Worry When I Grow Up:
Curse of the Day:
When I Grow Up:
Curse of the Day:
Curse of the Day:
|Monday October 21, 2002|
of the Day
It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom a mistake. -- R. L. Mencken
Mostly what I worked on the last couple of days was going over old blogs (mine) and article'ing the best stuff. The theory is that the occasional (one a week?) longer form article I do in an update here is worth archiving on an article type page, just that portion of the update, and with some rewriting and editing they stand alone well enough. They're better for the visitors (that would be you) also; people are a lot more likely to click an article link than they are to hunt all the way back to the lower portion of an update from April 17th, after all.
Plus I feel better about taking an hour or more to research and write up an article on this or that if I tell myself it will become permanent site content, and not just something that the couple of hundred visitors that day read.
In theory it's an easy thing to do; since I just have to paste the part of the update to an article page, and add a link. In practice I put off doing it for 6 months (I read over Jan-April on Saturday.) and then end up rewriting 50% of the update to put it into better context and wording, and that takes as long or longer than it did to write in the first place.
Anyway, if you didn't see them in the first place, or don't remember them, or just want to see how they've changed, check out the articles on the nav bar. <-- Thataway. Most are rewritten, some are almost entirely new. I just did the Movie-Book comparison one, which features a relatively hilarious summary of the Cinderella fairy tale. I tend to forget stuff I write about a day later, so stuff from April is as new to me as it is to you if this is your first day reading my site. I enjoyed reading the Idiot DJs one also, had forgotten writing that, but it's so true. Just today I was listening to the radio briefly, and the new Nirvana song came on, and the DJ of course talked over the first 30 seconds, which is the best part, IMHO. Glad I've got it on mp3. Without idiot DJ babble to interrupt, no less.
One other thing I'm developing while reading the older blogs is a faint desire to have some sort of "best links" page. This would be links to really funny/weird articles I've commented on at one time or another. This sort of thing, about an enema resort, that's got some of the funniest lines and situations I've ever read about. The problem is that most articles I link to will vanish in a month or two, if not sooner, and I don't want to include my whole update about them on the archive page. I also don't want to spend so long putting it together; as of now I'm just skimming for the longer essay type things; if I start checking every blog as well I'll never catch up and get to other things. So tough, go read the old ones if you want to see old things.
Some football commentary. If you aren't in the US or don't care, feel free to skip down a few paragraphs. I won't be hurt. Well actually I will be, but I'll get over it.
Watching the end of the SF 49ers/NO Saints game, I was amazed at how dumb the NO coach was. NO had a 1 point lead, 1:55 to play, and a first down the SF 1 yard line. SF has one time out left. NO could have just taken a knee three times and run the clock down to around 20 seconds, and had 4th down on the 5 yard line. From there you try to score, or just have the QB run back 30 yards and then throw the ball away, or whatever. There's no way on earth SF could go 95 yards in 5 or 10 seconds and no time outs.
So what does NO do? A QB sneak, which works, and takes about 2 seconds. The funny part was that they did it illegally, with 12 men on the field. SF sees the penalty, and declines it, giving NO the touchdown. The SF coach was obviously capable of thinking more than one play ahead, and realized that he didn't have the time outs or time to play defense. Even the announcers seemed puzzled, wondering why SF didn't feel they could keep them from scoring after the penalty would back NO up 5 yards.
So NO is up by 8, and the funny part was that it should have been 10, but they'd gone for and failed at two 2-point conversions earlier in the 4th quarter, neither one of them a good idea at the time. If they're up by more than 8 the game is over, but SF still has a chance to tie now, and NO is kicking off with 1:50 or so; plenty of time for SF to drive down and score.
They weren't able to do so, just missing a couple of 20 yard passes down the middle that would have really advanced their cause. The game ended with a SF back catching a quick pass and then running down the sidelines for 3 seconds to the 25 yard line, rather than getting out of bounds quickly to allow them one last play. I see him coaching NO in the future. So the Saints won anyway, no thanks to their coaching. They are this year's Bears, winning on lots of luck and turnovers and crazy plays. And we see how well that sort of luck lasts from year to year.
San Diego is winning this year, but they are not the Bears, since they're winning with a solid offense and defense, and haven't been especially lucky as of yet. I don't think they are as good as their record, but they are a solid team.
Their game was entertaining, not least because it was against the much hated Raiders. San Diego considers the Raiders their biggest rivals. The Raiders feel a rivalry in return, but they are the alpha male of the division. Also in the AFC West are Denver and Kansas City. Who do those teams think is their biggest rival? Yep, both of them would say Oakland. Seattle was in the same division until this year and realignment, and they have never really caught anyone's attention to root for or against, but if they had a rival I bet they'd say it was Oakland as well. All planets orbiting the Raider dark star. It's not that Oakland is always that good; Denver has won a lot more than they have in recent years. It's just that Oakland has had the same psycho owner for 30 years, and they are always the most news worthy team with their insane and violent fans, their evil image, etc. Funny how some teams manage to rise above their reality. Dallas used to, but they've fallen so deeply into mediocrity since Johnson left in the 90's that they are pretty much irrelevant now. There's no funnier sight than Jerry Jones' decaying cancer-ridden face sticking up from one of his expensive suits as he stands on the side lines and watches his hand-picked team of losers bumble away another game against some wretched team. Arizona, for instance.
Oakland was very stupid at the end of the SD game today as well. Not quite NO Saints stupid, but it wasn't smart. Their offense was clicking in the second half. They were down 21-14 at their own 20 with 3 minutes to go. They effortlessly drove down 80 yards and tied it up with still 1:40 left to play. San Diego got the kick off, did nothing, and had to punt with a minute left and Oakland had one time out left. I smelled disaster.
After the punt Oakland had about 40 seconds to go, were at their own 35, had a time out, and a kicker with a lot of range. They needed to gain basically 30 yards to have a very realistic chance at winning, and they'd gone the whole second half doing nothing but passing, and completing about 80% of their throws. I was sure they'd get a field goal try out of it. They only needed 3 or 4 completions and had plenty of time. They threw a little 6 yard dump pass on first down and got out of bounds. On second down they were sacked, but just barely; it was like a 3 yard loss. So it's 3rd and 7 on their own 40 with 38 seconds left. Time out? Hurry up? Nope, they just let the clock run out. Chargers' defense was reeling, and this saved them. Chargers won the coin toss for overtime, got the kick off, drove 80 yards to a touchdown, and that was that. They don't call overtime "sudden death" for nothing.
So the Chargers are 6-1, first place in the league, and the bandwagon is rolling. San Diego is a huge sports bandwagon town. People here get disinterested very quickly and abandon a losing team, but when a team is winning, the mania is manic. The last time the football team was really good was in 1994. They started off 6-0, didn't do much after that but got into the playoffs as the second seed at 11-5. They beat Miami at home and Pittsburgh on the road to get to the Superbowl where San Fran destroyed them. But along the way, the town was football mad.
Every other car on the freeway had lightning bolts on it, every large building visible from a freeway had some sort of huge Chargers banner on the side, every commercial had some player as a pitchman, etc. After they won in Pittsburgh in the AFC title game, people went insane and descended upon the stadium. By the time the players arrived back at the stadium that night, (they all drive to the stadium on Fri or Sat, then take buses to the airport to fly to road games which they play on Sunday) 5 or 6 hours after the game, there were 60,000 people packing the stadium, SRO, and thousands more cheering the bus in the parking lot. Players came out and were amazed at the turn out, said a few words about winning the Superbowl (which they failed miserably to back up 2 weeks later) and then followed two weeks of local news doing 15 minutes on the team every half hour.
If they get to like 9-3 and are still in first place, that'll probably start up again.
Some other news.
• I thought I might as well post a link to that sniper roadblock stuff from yesterday, but this time, actually, you know, upload the page. And stuff.
Speaking of the sniper, there was news Sunday that he left a note with a phone number in the parking lot. At least they think it was him, and the cops are asking him to call it and talk.
Everyone seems to be confused by this; why would the guy leave a phone number he's going to call? Was it the number of a police station? A pay phone somewhere? Or something connected to the guy's life, like a doctor's office or college or something that the cops are trying to zero in on him from? They aren't saying, happy to have something the media can't report, for once.
• Funny picture of a streaker at a hockey game. The crowd reactions are great; I like the woman top left best. Wedding night flashback there, I suspect. She also looks eerily like the hot tart in Groundhog Day.
• Gay and thinking about a nice tropical vacation? You might want to remove Jamaica from your potential destinations.
• The rest of the world continues to catch up to the one thing the US schools lead the world in; student shootings. The latest threat to our national superiority comes from Australia, where some nob blew away two of his classmates and injured 8 others. He used a shotgun, hence the inefficiency in injuries to kills ratio. Hey there crocodile hunter, real mean use semi-automatic pistols to murder their fellow students. Pffft.
yesterday's semi-article about how there aren't any "great"
fantasy authors, I got an interesting email, recommending a fantasy
series by an author he thinks fits the bill. You can read it
I had a reader recommendation for Brian Lumley some months ago, and thus directed, I checked out a few of his novels. They weren't great, but it wasn't like I wanted to claw my brain out after reading them. Follow the link for some more commentary on them and yes, I'll add my comments on him to the horror novelist review page at some point.
I have not read anything by George R R Martin, but I did read the first dozen or so books in the Wild Cards series, which he edited. I'll put the recommended novel on my list and try to grab one next time I'm at the library, to see what I think.
At some point I'll add a sci fi or "other" book authors review page, and mention that series on it, since I enjoyed it. They are basically comic book novels. I don't mean graphic novels, they have no illustrations, but they are comic book type characters and action, mutated super heroes alien invaders, mutants and death on a global level, etc. You can read more about it on the Amazon.com page for the first book, if you are interested. IIRC books 1-6 or so were pretty good; after that the quality started to slip and most of the original core characters (the ones I liked best) were gone or minimized, and the newer cast wasn't as interesting. Same thing that seems to happen with virtually all ongoing series.
One thing I can comment on about Amazon.com submitted reviews, which I've become rather familiar with from the hundreds I've read while doing the Band Names section. They are frightening. At least for music, you can pick the worst album ever, and count on glowing reader reviews and an overall rating of about 4.5 stars. You name it, boy bands, torch song wailers, death metal, all have very high ratings. I don't think it's a conspiracy; it's just that the people who care enough to file a review on a given album are likely fans of the artist. You'd have to really hate some band to spend your time writing bad reviews of them and posting them on Amazon, and anyway, Amazon is there to sell stuff and stay in business. They aren't going to do that if everything they have for sale has "don't buy this shit" all over it. So I would suspect they tend to move along the poor reviews pretty regularly and leave the glowing ones up.
Now with books there is probably a lot more intelligent and educated core of reviewers, so perhaps the comments will be more balanced and objective. Or maybe not.
Anyone else has read it and wants to comment, feel free. Or recommend other writers, if you know any that fit the bill.
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