Category Archives: Sports

AIC

That stands for Ass In Chair, and is the hallmark of people telling you how to get things done (like writing). Like anything else, it can also be used as a shorthand way of a way to get things done. Obviously, you can’t improve your batting by having your ass in a chair, but the equivalent – spending time in the cage on a regular basis – is true. Likewise, you can’t keep your gardens in shape if you’re sitting on your ass, but again, the equivalent – get out there on some kind of schedule and do the weeding or the pruning or whatever else needs to be done – is true.

And so it is in the tech world. Yesterday, after a disaster of an update by a vendor, I basically spent 20 hours with my ass in my chair, fixing things that the update had crapped on. It also meant I missed out on visit time with my sister and the kidlets, and also that I missed some of the cleanup things that she and my mom were doing – although, to be honest, the former is always a lot more fun than the latter.

Today, and for the next couple of days, “winter” is among us. Tonight’s low is forecast for 27F, which for us likely means a few degrees colder at least. Tomorrow’s forecast  isn’t much better. But to demonstrate how weird our winter is, Tuesday will see us climbing right back up the thermometer, to the mid-upper 70s.

The peppers and tomatoes bought it in the last freeze, which left the broccoli and cauliflower as the last survivors. I did the fourth and final harvest from those as the temperature dropped, and in the coming days will pull all the dead/spent plants for the compost pile and turn my attention to getting some things done in the rows so they will be ready for the first transplants or seeding as we move into the beginning of the main season this year.

Earlier today, I covered the surviving hives to help keep some warmth in them as we go through our cold snap. Those will remain in place until next week when we’re back to milder weather.

Now that my ISP has finally gotten itself together and allowed the upload of that pic there (after six tries), my picks for the weekend wild card playoff games.  I had picked Houston over Oakland, and had this crap ISP allowed me to finish this in a timely manner, that would have been in place before the game ended. Houston did win. Tonight’s game, Lions at the Seahawks, I’ve picked the Seahawks. For tomorrow’s games, I’m taking the Steelers over the Dolphins (although I’d like for Miami to pull off that upset), and the Packers over the Giants (duh).

For Monday night’s national championship game, my pick is Alabama over Clemson.

And now, time for another cup of tea – decaf alas.

Stay well, folks.

Super Bowl 50

The game should be good. The ads, of course, get almost as much attention as the game. And of course, I will have to comment on them, as that’s what I do! This will be updated as the ads roll.

By the way: ugh, Phil Seeeeeems. It was only 20 seconds for the first of his verbal tics. And it was the first comment he had made.

Michelob Ultra – an ad that looked like it should be Gatorade. C

SoFi – are you great? A lot of people in that ad weren’t! B

NFL – Super Bowl babies. Is there really a boom in babies? I guess maybe for fans of the winning team. NR

Hyundai – the bear chase ad is not new to the Super Bowl rotation. NR

Snickers – nothing says hilarity like Willem Dafoe as Marilyn Monroe on the steam grate. A+

Doritos – the baby in the ultrasound chasing after Doritos was pretty funny, especially when the mom smacked the Dorito out of the dad’s hand and across the room. A

Apartments.com – Jeff Goldblum sings “Movin’ On Up” and meets George (Washington) and Wheezy (Lil’ Wayne). B

Avocados from Mexico – “And this is Scott Baio.” Since I am eating guacamole onion rings (or trying to), this made me laugh. “Would anyone like to feed Scott Baio? It’s included in the ticket? No?” LOL. A+

The Jungle Book – live action remake from Disney. NR

Audi – outstanding, probably because I’m such a space nerd, and with David Bowie’s “Starman” in the background? Stellar. Ha. A+

Mountain Dew – Puppymonkeybaby. Weird, and will be remembered for that. C

Sqaurespace – more football commentary from a funny duo, but doesn’t really connect with what they sell. D

ShockTop – Hipster jokes. B

Buick – Bridesmaid stretching out to Odell the catch of the bouquet. Odell says she was out of bounds. A

Advil – what aches? People doing all sorts of things, some of which shouldn’t even be possible. A

Jason Bourne – New Bourne movie with Matt Damon looking hella buff. From Universal. NR

Dollar Shave Club – dirtbag razors. These are always funny. A

Acura – Um, ok. C

Quicken Rocket Loans – Get a loan via your phone, boosting the economy for hand-lathed wooden legs. B

Comment: when defensive players almost take someone’s head off with a facemask like Talib did, they shouldn’t be allowed back in the game.

Bud Light – It’s a party! Quoting Independence Day. “I feel so inspired.” B

Skittles – Steven Tyler. Dream on! A

CBS ads for its various shows. NR

Ron Rivera is correct: the refs should be catching this stuff.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – from Michael Bay. It surely won’t be overdone with explosions and car crashes, etc. No way. What actors think this is good for their career? NR

T-mobile – “Verizon got it wrong, not me!” It wasn’t that funny the first time around. C

Hyundai – When you’re distracted by Ryan Reynolds, the car will stop you from running him over. Backdrop music “What a Man”. A

Luke Kuechly is a beast of a linebacker.

Special teams mistakes can really kill you.

OIC – Poor guy. But funny ad, and true. A

Persil – Snooze. C

Ad for The Good Wife, which I don’t watch. NR

Turnover by the Panthers. Are they trying to make it even more difficult for themselves? Prop bets were odds on for Panthers to score the first TD of the game (Broncos did, on a Panthers fumble) and go into halftime +3. Doesn’t look promising on that.

Coke – The Incredible Hulk drinks with his pinky up. Who knew? A

WeatherTek – Made in the USA.  B

NFL – Super Bowl babies again. NR

Gigantic Panthers defender intercepts Manning with one hand – he Odell’d it! Who knew ads could be so prescient?

Independence Day redux –  Randy Quaid won’t be around for this one, naturally, but Jeff Goldblum is back. NR

Prius – “How hard is it to catch a Prius?” Haha. Sweet driving by the stunt drivers. And sneaking through sleeping cops.  A

Terrific catch by Funches.

CBS – We’ve been here forever. NR

CBS – Our late night shows. One of our dramas in a hospital, with a bunch of impossibly sexy doctors and nurses. Every one of them.

Local ad.

Jimmy Johns – I hate the fucking yelling they do, and I don’t care how fast you are. C

Venus Swimwear – sexy models in swimsuits. They’re actually based here in Jax. NR

Halftime report as they get set up for the halftime show. Now to make coffee and a shake.

CBS – more of their shows.

Terrific halftime show. No complaints about Coldplay, Bruno Mars, or Beyonce, and a very nice tribute to past acts (plus RIPs to those no longer here to share their talents with the world).

Ad for Beyonce’s new tour.

Amazon echo – Missy Elliot gets the last laugh on Alec Baldwin and Dan Marino, A

Jeep – We’ve been everywhere. A

Domestic violence awareness – Yes. There is a confidential 24/7 hotline for victims of domestic violence. A+

CBS, CBS, CBS – watch our shows.

Krystal – fine for post-drinking and hangovers. B

Thrivent – no inappropriate casual Friday attired robots here! A

WalMart – Blegh. I won’t rate them because I hate them.

Krystal again – shrimp po’ boys. But those were crab pots on that fishing vessel. B

Doritoes – dogs like Doritos! A

Mini Cooper – Defy labels, indeed. A

TurboTax – Sir Anthony Hopkins is not selling out! It’s free! A

Pokemon – I can do that. Yes, you can. A

IBS ad by Xifaxan – a walking intestine is creepy. And I don’t like drug ads. C

LG – Liam Neeson is a badass, and it doesn’t matter what he’s selling. B

X-Men Apocalypse – They will save the world. NR

Death Wish Coffee/Intuit – nothing wrong with strong coffee! A

Butterfinger – Bolder than bold! And don’t mind Mom saying you’ll ruin your appetite for dinner. A

Showtime ads for their shows and online on demand.

Holy crap what a catch.

Fitbit – nice transition between every day travels/duties and exercising. B

Wix – using Kung Fu Panda, echoing other classic ads. Meh.  C

Heinz – weinerdogs! A

Honda – Sheep singing Queen. Awesome! A+

Budweiser – American beer (but company actually owned by a foreign entity). C

NFL – Super Bowl kids with Seal, with actual Super Bowl babies singing, too. A

Lexus – You could get used to a hefty car payment. B

xfinity – who I would get service from if they had service out here in the boonies because HughesNet sucks. B

Zaxby’s – not a new ad. NR

My current MVP candidates for this game: McManus, Miller, Kuechly.

Jeep – Fun 4×4 ad.  A

Schick – razors duking it out in the bathroom. B

Axe – good ad, but I hate the smell of that stuff. B

Missed pass interference call by the refs.

Jublia – toenail fungus. I guess the target audience suffers from OIC, IBS, and now toenail fungus? But Phil Seeeeems was in it, so that’s perfect. B

Kia – Christopher Walken is terrific. But no cowbell. A

“Pressure” as things head to the ad break. Cool.

T-Mobile – funny, but when I had their service, it sucked, so even Drake can’t fix that. B

No team has ever won a Super Bowl without an offensive touchdown. Will this be the one?

Budweiser: AWESOME DAME HELEN MIRREN AD.  Don’t be a pillock. Don’t drive drunk, assholes. A+

Remember when I said HughesNet sucks? They took this opportunity to go out. Total downtime: seven minutes.  Asshats.

Cam Newton didn’t bother to go for that ball he fumbled. WTF is up with that?

The Secret Life of Pets – OK, legitimately funny movie ad. NR

Colgate – save the water. B

SunTrust – we will make you happy and help you breathe. No idea what their product actually is. C

I’m perfectly OK with the Broncos winning this Super Bowl, especially if Manning retires before he gets himself killed on the field.

My vote for MVP: Von Miller.

Blah blah blah, postgame interviews. No, Manning is not going to say if he is retiring right after the game. Duh. But apparently he is going to give a shout out to Budweiser (bleh). No Disney World trips this year.

Esurance – first ad post-game, but didn’t see a single one during the game.

Super Bowl MVP: Von Miller. Terrific game.

And that is a wrap for Super Bowl 50. Hope y’all had as much fun as I did!

 

Working it out, Dec 30, 2015

Today’s plan of action: a treadmill session during halftime of each bowl game today!

First round: done. Just under 16 minutes during halftime of the Birmingham Bowl.

Second round: done. Sixteen minutes during halftime of the Belk Bowl.

Third round: done. Seventeen minutes, seventeen seconds during halftime of the Music City Bowl.

Fourth and final round: done. Eleven minutes at the beginning of the Holiday Bowl, as sleep is circling me like a shark, sensing the chum of my yawns. I kind of didn’t feel like doing that last round, but I did it anyway.

Finished reading: Silent Voices by Ann Cleeves. Rating: it was ok. I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5, mainly for the primary characters. The whodunit part I’d only give 2 out of 5, as information the reader would need to figure it out wasn’t given (and it would have taken a wild assed guess based on not much data to make the link that would have made the link to the killer).

To infinity…and beyond

Or at least Mars. Twelve and a half hours left until Curiosity (hopefully) touches down on Mars. One day – and I hope this is within my lifetime – we will send people to Mars. I’ll be staying up late to catch NASA TV covering their “seven minutes of terror”, and even the 14 minute wait for transmissions from Mars to reach us here won’t be anywhere near the delays of NBC and their atrocious coverage of the Summer Games.

When one second…isn’t

I made a run to the store so I could spend the day cooking and loading up the freezer. Mom and my aunts will be heading to the mountains at the end of August, and of course they will need good stuff to take with them. That means quiche for that journey, in addition to some of the riesling I made and bottled previously, to enjoy on the deck of the cabin, among other things. Since I was working in the kitchen anyway, I also made some chicken quesadillas for the freezer for me, to make an easy meal I can grab after working out in the heat – baked some lime chicken and used some homemade salsa inside each one along with the requisite mexican cheese mix. That should work out to be handy.

A controversy in one of the women’s epee semifinal matches at the Olympics today: a South Korean fencer lost to a German due to what looks really looks like a clock error. With one second left, the fencers were tied. On the restart, the German attacked (as she had to, since the South Korean had the priority). The clock, however, appears to never have started, resulting in additional time for the German fencer to finally make the touch. Buzzfeed had an excellent post about it, with graphics, and Deadspin has a post up about it as well. It was heartbreaking to see Shin waiting and waiting on the piste, something required since leaving the piste would have conceded the decision from the judges – and an interesting point was made during the entire episode, something I did not know: in order to formally appeal, there is a fee to be paid, and this applies to every Olympic sport, apparently. My guess is that it is designed to weed out the whiners and divas filing frivolous appeals. The appeal was denied and the German fencer went to the gold medal match, where she lost to a fencer from the Ukraine. Shin wound up fencing in the bronze medal match, where she lost – but received a standing ovation from the crowd, and rightly so.

This image, taken from after officials attempted to escort Shin from the piste, after she refused, and after she received a yellow card for that refusal, sums up the agony and the loneliness of the wait.

NBC, as usual since no US fencers were involved, showed none of the matches at all, despite the fact they were going on live and despite that one was the gold medal match (and the Google doodle today was for women’s fencing!). None of the talking heads on any of the channels made a single mention that I could find about this rather unusual turn of events. Their live feed of fencing also went dark during the bronze medal match (Shin versus Sun, of China), with “An error occurred. Please try again later.” message, which sums up nicely another abject failure for NBC during these Games. I did manage to catch the gold medal match once their feed recovered.

On the NBCSN, they gave us about five minutes of women’s judo action, as one of our athletes received a bronze medal. That’s all we get on tv. They also showed about the same amount of time for men’s shooting, and I swear they cut away from the last shot that decided the medals, but I may well have missed it, since some of NBC’s coverage is like driving through a one-light town: blink, and it’s gone.

After the fact

Kind of a productive day on the ranch. Seeded some flats plus some frames, fed the bees, did a little weedwhacking, played with the dogs, made a good lunch. And then, the time suck: Olympics.

I see the next fortnight (as the British would say) as a less-than-usual outside kind of work time period, although I’m not a huge fan of what most people would consider some of the marquee events (basketball, tennis, soccer). NBC graciously provided about three minutes of US men’s fencing – enough to see one of our guys lose and be out of it (another guy in the same event also lost, but alas, nothing of his matches). About 20 minutes of shooting (women’s skeet), not live, and only that much because it was a gold medal for the US. Some water polo, handball, table tennis, fencing, archery, rowing, and field hockey made it into the mix, but not a ton. It’s a sad, sad state of affairs. Since I have Directv, I could watch the live streams of events I’d like to see – except I also have a satellite for internet, and you only get a certain amount of transfer each day before they start ratelimiting you. I did watch the men’s sabre gold medal match, complete with total freezes of the stream (except, amazingly enough, for the ads). The #nbcfail hashtag on Twitter is there for a reason.

So I’m stuck with NBC’s less-than-stellar coverage of the Games, and it’s almost impossible not to know the outcomes of events they refuse to show except during the primetime taped segments – and sometimes it’s impossible because some talking head on NBC will announce the result. Sometimes they’ll announce the result right before they go to taped coverage of the event they’ve just told everyone about – but only after yet another ad break. It’s silly, stupid, and annoying. That’s not even including some commentary I could give about a few of their talking heads. Ryan Seacrest? Keep him on American Idol and New Year’s presentations, and that way he’ll be out of my face.

Oh, and by the way, NBC: it doesn’t have to be all Phelps, all the time. He’s a man, not a machine, and it was inevitable that he would lose at some point. It couldn’t have been that surprising that he lost to Lochte, since he also lost to Lochte during the Olympic Trials. We don’t need a constant rehash of all his races between 2000 and now, and it would probably make Lochte’s family and fans feel better if there was more talk of his win versus Phelps’ loss. It would also be nice to skip all the human interest stories. You could trim an hour and a half of that and replace it with actual other sports coverage – taped as it would be.

 

This day done

Almost done. After starting off the day with the dispatching and burying of a chicken before morning coffee, I did some company work and watched Olympic coverage, managing to find quite a bit of fencing on, with some archery – including the men’s team event matches, way to go USA for the silver!) – and some handball and beach volleyball. I managed to find in the DVRd early morning hours the women’s 10m air rifle final, which mom judged to be quite boring. The primetime stuff on NBC tonight is tape delayed and already decided, so unless there is nothing else on, I won’t be watching much of it, as I’ve been following the #Olympics twitter feed and already know the results. I also managed to get out and refill all the gas cans around noon when all the soccer and basketball started, none of which interests me. The tricky part will be finding a time period in the coming days to do some mowing before we’re knee deep in grass again.

More jaw stretching shortly. Counting down to the point where it makes more sense to pull the rest of my teeth than to keep working on them, and there will be no dentures for me if I can’t open my mouth. I’ve given up enough foods over this crap, and I’d prefer not to have to be restricted to a completely liquid diet.

Beginnings and ends

I still cannot figure out why, with London only five hours ahead of us, NBC couldn’t show the opening ceremonies live. Tape delayed wasn’t terrible, but the talking heads talked way too much, and the ad-fest was annoying. Still, there were some rather amusing moments (the Queen and James Bond), some rather geeky moments (Sir Tim Berners-Lee), and some great visuals (young athletes lighting the cauldron, which itself formed from 200 individual petals, and the shot of the Olympic rings from the ISS). So begin the Games. In this day and age, almost every sport will get television time, even if those times are rather weird and on the oddball channels. How often do we get to see archery or fencing or competitive shooting here? The fact that these will be on at all will make hunting them down worthwhile.

Ends: one of the chickens needs to be dispatched, so mom tells me. She – the chicken, not mom – is laying about under the palmetto bushes, not going for treats, and it appears she’s on her way out. The last time one got this way, it was somewhat prolonged, since we didn’t know what the hell was going on with it. Now that we’ve seen it before, we know it’s unlikely she’ll recover from whatever it is – old age, perhaps – and it’s better to take care of her now instead of allowing her to slowly starve to death, or suffocate because she gets crop-bound. Later this morning, I’ll go dig a hole, then take up the ailing girl, talk to her a bit, and make it as quick as possible. Then I’ll return her to the soil to join the girls who preceded her. It’s a bit sad, but it is truly the cycle of life on the ranch.

Insanity: Restart

I decided not to wait until Sunday to restart things – why delay the inevitable? So, it was back to day one this afternoon, which kicked my ass again. I wound up stopping a couple of times, and at the very end, my throat was so warm that I was quite literally wheezing, with a very distinct hooting noise coming out with every exhale. A little ice on my neck took care of that, although my mom said, “Why don’t you try something else that’s not going to kill you?” instead of this.What’s the worst that could happen? I’ll pass out, cool down, and my throat will release so I can breathe. Piece of cake.

One thing I am proud of this time: I did not stop during the suicide drills, and made it through each set of those. The jumping for power squats and basketball shots was causing my left knee to twinge, so I skipped the jumping part of those and just did the squat/up portion. Still a worthy workout on the quads and glutes, and by the end my legs were on fire.

There is nothing quite like pushing yourself – after all, you never know what you’re really capable of until you do.

Insanity: Holding Pattern

Another day without a workout. One good thing: a visit with the ENT today, who gave an all clear: everything looks good, feels good (no lumps or anything in my tongue, mouth, or neck that he could feel). I have two CT scans on the 2nd, and I’m hopeful those will come back clear as well. We’re still on a 6-month rotation for visits to the various doctors and for scans, and maybe next year we can get back to yearly.

Today, though, more pain from the dental work and a couple of teeth that will be the next two to be pulled. The jarring from the jumping is a killer. So, new plan: restart on Sunday to give it a couple more days to calm down.

In the meantime, we’re still watching the floodwaters recede, slowly but surely, from the two feet or so that dropped in when Debby did Jacksonville. The bees survived high and dry, thanks to good placement of the hive. The chickens…well, chickens are not that bright, so they looked like drowned rats for a few days since they were not always smart enough to get in the coop and out of the rain.

The garden: the garlic has had it. After the fast, high heat, then a lot of rain at the beginning of the month, and now this rain, a lot of it is rotted. There may be some that can be salvaged, but for the most part, I’m counting it as a loss. Next season, I won’t be planting nearly as much, and only ordered a total of 20 pounds from Big John’s. This will give us a lot more room for tomatoes, once the frames are reworked. The remaining tomatoes out front are likely dead now, and the cukes were pulled two weeks ago after the first rounds of rain killed them off.

Looking forward to a reboot of the garden!