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December 2, 2007

The Cougar Lounge - Slight Of Hand

"I don't read anything. I stay away from the internet, the papers and I don't watch the news."

- Arizona quarterback Willie Tuitama, last month after losing to last-place Washington. The Lounge has been told that - in between appearing in football games - Tuitama lives under a rock in a cave with some blind bat species in Borneo, and has his stats brought in every Tuesday by a local villager - but only one who does not criticize his passing.



"It sort of tasted like toilet bowl cleaner."

- One of the researchers, Dana Shires, who helped to concoct the original batch of Gatorade at the University of Florida, 42 years ago - recalling the first test batch of brew - before adding sugar and lemon juice.




"Can we have our money now?"

- Actress Tina Fey - in character as Liz Lemon in the comedy 30 Rock - shamelessly plugging Verizon Wireless phones, then looking into the camera and pleading for her loot.












They just don't make 'em like they used to. Sure, you have heard that phrase many times before - or maybe you hadn't and this is your first time [the Lounge will be gentle with you] - but either way, there is no denying the "truthiness" of that statement - especially this week, when the entire Lounge clientele mourns the passing of Evel Knievel. They just don't make motorcycles daredevils like that any more. Now they make 'em in China and they are made of synthetic rubber and they bounce all over the joint but never clear the 15th bus in the parking lot. When the Lounge was Lounge Jr. and could only serve Shirley Temples, Roy Rogers, near beer and virgin daiquiris and margaritas, Evel Knievel was king. When everybody else had lame G.I. Joe action figures, the Lounge constructed their own Evel Knievel action figure - out of parts of other action figures, yes, the Lounge was also part-evil mad scientist - propped him on a motorcycle [or, as Mother Lounge called them in those days - "motor-sickle"], constructed elaborate ramps and continuously flew him in a variety of death-dying leaps over books, cats, dogs, meatloaf, swimming pools and then, of course, the big one - the car in the driveway - which, as one big car, could be imagined to be 15 buses lined up end-to-end. Evel never disappointed. Like the real Evel almost was, he was indestructible - and, to a kid, this was both an honorable and valuable trait to possess - and despite losing an arm or a leg at times, never once complained about what went wrong with the jump. Similar to that jump at Caesar's Palace, he just came out of his coma, got his arm or leg popped back into place and prepared for the next big jump. They just don't make 'em like that anymore.


The Lounge has made no secret of its love for Canada and virtually everything Canadian, so we were quite pleased to learn that some Canadian universities - primarily those from our neck of the woods - would be interested in joining the NCAA for collegiate athletics purposes. The Lounge is, of course, all for this development as we can think of nothing better than, for example, going on a men's hoop road trip to Vancouver or Victoria. In fact, that might be a good pair of games to schedule for the future even if nothing ever comes of the University of British Columbia's attempted foray into NCAA-land. The trade-offs are all win-win. In exchange for the Canadians likely winning all the Division II NCAA titles in hockey - we Americans get to smoke Cuban ceegars unmolested, use loonies willy-nilly and enjoy the benefits of a generally non-Puritanical perspective on society and culture - which can include walking down the street and drinking a beer at 10am on as Sunday morning without getting verbally or legally accosted. Plus, lots of Smart cars, back bacon, fancy toques and Tim Horton's bits up there.

"These slow starts are gonna drive me to drinkin' and stop using my hot rod Lincoln!" complains Unrecognizable Johnson, about the Wazzu men's hoop team's seeming penchant for getting off to slow starts and roaring to life in the second half of their games.

Yes, it is a little disturbing - but only a little, because how disturbed can one really be when sitting at 7-0 and the 6th-ranked team in the country? - that the Cougars have been unable to put most teams away in the refrigerator where the eggs are cooling, the butter's hard and the Jell-O's jiggling [to borrow, shamelessly, from the legendary Chick Hearn] until the second half. Although, in the perfect world, he would like to not have to unnecessarily worry about matters in the second half, Wazzu head coach Tony Bennett has always said, it is more about "how you finish" than how you begin - and the Cougars have been finishing fantastically so far this season. Last week's latest come-from-behind win over Baylor was a win of gigantic proportions for a team to get so early in the year. You cannot advance in the Big Dance by winning the first half and losing the game and the Cougars showed the Bears how that worked. Going into a hostile environment - the Bears were similarly undefeated before the game - mirrored the type of atmosphere they will face every day they remain alive in the Big Dance and so far - against Boise State and Baylor - they haven't looked like the prettiest or best dancer on the dance floor but in the end, they have the wins to show for their efforts. Their next big test comes this week at Gonzaga - which will certainly qualify as their biggest non-conference test of the year - the Lounge consensus is that it is worth a third of their non-con grade.

"I like many of the candidates but some of them look like the mirror on the wall and I haven't talked to that mirror in months," says A Fictional Demented Character of Wazzu's national search for a new football head coach.

Some of the candidates mentioned in search articles have a definite WSU slant while others have a passing glimpse and others have only fringe connections. The Lounge is officially Switzerland [neutral] on the whole affair at this point in the process, as there is no consensus in the Lounge clientele for any particular candidate. However, there is a consensus for what qualities that candidate should possess - and the most notable amongst those is a clear intent to live in the 21st century - by far, one of the most desirable qualities for a head coach in today's society. They do not have to be adept at texting or objectively know their way around the online world as successful men's hoop head coach Tony Bennett does - but it is highly recommended that the newest coach have a strong mental grasp of new technology, new media and the roles - both positive and negative - they can play in future success. Creating or promoting an adversarial or head-in-the-sand approach toward the continually emerging and evolving natures of technology and media will only put Wazzu further behind the current cultural curve whereas embracing and/or acknowledging - particularly in circumstances advantageous to the program, can only bolster any program that selects such a pathway by giving an approving nod to the fan base that is the backbone - every single vertebrae of it - of collegiate athletics. By eliminating the desire to construct the Great Wall of China between athletic programs and new technologies/media with a foresight focused on open-minded perspectives toward this culture - as currently and specifically exemplified by younger head coaches with a closer connection to the culture - Wazzu will, ultimately, empower and build strong, perhaps even unbreakable, connections to their main fan base and give itself a greater chance for future success. Any failure to address this key element will hinder WSU's future success in football.


It is that time of year when Santa visits your backyard and hides eggs in the tall grass and then we all dress up as ghouls and goblins and light off fireworks on the neighbor's porch. Wait a minute…well, either that or David Lee Roth - and not, we repeat, not Sammy Hagar - tours again with Van Halen. One of those two. But if you are like most Americans and would really, really, really not like to have you, your kids or your relative's kids infected by lead poisoning from toys made in China, well, that seems a little far-fetched [given that most toy U.S. toy companies sold out to China years ago] but still perfectly reasonable to the Lounge. So we provide you with an alternative for finding, unleaded U.S.-Made Toys. With lead poisoning being identified as an unpleasant side effect of playing with Chinese-made toys [imagine that!] demand has been unprecedented for American-made toys and has overwhelmed the company. But no fear, there is no shortage of toys for pseudo-Santas to select from on the links on the site - there are riding toys for falling off and skinning one's knee, classic board games to classically try to cheat at ["Hey, they don't do that in the real bank!"] and flying toys for "putting somebody's eye out."

Finally, in accordance with the concept that the new Wazzu football coach being up to speed on the newest technological advances, the Lounge Scientists have developed a new system - named Shoogle - for cell phones that utilizes the phone's speaker and vibrator to simulate a sloshing liquid inside the phone, thereby allowing a person to give the phone a shake to warn of impending low power. The system can also simulate rattling bells for incoming calls or messages, when shaken, not stirred.

"It allows you to feel and hear the state of your phone instead of having to look," says Lounge Scientist #70, John Williamson, a researcher at Glasgow University in Scotland, whose team developed the system and who says any sound can be used for these purposes, and, reputedly, has bagpipes playing for his incoming messages

The Lounge is so making the sound of Evel Knievel's Caesar's Palace jump their cell phone sound.





+++++++sponsored by Clark's Restaurant+++++++++

Attention COUGAR Fans! Autumn has arrived and you have the hunger. How can you afford to go one day further without some tasty morsels from Clark's Restaurant in Grays Harbor - home of the Best Hamburger in Twin Harbors for eight consecutive years? Come in for the burger, fresh homemade fries and milkshakes concocted from homemade ice cream. Go ahead, we dare you to try and pass up more than 12 varieties of hamburgers to choose from, full dinners, lunch and full breakfast served daily. Clark's Restaurant 360.538.1487. Seven miles south of Aberdeen, Washington on Highway 101. Proud supporter of CougZone. Mention this ad for a free small ice cream.


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