Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sunday Hangover: Texas A&M

I didn't get to watch the game in real time until the second half because I was coaching a fifth grade junior football game. 

The Tide gave up some big runs to Mond, the A&M quarterback, but for the most part the defense played adequately. It was not dominant like the butt-whooping that was Ole Miss, but it was a decent performance. 

What I've been consistently impressed with so far this season is how Irv Smith Jr. is becoming a major weapon for the offense. And heck, the other main tight end, Hentges caught two passes, both for touchdowns. 

As a running game goes, the running backs and offensive line had a fairly pedestrian day. 

Look for that to change when Alabama hosts the Ragin' Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayetter this coming Saturday.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Music Friday: "Holding On"

I've been digging The War on Drugs this past year since I purchased a couple of the band's albums. 

Here's "Holding On" from A Deeper Understanding.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Random Notes from a Crank

In the latest of installment of Moscow Don acting like the moron he is, it's pretty clear the US is going to lose this trade war. As the article "Trump's Nasty Fight with China's Middle Class Could Extend Trade War" notes, "As the trade war between the world's largest economies unfolds on the international stage, analysts say Trump's brash approach to try to win concessions from Beijing has provoked a public fury that could ultimately thwart his efforts." 

Also, as a scholar at the Brookings Institution informs us, "The middle class has been critical of the Chinese government, but now that anger is shifting to the United States. Chinese media has portrayed Trump as greedy and crazy." Emphasis should be placed on the latter adjective because economists think what he's doing is downright stupid.

The other day I was walking down the hall of the building in which I work. I had picked up a free book and was curiously reading through the table of contents of a book, interestingly enough, that is about reading instruction. As one of my colleagues was about to pass me by as I was reading and walking at the same time, he said, "Hey, that's the old school version of someone walking and staring at his phone." 

I like the old fashioned technology better. 

I haven't been in a fantasy football league for over a decade now, but I joined one with some folks this season. I'm enjoying it, but Sunday night's game brought out my rotowhoreness. 

I was up on my opponent by 30some points going into the Giants-Cowboys game, but the guy I was playing had Ezekiel Elliott on his starting roster. Late into the fourth quarter Elliott scored a touchdown to accrue six points. I lost the fantasy matchup 177.9 to 180. 

Damn it. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Sunday Hangover: Ole Miss

Apologies for my lateness. 

But that was an ass whooping. 

If you're an Alabama fan, that first play of game made you wonder what kind of night it was going to be. 

That sickly feeling didn't last too long because the Tide offense came out and picked apart the Ole Miss D with precise passing and basic running plays. 

I was kind of surprised that no back amassed 100 yards from scrimmage, but as is typical of these type of games, eight players gained over 200 net yards. 

The passing game shone brightly once gain with 306 yards receiving from various receivers. This offense has many weapons at receiver, and the quarterbacks are using all of them. The offenses in the past that tended to target one stud receiver -- Jones, Cooper, Ridley -- is no longer with us from what I can tell. 

Quinnen Williams led the team and tackles and is quietly becoming one of the best players on this team. In fact, he's played better, from what I can tell, than the highly touted Raekwon Davis. Christian Miller also had an outstanding game. 

Next up is Texas A&M at Bryant-Denny. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Music Friday: "I Stay Away"

I've been listening to Alice in Chains all morning. 

In honor of great music made in the glorious 90s, I give you "I Stay Away."

Monday, September 10, 2018

Sunday Hangover: Arkansas State

Yesterday was something else on a number of different fronts, so I'm late to posting about Saturday's game. 

For Tide fans, a 57 to 7 victory is sweet news. Both quarterbacks played well. The dynamic three wide receivers of Jeudy, Ruggs, and Smith all had at least one touchdown (Jeudy had a couple). And then Irv Smith and Kief had touchdowns too. 

For the most part the defense played well, but they are going to have to tighten up their ship when they travel to Oxford for the next game. 

The Rebels are a bit mysterious. They waxed the floor with Texas Tech in their first game, and then in their second game they fell behind the mighty Salukis of Southern Illinois and finally pulled away in the second half. 

All I know is that the secondary will get properly challenged because the top three receivers for Ole Miss are NFL-ready talent. That is a scary prospect for a young defense. 

Band Names Gratis Part Seven

As I did once in 2012couple of times in 2013, another time in 2014, one time in 2015, and again in 2017 I'm providing some band names I've thought of. Because I've done these for long and because a man doesn't change all that much, there may be some repeats. If that is the case, I apologize. 

Here they are:

Friday, September 7, 2018

Music Friday: "East Bound and Down"

To honor the memory of the late Burt Reynolds, today's Music Friday post features the song from one of his most famous moves, Smokey and the Bandit

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Stay Positive: Nike's Ad Campaign

As the Senate grills a hand-picked far-right probable Supreme Court justice, it seems more people are concerned about Nike's ad campaign that includes Colin Kaepernick. 

One of my Facebook "friends," a relative by marriage, immediately spread the following opinion piece among his social network: "Why I'm Boycotting Nike: Get Broke or Woke." 

A more measured and nuanced take on the whole situation is this article: "What Did Nike Just Do? Kaepernick Ad May Gain More from Gen Z than It Loses." 

It stands to reason that one of the iconic American brands probably did quite a bit of market research before unveiling this ad campaign. I'm sure they did some serious cost-benefit analysis before featuring Kaepernick in the campaign. 

As the second article relates, a number of companies have taken political stances, which is nothing new. I'm thinking Nike weighed short-term loses against long-term gains and went with the latter. 

As for me, I need some new athletic shoes. My pair of Saucony running shoes have lost some umph on their footboards. I haven't bought a pair of Nike shoes in ages, probably since the 90s, because I tend to like the styles and fits of Adidas and Saucony. When I do my next shopping spree for athletic shoes, I'm trying on some Nikes. 

Regardless, I still don't see how kneeling is a sign of disrespect. Not going out during the anthem or belligerently doing something else might be seen more accurately as disrespectful. 

People can stupidly burn their shoes or tear up their clothing all they want, but Kaepernick was advised by a veteran and 49ers fan way back when to kneel as a sign of respect. 

The rest of all this hokum is just dog-whistling.  

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Sunday Hangover: Louisville

What an outstanding first start for Tua. 

The Tide lit up the Louisville defense with lots of big plays. 

The offense had 23 first downs with 10 via the rushing game and 12 via the passing game. Net rushing yards came out to 222, and net passing was 297. The Tide dropped 519 yards of offense on the Cardinals. 

The wide receivers looked good with Smith, Ruggs, and Jeudy being the main targets. Jeudy had two touchdowns. True freshman Jaylen Waddle had an outstanding long catch when he hauled in a slightly overthrown ball for a 49 yards. And I was quite happy to see Irv Smith, a tight end, have a couple of really nice catches. 

Waddle also had some solid punt returns, ones that reminded me of one of Alabama's best returners in recent memory, Javier Arenas. And Josh Jacobs showed what he can do on a 77-yard kickoff return for a TD. 

If I were going to be picky, I thought the highly regarded offensive line could have played better. The Louisville defense got too much pressure. 

The defense, in general, played okay. However, there were a number of times when receivers were running free for easy catches. They have to get that issue cleared up quickly. 

After watching Ole Miss tear up Texas Tech on Saturday with their three outstanding receivers, I'm leery of when we play them in a couple of weeks in Oxford. 

A player on the DLine who stood out in the game to me was Quinnen Williams. He had six total tackles with three of them tackles for loss for a total for 12 yards.

Next up is Arkansas State for the home opener. 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Music Friday: "The Rake's Song"

The other day I was reminded of the genre of the rock opera. So I started listening to The Hazards of Love by The Decemberists. 

Here's "The Rake's Song." 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Stay Positive: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Last summer when we were in Ohio for my daughter's national dance competition in Sandusky, Ohio, we took a trip to Cleveland and had the pleasure of touring the Rock and Roll Hall of Hame. 

It was a fun experience. In fact, if I'm ever in the area again, I'd like to tour that place again. What follows are some photos/highlights from the trip. 

The front entry when we were there featured recent inductees, of which was Pearl Jam, one of my favorite bands. 

Next is Vedder's notebook, which shows a draft of "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town," aka "Small Town," from Vs.

And here's Vedder's vintage typewriter. 

The museum also had a feature exhibit on Mellencamp. Here's a draft of one of my favorite songs of his, "Longest Days."

Of course, they also like to feature the famous attire of the stars. Below of two of Hendrix's fly outfits. 

And what we have here is a draft of the famous "Purple Haze." 

Of course, guitars are going to be featured. It is the rock and roll hall of fame after all. 

Here is the late Chris Cornell's Les Paul. 

That one above and the one below, Cobain's,was in the case featuring Grunge. 


Here's one of Marvin Gaye's smooth-ass jackets.

And of course, the Beatles were featured prominently later in the museum. Here's McCartney's jacket from the early days of the band and Lennon's famous t-shirt. 

It was also awesome to see Muddy Waters's guitar and Bootsy Collins's bad-ass bass. 

Ringo's drum kit was one of the few kits featured when we were there. 

At the very end the Hall of Fame featured bands from the Midwest, which there were a lot. One of the highlights of that display for me was the demo tape from The Replacements. Lay it down, Clowns. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Random Notes from a Crank

As a Washington Post columns lays out, Elizabeth Warren is trying to do something about the widespread corruption in D.C.: "Elizabeth Warren Has Bold Ideas about How to Drain the Swamp." 

To me, the ideas aren't that bold. Rather, they are sensible and fair. First, "Warren’s bill would strike directly at the heart of this problem. It 'padlocks the revolving door' between jobs in government and in lobbying. It bans top elected or appointed federal officials from becoming lobbyists after they leave office — for the rest of their lives. It bans any corporate lobbyist, or any executive of a company found guilty of breaking the law from taking a job in the federal government for six years."

In addition, "Warren calls for banning Americans from getting paid to lobby for foreign governments — period. It would prohibit lobbyists from writing campaign checks or giving personal gifts to anyone running for or holding federal office. She would slap a tax on corporations that gear up lobby campaigns that cost more than $500,000. This would be complemented by her separate bill, the Accountable Capitalism Act , which would require the largest corporations to take all stakeholders into account, empower workers to elect 40 percent of corporate boards, and gain approval of three-fourths of the board before the corporation can use money for political purposes." 

Will it go anywhere? We'll see. With the current makeup of the Senate, I doubt it. But it does take aim at the Confederacy of Whores that is our U.S. Congress (and of course, Agent Orange/Moscow Don and his minions). 

If you're paying attention, Moscow Don is trucking in "narcissistic injury" and "narcissistic rage" as is explained by neuroscientist Bobby Azarian: "Trump's Downfall: A Neuroscientist Explains What Happens When a Narcissist Starts to Lose Power." 

Friday, August 24, 2018

Random Notes from a Crank

A few weeks ago we got a new dog, one of the breeds that I always wanted. He's an eight-year-old Brittany named Sampson. And the name is apropos because he's the tallest Brittany I've ever seen. Breed standard is 25-40 pounds, and he weighs in at 60some pounds. And he's not fat. 

He's just tall, really tall for that breed, so that maybe why his name is Sampson (after Ralph Sampson?). 

Our other dog, a twelve-year-old beagle-lab mutt hated him for weeks, but now I think she's gotten used to him. Knock on wood. She's a grouchy, territorial, old broad. 

The excellent deal about the new dog is that I'm walking him almost every day, so both of use are getting exercise. I think I might have lost some weight already or at least something off my waistline. 

If you ever want to get frustrated, try coaching certain fifth graders to play football. As parents know, there is a difference between hearing and listening. 

Listening and following directions will get you places no matter what your age. 

In good news, Spokane, WA had made news by committing to going 100% renewable energy. In what I hope are prophetic words, the state Chair of the Sierra Club said, “Cities across the country are demanding clean energy not just because it’s the right thing to do for the environment and public health, but because it’s cheaper in the long run than fossil fuels. Spokane’s leadership on this measure will help kickstart clean energy development in the Pacific Northwest and speed the transition to a cleaner, cheaper future.”

In bad news, Grist reports about Moscow Don's propping up of a dying and polluting industry is just going to hurt communities: "When Trump Tries to Bring Back Coal, These Communities Pay the Price." 

And as is related, "The EPA's Coal Plan is a Ripoff for Americans, According to the EPA." So the US is now looking forward to "more hospital visits, more sick days away from work and school, and the early deaths of up to 1,400 people each year, by 2030."

The change is going to cost a shitload of money for Americans: "EPA’s press officers aren’t exactly highlighting the findings that the proposal would leave Americans worse off. In a fact sheet, for example, the EPA trumpets its finding that ACE could save power-plants up to $6.4 billion in compliance costs. But wade into the details to look up that scenario (check out table 18 on page 165), and you see that the EPA weighs that $6.4 billion against health costs that run between $16.6 billion and $75 billion."

Music Friday: "Life to Fix"

Here's a tight little rock power trio that you should check out. 

And here's the band's makeshift video of its opening song on their new album, All Of This Life. It's some serious DIY.