The Heap: Streaming Event Scheduled!

The Heap will be reporting live from Tampa’s Horse Racing track today from 12:30 – 5! I will be streaming coverage¬†intermittently in between that time frame, so feel free to come on the blog and click on the “Live Stream” tab above to watch the action!

I’ll try to write a mobile entry of how I am doing on my betting!

So: 12:30-5 on the Streaming Tab, The Heap goes to the Races!

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser

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Nothing Like a Clean Car!

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Finally had a chance to take some time and clean my car! Took about 2 hours to scrub and detail most of the car! It had gotten really, really grimy, so it was nice to finally have a little time to give it the care it needed. The interior still needs a little bit of work, but at least the outside is immaculate, for now…

Special thanks to Armor All products! (Endorsed strongly by The Heap!) I begin with the wash/wax solution and hand wash the car with one of those mitts. Getting to every square inch of car takes a while, but well worth it at the end. Today I bought the actual Wheel Cleaning product, and wow, what a difference. I’ve never seen my stock wheels so silver! And after that, I use the Extreme Tire Shine for a nice, glossy finish!

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Not bad for a day’s work (or 2 hours or so…)! Though, I must say, I am NOT looking forward to the drive to Miami this weekend… Driving through Alligator Alley at night all but guarantees extensive bug “damage” on the nose and mirrors!

Can’t wait to finally continue my modifications. Post on The Heap’s Acura Project coming soon!

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser

The Heap Reviews: Hot Tub Time Machine

Ah, the concept of time travel. We’ve seen this idea done in so many ways by so many different characters. We’ve seen it in books, TV shows, movies, and even music (I’m looking at you, Cher). H.G. Wells made the concept “mainstream” and well, it is here to stay. We’ve seen time machines in the form of abstract mechanical creations, port-o-potties, and a Delorean. It’s easy to say that we as an audience have always had some sort of magical intrigue with the concept of time control and the possibility to change one’s destiny by altering events.

Hot Tub Time Machine is exactly as advertised- a hot tub endeared with the power (thanks to a Russian energy drink) to create a time travel vortex. It also follows the established plot of most of these movies – go back/forward in time, go on a “life changing” adventure to learn a lesson, and come back an improved person. What sets it apart is how it follows these traditional rules of the “genre,” by offering an crass, yet smartly hilarious (and actually, kind of satirical) interpretation of the time travel story.

John Cusack, Craig Robinson (Darryl from The Office) and Rob Corddry (smaller roles in other notable comedies), when first thought about together, may come across as a rather odd combination for not just a comedy, but a movie in general. You certainly feel this way at the beginning of the movie, where I found myself wondering, “hmm, how is this going to work?” But alas, they mesh together as the movie goes on into quite the cohesive, capable comedic team. (Let’s be honest, think about your group of friends… yeah, sometimes you TOO wonder how/why you’re friends at all, and how such different and weird individuals can come together as a group!)

Coming together to overcome the tepidity of Middle Age as well as overall reconciliation are the prevalent themes. And of course, you have to sprinkle in some destiny/ changing the present with choices in the past issues as well. It was very comical to see the older characters come back to their heyday and attempt to literally relive their finest (and in some cases, not so fine) moments, since they satirically believe in the “butterfly effect” theory, believing that any difference in their actions may drastically change the course of history. The conclusion is actually a bit of a welcomed curve ball, deviating from the usual “my life is forever changed because of this trippy experience” ending.

"What color is Michael Jackson?" "Uh, Black!"

Overall, Hot Tub Time Machine is entertaining, raunchy, and very funny. Unfortunately, it just isn’t as memorable as other comedies in the past few years. As I mentioned, it offers a smart, satirical telling of a time travel story, and it will deliver laughs and moments of incredulous bewilderment. Definitely a guy movie, but can be enjoyable for most. If you’ve had a long week and just need to sit back and have a laugh or two, I can recommend it.

The Heap awards: 7.5/10 Bags

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser

The Heap: Now LIVE!

Yes, you can now literally see what happens at The Heap, thanks to Qik! A video streaming/sharing online medium! The observant readers might have already noticed a difference up top in the tabs. Gone in the stagnant “Notre Dame” page, because let’s face it… they took care of defeating any interest anyone would have in me updating that page with scores and records. Just tune in to any major collegiate sport to watch them play underwhelmingly!

Added is the “Qik” tab. After you click, you will see an embedded area for video. Most of the time, it will have a clip of the last recorded clip I made with the Android application from my phone. But if you are lucky enough (or can read when I schedule a streaming event!), you might catch me LIVE!

So yes, it has been a rather technologically advancing day, and I am excited to enhance The Heap experience using mobile posting capabilities as well as prospective video blogs and capturing live events!

Suggestions are always welcome! Email or tweet us!

The Heap: Now Mobile!

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There is officially no reason for your Heapmaster to go long periods of time without some sort of post! I finally discovered an app for the Android OS! There can now be posts from where ever I am at, complete with pictures and brief commentary!

This is a great advance in technology for this blog, after implementing a twitter and email account, as well as post synching to Facebook! There have been many times that I had wished I could have posted a mobile picture to The Heap, and now I have the capability!

Thanks to all the heapsters out there, and thanks for your patience. A more regular posting schedule is coming soon!

Also testing the picture posting capability. That was me on St. Patrick’s day with my super awesome tie from Flora!

The Heap’s Guide to the 2010 Girl Scout Cookies

As spring approaches, as the days get longer, and as motivation increases to end any sort of winter (and holiday feast) induced comas, the last h00rah before many Americans will commence beach body bootcamp is the annual sale of Girl Scout Cookies!

This year in our region, the Girl Scouts offer YOU 8 unique ways to satisfy even the most picky and specific sweets cravings. Will you indulge your taste buds with chocolate, peanut butter, or a mixture of the two? Perhaps your palette desires a more fruity taste?

Are you fretting because you don’t know which to choose? Well don’t you worry. Here at The Heap, we’ve already tasted devoured all of the cookies sold by local scouts, and we offer you The Heap’s own ranking and guide to help you decide!

Number 8: Lemon Chalet Creme

I was a bit disappointed with these. Normally, I like tarty sweets, and just lemon flavor in general, but the slight cinnamon and tart lemon led to an odd texture and taste. You have to appreciate the “artwork” on the cookie. Perhaps this slightly justifies the $3.50 price tag per box… Anyway, if you are a fan of tart sweets and can handle the slight nip of cinnamon mixing together, then you might enjoy these!

The Heap awards: The Honesty Badge. No lies here. There’s lemon creme, and there’s a damn chalet. Even if it is a chalet for ants!

Number 7: Thin Mints

As classic as these cookies are, The Heap has just never really been a fan of anything edible that is mint flavored. While they aren’t a favorable match for The Heap, they are usually the overwhelming favorite of purchasers across the country. The popularity of Thin Mints has even landed these delicacies lucrative contracts with various ice creme makers incorporating them into their lines. Heck, even Dairy Queen has stepped up to make Thin Mint Blizzards! If you have a taste for all that is minty, grab a box! They bring the most cookies for your 3.50!

The Heap awards: The Celebrity Status Badge. You know you’ve made it as a Girl Scout Cookie when Dairy Queen offers you as a blizzard flavor and you get your own cameo in a Gym Class Heroes song. (See: Gym Class Heroes – Cookie Jar)

Number 6: Thank You Berry Munch

A new edition for the 2010 Girl Scout Cookie Season, Berry Munch offers a cranberry infusion into the traditional tastes of your average midnight snack. The cookies claim to be made with “premium cranberries.” I wouldn’t expect less. Also, throw in some white chocolate chips and you have a one of a kind treat. Well done, Girl Scouts. What will they come up with next?

The Heap awards: The Turbopun Badge. No, these aren’t your normal Keebler Elf puns. It seems that the girl scouts in the marketing department really got the creative juices flowing on this one. Another tagline, “More berries than your body has room for!” (Please refer to the epic Powerthirst 1 and Powerthirst 2 videos)

Number 5: Dulce de Leche

Named after the Latin dessert of identical namesake, these artificially flavored cookies manage to uphold the pride of the real thing. The milk-caramel blend results in a tasty texture and will adequately satisfy cravings for anything well, caramel or milky! These go well with, surprise surprise, milk, and even coffee. Also, instead of being pre-packaged in a roll or crate, it’s just a bag of cookies!

The Heap awards: The Best Real Food Impersonation Badge. While these cookies will suffice for a short amount of time, let’s not get carried away. Your neighborhood friendly Hispanic mother will slap you silly if you prefer these to any of her own baked goods!

Number 4: Trefoils

Another classic cookie, the recipe for the Trefoil’s success is simple. No fancy, fruity or exotic flavorings needed here- just the sheer melt in your mouth texture of Buttermilk! Superb texture, satisfactory size, and perhaps the most recognizable cookie behind the Thin Mint. These have been giving Lorna Doone’s a run for their money… at least for the first few months of the year.

The Heap awards: The Comic Book Villian Badge. Trefoils are the preferred cookie of Hollywood stars Tommy Lee Jones and Harvey Dent from The Dark Knight. No joke.

Number 3: Samoas

Now we are starting to get to some of the heavy hitters of the Girl Scout Cookie world. The top 3 were hard to separate from each other, but alas, it had to be done. I wait for Samoas yearly. They are simply put, delicious. The chocolate and coconut peels hugging the caramel dipped cookie are again, another unique entity for the Girl Scouts. Possibly imitated, but never equaled. Stock up while you can!

The Heap awards: The Best Representation of and Ethnic Group Badge. Samoans are typically big and round. They also live in coconut rich areas. Very huggable. Just like how the chocolate hugs the cookie. Well played Girl Scouts.

Number 2: Tagalongs

Chocolate and Peanut butter. Need I say more? While I know that this combination disturbs a few of the anonymous posters out there, there is nothing like the mixture of chocolate and peanut butter to flavor anything. The peanut butter is creamy and mixes well with easily melting chocolate dipped cookie! Try refrigerating these to harden the chocolate and peanut butter so it melts in your mouth!

The Heap awards: The Friendship Badge. Even the name of this cookie suggests that you have them with you at all times. And with how delicious they are, you won’t have a problem asking a pack or two to tag along with you!

Number 1: Do-si-Dos

It was a toss up in between Tagalongs and Do-si-dos, but the oatmeal/peanut butter fusion came out on top for The Heap. You can’t beat not just one already good cookie, but two pasted together by peanut butter! Regrettably, these also bring the least, but at least the double cookie action makes up for this. Peanut butter lovers MUST get their hands on these!

The Heap awards: The Best Hoedown Drunken Dance Move Badge: If you’ve ever locked arms with an unsuspecting dance partner and swung them and yourself around as enthusiastically as possible, or have ever sworn that Do-si-do should be a component of The Casper Slide, then this is the cookie for you.

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser