They call it…a Threepeat!


Click on the banner to see the 2011 Frontier Fifty List!

It started as a hobby.  This broadcasting thing, that is.  Though the seeds of broadcasting were planted in my youth, it wasn’t until 2002 that I began my career, if you will, as a radio broadcaster.

That youth I mentioned?  Those seeds?  Planted in my brain in the backyard of my parents house while playing wiffle ball with my brother.  What young boy could resist calling out a shot that sails over the split rail fence that marked the outfield wall of the backyard wiffle ball stadium?  I say few, my friends.  very few.

From those days of announcing every Redsox player that played in the pros from 1975 to 1983 as if they stepped up to bat in front of the peach colored shed that doubled as the backstop of our stadium, to the day I fired up my first Fancast broadcast in October of 2002, I never had a clue I’d make the impact as I have.

Joining TalkRadioX in 2006, I have gone from broadcasting fantasy sports on the week ends to a full fledged daily talk show and a weekend “club” atmosphere show with music and callers.  I was just happy I could do what I have fun doing.

Yet, what I am most proud of out of all this?  Being one of the 50 most influential net based broadcasters (along with my fellow compatriots at TRX) for the third year in a row.  Damn skippy.

Exposing The Publisher #8


Good evening ladies and gentlemen.  If you will all take your seats, we can begin.

As you know I have been supporting the efforts of PutnamLIES.com over the last few years as well as supporting those in Hurricane, West Virginia and Putnam County in general.  A few people have asked why.  Quite simply, it’s because Mark Halburn is the quintessential example of an entitlist and it is my duty as an American citizen to stop this kind of lazy behavior.

::crowd murmur::

Please.  Please settle down.  I know it’s been a while since I posted one of these Exposing The Publisher volumes on the site but I had stopped talking about the “publisher” because Mike over at PutnamLIES was doing such an awesome job.  But with the “publisher” beginning to unravel with future elections coming up for Hurricane, it was time for the super sub to come off the bench and assist the master.

This weeks effort is focused on an article written by the “publisher” that focuses solely on a business owned by Mayor Scott Edwards of Hurricane.

We begin.

County Pulls CompuPro Signs

Company Failed To Comply With Warning Letter

By Mark Hallburn

Publisher, Putnam(Redacted).com

After getting complaints from Putnam(Redacted).com readers, we investigated whether Putnam County took action against CompuPro for illegally placing signs alongside streets in Scott Depot.

Ok, lets kick this off with some honesty. No one complained about this to Putlam(Redacted).com. It’s just a personal vendetta against the mayor by some blogger with a chip on his shoulder. That’s all this story really is. The “publisher” is pissed off at the world because he is an entitlist and needs someone else to blame.

The answer, we learned, is yes. Action was taken. Signs were removed.

You want the truth about the signs? I got in contact with Mayor Edwards, the owner of the business that the “publisher” is about to reveal in the next line and he had some interesting things to say. About the signs;

“Tyler, my CompuPro manager thought that he had removed the signs (had no idea they were against the rules since there are so many of them around). The county sent a letter and my manager removed a bunch of them, but obviously not all of them since we received the letter.”

Edwards wrote in a letter to this writer.

What we were surprised to learn was the name of the apparent owner of the company: City of Hurricane Mayor Scott D. Edwards. When we called CompuPro, Netranom Communications, which is owned by Edwards, answered the line. City of Hurricane employees verified that he owns the business. However, it isn’t licensed in the city, even though Netranom is in the city limits. In fact, Netranom is in the old Hurricane City Hall.

So? Does this matter? Mr. Edwards, much like myself, is a businessman. Most mayors are in most cities. They have other pursuits that have been successful that have led them to become a leader. When asked about the Putnam(Redacted).com “publishers” ranting about the signs, Mayore Edwards had this to say;

“He is also mad that this business is not in city limits, but it didn’t make business sense for me to go this.”

Mark continued in his rant;

Why were the signs placed illegally? Why didn’t Edwards open his new company in the City of Hurricane? Why didn’t his company remove the signs when it was warned in a January 20th letter? We’d like to know. Edwards has not responded to an email seeking comment.

Seems to me like Mayor Edwards is a pretty smart businessman. He knows where certain goods and services are needed and offers those goods and services in a professional manner. The signs were used to promote the business. Much like a lot of the political candidate signs you see strewn about the lands come election time, some of these signs were not picked up, simply because they were forgotten or possibly moved without the managers knowledge. With that said, these signs were never placed illegally, most were picked up and some were forgotten and later removed after another reminder letter.

“There was no fine or anything like that. Appeared to be a “no harm, no foul” deal.”

Edwards added.

I’d like to add that Mr. Mayor has not responded to the “publishers” email and I have a guess as to why.  Please note, I DO NOT speak for Mayor Edwards here.  You don’t answer letters from crack pots that will have future  restraining orders put against them.

“We take action against any illegal signs,” says Putnam County Office of Planning and Infrastructure Director Sandra Mellert. “We issued a warning, the signs weren’t removed, so we took them down.”

The company has until February 25th to pick them up, according to the January 25th, 2011 letter posted above this article.

No, not true. Well, the letters were sent, that much is true. Signs were removed by the manager of CompuPro and then the rest that were missed were removed, along with any other remaining political campaign signs and other unauthorized signage, by the town. By the way, this quote is just a verbatim out of many town hall ordinance books.

Putnam(Redacted).com received copies of these letters through a Freedom of Information Act request that was initially resisted by Putnam County.

More abuse by the “publisher”. Sidebar here. The “publisher” has been abusing the FOIA for years, thinking it is his way of “striking back” at the empire. Meh. He should read up and understand the FOIA information here. There is a reason he gets charged more than a news site would. His site isn’t a news site at all! He’s not even a commercial filer.  End sidebar.

And if Edwards wants to open another branch of CompuPro, there are vacancies at the Hurricane Gateway Center and Hurricane Marketplace. Of course, in those locations, CompuPro would have to pay the City of Hurricane’s Business and Occupancy tax, something it doesn’t have to do at its location just outside the City of Hurricane’s border.

Wait a second. A couple of years ago the “publisher” was claiming he had his “business office” right down the street, just across the city line. So, why the hoo ha then if that were true? Why bother the Mayor of Hurricane about a business he owns that isn’t within town borders if your own office isn’t even within town lines? Hippo-crite. Oh wait, he originally said that he had the business office just across the town line so he didn’t have to pay B&O taxes on his “news site” business. Then he found out if he were a “news site” he didn’t have to pay B&O taxes. But the truth is all he has is a business license certificate which anyone can get but he doesn’t make any money from said “news site” business because it’s an opinionated blog site.

So… what is this really all about?

“Halburn just wants to try to pick a fight, but I’m not going to fall for it. I figure that his ranting about me will pick up soon since I am running for Mayor again this year (election is in June). Should be interesting.”

Said Mayor Edwards when asked about the situation.

I am going to wrap up this edition of Exposing The Publisher with this thought. The “publisher” likes to “create news” all the time. He also likes to rail against those he feels he has been wronged by, the local government, local business establishments where he has had a bad experience and so on. So he creates news stories. None of it is news. It’s all opinionated rants. Much like my radio show. But at least I am aware that my stuff is opinionated ranting. I’d also like to point out something I noticed today and perhaps we will do an in depth feature on this, but it seems to me there are a lot of fires in and around Hurricane, West Virginia that the “publisher” reports on.

Hmmm…more news creating by the “publisher”?

::crowd gasp::

Did I just accuse Mark Halburn of setting fires to create news?!  Yes. Yes I did. That should be investigated.

I Found My Thrill On Hoover Hill


“Should I ask what Hoover Hills is?” Rita asked.

“And where the or what the… is Hoover Hill?” Martha soon posed there after.

Ah yes. It’s always a blast getting back in touch with old friends. Old college acquaintances or at least three chicks I stalked around Winooski back in the college days when stalking was cool. And yes, I was put up to that even though the other party will deny it to her grave.

::toothy grin::

So in a recent comment discussion in a  Group on Facebook, the topic of Hoover Hill came up. Just what is Hoover Hill? Well, lets start with this;

Hoover Street (marked with the balloon with the letter A) is a side street that sits off Shelburne Road in Burlington, Vermont. As you can see by the picture above, it’s a street that runs through a small neighborhood. What you can’t see is that it’s a slow incline running west to east. Now, please note the arrows. The yellow arrow, pointing at a bush in the picture, is to represent where the hill of Hoover Street crests and then immediately drops off and takes a sharp right hand turn. The red arrows are basically showing the cliff face that is off in the distance. These are important because when you are doing 40 miles an hour up the hill and then crest it, all you can see is the cliff face staring down at you. Once over the crest of the hill you have to take a hard right or run into these huge cement blocks that line the road, preventing idiots doing 40 miles an hour from plunging into a natural pit created by mother nature. It should also be noted that in 1985, when Hoover Street was first discovered, the trees between the two arrows, weren’t there.

The Discovery

As stated earlier, it was fall of 1985 when Hoover Street was discovered. Not far from the corner of Hoover Street and Shelburne Road is another corner that hosts a Dunkin Donuts. I think it’s still there. At any rate, there was one day this writer was conned into going to DD’s for some coffee and Munchkins since he didn’t have class for a couple of hours and ended up flying by the corner that held the Dunkin Donuts. A left hand turn later and history was made. In my rush to just get turned around in my 1972 Chevy Nova I put the pedal to the metal (this was an actual true statement with this 1970’s muscle car) and headed up the incline of Hoover Street. I hit the top, sailed over, went wide eyed, screamed a silent scream and shit my pants.

Quick thinking had me jerking the steering wheel to the right to make the turn and avoid the home made car crushing machine known as 3X3 cement blocks. Brakes were hit and gravel flew from under the tires. The car came to a stop, the muffler rumbling a low growl as the car idled and my heart pumped four times faster than it should have been. Knuckles were white as it gripped the cheap, $8 steering wheel cover. It was quiet for a moment as the reality of what happen sank in.

“That…was fuckin AWESOME!” I exalted.

The Share

It was a week later that I finally decided to share this little ‘better than sex’ secret. I had experienced the Hill three more times during the week, one of those times, once the light of day had settled below the horizon. It got better each time. Two hours later I’m sitting in Freeman Hall waiting for my first victim to share this with. Larry walked in and I was out of my chair before the door could shut.

“We’re going to Dunkin Donuts! Lets go!” I said.

“You don’t drink coffee!” Larry replied as he blindly followed me anyway.

“But I eat donuts.” I said, barely containing my excitement.

A few minutes later we are zooming past the Dunkin Donuts.

“Uhhh….you just drove right past it.” Larry noted.

“Damnit!” I offered up my best acting job. “Oh well, I’ll take the next left and spin around.” I added.

The Nova was ready too. I could feel her hum as we took the left and started up the hill. I was focused on the upcoming thrill but could sense Larry grabbing onto the dash as we picked up speed instead of slowing down.

“What are you doing?” Larry posed with a sudden, nervous urgency.

“You’ll see.” I quipped back.

As we neared the top of the Hill Larry looked over at me, wide eyed. I caught his look out of the corner of my eye and laughed as we hit the crest and flew over the top. Larry let out a bellow and I followed with one of my own, if only to add to his terror. When I cranked the wheel and stamped on the brakes, I looked over at Larry, the car shaking in it’s own excitement. Larry was looking at me like I was the Devil, laughing manically at his expense. For a moment, I was. Breathing heavy and holding the dash like it was a life preserver from the Titanic, Larry finally sat back, a grin on his face.

“That…was fuckin AWESOME!”

The Girl Stories

Details from that day forward are a little foggy only because Hoover Hill became an addiction, much like crack to a dope fiend. Like fresh baked cookies to a fat kid. Like latex to a dominatrix. Like KFC to Mark Halburn. Like Jack & Gingers to Nancy. Like, well, you get the picture. I couldn’t shake the thrill of the Hill. I remember one day taking Liz and Jo over the Hill. I think Jo punched me in the arm hard enough to leave a mark and Liz had an asthma attack. Or maybe it was Cindy that had the asthma attack when I took her over. Maybe it was both. I don’t recall. But there were many more.

Then there was the time I decided to put the old adage of violence (or thrills) turns a woman on. I was dating a gal named Kelly when I took her and her friend over The Hill one night without telling them anything. It was a sneak attack and a last minute decision after pizza one night on Shelburne Road. A slow grin crept over my face as I took a right onto Hoover Street under the guise of looking for a friends house “since we were there.” The Nova roared up the hill and actually caught air (to this day I believe we did, even though it was improbable) before coming to a 90 degree power skid and stop. I sat there giggling as Linda (name has been changed to protect the guilty) poked her head up from the back seat and asked;

“I better see white puffy clouds and hear harp music so I know I am in Heaven, because I just died.” She laughed nervously.

Kelly sat in the semi darkness listening to me laugh. I could swear she had a small grin on her face as she rubbed her legs together. That was before she slapped me across the face and called me a bastard.

Heh.

Long story short, I did prove that chicks get all worked up over thrills (and violence, as evidenced to the hand print on my cheek) because after dropping Kelly off at home due to curfew, I got a kiss from her that straightened my tongue, shoelaces and other things that shall go unmentioned. But it was the back seat romp with Linda (hence the guilty name change) that proved the theory correct.

Epilogue

It’s been nearly 25 years since I took another person over Hoover Hill. Oh, yes, I have been over a few times since the good ole college days but the thrill isn’t what it used to be. Trees have grown up, blocking the view of the cliff face, which was the highlight of the cresting of the hill. The cement blocks are gone and so is that element of crushing danger. Plus, when you do something hundreds of times, you become a pro at it and it becomes mundane. But, for a brief few months between 1985 and 1987, Hoover Street and the Thrill of the Hill was the best thing ever.

The Oscars: Opening Statement


The night of February 27th will be a big night for many movie aficionado’s with the airing of the 83rd Academy Awards.  Last year brought us a lot of buzz from the expanded Best Picture category to the battle between Avatar and The Hurt Locker.   It was an exciting night to follow.

This year there may not be as many films worthy of awards as there have been in the past (according to film critics) but that doesn’t diminish the excitement of the coming event or the night of the gala spectacle that is the Oscar’s.

This year at Passport Video we will be doing several things for your enjoyment and participation.  An Oscar’s section has already been set up, a contest is planned and web reviews will be written all month long.

Oscar Section: Caitlin has recently set up our Oscar’s section, located in the middle of the store on the now famous “I” section encaps (between Comedy & Action).  The movies there are in order by year, top five nominees for the last decade, 2000 to 2010.

Oscar Contest: Beginning Monday the 7th, Passport Video will make available; a form you can fill out (check box style) of the top ten categories of the Academy Awards selections.   The object will be to predict as many winners as you can.  The person with the most correct picks wins a special $50.00 Gift Certificate which you can use any way you want.  Purchase your favorite Oscar winner movie or use it as store credit!  A Bonus category will be chosen for a tie breaker.  Ask for more details and rules next time you visit the store.

Web Reviews: From now until February 27th, I will be posting the staffs thoughts on all the categories.  Who we think will win an award, who we would like to see win an award and what we think of the nominations in general.  Look for a new post every couple of days until the night of the event!

February will be a fun month as we also have President’s Day and Valentine’s Day with which we will have special events of sales for.  Look for more eight here on the web.

INS Shuts Down Farmville!


From The Non Associated Press: As the mist started to burn away in the early hours of January 3rd, 2011, many migrant workers were just checking in to Farmville Farms across the country.  Little did they know what would be waiting for them once they were ready to hit the crop fields.

Spreading out like a wildfire across Farmville Farms were Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, armed with deportation papers and portfolios of millions of illegal migrant workers.  In what would be the biggest raid ever, ICE teams converged on close to a million farms in the Farmville nation and began background checks on all workers.  All migrant workers found to be at these Farmville Farms illegally were hurried onto tractor trailers and shipped off to a holding center.

“I was stunned!” Said Julie Glusser, a 43 year old housewife who spends at least 6 hours a day making sure her farm runs smoothly.  “I came in and was bombarded with paperwork, questions from the ICE agents and complaints from the workers.  I lost 92% of my workers.  I had no idea they were all illegal!” She added.

ICE agent in control of operations of Operation Farmville Sweep, Moe Thebear said that the raid has been planned since the introduction of immigrant workers into the Farmville setting.

“It’s just gotten out of control.  Farmville creators, Zynga Games, have shown no regard for the immigration rules and laws of this nation and those that own the farms and check on them daily are either blind or ignorant to the fact that 85-90 percent of their workers are in fact, illegal.” Thebear said.

It should be noted that Farmville owners are 87% female with an average age of 43 and an average salary of $430,000 a year.  While real farm owners are 85% male with an average age of 57 and a salary of $57,000 a year.

“That’s just not right and with the closing of 100 or more farms across the States every year, those numbers drop drastically.  What these Famvillians are refusing to understand is you can’t feed a nation with Internet crops.  Especially grown, tended, picked and shipped by someone that’s not even supposed to be in this country.” Thebear added.

“I can’t believe this!” Screamed one woman in Kansas City.  “I think I am going to be sick!. That would be Mrs. I.P. Freehley, a doctors wife that used to spend 10 hours a day on Farmville.  She had deleted her account by accident in an attempt to hide the fact she knowingly hired illegal migrants to tend to her crops.  When she found out she could not get any of her Farmville Farm back, she was physically sick.

“Serves her right.” Says Moe Thebear. “I heard she had one of the biggest Farms in the Famville community.  Now it’s gone.  All gone.  Excuse the pun, but you reap what you sow.”

Final numbers on the total number of illegal Farmville workers that have been or will be deported are not in, Thebear estimates that it will be in the several million.  This article written by Tyler Hollywood of “That’s So Not The News.”

Life Is Just A Fantasy


“Hi there.  My Name is Tyler. “

Crowd: Hi Tyler.

“And I have an addiction.”

::crowd murmurs::

“It all started when I got my first table top baseball game when I was 11 years old.  I’ve been addicted to fantasy sports ever since.  Like a mouse to cheese, like a cat to nip, like a deer to headlights. “

::more crowd murmurs::

That, my fine friends, would be the scene had there been some sort of AA like support group for fantasy sports players.  I know what you will say;

“But Tyler, there are support groups for…”

Yeah? Whatever, I don’t care.  I am going to choose to ignore that you just started your sentence there and will allow you to live just long enough to finish reading this post.

Yes.  I am a hardened fantasy sports player.  I got my start with the aforementioned table top baseball game called LongBall when I was indeed eleven years old.  You know, fantasy sports has been around much longer than you would think.  Just not in the form you are most common to see in this Internet age.  It started way back a long time ago when the first kid put a spinner on a piece of cardboard with 1B, 2B, 3B, HR, Fly Out, Pop Out and Grounder marked up in a pie chart.  Imaginations took over and kids could find themselves shagging balls with “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, hitting the game winning dinger off of Tom Seaver or serving some heat to Babe Ruth.

Eventually, games came along like LongBall or Sports Illustrated Football (eventually becoming known as PayDirt) where that spinner and felt tip marker were replaced by charts, boards, dice and pads of score sheets.  However, the imagination remained.  Now you were the coach or even player coach of these stars of the diamond or gridiron (or court or ice rink for your lesser know sport aficionados) that you could control.  The thrill of trading Ted Williams to a team other than the Redsox was in your hands.

Eventually, those childhood games gave way to watching the real ballplayers and keeping their stats on your own, only now, instead of Jeff Bagwell hitting clean up for the Houston Astros, he was knocking longballs in the four spot for a team know as Dangerous Intentions, a perennial 5th placer in the North Country Fantasy Baseball League.  I’m still in that league too, by the way.  Nearly 20 years now.

Now?  Now we have the Internet.  Gone are the days of scouring Sport Weekly for the stats at the back of the paper and the hours going through box scores.  Now we have the Internet keeping track of all the players we have amassed for our fantasy teams.  Gone are all those things that made the game fun and exciting to some or cumbersome and monotonous to others.  What remains though?  Imagination.  Only imagination can put together a team of Peyton Manning, Jamaal Charles, Jason Witten, Ochocinco and a few others to form the Black River Pirates.  A team that would go on to win the Sorry Honey It’s That Season Fantasy Football League in 2010.

::takes a bow and pats his own back::

That’s right, I won the 2010 Championship of the S.H.I.T.S. FFL.  I was also 1-2 in the USSCF NASCAR Racing League of 2010.  I was third in the NCFBL (the real and only money league) as well as winning the March Madness Tourney 3 our of the last 5.  Yeah, I am hopelessly addicted.  This didn’t even mention the leagues I was in where I was unsuccessful;

::coughsTRXFanatsyFootballcoughs::

Congratulations on that win, Stevo.

So, you may ask what this was all about. What is the point other than to pat myself on the back and gloat in the faces of my vanquished foes?  Well, that’s it really?  We fantasy sports players do that.  Those who are good at fantasy sports are good because they know sports, because they play to win, and because they are champions.  They don’t run down the entire 90 seconds during their picks.  They don’t get rattled when someone scoops their guy.  They talk sh*t and drink during the draft because they are better than you. Then they rub it in when they win.

However, if you must have another point to this post, other than my shit eating grin I am flashing because I WON at a fantasy sports league, I’ll give you this.  My Fantasy Addiction gone overboard.  Come join me, won’t you?  If you don’t like that, then check out my fantasy opponents in next years Fantasy Football Fantasy League and forget I am going to beat the crap out of you.

 

John Riggins STILL Isn’t Happy!


Sunday’s.  A day for football, recliners, remote controls and your favorite jersey’s.  Not to mention the pizza and beer.  Last year I jotted down a post called “John Riggins Is Not Happy.”  It was about my beloved Washington Redskins and how they were just going to be horrible last year.  In my wildest dreams I never thought it would get worse.  It did.

Let me start by saying that despite the fact I live in Patriots country, the North Eastern part of the States, I have always had only one football team as my favorite.  Moving to Manassas, VA when I was all of five, sort of dictated my choice of sports teams at the time, or so you would think.  I became a baseball and football fan down there in the early 70’s and I think I was 8 when I realized I bled red and gold.  Oddly enough, that next summer I became a Boston Redsox fan after watching them play the Orioles.  That’s another story.

Back to my Washington Redskins of this year.  It’s the last day of the regular season and they play the despised New York Giants.  I guess I should expound upon the word usage of “despised” here.  You see, as a Redskin fan, you have to look at the opponents in the NFC East in hierarchal order.  It’s the hated Cowboys, the despised Giants and the dreaded Eagles.  A little less hate as you move down the line.  So this week it’s the despised Giants.  I’m going with the Redskins to win!  But what’s new.  I hate to pick against them.

At any rate, now that the season has pretty much come to a close for the fella’s in red and gold, we should check in to see why John Riggins is STILL not happy.  First up; Albert Haynesworth.  I predicted a fiasco in September 2009 when they gave this waking Twinky 100 mil to play defense and it came true.  Now he is suspended for not having the heart to play and being an all around lazy fat sack like Mark Halburn.  Way to go Snyder.  Nice waste of 100 million bucks.  What could that have bought instead of a guy that can’t bend over to tie his own cleats?  Oh yeah…an ENTIRE GOD DAMN TEAM!  As it was and as we have seen, the defense actually held it’s own with or without Albert in there.

Up next, Donovan NcNabb.  Now do not get me wrong here, I am not laying hate on McNabb here.  I respected him in Philly and I was happy to see him come to the Redskins.  He may not have panned out like we all had hoped but he was better than Jason Campbell grabbing pigskin behind the center.  But again, Snyder has to be full blown crazy to sign him to a five year, 40 million deal when McNabb will be gone in less than one.  I mean, can’t you see that coming here, Redskin fans?  By the way, this could be worth it if we took away th money we gave Haynesworth and got some tools besides Chris Cooley and Santana Moss for McNabb to work with.

Finally, 2-5.  Two wins and five losses at home.  That has to change.  No wonder Dallas is referred to (and I have to say this through gnashed teeth because I hate this so much) as American’s Team.  WTF!?  We play in the nations capital and we are not America’s Team?!  Well, if we could win some God Damn games at HOME and bring back a trophy (or at least a division crown for Gods sake) than maybe, just maybe, we can earn that nickname.

Until then….John Riggins STILL isn’t happy.