Archive for January, 2014

Getting settled back in to life in NYC. Talked to a friend today who told me how miserable and cold it was in New York while we were in Minnesota. I simply talked about the -19 degree weather when we arrived and when we left, dropped the mic and walked out the door. Onto the links:

* Grantland discusses how Peyton Manning managed to have his best season ever.

Also from Grantland, a 30 for 30 short on the Atlanta bombing and Richard Jewell.

* Steven Seagal says the Olympics will be safe.

* New York Magazine with seven really good MTV Unplugged performances.

* Via David Grann, here’s Stanley Kubrick’s annotated copy of The Shining.

* Esquire spends some time with Michael Keaton.

* There will be a Sharknado 2. Plan accordingly.

Amtrak trek

Posted: January 30, 2014 by shawnfury in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Following a three-week stay in Minnesota, where we became the first people to voluntarily vacation in the state in January for 21 days and also experienced a pair of polar vortexes — one when we arrived, another when we left — we declined the wonders of air travel for the romance of the train.

A flight takes less than three hours and our train trip took 36 but I’d gladly do it again, even though I’m certain we never will again.


As I thaw out my South African wife experiencing her first dose of a Minnesota winter in six years, here are some links.

* Arrests have been made in the famous Lufthansa heist, immortalized in Goodfellas.

* A little family connection on this one. Nice piece in the Worthington Daily Globe by my old boss Doug Wolter on my uncle Mike Fury, the longtime women’s basketball coach at Minnesota West, and his assistant Rosalie Hayenga.

* Quiz: Guess famous SNL quotes from just an image or GIF.

* Story about George Orwell’s race to finish 1984 before he died.

* Ryan Leaf sabotaged his chances to get drafted by the Colts with the first pick.

* Everything that happened in Dr. Strangelove could actually have happened in real life.

* Is Justin Bieber turning into Corey Haim? I don’t know.

* Richard Sherman has gone from despised to respected this week. Here’s another take on the Seattle CB.

* The New York Times claims that ultra-marathon runners aren’t like normal people.

Over a joyful, crushing, blood-sugar-destroying 14 hours on Monday and into Tuesday morning, I was able, with remarkable precision, to approximate the 2013 Vikings season during a marathon season of Tecmo Super Bowl. I’ve written about Tecmo before. It’s my favorite video game ever and one I could write 5,000 words about at anytime. This week I went up to Wisconsin with my old friend Brandon to visit my cousin Matt. I was only there one day and night. But during that time — from 1 p.m. to past 3 a.m. — we played a season of Tecmo, conjuring up old memories of seasons past and creating new memories I’ll be cursing 15 years from now.


Two video streaming services seemed like one too many. So my crew recently dropped Netflix. For now. Odds are that we’ll be back, probably when it rolls out new seasons of “Orange is the New Black” or “House of Cards.”

The surviving platform: Prime Instant Video. Not because it’s better, but because it’s linked to free two-day shipping from Amazon. And I order a lot of stuff from Amazon. Billy Madison had nudie magazine day; I have Amazon shipment day – that’s when refrigerator-sized boxes (with smiley faces on the sides) arrive filled with diapers and baby wipes. It feels good to be stocked up in terms of poo extraction supplies. (more…)

If we learned anything Sunday in the NFC conference championship round it’s that football fans generally don’t like players on other teams.

How’s that for an epiphany? I mean, good luck finding insight like that anywhere else on the UltraNets.

By way of explanation, there are reasons to like all four semifinalists. The Patriots for their extended excellence and ability to get more wins from less talent; the Broncos for taking a chance on a supposedly kaput Peyton Manning and getting this far despite missing their head coach for part of the season due to health issues; the 49ers for revitalizing old-school methods – run the ball and defend like hell – in an era tilted toward the pass game; and the Seahawks for their undersized, underdog quarterback and ear-busting fans.  (more…)

This week’s top links, as voted by a blue-ribbon panel.

* Fascinating story with lots of surprising, tragic twists about someone who invented a superior golf club.

* What would NFL team logos look like if they were hipsters?

* A photographer went to take some photos of John Schneider and ended up being there when the actor received devastating news.

* Patrick Reusse on how Minnesotans get all excited whenever any new coach comes to the state.

* A quarterback’s wife left an AR-15 in the back of a rental car.

* The New York Times takes a look at the crush of must-see TV that’s pilling up on Sunday nights.

* Jezebel offered a $10,000 bounty for untouched images of Lena Dunham from her Vogue photo shoot, and their readers didn’t really approve.

* Bill Barnwell on why the 87th meeting between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady is different.


* Seth Meyers and Neal Brennan are funny guys. Vulture features an exchange between the two.

By Ari Boynton 
Guest blogger

I feel no shame in saying that Seattle, my hometown, has the worst fan base in the whole country – more fair-weather backers reside right here in the Emerald City than anywhere else. For good measure, Forbes once called this America’s most miserable sports city. (more…)

Disclaimer: These are the ramblings of an aging has-been. Yes, there are more important things to worry about. Yes, this sounds like someone screaming about people getting off his lawn. I know, I know.

On Tuesday night I braved the elements, walked two blocks and wandered into my old high school at Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton and watched the boys basketball team. The locals lost a two-point game. I wish the Bulldogs had won but the result also provided the one present all former players want: Evidence that my era’s team would have mopped the floor with these youngsters. What else could aging, graying, paunch-carrying middle-aged men want?


Another trip back home to Janesville, another trip down to the Fury catacombs. Previous excursions discovered books about how to be a man in 1886 and Alex Karras’s sexually disturbing autobiography. This time?

The People’s Home Library, published in 1916, from R.C. Barnum. The book is a library of “three practical books,” The People’s Home Medical Book, The People’s Home Recipe Book and The People’s Home Stock Book. In the compiler’s preface, Barnum wrote, “The authors have most heartily joined with the compiler in an earnest effort to make this in truth a most practical book for the People and we trust it will prove a real money-saver in the home.”

I have no idea where this book first lived or if it did indeed save people money at the start of the 20th century. But maybe it can still offer some good advice to those living in the early part of the 21st.