Friday, October 31, 2014

Music Friday: "Different Names for the Same Things"

This summer I was reading a document with two other people, and two of us go hung up on terminology. I thought the concept should be called a certain term, and another person thought it should be called something different.

In the end, they were different names for the same thing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Random Notes from a Crank

In the November election in Illinois, there are a number of ballot initiatives. The Millionaire Tax Increase for Education has a certain degree of appeal. You could argue that it's a flat-out voter turnout generator in response to Rauner running for Governor (and probably winning since Quinn and the Democratic Party of IL are so inept). Then again, maybe there's something more to it if you've read "Right vs. Left in the Midwest" from political science professor Lawrence R. Jacobs. 

Here's how US Uncut described the situation on its FB page:

Today The Onion provided a fine article from its archives. Check out "18-Year-Old Miraculously Finds Soulmate in Hometown." 

I'm thinking about buying some dark brown, old-school wingtips. I've always liked wingtips.They look good with dress slacks, and they look good with jeans. Yes, I just used the word "slacks." If you like wingtips, that old-fashioned term is appropriate. 

If you're not watching Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, you should. Grist has a short intro to his report about sugar. Here's "John Oliver's Takedown of the Sugar Industry is Pretty Sweet."  

I don't know if I buy the pseudo-Rogerian argument that leads to a delayed thesis in this article, but "Why Comics Are More Important Than Ever" made me think about my reading practices and some of the reasons I like comics/graphic novels. 

Speaking of comics, in the mail today I got Brian Wood's final installment of his four-volume storyline of Star Wars after the Rebels destroyed the first Death Star and are looking for a base of operations. 

May the Force be with you.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Hangover: Tennessee

It was the Amari Cooper show again. He earned a school record for the most receiving yards last night with 9 receptions for 224 yards and two touchdowns. The first touchdown was on the first play of the game for 80 yards. 

The Crimson Tide started out the game throttling the Vols, but then Tennessee got it together and found a quarterback in Joshua Dobbs, a dual-threat QB who ran for 100 yards. 

I was surprised the Alabama D didn't get more sacks last night with Tennessee's makeshift OLine. However, they did have 7 tackles for loss to go with 2 sacks. 

Yet again there was some sloppiness from Alabama with two fumbles, one of which was deep in Tennessee territory that thankfully only led to a field goal. 

The running game was mediocre to Alabama standards. Yeldon seemed off last night, Henry was good, and Sims had some key runs/scrambles on third down. 

The Crimson Tide will need to get healthy, clean up their game, and get their rushing D ready because the next game in two weeks will probably be a night game at LSU, a team that knocked off Ole Miss last night. 

A significant injury in last night's game was starting left tackle Cam Robinson suffering a high-ankle sprain. He's probably the best offensive lineman on the team. 

LSU played a heck of a game last night. The Crimson Tide will need to play cleaner offense along with much stronger defense when they travel to Baton Rouge. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Music Friday: "Bring on the Night-When the World is Running Down"

This week I downloaded an album I played the hell out of when I had it as a cassette. It's the live album of Bring on the Night

I have always been a huge fan of the Police, and I enjoy Sting's early solo work. I haven't followed his more recent stuff, recent signifying anything past the mid-90s. 

Back in the late 80s/early 90s, his band mixed in jazzy feel into his pop-alt sound, and I dig it because I like jazz. Heck, back then he had Branford Marsalis as his sax player, and he's one of my favorite saxophonists of all time. 

Anyway, here's a live performance of Sting and his band circa 1993. Enjoy. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Hangover: Texas A&M

Yesterday's game was like if you combined the offensive performance of the Tide in the 2012 BCS National Championship and the defensive performance of the Tide in the 2011 BCS National Championship.

The Crimson Tide dominated the Aggies yesterday afternoon. 

Halfway through the second quarter it was clear Alabama had broken the spirit of Texas A&M. 

The recently maligned offensive line played well. They paved the the way for 298 net yards rushing and a grand total of 602 net yards gained. Yeldon had a great game (13 for 114 yards), and Derrick Henry amassed 70 yards on 7 carries. Both Tenpenny and Jones got playing time starting in the third quarter. And Blake Sims looked much more comfortable than he did in the two previous games. 

Amari Cooper was back to his old self -- 8 catches for 140 yards and 2 TDs. Alabama still needs to create a consistent set of foils for Cooper. TE O.J. Howard is certainly a player Tide fans want to see emerge as a consistent threat. DeAndrew White has a solid track record. I'm interested in seeing what Chris Black can do, and both true freshman Cam  Sims and redshirt freshman ArDarius Stewart got some playing time. 

As much as the performance by the offense provides hope, I was most impressed by the defense. Alabama's D held A&M to 8 first downs, 31 net yards rushing, and 172 net yards gained. As would be expected with those numbers, Alabama won time of possession, 36:31 to A&M's 23:29. 

My only complaint about the game is most of the kickoffs weren't touchbacks. With that said though, coverage was solid, especially the play of LB Reuben Foster, who reminds me of a violent brick running down the field. 

Next up is the Tide visiting Knoxville to take on the Tennessee Volunteers. Despite their record, the Vols are an improved team, most significantly on the defensive side of the ball. They're going to upset someone this season, and I hope it's not Alabama. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Music Friday: "Danger Zone"

In honor of that compilation of danger-zone moments from Archer, this Music Friday I'm getting all Kenny Loggins on you. I have been always more fond of "I'm Alright" from Caddyshack fame, but here's that Top Gun video.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Stay Positive: Archer Quotations for Everyday Use

If you are a fan of the adult, sometimes raunchy, animated TV series Archer, you should appreciate "All the Archer Quotes You Should Be Using in Everyday Conversation." 

I'm a fan of "I swear to god I had something for this," "Phrasing," "That's how you get ants," "Boop," and "Idiots doing idiot things because they're idiots." 

All these quotes will be helpful if you ever find yourself in the .......... Danger Zone. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday Hangover: Arkansas

What an ugly, uninspiring win. 

To be blunt, the offense, and the offensive line especially, looked like crap. The Tide only had 66 net yards rushing and 227 net yards of offense. Three and outs all over the place. The Tide was starting its second string center and right guard has been a revolving door with Brown and Taylor getting time there, but jeesh the run blocking was poor. 

The punt return squad looked horrible because of stupid decisions on poor punts from the Razorback punter. I would imagine the punt return team is going to hear some harsh language this week. 

If you're looking to name stars of the game, one would have to be the freshman punter J.K. Scott. He punted eight times in the game. Seven of those punts settled inside the 20. 

LB Reggie Ragland was all over the field and amassed 12 total tackles, a tackle for loss, and a pass broken up. Landon Collins had a key interception. Xzavier Dickson, Trey DePriest, Cyrus Jones, A'shawn Robinson, and Jarran Reed had good games. Jonathan Allen  gets kudos for blocking the point after. 

Besides a few big plays, the Tide defense played well and bailed out the offense in this game. 

The D better play just as well if not better next game, and if the offense doesn't get it together, I see a number of losses in Alabama's future. And perhaps a change at quarterback because Sims did not play well. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Music Friday: "Half Crazy" & "Love Ain't Enough"

I realized today that I had never done a Music Friday for the Barr Brothers. 

The band's second album, Sleeping Operator, came out this week. I have the band's first album, which is self titled. If you're fond of acoustic, folky, sometimes bluesy tunes, it's a band you should check out. Heck, a harpist is part of the band. They're doing some interesting work. 

Below are two songs from the new album. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday Hangover: Ole Miss

What a horrific game. Kenyan Drake's injury rattled the Crimson Tide though they finally got it together in the first half. His season is probably over, but I hope he can still play football next year. 

In the second half it was a healthy smattering of stupid penalties, dropped balls, the anchor of the OLine going out with injury, two or three major blown coverages, and dumb turnovers. 

Alabama beat Ole Miss in number of first downs, net yards rushing, total net yards of offensive production, and time of possession, yet they lost the game. 

Cooper was limited early in the game but still had 9 catches for 91 yards. Yeldon had another 100-yard game. 

But Christion Jones's fumble on a kickoff really flipped the game. The Tide D was given a another short field to defend and fell behind by only six after Tony Brown blocked the point after the touchdown. 

Alabama did drive the length of the field at the end of the game, but Howard couldn't make the catch in the end zone, and an Ole Miss DB made a great interception. 

When a team dominates statistically, they'll still lose because of penalties and dumb penalties that negate solid plays. 

Next Saturday the Tide travels to Fayetteville to take on the Razorbacks. We'll see how this team responds after losing a game they could have easily won.

Coulda Shoulda.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Music Friday: "Dance Anthem of the 80s" & "Eet"

This week I bought a pair of Saucony Bullet Sneakers, which are essentially Saucony track shoes circa 1985 without the cleats. See below.

So those shoes serve as an uneasy introduction and transition to Regina Spektor's "Dance Anthem of the 80s." 

And I'm throwing in another song from her, "Eet."