Monday, December 21, 2009

Studicus Selects 2009

It's that time of year again. Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year! For three out of the last four years, I've awarded my prestigious "Studicus Selects" trophies to a variety of random gadgets, games, and experiences in a variety of random categories.

Now, it's time for Studicus Selects 2009, a look back at what made 2009 memorable. You can check out the Studicus Selects archives below. Scroll down for this year's "winners."

Studicus Selects 2008

Studicus Selects 2007

Studicus Selects 2005

Best purchase, cell phone upgrade: Apple's iPhone. Yes, I'm tired of the tagline "there's an app for that," too. But Apple's phone is an amazing, accessible piece of technology. My wife wanted a touchscreen phone when she upgraded. When we went to the AT&T store, we looked at a variety of models before she got her hands on an iPhone. The interface was shiny and the device was easy to use. My wife was taken with it, and so we walked out of the store with two of them.

Most needless upgrade to replace broken 27-inch TV screen purchased from my brother: LG Blu-Ray player. Okay, there's a story with this one. Several years ago, let's say five years ago actually, I bought a 27" Sharp TV from my brother. He'd had it for a while and no longer needed it; I wanted a larger TV. In November, the tank-like construct broke down, robbing my wife and I of the ability to watch TV upstairs. So, I replaced the Sharp (don't worry; I took the venerable, battered TV to the local Tox-Drop) with a plasma TV. While doing that, I decided I'd get a Blu-Ray player to replace the piece-of-junk Samsung DVD player that skips and pauses for no apparent reason. It's been a good purchase. Not only do the movies look nice, the player also has Netflix connectivity, meaning I can view "Watch Instantly" movies from my Netflix queue on my TV. Now, if Netflix would only work on expanding the catalog of available movies...

Most cost-effective and amphibious stand-in for the child we don't have and the grandchild my mother-in-law looks forward to one day: My wife's biological clock isn't in overdrive (yet). But she wants something to take care of other than me (can you believe that!!??). So, thanks to a freebie from work, we have a frog. The Children's Museum store sells these "Grow-a-Frog" tanks. You send off for a tadpole, feed it, and watch it grow into a real frog. We got our boy, Prince, about the time Michael Jackson passed away. So my mother-in-law suggested we call him "Prince, the King of Hop." And so Prince, now a real frog, sits in his tank and floats around, likely wondering why the tall man who always wears stuff with horseshoes on it struts around and constantly yells at the TV, most often on Sundays.

Best excuse to play videogames, wife category: Even though I'm almost 30, I still love to play videogames. But this particular award goes to my wife, who convinced me that she needed a Nintendo DS to help her train her brain. She alluded that her idea had the blessing of her doctor, so now she owns a pink, excuse me...metallic rose...Nintendo DS. In all honesty, she enjoys it and it seems to help her calm her mind. Plus, the only games she has are the "Brain Age" series, so it's not like she's playing Halo. Of course, if she were playing Halo on a Nintendo system, that would be very notable.

Best culinary contribution, husband category: If it's frozen or comes out of a can, I can make it. Anything else involving "recipes" and "ingredients," and you have to defer to my wife. However, we did unveil a grill this summer, and I had a great time with it. There's nothing wrong with hamburgers, hot dogs, and bratwurst. Next summer, I'm upgrading to steaks and chicken, so watch out!
This man wants you to have his wiener.

Most idiotic mutual realization about the location of the nearest Wendy's, couple category: My wife and I don't really eat at Wendy's all that often. Maybe we should...the place makes a fine burger and who doesn't love a Frosty? One day, we decided we wanted Wendy's, but decided against it because we didn't want "to drive all the way to Greenwood" just to go to Wendy's. The next day, while going along Southport Road, we passed a Wendy's restaurant we had actually eaten at before. Later in the week, we passed a Wendy's on Thompson road, probably a block away from us. Boy, did we feel stupid. Not only was there one Wendy's location within two minutes, there were two of them. The map below illustrates why we felt so stupid.

View Wendy's Map in a larger map

Most enjoyable movie in a genre I typically pay no attention to: Zombieland. I never thought I'd see a zombie flick in 2009; it's typically not my thing. However, combine Woody Harrelson and Twinkies, and you get a very enjoyable romp through a Zombie Apocalypse. I was surprised, to say the least.

Most enjoyable movie starring Michael Jackson that my wife dragged me to: Michael Jackson: This Is It. The concert movie chronicling the ill-fated final tour of the deceased King of Pop was actually pretty interesting. I'm not a big fan of "Little Michael," but I have to say he looked a lot more energetic and full of life during the movie than he did in death (er...you know what I mean). I often joke that my wife made me a deal: go see This Is It with her and I wouldn't have to go see New Moon. While that's pure fiction, I still like to use that as my excuse for seeing it.

Least enjoyable movie, summer blockbuster category: This is a tie between Terminator Salvation and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Terminator ended up being a lifeless, boring waste of a movie with hastily-inserted Arnold CG thrown in at the end. X-Men Origins: Wolverine has the sad distinction of churning out a videogame adaptation that was eminently more satisfying than the movie itself. I'm not sure if it was the ridiculous non-plot or the ridiculous circus of characters or the ridiculously-creepy Patrick Stewart CG work, but the movie simply didn't work. And when Hugh Jackman can't save something...you know it's bad.

Most enjoyable second DVD rental concerning a 2006 movie that had no right to be any good, Sylvester Stallone category: Rocky Balboa. My wife and I caught this movie on cable a few weeks ago and decided we'd add it (again) to our Netflix queue. I'd like to point out that movie sequels made 30 years after the original should not approach anything resembling high quality. Yet, there Rocky was, older, slower, and still compelling. Should he have lasted so long against the reigning heavyweight champion of the world? No. Should we have enjoyed a movie starring Peter Petrelli from "Heroes?" Probably not. Did we like it anyway? You bet.Best movie based on a Hasbro toy from my childhood: I'm going to give this to G.I. Joe, because my brother and I enjoyed it. Perhaps it was a moment of wishful childhood thinking, but it was better than we expected. Plus, Dennis Quaid makes everything better. We also liked Transformers 2, but Optimus & Company's second go-round is overly long and not nearly as enjoyable as the first live-action Transformers flick. Oh, and they almost killed Optimus Prime again...nearly reducing my brother and I to tears over what would've been another needlessly traumatic death for Optimus Prime.

Saddest remix of awesome Tranformers-inspired song from the 80s: I'm an avowed fan of Stan Bush, the cheese-tastic rocker behind "The Touch" and "Dare" from the 1986 animated Transformers movie. However, he attempted to redo "The Touch," infusing the song with some ill-conceived Linkin Park influence. The results, posted below, speak for themselves.
I consider one of these classic. The other one, not so much.

Most hilarious use of Neil Diamond, holiday category: Adam Sandler's Chanukah Song is already legendary. Combine it with the even more legendary Neil Diamond, and you get an explosion of holiday awesomeness.
Best Madden football game that's still not quite as awesome as NFL 2K5: Madden 10. It's the first Madden game I've bought for the Xbox 360. In fact, I hadn't bought an NFL football game since EA Sports signed its exclusivity deal with the NFL. I caved in this year, and I'm glad I did. Madden is a complete game of football with a terrific presentation. Even more than that, it's fun to play. Now, if they can just do fake video highlight shows like NFL 2K5, they'd have nailed it.

Best Star Trek movie starring that guy from Heroes: Star Trek. I thoroughly enjoyed the reboot of Star Trek. In fact, my wife and I have watched the movie way too many times since acquiring it for home viewing. On a side note, this movie also wins an honorary award for most ridiculous collectible DVD case. There's no good place for an Enterprise-style DVD holder, except for on top of the DVD player.
The mighty Enterprise, nestled on top of the Blu Ray player, right next to my wife's Buffy and Gilmore Girls sets.

Best day ever, Twilight category: I think this speaks for itself.
If you read the blog post, this picture will make sense

Worst luck, wife category: Earlier this year, my wife fell down the stairs and suffered a horrible concussion. She followed that up by contracting mono over the summer and missing a month of work. This is on top of the nerve problems she's had since July 2008. Surely her luck has to change, right?

Best use of work laser printer for decidedly non-work-related purposes: Imagine the amount of inkjet cartridges I'd have to go through to print this much pure drivel.
In this stack of papers, a college radio station fights for survival, a cloned baseball player encounters his destiny, a superhero meets an evil version of his father, a weaponized version of the bubonic plague manufactured by time-traveling Soviet scientists threatens to destroy humanity, and a super-powered woman uncovers a vast conspiracy at the world's first and only superhero-for-hire franchise. Thankfully, none of those stories are related.

Largest collection of uninvited house guests, galactic category: 12 totes of Star Wars collectibles moved from the safety of a Richmond, Indiana, storage unit to my home in Indianapolis. Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Chewie, Han Solo, Leia, and their friends have taken over the guest room and the upstairs closet. They will be assessed, inventoried, and then stored or sold.
It's as if millions of Star Wars toys cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

Best act of defiance, movie sneak-peek category: When my friend Krildog and I went to see Watchmen several days before its release, security was tight. So tight, in fact, that cell phones were banned, lest someone take pictures of the movie or (gulp!) record it and leak the footage. I had a Motorola Razor at the time and kept it in my pocket, declaring it too cold outside and too inconvenient to walk out to the car and put my phone away. My "defiance" went unnoticed. Oh, and I didn't try to pirate the movie. Of course, the film also inspired the following post.

Most time-consuming post on TFT, March Madness category: The Annual Perfect Strangers Forecast takes a very, very long time to put together. Though the post frequency and consistency declined sharply this year, the Perfect Strangers Forecast for the NCAA basketball tournament remains one of my favorites. And I'm really proud of the title graphic.
Standing tall, on the wings of my game predictions.

Best early Christmas gift ever: Bill Belichick's decision to go for it on 4th and 2. I don't care what you argue, turning it over to the other team in your own territory 20 yards away from midfield is stupid. Punt it. A lot more can go wrong over a 70-yard drive than a 29-yard one. In the holiday spirit, I really shouldn't revel in someone else's misery. But we are talking about the Patriots. It's widely accepted that they have no souls, lest of all the sinister man known in certain dark circles as "Hoodie."
And they said Belichick is in Manning's head. 4th and 2. Did that really happen? Oh...it did. Here's the proof.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

With Funding cut, COBRA Scrambles for aid

In a move that stunned the political world and echoed throughout the steel chambers of the Terror Drome, the U.S. government covertly decided to cut funding for COBRA.

The move means COBRA soldiers and their families will no longer receive government-subsidized health care and also challenges the notion that the Obama administration is soft on terrorism.

"Assurances were made that this would not happen," COBRA mastermind Cobra Commander hissed over a "secret" media-link he often uses to override the global communications network.

"There were agreements made that COBRA's soldiers would be taken care of," he lamented, citing a secret agreement signed in the early days of the administration. "Unlike many around the world, COBRA saw the global financial crisis on the horizon and took aggressive measures to lessen its impact on COBRA operations."

"I had to bring back this," the hooded leader said, pointing at the blue cloth draped over his head, "because I sold my battlesuit for that movie adaptation of my life. You know what that gave us? Accelerator suits!"

It appears COBRA can truly be blamed for many of the world's tragedies, indeed.

Certain branches of the self-proclaimed "ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world" are not affected by the government's funding cut.

In a message emailed to media outlets, world-renowned weapons dealer Destro announced that Iron Grenadiers and employees of his M.A.R.S. research division would not lose their health insurance benefits.

"My division has positioned itself well in the face of this global economic crisis and the U.S. government's stubborn refusal to come up with anything resembling a working, beneficial health care system," Destro wrote. "Using money earned from various contracts across the world, we at M.A.R.S. have provided our workers with the top-notch Total Control Plan package that includes a 401(k) with company matching, stock options, and paid vacation and sick leave in addition to our industry-leading health, dental, and vision plans."

"Unlike some other corporations," he continued via email, "M.A.R.S. has not spent ridiculous amounts of money pursuing big-ticket items that promise to move matter via molecular relocation, control the weather, or blanket the earth in total darkness to subvert electronics on a global scale."

Emails asking whether Destro was referring specifically to the COBRA-funded projects his company is thought to have manufactured on contract were not returned.

In addition, media outlets could not get an official response from long-time COBRA financier Extensive Enterprises despite repeated calls and emails.

While the scope of cuts at COBRA remains unknown, Cobra Commander did issue the following letter, printed below in its entirety:Hector Ramirez and Leonard Michaels contributed to this report

Monday, November 23, 2009

My Day with Edward

I came home from work today knowing my wife would go see "New Moon." Or make that "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" (you know, super-long titles are the rage these days!). And being a good and loving wife, she didn't want to leave me alone. So I came home to find an unusual house guest standing on my dresser.

That's right. On my dresser.

Staring.

Angst-ridden.

Mildly sparkling.

Edward Freaking Cullen.

Thanks, hon.He came with a note saying basically that he was here to keep me company so I wouldn't be lonely. It's great. See, he doesn't talk. He doesn't play Xbox. But he says he's around to entertain me. So, what the hell do I do with this guy?

Well, I know a few things about Edward. He likes to play the piano. There's that whole "Bella's Lullaby" thing. So I thought, shoot, let's play Guitar Hero. That's musical. But Edward Cullen had a problem with that.

In a monotone, emotionless voice, his cold eyes boring into the depths of my soul, he informed me that Guitar Hero wouldn't work. He kept whining, something about the controller being too big for him. I thought that was preposterous; after "New Moon's" weekend gross, I didn't think anything could be too big for Edward Cullen.I forged a compromise. I told Eddie we should play some Xbox. The controller was a little unwieldy, and he really couldn't get the hang of Madden 10. I mean, it was 35-2 at the half and I'd intentionally run Peyton Manning into the endzone for the safety just to make him feel better. Halo 3 scared the piss out of him. He found Lego Star Wars confusing. I thought about giving up.

Then, even though the bookshelf is like the equivalent of a three-story building for him, he saw a book of Tennyson writings and just HAD to look at it. So the idiot jumped...did you know vampires could jump REALLY FREAKING HIGH?...to the top of the bookshelf. I did him a favor and pulled the book down so he could read it. He was courteous enough not to mention the four unpublished manuscripts sitting atop the shelf.He started quoting passages and it was just kind of creepy. So I brought him a new book: The New Moon Official Illustrated companion. His curiosity was piqued; he said he was done with Tennyson for a while. So he began looking through the book, staring emotionlessly at pictures of him and Bella. Again, creepy. He did have one outburst, nearly ripping a page that showed Jacob and Bella together. He muttered something about "washboard abs" and "were-puppies," but due to the lack of inflection in his undead voice, I couldn't really understand what was going on.I left the room for just a minute and heard heavy breathing and a "shushing" sound. When I returned, 12" Hall of Fame Stalker had put a knife to Eddie's throat. As I began warning Stalker of the futility of his covert action, Eddie bounced back with lightning-like speed and precision, kicking Stalker in the groin. The Joe went down after the super-powered blow, but Eddie felt badly about using his powers like that. So he offered his hand to help Stalker up.

Out of nowhere, Snake-Eyes appeared, sword at the ready to defend his comrade. But his ninja stealth was no match for Eddie's ridiculous vampire reflexes. I think Mr. Cullen would've ripped him to shreds; Stalker and Duke even began cheering him on. No, I don't know when Duke showed up. Anyway, as a peace offering, Duke let Eddie try on his helmet, which Eddie wore like a dandy. That's high fashion for ya.Somewhere along the line, Duke texted Cobra Commander (I guess they've rekindled that ruined friendship from the movie?), who showed up and let Eddie try on his famous hood. It was completely absurd.The Joes left, but I had to pick up the mess that remained. While working on that, I heard a sound from the kitchen. Idiotic Edward had opened the fridge and gone straight for the ketchup. I had to explain to him that it was NOT blood. What a moron. Who's heard of Heinz blood anyway? Sure, the guy can read Tennyson. But product labels? Waaaaaay beyond his comprehension. From there, he jumped onto a bookshelf and started petting the nice zebra that lives there. I snapped a pic of that cute moment, which turned ugly when Eddie tried to drain the blood right out of the noble creature.Not long after that, he got into the Goldfish. Thankfully, we're talking about snack crackers and not actual goldfish. Using his mind-reading abilities to decipher that I was somewhat upset at him, he plucked one out and presented it as a peace offering.Like a complete schmuck, I took it.

Cullen has a weakness for Bella; I have a weakness for snacks.

As the afternoon wore on, I decided maybe we'd watch a movie. Edward made his selection. As you can imagine, it was completely self-serving.I made my own selection and showed it to him, but he thought "The Rock" would be too scary."The Rock," too scary? The dude's a vampire!

Anyway, we compromised...It's at this point that every tween and twihard has to become extremely jealous of me.

I was in bed with Edward Cullen! Team Edward? Oh, yeah! So if you've been wondering what Edward was up to in "New Moon" between his Obi-Wan-esque apparitions, you now know the answer. He was in MY BED watching "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." For whatever reason, he kept re-watching the part where Kirk yells "KHAAAAAAAAAAAAN!"I started to think, maybe I can get along with this guy after all.

But then he did something unforgivable, baring his ridiculously thin yet ripped and sparkling torso and reaching out for me while singing "You Are Not Alone" by Michael Jackson.At that point, I should've killed him with fire. But it's not quite that simple with vampires...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Your Collie will love it...

A great game by Austin Collie. Almost 100 yards receiving, two touchdowns, and two terrific TD catches. I loved the first one, in which he powered through some tackles and somehow made it into the endzone. But my favorite was the tip-toeing beauty featured in this blog post. Pure artistry!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Loving Garcon!

You wouldn't think there would be much to get excited about when it comes to a Division III guy in the NFL. Then again, I went to a D-III school and I like to see those players do well! I was very high on Pierre Garcon last year and thought he'd be a great kick/punt returner. Little did I know a fantastic receiver lurked within...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Turning Point!

That's pretty much what it felt like last night. I wonder what would've happened if Melvin Bullitt hadn't jarred that ball loose. The Colts, in all honesty, still probably would've won, but I think it would've been closer.

Or maybe not...

Saturday, September 05, 2009

TFT times returns!

No promises on great articles. No promises on deep insight. No promises on up-to-the-minute updates or consistent content. Just know that TFT Times has returned for the football season.

Good wins today by Notre Dame and Purdue help me bring you tomorrow's headlines, today!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Knightfall: The Movie

As I considered the news this weekend of Bob Knight's impending induction into the Indiana Hall of Fame, I recalled the drama surrounding his punishment, firing, and subsequent coaching resurrection at Texas Tech.

No matter what you say about Coach Knight (and make sure you call him coach, otherwise you'll be involved in an altercation with him), I think it's apparent that IU's olive branch to him is appropriate and long overdue. For almost 30 years, Knight WAS Indiana basketball. Along with it came the temper, the rude behavior, the antics, and the adoring fanbase that let him do whatever he wanted. But make no mistake about it, Bobby Knight remains one of the sport's finest coaches and deserves better than to be "Pete Rosed" out of IU's lexicon of champions.

Will the coach take this opportunity to sooth the personal hurt he endured in his ouster? Will he seize the day and show everyone he deserves that legend moniker everyone is so quick to give him? I don't know. In his mind, he probably doesn't need this welcoming back. However, if he can set his ego aside and embrace IU, funnel away some of those hurt feelings and his pride, the fans and school will embrace him in return. And while Knight still won't have left Indiana University on his own terms, at least he could return on them. A school driven solely by winning has made dubious missteps since Knight's exile. Now, fans are eager to feel the sense of legitimacy Knight brought to IU basketball in addition to all those soundbites, technical fouls, thrown chairs, and temper tantrums. Under Knight, IU won. The program did it without cheating, without text messaging, and without shame.

IU fans want to believe that again, and for that reason I hope Knight takes the opportunity not only for himself, but for the sake of the fans who once loved him, who still love him, and for betterment of Indiana basketball.

That said, I also began to think, if you were to cast a movie based on this whole convoluted story, who would you cast as the principle players? And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I'm writing this.Brian Cox as Bob Knight. Cox is a terrific actor who's graced movies like The Bourne Identity, Troy, Manhunter, X-Men 2, and SuperTroopers. To me, he has the "bullyish" aura one must possess to play Knight, along with the raging, slow-burn temper and physical presence the role demands. I haven't actually seen him throw a chair, but I think he can do it.Ron Dean as Rick Greenspan. Calculating, thuggish, standoffish. These are the kinds of behaviors that come to mind when I think of Rick Greenspan. He's a man in denial, one who doesn't want to be challenged, one who isn't afraid to cross the line between acceptable and conspiratorial behavior. No actor fits this better than Dean...who's steady work includes turns in blockbusters from The Fugitive to The Dark Knight. I think there's a definite physical resemblance here as well.Ian McDiarmid or David Strathairn as Myles "Money" Brand. Finding the right person to play Myles Brand is essential. He's a key character in this drama; one some would consider the "villain" of the piece. Brand demands someone bureaucratic, someone who is capable of scheming in front of the public while hiding his true intentions. He needs to be willing to advance his own interests over those of his university, and unfraid of making a name for himself by toppling a legend. I could go either way on this one...McDiarmid would be good, but Strathairn's one of the best character actors around.Eric Roberts as Fred Glass. Some would call Fred Glass a snake oil salesman, others a charismatic figure destined to lead IU to future greatness. He plays no crucial role in the Knight Drama until much later, as the coach's fateful career comes full circle and he considers returning to Indiana University. Roberts gives off that enthusiastic, high-class salesman vibe that Glass exudes. Definitely a good fit.Wes Studi or Danny Trejo as Kelvin Sampson. This was probably the hardest to come up with. Sampson really doesn't look like anyone...he has a distinctive face and an odd body type. Perhaps if Forrest Whitaker were Native American, this would be much easier. However, I think I found two very good candidates. The first is Wes Studi of Last of the Mohicans fame. Obviously, he's of Native American descent. He has a prideful look to him...like Sampson. Another candidate is Danny Trejo, best known for his role in the Machete spoof from Grindhouse. Trejo looks pretty rough, his face distinctively lined much like Sampson's. He probably puts off the duplicitous vibe better than Studi...but considering Sampson was a smooth operator, Trejo's rougher edges may not work.Andre Braugher as Mike Davis. Were Brock Peters still alive, he'd be way too old to play Mike Davis, but it's something I had to mention, if just to get a screen capture from Star Trek VI. Although if you look at To Kill a Mockingbird, there's definitely a resemblance. However, Andre Braugher is an excellent candidate. Roughly the same age as Davis, I think Braugher could pull off the conflicted coach who never should've been in the situation he was thrust into; the guy everyone thought would be gone "the next year," yet managed to hang around.Cameron Thor or Jeff Daniels as Dan Dakich. Of course, Dan Dankich would have to play a central role somewhere along the line. A friend of Knight's, he rose to the occasion when the basketball program needed him most. He didn't get much of a thanks for that. Whenever I think of Dakich, I think of that guy from Jurassic Park who plays Dodgson. It must be the nose. Seeing as the obscure actor, Cameron Thor, hasn't been in much lately, I say we darken Jeff Daniels hair and give him consideration as well. He's a bit heavier than Dakich, but there's something about Daniels that reminds me of him.

Now before I finish this off, just one more thought. While I like Brian Cox as Knight, there's one shortcoming. And it's literal...Cox is only about 5'8". Anyone who knows anything about Bob Knight knows he's a man of impressive stature...well over six feel tall. While the camera can make up for the height disparity, there were a few other actors I did not seriously consider, but had to mention anyway.The first who came to mind was Liam Neeson, mostly because he's tall. However, Neeson has too much inner calm to pull off Bob Knight. But you have to admit there's something about the sweater he's wearing in Kinsey that evokes Knight.I got a real chuckle out of Alec Baldwin. Certainly he possesses the temper needed to portray Coach Knight. Taller than Cox at about 5'11", Baldwin's in the midst of a career resurrection thanks to 30 Rock. If he could turn off his "suave" setting, he might just be able to pull it off.And finally, what about Russell Crowe? I thought about his performance in the Insider and was impressed with how he transformed himself in that movie both physically and from a behavioral standpoint. He has a sense of machismo and swagger needed to play Knight as well, although it'd be hard to think of Maximus as a basketball coach.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Introducing FSPN

8:15 a.m. (Mississippi) Brett Favre wakes up

8:17 a.m. Brett Favre urinates

8:19 a.m. Brett Favre decides how to urinate on legacy

8:21 a.m. Upset over "excessive" Michael Vick coverage, Brett Favre decides to come out of retirement (again); sends text message to Brad Childress and smiles diabolically as he realizes his latest campaign of "player leaks" has been successful

10:00 a.m. Brett Favre and wife board plane to St. Paul

12:30 p.m. (Minnesota) Brett Favre and wife arrive in St. Paul; Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress serves as chauffeur in a preview of how the chain of command will work for this season with Favre under center

12:34 p.m. Brett Favre asks Childress to pull over so he can urinate; chopper vids show Favre exiting vehicle and stepping into local rest stop with large security detail

12:45 p.m. Brett Favre and wife eat caviar dinner; Childress acts as server, making sure Favre's champagne glass is consistently refilled

1:00 p.m. Vikings start practice

1:15 p.m. Construction crew finishes erecting golden throne next to Favre's locker

1:20 p.m. John David Booty has #4 jersey removed against his will and is pelted with silly string before being kicked repeatedly by Vikings staff

1:21 p.m. Brett Favre surveys golden throne and diamond-encrusted locker at Vikings practice facility

1:23 p.m. Brett Favre feels urge to urinate yet again

1:25 p.m. Brett Favre handed #4 jersey from John David Booty

1:26 p.m. Finding the jersey unsuitable for him, Favre demands clean, red jersey and kicks Booty for good measure

1:28 p.m. Favre joins Vikings for practice; angels rejoice

1:30 p.m. Booty emerges, visibly shaken, now wearing #9 jersey

1:35 p.m. (Minnesota) Vikings pre-order Lombardi Trophy