Thursday, October 31, 2013
of the Week (aaiiiiieeeeeee!)
Halloween Night, a scary affair, but on this night of wildness, we present some pretty sensible selections.
First, in Corvallis, I really like Oregon State -5 against USC. This isn't to say SC is a terrible team or anything, but I will say the Trojans really struggled to move the ball, don't play well on the road, and can be beat pretty easily on the outside routes. Oregon State excels at passing the ball and all offense. The matchup doesn't match the spread to me and I have the Beavers by at least a touchdown. Oregon State -5 at home.
Up next, we look at the other LA College Team, UCLA. UCLA took a major beating in two road games against Stanford and Oregon. However, they're playing at team in Colorado that has yet to beat a Pac 12 opponent so far, they've lost each matchup by at least 20 points. The Bruins are struggling to get Brett Hundley protection at the offensive line, but I doubt Colorado will present the kind of pressure they saw from Stanford or Oregon. Ultimately I think this becomes another dominant Bruins home victory and I'll lay the 27. UCLA -27 at home.
Now to the state of Florida, where I have a sneaky feeling that Miami will be more than a cakewalk for the Florida State Seminoles. I've felt this way all week. I know how great Florida State is playing and I remember how much they thrashed Clemson on the road, but the Seminoles would be just the team due for a letdown game and Miami, as badly as they've looked lately, still possesses a great weapon in QB Stephen Morris and a pretty fast paced vertical passing game that can hit in the right spots. Let's not forget, for many years FSU/Miami was the showcase rivalry game in College Football. So many great memories and close finishes were had in the salad years of the 90's and early 00's. Why NOT Miami to keep it interesting? 22 isn't that big a point spread, but I think I'll give Miami that shot. Miami (FL) +22 at Florida State.
Next, we go head to head with Tyler's Investments and go the *other way* on one of his picks. He really liked UTEP cover +46 against A&M, but I'm taking the Aggies instead. If A&M does one thing well with Johnny Manziel, it's beat the snot out of non-conference, mid grade football teams. I don't even think UTEP is a "middle of the pack team." They're bad, folks. I'll tell you what, they gave up 45 points to RICE. To play *at* A&M in College Station means they're going to lose. They might lose by quite a lot. Texas A&M -46 at home.
Now to the pros...
There's one game that's jumping out at me, and no doubt some others felt the same way, and it's Buffalo at home against the struggling Kansas City. KC's Chiefs have really had trouble with their offense lately and they nearly lost games to both Houston and Cleveland in back to back weeks at HOME. All signs point to them finally losing a game, so we're going to take the much motivated Bills +3 to at minimum cover and at maximum unseat the final undefeated in the NFL. The Bills play very well at home, they've beaten some teams like Carolina and Baltimore. They came THIS CLOSE to beating New England and Cincinnati at Ralph Wilson stadium. The Running Back position is still hurting, but Stevie Johnson is having quite a nice season at WR. The Bills circle the wagons this week and beat the Chiefs. Bills +3 at home.
That'll do it for a Halloween Edition of LOCKS of the Week! Here's the recap: Ore. State -5 at home, UCLA -27 at home, Miami (FL) +22 at Florida State, Texas A&M -46 at home, and Bills +3 at home.
Trick or Treat! and Spook Responsibly.
I did not plan a blog entry today, but I had some coffee and I'm feeling it. Let's go.
There's a thing I do where I cup my hand and then hit the door handle a couple times w/ the back of my hand. You know why I do that? To prevent a static shock to my fingers. I remember one time, years and years ago, in Vegas where I'd go into all these fancy hotels and get static shocked on my finger tips over and over. It was frightening. Ever since then I test for static shock by using the back of my hand before opening any door. If there is static, it hits the BACK of my hand, which isn't as sensitive.
I only have one costume, the Gorilla Suit. It's not even a full Gorilla suit... its a gorilla head with two gorilla hands, and I'll tell you what, it's the only costume I need. Do the dance!
Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox for winning the World Series. One of these days the Cubs will do it... hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha and on that day I'll be very old.
Was that mean? Well, I'll say this... the Cubs need to adjust their attitude toward winning. If they give it a couple years and commit to winning, and make some decent transactions, that goes for the fans too who get tanked at Wrigley Field, they can turn it around.
I got all of New England riled up when I made the comment that the Patriots were the "weakest 4-0 team in the NFL"... to be honest, that comment was me jumping to conclusions. HOWEVER, I think anybody can look at the Kansas City Chiefs and sense that they are easily one of the weaker 8-0 teams we've seen. That team has a really limited offense. They're lucky to get a first down... if they get a touchdown pass it's like winning the lottery. They are miserable at 3rd and short situations, an Andy Reid signature.
I'm not the only one who thinks this is the week they'll lose. They're at Buffalo, they already looked close to losing games against Houston and Cleveland. Why *not* Buffalo? If they win this Sunday, Buffalo is a lot worse than we thought. Stay tuned.
Tonight, I'm going to go on a pub crawl, but the joke's on everyone else. My plan, if all goes right, is to order a jack and coke without the Jack Daniels. Every single time. So basically, I'm going to order a coke in a J&C glass, and then I'll watch everyone *else* get drunk around me. That is going to be a scene!! Plus, I'll get to sample some of the snacks they have at these bars. I can't wait, you guys.
More to come tomorrow and later today with LOCKS of the Week. Have a good Halloween everybody.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
UTEP +45.5 against A&M
Missouri -11.5 against Tennesee
Bills +3.5 and the outright win vs KC
Raiders +1.5 vs Philly
John in CT's Investments
Mich. St. -5.5
Texas Tech -2
Next week, both Tyler and John are scheduled to take on a third challenger with his bonus pick: Say Hello to Ottis aka the "Oat Man." Join us won't you? It all comes on the Dave podcast, next week, Wednesday night! blogtalkradio.com/daveinthecity
NC State +31.5
He'll give it another shot tonight! Tune into the podcast at 7:50pm PT or 10:50 ET for Tyler's Investments, along with our buddy Gerry in Piscataway and Kevin on the Cape for "Random Questions."
Also tonight! NBA Talk, World Series Banter, and the "Clown Car Award" presented by Andy in Seattle. and BY THE WAY -- we are going to zero out Tyler's record so as to begin the
John in CT (Football Pick'em Podcast) will join Tyler and I at 7:55/10:55 tonight to bring us his four picks of the week, and we'll see who wins out. We also will tally both guys' season total beginning with tonight. Let's do this.
Altogether, college picks went 1-1-1, pro picks went 2-1, and the week went 3-2-1, pushing our season total to 21-13-2. As long as there aren't any 0-3 like weeks down the road, the odds are good to finish the year with a winning record for the first time..... ever!
Monday, October 28, 2013
Anything going on? Well... not exactly.
It took me about 28 minutes to grill two italian sausages last night on the stove. I cooked it extra slowly so that it wouldn't rip or anything. I feel like that was great strategy. Never has a sausage been more consistently cooked. It was pretty good. I just put it on a bun and ate it. Good times.
Good work by the Red Sox winning last night.
Had a great sleep yesterday morning. It was tremendous. Going to bed really early these days. I don't know why, but it's been feeling very good. I love sleep during the cold autumn and winter days. Yesterday was REALLY cold. Once it gets cold, there's no going back is there? Good times.
When is "The Goldbergs" going to get cancelled? How can network executives consistently be this stupid? Did anyone think this show was going to succeed? From day ONE? I mean, we saw promos all summer: I went out there and asked "How much longer before it gets cancelled?" I asked that back in September -- I realized they hadn't even shown the PREMIERE yet.
Coach convinced me to watch the first episode so I checked it out on DVR. It was terrible. Not even Jeff Garlin could save it. It might be the worst rated scripted show on ABC. I think it is!
Mike D'antoni would be "the Goldbergs" of NBA coaching. Nobody thought that would succeed in LA except the joker who hired him, the pigheaded Jim Buss. Well played.
I need an eye appointment soon. I should check my eyes to make sure I don't need an adjustment on my prescription. You always pronounce it "per-scription" even though it's spelled "pre" as in "pree-heat" or "pree-set".
That's all for now. Have a good Tuesday!
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Can you imagine all the fake spider webs they use for Halloween? You'll get some houses so old you won't know where the fake spiderwebs end and the real webs begin!
Filed under the category of "really inappropriate jokes": Lou Reed left us yesterday. He died at the age of 71. Sad news all around -- he was a music icon. I guess now he tells us "Hey babe, take a walk on the dead side..."
Not much to tell in the way of personal stories this weekend. My only exploit was to Palmdale with my family for a quartet of birthdays. A nephew, two nieces, and a cousin celebrated their birthday this week. I had a great time saying hello to my relatives again.
At the party we had this soup called Posole. It's pronounced "poh-SOLE-eh" and it had some pork in it and garbanzo beans... and a green soup. Quite good.
We also had a pinata. I said this before but imagine the practice of hitting a pinata? You talk about teaching violence at a young age, this is it. Oh I'm just kidding! It's our family tradition, but to be honest, none of us grew up to be people with guns or giant cro bars trying to beat up people, so when we were kids, we were able to distinguish the line between fantasy and reality... so we'd be able to get pinatas of popular Disney characters and whack them with a broomstick.
Hell even as an adult, I'd be happy to beat up a popular Disney character, ohhh did I say that right? I meant just the pinata of one.
Oh! Would you imagine our whole family, about 25 people out in the back yard, spotted a parrot in the trees. And we stared at it and took pictures... really colorful parrot it was. Then, my uncle took it and put it into a box. Then they got a bird cage for the parrot and now it's their pet. I will name it "Petey," and his favorite team will be Rutgers.
Nobody's going to be scared of any guy with the name "Lance Lynn."
I'm happy to report the batteries in my bathroom radio were replaced yesterday. I *finally* got some new batteries at Bed Bath and Beyond. I also owe them an apology for this tweet:
In all honesty, the two stores do about the same level of service for their in-store pickup options. The people at BBB are nice too. I just went there way too early. I placed the order onilne before the store opened that day. It was going to take at least an hour, so I chilled at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and then went back to pick everything up.
Sochi... doesn't sound like a city, sounds like a food, doesn't it? Perhaps I can go and have some sushi in Sochi.
Pick any movie you can think of, and if you ask me "have you seen that movie" most of the time the answer will be "no."
The Jaguars are not only "that bad", they're even worse!
One common complaint, overly long blog entries. I'd like to make my contribution to stamping out overblogging -- see you all on Tuesday!
Friday, October 25, 2013
It also disturbs me to know how brutal Pancreatic Cancer is. The last time I saw him, months ago, he looked like he was in great shape, exercising, and in full command of his mental facilities. Over the years, knowing him, he'd always say hello and goodbye, and had some good anecdotes to share. He did retire in early summer, but that fact alone was not enough to suggest he had cancer. Perhaps he did, and it didn't really take effect until he was out of the public eye.
Most workdays had him stop at the office, and I'd help him with Powerpoint documents and at the end of every session he'd say "Thank you very much" in his jolly voice. Why do people like that have to go? I learned the news yesterday at work, and I think some of us are distraught from it, to be honest. For me personally, I didn't really show any reaction early on, but inside it was getting to me. A newspaper clipping on the wall behind my desk was his. He gave it to me because he thought it was a funny story. I never got to say goodbye. I somewhat did in the form of a card our staff sent out. I just had no idea how badly he was doing.
I got an email about three weeks ago with his name on the subject line, also from the Chair. I read the first few sentences and thought it was just a recap of how well his retirement presentation went, but later on I revisited the email and next paragraph got very grave, but I was so embarrassed at myself that I spent a few days thinking "oh, false alarm! I thought this was serious."
Now it is over. I'm comforted, in a sense, by the fact he is in peace. As I remember from my Uncle two years ago, who died the same way, pancreatic cancer is extremely painful. It's not only painful but it's incredibly swift and has a virtually nonexistent percentage of survival. In essence, yesterday was a tough day.
It was tough, but I carried on as he probably would have wanted me to, with a smile on my face and doing what I do. Our professor was a good friend and great contributor to the department, may he continue to rest in peace.
Other items on my mind...
Is Carolina that good, or is Tampa Bay *that bad?* I thought last night would yield some answers, but I do like how the Panthers really put together a good game and went for the touchdown in the red zone. Red Zone efficiency was really impressive last night. All Tampa Bay did for most of the game was run a zone. Zone, zone, zone, it was something like two way back and four middle, or maybe two two with the other front guys rushing. The point is, it left the underneath routes open for the whole game and Cam Newton made great use of this on 3rd down. He had passes up the middle early and often. He played "keeper" more than a few times like he did in Auburn and that worked out really well too. I think their overall running game is doing pretty well but again this is against Tampa so I can't use this as a good barometer. Even so, DeAngelo Williams looks good. Very good.
I'm still struggling to get into this World Series, but in terms of gameplay, I think it's been tremendous. Good pitching all around, other than the two innings of Game 1, and up to now a 1-1 tie in the series. That's all you could ask for on a pragmatic level. Here's to some good games in St. Louis.
And all the Red Sox fans who think "oh it's over! Cards in 5" can you calm down? You sound like me now! Let's see these games play out.
I had fried ice cream last night. I enjoyed it, but I had to tough out the coconut used in the shell. I usually don't like coconut, but I can be a team player for it if it's needed for food construction.
I have an unusual fetish: CBS Sports opening montages, graphics packages, and intro animations. I think some of you might remember the old NBA on CBS intros from the mid to late 80's. My Dad and I *both* grew up on them. The music stays in my head today. The over the top corny arrangements, the requisite electric guitar, the obvious 80's style key changes, and out of nowhere, a tambourine. To be honest, the theme music got out of date only three years in, but it must have been so iconic that CBS kept it going until 1989. Every other sport CBS covered back in 1987 went with a newly updated theme, but the NBA stayed w/ the theme from four years earlier.
Once NBC took over the NBA, they started fresh with a new theme by John Tesh, and let me tell you, to date it's the best NBA TV theme that's ever lived. It is, undoubtedly, perfection. The best part of it is that it's timeless. You really could pick up the theme today, use it on NBC, and it wouldn't miss a beat or feel out of place.
I'm not sure what CBS Sports was thinking using a Disco theme for its NFL music back in 1981... and to compound it, they kept using it all the way until 1986. Probably one of the more forgettable themes in music.
I've got a birthday to attend on Saturday and I'll get to catch up with everyone in the family. I look forward to it! It's been a while since I've seen everyone. That's all for the moment. Thank you very much for reading.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
of the Week (plop)
I've had enough of the Bucs. I really have. Week after week of them playing terrible football. Week after week of them failing to cover point spreads aside from the early season. The line for their games would get larger and larger and somehow they were dunderheaded enough to still lose by larger margins than the forecast. Even a quarterback change wasn't enough to make them a better football team or even a more competitive one. Let's face it, the Bucs quit on their coach Greg Schiano. All the way around, the Bucs are bad football.
Last week against the Falcons, they had their closest shot at covering a point spread in quite some time... they lost by 8, and in most circles they were a 7.5 point underdog. Even with all of that, it's not enough. At this point, there isn't a single redeeming factor with the Buccaneers. Meanwhile, the Carolina Panthers quietly got on a roll with a pretty good defense, and some pretty dominant wins against the dregs of the league. If there's one thing the Panthers do well, it's blow out really bad football teams, and that's a hard thing to do in the 'L. Cam Newton, the returning Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams, and the rest will all be in effect and we believe they'll cover -6 at Tampa. Panthers -6 at TB.
Perhaps there's the adage that "the Bucs have to win sometime!" They get to wait a week for their first win, because this Sunday, no way.
One team I like in a big rebound way is San Jose State and the much-ballyhooed David Fales. A few weeks ago, I bombed a pick with SJSU at home against Utah State, but at that time, SJSU was without WR Jabbari Carr and Freshman RB Thomas Tucker. Tucker is still out, but making good recovery, but Carr is now expected to start. Against Wyoming, they have an opponent that just lost to Colorado State by 30 points. Would you believe SJSU beat CSU 34-27 in the state of Colorado? Combined, it gives a good case for San Jose State to cover a mere a touchdown point spread. SJSU -7 at home.
Next, I have Wake Forest, if you can believe this, covering +23.5 at Miami against the hurricanes. Why does it seem like the ACC always finds its way to the clowncar in the second halves of seasons? Miami had a big scare against North Carolina, and presumably they'd be ready to put a big game together against Wake, but if you look at Wake's schedule up to now, they haven't really been that bad. Miami's schedule against ACC opponents so far hasn't been perfect. Wake lost 52-7 against Clemson, but otherwise, their largest loss was by 14 points. It's a tough nut to crack, but it would be impossible to think Miami would roll the rest of the regular season without a slip up here and there. Despite my general support of Miami football (be that as it may with the sanctions, that's another topic), I think Wake can at least keep it closer than 24. Wake Forest +23.5 at Miami.
I should know better than to select Big Ten teams, but I have Northwestern +4. I have a hard time thinking Northwestern would lose 4 games in a row, and furthermore, I think people could be overreacting to Iowa. They haven't exactly been winning all these games, but they kept a bunch of them close, including last week's affair at Ohio State. Something seems off about that line... I guess it's fair, but unless they flat out quit on the season, they can at least cover 4 points on the road. Northwestern +4 at Iowa.
Continuing the thread of "I should know better," I'm somehow convinced that the Giants can cover +6 at Philadelphia. I have no clue why this is other than the fact that the Eagles are due to start Michael Vick back at quarterback. Both teams are pretty dismal at this point... it might play out that the game comes down to a field goal. Neither one has a good defense. Last time out, the Eagles blew away the Giants at the Meadowlands. This time around, I think the Giants get revenge and might possibly get back to back wins. Giants +6 at Philly.
Finally, we look toward Monday Night. It's the relatively healthy Seahawks against the Rams. The Rams have hit rock bottom. Even on Monday Night and even with a less than stellar Seahawks offense, I have a good feeling the Hawks will cover the whopping 11 points in prime time. Seahawks -11 at St. Louis.
There's LOCKS for a late October week of football. Here's the recap: Panthers -6 at TB; SJSU -7 at home; Wake Forest +23.5 at Miami; Northwestern +4 at Iowa; Giants +6 at Philly; Seahawks -11 at STL.
It is a WHOLE LOT of road picks this week. Makes me nervous. But when you see the line and you flinch, you gotta act! We'll see how it plays out.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
You know, the Clippers would be well served if they just won some banners of their own, then they could cover the wall with them as much as they want.
....this other idea seems petty!
Who knew that Pat Summerall and Tom Brookshier were such jokers?? I had no idea about all of this.
Bruiseology -- its a silly song. Check it out and look it up.
Our office is now holding pizza sessions with teaching assistants every DAY for about a week! Our staff can get the leftovers each time. How great is this?? Our unit was allocated 500 dollars specifically to buy pizza.
Green apples last night. Really good... I rarely have apples that good. Not too sour at all! Crisp and fresh... I like them.
Thats all for a Wednesday. Back at it soon...
Missed on Clemson and SC.
Hit on the Colts.
For the week: 1-2. It was a brutal week to pick games. I knew it from the beginning, hence the mere 3 selections. I feel like this went about as well as I hoped. So we will pick up the pace next week. The season total is now 18-11-1
Monday, October 21, 2013
Swim meet on Sunday... what a great day it was, for yours truly. First of all, on the turnout, we rallied and got 20 people to register for the meet. Great news indeed! Then, going to the pool on a Sunday, I was so excited I could barely contain myself.
Actually, the fun really started Saturday night. I tried to stay light all day with the food, but then I torpedo'd the whole thing and got Carne Asada Nachos *and* two Al Pastor Tacos from Tacos Por Favor. I asked for three cups of red salsa... but what I didn't know is that the takeout order already includes THREE cups of both Green and Red Salsa! Holy hell... now I had 9 cups of salsa and just a plate of nachos and two little tacos to go with it. Oh yeah, I went for it. Lathered the red salsa onto the tacos first... still had a lot left... then I pounded the water -- tongue was blazin'. Went after the nachos, cup after cup of salsa... it was a test of endurance my friends. Needed some more water, then went after it. Man all that salsa did not cooperate with my digestive system. It was like a bunsen burner lit up underneath the chute. It never went away either! Tried to get to bed... it was a struggle. Got up around 4am... I was like, now what? I still got that bunsen burner feeling. So I made a few trips to the bathroom -- it helped. I tried to go back to bed... I think I got in a *little* more sleep. I got up around 6, put on the Franceser Football Sunday show to kill time, and stayed in bed. My stomach and intestine were still tingling from all the salsa, but I was pumped.
The swim meet was only hours away by then... so if you remember the blog post from last week, the battle to put ON the swimsuit was underway by early morning. Wasn't so bad! Not as much muffin effect.. I'll be honest, that went better than I anticipated. Good swimming plus watching what I eat -- who knew?
I pondered, for a moment, whether to get coffee before going to the meet. I punted on that -- here's my thing: I usually don't eat or drink anything (except water) before I swim in the morning. That's been my policy forever. So I decided not to mess anything up, although I still had that burning feeling in my midsection, whoof. But it wasn't *that* bad... got my swim bag ready to go and I was off.
Home Meet... Speiker Aquatic Center, a venue, by the way, where Cal and Missy Franklin will appear the day before the Super Bowl #hinthint , and today, it was the site for us Masters Swimmers. It's an unbelievable pool. The water feels so good here, it's so smooth, the aerodynamics of the water are impressive. Not a lot of "feedback" current at all! The locker room there is tiny, but it's a small price to pay.
Entered the pool for warmup, ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh did that feel good! Swimmers often do what we call a "shave-down" before a meet... usually not every meet but only the biggest ones. Well, at Masters, most teams wind up doing only a handful of meets, so some may decide to shave it... I elected to shave... it's not so much for the *hair*... although that creates major drag, without question. However, the bigger factor is the dead skin cells... shaving them off makes your limbs much more sensitive to the water... it's an enormous difference... really great feeling in water, and Sunday in particular, I felt dynamite warming up.
Small warmup program, just a 100 free to get acclimated, then some 75s kick/drill/swim, and finally a few 50's fly sprints to get used to the rhythm. After two of them I was getting *REALLY* worn out and my arms felt like they had a vise on them. So I realized then and there "damn I can't do that pace for the entire 100 fly." I still did an extra two 50's fly at sprint pace to feel out pacing.
I had my game plan -- start strong on the first *25* meters, turn, pace the next 50, then BUST IT last 25. The 100 butterfly was the focus of my meet... THIS was where I wanted to improve most. Here's what happened. I tried it a year ago and had my first qualifying time of 2:20.51. Then I made three adjustments in the last six months: an improved dolphin kick, a pronounced S motion for each of my arms on the pull, and breathing every stroke. After a while I started getting around 2:20 for my 100 fly in practice. Practice, fellas. When the meet rolled around I knew, hey, I can easily beat 2:20 for a 100 fly... and I dedicated myself to fly technique. I also worked on dives just before the meet started on Sunday. One of the officials there said "put your toes over the edge of the block." Huge advice... I pegged one toe over the line (this was a 70s song I think), well ok "edge" and then tried a dive... I LAUNCHED IT. Whoah!
Now I was *really* ready to go. Warmup, Dive Practice, I was locked and loaded. Went to our tent by the blocks w/ the team. Saw my team mates nail some noice 200m IM's and a 200m free relay which was quite good. I think I was after that. I got heat 3. I was getting really nervous by then.
Of of my team mates was timing the race, she's a tremendous person. Actually works on a Late Night TV program, nicest woman there is, w/ a good family all that. Anyway she sees me, all nervous and she's like "You got this!" She's recovering fm. injury too, but getting back into swimming, what a trooper.
All right, so here we went. Just me and the pool and some other guys. I was chanting to myself, all that jazz... got on the block, set my toe over the edge, reached for the edge w/ my arms and BANG! Now all the analyzing went out the window... All out! Pace, pace, pace, last turn, punch it! Then it was over... I felt pretty good swimming all that, but what was the result? I looked up and it said 1:59.12. Yeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssssssssss!!! I fistpumped like 20 times... GUYS I WAS PUMPED. I knew it was possible but still couldn't believe I broke 2 minutes... I mean it goes back to when I did my first butterfly swim at all in practice... and it took me 40-45 seconds and I thought I died when I did it. To go from that, 2.5 years ago, to sub 2-min 100 fly at a meet. It's been a great ride. Got out of the pool and gave my supportive friend there a high five too...
That wasn't all! I went after a 50m freestyle and got a personal best there too, improving from 43 seconds to 41 seconds... my new year's resolution was to break 38 seconds in 50m freestyle *yards*, but since we won't have a Yards meet til next year, I don't think I'll break it officially, however, the 41.58 in meters translates to under 38 seconds in yards. My other events were 50fly (improved to 50sec from 58 sec) and the 100 free (first attempt: 1:43.84). Just an incredible day for my young swimming career.
At the meet, we had some familiar faces and a couple new names. A special women's relay team, composed of our Olympian Head Coach, a tremendous veteran butterfly-er, and two other incredibly talented ladies set a World Record for their age group in the 200m Medley Relay. We all were doing the dance then! I was in awe seeing all that happen. Others on our club had some great swims...it was good to catch up with several of them.. an incredible day for swimming. I loved seeing all of our guys going HAM out there.
I want to thank all of you readers for consuming a massive amount of self-oriented paragraphs today. I hope you didn't mind the personal insight into a Masters' swim meet. It was a long running dream of mine to compete in a swim meet, and to do that two years ago (a memorable new year's resolution), then to go from that into where I am now has been a dream come true. I think all that's left is the Olympics, but I'm 31.. it probably won't happen. It's been fun, though!
After a long meet like that, you get extremely tired. This is why I wasn't able to do a blog yesterday. Too tired... I found enough energy to get dinner though. Good times were had.
On to some other random subjects...
What exactly constitutes "pudding?" I've had what they call "bread pudding", but it's just bready. It's not goopy or sweet like the pudding I grew up with -- Jell-O pudding. But then, chocolate pudding is like cream. So which is it? Is it cream or is it bread? They don't even have anything in common... honestly, I've wondered this for 25 years, I'm very confused.
My quest for lunchtime tots is over! About 1-2 months ago, a Fab's Hot Dogs outlet opened in Westwood Village... I don't know how long it lasts, but my goodness, is this good food! I used to go to the one in Reseda, and had their tots... I like the tots and their hot dogs. They do a great job with both.
My friend Andy in Seattle brought this up a few weeks ago, but it is *outrageous* how some Starbucks baristas are trying to upsell you on coffee. It's coffee!!!!!!!!! It's not a used car! I went over there yesterday, and asked for a latte. The guy says "oh would you like to try our Clover coffees? They're really good flavor" etc, all that jazz. What a perplexing line of conversation. Do you really think people are going to places without an idea of what they want? Are people going to McDonald's going "I'd like a hamburger -- OR -- an alternate food item of your choosing?!" Do people go to the airlines and say "I want a flight to Dallas UNLESS you have another location you'd like to take me to instead?!"
What a conversation that would be...
"I'd like a flight to New York please."
"You know, for 25% less you can get a flight to Minneapolis"
"Well, 100% of my wedding is NOT in Minneapolis, so you can get lost!!!"
...to be fair, I got the clover coffee anyway. It was pretty good. Even so, companies gotta listen to their customers more.
Nothing beats the thrill of knowing you have the power to buy 50 cookies for five bones. I was at the grocery store on five-dollar-Friday... saw the package of 50 regular sized cookies from their bakery for five bucks. I *almost* bought 'em. but I had no use for cookies that day -- the meet was two days away and the cookies wouldn't be that good by Monday. Even so... if there was a party that weekend or something, I would have been stoked to get 50 cookies at ten cents each.
There was one time last week when our new SAO, just out of college even, brought up THREE 23" pizzas up the stairs. I was like "whoah! Look at all those pizzas!" She chuckled and went on her way... didn't get a chance to offer to help. I wanted to though! Those pizzas look like they overwhelmed her but she held on, I think.
The pizzas were for a Pizza Talk... but you know what I was thinking? I want to tell her, "I want to get an enormous pizza just like that, but for just us. We can get the staff together and have our own pizza lunch during a meeting or something and YOU get the first slice! You earned it."
Had a lady up yesterday to help her install software and I was riffing on the coffee story from a few paragraphs ago and she started laughing but then she got that *really* good laugh... and I could sympathize with that. You have like different levels of laughs... the regular laugh, the polite laugh, and then, gold, the total "this is really funny" laugh. Hard to describe but we all know it when we hear it. Glad she found the whole thing funny though.
Man, when you make the "this is really funny" laugh, it's just euphoric, isn't it? I laughed just like that at a post on yesterday's TMF.com game thread.
Speaking of, the Endies are coming! That would be the tmf.com "end of year" awards. The only thing is, I wouldn't know who would set up the nominations. I ruled myself out initially because I don't follow the Francesa show closely enough, but I thought about it, and I could just throw out the categories and ask others to nominate them. I'm a little worried about it, to be honest. I wouldn't know who would set up the categories and voting. The man who did it a year ago has an incredible Twitter and YouTube enterprise working! There may not be enough time for him to assess the Endies this year. The question now is -- who takes over? I'm not sure, stay tuned.
Thanks for reading the blog, everyone! Catch you all tomorrow...
Friday, October 18, 2013
I'm a little disappointed at the turnout though. Only 12 people registered from our swim club. We've had year where as many as 25 or 30 people were in our home meet. Seems like a period of transition... new people in the club, new coaches, all that jazz. I hope there's a rally and we get around 20 by this time tomorrow. For those who are in the meet though, good luck to you all! I can't wait.
Imagine, for a moment, if they decided to take parking tickets and give them to you by email? So you'd go to your car, say it was parked illegally, and you'd see no paper ticket there. You'd go "do the dance! I'm in the clear." Then you go home home and check GMail and see an email citation.
That would *suck!* That false sense of relief for 30 minutes? Oy vey.
Diddy Riese last night. The line was really short too... didn't take that long to get to the counter. I ordered the ice cream sandwich with an oatmeal raisin cookie on one side and a choco chip cookie on the other. The ice cream flavor I chose was strawberry. All three of those things really went well together -- an excellent choice.
There is one awkward element of swim meets that everyone has to go through, and it's putting on the racing suit. When you swim you get a suit that fits your regular waistline size... so if you're a pants size 32 you get a size 32 suit, etc. but for meets you size that two sizes DOWN. Hahaha, and man, some of us, when we try that, it gets comical. I mean it's like the threads on the thing are clinging for dear life.
Then there's the factor of special technical suits which are already sized down inherently for these events... fastskin and aquablade swimwear... that's a tough one to call... do you size just one down or two down or not at all? They say that even with these, you try to size down at least one... even two.
Basically the adage is: get the tightest suit possible that still fits. Women carry themselves fantastically with these extra tight suits... but us guys? Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh baby.
I feel like personally I've been ok with mine... I sized two down from normal for an aquablade suit. It's gotten me some incredible results too -- just wish it didn't have the muffin effect so much. I've been getting in shape though! Maybe it won't be as bad this time.
Anyone ever go for a night of drinking right before a big game or athletic event? Man don't do that! That is suicide... save it for after your event as Olympians do.
I'm very excited about the swim program I have for the meet... four events: 100 fly, 50 free, 50 fly, 100 free. The last two are actually scheduled as back to back events so I'll have a very tight window to warm up/down between them. It's all right though, as the 1-free is just an experiment. What I really want to do is break my record of 2:20 for 1-fly and 58 seconds for 50-fly. I think I'm already swimming faster than this at PRACTICE speed so I got my fingers crossed. It's been a year since my last meet and I'm still relatively new to swimming. Here we go!
I think that's all I have this time out. Enjoy your weekend everyone!
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
of the Week (yaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!)
This week: an entirely tough schedule to predict games. To be honest, there are no true LOCKS this week. Tons of rivalry games in effect, tough, close matchups, small point spreads. It's tough to get any diamonds in the rough, but we'll offer a sampling this time out. Three games, here we go:
In College, we'll start with a tradition -- USC at Notre Dame. Notre Dame had a whole week off, and a great win in Texas against Arizona State. SC had that same week off *followed* by a coach firing, a new regime, and a big home win against Arizona. In this matchup, I think you go with the better talent and despite all their foibles, I find SC to be the most complete team. Their defense has really responded in every area other than cornerback, and they should have enough to rough up Rees or whoever the Fighting Irish QB is this week. Won't be easy but I feel like Interim Coach Ed Orgeron will bring enough energy to the Trojans for the road win. We'll go USC +3 at Notre Dame.
Next! Here comes another case of "putting money where my mouth is." In addition to Georgia, I felt very good about Clemson's chances to be a big team in the ACC. This week it's the game of the season thus far for Taj Boyd, Sammy Watkins and Coach Dabo Swinney. Clemson had a major scare at home against BC last week and could barely score a lick. That might scare a lot of people into taking the points with FSU, but instead, I'm going the other way and riding confidence in a team with great offense, an improving D, and a mission. If Clemson can't be motivated enough at home to take over the ACC, when are they ever going to do it? I like their chances despite FSU's terrific defense. Clemson Tigers +3 at home.
Lastly, we go to Indianapolis, and it's wild to go after such a big matchup like this, but the Colts have shown tremendous improvement this season and just suffered a "looking ahead" loss at San Diego. This time they're at home where already they took down Seattle in an emotional victory. It doesn't get any more emotional than this week when longtime Colts QB Peyton Manning returns to Indy as a member of the Broncos. Broncos dominated the NFL season early on but their last two games have been a little shaky. It took quite a while for them to put away either Dallas on the road or league-worst Jacksonville at home. It also seems like their defense could be had downfield. Look for Indy to open up the playbook and, we hope, a big game for young QB Andrew Luck. I like the Colts to cover +6.5 at home, here's to a great game on Sunday Night! Colts +6.5 at home.
Big games, big matchups, and hopefully, big results for all the above teams. To recap: USC +3 at Notre Dame, Clemson +3 at home, and Colts +6.5 at home on Sunday Night Football.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
- Go to Lawry's the Prime Rib -- pick up a Diamond Jim Brady cut and challenge yourself to eat it.
- See a movie
- Swim a good masters workout
- Drive along the coast
- Check out Third Street Promenade
- Read a book, maybe's Herd's new book, "You Herd Me"
- *Perhaps* sample the O&A show on Sirius XM just to see what all the hype is about
- Replay some classic NFL games
- Watch a few old TV shows
- Catch up on episodes of "The Big Bang Theory"
- Reminisce about good memories in the past
- Bake a casserole... I baked a semi pre-made casserole last night! Tortilla Chicken Casserole. Excellent.
- Listen to music, new albums and lots and lots of music.
- Run up hill, then downhill
- Take a bike ride to Malibu
- Play some video games
- Attempt to streak a high school football game -- I wouldn't actually do this, hahahahahahaha
- Shop for furniture
- Try a few video conversations on skype
- Check out a comedy club and sample some new talent
- Attempt some airplane flying lessons
- Build a kite
- Get a new battery for your laptop
- Work on your NFL or College Pick'em
- Negotiate a trade with Tommy in your fantasy league
- Make popcorn
- Go on a date
- Get some pizza
- Make a sandwich
- Cook bacon
- Drive around the block if the coastal drive is not looking good or if it's dark outside
- Pay bills
- Sweep the floor
- Vacuum the carpet
- Make the bed
- Do laundry
- Go through old episodes of "Olbermann" and then compare them to the fill-in episodes Colin Cowherd will be hosting.
- Fill out an application to apply for a production assistant job at ESPN
- Attempt to craft some candied apples
- Microbrew your own beer
- Or forget the microbrew, go to Tony P's to get one of their many brews on tap
- Check out the opera
- See about going to a show from the America's Got Talent Tour, rolling nationwide.
- Talk to your buddies on the internet
- Blog a little
- Try some different bus routes around town just to see where they go.
- Practice piano
- Find some used clothes at the thrift store
- Get the famous fries at Skooby's in Hollywood
Hasn't been much else on my mind this week, although swimming is coming along great! I felt really good on the Monday swim and tried a 25 meter sprint from a push, butterfly no less. I canned that in 24 seconds! That's as fast as I can remember swimming 25 meters short course. Less than 30 now! I was pumped.
I have to be careful about what I eat for two reasons... I don't want to drag myself down and mess up my rhythm in the pool and secondly well, when you swim a meet you're pretty naked out there, and I don't want to let down the ladies.
I wonder if the Clippers will win an NBA championship someday. The Clippers of today are as close as they've ever been to winning it all. I'd actually be pulling for them in an NBA finals.... that'd be pretty cool. To see the Clips finally get it done and the surprise of everyone in LA seeing it happen. I can't even imagine how this town would react. You thought the Kings winning was surreal, a Clippers championship is simply unheard up.
Hell, the Clippers winning more games than they lose in a year is unheard of. These are good days indeed for the Clippers.
Health is actually a very big factor in a championship run. If even one or two guys who matter to your club are compromised in health, it severely limits the ability to play as well as you can. Many years you can't everyone in their prime and healthy at the same time. So when the championship comes, cherish it, and relish it! It's especially hard in baseball. I have mad props to any team that makes it all the way to the top.
Even the *Giants* deserved some mad props when they got over the hump in 2010. When they won was I mad? Maybe a little, but I was more happy for my many friends, numerous colleagues who were long loyal suffering fans of the Giants, and dealt with so much heartbreak. I can sympathize with that. I was more happy for my buddies than upset that the Giants cut into the Dodger legacy... after all, it's just sports.
Seeing the way the Giants won the title was actually very very cool. Those guys were fun to watch, no lie. A tad bit of an underdog, especially against the Phillies, but a very colorful bunch.
At any rate... time to check out that laundry list and see all the fun things there are out there. Good football forthcoming too, and I *did* have the casserole last night, it was delicious!
Talk to you all again on Thursday. Til then...
Monday, October 14, 2013
I also was fruit deficient, so I went to the grocery store and picked up some more produce. It's still peach season, but barely, they're now shoved into that second tier of groceries towards the back. Grapes and Strawberries were the order of the day.
Sometimes you just want to doodle around on YouTube. No means, no purpose. Just watch videos you had on your mind.. oh what about that one game from a few years ago? Ooh I liked that commercial. I wonder what that one song sounds like? Stuff like that. It's a lot of fun, and an incredibly good time waster.
Ever eat the label on a fruit? I haven't, but that must be embarrassing.
I've checked the program guide several times over the years, but there still isn't one channel out of hundreds and hundreds of networks showing Baywatch reruns. Isn't that just a little strange? It was an enormously popular show in the 90's, and today? Nothing.
The good thing is, you could conceivably find Baywatch reruns on YouTube too. I'm not particularly interested in watching Baywatch again but I just thought the idea of it not being on TV was odd.
I honestly don't have much else on my mind today. I hope you don't mind. Catch you all tomorrow!
Sunday, October 13, 2013
So the thought I had was: why does the car horn sound so wimpy now? Do you guys remember car horns from the 70s? I mean the honks from those horns have presence and tenor! They were operatic bombastic HONKS. Honks with body and vigor! Now they sound so cheezy... "weep... weep weep." Erg... it just isn't the same. And my thought was -- why DID the horn have to change? It's not like a horn would cost that much money to begin with, and it's not like car sizes changed that dramatically over time. Even a compact car is just 1/3 less large as a regular car. I don't get it. What's so wrong with a manly sounding car horn?
I don't even want to know HOW the Tigers blew a 5-0 lead with a chance to pull the jugular. That's why the Tigers are never going to win a World Series in this decade... right there. I saw the score, it was 5-0 Tigers, and then suddenly they lose 6-5... and it was 5-0 Tigers in the *fifth inning.*. The Detroit Tigers have NO KILLER INSTINCT, and furthermore they have a joke bullpen. I've said enough. Great comeback from the Boston side, though.
I can't necessarily say the Dodgers lack killer instinct... the pitching did its job, and even the bullpen did its job, but losing an extra inning game, followed by a 1-0 loss the next day where the only run was an UNEARNED run, and I felt like that was a backbreaker. Couple that with the prospect of putting the young Ryu, who tanked, up against Adam Wainwright tonight, and I feel like the series is over. I'm going to be honest with all of you: the Dodgers lost their last two LCS series in five games. If we meet here again on Wednesday night and the NLCS isn't already over I will be absolutely *shocked.*
I'm sorry! but when you get 11 chances to score the game winning run in two games and come up empty, it's just not meant to be! I'll be rooting for LA just the same but it's going to be impossible to refute the obvious facts...the Dodgers are just not the kind of team that can execute in big spots... and the Cardinals are! When the Dodgers win, it's usually by a half dozen runs or more. That's what made the Uribe go-ahead HR so remarkable last week... it was the kind of magic we didn't see from them in the 'offs up to that point.
Georgia's Football season is over. After a loss to Missouri at home, that was all she wrote. I'm not upset at the bulldogs... I still thought they were the best team in college football, but injuries reduced them from the best team in the NCAA to a pretty good team in the NCAA. What can you really do? Both RB's were out, so it turned UGA into a pass only team and they got exposed that way. Gurley would have made a world of difference against Mizzou, and I think you gotta give the Tigers a ton of credit for seizing the opportunity and taking the W, staying undefeated in the process. This is a huge win for Missouri, no question about it.
With a series loss, the Dodgers will have lost their last three NLCS'es in a row. The funny thing about it is, this will be the first time a team lost its last THREE NLCS series in a row since...the St. Louis Cardinals lost three NLCS series between 1996 and 2002... in 2004, they finally would break the hump and enter the World Series. Perhaps luck will find the Dodgers side down the road and we'll see a World Series down the line.
More than anything, the LCS so far has been a moment of sadness. I really wished the Dodgers would have been more competitive at the plate, and not choked with the bases loaded, or with a guy on first and less than two outs. What can you do? It's not really in your control, right?
I would say this, however, with respect to Game 2. Game 2 might have been different had Hanley Ramirez started. He was hurt and could not play game 2... I was imagining what he'd do if he was healthy... bah! A little too late to cry over spilled milk no?
I think this might be the week for pulled pork. What say you? Would you be in a pulled pork mood?
Would you believe I slept for 10 hours on both Saturday morning and Sunday morning? I was shocked to see what time it was when I woke up both times! I have not done that in years... years and YEARS and years. I was frightened to know I could sleep that much. Holy heck... how did it happen?
I saw a photo meme that said "What if they kept the name 'Redskins', but changed the mascot to.......................... a potato?" I was like "whoah!" Then, I thought, why stop there? I think they could do away with the Tribal concept entirely and just call themselves the Washington Potatoes. Spud it up! Instead of the Hogs, which to this day never made any sense... ok fellas, here's a concept: Let's dress up as miss piggy for the game. REALLY? What does a pig have to do with Native Americans or the Nation's Capitol? Nothing! Absolutely nothing!! And grown fat men dress up this way? The whole "hog" thing was just so bogus from this mongo's point of view. Ah right, I was talking about what to replace "hogs" with... well forget it, don't replace the "hog" thing with anything. It's the "Washington Potatoes" and their mascot could be Senator Spudsy. If guys want to dress up goofily, they can perhaps become giant Mr. Potato Heads. Something like that.
I know all the old school staunchies would have issue with changing the name of the team, but listen, the current-Redskins have been a joke for 20 years. It might be time to do something drastic anyway. If you knew that changing the name "Redskins" to "Potatoes" would get your team to the Super Bowl, wouldn't you do it? I think it *could* be worth it, just saying.
I want to give one final shoutout to four friends who were really good to me this weekend: John in Greenwich (aka YOTS), Umbertos Clam House, Andy in Seattle, and Floyd Merriweather (who I call "Kevin" in regular life). You all were fun to hang out with, and our moments this weekend were stellah: from the USC game, to the trip to see a roadside sign, to the collaborative podcast, to the bars, and the sports viewing parties. The restaurants, oh the fun restaurants. I remember John and Umberts and I were chilling at Swinger's Friday night, just before the rush of people came in, and we had our breakfast trinkets. It's such a classic Diner here in Santa Monica. We also had the good fortune of meeting a waitress from NJ. She wasn't keen on the sports, though, so we didn't try to push that angle or the WFAN angle on her. It was a good time. That was just one of an assortment of memories.
Documenting all the highlights of our various meetups would take up reams of paper, so I think as the year goes along I'd like to share some of them in phases. There is much to tell, and I hope to get into more detail when the time allows.
One other thing... I'd been trying to find a good waffle place all year that was convenient to me. Swingers finally showed me the way! I had no idea they served such a good waffle -- usually the waffle is too thin or too brittle or too soft, but this one was perfect: Belgian in style, crispy and tasty. It was great! Thanks to Swinger's for setting me up -- hat's off.
I don't really know what the term "hat's off" really means, but I can only assume it's when you either tip the cap or take your cap off as a way to show respect or honor to someone else. Like, a lady walks into an establishment and a guy with his hat on takes it off briefly to say "howdy ma'am". So, I was always under that impression of the term, but I digress.
That's all from here! Be well.. enjoy your Monday.
This blog entry was made possible with contributions from Miller High Life. When it's time for life, make it the High Life. Miller Brewing Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Quite frankly, I'm pretty happy, very satisfied even, with 3-3 this week. It got really dicey. I thought I was up against my first losing week of the season (and seeing that we started in Late August, it is unprecedented to go this long w/o a losing week). At any rate, it seemed like it was over... Tom Brady, in a big game against the Saints was at home and threw an interception with only 2:11 left on the clock. I said, sianara! Goodbye Pats -2.5!
Then a funny thing happened -- the Patriots magic returned. First, the Saints stupidly threw the ball on several downs to stop the clock. Then the two minute warning in between. THEN, the Pats got it back with roughly 38 seconds to go in regulation. Brady masterminded a drive that picked all the way down the field and eventually a touchdown pass with barely 5 seconds left on the clock. Could you believe it? From sure defeat to an improbable comeback in just a minute! With that score, I *salute* Tom Brady and the entire Patriots organization. Even as a fan of a rival team, I can appreciate all the Pats do... and even though I called them "the weakest undefeated team in the NFL" at one point in time, I am happy to be proven wrong.
..yet again. and the LOCKS of the Week roll on!
Thursday, October 10, 2013
of the Week (aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!)
Games are getting closer, and intensity is getting tighter in the College Football world... it's tough to find *any* locks really, but if there's one team we can count on it's GOOD OLE CAL. Cal used to be one of the overhyped teams of the Pac 12. Today, they are what they are, simply terrible. It doesn't even matter who it is... Oregon, Ohio State, whatever, they can't win. They can't even cover. Now they'll be on the road at UCLA. It's interesting that the Bruins get a point spread under 30 for this game, as I thought it'd be higher, so it'd seem like a pretty easy pick to make. We'll take the Bruins watch them roar louder than the Golden Bears, whose night should *not* be so golden. UCLA -24.5 at home.
Also on the schedule, Baylor is on the road at Kansas State. Generally speaking, I find Baylor to be a far superior team to K-State, but the Wildcats have shown some heart recently, including a gutty performance against Oklahoma State on the road, losing by only 3. To put KSU behind the 8 ball as a 17.5 point dog at HOME is a little out there. If they were ranked, this decision would be even easier but even though Baylor scored 70+ points in their last three games, I'm still not agreeing with the line. I like K-State to make a little of a game of it at home. K-State +17.5 at home.
One more from College: Ole Miss proved to be virtually worthless at home against Auburn of all teams. If they can't compete against Auburn, what on earth are they going to do against a spread offense and Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M? You never truly know how the middle of the SEC does in these games, but to see A&M just a 6 point fave, even on the road, makes me lean towards the Aggies. We'll go with Texas A&M by a touchdown plus. A&M -6 at Mississippi.
Now, just to clarify, I still don't think A&M is that great this year, but their offense definitely comes to play. A&M should eventually fall somewhere along the line (in addition to the Alabama game), but it won't be here.
Now to the pros... here are my NFL LOCKS of the Week:
First thing's first. I want to get this one out of the way because it just feels like a layup. The Jets are giving a mere 2.5 to Pittsburgh *at home.* Let me tell you all why I think the Jets are a winner against the Steelers.
Number 1: The Jets are younger. Most of their defensive players are younger than their Steeler counterparts. Geno Smith, their QB, is much younger and healthier than Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger.
Number 2: The Jets are hungrier. The Jets really had something to prove against the Atlanta last week, and you could really see it in their eyes that they WANTED this win. I feel the same way about them against the Steelers, in a showcase game on CBS. Nantz and Simms, I believe, will be covering the game for the Eye. There's something about the showcase game, be it 4:25 games, Thursday Night, or Monday Night, that brings out the best in the Jets. At home? Their fans are going to be PUMPED.
Number 3: The Jets have a plan. Can you believe I'm saying this? It's true! They have a general outline of how to go about the season. They know their defense can come through for them. They can from time to time get a pass rush. They're still pretty decent in pass coverage. Geno Smith also seems to be a much better decision maker thus far than former starter Marc Sanchez, but bear in mind, he's a rookie. We saw him get served at Tennessee too. The Jets try not to do too much or get cute with their passing game. It's not always pretty but they seem to have an identity now. We'll see if it holds in Week 6.
One other note... the Jets are 2-0 in home games so far against the spread. So with all of that, I'm going Jets -2.5 at home.
Up next, we go to Seattle to see the Seahawks after a tough home loss to the Colts a week ago. One might think the Hawks are suddenly vulnerable, but I don't see it that way. This is a classic case of "don't overthink it." The Seahawks are at home following a loss, they'll be very motivated, and they're going to go play against Ryan Fitzpatrick. Watch the interceptions fly! The Hawks should be an easy -13.5 point cover against the Titans who have an admittedly good defense themselves. Seahawks -13.5 at home.
Lastly, we head to Gillette to see the Patriots and Saints make a close shave of it. Usually you don't want to take a game with a line of 3 or less, but I feel like bounceback wins are a signature move in the NFL. I like the Saints. I think they're terrific, and I really like what they bring offensively and Rob Ryan's improved 3-4 defense. HOWEVER, the Saints are due for a loss and NE is due for a win, and I think Brady will want to avenge his dismal performance at Cincinnati a week ago. Bolden returned last week, and Steven Ridley will also return this week to bolster the offense. The Saints defense won't be as effective against a smarter team like the Pats, but I think the game will still be close. I'll go NE by a field goal: Patriots -2.5 at home.
ANOTHER tough week to make picks! But we like our chances here on LOCKS. To summarize: UCLA -24.5 at home; K-State +17.5 at home; Texas A&M -6 at Mississippi; Jets -2.5 at home; Seahawks -13.5 at home; Patriots -2.5 at home.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
I'm happy to officially welcome my buddy YOTS from Connecticut back to the West Coast. He'll be in for a few days and we should be in for a very good time. Some of my other friends from the West Coast will be in attendance.
My new thing at Starbucks is the Cafe Latte. Other lattes are good but they really have a lot of sugar... it's a whole extra 200 calories right there. My counterpunch is the regular latte with no sugar.. it's just called the "Cafe Latte." Fewer calories, but just as enjoyable. The texture is quite good. Had one just the other day.
Last night I had a couple slices of Tombstone Frozen Pizza. I always wondered how they execute a frozen pizza. Usually you need a pizza stone to cook a pizza, or a flat bed oven (meaning just the floor, no wire racks). So I tried one last night... it looks like the secret is to coat the bottom with some special ingredient to make the bottom side of the dough like a cookie crust... then the crust just hardens on its own without falling to the ground... it's already semi firm.
It's an unusual arrangement... it also means the pizzas wind up being harder all the way around. The best pizzas are *crispy*. You get the crust on the bottom to chip here and there but the slice still folds and the rest of the pizza is soft to the touch. Here, the bottom crust is both the crust AND a built-in edible pizza stone. I can see why a lot of other people would derisively refer to frozen pizzas as "cardboard pizza."
So, it wasn't perfect, but I rather enjoyed the Tombstone pizza last night. The ingredients were decent and the cookie crust at the bottom made it akin to a cheesecake. However, I was into it. I recognized the limitations and enjoyed its better atributes. For example: the pepperoni.
Look, I don't want to be mean to Time Warner Cable Sportsnet, but I am *not* in the mood to watch preseason basketball. I appreciate the dozens of updates from your network, the Lakers twitter, and the Lakers Nation blog, not to mention correspondents from all three, but come on guys... it's the bleeping preseason!!! OOH ROBERT SACRE SCORED 4 POINTS! NICK YOUNG IS ON A ROLL. JORDAN FARMAR -- HE IS *BACK* BABY!! I mean can we relax?! The Lakers are going to need a miracle just to *get* to .500. I mean people let us relax just a bit!
I haven't been to a regular library in many years. I guess the Young Research Library at UCLA counts, but I was referring to the old fashioned public library in your local town. Imagine those? Books! Do people still need books to write research papers? I always wondered about that. One can find all the same information online at some officiall sources. Kids must have more challenges now.. trying to avoid plagarism. Concocting original data that's accurate and not erroneous. Citing sources and verifying their legitimacy. There's so many layers here. Usually you won't get a bunch of jokers together to just throw out a book and then get it read by thousands of people coast to coast. I feel kinda bad for kids in that sense... in the early 90's data was not that rampant. I honestly wouldn't know -- does this kind of access make writing a paper easier or harder? I don't know.
In fact, I was thinking about viruses... it was way harder to get a virus on a computer in the 80s and 90s. It would come in the form of a floppy disk so one would have to be really prolific getting software from random people to have that happen. It did happen, but the percentages could have been lower.
I was also thinking... I root for five teams in sports... and three of them are a complete *joke.* The Lakers at least have Kobe, but Jim Buss has proven to be an utter fool trying to "run" this franchise. He doesn't have a clue about Public Relations, Business, or Marketing... that's only half the battle. I won't even attempt to evaluate his acumen for basketball sense... because it doesn't exist! The Steelers, they are their own trainwreck. It'd be a complete waste of time to even dissect *what* about them sucks, other than "the whole team." That whole roster needs to be blown up. I had good hopes for them too! Just surprising how they came apart so quickly. Basically, everybody got old -- quickly. Finally, those Cardinal and *Gold* Jokers known as SC. Now this situation is improving. They fired Lane Kiffin, do the dance for that, but it's still a very volatile situation. Hopefully Pat Haden will get this together and hire someone who can coach and recruit.
Speaking of SC Football, my buddy YOTS and I and some others will be heading to the Coliseum tomorrow to see the game. I look forward to it! USC hosts Arizona. No telling how this goes but the experience is going to be dynamite.
So the Dodgers made the NLCS..... not a surprise, for those who followed them all year. What's going to be really interesting is to see how their opponent responds to the pressure and to the underdog mentality. Over the last 25 years, the Dodgers would always be the underdog or the "second dog". This is the first time in a while where the Dodgers emerged as the top dog. I always felt so burned by how the Dodgers would always be blown away by the Phillies and I'd go, "When are we going to unseat the Phillies?" Today, the Dodgers *are* the Phillies. The best team on paper, the best pitching, the best lineup, it's a very complete team. I can say with confidence they are a better team than any postseason Dodger team that came before it, going all the way back through that magical 1988 team. That doesn't mean they're making the World Series. It does mean, however, that the Dodgers needed, and acquired, a top dog "swagger" as the team entered the playoffs. What a run it's been so far. That *feeling* that your team is the better team... pretty remarkable. Yeah, I had my doubts about finishing. I felt like the lineup had some serious holes in it, but then those same "holes" would throw it all back at you. First Crawford, going off every which way with the bat, he got hot. Then Uribe, my presumed "would not hit a lick in the 'offs" guy, but no! Uribe only hit two home runs, including one to clinch the series, for all intents and purposes, on Monday night. Who knew?
It's a pretty cool feeling, to be the top dog, but the converse of that is that nobody's going to root for you... but who cares? This is fun! I like the Pirates too, so I'd be really happy if they could just beat St. Louis to make the LCS. I'd have almost no issue with the Pirates making it all the way to the World Series in lieu of the Dodgers. Man that team is fun to watch -- and their FANS are fun to watch! I love it.
There's a guy somewhere either in my apartment building or the one next to it who just grunts out loud! Here and there you get a "UGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!" What the heck is he doing?! On the harmless end, he's probably in the bathroom trying to get out some gophers. On the serious end he could be in big pain... arthritis or something. Man, I hope he's not seriously hurt.
I want to thank all of you for your continued support of the Daveblog. I have been more spotty about blog entries, but many games have been going late these days with playoff baseball, some unusual night football games, and some other things. On top of that, I'd been going to bed earlier to make it to morning swim practices... I'm determined to get in a regular schedule over these 3-5 weeks before an upcoming swim meet. I feel very confident about it too... just excited to keep in the swimming. Anyway, I hope I can write more consistently as we go along.
That's all from here. Last blog entry of the week, so I hope you all have a good weekend! We'll have LOCKS of the Week tomorrow.
Sunday, October 6, 2013
I made some roast beef sliders on asiago bread yesterday during all the football. I went to the grocery store, got the freshly sliced roast beef, then some cheese, then a loaf of asiago bread. It all came together very well, actually.
That's really all I needed: I didn't have to leave to pick up food in the afternoon or anything. Just some cold cuts, bread, and a good time. Good games were on yesterday.
Well let me tell you something: LOCKS of the Week went 3-2 but that was *supposed* to be 4-1. Could you believe the tomfoolery that ended the Ohio State/Northwestern game? A sack causing a fumble, then a return for a defensive touchdown for Ohio State, *all as the clock expired.* That gave Ohio State the improbable 7+ point cover!!
I think most surprising of all is that all three NFL games were picked correctly. That's an extremely rare day when all the NFL games hit. They did.
I felt very confident about the Green Bay game in particular. A great job by the Packers eventually putting away the Lions.
I looked up my time for my first attempted 100 meter butterfly race from a year ago: 2 min 20 sec. I *know* I can beat that! I mean I think I could beat that just swimming it at regular workout speed... in a race from a dive? Totally gettable. It's official, I'm enrolling in the fall Masters swim meet in a few weeks. My butterfly stroke has improved a lot over the last year. I figured out how to to make the "S" motion with my two arms... makes propulsion a great deal easier. I've worked on my kick and I think that seems better. I also have a knack for breathing on every stroke like they do in the Olympics. I compared it once at lunch swim -- breathe every stroke vs breath every other stroke. For whatever reason breathe every stroke had me go about 1-2 seconds faster.
Put it all together, and I think I could break 2:00 in that race. We'll see. In short course yards, I can now swim a 25 yard fly in 30 seconds at casual speed. Used to take me 35, 40, even 45 seconds to do that. It's a little longer for short course meters, but having the turn is going to give me an edge.
Oh! and the turns have been improved too... I somehow feel like my dolphin kick has much more oomph. I am pumped folks.
Imagine you were up for the 10 million dollar prize on some National Game Show, and the final stage you need to get the money is to have Ricky Nolasco pitch a complete game shutout against the Braves? OHHH BABY! No lifeline is going to get you through that one! and I feel like Nolasco has had a great year here in LA too!
I stayed up for Chargers/Raiders last night. Why not? It wasn't even that late for me out West.
It always amuses me that NFL Network Studios is so close to my home. It's on Washington Blvd., a road that runs in Culver City down the road from Sony Pictures Studios and Downtown Culver. I drive by there all the time. Sometimes I bus past it too. I always thought... what would happen if I just parked one day and went over to the studio and yelled "sup fellas??" I can even see their newsroom through the window as I drive by.
Sadly, no stories to really share of late. The fun is just beginning my friends. Have a good Monday!
Oddly, the *college* picks went 0-2 and the pro picks went 3-0! It was that kind of week.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
There's a very real chance that the two teams I want to succeed most in the NL this month won't make it happen. In fact, for the Dodgers, I am almost *convinced* the Braves win Game 1. Like, locked in stone. We'll see, I still think the Dodgers have a great pitching staff and I think they'll go on to win this series, some way some how.
The Pirates are the other team to watch. This is going to be tough -- St. Louis has the experience and the pitching to make serious noise. However, the Pirates have great pitching in their own right and a hungry, hungry lineup.
Yesterday I tried some pizza at a pizza by the slice place called BricoLA. I teased it, and I did it! Coach came by to have a slice as well. It's pretty good! I like the creativity of the slices. Some of them are very interesting. Spicy Salami and Onion. Barbecue Chicken. One with some gourmet vegetables. For a place that's right by me on Montana no less, this is a great Pizzeria in Santa Monica. and I mean *great.*
I suppose the only complaint is that the slices don't get reheated enough, but I could always order a personal sized pizza or a regular sized pizza fresh from the big oven. No worry there.
I swam the unfathomably early 5:45 swim today. I could not believe how well I was killing it there. I loved it! Hit all my intervals... even outlasted my lane mates today. I guess a lot of people leave the Thursday swim early... it's a 90 minute swim and it involved a lot of stroke other than freestyle. No matter, I was on top of it.
There was a time, years ago when I started, when my lane mates would lap me. I've come a long way indeed.
Do people still say "Rock it" or "You Rock" or "Rock on?" I use it occasionally, but the concept of "Rocking" something is straight out of the 80's. Every time I use that term as a verb it makes me feel a little silly... verbiage that's out of date, so I tend to be more selective with it.
It'd be like saying something is "the bomb" or they got moded. Total 90's trip in that spot.
I think that's all for now. LOCKS of the Week Coming up!
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
It's always good to open a door for another person. It's definitely good to open the door for a lady. It's an *especially* good idea to open a door for a lady if the woman is pregnant. If I ever missed one and the poor girl had to open the door, I couldn't live with myself.
For about 8 years, I did live with myself... or I should say "by myself". I had my own stead in Santa Barbara, then I moved into a new stead in LA. Now I have a cohabitated stead in Santa Monica with Coach. Speaking *of* the Coach, I'm happy to announce he's now on twitter! Follow him: @coach2513 .
Coach is quite excited to start his live tweeting from New York and Connecticut next week. He'll be there on vacation. He's pretty new to tweeting so he asked me what to do for an avatar, and I said "just do something basic... a symbol that's easily recognizable." He went over and took a picture of a jack o lantern nearby. This is now his identifying photo! It'll light up any twitter feed.
Now this isn't happening to me personally, but I thought of the concept of "Rebound Guy." You know why rebound guy works? Think about rebounds. You only have to do half the work to get what you want! To get a shot, you have to make and create the shot. To get a score, you have to put in a lot of work to get the score. Rebound Guy is just waiting for something to bounce, have it come *towards you* and then putting yourself in the right position to get it. That's the beauty of the rebound.
It's still a good amount of work positioning yourself so that you get the rebound, but to do that really takes a lot of the guess work out of it. I salute all Rebound Guys everywhere.
and speaking of rebounds, who was ready for the NHL opener last night? Nobody? Bah, never fear, we'll get you pumped for hockey with our NHL Preview show tonight on the Dave in the City podcast. Ron in NJ, Mike in North NJ, and "Parcells Falling Out" will join us for the particulars. It's at blogtalkradio.com/daveinthecity . Ok enough self promotion, onward...
I tried to get some pizza last night, but nothing was really satisfying me. I called a local place on 15th street a few blocks from my apartment and, just to give you an idea how quiet our neighborhood is, the guy on the phone said they were closed early because it was so dead traffic wise. Here's the kicker, as I said "oh that's all right, no problem" he jumped in with "but I can still make a pizza *for* you if you want!" He was really enthusiastic about it too, but I didn't want to impose. I basically let him down slowly and said I'd try another night.
I mean that too -- I think I'll try the pizzeria on a different evening. Maybe even tomorrow! I saw some photos of the place, it's called BricoLA or something. Apparently they have very good pizza. I'll check it out.
I tried the cookies at Sweet Lady Jane's Bakery but I was more disappointed than anything. Not much richness to their cookies, which admittedly is not their forte. SWJ is all about cakes... their cakes are out of this world, but it also means they're not as strong in other areas. Cookies is their middle of the road product. At any rate, they don't even do regular choco chip cookies... its like Choco Chip with Pecans or Choco Chip w/ Peanut Butter. The regular choco chip cookie at NY Bagel Company was worlds better I thought.
Going back to the pizza thing, I came close to buying a frozen pizza then punted on it when I saw the calorie totals. Oof! I didn't bother with pizza last night, and just did some grapes and cereal.
HEY! Let's hear it for the Pittsburgh Pirates! At last they play some meaningful baseball in October. I just loved the atmosphere in the Steel City last night. What a moment. Hopefully they can keep it going in St. Louis against the Cardinals.
That's all from here... have a good one everyone. Enjoy your Wednesday.