Saturday, September 24, 2005
This Just In
By the by, the Wisconsin Badgers just scored the go-ahead TD against Mchigan on, of all things, a quarterback draw.
Friday, September 23, 2005
I miss Maureen Dowd
Never thought I'd say that.
Before the new job and the move, I read the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel daily, and could look forward to (average) one MoDo column a week. [The opinion page was my favorite, back then.] Now, I read the Des Moines Register daily, and am treated to at least one per week by (brace yourselves) Molly Ivins.
Of all the fershlugginner...
Both Mo's hate GeeDub and all things Republican. Both believe that everything he does is not merely wrong but grossly immoral, and based in sinister motives to boot. Further, anything that goes wrong, or any bad thing that happens, is ultimately his fault, and anything that goes well...but nothing's going well right now, so that's moot.
But at least Dowd can turn a phrase. Fisking her was fun. Ivins is just a hack. Not worth it.
Monday, September 19, 2005
North Korea giving up nuclear weapons?
"The United States, North Korea and four other nations participating in nuclear negotiations in Beijing signed a draft accord in which Pyongyang promised to abandon efforts to produce nuclear weapons and re-admit international inspectors to its nuclear facilities. Foreign powers said they would provide aid, diplomatic assurances and security guarantees and consider North Korea's demands for a light-water nuclear reactor."
All together now: sure they will.
A few weeks or months from now (hell, for all I know it's already happened) NK will claim that we're not living up to our end, and we're right back where we started.
Sure enough: I can't even finish this post without coming across this. "North Korea said on Tuesday it would not give up its nuclear weapons until it is given civilian nuclear reactors."
I await the next iteration of the words 'hostile policy.'
Sunday, September 18, 2005
I don't know what's wrong with my Packers
I at least console myself that the Vikings are stricken with it as well. I know, young team, new defense, blah, blah, blah. Today was an auspicious day. The team retires Reggie's number. Brett passes 50,000 yards passing. The team retires Reggie's number.
Should have been a win. Who we got next week?
Friday, September 16, 2005
Public service announcement
[Note: Omni may want to skip this one since she's an innie not an outie, though what her navel has to do with it is unknown to me.]
The first week of NFL football being over, I (belatedly) went in search of TMQ's column. I recall him starting after the first week last year. What do I find? He's been at it since August. Or possibly April.
Go catch up. Meanwhile, here's what he had to say about the Packers in his NFC preview.
In 2003, the Green Bay "D" performed pretty well, finishing 11th in scoring defense. Then, in the playoffs, came the "Play That Must Not Be Named" -- Philadelphia's fourth-and-26 conversion that cost the Packers an NFC title game appearance. Defensive coordinator Ed Donatell was fired as punishment, though TMQ does not recall seeing Donatell on the field during this blown play. With Donatell cashiered, the Packers slipped to 23rd in scoring defense in 2004, then gave up 31 points at Lambeau Field in an opening-round playoff collapse. Brett Favre actually had a terrific year in 2004 -- about the same statistically as when he was MVP in 1997, compare here -- but the Packers defense was so waterlogged that the team's offensive output did not matter. Meanwhile, Donatell decamped to Atlanta, where the defense improved from 30th in 2003 to 14th in 2004. The football gods grind slow, but they grind exceeding small.
Now Jim Bates is the Pack's defensive honcho. For years at Miami, Bates ran one of the league's most effective units. Bates coaches the kind of defense Tuesday Morning Quarterback admires and advocates -- conservative, position-oriented schemes with little blitzing. In a Bates defense, the ends are usually quite wide to stop sweeps, the corners usually cover man to man, and having the linebackers in the right place at the right time is the key to everything. Can the Bates system work in Green Bay? The system only works if defenders are disciplined, and Packers defensive backs are not known for discipline. Now that Mike "Coach Cratchit" Sherman has surrendered his general manager duties, Green Bay will offer a test of the TMQ maxim that coaches should not double as front-office managers. If TMQ's theory is right, Packer fortunes will improve with Coach Cratchit confining himself to coaching.
Lambeau note 1: Green Bay has lost two of its last three playoff games at Lambeau Field, which is like saying Anna Kournikova has been turned down by two of the last three men she asked out.
Lambeau note 2: This month, the Packers sold out a scrimmage at Lambeau with 66,000 people filing in to watch a scrimmage. Citizens of Wisconsin, you have your priorities in order!
Lambeau note 3: Sherman has become Coach Cratchit to this column owing to the Dickensian fingerless gloves he wore on the sidelines at Lambeau in January. Put another scuttle of coal on the fire, Coach Cratchit, and you do that before you draw up another X or O!
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Well that was embarrassing.
If you guessed that the game just ended, you're right. I'm seeing some promising things - pass coverage solidified after the first quarter, nice pursuit on the tackling, new guards seemed to do all right. Still, should have been a win.
Lessons learned. You can't win with all those drive-killing penalties (aside to Ahmad Carroll: I'm not putting up with that all season). Also, if you buy a Ford truck, you'll be immune to rattlesnakes.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
The Iowa - Iowa State game
Ended a little while ago. From talking to people around here, it's apparently some kind of big deal or something. I watched most of it (I was afraid there might be some local ordinance). Good game. Couple observations.
This is an old one: the announcers named ISU's running back player of the game. He did have a great second half, uncorked some nice runs and was really tough to tackle. However, I quickly got tired of the talk about how he was making the plays, he was taking it into his hands, you know the drill. The announcers seemingly overlooked the fact that he regularly got past the line untouched. See what I'm saying?
[Yeah, I played OL in high school but come on, that was a long time ago.]
This is a new one: I don't know if this is a one-time thing or some new ABC deal, but when they discussed a particular player and put his profile up - you know, picture, personal data - the sidebar contained the following factoids: hometown, father's occupation (in some cases), hobbies, and favorite actress. [Note: Eva Longoria big among 19-20 year olds. Also, two colons in one sentence. Is that allowed?] Here's my question: do these guys have, y'know, majors? Remember when those used to be important? Even when it was 'music appreciation' or 'physical studies'?
I further note that the Badgers played a glorified high school team today. No way to tune up for the Big Ten wars, but whatever. The important football is tomorrow.
Packers on at 3. I am therefore hopeful that they'll be on here.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
It's been a busy week of not-blogging here at Chez Pterodactyl. here are a few of the things I've been not-blogging about.
Do you have one of those office-mates who forwards mass emails? I do:
::IT HAS BEEN CALCULATED THAT IF EVERYONE IN THE UNITED STATES DID NOT PURCHASE A DROP OF GASOLINE FOR ONE DAY AND ALL AT THE SAME TIME, THE OIL COMPANIES WOULD CHOKE ON THEIR STOCKPILES. AT THE SAME TIME IT WOULD HIT THE ENTIRE INDUSTRY WITH A NET LOSS Of OVER 4.6 BILLION DOLLARS WHICH AFFECTS THE BOTTOM LINES OF THE OIL COMPANIES.
THEREFORE SEPTEMBER 1ST HAS BEEN FORMALLY DECLARED "STICK IT UP THEIR GAS " DAY AND THE PEOPLE OF THIS NATION SHOULD NOT BUY A SINGLE DROP OF GASOLINE THAT DAY.
I'm not sure how this was 'calculated,' or by whom. As it happens, I didn't need gas that day anyway.
And I got the email on August 31. I don't think it made it all the way around the country in time.
::The Des Moines Register likes to run dueling opinion pieces on Sundays. Last week was a pair of essays titled 'What Should We Do Next in Iraq?' [Sorry, the DMR didn't provide links, and at this late date I can't be bothered to look for them.] One essay stated that we're only doing harm and should get out now. The other, that we've got to stay the course and hope for the best. Both writers, however, agreed that Bush lied to get us there in the first place.
::Then there's this guy. Guillermo Gonzales, an Iowa State U astronomy professor who wrote a book, "The Privileged Planet," arguing that there's just a couple too many coincidences in our existence to explain without intelligent design.
To his credit, he doesn't sound like a nut. He says that ID isn't ready for prime time, and he won't teach it until it is and he's gained the support of his colleagues. He does come across as a bit of a victimologist, though; a group of ISU scientists circulated a petition against the idea that ID is science, something he calls a "level of intense hostility, just knee-jerk emotional response from people." [On the other hand, the article doesn't say whether there's been more going on than just a petition.]
I'll give the book a whirl. When I can find some time out of all this not-blogging.
ONE MORE THING: [update] you mean to tell me that there's not a rule somewhere that says you have to be on the Court before you can be nominated Chief Justice?
I bet his initiation is gonna be brutal.