Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dave's SUPER BOWL LOCK …of the year.

It's been a while friends!

While I was away from the blog I tried to mull it over, and it was tough.  This matchup intrigued me from the start, even before the AFC/NFC playoffs were over.  I said "if these two teams meet it could get very interesting."

I know I loved the Seattle defense all year.
I know the NFC is better than the AFC.
I know the two best teams in football are the 49ers and the Seahawks.

With that said, just because the Seahawks are deemed the better team by multiple measure, that doesn't mean they're going to win the big game.  This game will be close.  It will be tough.  Neither team is really going to pull away from the other, I think, until the fourth quarter.   When it's all said and done though, I think there's just too little the Seahawks bring offensively that if the Broncos slow down Marshawn Lynch that's going to give them a huge edge.

My feeling is, the Broncos DO slow down Lynch putting the Seahawks in very uncomfortable territory.  I grant you that Peyton Manning, Broncos QB, and his throws were pretty wiffle ball worthy of late.  However, whatever talent the Seattle secondary brings can be matched by the sheer number of good receivers the Broncos bring on the other side.  Special teams is a wash.  You might even argue that coaching is a wash, but something about Pete Carroll teams in a big game.  When I picked the Seahawks to win the Super Bowl at the beginning of the season, I did not anticipate they'd encounter a quarterback as good as Manning.   The problem with Seattle is, in order for them to win they need to be able to have a grip on the game offensively.  I just don't think they would do as well with that as SF could have in this same Super Bowl vs the Broncos.  Even as good  as Seattle's defense is, it might not be enough.

In a tough fought game, I have the Broncos winning out:  Broncos 24, Seahawks 16.  Super LOCK… of the year.

Historically we are on a 5 game winning streak w/ Super Bowl Picks.  I really feel like this may be the year it lets me down.  But we will see.  It's hard to go against your instincts and instincts say "take the Broncos."  Here's to a good Super Bowl!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: January 27th

Got three CD's from Barnes and Noble this weekend:  "Escape" from Journey, "Watermelon Man" from Herbie Hancock, and "'Round About Midnight" by Miles Davis.   The last of these is a pretty historic recording... I was privileged to have a nice remaster of it to listen to on the car drive home from my home town of Oxnard.

This weekend, we did the Piano Recital for my Mom's student-base.  It was an incredible show.  It was a ton of work, but great to be a part of it.

I really have a feeling that the Broncos will win the Super Bowl.   I don't get predictions like this right all the time, and the trends, stats, and recent history all point to the Seahawks, but I feel a little crazy this year.  I'll have more details on what I think the Broncos can do to win later this week, mostly on the Dave in the City Podcast.

Oddly enough, I'm not a big fan of the Grammy's.   I know a lot of people love to tune in to see what stupid thing they do next, but it's not my cup of tea... in fairness, I came home around 8:30 and then talked to Coach for over half an hour about the Super Bowl.  Coach is BIG on the Seahawks to win the game... totally felt the opposite of everything I thought about this game.  We'll get into this on the podcast when Coach gets in studio for the Wednesday Dave in the City show.

Ah right, Grammy's... so at any rate, I see so much buzz on twitter and facebook about it... and I now see what it feel like to be a non sports fan on Super Bowl Sunday.  Everybody *around you* going gaga about something that you're indifferent with.   It's a crazy feeling.   I decided to put on NHL Network to get some highlights of the Rangers Stadium Series Game from Yankee Stadium.  It looked like quite a show for the Blue Shirts!

Even Jason Smith's new regular show can't get me to go back to listening to Fox Sports Radio.

I couldn't find any peaches so I got desperate and bought some frozen peaches from the store.  I take them home, put some of them into a container, add some frozen strawberries, and wait about 40-60 minutes for them to defrost.  That way I can get them in slightly chewable form so I can eat them with a fork.  It's better than it sounds.  I rather enjoyed my frozen fruit tonight.   It's still not as good as fresh peaches and strawberries, but it'll do.

The Kings did a GREAT and I mean *great* job staging the outdoor Stadium Series game against the Ducks on Saturday.  They got Vin Scully out to Dodger Stadium to usher in the game, and even got Bob Miller, Kings Play by Play announcer, to announce Wayne Gretzky's ceremonial puck drop.    KISS performed either during pregame or during intermission, they had beach volleyball for fans to play in the corner.  They *even* got long-time Kings fan "Five for Fighting" to perform at second intermission... he did a great job.

And with all of this ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC well done buildup, the Kings gave us nothing.  LITERALLY, ABSOLUTELY, nothing.   That team, that entire roster, all 59 people or so, should be ashamed of themselves for that awful effort.    I don't think it was so much for lack of trying, but it is just outrageous that the Kings would put on such a class act rink, setup, and ceremonies, only to be followed up by the Kings' worst offensive performance of the season.   I have not been so disappointed in a Kings game in years.  You'd think the Kings would finally snap their losing streak here in such a big game.  NOW... I don't know what's in store for them.  I mean my bleeping goodness, they have GOT TO win sometime.  Their defense is way too good to be denied for much longer.    This team is much better than they showed this week.   Get a win, Kings, lets do this!

There was a fun idea I had... or maybe fun with some parts frustration.   I know the Kings are not going to lose 60 games in a row... so I said, that's it, I'm going to bet on them to win the next game and the next game, and the next game until they finally WIN.   So I start with a 5 bone wager on their next game, theoretically.  If they win, great!  If they don't, I'll put ten bucks on their NEXT game.  15 on the next one, 20, 25, 30, until they finally get a win.  Afterward, I'll just go back to watching them play hockey.

Let's just hope it ends HERE at San Jose.  Something's gotta give.

That's all from here!   Enjoy your Monday.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: January 24th

It's 11:04 the night before, but this is close enough!

There's a car commercial that comes on and the guy at the beginning sings "The World Today, it's gotten really sad."  THEN a dozen people talk about how *great* everything is today.  That's a really confusing commercial.  Why would you have some guy with his head down sing about how bad everything is when the rest of the commercial is guys talking about how great things are?

There's a very mongo part of me that wants to stay up to see Federer/Nadal.  I won't do it BUT... boy is that a great matchup.  Federer/Nadal never disappoints!

This weekend will be interesting.  I'm helping my Mom and the family with her recital for Sunday.   I am also... going to take advantage of DineLA week and meet some friends for Dinner at Fogo de Chao!  It's a "Brazilian Steakhouse."  16 different types of meat!   I CAN'T WAIT FOR THIS!!

I don't think Chicago (the band) gets enough love.  I will admit though: their first 15 albums sound almost exactly the same.

You never EVER split 10's in Blackjack.. even if you want to be a contrarian, what is the incentive?  You're going to take away a 9 out of 10 chance of winning and turn it into two 3 out of 10 chances of winning??  Come on... that doesn't sound wise does it?

You'll notice I haven't said much about the Lakers.  Yes, they lost.  But you know what?   Good draft class next year, a silver lining is definitely in place.

It finally... seems like Nick Young is getting exposed for being a volume shooter.  I did not see what all the hype was about - still don't really.  He's a good player.. but he would be, at his worst, a compiler on a bad team.  At his best, he's a motivated worker and a driven scorer.  

Remember when the Vancouver Canucks used to score goals?  Those were good days.

I can go from 0 to 60 in just a week... of overeating.   0 to 60 pounds overweight... it's easy.   and it's *frightening.*   You wouldn't believe how much I can eat if I really apply myself.   I am a master at gaining weight... so I have to keep nights like tonight at Fogo de Chao to a minimum.  For the most part I've done this.  I don't go crazy with meals usually.  Thank goodness.  but it is, again, incredibly frightening how talented I am at gaining weight.

If there was an NBC show called "The Biggest Gainer" I would win EVERY YEAR.  I can gain weight w/o much effort.   Instead, I am more careful about eating decisions.   I don't eat hardcore healthy, but portion sizes are usually reasonable.   Today my only real cheat was the three pieces of chocolate I had.  Not a bad day!

That's all for this Friday.  Have a great weekend everybody!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: January 21st

I figured, as I was writing this at night, it would be more accurately reflected to use the date that I'm actually writing the entry rather the day when most people would read it.

I used to do that w/ the podcast, before it became a live show.  I would use the date of "air" so to speak rather than the night I was recording the show.  It was confusing for a while... then we went live and the practice became moot.

On Monday I thought about "ooh" versus "ohhhhh" when you watch sports.  When you say "OHHHH!" it's a big play or an amazing dunk, something like that.  OHHHH is very positive!  It means you got a go-ahead home run or someone broke a world record.  A yell of amazement and wonder.

When you yell "OOOOOOOH" it's a term of utter shock and sometimes dismay.  Someone lays out a hit on a guy in football... OOOOOOOOOH.   Guy gets smacked in the balls, OOOOH.   Somebody posts smack on the message boards, OOOOOH.   OOH can be good things too, like a buzzer beater you didn't expect a la Texas' game winning shot last night in College Basketball.   Otherwise, I tend to use OOH for negative reactions, such as an opposing team doing something to win a game.   However, OOH as mentioned, can go both ways.

You wouldn't believe how good the pizza was at this place my family and I were on Monday.  We went to a pizzeria called "Ojai Pizza Company" in beautiful dusty, sparsely populated Ojai.   Goregous locale... not a whole lot going on, but on this small street: some of the best pizza I've ever had in Ventura County.  I loved Topper's for years and years back in Oxnard, but man...!   Ojai Pizza beats it.  The crust is so crispy on the bottom, but fluffy and chewy on the top.   It's not "New York Pizza".  It's not "Chicago Style" pizza.  It's what I would call "Gold Coast Pizza."   Crispy on the bottom, thicker towards the top.  Sometimes with a crust, sometimes without.   Think of it like those take-home frozen pizzas, BUT unlike man places, Ojai Pizza uses freshly made dough made on site and fresh ingredients.  Folks, it's wonderful.   An ardent Pizza stickler may even enjoy it, despite its thicker crust.   See for yourself!

Ohhh that looks good.  It's too bad the picture is so blurry.  I just found it on the internet.

There is nothing about the English measuring system that makes sense.  Who decided what the length of a foot was?  And why is it divided into TWELVE parts?   It doesn't add up to anything else in the universe!  I don't even know why our hours are divided into 60 minutes, but that has more to do with the matching of the rotation of the earth against the sun so at least there's a little sense from that.

My weekend was spent visiting my family back home in Oxnard.  My *next* weekend will be spent there as well so that I can prepare for my Mom's piano recital. She hosts a recital at our local high school theater for her students and our entire family helps out.  It's quite a production.  I just hope it all goes well.  It can be stressful and it is a ton of work.  It is, however, a great event.  We've done it for nearly 15 years now.

I got a Blackjack App from 12 Gigs Software on the phone recently.  BOY is it addictive.   I can't go a day without playing for a few minutes.  It's all with fake chips, not real money, thankfully.  There was one morning this weekend when I turned on the phone at 5am and started going at it w/ the Blackjack app.  I was playing Blackjack for nearly four hours!   I then went up from 200 chips to over 4000 chips... it was insane!  Then, the next time I played the app, I went from those 4000 chips down to 100... can you believe it?   I got greedy, what can I say?    On the other hand I thought.  I got the strategy from down pat now, or mostly pat.   If I can couple that with my own rules for what to bet when I have x amount of dollars (i.e. do 50 dollar bets when I get up to 500 bones, do 100 dollar bets when I get up to 1000 bones, etc), I think I could get almost a 100% return doing the game in a real casino.  It's all very exciting, but it requires luck too.

"And you can tell everybody, and you can tell everybody, I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the mannnn..."  That sounds like a team player don't it?

You ever have fruit roll ups for breakfast?  I haven't yet, but that must sound liberating!

Nadal.. too good.    The Aussie Open has had some pretty good tennis my friends.

When I have dreams, they wind up being not as inspirational as Martin Luther King Jr.'s dreams.   I think my last dream, yesterday, was about going to get pizza.

When Andy in Seattle goes to sleep and dreams, does his dream yell "DREAM TODAY!  DREAM TODAY!"?  Ahhh??  Hahahahaha, I'm just being a loon.

I discovered something else on my Dad's recommendation yesterday.. well not so much his recommendation specifically.  What he recommended was to get dinner late Monday night, which meant I drove back to my home in Santa Monica laaaate, but in so getting the dinner, we went to a sushi place.   I hadn't tried the fancy rolls before, just my usual spicy tuna.  This time, I looked at my sister's Red Dragon Roll with the spicy fish, and I asked if I could give her a spicy tuna piece for her Red Dragon Roll piece and she was happy to exchange.  So I tried the red dragon with the salmon on the top... that was amazing!   On the inside, there was spicy crab and some tempura shrimp or something.  Tre-mendous.  I had always done basic rolls before, but the fancy rolls, now having tried one, are very appealing.

Sushi is part food, and part art.  There's so much creativity in it... presentation, ingredients, ideas.   You don't get that with a lot of foods.   You can only do so much with steak.  Even hamburgers have a ceiling with combinations.  Sushi seems like a rainbow full of colors, tastes, and visions.

That's all from here.  Happy Wednesday everyone!  Back at it soon here on the blog.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

NFL Conference Championship Predictions

QUICKLY, here are my Conference Championship Predictions:

AFC: I love the Broncos to win, but this is going to be really tough.   The Patriots will always have something up their sleeve strategically, so I honestly have no idea how to play it against the spread.   If the line is 5.5, I'm probably going Patriots +5.5 with Denver to win it.

NFC:  Seahawks.   This game is going to be tough the whole way, but I think they still can win by 4+.   Seahawks -3.5.

Enjoy the games!

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: September 16th

Felicidades!  Today is Mexican Independence Day.  Fiesta!

I heard Colin Cowherd do a promo and say "Save 150 bones on [something] at [xyz store]."  Do the dance!   It's cool to hear other people use the term bones for money.  It's something I picked up myself years ago.

There are a lot of slang denominations for money.  My Mom one time, when I was young, used the term "Bread" for money.  Bread is actually one of my least favorite slang words for money.  Bread sounds so hokey… so silly… but she said "oh it was just the language of the time."

I also say "cabbage" as a term for money.  Sometimes I just say "cabbage" as a euphemism for "stuff."

Ah!  "Dough" is also used to denote money.    "Lettuce" has, although not often, been used to denote money.  Pretty interesting, anyway.

It's been a struggle to write the blog entries lately.  I used to do them during "Coffee Hour" at work, which was 8am to 9am, but then people started to run to me with emergencies.  Then I tried them at home the night before, back at the old apartment.   But, the real truth is I've been slacking off, plainly and simply.    I felt like I was running out of ideas, let it go for a while and then got carried away.   I can imagine what it was like for people who write for long running sitcoms.  All the most basic storylines play themselves out -- now what?   It's challenging isn't it?

Some of the things I do are just too wacky to even write about.  Last night, and on Saturday afternoon, I was doing hardcore analysis of Columbia Records record labels and catalog numbers.  It would be too embarrassing to write in detail, but I broke some of that down in the last blog entry.

I do have plans w/ a friend tonight, thankfully.  She's great to go have a ball with.  And we ball. We are ballers who ball.

It's great that I don't sit around doing shearn things every single night.  That'd be depressing wouldn't it?   You know it's really funny that with the football season I wasn't really able to get out much.  So much paranoia bout missing this game and that game, and it included college too.  Here's how a typical week broke down during the Fall:

Sunday -- NFL Football
Monday -- Monday Night Football
Tuesday -- Swim
Wednesday -- Podcast
Thursday -- Thursday Night Football
Friday -- Happy Hour and/or Friday College Football on ESPN
Saturday -- College Football

So from September through Mid January I had only one night to do anything non-football related.

You know, I think Monday Night Football has gotten so bad, and the games the NFL gives them are so insulting, that I wonder if the NFL might consider just cancelling it altogether.  The Thursday night package is ruining prime time games across the board.   There's all sorts of reasons for that, forcing teams to play on short rest, subtracting would-be good matchups from larger television platforms, and so on.   Part of what made MNF the original prime time affair was the exclusivity of it.  It was the only prime time game and it had the matchup all to itself.   The NFL really got away from that lately.

No matter how much the 'L and ESPN deny it, we knew even THEN that Sunday Night football, on a broadcast network with Al Michaels, became the de-facto "Prime Time Game" and Monday Night Football reverted to the old Sunday Night game which had teams that nobody else wanted that week.  ESPN must be so livid to get these terrible matchups week after week, year after year.  Once in a while they get a good matchup, but compared to the other ten that are borderline brutal?  It's a tough spot.

So I think I wouldn't be commish for long, but if I could, I'd just push all the promotion to SNF, and gently let go of MNF and TNF.  However, the idea of there being a game on Monday night is still a good thing.  It's just that, you can't realistically expect a 16 game NFL schedule to have four fantastic NFL matchups on the same week every week.  CBS and FOX need their showcase game for the daytime.  Ultimately someone's getting left out, and I felt like that "someone" was ESPN.  Something's gotta give.

Ah, so where was I?

Have I mentioned the greatness of the Fab's Hot Dog "Fab Burger?"  It's just fantastic my friends.   Two fresh beef patties, swiss cheese, provolone cheese, fab sauce, and two slices of premium bacon, OH!   That burger blew me *away.*

I got the itch to go back to this place nearby called "Hop Woo" for some Orange Chicken or General Tso's.  Panda Express does orange chicken too, but I alway found it to be heavy on the batter.  The best orange chicken is the one where the batter is a crispy outer shell that punctuates a freshly fried piece of chicken breast.  Oh so good, and with sauce that can mix in with the rice.  Hop Woo has a tiny parking lot, like 5 spaces, but it's worth it.

I think that's all for now.  Thanks for indulging me, my friends.  'Til next time.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Dave's Thoughts of the Day (Hopefully not the whole week!): January 13th

A Bob James album is like a bag of potato chips.  Once you start into one you can't stop.  I don't know what you call the genre... it's technically "smooth jazz" or "jazz fusion," but I would incorporate the term "Pop Jazz" too since "Angela" was his most popular song.  It smashed it on the charts.  "Pop Jazz" would also bring Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass into the genre and boy did I love the beat of the brass!   They were dominating the charts in the 60's, but you wouldn't know it with the pigeon-hole programming oldies stations do now.  You couldn't find a TJB song on the radio if your life depended on it.  That's a shame: it's all such great music. 

But anyway!  Bob James is another animal.  Part funk, part jazz, maybe part production music, it's tremendous.   You won't miss it when you hear his fender rhodes piano.  The way it's played is signature Bob James.  It's mostly instrumental too, it gives me a chance to think when I hear his music.

I LIKE Jon Rothstein from CBS Sports.  My only complaint is all the updates from less relevant games around NCAA Basketball.  Overall though he is great!  He really knows his b-ball.  I like his reports on players too.  It was through him I found out that Kane, the big shooter from Iowa State was playing tonight, and he nailed a 3 at the end of the first half to tie the game against Kansas.  That kid's great.  His ankle hopes to get better.

Some people don't like my twitter account.   That's all right... I know I can be annoying.  Besides, if you don't like it, don't follow my twitter, which is what folks of that persuasion do anyway.  Problem solved!  Oh ho!

I use a slot machine app on my phone now, and I enjoy it a lot, but I question the authenticity of its gameplay.  I hit the jackpot three times already w/ the slot machine in the app.  That would never happen on a real life slot machine!  Something tells me they're bogusing the odds with the app.   Too bad it's all fake money too... imagine if I put in a ten dollar deposit and it bankrolled a jackpot?   THAT WOULD BE A SCENE!!!!

Percy Harvin is a real glass vase isn't he?  Oi.

I get touched up when I root against the team other people are rooting for.  There are other times when I root for the team everyone else is rooting for in a game and I get touched up anyway!   People afraid of a mush or something.  Guys, pick a lane!   Do you want me to root for the clock?

Hahahahahaha, I mean it's all in good fun but I thought that observation was amusing.

Sometimes I do root for the clock, true story.  Nothing annoys me more than baseball games that run long.  I have a personal rule where if a baseball game exceeds 3.5 hours in length without going to extra innings, I turn it off.  I make rare exceptions and I add an exception for postseason baseball.  Otherwise, you see a game dragging on and on, SAYONARA!  

I root for the clock in football games too... usually College Football games have this problem.  Games that go on and on and it becomes unbearable.  Rhythm and flow!  Let's go!   That's what I'm after.

A lot of the moaning and groaning about Troy Aikman as a broadcaster is needless, I think.  Troy is a good broadcaster!   I was thinking:  His legacy with the Cowboys as QB puts him in a hole from the beginning.  It'd be tough for, say, Giants fans, 49ers fans, or Packers fans to not find something about him that riles them up.

It's only the best selling album of all time (up until the 21st century), and only today did I learn the original catalog number of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" Album:  QE 38112.  You could really stump someone in "Jeopardy!" by putting that up on the screen as the clue: QE 38112.  Nobody would get it!

One of my friends brought a season set of this HBO show called "The Wire."  "The Wire" has had rave reviews by many over the years.   Coach is about to check it out for himself.  I've heard great things!  Maybe I'll sample an episode down the line.

I was on the phone with my Dad today, really great to hear from him, and I'm planning to go back home to Oxnard to visit for the weekend.  He suggested we do something one of those nights as a family and I said "maybe we could go see a movie!"

Then he asked me what's out, and I said "Oh lots of movies are out... but I would highly recommend *not* watching 'The Wolf of Wall Street.'   Dad, that movie is verrrrrrrrrrrrrry explicit.   There were 500 F-bombs throughout the movie and really really graphic nudity, drugs...."

I went on and on about this and he chuckled at most of it.  Then I said "I think all of this stuff would be all right for you but it would be VERY awkward to see with the family."  Then he said, "we could go see it just ourselves!"   ....that might still be a tad awkward but the movie itself is said to be very good.  Either way, I think my Dad is going to see that movie eventually. 

Actually, Coach and all his friends on Sunday basically described all the best scenes of the stinkin' movie anyway!  I was thinking "I don't even need to see the movie now, all those jokers spoiled it for me."

My friend Coach had four other friends over this weekend, all of them were 49ers fans.   We all were expecting them to arrive at quarter of 10am on a Sunday and both Coach and I were *hurting.*  We really went nuts the night before with some other friends, got home late and boy oh boy I don't think the bathroom was happy with me at the end of the night.

Anyway, both of us got up late the next morning, well, not that late, I was up around 8:30am, but in Dave terms that's sleeping in.   Coach didn't get up for a good hour afterward.  I had to make sure he was even home.. the end of Saturday night was fuzzy my friends.   I wanted to go get a bag of breakfast burritos for the crew that was coming but it was not to be.   Just way too late.  Amazingly we got everything together with only a few minutes to prepare... for a 10am game!  Coach's friends arrived and it got intense, but all of them have a great sense of humor!

I am not sure if I can divulge this, but one of the guys we had over works for the Dan Patrick Radio Show, but on the TV side from DIRECTV HQ in El Segundo.  Sounds like an awesome gig... think of him as the "Victor" of the DP Show.  For those unaware, "Victor" worked at YES handling the TV Operations of the Mike Francesa show in New York.

Whoever this guy was he's a huge UCLA fan too, and with me and another guy (one of the other three friends) being SC fans we had a lil back and forth about the UCLA/SC rivalry DURING THE GAMES.  Friendly banter though, nothing serious.  Man that was a fun afternoon!  and the 49ers won!!   Good news all around.

It was great fun and the 49ers playoff parties have been grand as the sole neutral party, but this weekend I'm going to check out the Conference Championships with my Dad.  He truly is the best.

Oh!  The guy at Directv also works for this other program with Andrew Siciliano.   Those who follow the NFL know what it is.  We actually asked him "Why do you always put on the Tampa Bay Game??"  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  He took the question in good stride.  Even showed us a pic of the TV set... its kinda different without all the funky lighting.

You know, you talk funk, and it all goes back to Bob James' funky grooves, especially from his first four albums.  "Lucky Seven" is the seventh album he did (I know, clever name!).  Everything through the 70's he did was just amazing... you wouldn't believe how many of his tunes were sampled by Hip Hop artists.  "Nautilus" was one of the most sampled tracks, IIRC, of all time.  "Take Me To the Mardi Gras," is not far behind.  Both of those tunes are phenomenal in their own right.

Did you see the Old Spice commercial with the mothers pleading for mercy with their sons about to get busy with women?  The mothers were coming out of the walls, dragging along the carpets, popping out of pots and pans or some jazz.  That has to be the worst Old Spice commercial of all time.  It was so creepy!  I suspect I'm not saying anything someone else hadn't already said.

Anyone feeling down, hopefully can turn to this:  Peach season is almost here!   It might be a couple months off, but thats two months closer than we were two months ago.  Do the dance, everybody!  We're this much closer to peaches!

Maybe there's folks out there who tire of my peach references.   Que sera sera, caveat emptor, et tu brute, ad nauseum.... ah you know what I mean.  Catch you all soon!

Divisional Round Picks: 2-1-1

Chargers +9.5 hit
Patriots -7.5 hit
Panthers +whateveritwas missed
Seahawks -8 pushed

Not a bad followup to the 3-0 week in the Wild Card Round.   Two Conference Championship game picks are forthcoming.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Dave's NFL Divisional Round Picks (slap!) of the Week; Wild Card Picks go 3-0

In better news, Wild Card Round picks for the NFL went 3-0!

Chiefs +2.5 barely hit.
Saints +2.5 hit.
Chargers +7 hit.

For the playoffs I don't always have LOCKS of the week, but there is one LOCK I'm happy to reveal this week:


It is Seahawks -8 vs the Saints.  I think the Seahawks, despite their so-so offense, will dictate the run with Marshawn Lynch and beat the Saints pretty handily.  It won't be as resounding as their 34-7 win on Monday Night Football, but they should still win by 10 or more.  I *love* the Seahawks, and for weeks I prepared for a sextuple quality bet for their first home playoff game.   What incredible luck that they get to play the Saints!  Seahawks -8.   Seattle 31, New Orleans 17.

Now for the other picks, which are not LOCKS, but I shall reveal them.

Next we go to New England, and meet the Colts at the Patriots.  The Patriots, with their much improved defense, should be able to put away Indy, although you can never truly be sure with an Andrew Luck team.  However, Luck's arm is prone to turnovers and I think the Patriots are sure to take advantage.   I actually think the Patriots can win going away.  We'll go Patriots -7.   New England 24, Indianapolis 13.

On to Carolina where the 49ers meet the Panthers.

What else can you say?  Both teams are really tough defensively, and they match up with each other very well.  It was a tough fought affair in their regular season matchup in SF, and Carolina emerged with a victory.  I feel like the playoff matchup will also be oh-so-close, but this time out, the… HOME team will win.  Which means, Carolina takes it twice in a row.   Carolina is +2, so we elect to take the points.   It could also point to a 49ers 1 point win… and judging from their last meeting, it's just as possible, but either way, I like the home team getting 2 points.  Panthers +2 at home.  Carolina 13, San Francisco 7.

Finally, to Mile High in Denver…

I am still APPALLED that the Broncos would be giving a whopping 9.5 against a Chargers team that plays them tough.  What that says is not that the NFL experts don't have confidence in San Diego, but that the fans who wager on games don't have much respect for San Diego at *all.*   A touchdown-plus underdog two weeks in a row, despite San Diego's quality performance against Denver at Mile High where they won the game.   In addition, it's keen to watch for Peyton Manning's playoff performance: it takes a marked downturn come January.   For both of the above reasons, I like San Diego to make it very very interesting, but this time out I think the Broncos win it.  San Diego +9.5 with Denver getting the win.   Denver 31, San Diego 28.

Final LOCKS Season Total: 32-33-2

VERY disappointing finish to LOCKS of the Week this year.  I really thought I'd have my first above .500 season ever.

It didn't happen.  My final three LOCKS of the Week went 0-3.  I missed on Jacksonville +11, Texas +14.5 and Florida State -7.5.   My last two weeks of LOCKS of the Week went 0-6.   Selecting games against the spread is a humbling experience.  No matter how good you think you are, Vegas always gets the upper hand in the end.

It's an important lesson.   Farewell to LOCKS!  We'll do it again next year, hopefully with an elusive above .500 finish.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: January 5th

First of all, Happy New Year!

I am writing this entry on a Sunday, after some very dramatic NFL football.  Coach invited two friends of his to the apartment to watch 49ers/Packers.  Thrilling game!   I wasn't sure if the 49ers would pull it out, but their defense held true when it counted.  It was a low scoring game and it went in SF's favor.  Got a juicy story coming up but first some NFL thoughts...

Boy!  That capped an all-around terrific NFL Wild Card Round.  Every game exciting... not every one was decided on the last play but 3 of the 4 were and it was a ton of fun to watch.

I suppose I could spend some time writing about the big winners and losers.  All right here we go.


Well, obviously the teams that won the games are big winners:  Colts, huge comeback.  49ers, won an emotional, tough road game at Lambeau.  Chargers, the magic ride continues!   Saints, finally shook off the demons and mixed it up with a running game at Philly.

But you know what else?  I think you have some other winners in effect, even for teams that lost.

The Eagles had a winning season and a good finish despite the loss in their playoff game.  They were finished, completely written off, when Chip Kelly turned it around with the help of Nick Foles.  I don't think Foles is that good but I think the Eagles found a good groove with improved defense, great offensive line protection, and continued greatness from RB LeSean McCoy.

The Packers went through quite a lot, losing Rodgers for a big part of the year, and winning some tough games.  Their defense showed some heart against the 49ers.  They also found, in a twist, a dependable running game.  Eddie Lacy has been remarkable this season, and much needed.  It's a long-needed option which now will open up the Packers' offense for real.  What a great find for the Pack.


...and OH are they big losers today!   First the Chiefs.  It was tough to really criticize them too hard but MY GOODNESS, how do you blow a 28 point lead in a PLAYOFF GAME when your QB throws four touchdowns.  Never did I see a team play more "not to lose" than to win like I did with KC on Saturday.  It was simply deplorable how little the Chiefs did to play aggressively in the 3rd and 4th quarters.  I have to peg that on Andy Reid.   Even with the injuries, most teams would close a game in which they had a 28 point lead.

Bengals.  I think Cincy has had enough.   Between Andy Dalton's turnover bugaboo and Marvin Lewis' awful job in playoff games, one or both have to go.  It's as simple as that.  The rest of the team has *way* too much talent to be underperforming in the playoffs.   It needs to happen immediately.  NOW.

That does it for NFL thoughts.  Now time to get into the good stuff...

I think Friday and Saturday combined to be a very good weekend, but Friday in particular.   A friend and I had the idea to go to Pasadena on Friday night, since we were about 3 days away from the BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.   When we went, we thought "I bet you we'll find some Auburn and Florida State Fans there", well we didn't just find fans there, we saw ESPN's Chris Fowler watching the end of the Cotton and Orange Bowl games at local Pasadena hotel bar!  Would you believe it?

I remember going to the bar to watch the end of the game and I saw him there at a tiny table just behind the bar itself with his wife and I caught him in the corner of my eye.  I started watching the game, and what a bunch of jokers that Orange Bowl game had... Clemson and Ohio State turning the ball over and over.  Anyway, I peeked juuust a little to my left and it clicked that "hey!  That looks like Chris Fowler!"   But I kept watching, and waited to hear him talk just to make sure.  Well surely enough, there's his familiar voice explaining to his wife about Florida State this and Auburn that and I think I even heard him go "Crazy game!" in response to the Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl in progress.

What a scene it was... a pretty crowded bar, the in-house Friday Jazz band was out near the balcony playing some smooth jazz standards, and many huddled around three miniscule flat panel TV screens all in a stack over the bartender's shoulder.   My friend didn't care about football so I had to go back from time to time to not leave the person behind.  

Finally I go back one last time and Braxton Miller bumbles the game with his final interception.  And we all have our various reactions.  Mine was a facepalm because I thought Ohio State was actually going to win it.  Meanwhile, our friend Chris goes to his phone... I bet you he was in the process of writing this tweet:

4 BCS bowls, 4 upsets. Doubt that's happened before. But I'm in a bar, so I'm not gonna look it up.

Boy can you believe that???  In the same bar as Chris Fowler!   I wanted to go over to him and thank him for his many years of great work on ESPN, but I thought better of it since he was chatting w/ his spouse anyway.  Why interrupt a great moment?

But, you know my impression of all this?   Chris Fowler has a TRUE enthusiasm for college football.  Some broadcasters are pros, do their job, but think of it as a job.  Fowler has forever taken his work as a privilege and it's obvious that he has so much enthusiasm for the NCAA.  It's really quite cool, and he has been quite cool with his fans as well.   Fowler will never have the same attention given to him as say a Britney Spears or a Kim Kardashian, but he's been tremendous for so long.    To me, he is a broadcasting icon to be compared with the likes of Dick Enberg or even Walter Cronkite.

Lastly on Fowler, he is in unbelievable shape!  The guy must work out constantly... I don't know how old he is but he seems to be the same age as my father, and he's in as good a shape as anyone who plays football, bball, tennis, or any sport.

This next adage is dedicated to my friend in the Pennsylvania region, who we call "inderebuilding."   He fell positively in love with a place in Pasadena called "Pie n' Burger."  When you see the burgers and pies they have there, you'd fall in love too:

This photo is nothing but inspiring to me.  I had a burger just like that on Friday night, before the Pasadena bar affair.  With the burger, toasted to perfection, grilled just right, with fresh fixings, the thousand island sauce, and a slice of American cheese.  Complimenting it was a slice of fresh Apple Pie, right out of the oven a-la-mode with Vanilla ice cream.  It was simply delicious!

If I was just a spirit with no physical body to worry about, I would eat a Pie n' Burger hamburger three times a day every day, so long as I "lived."   Sadly, I am human and have physical constraints lest I become a blimp.  I only go to the PNB once every 2-3 months if that.  When I go, it's like an event!

Now Saturday was eventful too... we went to Chili's to see the Chiefs/Colts game, then we switched venues to the apartment to watch the Saints beat the Eagles.   Saturday night, we went to Enterprise Fish Company for a late night happy hour.  Tremendous time I had... Coach was in effect consuming some beverages.  I had two beers, nothing serious, and added some complimentary sourdough bread.  We were just enjoying our time and even saw some babes in the room.  

I think if there was one disappointment from the weekend, and I wouldn't even call it this, because it's just a mismatch of intended tastes, but the "disappointment" of sorts was the breakfast burrito I had on Sunday morning.  It was from a place called "Marmalade Cafe" and it was a quality burrito... but it was not what I was looking for.  The breakfast burrito had eggs, a lot of fresh veggies, some black beans, and only a little cheese.  It was the healthiest breakfast burrito I *ever* had.   Tremendous, but not my style.  For breakfast burritos, I usually am after copious amounts of cheese, potatoes, bacon, eggs, and in some cases chorizo.  However, the healthy styled burrito worked in my favor as we had snacks later in the day.

That's all from here.  The busy part of the calendar year is now behind me and a new year begins.  I hope to keep writing new stories to share with you!  Thanks for reading.  'Til tomorrow!

oh and...



Tyler's Investments Champions: John in CT and Andy in Seattle!

I discussed the details to our two leaders and we all agreed to award both John in CT and Andy in Seattle as Co-Champions of "Tyler's Investments".

Way to go John and Andy!   Great job picking games all season long.  

This was a lot of fun to organize and follow all year.  I hope we can resume our Investments of the week for the 2014 Football Season.  Thanks to all who participated: John, Andy, Ottis, Ron, and Tyler in Moorpark.

Tyler's Investments Results: We got a tie!

It turns out that we have a tie at the top of the standings between John in CT and Andy in Seattle.   In computing win percentage I calculate ties as half wins... under that metric, I have computed both persons to finish with the same season winning percentage: .5625

Hit on: Oregon State -3, UCLA -7, Clemson +2.5.
Missed on: Texas +14.

Record for bowl games: 3-1.
Final season record: 17-13-2 (.5625)

Andy in Seattle's Bowl Picks

Hit on: Oregon State -3, North Texas -6.5, South Carolina even.
Missed on: Texas +14

Record for bowl games: 3-1
Final season record: 13-10-1 (.5625)

Now for the best of the rest....

Say Hello to Ottis Bowl Picks

Hit on: Kansas State -3.5, Michigan State +4.5
Missed on:  Alabama -16, Bowling Green -5

Record for bowl games: 2-2
Final season record: 12-12 (.500)

Ron in NJ's Bowl Picks

Hit on: UCLA -7
Missed on: Cincinnati +3, Texas A&M -11.5, Alabama -16

Record for bowl games: 1-3
Final season record: 11-12-1 (.479)

Tyler in Moorpark has one game pending, Florida State -8.5.  However, it will not be sufficient to make up the ground he needed to win the contest.   With that in mind here is what he hit and missed on so far:

Hit on: Iowa +7.5
Missed on: Ohio State -2.5, Stanford -4.5

Record for bowl games pending FSU: 1-2 (maximum possible score of 2-2 if FSU hits)
Final season record: 14-17 pending the FSU game.   (.451 currently.  Will be .468 if FSU covers or .438 if FSU doesn't cover)

Here are the final standings as I calculated in Excel. The win percentage formula is: [Wins + (Ties/2) ] / Total Games. 

Andy and John are currently tied.  John has chosen 32 games whereas Andy selected 24 games since he joined the challenge 2 weeks later.  I'll discuss with our investors to determine how to break the tie.  Stay tuned!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Dave's NFL Wild Card Round Picks (blam!) of the Week

My friends, it's time to divulge my NFL Playoff picks of the weekend.

They're far from LOCKS.  Very few playoff games are easy to call, but with all the Wild Card matchups being so close, you can see any of these games going either direction.   Here are my picks.

First, in Indy, I went back and forth on this game but ultimately decided on the Chiefs.  People have really overrated Indy's defense after the Reggie Wayne injury.  Without him, the Chiefs look pretty bad offensively.   Richardson may have his day here and there at RB, but overall it's not much.  The Chiefs were blown out at home vs this Indy team but Andy Reid can prepare the Chiefs to come back much stronger this time out.  It really was just a handful of games that put the game out of reach.  Otherwise, the Chiefs went toe to toe with the Colts defensively.   It winds up being a good matchup... and in a game where either side can take it, I'll take the points and go Chiefs +2.5 at Indy.

Next up, here's a game I *love*.   The Saints and their blitz package figure to give Eagles QB Nick Foles fits and I get the sense that despite the cold weather and the Saints' history of road playoff failure, they can finally break the spell and beat the Eagles.   Officially we'll go Saints +2.5 at Philadelphia, leaving the prospect of a "close loss" available.

Next, to Cincy where, it would seem that the Bungles would smack the tar out of the Chargers after their emotional last three weeks, but on the other hand, it's hard to refute the Bengals' demons with playoff games.  In the Marvin Lewis era, he's 0-4 in playoff games, leaving the Bengals without a playoff win since 1990.   I think this is their shot to finally break the string, but it would be foolish to expect them to win convincingly.   The Chargers make this one interesting, I have Chargers +7 at Cincy, and after all, even when San Diego loses, they usually aren't losing by more than a touchdown.  The Bolts get so many oh so close games.

Lastly, we go to Lambeau and the bitter cold of Green Bay where the 49ers play the Packers.  The 49ers have had a great matchup advantage over GB in the last two seasons, with Colin Kaepernick having his way with the Packer defense.  It doesn't appear much has changed in the way of personnel, and even with Aaron Rodgers, the Packers could have a tough time beating the 49ers.   I can see Green Bay winning the game, but my feeling is the 49ers will win and cover.  I select the 49ers -3 at Green Bay.

To recap:  Chiefs +2.5, Saints +2.5, Chargers +7. 49ers -3.   Interestingly I did not take any home teams against the spread.  We'll see if this move comes back to bite me.   Enjoy the games!