Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Random Notes from a Crank

I wish the current President of the United States would be held to the same standard as Jim McElwain, the former U of Florida head coach. McElwain fabricated some story, and he got canned because of it. Moscow Don needs to be held to the same standard. 

So there's going to be all kinds of speculation about who will become the next head coach of the Gators. Here's an early speculative article: "Florida Coaching Candidates: 11 Coaches Who Could Take Over for Jim McElwain."

The attack in New York today sickens me. I'm sure MoscowDon will use this attack as an opportunity to stir up hokum against Muslims. And probably his travel ban crap.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Music Friday: "Hold On"

As I was driving up to northern Iowa to visit my dad, this tune came across my iPod shuffle. 

I realized I hadn't listened to Gary Clark Jr.'s second album as much as I have listened to Blak and Blu. On my way back home Sunday, I plan to listen to it the whole way along with Son Volt's Notes of Blue, another album I need to listen to more often. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Random Notes from a Crank

This interview, "Faint Sounds, Loud Impact," with Timothy A. Schuler reprinted in Utne reminds me of a number of themes and ideas in Florence Williams' fine book, The Nature Fix. Noise pollution is a problem, and it affecting the environment in various ways, most of them bad. 

In a similar vein, Craig Holdrege's article about Aldo Leopold, "Meeting Nature as Presence," is a fine essay that tracks the progressive nature of Leopold's thinking about environmental matters. "Thinking Like a Mountain" is one of his more famous essays from A Sand County Almanac, which is referenced in the essay, and it was one of my students' favorites when I used to teach an environmental rhetoric course. 

In the same fall issue of Utne, there's an interesting article "Public Banking Goes to Pot,"  which was originally published in High Country News and relates the problems the federal government has created because of their compliance rules about taking money from marijuana dispensaries. Because of these problems, there is some movement afoot for another public bank (North Dakota has the only one in the US), and if it's going to happen, it'll probably happen in Oakland. 

A writer from Politico relates some data analysis about the demographic divisions among America's two major parties: "Both Parties Gripped by Deep Divisions." I was heartened to learn that "Solid Liberals" are the largest group of the nine. Depending on the issue and mood I vacillate among these five groups: Market-Skeptic Republicans, New Era Enterprisers, Disaffected Democrats, Opportunity Democrats, and Solid Liberals. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Sunday Hangover: Tennessee

Damn, I wanted a shut out, but one of the Volunteer defenders got a pick-six and spoiled my wishes. 

Sorry about getting this out late. My posting schedule got a bit jacked up because of The Walking Dead's first episode of the season. 

Nevertheless, Alabama played one heck of a game even though Tennessee's defense did some good work at points in the game. 

Tua got to play with the 1s, so that was a good sign. Hurts got pulled relatively early, and a number of younger players got playing time. 

Damien Harris was a beast again, and it was good to see Hentges and Smith (both TEs) get some looks in the passing game. 

On defense, Buggs, Evans, and Wallace had great games. 

Next up is the bye week before the Crimson Tide takes on LSU. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Music Friday: "Mandolin Rain"

I woke up today with this song in my head. I don't know why.

I like the song, but I don't own any of this dude's albums. 

Flashback to the 80s.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Random Notes from a Crank

I live in east central Illinois, and from time to time I see people who have "Salt Life" emblems on their vehicles. Certainly this "Salt Life" journey they are on is aspirational because we're landlocked as Hell. Sure, the person driving the car may vacation at places where there's an ocean, but the only saltwater one is going to find around here is a saltwater pool. 

John McCain had a pretty damn good line of criticism about MoscowDon and his ilk: "To refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain 'the last best hope of Earth' for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past. We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil... We have the moral obligation to continue in our just cause, and we would bring more than shame on ourselves if we don't." Of course, MoscowDon might understand what McCain is talking about: all those complicated sounding words and phrases that he doesn't like, understand, or connect to like "leadership," "spurious nationalism," "attachment," "tired dogma," "moral obligation," "just cause," and "shame." Read about it here from The Washington Post: "'It Won't Be Pretty': Trump Promises to 'Fight Back" against McCain." 

But then the Senator goes along with Trump's asinine tax plan. Jesus H. Christ. 

Game 3 of the National League Championship Series is really difficult to watch for this fan. The Cubs are not hitting worth a damn, and the bullpen is stinking.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday Hangover: Arkansas

Once again the Crimson Tide started out quickly with a long TD run by Damien Harris. This one was on the first play of the game for 75 yards. 

The Tide then kicked a field goal and had two other touchdowns before the half. The second TD run by Harris was a example of pluck and grit. He broke at least four tackles that I can think of. 

Arkansas tightened up their D in the latter part of the first half of the game. 

I was a little concerned about the second-string QB who started for Arkansas. The dude is a mountain of a man. 

However, the Crimson Tide defense played well for the most part. 

I'm sure there will be some talking points about passes to the middle of the field and the late touchdown they gave up. 

Rashaan Evans had a great game: 6 total tackles (3 solo), 2 sacks, 2 quarterback hurries, and 3.5 tackles for loss. 

Hurts spread the ball around to eight different receivers, so that's a good sign for the future. 

Next up is a CBS afternoon game versus Tennessee. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Music Friday: "Total Entertainment Forever" & "Things It Would Have Been Helpful to Know Before the Revolution"

I'm in for some weirdness, so today I"m providing the official video of "Total Entertainment Forever" along with a live performance of Father John Misty on Seth Meyers. 

Also, check out part of his interview with Meyers. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sunday Hangover: Texas A&M

The Aggies played the Crimson Tide tough last night. Besides a few big plays in the running game, Texas A&M played well against the Alabama run game. 

Texas A&M had two really nice drives, and their freshman QB hit Kirk for a TD on fourth down (if I remember right) by scrambling to his right and hitting the receiver perfectly. 

Hurts had a good game--56 yards running and 123 yards passing. 

Damien Harris had that long 75-yard scamper for a touchdown, but the more impressive run was when he got it to the 1-yard line in the first half. 

Isaiah Buggs was absolutely on fire on the defensive side of ball. He played just as well if not better than Hand, who he was filling in for. 

Coach Saban summed up the game well with this statement: “I don’t think we played very well in the second half. We didn’t do a very good job of controlling the ball on offense. We turned it over and gave them opportunities. You’ve got to give (Texas A&M) credit for hanging in there and playing hard at the end. We were ahead 24-3 in the game, and you’re supposed to go put the game away. We didn’t do it."

Next game is a home gig against the Razorbacks of Arkansas. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Music Friday: "Brighter Days"

This fine tune came across my iPod on shuffle this afternoon. 

It's a great track from the first album. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Random Notes from a Crank

Having a teenage girl in middle school has made me realize that some of the meanest people on the planet are middle school girls. I'm trying to sort of why this is, but I only have speculation and conjecture. However, I'm glad I didn't have to deal with all that drama when I was in junior high school. 

Mean girls...

Senator Chris Murphy has a good column in the Washington Post people should read: "Mass shootings Are an American Problem. There's an American Solution." 

But then again, consider this editorial cartoon.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Sunday Hangover: Ole Miss

Wow, I was feeling good about Alabama's chances versus Ole Miss, but damn, that was a severe ass kicking. By the time it got around to the middle of the second quarter, it seemed as though the Crimson Tide had broken the Rebels' spirits. 

The offensive game plan showcased a balance of run and pass. Hentges (TE), Ruggs (WR), and Jacobs (RB) all caught passing TDs. It's great to see Jacobs back because he is a serious threat coming out of the backfield to catch passes. The touchdown he scored on was executed perfectly. He came out of the backfield, slowed a bit to disguise himself, and then ran to an open spot in the defense. Hurts hit him in stride. 

The Tide played well defensively again. They gave up a few big plays, but that was to be expected playing against Patterson, a QB who styles himself as Johnny Manziel Lite. However, Ole Miss's third-down efficiency was 0 for 13. 

Alabama rushed for 365 yards. They just brutalized the Rebels defense. 

The main concern coming out of this game is that Da'Shawn Hand came down with an injury because of an Ole Miss offensive linemen undercutting his knee. Thank goodness it is only an MCL strain. It's unclear, however, to what extent of the injury suffered by cornerback and primary punt and kickoff returner Trevon Diggs has. It didn't look good. 

Next up is a visit to College Station to take on the Aggies of Texas A&M.