Thursday, February 21, 2008

Add to that list

The folks who call about car warranties from the number 850-475-5122.  The owner of the company needs to die in a suitably horrible way.  Perhaps electrocution from a poorly wired and grounded phone handset.  Yeah, that would be sweet...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

If you live out in Coronado CA

And you happen to know the MLM jackasses who own "Small Business Network" (they call me several times a week from an autodialer that uses the CID 508-438-2672), please do me a favor and do Bad Things to them.  I won't offer you anything for said favor, but the wheels of karma will definitely spin favorably in your direction.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

One down

Thirty-seven (including the All-Star race) to go.  The NASCAR 2008 Winston/Nextel/Sprint Cup season has begun and the Bud Shootout is in the books - answering the age-old question: "Would the move away from DEI help or hurt Dale Jr.?"

The answer:  Help.  Big-time.  Junior dominated the Shootout in his new Hendrick car, and won pretty handily, leading over 2/3 of the overall laps.  Last year, between the turmoil at DEI and the mysterious tendency of his engines to blow out, Junior still nearly made the Chase (the playoffs, for those of you accustomed to more conventional sports).  With good equipment (finally), you should see him return to his traditional place: dominant on plate tracks, strong on short tracks, good on the cookie-cutters.  He should make the Chase easily, and be competitive in the title hunt.

Which is good news for ratings - a Junior near the front equals eyeballs when you're talking about the most popular driver in American motorsports.  Now, if only IRL and Champ Car would merge I might give a crap about open-wheel racing as well.  Especially in hi-def.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Personal trivia - Places

Just for the heck of it, here are two useless lists - one of nations I've been to, and one of states I've been to. I count them even if all I did there was stop at an airport and change planes, and islands outside the US I count as nations (even though some are owned by other countries):

Canada (Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Quebec), Mexico, Venezuela, Aruba, St. Maarten, Barbados, Puerto Rico, St. Vincent, Martinique (though I didn't go ashore - I was sick), the Virgin Islands (both ours and the British ones), the Bahamas, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden.

Basically, I've been to Canada a bunch of times, Aruba twice, Europe once, and the Bahamas once. The rest were on cruises - two with my family as a teenager and one with my wife about 15 years ago. I think I might have flown to St. Maarten once, too - but I honestly can't remember. If I did, it was a long time ago.

Massachusetts (duh), Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky (the airport for Cincinnati is there), Virginia, West Virginia (for about 5 miles), Delaware, Maryland, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Utah, and California.

Utah was for a Novell business trip back around 11-12 years ago, California was two trips as a kid, and Illinois was two business trips to my old company's parent. Even though I've actually been to almost half the 50 states, I've really only spent significant time in the Northeast.

What does that say? Well, absolutely nothing really - that's why it's trivia! More seriously, even though I'm passionately interested in the world around me, I have very little desire to actually see it in person. Even less since I got HD.

Monday, February 04, 2008


What do the Patriots need in the offseason? Well, first of all, it's easy to pinpoint the moment when the "FU" blowouts ended and when they started gutting out the victories. It was when Rosie Colvin hurt his foot and went on IR. Not only was he their pass rushing specialist, but he also added valuable depth to the defense, allowing Bruschi and Seau to be role players instead of going all-out. As well as the two of them played, it's obvious that relying on two inside backers that are in their late 30s to go 60 minutes is dangerous. Both could play next year if they wanted to, but they need help. Vrabel is likely to go another season.

The base 3-4 defense is sound with Warren, Wilfork, and a healthy Seymour. The secondary needs more cover support - short passing over the middle was a weakness for them most of the season that was less of an issue in their red zone defense (with the shortened field), but still should be addressed.

Offensively, we hope the two-back set of Morris and Maroney will be showing its potential again. There are some decisions to be made in the receiving corps - Troy Brown will almost certainly retire, with Donté Stallworth probably leaving in free agency and Randy Moss taking a deal to stay. I'm not sure what happened on the O-line last night, but I noticed that Russ Hochstein spent an awful lot of time playing - injuries have been a problem on the line all season. As deep as they are on the line, there have been a lot of issues there and at tight end. Not sure how to fix that.

The likeliest scenario I see is that the Pats package their #7 pick (thank you, Niners), for a mid-1st and one or two later picks to draft a linebacker and a corner as priorities. What happens a month from now in free agency will be key.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


After about a quarter, I said to one of my fellow party-goers "I'm sick of this nailbiter crap every time the Pats are in a Super Bowl - why can't we just win in a blowout for a change?"  No response at that point (granted, the person in question I was speaking to was a tad inebriated, but...).  Anyhow, other than one blown call (a defensive hands to the face by New York that was missed) and a bad coaching decision (of ours - not going for a very makeable field goal), it was just a terrific blood-and-guts battle.  And yet another Manning grew a pair of nuts and pulled the win out.  I'm getting sick of it.  It was a terrific win by the Giants, a major bummer of a loss by the Patriots, and the Giants definitely earned it.

The only post-mortem I can give right now is congrats to the Dolphins for remaining the lone undefeated team, but Mercury Morris can kiss my butt and go get caught with some celebratory coke again.  That's actually the extent of my bitterness.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

I used to think he was an idiot

Now I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Arlen Specter is an idiot. He proved it by grandstanding about Spygate this week, during Super Bowl week, of course. Now I'm not a US Senator, nor am I an NFL official (just a fan with a little knowledge of basic strategy and how to play Madden). But I do understand the difference between violating a company's internal rules (which, if you boil it down, was what the Patriots did) and violating Federal law (which is what Congress has the right to look into). Congress passes a lot of laws, most useless - but to the best of my knowledge there are no laws on the books anywhere prohibiting a team from videotaping other teams in any way, in any sport.

On the other hand the NFL does have rules about it. And the Patriots broke said rule (or, more accurately, they videotaped the opposing sideline from an unauthorized location - their own sideline) and were punished by the league rather severely for it. They were busted for it in the first quarter of the first game. I think we can safely assume it hasn't happened since this year. And other than the jackasses at the New York Post, nobody with half a brain really thinks it has anything to do with the success they had this year in going undefeated up to this point.

You know, Arlen, if you wanted to look into the antitrust exemptions that football and baseball hold, that'd be fine. But before you get to that, why don't you worry about the war in Iraq, fixing the economy before it tanks, getting health care for all the Americans who are uninsured, making a dent in the deficit, and about 5-600 other issues that are collectively more important than pro sports.