Thursday, April 26, 2012

the rich get richer

Outside of the top six picks, the two guys I heard the most about were DeCastro and Hightower. They go to the Steelers and Pats at 24 and 25. Seriously?

P.S. No Chiefs fans like the Poe pick.

NFL Draft and Game 7 are 1.2 miles apart

it's pretty sad when 8 out of 9 teams in a league make the playoffs

I suppose it's even sadder for the Washington Stealth.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's pretty easy to guess Chevy's favorite hockey team. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

easy pizza

After making two pizzas this year by making dough from scratch, I was in the mood for a homemade pizza but without the work. Pillsbury dough, a smidge of Newman's garlic pasta sauce, a thin layer of colby jack on the bottom, pepperoni, mozz on top, and a mozz stick for a stuffed crust. Turned out great on the pizza stone. Quick and easy and delicious.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

it's all about the cup

My entire life I've wondered how they continually fit new teams and what would happen if they ran out of room.

a good walk spoiled: part seven

Here's a recap of my golf outings in the modern era:

August 14, 2005: +15 on a par 3
August 27, 2005: +9 on a par 3
July 3, 2009: +17 on a par 3
July 3, 2010: +22 on a par 3
July 5, 2010: +22 on a normal 9-hole course
October 3, 2010: +23 on a normal 9-hole course
October 16, 2011: +17 on a par 3

A few takeaways:

  • I've only played 9 holes at a time
  • I'm not that much worse on a normal course vs a par 3 course
  • My best rounds were the first two I had played since before college
  • July 3 was the earliest I had ever golfed in a year
  • I skipped three years entirely
  • I only have golfed at least three times in a year in 2010

The weather's been great here for a while (it never really got too cold anyways) so golf had been on my mind for over a month. And now that I'm a dad (and curling is over) I really appreciate any time that I'm not working or taking care of H.

H woke up today at 6:30. Not only is that a good hour earlier, that means he's crabby because he didn't sleep enough. So I got up with him and tried to do some great parenting from the couch.

Anyways, by noon I was ready to hit the links.

I kept track of my swings and putts just for fun.

On the first hole I had a putt for par, after a decent chip. I missed my par putt by an inch but thought it was a good start. Of course it was only a 72-yard hole.

A good drive on the second hole. And it felt good on the third, but was a little strong and a little left, finding some deep grass. I opted to take a penalty drop, had a good chip and a one put to save bogey.

The fourth hole was my only disaster. Sliced my 7-iron tee shot and never found it. I was in the green in four, but it was a huge green and I was left with a super long putt. I left it short and that led to a four-putt. Yikes.

I hit a beauty on the fifth. 150-yards with my five iron, just shy of the green. It was a tough pin placement though, on the very near side. My chip came up a bit short on the fringe and it wasn't a realistic putt for par.

Another tee shot that felt good on the sixth, though it was a bit left.

My shot of the day came on hole 7. I hit a 7-iron perfectly. High, good distance, as soon as it left my club I knew it was going on the green. I left myself a 15-20 foot putt and I was only thinking two putt. Get my par and get out. It was slightly up hill and I left it shorter than I wanted. Still I think it was probably a four or five putt for par. Totally makeable. And I pushed it wide by an inch. And then in frustration, pushed it wide coming back down the hill. Wasted my best shot.

My shot on the 8th also found the green, but it was uglier, more of a line drive that rolled up there. After a decent first putt, I had a four footer for par. And I missed that one too.

My last chance for par came on the last hole. It was a 10-footer and I went for it. Of course wide and hard and I left myself a tough 6 or 7 footer coming back. I actually made that one, my best putt of the day.

I actually walked away feeling like I played really well. I think that tee shots affect your feelings more than putts, but putts affect your scores just as much. Only one bad tee shot all day. Another was ugly but landed on the green anyways.

I know I can't chip for shit, and today my putting was just as bad.

Still, good to get out. See some mountains, walk some fairways.

Rare Soda Reviews

Loyal listeners (and I know they're not listeners) may remember this post from July 2011.

So when I was dropping something off at the UPS Store and noticed right next door a shop called Rocket Fizz: Soda Pop and Candy Shop I had no choice.

They easily had over 100 soda varieties, all in single glass bottles ready to mix and match. Most of which I've never heard of.

So I made my own six pack for 10 bucks and brought them home with a smile on my face. Here's the breakdown.

(After being a MATES viewer for over a year, I've had time to ruminate on the rating system. And really for me, the simplest rating is would you buy it again. Faced with hundreds of options, would you add it to your cart once more?)

I'll go from best to worst.

Sprecher Cherry Cola

The Jewel in Oak Park carried Sprecher Root Beer and we had it a couple times. So I already knew that Sprecher meant business. And this cherry cola was right on. Full-bodied. Nice real cherry flavor. Would buy again.

Boylan's Black Cherry

Boylan's is fairly popular at restaurants out here. I even saw a Boylan's fountain soda dispenser at Biker Jim's Hot Dogs. Their root beer is outstanding, their cola isn't very good. Their black cherry is closer to the quality of their root beer. Would buy again.

Jackson Hole Soda Snake River Sarsaparilla

I don't know that I've ever really had a sarsaparilla before. Even though Burnsy and were googling it while in Meijer some 7 years ago. It's very similar to root beer but with an extra kick. I don't know if I can generalize to all sarsaparillas, but I didn't quite love it. It wasn't awful. But with so many good root beers out there, I don't see the need to seek out a sarsaparilla. Wouldn't buy again.

Americana Honey Cream

I love cream sodas. This one had an extra mystery flavor and it wasn't honey. We couldn't figure out what it was. We drank it all but it's not up to the cream soda par. Wouldn't buy again.


The bottle proclaims a birth date of 1884, that it's the original elixir, and Distinctively Different. All of those are true. When I was in the store they were filming a commercial. And Moxie was the soda they were using as the feature pour. So I figured I'd give it a shot. After I purchased I read some youtube reviews and saw that mostly people hated it, citing a medicinal quality. I'd say it tastes like 40% cola, 35% root beer and 25% NyQuil. If I time traveled to 1884 and it was my only option, I'd drink it. But in 2012, I wouldn't buy again.

Simpson Spring Lemon Lime

I picked this one because the soda was bright green, like I'd never seen before. Turns out that's a terrible way to pick a soda. It tasted awful. Easily the worst of the group. Brittany only had one sip. I could only handle three. Poured the rest out. No one should ever buy this.


I'm a little surprised at the outcome based on my previous experience with smaller soda companies. Maybe I should do some homework before I venture into the rare soda game.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

nbc's favorite teams

There are 8 hockey playoff games this weekend, representing all 7 active series.

3 of the 8 are on NBC, the only channel of the options that I get.

Here are the three games I have the opportunity to watch:


Thursday, April 19, 2012

the most goals in a nhl playoff series

The record is from 1985. Edmonton vs Chicago. The Oilers had guys named Gretzky, Kurri and Coffey and ending up winning the cup.

But before that they beat the Blackhawks in 6. Scoring 69 goals between them. That's a pace of 11.5 a game.

So far, the Penguins and Flyers have combined for 45 goals in 4 games. For a pace of 11.25.

If the series goes 7, and they keep this pace they can destroy the total record.

Even if the Flyers win in 5, they could set a new record for goals per game in a series if they notch another 13 goal game.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

so childish

predicting my own death

To me the cause is really dependent on when I go. I figure...

28 - 40: car accident
40-70: heart attack
70+: random organ failure

Now of the three, obviously I'm hoping for 70+. But doesn't heart attack just seem too perfect. It's clearly a 1 seed in the bracket of my death. Car accident is maybe a pesky 5 seed that finds the way to win. Cancer is an overconfident 2 seed (see Duke 2012).

Only one way to find out.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Friday, April 06, 2012

death of an avalanche

When the Avs needed a playoff push, they went 7-1-1. Officially they sat in 7th place in the West, even though other teams had games in hand. They were primed.

And then over their next six they go 1-4-1. Including losses to Phoenix and San Jose. Those teams are in the playoffs. Colorado is not.

- - -

As crazy as it sounds, this spring of Avalanche hockey has been one of the better sports experiences I've had. They couldn't have beaten the Canucks anyways. They were 0-6 against them this year.

It was a fun ride, and I'm already looking forward to next season--October doesn't even seem that far away.  Which is more than I can really say for the Illini teams or the Chiefs. Though all three have new coaches, so you know what that means...Chiefs in the playoffs, a third consecutive bowl win and Illini in the tournament.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Still wild to realize that we're older than Deron Williams, LeBron James, etc.

Updated Calcutta Totals

Carryover from 2010-2011
Savan +18.25
Mark +9
Dave +2
Niraj -5.75
Matt -11
Kirat -12.50

2011 NFL Calcutta
Dave +13
Kirat +8.20
Niraj +5.80
Mark -5.60
Savan -9.20
Matt -12.20

2012 March Madness
Matt +13.75
Mark +8.25
Savan +1.50
Dave -10
Niraj -13.50

Mark +11.65
Savan +10.55 [received in full]
Dave +5 [received in full]
Kirat -4.30 [paid in full]
Matt -9.45 [paid in full]
Niraj -13.45 [paid .70 to Dave, 1.10 to Savan]

Revisiting the viability of a Sweet 16 Bracket Entry

A little while ago I wondered if entering a bracket after the sweet 16 would help or hurt...

Here's how I did.

Sweet 16: 6 out of 8 correct. 240 points
Elite 8: 3 out of 4 correct. 240 points
Final 4: 2 out of 2 correct. 320 points
Championship: 1 out of 1 correct. 320 points

Total: 1120

Much better than my 700 points I got for guessing all six rounds. Still I got pretty lucky on my new picks.

But even guessing as well as I did, my 1120 would only be worth 6th out of 11 spots in our pool.

It would have been worth 5th out of 19 spots in my work pool. Though the top 3 (money-winners) in our work pool scored 1460, 1440 and 1290.

If I was running a pool, I wouldn't accept entries after the deadline just because it goes against the spirit. But it doesn't provide an unfair advantage, and at the same time, it's not that unrealistic for an entrant to want to enter. I certainly beat my own score.

Monday, April 02, 2012

The Funniest Thing About Pop-Tarts

Not just the thought of attempting to warm something for 3 fucking seconds.

What really slays step three.

I know this is stupid

but the way Anthony Davis looks INFURIATES me. I hate Kentucky right now because of it.

WTF Battleship

What the fuck is this?


Battleship is two enemy fleets, attacking each other one at a time and agreeing to not move their ships during the battle. If that's the kind of shit you're going to make, why even buy the rights to Battleship. Just call it Navy Alien War.

Hollywood always does this. When they turned the Hitman video game into a movie, it didn't feel at all like the game. And I haven't watched any Resident Evil movies, but I'm pretty sure they didn't feel like the game either. And they're all under 25% on Rotten Tomatoes. A Hitman movie would be so easy to write. So annoying.

Lyrical Analysis: Take Me Out to the Ball Game

We all mindlessly sing along at the 7th inning stretch, but what are we really saying?

Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd;
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don't care if I never get back.
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win, it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,
At the old ball game.

Take me out to the ball game Seems okay on the surface, but apparently this person either needs help getting to the stadium or is looking for someone to buy them tickets
Take me out with the crowd; Now this person seems like an idiot. The crowded nature of stadiums is just about the worst part of attending a game
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack, What is Cracker Jack? Caramel corn and peanuts! Eating it with peanuts is redundant. A hot dog and Cracker Jack would have been a much better choice. Cotton candy even. 
I don't care if I never get back. First off, a double negative. Would it really be that hard to use the word 'ever'. And they really don't care if they stay in an empty baseball stadium for the rest of their life. Dubious. 
Let me root, root, root for the home team, I appreciate the blind fandom, but he doesn't even know the name of the home team?
If they don't win, it's a shame. Really the only line I can't quibble with. If the home team doesn't win, it is in fact, a shame. 
For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out, Here's where he lost me. The fact that is you take three strikes, you're out, doesn't explain why the home team losing is a shame AT ALL. And the way everyone sings it so proudly, as if it's the big finish that wraps it all makes no sense. 
At the old ball game. This song is so piss poor. And look at that rhyme scheme. ABCCABCB Pitiful. 

Thus concludes Hoagie Central's 2012 baseball coverage.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

April Fool's Hasn't Been Good Since 2004

And yes, I think that is Fantasy Survivor on the wall.