Wednesday, November 30, 2011

death to pennies

Somehow in almost 2000 posts I've never mentioned how stupid it is that we still have pennies. Not only that, in all those posts I've never used the word penny or pennies, until now. Anyways, getting rid of pennies is so common sense...that it's no wonder our government hasn't done it.

Yes, that's a cheap joke. It's also true.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

how the illini court keeps getting uglier: a timeline

Nice logo at center court, nice orange lanes complementing the center logo.

A negligible downgrade. The lanes switch from orange to blue. Not aesthetically negative, but not as warm, not as "paint the hall orange." And now that the orange is along the outside, it's not as strong, not as good of a divider. But still, not that bad.

Umm..gone is all the color from the lanes. Even the BigTen logo. The logo at center isn't that bad, though I preferred the basketball specific logo--this one feels a little more generic and suited for football, but still not that bad. But 80% of the time, the camera is positioned in a half-court set and there is no color, no design, nothing Illini or even BigTen. Just generic two-tone parquet.

What the fuck. The fonts around the outside look terrible--cheap and generic. The center logo has lost even more character. The orange top of the key is an attempt, but a poor one. The worst is the two-tone treatment has the area outside the lane looking washed out. When I loaded up some highlights, I seriously thought they must have been in some shitty Chicago arena, not Assembly hall.

Using the state shape at center is a good idea in theory (see second picture) but it shows up quite poorly (see third picture). At first I thought it was a mistake, a washed out section in progress.

At this rate, by 2015 the Illini will be playing on a solid pale court with an orange square in the middle.

Friday, November 25, 2011

my first turkey

So this was my first time cooking a full turkey. I bought a 15.5 pound bird. I put it in the fridge to thaw on Sunday night. The package said 2-3 days, but it was still partly frozen when I got it out Wednesday night.

I made a brine: water, salt, brown sugar, some all-purpose rub, rosemary and sage. I had to keep it in the fridge but that was a challenge. I couldn't get the bird fully submerged even though I had enough liquid--it was the angle and the fridge space. And even double bagged, when I opened the fridge at 8am, a couple cups of brine fell on the floor. I would be better off using a bunch of trash bags and putting it in a cooler.

I cooked it in an oven bag with a couple apples and some onion inside. Canola oil on the outside. I cooked in the bag for 2.5 hours, and then about another hour until the thermometer popped up.

Then I waited an hour and carved it like so.

And then I made a simple glaze with some honey, apple cider and butter. Probably should have used less cider and butter to keep it thicker and stickier.

All in all, a pretty good success.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

linger birthday dinner

Went to Linger for my birthday. It was awesome. Here's the review.

And here's a crappy photo taken by someone else of my favorite dish, "Devils on Horseback."

Friday, November 18, 2011

another day, another avs loss

After being in 1st place for the first two weeks, they're 2-7-1 in their last 10.

Still, a really nice save by a defenseman in a game that was scoreless until the final three minutes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

nifty duchene goal

I saw the Avs give up 4 in the 3rd. But this was nifty.

Monday, November 14, 2011

my 3 favorite tv shows since college

Arrested Development, 30 Rock, Community.

(Sure I had a Studio 60 phase, but it ran off the rails a little bit. Should have been renewed for more than one season, but that's life.)

None of them are ratings winners. AD barely got 3 seasons. Though you don't hear rumors of cancellation, Fey's show has never performed well. And now Community is getting benched mid-season. I was just thinking about writing a post of how good Community has been.

It started slightly rough but became smart and funny pretty quickly. The Second Season was flawless. Episodes 4, 5 and 6 of the third season have been amazing. 

It's been so good that I guess I shouldn't be surprised it's getting benched. NBC says it won't be off the air for long, but it's never a good sign.

chiefs thoughts

The Chiefs were 4-3 two weeks ago. They will finish 5-11.

This time lost consecutive games AT HOME to a winless team and a team that only completed two passes. One of those was a screen pass. Denver couldn't even complete a shovel pass.

So much for the Arrowhead advantage. This team is terrible. Of course they won just enough games to not get a top draft pick now that rookie salaries make top draft picks super valuable again. [Side note: Cam Newton got 22M guaranteed. Sam Bradford got 50M. Panthers got lucky to be the team with the #1 pick the first year of the new wage scales.]
This says a lot.

The Chiefs wins can be explained pretty easily:

Rivers fumbled the game away.
Palmer hadn't learned any plays yet.
Manning is out = Colts are winless.
McNabb on Vikings was 1-5.

This still holds up pretty well.

tebow thoughts

So with Tebow taking the snap the Broncos are great at running the ball. They don't want to throw it that much. But they can occasionally throw the ball deep, almost as a surprise, to some success.

I realized that is not the description of a starting NFL quarterback.

That is the description of a wildcat QB.

Why not have Orton (or any moderate pocket-passer) be your starter and have Tebow come in at the goal line, or on a random 3rd and 3, or on a drive when you need a boost?

Friday, November 11, 2011

OT win

So I know there's exactly 0 people that read this that care about the Avalanche. And I don't care.

I checked ESPN in the second period and the Avs were down 3-0 at home. Figures. At that point they had only 1 win in 6 home games. (I was there for the 11/6 loss to Calgary. Colorado scored in the first 40 seconds and lost 2-1.)

So this morning when I checked on the final score I was pretty shocked to see a 4-3 overtime win.

Here's your game winner in OT:

a thanksgiving birthday

My birthday is November 22. Which means that it occasionally lands on Thanksgiving. Because Thanksgiving is a variable holiday, it's more interesting then having a birthday of December 24. In that case you know every year that Christmas Eve is your birthday. And it sucks.

Also, because of leap years and crap, it's not as simple of a pattern as it might seem initially.

Here's my future, relative to turkey day.

2011: tuesday before
2012: on thanksgiving
2013: friday before
2014: saturday before
2015: sunday before
2016: tuesday before
2017: wednesday before
2018: on thanksgiving
2019: friday before
2020: sunday before
2021: monday before
2022: tuesday before
2023: wednesday before
2024: friday before
2025: saturday before
2026: sunday before
2027: monday before
2028: wednesday before
2029: on thanksgiving

- - -

But Hoagie Central takes you deeper. The pattern would be easy to predict, except that every four years my birthday skips a day of the week.

2011-2012: wednesday
2015-2016: monday
2019-2020: saturday
2023-2024: thursday
2027-2028: tuesday

And the skipped day is always two days minus (or five days ahead if you think that way) then the previous skipped day. So my birthday is on Thanksgiving every 6 years, except once every 28 years or so, it skips.

By the way, the last time my birthday was on Thanksgiving was 2007. I remember thinking that it sucked. That it didn't really feel like a birthday. But who knows. Maybe 2012 will be totally different.

I never really realized, but my birthday can't fall after Thanksgiving. But it falls anywhere from 6 days before to the day of.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

the local team is on tv

I've been an out-of-town fan for so long that I'd forgotten that basically every local game is televised. Considering how many times I've listened to the Chiefs via online radio, or found a p2p video stream, or just followed a ESPN Gamecast because they suck and lose 3-31 to the winless freaking amazed me to realize that Denverites with cable get to watch every Avalanche game.

Of course...I don't have cable. So I don't get the Altitude Network. But still it's sort of exciting. Oh and it would be nice if they would stop losing too.

Right now:

Chiefs 4-4
Illini football 6-3
Avs 7-7-1

Even though I feel like I've been Zooked, Illini football is the best thing I've got going. Although really they're 2-3 in conference, 8th best Big Ten record. So yeah. Hey look, Illini basketball hasn't lost yet! (season starts tomorrow) And they get to play Nebraska twice.

not quite a foodie

The term foodie has been around for a while. When asked for our work website, are you a foodie?, I instantly said yes.

But foodie implies certain things. That you can appreciate a menu like this. Which I can. It also implies that you wouldn't be caught dead eating something like this. Which I would.

But I realized something this morning as I was talking to myself. I was thinking that while I enjoy the occasional pale ale, whiskey sour or Burnsy Brew, I'm not really a drinker. I'm more of a fooder.

And there you have it.

I'm a fooder.

There are drinkers. They like to drink lots of things. They are not beer snobs or cocktail connoisseurs. They are drinkers. And then there's me. I'm a fooder.

yelp short list

I love yelp and bookmark places to try all the time. So I end up with a list of 120 places that is unwieldy when it comes time to actually go out. So here's a short list. Not to be confused with the already made Denver burger list (haven't had any on the list since then).

India's Pearl - 1475 S Pearl St - 5280's choice for Best Indian CLOSED

Ming's Dynasty - 4251 E Mississippi Ave - lunch buffet or Hong Kong duck

Pulcinella Pizzeria & Wine Bar - 1400 E Hampden Ave

D'Corazon - 1530 Blake St - downtown mexican

Rioja - 1431 Larimer St - possibly the best restaurant in Denver

Steuben's - 523 E 17th Ave - fancy comfort food

Linger - 2030 W 30th Ave - a place I keep hearing about, concept is global street food 11/22/11

Tag - 1441 Larimer St - modern american, kobe beef sliders

Vesta Dipping Grill - 1822 Blake St - romantic special occasion place

Virginia Village Liquors - 1455 S Holly St - make your own six pack

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Real Mascots: AFC West

Part 8 of 8. A note on the Chiefs. I knew the story but I researched to make sure. The official statement is that there was a fan contest to name the team. 42 people submitted Chiefs. Lamar Hunt was considering Chiefs and Mules. Lamar was good friends with the Mayor of KC, who had the nickname The Chief.

There's no way to know what those 42 people were imagining when they submitted Chiefs. Lamar allegedly was thinking of his good friend the mayor. But that could be a modern PC revisionist history to make it seem like it's not offensive.

Of course, the logo and name of the stadium came later once Chiefs was already established, so it's not evidence that the team was named after Native Americans. This one could have gone either way, so I'm giving the benefit of the doubt to Lamar Hunt's official statement.

Friday, November 04, 2011

bloomin' bread


Bloomin' Pizza Bread Recipe 

Bloomin' Cinnamon Bread Recipe

Real Mascots: NFC West

Time for the thrilling conclusions to this series. Sorry for the delay. I got my new job the week after part 6 went up. And I've been a little busy.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

sports colors by city: volume one

This is a project that I've thought about for a while. Perhaps it was inspired by the Seinfeld quote that we're just rooting for laundry. Anyways, each square represents a sports team. I used my best judgement of how to split up the percentages. This could be its own website so you could sort colors by cities, divisions, etc. And then pick your favorite teams and get your own color block.

It would take me forever to make all 120ish pro teams. And I didn't want this to sit forever. So here's a sampling. I might do more one day. (New York, Boston, LA, and Miami would be next up.)




Kansas City

if the season ended today

Three teams from the NFC North would be in.

The Bills and 49ers would have byes.

And the Chiefs and Lions would both make the playoffs for the first time since 1997.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

hc takes you deeper

When you look at this:

5. Dave 860 (3-5)
6. Steven 833.5 (5-3)
7. Kirat 822.5 (5-3)

it could mean:

A. I got robbed on the scheduling and should be at least 5-3
B. My performances have been inconsistent and I would be 3-5 no matter what

But as you know...Hoagie Central takes you deeper.

- - -

If I would have played Steven's schedule, I would be 4-4
If I would have played Kirat's schedule, I would be 5-3

Let's go deeper.

If I would have played Mark's schedule, I would be 6-2
If I would have played Ted's schedule, I would be 6-2 on a four game winning streak.

That's the craziest part. I'm on a four game losing streak. But if Burnsy's random number generator comes up differently, my record goes from .375 to .750.

fantasy check-in

Because of nothing in particular, totally random, I wanted to check and see how our teams points totals relates to wins. 

1. Mac 987 (6-2)
2. Mark 971.5 (6-2)
3. Spencer 901.5 (6-2)
4. Adam 882 (6-2)
5. Dave 860 (3-5)
6. Steven 833.5 (5-3)
7. Kirat 822.5 (5-3)
8. Niraj 799 (2-6)
9. Savan 794.5 (4-4)
10. Drake 748 (2-6)
11. Ted 702 (2-6)
12. Harlan 676.5 (1-7)

- - - 

Wow. I figured I was just imagining things, the tendency to always blame the schedule, etc. 

But based on point totals, it seems that I should be at least 5-3. Niraj should be at least 4-4 and Savan should probably be 3-5. 

Sure enough, Niraj and I have both faced 912 points against. That's an average of playing a top-3 team every week. 

Stevo and Kirat? 770 or less. A bottom 4-team every week. 

half a point

normally after a loss i am livid. last night, this morning, just whatever. what can you even say?

4th highest total this week
5th most points total on the season
lost four in a row
only 1 game out of the playoffs with 6 to go