Friday, October 28, 2005

Be my friend, get your wares praised here

Coincidentally or not, I finished reading Dr Kruse's book White Flight on the same day I got my first listen to the new Black Taj album. The KK book was really interesting. A lot of people are familiar w/ the big events of the civil rights movement, but by focusing specifically on Atlanta he gets the details of neighborhood, public services, school, and finally business integration over the course of many years. He shoots down the theories of the old segregationists, like Jesse Helms, who claim that the federales intervened where they weren't needed and the South would have integrated on its own terms. It may be specifically about Atlanta, but the details in this could be applied to almost any southern city of the time. I'll let you read his analysis of how these policies are the platform of the current Republican party yourself, but he limits that to the end of the book so right wing historians can enjoy the "undisputed" facts (quotation marks brought to you by the Fox News Channel).
It didn't take as long for me to digest the Black Taj album, but in the long run I'm pretty sure I'll spend as much time w/ it as the KK book. I've tried to get my own mix of it by programming the songs 9 through 1 and listening to it that way after playing it the normal way. The not so secret message you get when playing it backwards is those guys were born to rock.

Dan Smith's 2 point conversion chart and bring back the tie

For all you aspiring football coaches I'm publishing my guide on when to go for the 2 point conversion after a touchdown. It's not based entirely on the score. It's a combination of score and time left in the game. If it's the 1st or 2nd quarter never go for 2. If the 3rd quarter is halfway over and your team trails by 19 or 26 after the touchdown, go for 2. If it's the 4th quarter and your team trails by 12 or more than 17 and it's inside 10 minutes, go for 2. The only time a team leading the game should go for 2 is inside 5 minutes left in the 4th quarter and your team leads by 1 after the TD. The extra point is pretty much automatic (you can go for 2 any time if Mark Simoneau is your kicker), so wasting a chance to add a point is a big mistake. Of course this isn't an exact science so feel free to go w/ your gut, but if you want to be a football coach your gut should be telling you to kick the extra point.

Overtime in college football is just plain stupid. I'm not opposed to an OT period, but make it something other than this ridiculous each team gets a turn from the 25 yard line nonsense. Maybe after the game everybody can join hands and we'll make a chain across the whole stadium to show our unity. Forget that, I want a hands across your face type moment. Either do the sudden death period like the pros, or have a timed period (5, 10, 15 minutes?) so everybody has the chance to get the ball. And if the tv people complain that the games are too long (like the current 4 hour game isn't) then bring back the damn tie. I've watched plenty of games that neither team deserves to lose (or win) and a tie in those cases would be appropriate.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

He loves me! He really loves me!

We went to the book fair at Desmond's school the other night. He had picked out the football book by Ronde and Tiki Barber for me long before we got to the school. Then it was the first thing he picked up when we got in the book room. Now that we've brought it home he doesn't even want it in his bookcase. He claims it's my book. Hey maybe he'll get me their other book for my birthday. I could use more children's books written by professional football players.

Bridging all cultures

(Ok, it's just the US and Mexico but what else is there besides Canada?) A guy I work w/ is from Mexico and his wife is having a baby. I ordered them this sweet soccer ball w/ the Mexican flag on it. I had it shipped to the house and maybe I have a gringo sounding name, but included in the package were two US soccer stickers. Both Mexico and the US consider the other side their biggest rival. I'll take the stickers, but I'll always see them as a symbol of American arrogance. Still they'll look good flanking my license plate 2KOOL4U.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Football Stuff

When I was at the Monday night game, Dave's dad pointed out to me that on a kickoff when the runner stops and tries to change direction he's tackled almost immediately. I started paying attention to the returns and once he stops running full speed ahead he gets tackled. W/ a punt return, however, that shifty start/stop move works out sometimes. I think it has to do w/ blocking not being picked up until the players are further downfield on a kickoff. I'd like to see what happens if the guys near the kick started blocking further upfield. I just need a practice squad to work w/.

My lone success of the betting season has been my uncanny ability to pick New England Patriots games. 6-0 on a 3-3 team. Of course, I've gone 4-2 on the 4-2 Panthers (always a winner) and 2-3 on the 3-2 Giants (always a loser). I don't know what any of that means but the Patriots are off next week, so my perfect predicting record for them will last another week.

Discovery of the week

We have one room w/ carpet in the whole house. It's the tv room and the carpet is about 10 years old. There's a lot of hard living in the tv room b/w parents and kids, so we decided we'd put hardwood floors in there like the rest of the house. Maria's brother works for a carpet place, so he was here yesterday and we peeled back a corner of the carpet. It turns out the floor underneath has the same hardwoods that are found through the rest of the house. That means all we have to do is sand them and refinish it w/o buying new floors. I wish I knew that 5 years ago when we moved in here.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Your face, your race, the way that you talk

Friday was our 5 year wedding anniversary. We celebrated the only way we know how by going to Bistro Sofia. I got the grilled lamb loin which should satisfy my lamb cravings for about 20 years (when Maria asked me if I would get lamb for our 25th anniversary I said only if I forgot about the lamb I ate on our 5th anniversary). It was ok, but I ordered it medium so the ends were well done and the center was still bloody. I couldn't mentally overcome the bloody lamb and had to leave some of it uneaten. What I did eat was good though. Then we went to Natty Greene's for a beer. And finally we ended up at The Idiot Box for some improv comedy. That was our first time at either one of those places (we don't go downtown much), and I would go back to either one. I've had the Natty Greene's beers and the bar was a little crowded, but it was Friday night so we could pick a less hectic time. The Idiot Boxers were pretty good. They just did improv games so it wasn't like what I saw at Second City which had the improv games and also a scripted show. Still it was an enjoyable night of the legitimate theatre. Hopefully, we'll have some more legitimate outings before our next anniversary.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Gang of Four Hollow Tipped Bulletpoints

* Saw the rocking Gang of Four show at Cat's Cradle last night. I guess my favorite live songs were also my favorite studio songs (To Hell W/ Poverty and Damaged Goods). They have an great sound. It's no wonder so many bands are appropriating it.

* It has to be one of the top 2 most unlikely things I've seen on the Cat's Cradle (or any) stage. This is a band that had broken up 10 years before I'd even heard of them. Now they're touring and making new records. Wow! The other most unlikely thing was Grant Tennille playing w/ 1/2 of Polvo.

* The new Black Taj cd is coming out October 25th on Amish records. They're also playing at King's on November 26th (the Saturday after Thanksgiving) and on a date I've forgotten in Athens, OH. I'm sure the tour will include more than those 2 shows.

* I saw former dorm floor mate Mike Bradley. He had been living in New Orleans, but he was temporarily relocated to his parents house in Aiken, SC. He said he's going back to NO next week. He's working as a psychologist, so he expects to have plenty of work when he gets back. He was w/ former NW Guilford rocker Tony Konig who seems to be doing well. Matt Schofield is still in the country and as the biggest Gang of Four fan I know was available for drinks before and after the show (but not during). He was w/ a friend of his who has the enviable job of promoting New River Pale Ale. If you buy some at Harris Teeter, make sure you tell them Diablo Canyon 2 sent you. I also saw Tim Ross, but I missed out on Chris Crowson. That was the only lowlight (missing Chris, not seeing Tim).

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Monday Night Football

Dave and his dad were nice enough to take me and Jason Smith (no relation) to the Panthers game on Monday. I hadn't been in about 5 years (or before we had kids), so I was pretty excited. We sat in the club level where the amenities (no idea what they were; a locked gate? carpeted walkways?) cost more than the seats. The team is nice enough to tack the amenities on to price of the ticket so you don't have to worry about paying them when you get there. The seats were good. We sat on about the 10 yard line in the last row of the lower level. You can see from pretty much any seat at the stadium, so those were really good seats. At midnight w/ the Panthers leading 32-13 we decided to leave. By the time we got to the lower concourse it was 32-21. When we got to the car and were leaving the parking garage, it was 32-29. Dave was complaining about leaving early as we sweated out the end on the radio, but luckily the Panthers held on and we didn't have to hear about how we are fair weather fans the whole ride home.

Outsmarted Again

We finally blocked the Cartoon Channel. For a superhero obsessed child, I guess Teen Titans and The Batman are ok, but shows geared towards preteen girls seem to be on all the time. I can't remember using the term "brat" or "stupid" (I prefer "douchebag" and "dumbass"), but I'm called those names frequently. Anyway, Desmond changed the channel to Cartoon Network and the black screen came up. He asked his mom what happened and she said she didn't know. He said "It must be blocked. I'll go watch it in the bedroom." Damn! I forgot about the bedroom. I'll have to let him know my plans before I implement them so he can tell me how he'll get around them in advance. That should keep me ahead of him for another week or so until he figures out that trick.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Protective Daddy Instinct

Izabella recently started "exploring" herself when her diaper is off. The first time it happened I just thought to myself that's wrong. The 2nd time I had to tell her that I was her old man and didn't want to see that kind of stuff. Now I just tell her to save it for her boyfriend. She's already broken me and she's barely 1 year old. That should save me a lot of time in the future.