Is There a Commercial that Drives Your Pet Bonkers?

Is there a commercial that drives your pet bonkers?

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I officially hate Mark Cuban. No, it’s not because of his somewhat arrogant attitude. No, it’s not because of some of the things he’s invested in on “Shark Tank.” No, it’s not because I’m secretly jealous. Okay, hate is a strong word, so I suppose I don’t hate him, but he’s really getting on my nerves.


Because he’s the centerpiece of a current AT&T commercial for their U-Verse service, and every time it comes on our dog goes bonkers. Why? Because it has a doorbell that sounds exactly like our doorbell, and it rings at least 1000 times in a span of 30 seconds.

In the commercial the doorbell rings, and Mark answers the door, holding his tablet with the big game on it. A basketball legend arrives, they watch the game on his table while walking to the living room, then the doorbell rings again, more basketball players show up, they watch the game on the way to the room, and the situation keeps playing out about 1000 times (or at least so it seems as our dog goes ballistic with every doorbell ring) eventually leaving Mark Cuban in his living room with way too-tall players blocking his view of his TV, so he’s relegated to watching the game on his tablet, in the easy chair at the back of the room, which he is able to to because he has U-Verse.

Our neighbors, I’m sure, are ready to call the cops because our dog is barking so much for a thirty-second span, Milo thinks he is protecting us way too often and wonders who keeps ringing our doorbell while we just ignore whomever is at the door, and I’m not blaming AT&T, nor the variety of basketball legends attached to the commercial, nope, I’m blaming Mark Cuban because, well, that’s just easier.

The underlying problem with the commercial is that it pretty much starts with a doorbell. There have been other commercial with doorbells that make Milo bonkers, but there was generally a 3 to 5 second window before the doorbell, enough time for us to dive for the remote and hit the mute button before barminess hit. Not this commercial. Pretty much it’s got about a millisecond lag from seeing Cuban on the couch to the doorbell ringing. Not enough time for muting, not enough time to change the channel, but just enough time for Milo the Protector to do his duty and decide his little fifteen pounds of white fur will be enough to protect us from the bad guys at the door.

I was hoping this was just an ad run for the NCAA tournament as that’s when it started, but it’s continuing, now, through the NBA playoffs, and I fear that now we won’t be able to watch any TV for months, thanks to Mark Cuban.

Milo used to want to attack the TV when he would see animals or other dogs on it, but now it might be Marc Cuban as a Pavlovian response of protection. No more sports to watch, no more Shark Tank, at least if we want some peace and quiet. And so, as I now hate, okay am bothered by Mark Cuban, I’m wondering: Is there a commercial that drives your pet bonkers?

Do You Yell at the TV While Watching Sporting Events?

Do you yell at the TV while watching sporting events?

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Everything was shaping up nicely for me to have a repeat run at a March Madness bracket win. I had Louisville to win it all, and as long as that shaped up, the only thing standing in my way from booting a competitor who also had Louisville to win it all was for UConn to beat Iowa State. With that win securely in my back pocket, there wasn’t much standing in my way of wealth and riches, or at least bragging rights and trying hard not to explain how I picked the winning bracket for two years in a row, but alas, there I was, tired, falling asleep, and figuring I would wake up the next morning secure in my continued involvement of paying attention to the NCAA tournament.

Then Milo had to pee.

Yup, it’s 11PM, Milo’s done in his litter box, and rather than turn the TV back on I do what anyone else would do, check things out on their phone. I launch the CBS Sports app, check out the scores, and there it is, Kentucky back in the game against Louisville, with only a little time left. Lying in bed I was now more torn about turning the TV back on, except I knew one thing: If the TV was on there was no chance I wouldn’t wake my wife because I’m a TV yeller.

I can generally control myself watching sporting events, especially when my wife is around, but back in the bachelor days, if I was watching a Chicago Bears game, I’m sure my neighbors wondered what all of the ruckus was in my place as expletives, cheering, and general merriment was a regular staple of watching the game. The Louisville/Kentucky game, especially with a few bucks and ultimate bragging rights on the line, well, it would have been nearly impossible for me to control myself.

So there I was, continually hitting the little “refresh” arrow on the app, even though it was supposed to update itself, cringing through ever timeout, almost yelling at my phone when I would see a missed free throw on the text summary, and then, with the realization that I was now with most people, with a fully busted bracket, I had to resign myself to the fact that my fail-safe method of winning another bracket game wasn’t so fail-safe after all.

Much like the Cubs, though, there’s always next year, when I won’t know a damn thing about any team, but will go into March Madness thinking this it will be my comeback year.

I’m sure my wife was happy I “watched” the end of the game on my phone, thereby securing her sleeping ability, and unless the Bulls or Blackhawks end up in the playoffs (I’m not even going to mention the Cavs in that statement), TV yelling will be kept at a minimum, at least until fall when the Chicago Bears, with their newly-formed defense, will lead to my dream matchup of a Bears/Browns Super Bowl!

As my TV yelling possibilities have come to a close for a while, I wonder: Do you yell at the TV while watching sporting events?

That’s it for this one! I’m Andy!! L8R!!!

Has a Music Video Ever Ruined a Song for You?

This plight makes me admit a few things I don’t know if I really want to out here on the internet. First off I’m a fan of girl pop music. Yes, I’ve been a Deborah Gibson fan back when she was Debbie, like me some Avril Lavigne, and yes, you can catch me singing some Miley Cyrus every now and then. Miley Cyrus’ latest “in the spotlight” escapades aside, I’m usually able to separate the crazy from the music, and for whatever reason I’ve been liking her song “Wrecking Ball” that has been hitting the airwaves, not to be confused with the Bruce Springsteen anthem, “Wrecking Ball.” The Miley song is catchy, in that girl pop kind of way, and then there was talk about the video, how Miley gets naked, and this, that, and the other thing. Not really caring that much, and with MTV not airing videos anymore, I didn’t really try to search it out.

Then the other morning I was up early, popped the Vevo (The go-to place for music videos now) on, and decided I would catch up with some music video watching while I was doing some writing. There on the menu was the Miley Cyrus “Wrecking Ball” video. Deciding I should see what all of the hubbub was about I decided to watch it, and I have to say I don’t know if I can listen to the song anymore as I think the video ruined the song for me.

Sure, Miley was in her short hair (which I don’t like), in underwear, and sometimes naked, in a video with a wrecking ball and a sledge hammer, and she’s slithering around, which is fine. Then she starts that creepy “tongue sticking out” thing that had grossed everyone out when she was on the VMA’s, and this weird sneer thing is going on as well. I know I’m an older dude now, and maybe I’m slowly losing touch with the youngins, but the entire video just creeped me out, and her prancing around in her underwear just didn’t come off sexy at all. That and the fact that it’s just a crappy music video for a song that actually had some potential to make a decent music video.

The bummer part now is that whenever the song comes on the radio all I’m going to think of is Miley, with that tongue, licking the wrecking ball. Sure, she needs to grow up and out of her Hannah Montana persona, but hopefully she’ll get over this phase quickly, or stop making videos, or else I’m going to have to turn to radio station so the image doesn’t make me want to throw up a little bit in my mouth. I’m also worried that she has the potential to now ruin Saturday Night Live for me, as she’s hosting and singing, and if there is a lot of tongue wagging I have a feeling I won’t be able to watch. Miley, please stop with the tongue!

With the song “Wrecking Ball” now ruined by a slithering Miley and her tongue (an hopefully not Saturday Night Live this weekend), I’m plighting: Has a music video ever ruined a song for you?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Have you Considered “Cutting the Cord”?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about “cutting the cord.” I’m not talking about an umbilical cord, but about the Cable TV cord. Here’s the thing, in Chicago there is a new service called Aereo coming, and basically what they do is set you up with some hard drive space in the cloud, poach the HD TV signal in your area, and as long as you are in the area you can watch broadcast TV on your handheld devices or port the signal to your big TV. You kind of get a DVR and HD antenna all in one. Sure, the drawback is you are stuck with your normal, everyday broadcast TV, and sure, it’s kind of not really cutting the cable because you are still paying for the service and need your internet connection at home if you want, but if you are trying to get rid of your actual cable TV folks, it might be an option if it becomes available in your area.

I’ve been doing some financial analysis, and if you think about the cost of your monthly cable bill you can probably ditch the cable, subscribe to Aereo and fill things in with a Netflix, Hulu Plus, or even Amazon or iTunes subscriptions and “cutting the cord” would still be cheaper, at least so my preliminary numbers seem to show. More analysis is in order, especially calculating how many versions of the Real Housewives I’ll be subscribing to, but I think I might still save a few bucks by finally telling my cable TV people to kiss my ass, or at least the TV portion of my bill.

With Aereo coming to Chicago in about a week or so, it’s got me thinking, and so I plight: Have you considered “Cutting the Cord”?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Do You Plan on Watching the Golden Globe Awards?

It’s award show season, and there is no more controversial award show than the Golden Globe Awards. There are many in the industry that consider it a joke, that the Hollywood Foreign Press is a joke, and that the award is really meaningless, but these are the same industry people who are praying for their movie, show, song, etc., to be named as the winner this year. Why? Publicity, and somehow the Golden Globes figured out how to market themselves as the “fun” award show. Yup, you get everyone seated at round tables instead of a stuffy auditorium, so it seems like a wedding reception, and then of course there is the flow of alcohol that sometimes loosens up either a presenter, or better yet, one of the award recipients. We like a train-wreck, and for the most part people aren’t tuning into the Golden Globes to see who won, nope, they are tuning in to see said train-wreck, and hope it might be an actor or actress we admire who is slightly over-served and trips on their way to the stage.

Okay, I don’t know if that’s why people are tuning in, but it’s one of the reasons I’ll be tuning in, that and the fact that this year Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are hosting it and they can usually bring the funny. Hopefully they will be unleashed, hopefully the booze will be flowing, hopefully someone will be goofy, but you can bet there will be someone who gets up there proclaiming they didn’t have a speech written because they didn’t think they would win, people will gripe tomorrow, especially if a “darling” doesn’t win, that the awards are a joke, and in a few weeks once the Academy Awards hit no one will care who really won the Golden Globe. Except the winners.

I’ll be watching, but I wonder and I plight: Do you plan on watching the Golden Globe Awards?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

The Dude’s TV: R.I.P.


The Dude on the Right

Maybe it’s just a fuse, maybe it was God telling me I shouldn’t watch John
McCain’s speech at the Republican Convention, but yesterday, just as I was
getting ready to settle on to my couch to see how John McCain will save the
world in a better way than Barack Obama (because that is what these conventions
are all about, aren’t they?), I went to turn on the TV in my living room, and,
well, it didn’t turn on. Because I couldn’t believe it wouldn’t actually turn
on, of course I kept pushing the power button about twenty times, both on the
remote and on the TV itself, and still nothing happened. What to do, what to do?
I fished the TV power cord from out of the power strip, went to my garage to get
an extension cord, plugged it into an outlet I knew was working, plugged the TV
into the extension cord, and wouldn’t you know it, my TV still didn’t turn on.

Now I know that my TV had been making funny noises a few weeks ago, but those
noises, surprisingly, had gone away, and things were working well.  I
figured my TV was just going through a phase, but sadly, it looks like that
phase was "Screw you, you ‘America’s Got Talent’ watcher. I just can’t take it
anymore, and since you continue to watch crap shows like "America’s Got No
Talent," "Dancing with Loser Stars," and "Yup, These People are Fat," or
something like them, I’m done. I just can’t take it anymore.  I’ll show

Yup, I think my TV just couldn’t stand my TV viewing habits, and with a new
TV season upon it, and my forcing it to show another season of the Chicago Bears
while the Chicago Cubs totally collapse during September, it felt it was actually
doing me a favor by shorting itself out, thereby making me realize that there
might actually be life without television.

But what my TV didn’t realize was that its days were numbered anyway, what
with him being an old tube, non High-Def television, and as I know The Chicago
Bears will be in the Super Bowl in 2009 (I am so optimistic right now), I was
looking to kick him to the curb anyway, or maybe put him in my bedroom,
especially when those great sales came around before the big game.  I’m
thinking, though, that I still might wait for those big sales, in the meantime
moving my basement TV to the living room, and putting my really old TV that is
still in the garage in the basement, even if the color is all discombobulated on
that old TV.  Who cares if green grass is red, anyway?

In the meantime, maybe I’ll put my broken TV on eBay.  If Governor Sarah
Palin can try to sell an airplane on eBay, maybe some sucker, I mean handyman, I
mean handyperson, will want a broken TV.  At least I should be able to make
some money on the shipping and handling!

That’s it for this one! 
I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

What’s New? A Podcast of: Stu & The Dude’s Weekend Wrap-Up! The Dude sees “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” and Fireworks, Stu Wonders if He Can Get “Wii Fit.”

Thanks to the internet, Stu and The Dude were able to record their

"Weekend Wrap-Up!" podcast
via Skype, and although not the most exciting of
Memorial Day weekends, some things for them were the same, and some things for
them were different.  Duh.

Stu is nursing a cold, which kept him keeping up with his Netflix queue, namely
watching "Wild Hogs" and "Cougar Club," while The Dude on the Right ventured
into Chicago to see

"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,"
fireworks, and have a
nice dinner.  Stu couldn’t go backyard camping with his kids, and The Dude
needed to buy a new filter for his kids.  And Stu probably didn’t use his

Wii Fit
, while The Dude doesn’t own a Wii.

Now that they know the Skype thing works, there really isn’t an excuse for Stu
and The Dude to not ever do a podcast again.

As Much As I Love Dolly, These Singers Need Bruce.


The Dude on the Right

Tonight’s mentor was Dolly Parton, and I know if I were there as a contestant I
would be screwed because rather than listening to anything she said I would be
just mesmerized with her, umm, voice.  Yea, her voice.  The only thing
I would be focusing on would be her big, giant, voice.

In any case, these
contestants overcame Dolly’s voices, I mean voice, and here’s how I thought they
did. (And, yes, the opening "April Fool’s Joke" during the she show was really
lame.  If they really wanted to do it right they would have teamed up with
ABC’s "Dancing With the Stars" and have millions of people wondering what was
wrong with their TV sets.)

Let’s go…

Brooke White
 – Sings – "Jolene"
 – A great song for her, and as much as I like her doing the acoustic
guitar thing I think she would be more potent if she wasn’t sitting on the stool
and able to "work" this song more.  She’s already got the fan-base so I
don’t think it will hurt her, but for "American Idol" this needed to be a
"performance" song.

David Cook
– Sings "Little Sparrow"
 – So David, this week, decides to actually do his own arrangement, and
Dolly had nice things to say about it.  The country fans might not like it,
I did, and although the singing was off a bit at time, who the hell cares? 
His confidence is growing and it shows, and for him, I hate to say it, but like
a dude named Daughtry, it might be better if he loses.

Ramiele Malubay
 – Sings – "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind"
 – She sings nice enough, but what a wrong genre for her to be in after
last week’s issues.  She’s not country, and she’s not rock and roll; I
think she needs a "Rihanna Week" to pull her out of her funk.  Sadly she
will probably be gone by that night because even though I like her spunk, but
she still seems scared.

Jason Castro
Sings – "Travelin’ Through"
 – Simple enough song, but I don’t think he has the fan base to keep him
going much longer.  For me I can’t envision him on a big stage, but rather
doing a lot of acoustic shows in the smaller clubs, with fans that love him. 
He hasn’t shown himself to be able to command a 20,000 seater, on a big old

Carly Smithson
– Sings – "Here You Come Again"
– This might sound wrong, sexist, or whatever, but she doesn’t have the look to
pull off this song.  Sure, her voice is good enough, but this song doesn’t
seem to to in her genre of music.  Randy and Paula (especially Paula)
really liked her, but Simon had his issues.  I agree with Simon.

– Sings – "Smokey Mountain Memories"
 – Dolly really loves him, she almost even cried.  Damn, I really like
this young dude, and even though his voice cracked a bit, on the slow songs he
seems to be fantastic.  I still, wish, that he would do something up-tempo
to see if can turn into a true performer instead of just wowing the dudettes.

Kristy Lee Cook
– Sings – "Coat of Many Colors"
 – Please tell me she is going to get off her butt and sing this song to
the audience because she is singing great enough in the country genre. 
Okay, she got up, and is still singing nice enough, but she needs to learn a lot
about performing, and if she wanted to get any mentoring from Dolly it would be
how to be a performer and not a singer – if I were her, for this song, I would
ask Dolly how I could touch her, umm audiences.  Sadly Kristy was boring as

Syesha Mercado
– Sings – "I Will Always Love You"
 – She sings purty enough, and I like her sitting on the piano.  She
comes across better looks-wise this week, but I really wish she could have
pulled off getting her butt off the piano for the ending of the song to really
blast it out for the crowd.  She almost had a chance to blow this song out
of the house, but instead just sang it.

Michael Johns
– Sings – "It’s All Wrong, But It’s All Right"
 – As much as I didn’t like a lot of his carrying on with this song, as a
"performer" and not a singer he was probably the best of the night, and since
Paula talked to long, and my TiVo flipped to "Dancing With the Stars" and "The
Biggest Loser," I’m not sure what Simon said.  Doesn’t matter, he did great
and should stick around until next week when I can re-adjust my TiVo Season
Passes so Idol doesn’t get clipped.

Let’s wrap this up…

The thing that sort of makes me sad is that pretty much everyone on the show
right now is great, or at least good singers, but only a few of them seem to
have the personalities to be performers.  Every one of them you can picture
singing in a smaller club, with a group of fans, but none of them have shown the
step to the next level.  I suppose Dolly Parton week wasn’t the time to see
that (although a lot of them should have gotten tips from her about being a
performer rather than a singer), but if the "American Idol" folks want to truly
groom any of these kids, bring on a Bruce Springsteen as a two-week mentor to
help them become a small-club person, which most of them already are, to a
stadium rocker, which he is.  Pimp The Beatles if you must, but teach them
Springsteen or The Rolling Stones.

That’s it for this one! 
I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

What’s New? A Podcast of: Why Johnny Fairplay Might be Gone, Goodbye Josiah, TV is Almost Back, and Getting Howard Stern off the Air.

The Dude on the Right is here for his Valentine’s Day podcast, and he doesn’t talk about love. Instead The Dude gives his analysis on Johnny Fairplay being booted from “Survivor: Micronesia” last week, feeling bad for Josiah who’s back living in his car after “American Idol,” and being happy some of his favorite TV shows will be back, soon. He is also worried that Howard Stern might be off the air soon recalling the movie “Spies Like Us” and the government looking to shoot down a “broken, spy” satellite.

What’s New? A Podcast of: Lot’s of Super Talk About a Bowl and Voting, Bob’s House Was the Best, and I Could Be A Stripper.

For another Monday The Dude on the Right is flying solo for a weekend wrap-up podcast, but that’s okay because this podcast is all about Super. The Dude talks about the Super Bowl, about Super (thanks for asking) Tuesday, his almost being a Super Stripper, and Super Bowl commercials. And speaking of those Super Bowl commercials, he thinks the most creative of the bunch actually came during the Super Bowl Pre-Game, a spot titled “Bob’s House” from Pepsi, which The Dude thinks they actually screwed up just tad. The hell with Justin Timberlake, if Pepsi wanted to make a stir they should have run “Bob’s House” during the big game, without the pre-explaination of what it was about.