Nick's Knacks Nick's Knacks

  • Huge Stones Required

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Our buddy “Marine Joe” Haas stopped in today, a fresh recipient of his aviator wings. Next stop, Whidbey Island, WA to fly the EA-6B Prowler. Here she is:

    Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

    And here’s what it’s like to land one (or land anything for that matter) on an aircraft carrier. You can fast forward to the catapult at about 2:45 for the real fun to begin:

    I soiled myself just watchin’ that!

  • No Thanks, Copperfield

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

    David Copperfield

    I am getting crushed via the e-mail machine today, following my on-air revelation that I turned down the opportunity to be a part of David Copperfield’s act in Vegas.  If you missed it, here’s the short of it:

    • One of Copperfield’s assistants, Bryan, approached me prior to the show and asked if I would like to be part of a demonstration about an hour into the show.  “You’ll be taking four giant slow motion steps on the stage,” Bryan said.
    • I declined.
    • “You’ll be on-stage with David,” Bryan pressed, leaning in and giving me the old raised eyebrows.
    • I declined again.
    • Bryan retreated with a “your loss” attitude.

    That’s basically how it went down.

    And you all have let me have it:

    • “You moron…that is a once in a lifetime opportunity!”  -Steve
    • “Are you stupid?”  -Bill
    • “No!  Seriously?  No!  You are an idiot.”  -Dan
    • “Dumbest move ever.”  -Andy
    • “I always thought you would be fun to hang out with.  I’m starting to think I’m wrong.”  -Tim

    And that’s just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

    Is being on-stage with David Copperfield that big of a deal? Because I said “no” I cease to be fun? I had no idea the old fun meter was such a fragile entity. I mean, I’m not minimizing Copperfield’s achievements or his place in the annals of pop culture. He’s David–freakin’–Copperfiled! That’s not lost on me. But if I wanted to be a magician’s assistant, I would have applied with the rabbit at the front desk.

    I bought a ticket to watch the great illusionist. I just wanted to have a drink, sit back, relax, and enjoy. That’s it. I think I’m still fun. Right? No?

    I climbed to the top of Guano Point at the Grand Canyon! That’s something a fun guy would do. Right? Tim, help a brother out.


  • Suggestion Box is Open

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

    Suggestion Box

    Last full day in Vegas. We have very little planned and will entertain any “must do” suggestions. Fire ‘em off in the comments section below. It might be worth your while. I don’t know what that means, but it sounds good.

  • Crazy…er no?

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    I’m not a huge heights guy. I can handle them when faced with them, but I generally do not intentionally seek them out. File today under “not generally.”

    In just a few hours, I will be venturing out onto this thing:

    I’ve watched several TLC programs on the Grand Canyon Skywalk, so I feel confident in the engineering and the execution of the structure. But now faced with the reality of what I am about to do, I have to admit, I’m feeling nervous – though my anxiety may be a bit misdirected. The odds of anything catastrophic befalling my visit are actually slightly more in my favor than the odds that I will be attacked by a cougar en route while pulling over for some scenic photography. Maino’s dream of having me grapple with a mountain lion just might come to fruition today!

  • Wayne or The Top?

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Wayne Brady - Creative Commons

    Photos courtesy of Creative Commons

    It’s not a bad day when your toughest decision is Wayne Brady or Carrot Top? The half price ticket booth has both shows available for the night – not sure which way to go.

    We saw Carrot Top last year and it was laugh out loud funny. I know, I know, it’s Carrot Top. I’m tellin’ ya, the dude brought it strong with a great combination of music, drops, current events, and of course props. I’m really curious to see his new material.

    On the other side, I’ve seen Wayne Brady before and he too made we chuckle audibly. And, Brady is at the Venetian. Nice. A little gondola ride before…a little cannoli after…tough to beat. Carrot Top requires passing through Excalibur, and consequently requires an immediate shower upon returning to the hotel.

    Tough call.

  • Vegas, Baby!

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

    Las Vegas

    My flight leaves in 3 ½ hours for Las Vegas. Yes, I know it’s hot there.

    Our man “Handicapper Dave” of hooked me up with some expert leans on the Crew for the weekend, so I’m hoping to secure enough cash to outfit my home with new windows (not likely, though, since I am a coward with my money).

    I will continue to blog from Sin City as much as I can, so please check back.

    Go Blizzard!

  • Oh No!

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Tough day for Maino.  His boyhood crush, Elke Sommer, hasn't exactly aged gracefully.  Can you even call this aging?  Goo!  What the heck happened?  She's not even 70!

  • 22,000 Big Ones

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Thank you to all who e-mailed “he’s never been in my kitchen” in response to our Ken O’Brien trivia question this morning. I am certain that I’ve never seen this episode of Cheers, for it is unforgettable. I can’t stop watching it:

  • USA! (clap-clap-clap) USA! (clap-clap-clap)

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

    American Flag with Eagle

    We are less than 15 minutes away from the big U.S./Algeria showdown on the pitch. I have made well known that I am not a huge soccer guy, but I dislike getting screwed even more than I dislike soccer. And in our go ‘round with Slovenia, we were hosed.

    FIFA has dismissed the ref from competition, but that works as well as the Monday morning manila envelope from the NFL that says, “Ah, sorry about that. Our boys in stripes blew it. Should have been a TD.”

    Luckily, it is not too late for our boys. A win…and we’re movin’ on.

    I'm all Slovenia this morning, as well.  How much fun would it be to oust England from the tournament? Not as much fun as say, France (a close second, though), but hey, France is already out! Take that, Jaque! Old Zidane getting’ a little taste of his own medicine:

  • Austrian Death Machine

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

    Our man Kevin called in to today’s show requesting a little something from the above group. The following is from their Wikipedia page:

    Austrian Death Machine is an American thrash metal project from San Diego, California, founded by As I Lay Dying vocalist Tim Lambesis to be a parody and tribute of actor and current California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's films.

    All right. I like San Diego. I like parody. I really like parody of the Schwarz. I even have a (small) soft spot for thrash metal as they are so described. In fact, Tool is a favorite of mine. There’s no way this could fail, right?

    Hmm. I’m not sure where to go with this, Kevin. Perhaps I’d like it more if they had mixed in a reference to Edward Furlong stealing lobsters from a Kentucky supermarket. That would have been pretty funny. But then, that’d be a parody of the cast of ‘Terminator’ not Schwarzenegger, but don’t you think that’s close enough?

  • Boo!

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Photo courtesy of Creative Commons


    I was sick all weekend long. Not “feeling a little under the weather” sick…but “buried a lot under the sheets sick.” So, I had a lot of time to do nothing. Unfortunately, that meant I had time to watch ‘Transformers.’

    TBS aired the Shia LaBeouf – Megan Fox feature a couple of times. It was my maiden voyage with the flick. I know, I’m a little behind, but it was one of those that I swore I would not pay $8 to see in the theater, but would rent when it came out. Never got around to renting it, either.

    I’m always leery to make the free version my first version of any Hollywood offering. But after taking it in, I’m convinced that it really doesn’t matter how you view ‘Transformers’ sucks. I imagine that ‘Transformers 2’ sucks twice as much.

    Boo ‘Transformers’…BOO!

  • That Guy Again

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Lakers repeat. WooHoo. Kobe now has more rings than Shaq. WooHoo. Ron Artest gets a championship. WooHoo. Phil Jackson’s kids make him another stupid hat (not sure if that’s true). WooHoo. Pau Gasol still hasn’t showered (pretty sure that’s true). WooHoo.

    I appreciate dominance in sports. I love dynasties. I love history rekindled. I love game 7’s. I really enjoyed this series. I did. I just hate the Lakers.

    I find L.A.’s cast to be almost entirely unlikeable – a foul taste complicated by the guy at the bar last night whose mouth was the lone entity louder than his outfit. You know the fella: Lakers hat tilted slightly off-center; Kobe jersey; 34inch waisted jeans barely clinging to his 32inch frame; black high tops…unlaced; appalled at every call against(the Lakers never committed a foul – just ask him); knows far better than 10-time NBA champion coach Phil Jackson how to motivate the team.

    Our softball team entered the bar at halftime. By the start of quarter 3, Celtics vs. Lakers had taken on a decidedly more focused tone. It was now Celtics vs. That Guy. Unfortunately for all but That Guy and his annoying chick, who found his display endearing and cheered it on at every opportunity, the Lakers emerged victorious.

    Then the real show started. Hands raised, he marched around the bar, composing himself on the pool table, thrusting the “Lakers” lettering of his jersey in the general direction of God only knows who, chanting MVP as Kobe took the trophy, ultimately standing before the TV with both hands over his mouth in an “I can’t believe they won” display of misguided astonishment.

    On a completely unrelated note, it’s good to see Jerry Buss back in the spotlight. The Wizard of Oz was such a long time ago.