Friday, June 29, 2007

kevin durant to kansas city? maybe paul kariya too?

For whatever reason, I still want to root for Kansas City sports teams, even if I they weren't there when I was there. I have no connection to the Sacramento Kings, who moved out of KC in 85...but I would love to build a connection to the Kansas City Sonics. And what the hell, I'll take the Predators too if they want. I read an article about how they could build a great rivalry between the Blues...can you feel the excitement?

Here are my favorite teams right now in order:

KC Chiefs
.
.
.
.
.
Illini Hoops
Illini Football
.
.
Utah Jazz
KC Royals
.
KC Wizards
Chicago Blackhawks
KC Brigade

jay bilas isn't a good analyst. he's a great analyst.

If you watched the NBA Draft at all, you're laughing hysterically at that headline.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Softball 2007: Game Six

I didn't write a preview for this, partly because I've written two previews and we lost both of those...but this was still a huge game. Coming in we were 2-3 and tonight's opponent is 3-2. From what I can gather, in our 8 team division, 3 teams are fighting for first, 2 teams are fighting for last, and that leaves us, tonight's opponent, and the other team that we haven't played yet.

It would seem likely that we will finish anywhere from 4th to 6th in our division. Every team makes the playoffs at the end of the year, but getting a good draw is key. Winning tonight would be huge because we would own the tiebreaker and pass this team in the standings.

Unfortunately, I was told that I was only going to be able to pitch the second half of the game. Then the girl that was supposed to start was late, so I started pitching the first half of the game. My active innings are in black below:


Batting Stats for Game Six:

1st AB: 1B, rbi
2nd AB: walk (2B), rbi, run

Average: 1.000
Slugging: 1.000
2 rbi

Pitching Stats for Game Six:
4 IP
5 runs
0 K
0 BB

ERA: 8.75 and the win

Batting Stats on the Season:
13/23: 10 singles, 3 doubles, 8 runs scored, 4 walks, 4 rbi, 1 strike out.
Average: .565
Slugging: .696
OBP: .630

Pitching Stats on the Season:
47 innings pitched
58 runs
9 K
2 BB

ERA: 8.64
Record: 5-3

This was a really fun game, although I was deathly afraid that the relief pitcher was going to blow it. We played on a field that had wide fencing that extended past first base, which saved at least 2 errant throws, saving us a couple bases given up.

The four runs I gave up in the top of the 3rd were due to a couple fielding errors. It happens. And in the top of the 5th, our defense bailed out the relief pitcher--with an inning-ending double play on a caught line drive by the third baseman and catching the runner going back to second. If that slips through, that's a couple runs and there's only one out. Big time defense. I think in the top of the 6th, the same third baseman covered home and tagged the runner out on a would be home run. His bench was telling him to go home and I think he slowed up a little bit.

My second at bat was a key part of our 9-inning rally. (Walks to guys with a girl on deck means the guy takes second and the girl takes first.) Situation was runners on first and second with one out, and a girl behind me that we recruited that I don't think had ever played before. We needed the minimum 4 girls so there she is. After fouling a pitch off, I had a 1-1 count, and then waited for 3-1. The next pitch looked like a strike but I took it anyways, and the ump said it missed the plate. So now I take second, the "automatic out" that was on deck is now on first, the bases are loaded, I drove in a run, and there's only one out. I would score from second on the next play, on an infield ground ball. There was a play at the plate, and I avoided the tag standing up.

I was pitching some nasty stuff, hitting all kinds of corners of the plate. Getting a 0-2 count on a solid hitter, than making her chase an away ball. I caught a ball that might have been in foul territory. I was feeling good out there...

And then in the top of the 5th, the first thing the relief pitcher does is walk a guy with a girl behind him, the equivalent of two walks. She later walked at least one more batter. (We also had our second baseman--who has been playing all season--not realize that she had to tag a runner when there wasn't a force out. She later ran on a pop-up with one out, an easy double play.

Also, I feel like my batting and slugging averages deserve to benefit from my walks, especially tonight when I got to take second. Oh well.

In the game: we outscored them 12-5
On the bench: they outscored us 7-4

Team Record: 3-3

actual ebay feedback i've received

studio 60...the model of modern network tv show

Pop Quiz: Name the two shows with the best writing from this decade.

And so, it shouldn't be a great surprise that Studio 60 is going the way of Arrested Development. A shame, yes. But not a surprise.





And for the record, this is my 500th post.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

still waiting to see last year's trophy

Apparently, just like the Stanley Cup, there is only one trophy for the softball tournament and our name is engraved on it for our 2006 victory. Of course we never saw it, not even a picture, although they said they'd try and get us a picture sometime soon.


Tired Of Traffic? A New DOT Report Urges Drivers: 'Honk'

Monday, June 25, 2007

greatest pitching staff ever?

Buehrle to the Red Sox?

If it happens, Boston could be in the playoffs with a rotation of Beckett, Dice-K, Schilling, and Buehrle. I don't know enough about baseball to rank that possibility historically, but here's some notable rotations I've found:

1907 Cubs
1951 Indians
1971 Orioles
1975 Reds
1996 Braves

I'm sure that I'm omitting others but that's what I found...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

five kilos

Even though I've run 5000 meters three times now, if I do it faster it feels like I'm doing something I've never done before. New personal best: 5k in 34:15.

Previous 5k times:
6.3.07 -- 36:55
5.15.07 -- 37:15

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Softball 2007: Mid-Season Tournament

As defending champions (I can't say that enough) we were given a first-round bye, meaning our first game is at 10 instead of 9...plus that puts us in the elite 8 to start--last year we won 4 in a row to win it all. This year it would take 3 in a row.


First Game: Quarterfinals



Batting Stats for Tournament Game One:
1st AB: ground out
2nd AB: ground out
3rd AB: 1B

Average: 0.333
Slugging: 0.333

Pitching Stats for Tournament Game One:
6 IP
4 runs
1 K
1 BB

ERA: 4.66 and the loss

Just like that, we were knocked into the losers' bracket. We played good defense, had a few errors, but fairly solid. But everything we hit was ground outs. I give a lot of credit to their pitcher for that.

So now every team that lost their first game was reassigned into a consolation bracket and we'd be back in the elite 8 for that. Except that our next game was forfeited by the opponent. Someone said, "You don't want to play them anyways, you'd kill them." Perhaps it would have been a good game to pad our stats, but it sounds like we didn't really catch a break.

Eventually, we got to play again:

Second Game: Semifinals (Consolation Bracket)



Batting Stats for Tournament Game Two:
1st AB: walk, run
2nd AB: double
3rd AB: 1B, rbi
4th AB: walk

Average: 1.000
Slugging: 1.500

Pitching Stats for Tournament Game Two:
7 IP
4 runs
1 K
0 BB

ERA: 4.00 and the win

This wasn't even as close as it sounds. They hardly had any hits. Their run in the 2nd was a solo home run. Later in the 7th with two out, the same guy had a 3-run home run. Funny thing is the guy with all their rbi, doesn't even play for their team.

They moved me from the #2 spot to leading off, and it felt good. It also made sense, because I can't hit for power, but I have one of the better obp. Also, one of the best defensive plays was just a smart decision I made in the 7th. There was one out, and at least one runner on first. It was hit softly down the first base line and I could have tried to make the play to 2nd, but with a 6 run lead, I got the easy out at first. It wasn't flashy, but it was key to get outs no matter what.

So that puts in the finals of the losers' bracket:

Third Game: Finals (Consolation Bracket)


Batting Stats for Tournament Game Three:
1st AB: strike out on fouls
2nd AB: 1B, run
3rd AB: 1B, run
4th AB: fly out

Average: .500
Slugging: .500

Pitching Stats for Tournament Game Three:
7 IP
5 runs
5 K
0 BB

ERA: 5.00 and the win

We won the losers' bracket and it was clear we were better. The other team had plenty of weak hitters, hence the 5 strikeouts. We had some errors, but were fairly sharp defensively. With a runner on 2nd, the ball was hit back to me and saw the runner going, so we got the tag at 3rd. I made one catch on a pop-blooper going between the mound and second base. I didn't think I would be able to get there, but I just stuck out my hands and there it was.

In the 7th, I got the first two batters out unassisted. Then I got a first pitch strike on the next batter and was hoping to strike her out to end the tournament. She grounded out, which I guess is good enough.

We could probably beat that first team on a different day, but if we got to the final four in the winners' bracket, we wouldn't have stood a chance against those teams. So I think it worked out pretty well how it did. What's really amazing, is that last year we were able to pull off a ridiculous run and win the whole thing. Our main rival (the other team from our newly merged company) who just schooled us on Thursday, ending up winning the whole thing. So at the celebration party at the bar, they said "You all played hard, even if the people from [company name] played harder than others. As they won both the championship and consolation bracket." That was pretty cool.

Oh yeah, and after we won, they someone asked who gets the game ball...and everyone starting saying my name. Our 1B was talking about my five strikeouts and who am I to turn down the game ball? So I'll put it right next to the one from last year.


Batting Stats for 2007 Tournament:
5/9: 4 singles, 1 double, 2 walks, 3 runs, 1 rbi, 1 strike out

Average: .555
Slugging: .666
OBP: .636

Pitching Stats for 2007 Tournament:
20 IP
13 runs
7 K
1 BB

ERA: 4.55
Record: 2-1

Batting Stats on the Season:
12/22: 9 singles, 3 doubles, 7 runs scored, 3 walks, 2 rbi, 1 strike out.
Average: .545
Slugging: .682
OBP: .600

Pitching Stats on the Season:
43 innings pitched
53 runs
9 K
2 BB

ERA: 8.63
Record: 4-3

THIS is the moliest thing I've ever heard

For the record, no videos submitted by me/niraj are elgible in any mock drafts. So don't get any ideas, cough Mark cough.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Softball 2007: Mid-Season Tournament Preview

Through 4 games, I was convinced that we were better than our 2-2 record. Now that we're 2-3, with me a 2-2 record as starting pitcher, and on a 2-game losing streak...I'm not convinced that we're as good as 2-3. In our third game, we were one hit away from collapsing in the 7th inning. And our opening day win was solid, but mainly due to a multitude of fielding errors by the other team.

Right now we don't seem very good.

What is remarkable is that's exactly how we were last year--and then we came into the mid-season tournament, needed me to come in as a relief pitcher in the first game as my first pitching experience, and proceeded to win 4 games in a row and win the tournament. The team we beat soundly in the final game last year, is the same team that's undefeated this year.

Smart money on tomorrow's tournament (if it gets played--weather report says it will rain all morning) is that we won't do very well. But I believe that we start with a 1-1 count, which could lead to some strike outs and maybe we'll catch some breaks.

These won't count towards our regular season record, but I'll keep all other stats normally.

And as for the sports world right now, it's summer and I don't really care about anything else right now.

apparently, chopping the feet off of a 13-year old girl isn't good for your stock price

Softball 2007: Game Five


I don't even want to talk about this.






Batting Stats for Game Five:
1st AB: 1B
2nd AB: pop out
3rd AB: ground out

Average: 0.333
Slugging: 0.333

Pitching Stats for Game Five:
6 IP
14 runs
0 K
0 BB

ERA: 16.33 and the loss

Batting Stats on the Season:
7/13: 5 singles, 2 doubles, 4 runs scored, 1 walk, 1 rbi.
Average: .538
Slugging: .692


Pitching Stats on the Season:
23 innings pitched
40 runs
2 K
1 BB

ERA: 12.17
2-2 record

This was a beatdown of epic proportions. We got smoked. They are NOT who we thought they were.

This was our big rival? This had all the excitement of the DMV. It wasn't even disappointing to lose, we were just outmatched the whole time.

I pitched well, hardly any balls when I didn't want them. Made a few good defensive plays from the mound. Got a nice line drive on the opening at bat, and that's all I could do at the plate.

One thing I noticed is how professional they were in the field. They didn't make a single error. We had at least 4 balls go out of play, a few thrown past the first basemen, a few errant throws to home.

We couldn't get anything going offensively, couldn't make smart plays in the field. It was a disaster.

Team Record: 2-3

Thursday, June 21, 2007

0%

Ric Bucher on Sports Guy podcast says there's a 0% chance that Kobe is on the court for the Lakers on opening day, citing either a trade or a holdout.

Really? Zero? All I know is that nothing is ever certain. Remind me to come back to this in the fall.

Sicko


"If people ask, we tell them Sicko is a comedy about 45 million people with no health care in the richest country on Earth." - Michael Moore

I went to a sneak preview for Michael Moore's new documentary, Sicko. But it's not about the people who don't have health coverage. I found it to be eye-opening regarding the Americans who do have health coverage, and how much is actually "covered".

The film basically covers 3 parts. The first gets into horror stories of how insurance companies deny coverage, try to cancel policies once people need expensive treatment, and lobby their way to keep the system in place. One example was a woman who was approved for an operation, had the operation, then had the money revoked because they claimed she didn't properly disclose all of her medical history on the insurance application. Her omission: a yeast infection.

The second part is Moore's trips to Canada, England and France to see their Universal Health Care. To see everyone repeatedly laugh in his face or just look confused when he asks how much it costs to go to the emergency room or have a baby or get prescriptions.

In the third part, Moore takes 9/11 rescue workers to Cuba to get free healthcare. And you see that they are providing high quality care to their citizens, and they don't understand why America can't do the same.

This is Michael Moore's best film. The strongest part was not the gut-wrenching stories, or the political grandstanding of trying to get access to the healthcare at Guantanamo Bay...the strongest part was where he didn't have to confront anyone...the strongest part was seeing how happy and normal everyone in Canada, France and England was with their free coverage. How they were able to choose their doctors and they didn't even have long waits--common criticisms that we hear of UHC.

Softball 2007: Game Five Preview

Generally speaking it's hard to have a must-win game at the mid-point of a season, but that's what we're facing tonight. Except we don't even know if we're going to be able to play.

We're 2-2 facing our #1 rival, who happens to be 3-1. We know there's also a 4-0 team (game 4 opponent), and presumably another 3-1 team (game 2 opponent) as well.

Those teams are so solid, it's reasonably to assume they'll be 5-0, and 4-1 after tonight. If we lose our rival will also be 4-1 and we'll be 2-3. That's ugly. That puts us in a position for a first round-playoff matchup against a top team. [Every team makes the playoffs, but our team hasn't made it out of the first round, at least in the generation of our captain, which is all I have to go on. We're the Tracy McGrady of Advertising softball.]

But if we win, we'll be 3-2 and own the tiebreaker over our rival who will also be 3-2. Which could prove important for getting a favorable first round matchup.

With all that on the line, I should be really nervous, and I am getting a little worked up typing all this, but I haven't been thinking about it too much. Because the weather report says its going to rain. It's still clear but a little gray right now.

Looks like a game-time decision.

Update: Less than 3 hours to the first pitch and clear skies. Captain says the games are still on.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Friday, June 15, 2007

Housing Markets

I'm a flip flopper. With in the last few weeks, I've gone back and forth in my mind about where we should live next: Chicago or St. Louis area. Two weeks ago, I was convinced Chicago was the obvious answer. Now, I'm pro-STL. Who knows where we'll end up. But this is interesting:

Here is a typical house in O'fallon that we could afford, and there are TONS of them. This isn't even the cheapest or anything.


Now there's two ways to compare that to Chicago. The first is what we can get for the same money around the neighborhood we're in now:


That's a one bedroom, 1 bath, with no backyard, no nothin'. It doesn't list a square footage, but the apartment we have now is about 800 square feet, so that's a rough estimate.

The other way to compare it would be to find the price of a similar space in Chicago:

That's the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms, but you still don't get a backyard.


Housing isn't the only factor to consider, but I would really love to have a backyard with a reasonably sized basketball court, a grill, maybe a deck. I'd love to have a real house like I grew up in. In fact, the houses we're looking at are even bigger and better than the houses I grew up in. It's ridiculous.

my job is hard, part two

We had a going away breakfast for someone on our team, so I showed up at the restaurant at 9:30 and had some french toast. We sat around talking until 11, when we came into the office. For the first hour I caught up on emails, wrote some posts, and that was about it. Around noon I popped in Deja Vu, the 2006 Denzel movie, on DVD. This was the first time I've ever watched a DVD at work, and it was fantastic. I mean the experience was good, and the movie was better than expected too.

So now it's 2:30, and I'll probably be able to get out of here pretty soon.

Previously: my job is hard, part one

Are the Spurs a Dynasty?


I'll refrain from widely covered topics unless I feel like I have something unique to add the discussion. With all the opinions flailing about on whether 4 championships in 9 years makes them a dynasty, I haven't heard the following statement from anyone:

You can't count their 1999 title in the discussion. For dynasty discussion purposes, they've won 3 in 5.

There are a couple good reasons why their 1999 title is irrelavent:

1. Roster

Tim Duncan is their only current Spur that was on their 1999 team. Their nucleus of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli and Bruce Bowen were not holding up 4 fingers last night, they were holding up 3. It's not the same Spurs team at all--the 1999 had David Robinson in a starring role.

2. Laker's Dynasty

If you try and include their 99 title, that means that the Spurs Dynasty would be dated 1999-2007. The problem with that is there is a bonafide Laker's Dynasty dated 2000-2002. And they're in the same conference. If the Spurs are an 9-year dynasty, how could another dynasty surface in the middle? It's simple, they couldn't.

3. It weakens their current accomplishment

3 in 5 is a lot stronger than 4 in 9. It suggests dominance over a shorter timespan, than merely good teams over a decade.

4. They didn't come close in 2000-2002.

In 2000, they lost in the first round.
In 2001, they were swept by the Lakers in the Conf. Finals.
In 2002, they lost to the Lakers in 5 in the Conf. Semifinals.

Those are not 3 seasons that should be considered as the middle of a 9 year dynasty.


In closing, my point is not whether or not the Spurs are a dynasty, my point is that when deciding, you should only consider 3 in 5.

More Softball Thoughts

After the game, as I was watching the Spurs overpower the Cavs, I couldn't help but compare our opponent to the Spurs, and us to the Cavs. We knew going in they were a better team and that was that.

After I thought a little harder, I thought that we were more like the Utah Jazz than the Cavs-we're not a one-star team. I could make the case that I'm Deron Williams, and that he played well in the Conf. Finals, but he can only do so much.

As for playing defense, it's one thing to have to guard the Warriors, it's another thing to go up against the Spurs. Our softball defense is decent, but we couldn't contain last night's opponent.

Ninja Warrior

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Softball 2007: Game Four

I was afraid of this. In the first loss, by the time I entered the game it was 10-2, plus we mounted a little mini comeback. But I was afraid that there would come a game where I was pitching the whole time, and gave up a bunch of runs.

Tonight was a battle for the logjam at first place, facing the only 3-0 team in the division. We were the visitors and jumped out to a 7-2 lead after two innings, but couldn't hold on to the lead.



Batting Stats for Game Four:
1st AB: 2B
2nd AB: 1B, run
3rd AB: 1B, rbi, run
4th AB: ground out

Average: 0.750
Slugging: 1.000
1 rbi

Pitching Stats for Game Four:
6 IP
18 runs
0 K
1 BB

ERA: 21.00 and the loss

Batting Stats on the Season:
6/10: 4 singles, 2 doubles, 4 runs scored, 1 walk, 1 rbi.
Average: .600
Slugging: .800


Pitching Stats on the Season:
17 innings pitched
26 earned runs
2 K
1 BB

ERA: 10.70
2-1 record

It was a disappointing loss, especially since we had the lead. But looking back, except for the one walk I gave up, there wasn't anything I could have done differently. They are a great team, even their girls can hit for power, and they have some great fielders too. They made a few errors in the first two innings, but settled down after that.

They were patient hitters, forcing me to throw strikes. I got behind a 2-0 count and was able to not give up a walk. Later I got an 0-2 count and threw an inside pitch that he was able to turn into a base hit anyways.

On the bases I got tagged out the first time running from 2nd to 3rd, then scored the next two times on base. In fact, I managed to do the same play I got tagged out on last game, where I ran from 1st to 3rd on an infield ground ball with a close play at 2nd. She caught the ball in time but didn't touch the base, so I kept on running. Their infield was arguing that I was out while I was still running to 3rd and made it safely.

The real reason that we lost was that they had great hits and we made a bunch of errors on their easy hits. At least 3 times, our infield threw it past the first baseman. Also, I think it was a case of our first half team being a lot stronger than our 2nd half team.

After 3, we were up 7-6, and after 3.5 we were up 11-6.
Then the 2nd half team came up and made a bunch of errors and couldn't get anything going offensively either.

It feels like we're a lot better team than just 2-2, but what can you say.

And as for my ERA, there's a lot of those runs that shouldn't be earned, but it's impossible to keep track. I can't even keep track of how many runs are scored until I check with the scorekeeper, let alone which were earned and which were unearned. So my ERA's bloated, but that's okay.

Team Record: 2-2

Softball 2007: Game Four Preview

Even though the playoffs start in week 15, there are only 9 regular season softball games. (Rain outs, and all-star break make up the off weeks.) So even though it feels like we just started, going into Game 4 with a 2-1 record, this is a crucial game.

The team we play tonight is the only undefeated team in the division. Last week, they beat the team that gave us our only loss (so now that team is 2-1 as well). So if we win tonight, there could be at least three teams sitting at 3-1.

Game 5 is against our main rival, who might also at 2-1 right now. If we go into that game at 2-2, our season could well be on the line. We're at a winning record right now, but could easily be either 2-3 or 4-1 in two weeks.

As for our chances tonight, we're playing the team that beat us in the first round of the playoffs last year. It was a game that I pitched, and was very close. I think we're a better team this year, but who knows, their team might have changed as well.

If I get to pitch the whole game, I feel like it's on my shoulders. That if I can keep them to 3 runs or less, we have a great shot of winning. But no matter how solid the defense is, it's not that hard to string together some line drives and get a rally going.

We're going to need to bat a lot better than we did last week.

My brain says that they're probably the better team, but my gut says that I've pitched 4 straight shutout innings and if we can make it a close game.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

hoagie central now completely in HD

While I won't rule out any future changes, the new design is completed. Of course there's the new header, new navigational buttons, and it's now in widescreen. For posterity, here's what it used to look like, and the current version in case I change it again.


Whoa, meta.

somehow I'm not convinced that Danica Patrick would call herself a cheerleader

(screenshot taken from SI.com)

mac vs parfait

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

one of my favorite music videos

From the Beastie Boys, it's the Fatboy Slim Remix of "Body Movin'"

Monday, June 11, 2007

quotes from the books of the only author i read, chuck palahniuk

What would Marilyn Monroe be doing if she were alive right now? Clawing at the lid of her coffin.

It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.

If you could be God's worst enemy or nothing, which would you choose?

This is why I loved the support groups so much. If people thought you were dying, they gave you their full attention. If this might be the last time they saw you, they really saw you… People listened instead of just waiting for their turn to speak. And when they spoke, they weren’t telling you a story. When the two of you talked, you were building something, and afterward you were both different than before.

A minute of perfection was worth the effort. A moment was the most you could ever expect from perfection.

Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.

Our fathers were our models for God. If our fathers failed, what does that tell you about God?

Look up at the stars and you're gone. Not your luggage. Nothing matters. Not your bad breath. The windows are dark outside and the horns are blaring around you. The headlights are flashing high and low and high in your face, and you will never have to work again. You will never have to get another haircut.

This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time.

I want to have your abortion.

I just don't want to die without a few scars.

You know that saying about how you always kill the one you love? It works both ways.

You just had a near life experience.

If I can't be beautiful I want to be invisible.

When did the future switch from being a promise to a threat?

Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I've ever known.

When we don't know who to hate, we hate ourselves.

Your birth is a mistake you'll spend your whole life trying to correct.

Beauty is power like money is power like a gun is power.

Your heart is my pinata.

Given the choice between grabbing a strange tongue and watching a monster poop into a giant snail shell, the face retreats and slams the door behind it.

The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person.

There are worst things you can do to the people you love than kill them. No matter how much you think you love somebody, you'll step back when the pool of their blood edges up too close.

As soon as we become boring we die. Never ever become boring.

Today is the kind of day where the sun only comes up to humilate you.

Reality means you live until you die...the real truth is nobody wants reality.

The only difference between martyrdom and suicide really is press coverage.

It's only in drugs or death that we experience anything new and death is just too controlling.

Everybody thinks their whole life should be at least as much fun as masturbation.

What we call chaos is just patterns we haven't recognized yet.

Since change is constant, you wonder if people crave death because it is the only way they can really get anything finished.

The only thing I know is everything you love will die. The first time you meet that someone special, you can count on them one day being dead and in the ground.

Right now, me getting killed would be redundant.

The cultures that don't castrate you to make you a slave, they castrate your mind. They make sex so filthy and evil and dangerous that no matter how good you know it would feel to have sexual relations, you won't.

The joke is, we all have the same punch line.

Nothing is ever as good as you can imagine it

Just keep asking yourself: 'What would Jesus NOT do?'

Art never comes from happiness.

Until you find something to fight for, you settle for something to fight against.

I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a hot-gushing, butt-cramping, gut-hosing orgasm.

Without access to true chaos, we'll never have true peace. Unless everything can get worse, it won't get any better.

Maybe we don't go to hell for the things we do, maybe we go to hell for the things we don't do.

There are no ghosts. When you die, you're dead. There's no afterlife. People who claim they can see ghosts are just looking for attention. People who believe in reincarnation are just postponing their lives.

The only biodiversity we're going to have left is Coke versus Pepsi.

After long enough, everyone in the world will become your enemy.

What you don't understand you can make mean anything.

Just for the record, the weather today is bitter with occasional fits of jealous rage.

Leonardo's Mona Lisa is just a thousand smears of paint. Michelangelo's David is just a million hits with a hammer. We're all of us a million bits put together the right way.

Just for the record, she still loves you. She wouldn't bother to torture you if she didn't.

We have no scar to show from happiness. We learn so little from peace.

You can't unfuck a kid. Once you fuck a kid, you can't get that genie back in the bottle.

It's been fourteen weeks since I had that head cold and you still have not kissed me.

If you don't work, you don't sleep. Day and night, you're half awake, bored.

You can spend your whole life building a wall of facts between you and anything real.

If you love something set it free...but don't be surprised when it comes back with herpes.

This is just what human beings do--turn objects into people, people into objects.

If death meant leaving the stage long enough just to change costumes and become a new character, would you speed up? Or slow down?

That's the American Dream: to make your life into something you can sell.

Some stories, you use up. Others use you up.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

summer movies on my list

knocked up
ocean's 13
evan almighty
live free or die hard
sicko
simpsons
bourne ultimatum
brothers solomon

*of course some of these I won't end up seeing until they're on DVD, but I'm still looking forward to them. and oh yeah, this comes out in december.

Friday, June 08, 2007

i can't ignore the chiefs any longer


The Chiefs roster has gone through quite a bit of changes from the 2003 team that went 13-3. It's time to look at the depth chart.

QB
Goodbye Trent Green, he put up hall of fame numbers for a few seasons, even if he won't get a sniff of Canton. I really wish him the best in Miami, and I'm glad the Chiefs/Dolphins are only playing in the preseason. That said, I wish that he hadn't started in the playoffs because he wasn't nearly as comfortable back there as Huard at the end of 06. Huard was great last year, but that doesn't guarantee anything for 07, and I'm curious if Brodie Croyle could be a future star.

RB
Larry Johnson. As long as his legs don't fall off, this position is pretty solid. Bennett proved he's a reliable backup and they drafted Kolby Smith out of Louisville too.

O-LINE
Before last season, Roaf retired and now this offseason Shields is hanging up the cleats. The Chief's offensive success throughout the late 90's/early 00's could be credited to their O-line, and now it's in question.

TE
Although Gonzalez feels like he's been a star forever, he's only 31, hasn't slowed down and just signed a 5-year extension. Dunn and Wilson are solid other options.

WR
Eddie Kennison is 34 and in his last two seasons, set personal best for yards in a season. Samie Parker is okay too but they still don't have a standout wideout. Will it be their #1 pick from this year, Dwayne Bowe?

D-LINE
Should be good, anchored on the outside with Hali and Allen, with new draft picks that will hopefully get some playing time in the middle.

LB
Derrick Johnson is money. Donnie Edwards returns to the Chiefs, that's good news. Between Fox, Bell and newcomer Napoleon Harris, I have high hopes for the Chiefs defense.

DB
Surtain and Law are old, but hopefully can stay solid for a couple more seasons.

ST
Why did they let Tynes go? It's hard to find a good kicker. I know nothing about their new draft pick Medlock, but he's got some medium-large shoes to fill. Colquitt is money too. A good punter is a nice bonus thing to have. And of course, Dante is no longer returning kicks but hopefully some of our young receivers can make something happen.


I'm more optimistic now that I was, but the biggest question mark is on the offensive line. After that, can Huard repeat his 06 success? Will the defense be as good as I think they can be? Will the draft choices at WR and K come through? The early look says this is likely an 8-8 team.

I was inspired by this video via Deadspin. You don't have to watch the whole thing, just skim a little and go to the last minute, to see what it's like when I watch a big Chiefs game.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Softball 2007: Game Three

Well, last week was a rain out while I was away in New York, so I didn't up missing a game. Our last game was a 12-7 loss against the two-time defending champion, where we outscored them 4-2 in the 3 full innings I played. This week we were going up against a winless team that we beat 20-6 when we met last year. Needless to say, we were expecting a big win.

In fact, we had 17 people show up, taking batting practice, before anyone from their team arrived at the field. We even waited 10 minutes after the scheduled game time for them to get a full roster.

We were the visiting team and I was the starting pitcher, meaning I would be up to bat for 4 innings, and pitching for 3 innings. Oh and we'd be starting at 1-1 count since it was a late start. I assumed this meant that I would be able to get a lot of strikeouts, since a third strike foul is an out.


Batting Stats for Game Three:
1st AB: walk
2nd AB: FC

Average: 0.000
Slugging: 0.000
OBP: .500
0 rbi

Pitching Stats for Game Three:
3 IP
0 earned runs
0 K
0 BB

ERA: 0.00 and the win

Batting Stats on the Season:
3/6: 2 singles, 1 double, 2 runs scored, 1 walk, 0 rbi.
Average: .500
Slugging: .666
OBP: .571

Pitching Stats on the Season:
11 innings pitched
8 earned runs
2 K
0 BB

ERA: 5.09
2-0 record

They weren't that great of a team, and they almost beat us. I pitched 3 shutout innings and didn't allow that many hits either. The first walk was a great play because there was a girl behind me in the lineup. To prevent intentional walks to guys in order to get girls out, the rules state that any walk to a guy who precedes a girl, is awarded two bases, and the girl behind him goes to first. So it's the equivalent of two singles, without the risk of any outs.

(Later on in the game, with a 3-1 count one of our guys who preceded a girl, chased a pitch far out of the zone, and flew out. If he had laid off that pitch, it would have been much wiser.)

My second time up, I wanted to swing. On the first pitch with the 1-1 count, I fouled a big fly ball down the right field line. Now the count was 1-2 and I knew I had to make contact. I ended up grounding it back to the pitcher, who got the out at 2nd. But that meant I was still on first. The next play was a grounder to shortstop, and I was running so hard to 2nd that I couldn't stop, and I ran through to 3rd. I was called safe at 2nd, but they were able to regroup and throw me out a very close play at 3rd base -- yes, I was tagged before my hand touched the base. I was really mad that I grounded into a fielder's choice and also got tagged on the basepaths. But I left the game with a 2-0 lead, on a very windy day, without allowing any walks.

The pitcher for our 2nd half was pretty good, but she allowed either 3 or 4 walks. She gave up 2 runs in the 4th, but that was partly due to an E9.

In the top of the 6th with two outs, one of out batters hit a infield pop-up. Our runner from 2nd starting running for home, knowing there was two outs. Right after the ball was hit, a huge gust of wind started blowing towards home, and the 3rd baseman dropped the ball. That run would prove crucial.

Our pitcher took the mound in the bottom of the 7th, with a 4-2 lead. I was dying to come in for the save attempt, and was thinking about how cool it would be to record the win and get the save (yes I know that's impossible in MLB).

Anyways, they got some base runners on, and they added a run. The situation was now 4-3, runners on first and second with no outs. Everyone was really nervous, and we couldn't imagine losing to this team, especially after playing so well in our first two games. The ball was hit sharply to our shortstop, who tagged the runner moving from 2nd, and then flipped the ball to 2nd base. It was a close call, but the ump called the runner out, making it a key double play in the last inning. The next batter up grounded to the shortstop again, who made the routine play to first for the win.

It felt really good to win, but I wish that I could have been out there. Knowing that they didn't get anything going against me, I feel like perhaps I could have thrown a complete game shutout.

Team Record: 2-1

seriously though, about the nba finals

Here's what I said on May 21st:

Well, looking forward I think it's going to be:
Spurs in 5
Pistons in 6

Excuse me while I barf on my keyboard.

I'm back. Unless the Jazz magically have a run in them, or LeBron becomes LEBRON, I'm officially over the 07 playoffs.

Well LEBRON did just that, and I'm on board until the Spurs get a 3-0 or 3-1 lead in the series. I was dead right about the Spurs and dead wrong about the Pistons. As for the Finals prediction, it's going to be Spurs in...

Six.

Too much coaching.
Too much Duncan.
Too little help from Cavs teammates.

But if I'm wrong, and LEBRON is wearing a ring in 2 weeks, I'll be smiling. And I'll be a witness.




i can't wait for the nba finals and stanley cup playoffs to start

I remember it clearly, the summer of 2002. Here's a recap:

May 18, 2002: Game 1: Avalanche-Red Wings; Game 1: Lakers-Kings
May 20, 2002: Game 2: Avalanche-Red Wings (OT); Game 2: Lakers-Kings
May 22, 2002: Game 3: Red Wings-Avalanche (OT)
May 24, 2002: Game 3: Kings-Lakers
May 25, 2002: Game 4: Red Wings-Avalanche
May 26, 2002: Game 4: Kings-Lakers
May 27, 2002: Game 5: Avalanche-Red Wings (OT)
May 28, 2002: Game 5: Lakers-Kings
May 29, 2002: Game 6: Red Wings-Avalanche
May 31, 2002: Game 6: Kings-Lakers; Game 7: Avalanche-Red Wings
June 2, 2002: Game 7: Lakers-Kings (OT)

That was incredible. And it forever cemented the idea in me, that the NHL Playoffs and NBA playoffs should be regarded as a dual force, with games ideally being played on alternating nights, creating one of the best times of the year for sports.

But it never really happened. The NHL had a lockout and now I can't even watch a playoff game, even if I wanted to.

hoagie central now in HD

Starting today, all fonts will now be in high definition.

If you are not seeing fonts in HD, make sure you have isntalled the appropriate plug-ins. You can do so here. If that doesn't work, please call your service provider.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

i'm still mad at myself

I was making a nice big dinner after arriving home starving...I had 2 frozen fish filets (that's one serving) in the oven, and some pasta on the stove. I was excited because I haven't had that much pasta lately and I was going to try Newman's Own Italian Sausage pasta sauce. I'm a huge fan of his sauces, and this was going to be my first taste of a meat variety.

So I got the sauce on the stove, and I like to add fresh spices to everything, so I started with grinding some sea salt, grinding fresh black pepper and then I grabbed the garlic powder. And I even checked to make sure there wasn't any garlic in the sauce, so I wouldn't make it too garlicky. But there wasn't so I added a bunch. And then I realized that I didn't grab the garlic at all. I grabbed the cinnamon-sugar.

I ate it anyways, and it tasted okay, but clearly not what it was supposed to taste like. I'm still not over it, almost 24 hours later.

this is the moliest dvd i've ever seen


Luckily, I've got Blockbuster online so I can rent them for practically nothing. I just hope they send all 3 discs close together...I'd hate to have the moliest cliffhanger.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

critical mass/critical mess

So here's the deal: There's a worldwide organization, with a sizable following in Chicago, called Critical Mass. On the last Friday of every month, they get together in a group and ride bicycles through city. They are pro-bike, and to a varying extent depending on the rider, anti-car.

The issue is that when they ride, they form a pack, miles long, that takes over the street and rolls through intersections, taking about 10-15 minutes to clear an intersection. Meanwhile, all of the other traffic, cars and pedestrians, trying to cross the street can't go even when they have the green light or walk signs.

Even if it's not declared as their primary objective, the direct result of their ride is creating massive gridlock on city streets. And it's not just passenger cars, it stops buses, delivery vans, and earth-loving pedestrians as well. They also claim to be promoting bicycling as a form of green transportation, but are causing more fuel to be burnt as thousands of cars are idling in stopped traffic.

I understand cyclists want to ride their bikes, and that's fine, but even when you form a group, is it too much to ask, to stop at the red lights? Just because we're not riding a bike doesn't make us evil, and it doesn't mean that everyone should lose 15 minutes of their Friday night stuck waiting in traffic.

What is especially irritating is how they respond to people honking trying to get through. They yell "Happy Friday" as if they are just innocent, peace loving cyclists and everyone should get along. You're not innocent. Bikes have to obey traffic laws just as much as cars, and they're purposefully running red lights, about 10 in a row. You caused this massive gridlock and want to pretend like it's just awesome.

And I'm not anti-bike. I fully support Bike the Drive where they shut down Lake Shore Drive on a pre-determined Sunday morning. I think we need to get bike lanes next to the sidewalk instead of next to the parking lane. But please don't take my time away from me.

stirring national anthem

From "On Frozen Blog" via Deadspin, comes a reminder of how a national anthem should be sung: Game 4, Stanley Cup Finals, in Ottawa.

Monday, June 04, 2007

adventures in chefery

Perhaps inspired by Iron Chef America, I made a new dish and new cocktail, served independently.

First in the afternoon, I made a Paloma.

It's a perfect drink for summer:
  • 2 oz. of tequila (silver 100% agave, of course) I used 1800 brand
  • juice from a lime
  • grapefruit soda (diet squirt - no calories)
It was the first cocktail I'd had in months, and it was delicious. It reminded me of Mexico. If there was any day that I deserved one, it's after running a 5k. The only calories are from the tequila, and I think it's only about 60/ounce...so the cocktail had less calories than a coke.

Then around dinner, I made a Yukon Gold Mashed Potato Duo: Garlic and Chipotle

The secret is in the potato. The Yukon Golds have a buttery, yellow texture that is perfect for mashing easily, without even needed any additional milk or cream. Just boiled cubes, then seasoned, then infused half with butter and garlic, and the other half with chipotle tabasco. The flavors complimented each other and was a successful plate.

what the world eats


a photo essay from Time

I normally don't just link to other things, but this was too interesting to pass up.

Monday Morning Dose of Arrested Development



Sunday, June 03, 2007

another 5k


Today I ran another 5k at home on my treadmill. I finished with a time of 36:55. It's funny how hard something seems when you've never done it before--it seems impossible even. And yet after you do it once, the 2nd time just feels natural.

Previous 5k times:
5.15.07 -- 37:15

lolrocky part two

Saturday, June 02, 2007

lolrocky


I wish someone would explain this to me...

A Whirlwind Trip to NYC

How weird is it to wake up on Thursday in Chicago and have lunch in New York? About as weird as waking up on Friday in New York and having lunch in Chicago. It was that kind of trip.

Here are the pictures to prove it.

I woke up at 5 in Chicago to take two trains to O'hare. By noon I had landed at La Guardia and by one I was checking in to the W hotel in Manhattan (Union Square location).

But one of the best parts of the trip was flying in. I thought that I had heard in some 9/11 coverage that planes aren't allowed anywhere near Manhattan...well, we didn't fly over it per se, but we fly along side of it, traveling north over the Hudson River. And the first sign that I knew that I was looking at Manhattan was seeing Ground Zero. It's a lot bigger than I thought it was, and was shocking to see from above.

But before I had time to dwell on it, I was passing Madison Square Garden. And then the Empire State Building. And then Central Park and then Yankee Stadium. The whole island was beautiful and I was glad that I was seated on the right side window, so I could take advantage of the eastern view.

I checked into the W and the rate was 409. Per night. With taxes and everything it was 475. Are you kidding me? I'm glad I wasn't paying for it.

After checking in I went straight to Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill. And then I checked out the alli experience, the reason I was there. Now it was 2pm and I was stuffed. The only thing I had really researched was restaurants, so I wasn't sure what to do. I decided that even though it was really far, I should start walking towards Ground Zero. I had the time.

So I made my way down to the Financial District, via NYU's campus/Washington Square Park. And it didn't feel like it was that far getting down there. (Turns out it's 2.1 miles from the hotel.) And when I finally got there, I was expecting some big emotions. But all it is...is a construction site. There's no way to feel what happened. If you didn't know, you just wouldn't know. The whole thing just felt empty. And that's what was the most depressing--that there weren't any emotions to feel.

So I took some pictures and made my way back north taking Broadway this time. It felt a lot farther coming back. But I made it and was back in my room by 5:30.

Later on, I met up with some coworkers for drinks in the hotel bar. I ordered a Whisky Sour. The 4 drinks came to a total of, wait for it, $47. Um...yeah.

So we went out for dinner at 10pm to a Cuban restaurant, Havana Alma de Cuba. I ordered the roasted suckling pig and had unlimited Sangria. Again I'm glad that I wasn't paying for it, between the 15 people at the table, the appetizers, entrees, desserts, and pitchers of mojitos that were going down, the bill was probably close to $1000.

Anyways, I ended up back in the hotel around 2am, just in time to wake up at 7 for my flight. So yeah. New York.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Review: Mesa Grill, New York City

After watching Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America and Throwdown, I've been looking forward to the day when I could visit one of his restaurants. So as soon as I got to Manhattan, I was headed for lunch at Mesa Grill on 5th Avenue. I'll be using the Iron Chef judging scale (10 for taste, 5 for plating, 5 for originality)



I started with an appetizer: Goat Cheese "Queso Fundido" with rajas and blue corn tortilla strips. (10.50)


My first impression was that it seemed small, but it was surprisingly filling. The cheese was incredible, and the dish was deep enough that I felt like there was more than enough cheese.

Taste: 10
Plating: 5
Originality: 5

The appetizer was perfect and beautifully set. Also, goat cheese in a southwestern dip? Very original. A perfect 20 out of 20.



For my main course, I ordered the Mesa Burger with Southwestern Fries. The burger comes standard with double cheddar, grilled vidalia onion, and horseradish mustard. (14.50)


I ordered the burger medium, and it was cooked perfectly. Great tasting beef and again top quality cheese. The bun didn't fit the burger and was too stiff. The bun starting falling apart right away.

The fries were heavily seasoned, almost too much, but not quite. And there was fresh cilantro chopped on the fries, giving them a special taste. But the fries were not very crispy.

Taste: 9
Plating: 5
Originality: 4

All the flavors were wonderful but with mushy fries and a stiff bun, I couldn't give him a perfect score on taste. The presentation was again wonderful with the use of a cast iron crock for the fries, matching the cheese dip. The cilantro was a unique touch on the fries, but there was nothing out of the ordinary on the burger. 18 out of 20.

Which brings the total score to 38 out of 40.

It was a pleasure eating there and I wouldn't hesitate to go back or try a different one of his restaurants.

Memorial Day 2007: A Trip to Wrigley Field

Last year, Brittany and I went to see the White Sox host the Royals. Well, this year I won tickets to the Memorial Day game between the Cubs and Marlins, and we were sitting a couple rows from the visiting bullpen.



I gotta say, I liked Wrigley a whole lot more than the Cell. It was cool, yet full of historic charm, the scoreboard is fantastic. Too bad they have such crappy fans and crappy players.