the series was banned in Victoria, Australia’s second most populous state, because several of the real-life criminals featured in the series still had cases pending in the courts.

Underbelly was such a ratings blockbuster that the Nine Network commissioned Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities (about the start of the wholesale heroin trade from 1976-1987) in 2009. This time the whole of Australia got to watch, and the series averaged a staggering 2.159 million viewers per episode.

Underbelly 2
Matthew Newton as Terry Clark in Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities

Ratings fell a bit for 2010’s Underbelly: The Golden Mile, about police corruption and organized crime in Sydney’s nightclub district. But viewership generally remained pretty solid at 1.712 million viewers per episode.

The series recovered somewhat with 2011’s Underbelly: Razor, which was set in the 1920s and featured two of Sydney’s most notorious gangsters… who just happened to be women. The premiere episode was the highest-rated drama in Australian history, with 2.79 million viewers (the population of Australia is around 22 million, so well over 10% of the entire country watched that episode). But ratings fell thereafter, averaging 1.546 million per episode. The series was the most critically-acclaimed of the show’s run, but seemed to divide among demographic lines: viewers under 25 really didn’t care for the “old-timey setting”, while older viewers loved it.

The fierce bitches of Underbelly: Razor

The penultimate series, 2012’s Underbelly: Badness (about the 11 year quest to take down drug lord Anthony “Rooster” Perish), was fine in a technical sense, but felt somewhat stale and forced. It was the first Underbelly series to have only 8 episodes instead of 13, and on average only 1.05 million viewers tuned in.

Trying to capture some of Razor’s magic, producers went back to the 1920s for the (presumably final) series, Underbelly: Squizzy, about the life of Melbourne gangster Joseph “Squizzy” Taylor. While the premiere generated a healthy 1.68 million viewers, ratings for subsequent episodes were awful, averaging a mere 737,000 viewers per episode. And for good reason: as great as the first seasons of this series were, Squizzy really felt like it was scraping the bottom of the creative barrel. This season was a commercial and critical failure.

The cast of the dreadful Underbelly: Squizzy

But it’s not just the falling ratings. It’s about taxes, too. Screen Australia, the Australian federal government’s funding body for TV and film, limits the number of episodes it will fund (and\or give tax breaks to) to 65 episodes. Their reasoning is that if a show is popular enough to air 65 episodes, it should be good enough to make money on its own without the help of the Australian taxpayer. Which makes sense. And the final episode of Squizzy put the total number of Underbelly episodes at 68, which is obviously over Screen Australia’s limit. With no more tax breaks, Underbelly – with its massive casts and sets and costumes – simply wasn’t profitable any more. This is also why Sea Patrol was canceled. A popular action show set in the Royal Australian Navy, Sea Patrol was simply too expensive to produce once the subsidies ended. Despite getting really good ratings, the show ended in 2011.

Now, none of this is “officially official” yet, but the ending of Squzzy made it pretty obvious that Underbelly is no more. Actress Caroline Craig, who played Senior Detective Jacqui James in the first Underbelly series and stuck around as the narrator for all subsequent series, appears as herself at the very end of Squizzy to give a few lines about Taylor’s legacy and his impact on Melbourne. That it was a bookend for the show was painfully clear.

But don’t fret: the creators of Underbelly are already at work on a new series: Fat Tony & Co. It’s based on the life of Tony Mokbel, an Australian of Lebanese descent who was featured in the original Underbelly as part of the Carlton Crew. Much of the series will be filmed on location in Greece, and the show will feature the return of many characters from Underbelly, including Gyton Grantley as Carl Williams and Vince Colosimo as Alphonse Gangitano. The series will air some time in 2014.


SimonHey, y’all! Simon here! Can you believe it? It’s time for a new season of handsome, sweaty NFL mens and their skullcrackin’ thighs live on my TV set! PRAISE BE, GIRL! The Simon was 177-89 last year… let’s see if I can do EVER BETTER this year. You ready? Let’s go! 



Baltimore at Denver: With Ray Ray (and half the defense, and most of the receivers) gone, and Joe Flaccid’s unibrow under control, the Ratbirds just don’t seem to be the threat they were last year. That handsome Peyton Manning’s looking ageless as always. Simon says take the Broncos in this game!

New England at Buffalo: The best part of football coming back is having Tom Terrific on my TV set! He’s SO DREAMY! One wonders who Tom’s going to throw the ball to, however. Still, the Bills are awful as always, and Simon says the Patriots could sleepwalk through this game and win!

Cincinnati at Chicago: Which ugly Midwestern town will win this game? Who cares? Cincy has that weird cinnamon chili, while Chicago has those awful hot dogs! Blech! I’ll hold my nose and pick the Bears to win this one, but that doesn’t have to mean I like it!

Miami at Cleveland: My boys from South Beach are going to the Mistake by the Lake to take on the Brownies. Handsome former Steelers Mike Wallace should have a field day against the Browns who will, one again, suck (and not in the good way!) Put your money on the Dolphins and their hideous new logos!) on this one, girls!

Minnesota at Detroit: Those handsome Viking mens are going to take their rape and pillage show on the road against the puuuuufect Lions. And The Simon is pretty sure that the Lions will take this one!

Continue reading “SIMON’S PICKS – Week 1”

QUICK REVIEW: Campbell’s Slow Cooked Sauces

A few weeks ago, a friend posted a picture of some Korean-style barbeque she’d made. She’d made it with a new product called Campbell’s Slow Cooked Sauces. Oddly, Campbell’s doesn’t seem to mention them on any of their websites, so I had to get more info about them from Amazon. In doing so I found this:


I’m a sucker for anything “Hawaiian” or “luau” related. I just had to track some of this stuff down and try it out. For some reason, though, I kept forgetting to look for them at the store. It took several trips for me to remember, but I finally found them last week at Walmart. Just so ya know, they come in several other flavors: my friend’s Sweet Korean BBQ (for beef), Moroccan Spice (for chicken), Tavern Style Pot Roast (for beef), Mexican Red Chile (for beef, for tacos) and Apple Bourbon BBQ (for pork).

I can’t speak for the other sauces, but preparing the Hawaiian Luau couldn’t be simpler: just put a pork roast in a slow cooker (pro tip: use liners to make clean-up easier), then pour the sauce over the meat, set your Crock Pot to 8 hours… and that’s just about it! The instructions tell you to shred the pork just before serving, which I was kind of nervous about: I didn’t want to pull the meat from the Crock Pot (and make a giant mess), but if I left the meat in the Pot I was afraid the forks would shred the liner and make a huge mess… which is why I used a liner in the first place… ya know? Thankfully, the meat was so tender that brute force wasn’t needed – the pork shredded very easily when it was done.

So… how is it? Pretty good! I liked the “Hawaiian” flavors of pineapple and mango. It was well balanced with the pork and was very… harmonious. One thing, though: either 8 hours was too long to cook the meat, or my Crock Pot runs hot… because some of the sauce burned. I don’t mind the taste (burnt ends are the best part of the brisket, in my opinion), but it you have any family members who are “sensitive” to burnt tastes, you might want to keep an eye on the Crock Pot and add some water or pineapple juice halfway through cooking to keep any burning to a minimum.

Other than that little quibble, I really liked the dish. What I didn’t like, however, was the price. The actual sauce mix is only $1.98 at my local Wally World, but it seems that most of the sauces are intended for 2-3 pounds of meat. I got a 3 pound pork roast from Walmart for around $9.77, making the total cost of the meal $12.24 (this includes 49¢ for the liner, but not sales tax or the electricity needed to power the Crock Pot for 8 hours, or the side of white rice I made to accompany the meal). $12.24 is a bit spendy for me, since I’m the only one in the house that’d eat it. Of course, for a family of four, it would be a much more reasonable $3.06 per person. And I did make two meals and a couple of snacks out it, so perhaps I should think of it as $3.06/meal, too. Still, as the only one in the house who eats meat, it seems expensive to throw down almost $15 for a meal. I wish they made the sauces in smaller portions, so you could cook, say, a pound of pork chops instead of a three pound roast. I’d be much more likely to buy them that way.