Friday, September 29, 2017

Music Friday: "Tennessee Square"

I haven't listend to Whiskeytown in a while.

Here's a gem from the fine alt-country classic album Faithless Street

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Random Notes from a Crank

I'm trying to invent a new word. This word needs to concisely sum up this feeling: a professor who has taught for many years sees freshmen making bad decisions that he or she has seen year after year, but he or she has a sense of futility that whatever advice he or she might give is not going to be heeded. 

If you have any ideas for the new word that exemplifies that feeling, please post in the comments. 

Here are some intriguing data points from September's "Harper's Index":

  • Amount that Carrier promised to invest in an Indiana plan in a deal with Donald Trump to save domestic jobs: $16,000,000
  • Percentage of that money that will be used for automation: 100
  • Amount taxpayers spent in 2013 on food stamps, Medicaid, and housing assistance for Walmart employees: $6,200,000,000

This evening I watched the final episode of the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's documentary The Vietnam War. The ten-episode film is one of the most poignant and powerful documentaries I've ever watched. When they talked about the Vietnam Memorial tonight, I choked up and then started crying. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday Hangover: Vanderbilt

A few Vanderbilt players were vocal in "wanting" Alabama and exclaiming how the Crimson Tide was "next." 

They didn't get what they wanted. 

What they got was an offense that was destructive, an offensive line that mashed people, running backs that helped a running game to chalk up almost 500 yards, and defense that was downright nasty. 

Harris had three touchdowns, and Bo had a couple.

The defense was salty, which I attribute to having two of starters back in the lineup: Rashaan Evans and Anfernee Jennings. 

The offense reminded me of earlier great Alabama teams like the '09 championship team. 

The game was an outstanding display for the "Run the Damn Ball" crowd, a group I am a member of. I like passes and all that, but I love it when Alabama runs the ball well.  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Music Friday: "Stone Free" & "All Along the Watchtower"

This past week I've been listening to the Hendrix discography. 

Here are a couple of my favorites from the master. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sunday Hangover: Colorado State

Alabama won 41 to 23. To outsiders or to people who don't follow college football closely, Colorado State putting 23 points on the board could be surprising.

The Rams have a solid quarterback and an NFL-caliber wide receiver. And that running back they used is one heck of a player. They have a good offense. 

The Crimson Tide is still trying to get their backup linebackers to play like starters with Jennings and Evans still not ready to play. 

For me, the defensive performance on Saturday is a concern. 

However, the offense looked good. I know Ridley's TD catch and run was played on the highlight shows, but the one Tide fans should focus on is the TD by Robert Foster. That was an impressive display of speed. 

Next up is an away game versus Vanderbilt, a team that just beat a ranked Kansas State team in the environs of Nashville. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Music Friday: "Unfuck the World"

I saw the interview with Chuck D and Tom Morello on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and I was intrigued by the new supergroup that includes folks from Public Enemy, Rage Against the Machine, and Cypress Hill. 

With that combination of forces, you think they might present protest music and political lyrics? 

Yes, just maybe...

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday Hangover: Fresno State

If I were a gambling man, I'd consistently put big money on Alabama not covering after the team's usual big time primetime opening game. They didn't cover the point spread, but they, for the most part, looked pretty good. 

I wanted to see more production out of the running backs, but we did get to watch a number of different receivers catch the ball. Hentges was wide open on a touchdown, and I hope to see more passes going to tight ends. Hentges is steady, but I've read good things bout Irv Smith, and Forristall saw a good bit of action last season. We haven't seen much from him so far this year. 

Tua, the second-string QB, got some time in the game, which is good. He looked solid. 

With the losses in the linebacking corps, they played a lot of younger players, and at times that inexperience showed. The D looked bad a couple of times on some simple screens. 

Linebacking play is something I'll be focusing on when the Tide squares off against Colorado State in its next game. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Music Friday: "Right Moves" & "To the Dogs or Whoever"

This morning I'm listening to The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter. Here are a couple of songs from that fine album. 

Have a good weekend, folks. 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sunday Hangover: Florida State

One of the more hyped opening games of the college football sort of lived up to expectations. 

Both defenses played pretty well. I was a little worried when the Seminoles scored pretty quickly on that early drive. Francois was on fire. 

Alabama answered, and it was 10 to 7 at half. 

The Crimson Tide offense looked lethargic a great deal of the time. Hurts threw a huge touchdown pass to Ridley, and the rushing game rarely got runs over a few yards, but the team grinded out 184 yards by four runners, Hurts included. 

Alabama's passing game was not consistent. But I think that was mainly because of Florida State's outstanding front seven. 

With all of the the fine work the special teams and defense did in the second half (two interceptions and a blocked punt), the game would have been a blowout if the offense would have capitalized on great field position more than once. 

On the other hand, the Tide gave FSU poor field position most of the second half, and the Tide's D played salty. 

I noticed a lot of second-team players playing in the front seven during the game, and there are, as I find out now, reasons for that. As for the DLine, I suspect they just wanted to rotate people to keep the big men fresh. 

But for the linebackers, the Tide's D exited the contest with serious injury problems. Three outside linebackers are hurt. Starter Christian Miller is out for the season with a biceps injury. Key backup Terrell Harris is out for the season with an elbow injury. Another crucial outside linebacker, Anfernee Jennings, is out for a maybe four weeks with an ankle injury. And starting inside linebacker Rashaan Evans is out for a few weeks with a groin injury. 

The next four contests break down this way: vs. Fresno State, vs. Colorado State, at Vanderbilt, and vs. Ole Miss. 

The last two games of those four are a concern because Vandy has a good defense, and Ole Miss can be dangerous. Sure, they're in serious trouble with the NCAA, but infractions they'll likely get won't affect them this season, and they still have plenty of talent to give any team problems. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Music Friday: "The Evil Has Landed"

One of the better albums I've got this year is Villains by Queens of the Stone Age. 

If you're a fan of the band, do yourself a favor and get the new album.