Friday, December 31, 2010

Blackpool, Liverpool & Soccernomics

Just got done flying over the EPL standings as of right now. I figure I've got to post this real quick because there are EPL games tomorrow, so here goes.

Almost done with the book Soccernomics. Good stuff but a couple things do bother me. Not so much on his statistics, but on his approach to race that rears its ugly head mid way through. Maybe I'll get to that later.

So what of Blackpool and Liverpool?

Blackpool has a problem. A few actually. They have only played 17 games while the rest of the league is at an average of 19. 5 teams have played 20 and 11 have played 19. Why is this a problem for them? They stink at home, yet there they sit at 8th place with 2 less games. They are really breaking the mold on away games. If they can get back up to the extremely reliable home mean they have a chance at moving up the standings.

Liverpool has the opposite problem... they are atrocious away from Anfield. If league rank were only home record they would be second. That said Aston Villa jumps the table the most at home. 12 spots actually. From being ranked 15th to being ranked 3rd.

That's all I have for now outside the fact that being able to not loose away from home will win you the EPL. How do you win away from home? have the most fans. That's you Manchester United.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Manual Focus

I long time ago I had to pick up a camera for a photography class. Being of little means (as most in my class) I picked up a camera from a second hand store. It had just about every problem you could possibly have with a camera. Most notably, a light leak. I spent literally days trying to make it work. It took about a roll of film to get one usable picture for grade so nights developing film in a dark room were long. After a few “no grade, more effort” I was frustrated. More effort??

The class came and went, yet that camera stayed with me. So did the dark room. I found that at first I was trying to get what I thought was the perfect picture for a perfect grade but as time went by I found myself liking the other pictures. Light leaks, uncontrolled manual focuses and all. No, this is not a crafted sermon titled: “Focusing on one thing means you miss other things”. I have heard more than a few three point ones on that - no alter calls here.

I felt like the photos were like memories themselves instead of a memory that is a photo. Because of that, I am writing probably the most intimate thing I ever have in the same manner that camera took photos. Gray corners, orange streaks down the left side and a focus on something I didn’t expect at all. A wonderful thing. Beautifully unexpectedly. Beautiful.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

COD: Black Ops, Numbers (31)

Yes. Numbers are very ironic with this game. The backbone to the story in Call of Duty: Black Ops has our hero, Mason, annoyingly interrogated throughout the game. He slips in and out of consciousness flashing back to different moments a la Assassins Creed (in a way).

I have a few problems with this. One; Immediately I don't feel like I'm in control. There is no tension. I mean... If I'm dying in his flashback or memory did he do the same? Am I changing his memory of what happened? What is this? The movie Inception? It takes me out of the experience. There is no tension at all. Two; watching any interrogation is awful. Usually in games or movies it lasts for a few moments (See: James Bond, Casino Royal or any and every episode of Alias. Yeah, I said Alias!) In this game it happens after ever objective. So, like, every 15 mins or so WHAM!zzzzapWEEEE... back to the dark room getting shocked with a muffled voice asking about the NUMBERS.

The game has the hallmarks of previous COD games I've played going all the way back to the original COD that I played on my iMac. I like the action formula they use. However, that was Infinity Ward putting that together. This one is Treyarch. And I gotta say... it doesn't work. The gameplay formula is there, which is enjoyable. But everything else; music, SFX, even voice acting (save for one Gary Oldman) is sub-par. Ice Cube is worn out and the guy from Avatar (Sam Worthington), who voices the main character can't... get... the numbers out of his head. Not often I care about this, but he struggles with an American accent.

Graphics and Art are muddled. FX graphics are horrible ('splosions and the like). I feel like I'm floating and not walking, I could go on.

I didn't expect this game to be Helltown's Game of the Year but I felt since I had given this prize to one of it's past sister games I at least gave it a shot.

1: Story
3: Objectives
2: In-game Design
3: In-game Artwork
2: Music (at points, awful)
2: Audio
3: Gameplay
2: Emotional Impact
1: Longevity
3: Package Design
2: Package Art
5: Historical Significance
7: xFactor (I'm still playing it)

It gets 31% score from me. It is #72 out of 89 games I have bothered to assign my arbitrary numbers to since I started me blog.

If you add a zero to my 31 score you get 310. Add the word Million to the end of that and that is the amount of money this game made on opening day. It broke every opening day entertainment release in history. That includes the movie Avatar.

It's all about the numbers! Zing!

For a final note on the game; I thought that taking on real covert operations that have been declassified could have worked and been really interesting. It isn't here. It is a lost opportunity. The perfect metaphor for the game was a scene set in Vietnam where you are piloting a swift boad. "Woods" turns on the radio and you hear the Rolling Stones "Sympathy for the Devil". A moment that, man, should have worked because it had the right ingredients. But didn't.

Above: Picture of Tugg Speedman from Tropic Thunder. Below: Woods from COD: Black Ops. Keep it original Treyarch. I literally chucked when this character appeared on screen. Nice effort there.

VIII. Only Interesting To Me

1. Happy Boxing Day

2. Soccernomics is a great book
A friend got me this for Christmas, maybe he read my in depth objective mathematical analysis of the World Cup? I doubt it. I wish I picked it up when it came out early this year before the WC so I am a year late on this book, but well worth the read now. It looks at soccer from a broad view, but also digs into the EPL a great deal. I read about half of it last night, couldn't put it down.

2a. Another book I was digging into is Lean Thinking
Until Soccernomics came along. The "bible" for anyone in manufacturing that I had yet to read.

2b. Impulsed bought The Bible last night.
By The Bible, I mean the 1611 King James version with the Apocrypha. I have not had a copy since I moved to Ohio. Looking forward to getting it in the mail. Sorry Amazon employees that had to work today. I had to work as well though. So thar.

3. 2010 is hath neareth an end.
Therefore, verily I say unto you, a game of this year of our Lord needeth to be made. Doest thou beleiveith the dearth of such in this year? Ok.

4. Jim Tressel
There are rumblings of OSU coach Tressel leaving after the bowl game already. Chicagonow.com is reporting that two sources have said as much. More on that in another post.

5. My beenie weenie dip today includes queso blanco dip with roadhouse chili for the Brownies game. We'll see how that goes. My relationship analysis based on history, experience and weenie density is telling me with high probability that it will result in a nap.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Center of a Sports Storm

Last night I was having dinner with a friend and his wife and the conversation was about the Bucks. As I was out and about this morning enjoying the day the news of the OSU players getting suspended dominated on the radio and on the voices of people out and about. Christmas? Sadly, no. For this is Buckeye country.

What I noticed is that yesterday, the voices of misdirection were out in full. Today? A different story. Voices of reason seem to be taking over. This spells disaster for OSU because the smokescreen arguments coming from AD Gene Smith did not work at all (help their families, didn't know the rules). In politics you see smokescreen (lies) arguments (example: Every politician) that last more then 24 hours. What folks in power want to achieve with smokescreen arguments are:

1. Kill the story. OSU made the announcement right before Christmas in the attempt to have it forgotten and not on the lips of "major" figures (talking heads and writers) off for the holidays.

2. Get the investigators out of their backyard. Gene Smith and the University went as far as falling on the sword, claiming that it was their fault.

3. Get people to feel sympathetic to the guilty. This is where the "help the families" comes in. If you can get sympathy then anyone arguing against you looks heartless and evil. What? wouldn't you have done this for your mother you sick person?

4. Misdirection. Turn the wolfs against themselves. Smith covered this with the "selling personal property" stuff. Misdirection is the most powerful tool the guilty have. Now you have writers arguing over NCAA bi-laws and paying players.

The sad and disappointing thing here is that if they just stayed quiet they would have been in better shape. See: Cam Newton story. But this is OSU. Arrogance and pride has led them down their path. I know this is eating Jim Tressel, an outwardly Christian person here in Columbus, up inside.

What I am seeing here in Columbus has happened before other places, many times. At this point it is running a course similar to the Southern Methodist University path back in the early 1980s. That ended with the school getting the "death penalty" and loosing it football program for a year. It took the school nearly 25 years after that mess to even make another bowl game.

For a resonable take on the whole OSU situation go HERE.

Below are a few sentences from the article:
"This incident at a Columbus tattoo parlor took place in 2009, after the ’08 season. Players sold everything from Big Ten Championship rings, to Gold Pants charms (awarded for beating Michigan) to jerseys and shoes with their autograph on them. Terrelle Pryor even sold his ’09 Fiesta Bowl sportsmanship award."

"How did they get caught? The US Attorney’s office found the items in question at the parlor and contacted OSU to see if any of these items had been stolen."

Wait... hold on. The US Attorney's office? yeesheesh. This is something that has to have been happening over an extended period of time. Bad bad bad.

I'm still trying to figure out what and when the other shoe will drop on this story. I've never seen Terrelle Pryor out and about around town, but I do hear stories. They ain't good. This story is very far from reaching its end.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Oh, Ohio State (My fault?)

Today the first ugly shoe dropped on THE Ohio State University football program. But before I go any further, some perspective.

Ohio (and the rest of the mid-west) is the cradle of football. It was born here and its Valhalla is here (hall of fame). Ohio State University is one of the cornerstones of the sport. Looking at the big picture; OSU (and that "school up north") are bigger then the Big Ten, the division of which the are in. Not only in tradition, but in economy and just shear size. OSU is the largest institution of higher learning on the planet. If that doesn't get your attention, I'm not sure what will.

The reason I mention a bit of perspective first is because of the ridiculous amount of spin going on around the current situation they find themselves in. A situation of the very serious kind. Six total players have been suspended for games starting next year. Five players for five games and another for four. All are significant. Terrell Pryor and Daniel Herron. Starting receiver DeVier Posey, All-Big Ten offensive tackle Mike Adams and backup defensive end Solomon Thomas. Ohio State fans will remember these names for decades to come.

The infractions they committed are selling personal items. Things like 2008 Big Ten Championship rings, jerseys, "gold pants" they get for beating Michigan. Even getting free tats for autographs was mentioned. For old timers this is a crime in the highest order. For the rest of the country it is just another bunch of entitled kids taking advantage of their situation. For the press? Just another story to keep College Football king and a chance to take swipes at the NCAA.

The players in this story, outside of the players (because at the end of the day, the players matter not):

Gene Smith, Athletic Director OSU

Jim Tressel, Coach OSU.

The NCAA. The rule makers.

Now, I live in Columbus. I know that all major programs push the limits of the rules. Hummers, nice apartments and the like. It goes on in most top tier programs. But for the NCAA to take action on a school like OSU? You have to be doing something really - really wrong.

Right now Mr. Smith is throwing the University on the sword stating that it was that they didn't inform the players enough. Coach Tressel, wearing a black suit, stating the "we as coaches, fell short". Never underestimate what a man wears to a extremely stressful situation such as this. Never.

Anyway, the press is out in full. Claiming that players should be paid and blah blah blah. I can't stand it. Fact is, they broke the rules they had to follow. I have to follow the speed limit on the way home. Why does the press feel that players don't have to follow the rules that they sign up for?

Mark my words... Another shoe has yet to fall and it will be ugly. This school's reputation has taken a major hit. I'm not that old, but old enough to know that when this happens... you are done for years. Even decades.

So how is this my fault? I may have just upset the football gods by reaching out to a nice lady up in Ann Arbor yesterday. My bad.

And my bad for saying my bad.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

For Wendy



A 1988 Camaro that will not be forgotten. Yeah, a car. She only got driven once by me, but I have a lifetime of memories around it.

Sing it Boss!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Caught In the Wild: Bronco II

The Christmas holiday season is in full gear right now and I'm working a lot. It's amazing to me sometimes what interests me this time of year because my mind is souly focused on getting product out in that the simple things become more important.

Behold; a 1989 Bronco II. You may not see too many of these on the roads anymore. They were replaced by the juggernaut that was the Ford Explorer. But there is a lot to like here. First and foremost a two door, four seater SUV or, if I may, a Ford Ranger with four seats. A nice little find and still kicking after 21 years.

a la "curbside columbus".

Helltown vs. Helltown

Question is: was it the Growlers that beat the Brewmasters? or was it the Brewmasters v. Brewmasters? Growlers v. Growlers? Perhaps an existential battle in my own mind?? You'll never know. Just know that it was a battle!

If anyone is interested, you... yes YOU! can download the Helltown Brewmasters United and Hellown Growlers Football Club.

Just go to HERE. Sign in and go to the creation center. Once there... search teams with key word HELLTOWN. Download it and then go to the Creation Center on your XBox. I... I mean, the teams will be on your XBox.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Those Football Guys in the Clouds

Yeah, they care about Brett Favre's streak ending. But! what do they care more about?

An outdoor game in frozen Minnesota because the Metrodome roof collapsed. I'm all for it. Only problem I have is the artificial turf field.

The AP reports:
"The outdoor game will be a test for Minnesotans no longer accustomed to braving the frigid December air to watch pro football. The last outdoor Vikings game at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, which the Metrodome replaced, was held on Dec. 20, 1981 - 29 years to the day before this Monday's Vikings-Bears matchup. The Vikings lost that game to the Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 10-6."

29 years to the day. So let it be written... so. let. it. be. done.

Let's take this one step further... well, two steps.

Cold weather teams winning the Super Bowl?

26 wins to 18 warm weather teams. Meh, not much there but more then enough to show advantage (20 points of data is what I need).

How about we look at dome teams:

3 dome teams have won... verse 41 outdoor. I count old Dallas Stadium as outdoor.

Let that be written.

Consider this your Football Gods 101 lesson. 102 would be turf teams verse natural grass... 1st homework assignment? How many Super Bowls has New England won since switching back to turf in 2006?

Answer? Zero.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

VII. Only Interesting To Me

1. Tron Legacy and Daft Punk
Tron is visual representation of what goes on in my computer. Daft Punk is musicalistical representation of the same. They are made for each other. Derezzed video. Musicalistical is not a word. Olivia Wilde stops the show at the end of the video. To save you search... American blue blood, a hoity toity NY family; married to a real Italian Blue Blood prince.

2. Metrodome roof collapsed**** (deflated) under 2 ft of snow
It is just a inflatable thing made of, like, Teflon. Pull that sucker out and play with out it. An outdoor game in Minnesota is what the football gods command! Oh, and speaking of those football gods; this thing is sort of surreal because a lot of things are converging all at once. Favre's streak, bringing Favre to the Vikings to help get a new stadium built, and the near end of Favre's career.

2a. Best headline so far: "Metrodome Roof Collapsed, Just Like The Dreams Of The Vikings Fans It Shelters"

2b. AND OH MY... There is video. Actually scary.

3. Winter is here in Ohio as well
-5 with wind chill tonight. It's a winter wonderland now, I'll add photos below.

4. A brand new 1984 Buick GNX
This happens to be one of those proverbial dream cars for me. The thing is a beast and a new on still sits for sale. Check the story here.

5. My Brownies not on TV today?? BOOOOOOOOOO

3a.
That's a pick of Helltown Beer HQ.

Almost looks like black and white photos, but they are not.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Rule Britannia!

Good things happened at work today enabling me to get one step closer to my trip to England!

OH BRITANNIA YOU MADE THIS WORLD SO BEAUTIFUL, PEACEFUL AND WEALTHY! RULE, RULE, RULE ALL THE WAVES OF THE WORLD! THEY WOULDN'T KNOW HOW TO WAVE IF YOU DIDN'T TELL THEM.

Sing with me now!

"Rule, Britannia! Britannia rule the waves:
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tebow, Tebow, Tebow

I read that Tim Tebow's coach at Florida stepped down this week. The same week that the coach of Tebow's pro team, the Denver Broncos, was fired. There are too many things pointing to Urban Meyer re-teaming with Tebow. It is an emotional matter for Meyer. When Tebow graduated last year he flirted with stepping down because of, in my opinion, Tebow was gone. They had a very close relationship outside of the fact that they won two National Championships.

Tim Tebow with Urban Meyer in Denver could be a successful combo for more then a decade. Players like Tebow build stadiums (see: Payton Manning and Lucus Oil Stadium in Indianapolis). Some people undervalue relationships in the professional sports world and for good reason. But I think Tebow is a special player and person. I see this happening.

So says the crystal ball I'm looking at. Like a crazy person. I also have fond memories chanting, "Tebow, TEbow, Tebow!" when he was at Florida with special person and hope I can again so let's just say that my mind is saying it will happen along with my heart and call it a day.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Never What You Think

In the year 2000 my 1986 Camaro turned 14 years old and was starting to have a renaissance of interest. I'm guessing enough time had passed that the stereotypes had been forgotten... or at least forgiven. We'll go with forgiven. Either way, an 80's Camaro became something to find. There are other cars like it. Monte Carlo's and Hurst Oldsmobile with t-tops to name a couple. Pretty mundane cars at the time considering what had come 14 years before them in the late 60's.

So where are we now? 2010 the calendar tells me. What are the cool kids looking at now? Why... a 1996 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon Limited of course. This sweet little puppy has a V8 260 Horsepower – Corvette LT1 Engine hidden in it and is part of the appeal. Combine that with a low cost and its now alien look and whambam! you have a car you can find ways to love and it may even qualify as, to use a phrase a friend once told me, "a mean MAAchine".

It's never what you think. Go figure. And now I want one.

It's interesting to think of auto history in this way. It takes me back to GM's planned obsolescence that I've mentioned before. They aren't making a dime off the sale of a 14 year old $2000 car, but they sure are desirable to some people and, in this case, hold a few surprises. I'm not saying the new GM slogan "Chevy Runs Deep" takes into consideration a 1996 Buick wagon... but maybe it should. Add a pretty girl and a burnout and that sucker will get ingrained permanently and positively in American's heart and souls.



Right now I feel inclined to call my dad and tell him to hold on to that Caprice Classic he has...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

HB Investigative Report. Newton Case File

William Sasquatch has been following the Cam Newton case and I (Larry) am here to interview him on his thoughts and get a conclusion from him on the whole thing.

ME: Where should a reporter start on this story.
WS: WITH THE MONEY. CAM NEWTON'S FATHER WANTED MONEY TO GO TO MISSISSIPPI STATE. PAY FOR PLAY, SO TO SPEAK. THIS IS WHERE THE STORY STARTS AND ENDS.

ME: So the investigation is closed? It's over?
WS: YEP. REPORTS ARE SHORTSIGHTED AND NARROWLY FOCUSED. FOLKS NEED TO LOOK AT THE TIMELINE AND THEY ALSO NEED TO BRUSH UP ON SOUTHERN CULTURE. CAM'S FATHER IS A 'BISHOP' OVER A CLUSTER OF CHURCHES IN GEORGIA. ONE OF WHICH WAS CONDEMNED. HE WANTED MONEY TO SAVE THE CHURCH BECAUSE THE MONEY HE WAS GETTING TO SAVE IT WAS COMING FROM CAM'S BROTHER WHO WAS ON THE PRACTICE SQUAD FOR THE JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS. HE WAS CUT, NO MORE MONEY TO SAVE THE CHURCH. CAM'S FATHER NEEDED MONEY FAST SO HE LOOKED AT CAM AS A WAY TO GET IT. IT DIDN'T WORK. NO MONEY AND THE CHURCH WAS CONDEMNED. IT SITS ABANDONED NOW.

ME: Cam didn't get any money then?
WS: WELL... NOT FOR SIGNING AT ANY SCHOOL. CAM IS A GREAT PLAYER WITH A EDUCATION PROBLEM. THE FLORIDA GATORS TOOK A CHANCE ON HIM. HE ENDED UP PLAYING BACKUP TO TIM TEBOW, THEN GETTING INJURED AFTER THAT CAM PROCEEDED TO STEAL ANOTHER STUDENTS LAPTOP. HE WAS CAUGHT AND FLORIDA DUMPED HIM. HE WOUND UP A BINN COLLEGE JUCO PLAYER.

ME: Isn't this where the Miss. St. money comes in?
WS: THERE ISN'T ANY QUESTION THAT CAM'S FATHER WAS TRYING TO GET MONEY THE WHOLE TIME CAM HAS BEEN IN COLLEGE. IT DIDN'T WORK. WHY DO YOU THINK HIS SON FOUND HIMSELF STEALING A LAPTOP AND PLAYING AT A JUNIOR COLLEGE IN TEXAS.

ME: Makes sense I guess. But he ended up at Auburn.
WS: YEAH. HE WAS CLASSIFIED AS A 5 STAR RECRUIT WHILE AT BINN COLLEGE. LOOK, PLAYERS THAT PLAY AT A DIV. I SCHOOL THEN GO JUCO HAVE ISSUES. AUBURN TOOK A CHANCE ON HIM LAST YEAR. A VERY COMMON THING IN THE SEC. BY THIS POINT THE CHURCH IN NEWNAN, GA WAS SHUTDOWN. NOW CAM IS PROBABLY THE CLEANEST PLAYER IN BIG TIME DIV. I FOOTBALL. HE ISN'T GETTING ANYTHING OUTSIDE WHAT AUBURN GIVES HIM. WHICH IS PROBABLY CONSIDERABLE, BUT NOT OUTSIDE THE RULES. CAM'S FATHER WILL BE SET NEXT YEAR WHEN CAM GOES PRO.

ME: Story over?
WS: YEP. IT'S A MESSY STORY. USUALLY YOU'LL SEE SOMETHING LIKE THE REGGIE BUSH THING WHERE THE MONEY ACTUALLY HAPPENED. IT DIDN'T IN THIS CASE. IF IT DID THEY CHURCH WOULD HAVE STOOD AND CAM WOULDN'T HAVE FOUND HIMSELF AT 3 DIFFERENT SCHOOLS.

ME: Conclusion...
WS: THE STORY IS ONE OF FAILURE. THE SEC USUALLY SWOOPS IN AND CODDLES PLAYERS LIKE CAM NEWTON. I DON'T LIKE CAM NEWTON AND WOULD LIKE TO SAY THERE IS SOMETHING HERE OTHER THEN HIS FATHER ASKING FOR MONEY BUT THERE ISN'T OTHER THEN REGULAR SEC CLOAK AND DAGGER CLOSED DOOR STUFF.

ME: Isn't that the story then? The SEC?
WS: THAT'S FUNNY. YOU WANT TO TAKE THAT ON?

ME: Yes. You can because you are imaginary.
WS: THAT'S CORRECT, BUT I HAVE AN IMAGINARY HELLTOWN BREWMASTERS UNITED GAME TO GET TOO AND YOU ARE WASTING MY TIME. BESIDES, THE REAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL STORY RIGHT NOW IS THE CINCINNATI BEARCAT MASCOT GETTING ARRESTED FOR THROWING SNOWBALLS AT PITT PLAYERS YESTERDAY.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The City of Cleveland vs. LeBron

Right now is the big game for Cleveland so here I am writing about it. I was wondering earlier today if I would watch it. More then a few folks were talking about LeBron's return to Cleveland. Welp, it's on my television right now. I guess it is unavoidable.

I will say, first off, that this is the first time I've watched anything on TNT in about 15 years.

Second off, I've watched a few NBA games this year. Which is more then I've watched in about 15 years as well.

1st Quarter:
- Tip off. Cleveland fans are booing everything.
- Juwan Howard sighting on the bench for Miami.
- LeBron first touch. Booing. Hits the jumper from the corner.
- Audio is funny, wondering if TNT changed something.
- NBA basketball can be hard to watch. Sticking with it.
- Hixon for Cleveland is the best player on the court right now.
- LeBron isn't looking to shoot. Typical for him in big games.
- Cleveland playing well, up by 5.
- This game has an unusual high school feel to it. It looks like they moved the fans closer to the court.
- "Akron hates you" chant. Creative.
- James lost his headband!
- Headband back, hits jumper.
- TNT going through crappy moments in Cleveland sports history. Then shows Bernie Kosar. I'm depressed now.
- Miami is taking over towards the end of the quarter now. Cavs look bad.
- 16-0 run.

Quarter over. Mercifully. Heat is up. Didn't bother looking at the score.

- 2nd. Heat by 7.
- Wade for the Heat stepping up with Bron on the bench.
- Commercials coming in hard and heavy now. A-Team movie tie in with the NBA. Reason #1 to not ever watch that movie now.
- Byron Scott, coach of the Cavs "They are getting points down there, time for us to get points up here."
- Bron has 13 with 4 mins left in half.

Aaaand, halftime.

- My resolve is weakening to continue to watch.
- Charles Barkley said some interesting things about how LeBron was over chatting it up with the Cavs bench. I'm with Chuck. Compete. This game is really flat.

3rd quarter:

- Still here. Heat is up by 23. Cavs are playing very un-inspired.
- A-hole chant going...
- "Scottie Pippen" chant now... I like that one. Only problem is, LeBron is heating up.
- Heat up 28 now. Wow. LeBron has 25.
- 4 mins left in the 3rd. Heat up 38 now.

I've had enough. My conclusion is that it's sort of sad to see the Cavs going down like this. They look like they just want it over. No fight. No nothing.

Still in the 3rd quarter... LeBum closing in on 40 and has a mean look on his face. He may finish with 50+.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

First Snow

This video is for Jim. It is for Dave and it is for Californians who have nothing to think about other then themselves. BRING IT ON OHIO WINTER. I'M READY FOR YOU.

“Adversity draws men together and produces beauty and harmony in life's relationships, just as the cold of winter produces ice-flowers on the window-panes, which vanish with the warmth.”

- Soren Kierkegaard

That's for McCracken

I'm also going to sneak this in. In honor of a Team Crest being created for Helltown Brewmasters United. It deserves better, and I'll do better. Just excited.

It shows the Brewmasters (not Growlers) highlights that I've saved. I've been working on a top 5 with the outstanding replay save feature. Trying to find a suitable PC equivalent to Final Cut. Darn you Pinnacle compression settings! but I digress. Smitty has a couple long blasts, GLU has a nice header in the corner, from a header by Wood. McCracken with a legendary blast in the upper left corner. Also a header by Crack right before a two legged to the face knock out from the keeper, suitable for framing... I show the top 5 a couple times, so what? HBU in action! As always... Headphones required before watching. Magnificent crest Matt. Thank you!
video

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Warehouse Story

It comes from (again) The Truth About Cars. I still find this site endlessly interesting... thoughtful and sincere. Ronnie Schreiber just posted up an article titled "Was GM Design Head Bill Mitchell A Sexist Bigot?" The answer to that question is "yes". I didn't need the article to tell me that. I've read and watched enough on GM history to know about Mr. Mitchell. What's interesting about the article is the readers, through the spectrum of today's world around them, trying to figure out if this was just the way it was back then or if the guy really had a alcohol / womanizing / temper / racism problem.

He was cut from the same cloth as car guys that came before him. These guys were highly intelligent, rough, type A or red personalities. Mitchell seems to be a cross between Henry Ford and the Dodge Brothers who was caught in the middle of a changing world. In some ways Clint Eastwood's character in Gran Torino seems to be modeled after him. Most episodes of Mad Men steal from his exploits. Heck, even part Ian Fleming's Bond could be attributed to him if Fleming himself were not more Mitchell then, well, Mitchell.

My comment of the article comes from "Mikey". I can't get enough stories like this. It's the kind of thing that should be explored more. While it's interesting to read about ivory tower men like Mitchell I'd much rather read about the every day stuff from folks working where the tire hits the road. Howard Zinn, take note.
----------------------
A hard drinking, profane, sometimes bigot. Sounds like a Foreman I had in the early Seventies. Foremen were instructed to fire any hourly employee that was late or absent during thier ninety day probation period.

At the time I was in the pit, on gas tank install. A two man operation, it was, and my 18 year old partner was a black guy. The older guys called us the salt and pepper team.

Well… my partner came it 15 minutes late one day. I could hear all the guys up top hollering, ”here comes the boss, thats the end of the salt and pepper team”

So there is now three of us standing in the pit. Were running at 45 jobs per hour building full size Chevs, and both Canadian and American Pontiacs. The pit is four feet wide five foot deep,and you got maybe 20 ft to get the tank installed. The foreman is a good 6’2″ with massive shoulders. So he says to my partner “you know I’m supposed to be down here to fire your b—a$$ out the door, My buddy nods,and we go back to grab the next job. The dude had to be down there 10 minutes. “WTF is he doing” my buddy says. My guess? he was looking at scenery. The next job down, the assembler had to feed three gas hoses through a bracket welded to the body. Then push the hoses onto the steel gas line and the secure the clamps. The girl doing the job was maybe 5’2″ and had to reach to her limit to get her job done.

Finally the boss turns to us and says “I’d look forward to going to work if I could look at that all day long, and I woudn’t be f—ck late."
-------------------

It isn't so much the point of his story, it is the way he describes the job he was doing nearly 40 years ago. It gets to me.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Week

What a great week is was this year. I had not been home for Thanksgiving in a few years due to this retail thing I do. This year was different though. I did go home. Left Columbus on a rainy Wednesday night and and drove back Friday morning. Every mile driven was worth it. A big event for my bother in a couple ways. What a great time.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

VI. Only Interesting to Me

1. Writers that write for "real" sports websites referencing their own tweets.
"During the game, I tweeted that Boise's D-line (Billy Winn, Ryan Winterswyk, Chase Baker and Shea McClellin) is the best in the country." Thanks Stewart Mandel over at Sports Illustrated. Why stop now Stew, go for the gold... make a tweet about your reference to your own tweet on si.com ON si.com.

2. More Ohio State football.
Terrelle Pryor is frustratingly inconsistent and even though he has all the tattoos he will probably never see a snap in the NFL as a quarterback.

3. Manchester United has yet to loose a game in the Premier League. Stoke wins again!

4. The TSA.
Gettin' aggressive out there guys. I had a moment flying out to NH. That "don't touch my junk, man" moment. I'm an easy target I guess. I didn't understand because I went through the metal detector pants falling down with no shoes on and my government issued drivers license, cell phone and dignity far away from me in a tote. In Columbus you don't get a lot of non-white travelers so as I sat putting my shoes back on I looked back for another 30 something white guy traveling on his own back at the gate... he was pulled too. As the circus applicant TSA worker was feeling his groin, we made eye contact. We had a moment.

Anyway, I know this sort of thing isn't going away. It's sad.

5. The White Album and Tron
On iTunes. My favorite album. Listening now. Another great album? Any Daft Punk album. They are doing the soundtrack for the new Tron movie. If you haven't seen the original Tron in a while... watch it.

6. Avatar in the FernGully
It's been said a million times now, but Avatar is a better version of the FernGully. Even in the special features section of my Blu-ray they reference the FernGully. I had no expectations for Avatar. I have expectations of James Cameron and he didn't disappoint. I have a James Cameron story. When I was working at Staples as an esteemed copy center clerk I met a guy who sold Mr. Cameron 10 Humvee's. "For what?" I asked... thinking it was for some movie. "To play paintball" was the response I got. Story over.

Another thing on my mind during the movie was the perceived slight people wrote about concerning the Marines in the movie. While the name "Marines" is called out often I felt there was nothing to make me say it took shots at them. In fact it was quite the opposite in a lot of ways. For those paying attention... Marines are here to be the tip of the spear. They are trained to kill other people. Turn them loose and they will do just that. I'm sorry if you bump into me and I say that and burst your bubble. They are trained to do that so I can sit here and write. Be glad these guys are on our team. Also, for those paying attention, Mr. Cameron's brother is a Marine who served multiple times in Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm going to say that a lot of the best lines in the movie come from him.

"I became a Marine for the hardship. Told myself that I can pass any test a man can pass. All I ever wanted was a single thing worth fighting for."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Best Pitch Man and Mr. Roboto

So who is the best pitchman ever? Well, Jalopnik is asking. Every decade has there own. Before I was looking at Jalopnik I was watching the new Gran Turismo 5 commercial with Kevin Butler at that helm. Mr. Butler is a freak of modern pitchmen in that everyone seems to like him. Heck, I like him. I say freak because never, I mean never... do you see comments on a corporate pitchman so positive.

Kevin Butler. Congratulations. You have reached the level of the one: Mr. Joe Isuzu.

Mr. Roboto also sold a lot of VWs. Yeah, I just downloaded Mr. Roboto from iTunes.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ads: The American Way

They are. But not on jerseys. My new found like for soccer has me comparing my experiences to other sports I enjoy watching. I've found that there is little to compare to a morning Premier League game on ESPN 2. No commercial breaks and fluid games, not to mention... My man Ian Darke!

Contrast this to American football. Change of possession? Ad time out. After a TD? Ads. Then the field goal? Ads. After each kick off? Ads. Three time outs a half? Ad. Ad. Ads.

I remember my English Nana complaining once of all the ads when I was a kid. Now I know where that thought game from.

Man, don't even get me started on College Basketball, my first love. I can't even watch the end of a tight game anymore. MLB baseball? forget it. Ads after the top and bottom of innings. DROP THE ADS IN THE MIDDLE OF INNINGS. Yeah, all caps there.

So what am I getting at? Nothing really. I had a point to make about no ads on jerseys and to a larger extent or view the way we, Americans, view sport. It is our sacred cow. Hero worship. We forge them in school. So much so that sports are hitched to school at all levels. Not separate, but part of. Want to be a professional football player? You have to be three years removed from high school. i.e. play college because there are no developmental leagues. With soccer in Europe, kids are plucked out of school at around birth and put on a developmental pro team. What seems to happen is you get a Rooney. What some call a mule. He ain't too smart.

Just when I thought the trend away for that sort of thing was shifting with all the kids coming out of college to play ball, the NBA instituted a rule that you had to be one year removed from HS. And this rule may even be extended here soon probably because one of the last players to be plucked out of high school was LeBron James. A man-child who, after 7 years out of school, still wears a backpack around for some reason.

We like our teams clean of advertisements here. And we want to think of our players as intelligent. I happen to love that.

Just chill on the commercial breaks a bit.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

V. Only Interesting to me

1. "The Drive" The new one.
Not the one that knocked the Browns out of 1987 the playoffs. The one I just saw were the Jets had the ball for 11 minutes straight and didn't score. Believeland.

2. Shoot the Hinges
Sometimes I hear the phase "average age of gamers" and how it seems to go up each year. It's because most gamers started playing the NES and Sega Master system at age 10. Now they are are having kids. Time to scrap that phase. That said. Folks playing games are wiser as well. With that we are starting to see major holes these ultra hyped games that get written / designed by 2 year school C- 20 somethings and reviewed by the same who have never been to college. Click on that link to watch a 15 minute video of a guy playing Call of Duty: Black Ops... and never firing a shot. That is a short film. Not a game getting some of the best reviews of the year.

Anyway, shoot the hinges comes from THIS.

2a. Mass Effect 2
Sitting on my coffee table, ready to go.

3.eHarmony?
yes. no. yes. no. Probably no? Not sure anyone is looking for a guy who works all the time, plays video games often and only hangs out with friends on Monday night to watch football. Oh, and takes good care of my cat.

3a. Also, I know everything about unicorns.

4. Whatever point I make here... will be used as justification for why I have to look at eHarmony.

5. Most productive player on the Brewmasters
Just finished a 34 grueling match season against all of Budesliga 2nd division. Some may say that is crazy. I say, HBU earned their stripes. Most productive? Stevens with .67 goals and assists per game (18 games). Highest average match rating? Matt Wood. 7.6 (28 games).

6. Stoke City
Up the ladder they go!! Back up to 10th.

7. It doesn't matter where the truth comes from.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Team Bondi(?) for Rockstar

A trailer recently came out for a game called L.A. Noire and I am intrigued. It looks like they are trying to pull off a City Confidential type game and while I love that movie, I'm hoping for more of a Chinatown. So who is Team Bondi? A group who worked on The Getaway.

I had my reservations about Red Dead Revolver and I am having the same about this game. But Red Dead was outstanding.

This is a bit early to be mentioning this game, but it comes out in the spring of next year. Maybe that's the Ohioan in me just wishing spring were here already.

Anywho, looks interesting. I've got Mass Effect lined up to play this weekend to set a benchmark. More on that soon.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Crew goes down, MLS Attendance

I've been interested for a while now on how the MLS is doing. It's a new(er) league in the US and always sort of thought that it was a niche thing. Not that I thought they weren't doing well, per say. Just way behind the other sports. Well it turns out they are actually doing well on a game to game basis. I say game to game because the play significantly less games then the other leagues in the US.

Philadelphia Union and Toronto FC actually fill their stadiums each game. The Seattle Sounders FC fill what is afforded to them at Quest Field which has a soccer capacity of 36,000 but actual cap of around 64,000 if they opened it up.

The Crew average about 14,000 fans a game, or 62% capacity. This is below the average and median by about 2,000 in the MLS, but in a Buckeye football dominated area? Not too shabby.

How does that stand up to the rest of the soccer world? I'm asking myself the same question. After all, we are just lowly Americans who could care less about the other Football right?

1. Bundesliga (GER): 42,790
2. English Premier League (ENG): 34,088
3. La Liga (ESP): 28,971
4. Serie A (ITA): 23,899
5. Ligue 1 (FRA): 20,119
6. Eredivisie (NED): 19,319
7. MLS (USA): 18,452
8. Championship (ENG): 18,113
9. Scottish Premier League (SCO): 15,128
10. Bundesliga 2 (GER): 15,056

I know that population has a ton to do with this. I'm actually surprised the Scottish league is in the top 10. I think that means that 110% of the Scottish population is showing up for games. Either way, nice work MLS!

Now, for the Crew going down....

The name of the MLS playoff game is: Aggregate. It's unique to "major" leagues in this world. Teams making the playoffs get a Home/Away match up. Team with the most goals in those two games win. It seems experimental, fun, strange and wonky.

The crew lost to the Rapids in the first game 1-0, but then won the second game 2-1. Aggregate? 2-2. Soooo, the second game went to PK's. Columbus lost.

I'm actually thinking they should just turn this sucker into a 3 game series.

-----------------

While I'm at this attendance thing, topic and thinking on that cheerleader picture above... MLS plays a different time of year then most other leagues. Soccer in the rest of the world is a fall/winter sport and I like that idea. Could it work in the US? Heck yeah! February games in Salt Lake, Calorado, Kansas City, Chicago, and Columbus! How about Toronto and New England? Okay, maybe not.

However, with the league playing when it does I would like to see a Cup set up between the MLS and European leagues during their seasons and not "warm up" games featuring European teams playing the MLS teams during the MLS season.

Drop a couple of your meaningless cups and invite the Yanks out to your backyard - England and Germany - after our season is over. We'll go. In fact, I'll set up a tournament on FIFA 11 and see how it goes.

ahhh, 'tis a dream. 'tis a dream.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Indianapolis

Spent a couple days in Indianapolis. Not much to say about that other then now I'm tired on the weekend.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Chevy Running full on

"Chevy Runs Deep" ad campaign is in gearing up now. I expect it to be in full on mode by the Super Bowl. What I'm seeing is dogs in trucks and newborn babies edited together with a rendition of "You Are My Sunshine". Who doesn't like that? Nobody. Who thinks that sells cars? Nobody. What that is, is Americana - and last time I checked... that was free. I don't need $25k to buy it. In fact, if you really feel the need to get a Chevy -- pick yourself up an old Camaro for a 10th of that price, as yours truly did.

These ads just skip over the worst years of GM. What I'd like to see is honesty. Even if it is just a minute ad. I mean, it's all we get.

The perfect American car ad was summed up by some dude commenting on the ads:

"All car commercials should have cars burning rubber racing and pretty girls. Well they should if you want me to watch them. Other wise I get and go get a beer."

Well said my friend.

You also made me resort to THIS.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

EPL: My local team is better then your local team

Playing around with my new found soccer leagues in England. I spent some time looking at domestic leagues in terms of winners and losers and am now turning some attention over to the non-domestic.

The EPL is 9 and 10 games in (Sunday morning, games today). 20 teams, 192 games played.

Home team is winning 44% of the time. Losing 23% if the time and drawing 33%.

What that works out to be is the following: If your team is playing at home then it has a 77% chance of getting out of there with at least a point. I looked at it with out the top three teams as well: 74% chance of coming out of your own back yard with at least a point.

What changes when I pull out the top three is just an increased chance to lose on the road. Just slight, however. 44% chance with top 3, 49% without.

Outside of plain old normal distribution of data, I have a few conclusions:

1. Advantage: Home Team
In a big way. It's something you don't see to this degree in domestic leagues. However, American sports don't end in ties (at least they don't easily). It sort of funny because the two times I can remember a tie there was a massive outcry by fans and players didn't even know it was possible. Once in the MLB all star game and once in the NFL where McNabb didn't even know a tie was possible.

2. 1/3 of games played end in a draw.
It's the way of footie I guess. I'm trying to get use to it. It's definitely an added dimension. No way am I saying get rid of it, just saying.

3. Lowest division, nPower league 2 has the same results. 73% of teams come out with a win or draw. 45% chance of an outright loss on the road. Note: League 2 has a larger sample set of games. 24 teams, 14 games in, 294 games played.

4. Tie games are typically an English thing.
I looked at the Bundesliga. Home team wins 44%, similar to EPL. However, games only end in draws 18% of the time. Also looked at Serie A in Italy, where I thought every game ended in a tie. Nope, still less then England at 30%. Though, similar results with home team coming out with a point (76%).

4a. MLS
Finally, the MLS. Similar to the Bundesliga. 24% chance of draw. 48% chance of home team win.

5. Goals
MLS, EPL, nPower and Serie A have similar GD averages hovering around +0.2 in favor of the home team. Bundesliga is ever so slim at +0.09; home team. Go figure. The league with the least amount of ties has the closest games.

6. Digging deeper
How about the 1975 English Top Division season? Similar home results. 77% chance the home team will pull out a point at home. Draws down to 28%. GD slightly higher at +0.26 for the home team.

7. Who is the worst team in the EPL this year?
Wigan. They have had 6 home games. One more then most everyone else and are sitting at 16th.

8. Who will probably climb the ladder a bit?
Blackpool. Only 3 home games when most everyone has 5. They are sitting at 15th place with two winnable home games in a row coming up.

I could go on and on man. Anyway, Liverpool won in 1975, just beating out the Queens Park Rangers by a point.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A lil' Football History


I'm learninged myself on soccer's best players. Well, at least English/UK ones I find interesting. Combine that with FIFA 11's good creation editor and I'm having some fun.

The Helltown Brewmasters have been up and running for a month now and I'm still having a great time with them. Today the other Helltown team was created in the way of the Growlers. Skill wise they are a better team because, well, they have some of the most interesting players I have read about. And watched online.

Here are some of the players I've choosen:

Bobby Moore
George Moorhouse
Graeme Souness
Bobby Charlton
Jimmy Johnstone
Alan Shearer
George Best
Dixie Dean
Jimmy Greaves

Outside the UK I have:

Gerd Muller
Carlos Valderrama

Of course I have a few reserves from my treasure chest:

Gordon McGirt
Mathew Drain (aka, J. Smith for reasons only known to EA)
Audrea Poff
Chad Cole
Larkin Tysor
Matthew Madaries
Billy Schwarting

Out of all of them I think Valderrama and Best are the most intriguing. If you get a chance read and watch as much as you can on George Best.

It's only the beginning for the Growlers. As I learn more about the intricacies of soccer players my get more interesting.

Of course the Brewmasters and Growlers are available for download. Feel free to bring them into your home.

The Growlers play at "Lisa's Grounds". Do it.

of course I got my own soccer heroes here:

and here:

Weekend Funnies

I like SI.com. I like the Truth and Rumors section of the site. The crowd that posts stuff up there in the comments sections can be smart, witty and insightful. That is, until to pull up the NBA section of the feature. Here is one I thought funny.
Simple enough story, though it is a little strange for a player to have vertigo. In any case, it's really not too much of a story and the comments show that. Just one guy knows how to end it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

GM: To a lot less fanfare

No commercials this go round, which makes it more serious and believable. If my hunch is right, they want the government out something fierce. Pay it off gentlemen and get two work.

From Edward Niedermeyer at The Truth About Cars:

News that the government will sell only $6b-$8b worth of its GM equity has been joined by an even more surprising GM IPO announcement: GM will buy the Treasury’s entire $2.1b holding of preferred stock in the initial offering. GM has not announced how much it will pay for the stake, and the Detroit News reports that it’s not yet clear if GM will also buy some $400m in preferred stock held by the Canadian and Ontario governments. We’re also getting word via Twitter that GM will put $4b in cash and $2b worth of its stock into its overdrawn UAW pension fund, as well as making a $2.8b payment to the UAW VEBA account. With a $5b line of credit secured, GM says these and other steps will reduce its debt by $11b over an unspecified timeline.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

FIFA 11 Bad Guys

I looked at this with FIFA 10 and am asking myself the same question with 11. Who am I facing online most of the time? Well... 52% of the time you will be facing the following teams:

12% : Manchester City
12% : Real Madrid
10% : FC Barcelona
10% : Chelsea
10% : Milan

I have enough data points (42) to show that most choose the best teams in the world. It's understandable with the way online ranking is set up. I just wish I could see more of SL Benfica, where I had that one magical 6-0 win. Outside of that I've not scored more then 3 goals in a game. Nor have I ever had more then 3 scored on me. That's saying something I guess.

I'm off to play. And if you can figure anything on the lyrics on this song... your a better man then I. I love it.

Friendly Neighborhood Reminder

Fable III comes out today.

Chevy Runs Deep

GM's new tagline. It's interesting that they are using "Chevy" because of the memo that created a manic 24 hours at GM instructing employees not to use the term.

So... from "See the world in your Chevrolet" to "Like a rock" we now have "Chevy Runs Deep".

My thoughts are the same as Rob Finfrock over at The Truth About Cars:

...how “deep” does Chevy want its customers to go back into their memories for a happy story?

“Remember when your Dad told you fond stories of his father’s 1957 Bel Air… while you both waited in the Service Department lounge for your S-Blazer’s third transmission to be installed?

“Remember that first date with that special someone, in your 1975 Vega? Remember how she helped you push it into your driveway? Remember how the rusted rear bumper fell off and broke her foot?

“Remember the 1990 Lumina? Wait… please don’t.

“Remember the Malibu you rented last year in Atlanta? I mean, it was pretty decent, right?

“Chevy runs deep!”
-----------------------------

I can relate especially to the Malibu I rented in Boston. I found myself not saying to myself that the car was good. Just asking myself questions... Is this interior good?... Do I like how I sit high up?... Does this car have any power?

Monday, October 25, 2010

A League Sliding

In terms of revenue, the NFL is the most successful league on the planet. Throughout the mid-nineties till now it has over taken just about everything out there. I am here just to say that it has reached it's peak dominance. It will always be popular, don't get me wrong. It just will not be where it is now ever again.

Back in the 1980s the NFL grew really fast. So fast that in 1987 there was a player strike. You see this sort of thing in other businesses as well. When a company is doing "too well" labor problems creep in. It happened in 1987 for the NFL and it will happen again next year. In 1994 it happened to MLB, which opened the door to the NFL. In the NHL you had the opposite problem. The league stopped for an entire year back a few years ago because of loss of revenue. That, my friends, is just normal distribution of data. Meaning, sports fans were choosing to watch a disproportionate amount of NFL, therefore some other sport had to suffer.

The NFL has many, many major issues to work out. Not just labor either. Injury to players is becoming more and more a problem. Last weekend there were 5 concussions in the span of about an hour. All played out on national television. In pro football it isn't something that new, just the timing of it is new. It is an extremely violent game, it's always had serious injuries we just have a bunch of newer fans with new eyes watching it.

This past weekend, after stiff fines going out to players hitting too hard, we had a kinder, gentler NFL... except for a sideline ref who got run into, fell crashing down on the back of his head and was wheeled off the field with blood running down his face out of his eyes form his brain bleeding. Yes. His brain. Oh, and something more horrifying, at least to me. A player named Todd Heap for the Ravens, who was the recipient of a blow to the head two weeks ago, just collapsed on the field with no one around him this week. That video is actually being promoted by the NFL. HERE.

I'm not for making tackle football; flag football. Just stating that the league that has grown at this rate is taking a dive. This stuff is now under a microscope.

Speaking of dives, I've got some soccer to play.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

IV. Only Interesting to Me

1. One Man's Sasquatch is another Man's Chewbacca.

2. Johnny Reb was retired in 2006
After four years nobody noticed, Ole Miss finally decided on a suitable replacement. A Black Bear. I don't get bent out of shape about this stuff. The bear is fine. I liked that Reb was prowling the sidelines, I reckon. But the mascot politically correct thing just keeps marching on and on. It's a mascot, folks. How can some people get upset with the Redskins saying it is derogatory and offensive and then the same people take Johnny Reb seriously. Wouldn't those people want to keep Johnny because it, by the same reasoning, makes a joke out a southern redneck? Shouldn't Mississippians been offended by ole Johnny? Just my two cents.

3. Found a really bad logo today:


Feast your eyes on that! Anyway, I'm mentioning it because winter is coming here to Ohio.

4. I saw a guy wearing a Colt McCoy Browns Jersey this morning.
It's an ongoing joke with some co-workers because Browns fans here have a hard time investing in a player jersey because no player ever sticks around there. You know what? The Browns beat up on the Super Bowl champs today. Maybe that dude knows something.

5. Jim Valvano once said:
"Everyday you should have your emotions move you to tears. If you laugh, think, and cry... that's a heck of a day." He said that three months before he passed. Here is a story of a kitten born blind that I can't believe I'm mentioning but I am. Jack Tripper. And he is doing great. If you haven't had anything move your emotions today take a look. Click on his name at your own heart melting peril.

Jack Tripper.

6. Dear smart dumb people,
The same people who ban mascots. If you leave any food out in a dry environment it will not mold. You'll get beef burger jerky and french fry jerky.

A photographer hard up on ideas decided to leave McDonald's food out for a half year and take pictures. People seemed to be all up in arms about how it didn't mold. Anybody who has found a fry in your car knows they don't. You need moisture. That said, news flash... fast food is bad for you. You don't need misguided story from Yahoo news to tell you that. Take it from Helltown. It makes you fat, don't eat it.

3b. Speaking of logos, Cadillac over the years:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

III. Only Interesting To Me

1. Buckeyes

The football player kind. The only kind and they rule these parts. They lost last night in a rowdy Camp Randall stadium. Since I mentioned a few weeks back the VT entrance I can't not mention the Wisconsin tradition of playing Jump Around at the end of the 3rd quarter. I like this one for a few reasons: A. Visiting fan filming in awe B. Opposing team joining in. C. 90,000 people. D. Ref is signaling at the end... in time with the song. E! Bucky the Badger dancing F!!! Cheerleaders in full dance routine. G!!!!! God Bless America.

However: If we are going to compare stadium atmosphere let us take a lot at the granddaddy of entrances.


2. Tough loss Stoke.

3. Colt McCoy starting for the first time
The guy was a legend in Texas. He even saved someones life. He's going up against the Steelers as his first time out in the NFL. Someone may need to save his.

4. Redskins on Sunday Night Football in America
Breaking out the Beenie Weenie dip for this one.

4a. Larry's Traditional Beenie Weenie Dip Recipe:
- Thick and Rich Bush's Baked Beans
- Mexican shredded cheese
- Fresh Mozzarella
- Two thinly sliced cheese dogs
- Tostitos cheese queso dip
- Texas Pete hot sauce
(how much of each ingredient you put in is up to you)

- Tostitos Multi-grain Chips

PS: Back to Camp Randall with the same game the lady from ASU was wowed by... from inside the student section (what she was looking at).

Hesmer Goal!

Only the 2nd time in MLS history that a keeper has scored. This happened in stoppage time and allowed the Crew to get a much needed point going into the playoffs. They are in, but they could take the top spot next weekend, which would mean extra home game.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Perfect Getaway

Another film that I just happened across that falls into the category of "a film Larry likes, oh boy." In some ways it is classic suspense type storytelling. Who done it turns into, well, doing it. Simple, sharp and has great scenery. The acting by Zahn and Olyphant is really good. It helps that the characters are strangely likable. For a movie that you know is building to a twist the writer pushes onward with honesty which makes it difficult to explain here. How about; straight laced and not about who the killers are but how is it going to get there.

Milla is in this one, which is welcome. I was surprised with Kiele Sanchez. I like her.

Another note on Steve Zahn: he is going to be in another movie that is right up my alley. "Knights of Badassdom".

Here is the tagline:

Live-action role players conjure up a demon from hell by mistake and must deal with the consequences.

yup.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

EPL Talk; Not to be Mean

But the readers and gamers of your site choose the following teams in the FIFA 11 League:

Manchester City: 8 ppl
Liverpool: 4
Chelsea: 4
Tottingham: 4
Manchester United: 4
The rest of us: 6

Where is the diversity of teams man?! Eight players with Man City?! 1/3 of the league??

It's a game, yeah I know. Most football/soccer die hards are probably not playing. I don't know. It's a little discouraging. As a (new) fan of Premier League soccer I couldn't imagine playing as a bunch of hired guns, even if it means a win as meaningless as a video game online league. When I was in England I found so many passionate fans supporting their local team... Good or bad. I don't know. Maybe I expected more from what I thought this EPL website has. I kinda respected what some of the folks had to say.

I'm a stickler for passionate fans. Soccer I thought was about "z-passion". Not a transparent bunch of Americans posing as "real" Barclay's Anglophiles. But as it turns out it's the same kinda people that go to a Columbus Crew game wearing an Barcelona jersey. Soccer and EPLtalk in America has a ways to go, man. I don't think I'd say this if I didn't notice a lot of the people playing in the league were people posting comments often. Anywho.

Maybe it's just to much of a "my home town team is better then your home team thing". Maybe I need to get on to the bandwagon of just playing with the best players, I mean, "team" and shut up and have some fun.

Maybe I'm tired of loosing to Manchester City. But I thought EPLtalk.com was more then what I'm getting with FIFA 11. But it isn't.

Man, I'm a sore looser.

I liked these

A bunch of billboard promotional posters designed ahead of the Woodard Cruise a couple years ago. GM is selling the "real" ones HERE. Campbell Ewald, Chevy's ad agency does these every year. My favorite official one is still, "Remember when your cup holder sat next to you and wore a poodle skirt?"

My favorite un-official one: "We came up with some pretty cool shit when we could smoke and drink at the office."

True, so true.

I'm posting this on the eve of GM's release of the Chevy Volt. Yeah, a technological achievement. Indeed it is. A mighty feat of engineering. But I just can't help thinking... something's just missing.

Oh yeah. A soul.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Mini: Only Interesting to Me

Watched the Indiana University / Ohio State football game today. OSU dominated the game in just about every phase. Which got me thinking a bit about something which has been sticking in my mind for a while. Player size. In the NFL size seems pretty negligible between teams but in college it seems, just by watching the game, that one team is just... well bigger.

I read somewhere that a high school team up north somewhere just refused to to play a game because of the size discrepancy. So with that I decided to look at starting rosters on OSU and IU. OSU's defense dominated so I looked at their D line verse IU's offensive line.

OSU's line is, on average, 27 pounds heavier and about the same height. Flipped around IU's O line is 15 lbs heavier, yes, but OSU has 2" in height.

I chose to look at lines because it was/is where games are won and lost. Weight alone doesn't necessarily mean strength or skill. Just bothers me sometimes how I hear on TV during games how some of these smaller schools should be considered to be ranked higher. Yeah, there are loads of other considerations that I should take into winning and loosing. Heart being the biggest thing... Coaching right after that.

But man, if your line is 30 lbs a man heavier? You're going to win.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

McCracken Goal

video

Above video has music by Badelt which, yes, is from Pirates of the Caribbean. Goes well with just about anything. As you'll see below. The video below is almost a daily morning devotional for me.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Name This Player

It's almost criminal how much fun I am having with FIFA 11. It's like the create a player thing was made for me. I'm playing a league setup with Helltown pitted against MLS teams. Stats are actually believable. I'm not running the table in every category. I'm around 5th place with Doran my leading scorer after 12 games the only one in the top 20.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Team is Up and On

Better titled as: How I spent all day Sunday. FIFAs online "Creation Zone" is really good. It was easy to create players and a team then pull it on to my XBox. In fact anyone can pull down the Helltown Brewmasters United.

Here is a Smitty goal:

http://www.ea.com/uk/football/videos/ugc/39981180

Full team list is as follows. I can create up to 50 players... and I will.

Name and Position
Daniel Hunter Defender
Geoff Wood Defender
James L Johnson Defender
Jay Smith Defender
Larkin Tysor Defender
Larry Johnson Defender
Ole Moses Defender
Brett Stone Forward
Chris Doran Forward
El Vez Forward
Francis Huntington Forward
Jeff Smith Forward
Mark Ragase Forward
Matt Stevens Forward
Cory Smith GK
Scott Bullard GK
Billy Sasquatch Midfielder
Dustin Kidd Midfielder
Mark McCracken Midfielder
Matt Wood Midfielder
Russell Murphy Midfielder