Sunday, November 10, 2019

Sunday Hangover: LSU

That was a terrible first quarter for the Crimson Tide. They tried to come back from shooting themselves in the feet, but they couldn't pull out the win. 

I'm still pissed at the allegedly completed pass that the LSU TE had. It was clearly illegal touching, but the announcers explained that they supposedly can't review illegal touching. If that's true, that's patent nonsense. 

It was a disappointing afternoon and evening. 

Alabama needed to run the ball more.

I guess there's an outside shot of the Tide getting the playoffs, but I think Alabama won't be in them for the first time since they started. 

I hope to be proven wrong. 

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Random Notes from a Crank

In the October issue of The Atlantic there's a short article by Jeffrey Goldberg based on his interviews with former Secretary of Defense James Mattis: "The Man Who Couldn't Take It Anymore." Like the author, I wish Mattis would speak out more. 

The anonymous author who wrote an op-ed column a while back about the unhinged, racist, intellectually dubious, and easily influenced nature of Moscow Don has published a book: "Book by Anonymous Describes Trump as Cruel, Inept, and a Danger to the Nation." 

It's a narrative that should seriously concern any American citizen. In one of the early ¶s of the article, it paints a chilling but not surprising portrait comparing Moscow Don to "a twelve-year old in an air traffic control tower, pushing button of government indiscriminately, indifferent to the planes skidding across the runway and the flight frantically diverting away from the airpot." 

I've compiled a bunch of metrics and stats from past Harper's Indexes dating all the way back from May:

  • Factor by which users of marijuana edibles are more likely to require emergency care than marijuana smokers: 33
  • Percentage of U.S. adults who admit to shopping while drunk: 26
  • Average amount of those adults spend annually on purchases made while drunk: $736
  • Estimated value of drunk shopping to the U.S. economy each year: $39,400,000,000
  • Number of U.S. counties in which a full-time worker making minimum wage can afford a one-bedroom apartment: 22
  • Percentage by which a same-sex couple is more likely to be denied a home loan than other couples: 73
  • Estimated percentage of New York City police officers who have received tickets for speeding tickets for speeding and running red lights: 59
  • Of New York City drivers in general: 36
  • Percentage of Republican or Republican-leaning whites who are bothered by hearing a non-English language in public: 47
  • Of Democratic or Democratic-leaning whites: 18
  • Factor by which more migrants with criminal records are apprehended at the Canadian rather than the Mexican border: 3
  • Percentage chance that a U.S. woman who is denied an abortion will be in poverty six months later: 61
  • Factor by which more Americans died in school shootings than in combat last year: 3
  • Rank of Candid among countries resettling the most refugees in 2018: 1
  • Minimum number of years for which the United States previously held that distinction: 59
  • Number of U.S. state that require permits for children's lemonade stands: 34
  • Estimated number of active police officers who use racist, bigoted, or violent language on Facebook: 20
  • Of retired police officers: 45
  • Percentage by which the federal minimum wage is worth les today than it was in 1968: 31
  • Number of years for which the federal minimum wage has remained unadjusted: 10
  • Number of U.S. representatives and senators who are naturalized American citizens: 14
  • Number of those who are Democrats: 14
  • Number of think tanks in the United States: 1,872
  • Factor by which this figure has increased since 1980: 2
  • Percentage of American adults who think the Iraq War was not worth fighting: 62
  • Of veterans: 64
  • Portion of violent protest movements seeking regime change from 1900 to 2014 that were successful: 1/4
  • Of nonviolent protest movements: 1/2
  • Rank of Brazil among countries with the highest amount of annual forest depletion: 2
  • Rank of Russia: 1
  • Minimum number of Afghan civilians killed this year by the Afghan military and international forces: 577
  • By the Taliban: 423
  • Average number of times per week Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is mentioned on Fox News: 42
  • On CNN: 14
  • Number of states whose Supreme Court benches are all white: 24
  • Number of those states in which at least a quarter of the population consists of people of color: 8
  • Minimum number of U.S. universities that have offered courses related to the marijuana industry: 14
  • Rank of subscription television services among the forty-six major U.S. industries in terms of customer satisfaction: 46
  • Of breweries: 1

Some initial thoughts based on all that data...

Thank the Gods for beer. 

Prejudice against same-sex couples is quite alive. 

Arguments for a much higher minimum wage have some ammunition. 

As much as people want to talk about the "thin blue line," to think there are not problems with policing in this country is foolishness. The tickets for NYC cops is somewhat jejune but not an aberration. People in power can easily abuse that power. 

The GOP has become a nativist party that has become obsessed with painting Democrats as socialists. 

Legalized marijuana has its challenges. 

Friday, November 8, 2019

Fumbling Toward Culinary Talent: Garbanzo and Black Bean Salad

You would think people who truck in the English language, especially foodies who like to call concoctions "compotes" and such, would come up with a better name than "salad" to describe a mixture of beans and veggies, but here I am, providing a repipe for a bean-based salad

I went to Aldi's after work and saw a bean salad, so I decided to make one of my own. I like garbanzos and black beans. So here you go. 

Ingredients
1 can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small bell pepper, chopped finely
1 bunch of green onions, whites chopped finely
1-2 tablespoons of minced garlic
1 handful of fresh cilantro, chopped finely
Smidge of rice vinegar 
Salt and pepper to taste

Process
Drain and rinse the beans. Once fairly dry, dump them into a bowl and add the bell pepper, scallions, garlic, cilantro, and a little bit of vinegar. Salt and pepper to your desired level of seasoning. 

Music Friday: "Ain't Got No Money"

The Saint of Lost Causes Is one of the better efforts by Justin Townes Earle in recent years. I've listened to it off and on since it dropped. 

Here's the second song on the album.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Music Friday: "I Will Buy You a New Life"

I'm late again. I got home late last night, walked the dog, had a refreshing highball of Old Grand Dad 114, and then fell asleep. 

This song came across the Lithium channel on SiriusXM radio this morning when I took my son to the walk-in clinic. He's had a fever for a couple of days. 

I've always enjoyed Everclear's songs, but I don't have any of the band's albums. 

This is probably one of my favorites. 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Sunday Hangover: Arkansas

I was hoping for a shutout, but that didn't happen. Much to the chagrin of Crimson Tide fans, the Razorbacks scored in the third quarter. 

Coach Sark had a solid game plan going into the game. He got Jones acclimated early by calling a lot of short passes. Jones did show his arm strength on a number of long throws, notably the 40-yard TD strike to Jeudy. 

The running game looked good against an outmanned Arkansas defense. 

As for the defense, I still have concerns about the Tide's ability to stop the run. 

The two freshmen middle linebackers ~ Lee and Harris ~ were the leading tacklers on the squad. Lee had two tackles for loss and a sack. That was the lone sack of the game, but Lewis had six quarterback hurries. 

The team will have an off week just like LSU has before they play the Tigers in less than a couple of weeks. 

Friday, October 25, 2019

Music Friday: "W.M.A."

I was listening to Pearl Jam Radio on my way to taking my car for an oil change, and this song was preceded by bassist Jeff Ament talking about how this is a great songs because of the drum part, which is one of his favorites out of all of their songs. 

It is a great drum part that pairs well with his bass line. 

And then there's "Police stopped my brother again."

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Sunday Hangover: Tennessee

The big news of course is that Tua didn't play the majority of the game. He'll be out vs. Arkansas because he has a high ankle sprain. 

So Mac Jones came in and looked pretty dang nervous early on. Then it looked like he got his legs under him a bit and played much better. 

The Tide relied upon the ground game, which was something different this season. Both Harris and Robinson had good games, with Harris gaining 105 net yards on 21 carries. But the offense did pass for 233 yards. 

Interestingly, if we are to go by Coach Saban's mantra about having "balance" on offense, the Tide did exactly that: 233 yards rushing and 233 yards passing. 

Overall though, I think the team needs to tighten up their defense even more. Lewis once again stood out as a performer, but I'd like to see more production from the defensive linemen. 

But like I said, next up is a squad of Razorbacks.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Music Friday: "What Are You Willing to Lose?"

At the conclusion of walking my loyal dog Sampson last night this fine tune came across on Shuffle.  

Lucero makes some fine music. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Random Notes from a Crank

I found a typeface I will now be using more of: Charter. It's easier on my eyes when I look at documents on a screen. 

For this blog I've been using Trebuchet for years. It's a sans serif font that has some serif-like style with its pointedness. 

And this all reminds me of the character Brick from The Middle who is also fascinated with typefaces. 

I started watching that show a few months ago. It's hilarious. Of course, with my timing, I didn't actually watch the sit-com when it was off the air. 

HBO has a new series I'm interested in: Watchmen. I enjoyed the graphic novel and its adaptation to the big screen. On the latter opus, I guess I"m a minority if one goes by all the vitriol on the InterWebs. I don't know what the series will be like, but I was surprised by Don Johnson being in the show. I haven't seen him in years. 

His Dark Materials looks very interesting too. I'm intrigued. I'm considering reading the novel trilogy that is the series' basis. 

Who are the morons who started the idiotic trend of wearing socks with Birkenstocks?

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Sunday Hangover: Texas A&M

After A&M's opening drive where they mixed in the run and passing games effectively, I was concerned. Then a couple of Tide touchdowns happened, and the Aggies, for whatever reason, seemed to abandon the running game. 

It's not like Alabama was up that big on A&M, so I don't understand why they didn't stick to the formula that created an impressive first drive of the game. 

The line looked even stronger this game with the addition of Brown at RG and Dickerson moving to Center. Both Harris and Robinson ran well behind them with Harris garnering 114 net yards. 

The receiving corps clicked well with Tua. The Tide loves slant patterns and then runs slant-and-gos off them. 

Jennings and Lewis had really good games on the defensive side of the ball. 

However, I'm still concerned about the defense. 

Friday, October 11, 2019

Music Friday: "You Did Good Kid"

This week I discovered The Hold Steady, one of my favorite rock bands, put out a new album last month. 

No one told me about it. 

Here's a cut from the new album. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Random Notes from a Crank

Because I have two fantasy football teams and I am always open to stealing someone else's plays since I run an offense at the JFL level, I've been watching quite a few NFL games in addition to the my regular viewing schedule of watching college football on Saturdays. 

I find it interesting that both the Colts (vs. the Chiefs) and 49ers (vs. the Browns) won convincingly this week by running the ball. And much to my pleasure, San Francisco used a two-back set with a fullback. 

I get that people like watching the passing the game, but I love it when a football team has a great running game. 

That is why is bothers me that Thielen and Diggs of my NFL team, the Vikings, are bitching about how they're not getting a lot of passes thrown their way. Boo hoo. 

Run the damn ball

I need that hat. 

Even better is a team that has a great defense. 

My fantasy baseball team, the Schlitzophrenics, won the league again this season. Over the last five seasons I've won the league four times. 

Bask in my greatness. 

Friday, October 4, 2019

Music Friday: "Non-State Actor"

It's a shame that Chris Cornell is no longer with us. 

King Animal is a great album. 

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Sunday Hangover: Ole Miss

Welcome to the Tua and Devonta Show, a game where Tua connected with Smith for a record five touchdowns (for Smith) and a recording-setting number of yards for a receiver. He broke Amari Cooper's record of 242 yards in a game with 274 yards on 11 receptions. 

Those highlights will be shown on all of the sports programs, but there are some aspects of the game that those of us who watched it didn't miss. 

While Tua looked great for the most part, he did miss Ruggs a couple of times on what would have been touchdowns. Alabama could have easily scored in the 60s or 70s if he doesn't overthrow some receivers. 

Also, while the passing game will get much of the attention, the running game, much to my enjoyment, looked pretty dang good. Both Harris and Robinson had many solid runs on the day. It's just that the Tide scored on passing plays. 

It's hard to say how good the Ole Miss Rebels are on defense, but both the running and passing game looked good for Alabama. Sarkisian called a really good game. 

For the most part, the defense looked fine, but the freshman QB of Ole Miss was impressive. He was their leading rushing on the day. He's super fast. He has wide receiver/defensive back speed.  

Next up is a bye week before the Tide travels to College Station.