Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best and Worst of 2013

2013 sucked.

Okay, there were some good things in the year, but overall, it wasn't a great year. It was a bad year for many people.

I'd like to ask what, in your opinion, was the best and the worst of 2013.

Let me offer a couple of things.

Obamacare. And that's one of the best. No, not Obamacare in and of itself. That was way up near the top of the list for the worst. But, the fact that people finally understood what conservatives such as I have been saying all along: Obama and the Democrats are completely incompetent, can't be trusted, and will screw up anything they get near. Obamacare is such a massive fail, that even some of the idiots in my family that voted for that jackass have even come to doubt things. Not completely, since, as I said, some of them are idiots, but it's a start.

Anyway, the reaction to Obamacare is a good thing. It gives me a slim hope that people will understand that Democrats are to be avoided like the plague.

Worst of 2013? Well, on a personal level, it's the split. I haven't spoken much about it, but these things happen. Always puts a crimp in the finances, which is difficult when the economy is good, and really difficult when we're in the 5th year of Obama screwing things up. Oh, well. Stuff happens. It's not the first time I've been through this. Besides, I really don't want to talk about it.

How about you? What, to you, are the best and worst things of 2013?

Monday, December 30, 2013

So, what did you get for Christmas?

It's been a few days. You've had time to recover. Somewhat.

Now that the mess is all cleaned up ... or at least pushed aside so it's not completely in the way ... let's share our Christmases. I want to know what you got for Christmas.

I'll start.

I got time with the children, and with my grandson.

My son and his wife live in Brunswick, in coastal Georgia, about 20 minutes from his mother (X1). He worked every day but Sunday and Christmas, and I managed to spend some time with him, but not a lot. They were doing the thing where you spend one evening with one branch of family, another with a different branch, and so on.

My daughter, her husband, and son live near Boston, where my son-in-law is now attending business school. He's a former Army officer. They are spending the holidays (Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, New Year's Day, St. Basil's Day, the Epiphany, and whatever else is going on) in southeast Georgia. I drove over last week and spent several days there. I haven't had the opportunity to spend much time with my youngest grandson. He was born in Germany last year when his father was stationed there. I had the chance to visit when he was only a couple of weeks old. I saw him in July at my birthday when they moved back stateside. They've been in the Boston area since then, and this was the first face-to-face visit since the summer.

He was a little wary, and always clung to "Mama" and "Dada" when I approached. It wasn't just me. He did his grandmother (X1) the same way sometimes, too. After a couple of days, though, he didn't mind me holding him. And, the day after Christmas, when his mother and father wanted to go to the movies, he and his Papa got to spend some time together. We took turns pushing his stroller, walked around the mall for a while, shared a sandwich, and played Talking Tom on the iPhone. He likes it when Tom screams after you punch him in the foot.

After taking him back to his Granny's house, we played for a little longer. When it got to be late, I said my goodbyes ... he told his parents and grandmother "bye bye" and walked to the door with me. That was heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. The next day, his other grandparents were driving down to St. Simons, and they certainly deserve to spend time with him without my gumming up the works. So, that concluded the Glynn County portion of the trip.

Afterwards, I thought back on the time I got to spend with him, with the children, and with the rest of the family. I smiled, but then uttered the words that are often happy words, but on that day, seemed so sad: "Siri, drive home."

I had a good Christmas.

Now, tell me about yours.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Classic Doctor Who Season One

I mentioned a this past week that I was watching the classic Doctor Who episodes. Harvey asked me to let him know if I found any redeeming qualities in them. After watching Season One, I'll give my impressions and perhaps answer his question.

I mentioned that I was only able to watch some episodes, since not all are available.

Turns out there are more of those than I thought. Hulu carries many episodes from the first season, but some episodes are missing from their lineup. Some, Hulu just doesn't carry (not sure why, but there's probably a good reason). Some simply no longer exist, after the tapes were destroyed. But, it seems, the Doctor Who world (that is, the shows legions of fans, not Gallifrey) won't let a silly thing like episodes not existing stop them.

Here's the deal. While Hulu carries 23 episodes from Season One, a total of 42 were made. Of those remaining 19 episodes, 10 exist, and 9 are lost/destroyed. But, I've watched them all. Kind of.

Turns out that DailyMotion has a lot of episodes available, including those missing-from-Hulu ten from Season One, plus two others that were reanimated by the BBC; those look like some of the Japanese cartoons you'll see on Adult Swim. That left seven missing episodes. Some fans have obtained the audio (the videos were destroyed, but audio tracks still exist) and made movies using stills from the missing episodes.

All that means I've now watched all 42 episodes from Season One.

To answer Harvey's question, I'm not sure if there are redeeming qualities. But, I find the show oddly appealing. It's a little silly at times, cheaply made like most TV from that era, particularly British shows. Some shows are played for laughs, others try to be serious.

One of the criticisms I read of The Reign of Terror series was that it expected the viewer to know some actual history about the French Revolution. And any show that treats the audience as if they're at least half-way intelligent can't be all bad.

In the first season, I learned why the TARDIS always looks like a Police Call box (the thingy that makes it change appearances to blend in with its surrounding broke after it landed in 1963 London), saw the Doctor's first encounter with the Daleks (I still they they look silly, with the plumber's helper coming out the front), heard him give a full name for himself ("John Smith," but he wasn't serious), and learned that the Aztecs spoke with British accents.

Redeeming qualities? Other than expecting the audience to have a little bit of sense, there's not much. But that, in and of itself, is head and shoulders above just about everything you see on TV today.

I'll watch at least another season of cheesy episodes. But, unless you really want to hear about it, I'll keep the reviews to myself.

For now, excuse me. I have a TARDIS to catch.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Christmas, 2013

The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2
  1. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David
  2. To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
  3. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
  4. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
  5. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
  6. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
  7. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
  8. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
  9. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
  10. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
  11. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

All the Whos down in Whoville

It's that time of year. I'm never ready for it, but then, one day, it's suddenly upon me.

Yes, it's the NothingNewToBingeOnTheTV-time.

Quick background note: I went cable-free around three years ago. Wanted to do it because I thought it'd be cool. Wouldn't do it until it was cost-effective. I can use Hulu Plus, along with Amazon Prime, Amazon Instant Video (the stuff that's not included with Prime), and iTunes to watch all the TV I care to watch. (Not completely true, but the cost savings made it easier to give some shows up.)

Watching TV via the Internet is great for me. I watch everything on demand, and, if I want to catch up on a show I haven't seen, I can binge-watch. Kinda like what Frank J. did with Breaking Bad recently.

And, this year like every year, in December, I am caught up on previous seasons of current shows. Still some current shows airing, of course, which I can watch on Hulu Plus or buy a la carte from Amazon or iTunes. But, previous seasons of New-To-Me shows? I'm caught up.

So, that's when I start looking for older shows. Shows that are no longer on the air, but I never watched, but I heard are good shows. That's how I watched Battlestar Galactica (the 2005 version). I was all caught up on everything else, and said "Hey, what the heck." And, I liked it. Got weird at the end. Jimi Hendrix weird. Overall, though, I liked it.

Well, it's that time of year again. And, I've been hearing how great Doctor Who is. So, maybe I'll watch that, I thought.

Just kidding. I had no desire to watch Doctor Who.

I remember Doctor Who from way back. Used to catch an occasional episode starring Tom Baker on PBS many years ago. I thought the whole thing was silly. Not Monty Python silly. Just silly.

But, I kept hearing about how great Doctor Who (the current version) was. So, I looked into it. And, I found out it wasn't really a reboot, but a revival. They kept the original timeline in place, and began the 2005 series with the Ninth Doctor.

Mmmkay. Maybe this won't be the JJ Adams-ing of Doctor Who. Maybe I would watch it.

But here's the thing about me. I'm the kinda guy that will watch something from the start. I won't watch a Part 2 without having watched Part 1. A few years ago, I decided to watch all the Academy Award® Best Picture films (along with other movies considered the "best"). I got to the two Lord of the Rings movies. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won Best Picture. Now, I could just watch that and meet my goal. But that's the slacker way of doing things. No, I had to watch the first two movies in the trilogy first. And I hated each and every minute of it. Yes, I know, a lot of people -- good people -- love those movies. But not me.

What's that got to do with Doctor Who? Well, there were 26 seasons before the Ninth Doctor. 26 seasons. That's, like, more than a dozen. Almost two dozen. And, 20-30 episodes per season. Sometimes more.

So, to watch it? Or not?

I still thought the whole thing about the TARDIS looking like a Police Call box was kinda silly. But, then I found that Hulu was carrying many of the old classic episodes. Including many, many more than you can find on Netflix or Amazon. So, I started watching the episodes. And, lo! and behold! There in the first serial (4-episode "An Unearthly Child"), I get the answer to why the TARDIS looks like a Police Call Box. Kind of an obvious answer, but one that I never picked up on before.

Now that the TARDIS appearance issue is resolved, there's no reason to not watch them all. All 26 seasons. At least, of the episodes that are available. That's still a lot.

And, it's perfect timing, too. I've met the First Doctor, his granddaughter Susan, and the two school teachers The Doctor kidnapped. And, I'm expecting to meet his other relatives, including Cindy Lou Who, who's not more than two, in the upcoming shows.

I hope I'm not disappointed.

Monday, December 23, 2013

It's only Rock N Roll...

While traveling this weekend, I was flipping around the radio, and ran across SiriusXM 26, which is normally classic rock from the '60s and '70s, but was dedicated to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame this weekend.

I had heard there was question in some minds about a few of this year's inductees, but I didn't bother with it. Seriously, what does it matter?

Until I was alone in a car for over five hours listening to some radio station telling me why these people deserved to be in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. Now, it is my mission in life to see that place razed, paved over, and an Indian casino put up in its place.

I do not claim to be an expert in rock music. Yes, I was a radio DJ in the 1970s, but that speaks more about my age than anything else. And it's that age thing that sorta matters. I was around then. I'm not being told what music was like and what the world was like. I was there.

When you look at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame bio of Cat Stevens, it speaks of his bravery in converting to Islam. So, I guess they'll be inducting Muhammed Ali soon? Born as Steven Demetre Georgiou, Cat Stevens did have some hits in the '70s, but I wouldn't call "Oh, Very Young," "Morning Has Broken," or "Peace Train" rock anthems. Hippie music, sure, but that doesn't mean it's rock n roll.

And, sure, it wasn't a popular thing for a Roman Catholic-raised child of a Greek Orthodox and a Baptist (or anyone, for that matter) to convert to Islam around the time the Ayatollah Khomeini was putting together his return to Iran, Cat Stevens did that, taking the name Yusef Islam (which translates to Joe Moslem). But what's that got to do with the music? It didn't suddenly make "Moon Shadow" a rock song.

And Peter Gabriel? Seriously? Even the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame had a harder time coming up with a bio for him. So, they talked about other stuff:
The epic song “Biko” directly inspired the Artists Against Apartheid movement as he spearheaded the Amnesty International A Conspiracy Of Hope and Human Rights Now tours.

See. They shoulda just chucked Nelson Mandela in a hole in the ground and spent the entire ceremony playing Peter Gabriel songs.

Now, I will grant that his music is more rock that Joe Moslem's, but putting him in the Hall of Fame? That's like putting Mario Mendoza in baseball's Hall of Fame. The real one, not the one in Mexico.

And, speaking of Mexico, it seems that her album of Mexican music was enough to grant Linda Ronstadt admission to the Hall of Fame.

I remember playing a lot of her hit singles in the 1970s. That list includes...
"You're No Good"
"When Will I Be Loved"
"Heat Wave"
"The Tracks of My Tears"
"That'll Be the Day"
"It's So Easy"
"Poor Poor Pitiful Me"
"Tumblin' Dice"
"Back in the U.S.A."
"Ooh Baby Baby"
"Just One Look"

All cover versions of songs made famous by others. Which means that the band playing down at the Holiday Inn has a chance for induction next year.

I think I've calmed down now. I'll worry about more important things now.

Until I get back in the car to head home, and turn on the radio. Then I'll be ticked off again.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Kill switch

Some California lawmaker named Mark Leno says he's going to introduce a bill to require a "kill switch" on smartphones.

That means it will be possible for a user to turn shut down his cell phone if it's stolen.

Apparently it's too darn hard to contact AT&T or Verizon or whoever and have the carrier do that.

And, the "kill switch" capability that's already in an iPhone is too darn hard. Same for the "kill switch" capability of newer versions of the Android operating system.

No, you can't have companies like Apple and Google coming up with solutions that work for their customers. No, that's totally unacceptable. You have to have some silly Democrat write a law that tells companies how to do stuff.

I mean, it's worked so well for healthcare, right?

Here's what I want: a "kill switch" for stupid legislation. That's technology we could use.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Name that school

There's a school in Jacksonville that is going to get a new name.

Nathan B. Forrest High School (Go Rebels!) won't be Nathan B. Forrest High School much longer. The reason? Somebody didn't like who Nathan B. Forrest was.

So, who was Nathan B. Forrest? Other than Forrest Gump's ancestor? Well, he was a slave trader before the War Between the States, a Confederate general in the War, and a member of the first incarnation of the Ku Klux Klan after the war.

You may wonder how Nathan B. Forrest High School came by that name, particularly when over half the students are black. Well, neither they nor their parents were consulted in the naming, that's for sure. Most of the students at Nathan B. Forrest High School come from either J.E.B. Stuart Middle School (Home of the Raiders) or Jefferson Davis Middle School (Home of the Chargers). So, I assume you're seeing a pattern here.

Anyway, Nathan B. Forrest High School won't be Nathan B. Forrest High School much longer. The Duval County School Board voted to change the name. But they don't know what to. As soon as they come up with a name, they'll spend around $400,000 to change signs, stationery, uniforms, and such.

And here's where we can help.

Let's come up with a name for Nathan B. Forrest High School. Other than Nathan B. Forrest High School. Leave them in the comments. Whatever you do, don't call the school board directly. Leave the suggestions here, so the school board can get some really great ideas.

I'll start.
  • Generic High School
  • John Doe High School
  • He Who Shall Not Be Named High School
  • Cthulhu High School
  • James T. Kirk High School
  • John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt High School
  • Frank J. Fleming High School
  • Inigo Montoya High School
  • Heywood Jablome High School
  • Pussy Galore High School
  • Plenty O'Toole High School
  • Bond, James Bond High School
  • Jack Goff High School
  • Buster Cherry High School
  • Mike Hunt High School
  • Sofonda Peters High School
  • Oliver Klozoff High School
  • Jacques Strap High School
  • Seymour Butz High School
  • Hugh Jass High School
  • Amanda Hugginkiss High School
  • Blast HardCheese High School
  • Dirk HardPec High School
  • Smoke ManMuscle High School
  • Bob Johnson High School
Not sure if those will work. What ideas have you on the matter?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

How did this happen?

It's not fresh news, but it's still shocking and surprising to me.

In Johannesburg last week, there the fake stood, on TV for the whole world to see. It was the funeral of Nelson Mandela, and one by one, dignitaries came to the podium and spoke. But it soon became apparent that something was wrong.

The picture above shows the problem. There is the fake, standing there for the cameras. He knew he was begin watched. He must have known that people would eventually realize that he wasn't capable of doing the job he was picked to do. He had no qualifications, and, based on statements that have come to light, is a serial liar.

Today, people realize he's a fake, and has even been the subject of derision on Saturday Night Live recently.

But, even after everything I've read and heard, I still don't understand how it came to happen. How, oh how, did Barack Obama ever get elected?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Whitey Christmas

The big hoopla right now is ... no, not the president's lie about keeping your insurance. No, not the NSA unconstitutionally monitoring your phone calls. It is, of course, the controversy over Santa Claus being white.

Now, here's the thing: he is.

Or was. I mean, dead Greeks are white, right? Like 3rd century dead Greeks. Most Greeks today, and for centuries, have skin that's a little darker than mine, but lighter than some other people. Now, there are Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Negroid, and Australoid races. Early classifications included Australoid as Negroid, but that's no longer the case.

Anyway, Greeks? Caucasoid. White people, anthropologically speaking. Which means, Saint Nicholas of Myra was white.

Maybe that's not the Santa Claus you were thinking of. Sinterklaas, perhaps? Well, Sparky, that's the same dude. That's St. Nicholas in the Netherlands and places like that. And he's really white.

Now, there are other traditions that got all mixed in together. A little bit of Odin (white), some German (white) traditions, English (white) traditions, and so forth. Bunch of white folks all mixed together make up Santa Claus.

So, yeah, Santa's white.

But, does that mean he's only for white folks? That's just plain silly.

Now, if Santa's being white pisses you off, that's your problem. If you want to work Santa into your Christmas celebration, that's fine. And, if you're not yourself white, and want to dress up like Santa, go ahead. There's nothing wrong with that.

If you are, say, black, and you want to dress up as Santa, go ahead and do that. But, don't put white makeup on. It's rude for some white person to wear black makeup, and it's rude for a black person to wear white makeup. Unless it's for playing Ronald McDonald.

Heck, if you're a woman and want to dress up like Santa, that's fine too. Hell, dress your dogs and cats up like Santa. It's all good.

It's Christmas. Enjoy the season. If you want to get all worked up over black and white stuff, you can do that the rest of the year. Or, just become a Democrat. Then, you get to be all black-white divisive all year long.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Remember when men used to play sports?

Major League Baseball plans to change the rules so that catchers won't be able to block the plate, and runners can't target the catcher.

You know the deal. Runner on the base path heads for home. Outfielder throws to the plate. Catcher stands just down the third base line to grab the throw and tag the runner out. Collision at the plate.

That's baseball.

Remember this?

July 14, 1970. Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati. The All-Star game. The National League had tied the game at 4 with a three-run bottom of the ninth. Now, it's the 12th inning. The Angels' Clyde Wright is pitching in relief. He had thrown a no-hitter a week-and-a-half earlier and was in the middle of a 20+ win season. He got the first two batters, then the Reds' Pete Rose and the Dodgers' Billy Grabarkewitz hit back-to-back singles, putting runners on first and second. The Cubs' Jim Hickman then singled to center, and the Royals' Amos Otis fired the ball to the Indians' Ray Fosse who was behind the plate. The ball was just to the third-base side of the plate, and Fosse was in position to take the throw. Rose hit Fosse, who wasn't able to field the ball, and scored the winning run.

Those that were watching the game on TV that night -- me included -- will never forget it. That was a classic baseball moment.

Fosse was hurt on the play, but continued his career until 1979 when a different injury ended his career. He made it back to the All-Star game the next season, and won two World Series rings with the A's in '73 and '74.

Rose was later banned from baseball for gambling.

But that was in the 1970s when players played that way. 1980s too. That's when men -- hard playing men, real men -- played baseball.

Today, we have a commissioner who thought a tie All-Star game was a good idea, because it was late and people were tired. They had played 11 innings, after all.

No, it was no longer the 1970s when a 12th inning collision at the plate was how an All-Star game ended.

And now, the ladies that run Major League Baseball will make sure that never happens again.

I'm thinking they'll start pitching underhand soon. And ban spikes on shoes. High heels will be okay.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cell phones on planes

Somehow, I either missed that the FCC was looking to allow cell phones on planes, or I blocked it out of my mind.

The biggest problem I see is that I won't be able to grab it from Chatty Charlie and toss it out the window. It's the window part that's the problem. They don't usually let you roll the window down on planes.

So, if I end up on a plane, and some jackass breaks out his Galaxy S 4 and starts holding a conference call, what are my options? Break out my phone and start with the Candy Crush?

Maybe I'll start up a conversation with him.
Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey. That a phone? What kinda phone is that? Hey. Hey hey hey hey. Lemme see your phone. You get the Facebook on that? Hey. Hey hey. Galaxy S 4, huh? iPhone make those? Hey.
That might work, but I'm not sure what's the best approach. So, I decided to consult the experts on pissing off obnoxious people. That's you. The experts, I mean.

If they start allowing cell phone calls on flights, how would be the best way to handle some clown on a loud call?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A job for Obama

After January 20, 2017 -- a date which can't come soon enough -- Barack Obama will be in a position he's placed millions of Americans in: he'll be out of a job.

But, he has his eyes set on a new job already: he wants to host SportsCenter.

Now, some people laughed when they heard that. But consider: he has the qualifications.

For instance, I bet you thought the NBA team in Miami was the Miami Heat. Not so. Obama knows what no other person on this planet knows: it's the Miami Heats.

His bowling prowess is legendary. Not only did he bowl a 37 when he was running for president, after he took office, he compared his bowling skills to Special Olympics. That's the kind of skill and commentary that's missing from sports today.

Of course, he would bring a unique perspective to our nation's pastime. Not just the mom jeans, or his little sister pitching style, but his unique knowledge of Chicago's Kaminsky Field, which most residents of the Windy City don't even know exists.

Some of you say he has no qualifications to host SportsCenter. But, lack of qualifications didn't keep him out of the White House, did it?

What do you think? Is SportsCenter host a good fit for Obama? Or is there a better job out there for him?

College Football Playoffs 2013

Next year, the NCAA begins a 4-team playoff for the college football national championship.

This is in addition to the three other college football national championships the NCAA already has: Division 1 FCS (1-AA) on January 4, 2014 in Frisco, Texas; Division II on December 21, 2013, in Florence, Alabama; and Division III (the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl) on December 20, 2013, in Salem, Virginia.

Division 1 FBS (Division 1-A), finally gets a playoff of sorts next year. This year, it's still the BCS. And, as always, it's true that you can't spell BCS without BS. I don't know what to say about next year's "playoff" other than it's a half-ass attempt to get it right.

Here's what's right, and what I've been proposing for years: A 16-team playoff, consisting of a field of the 10 conference champions, with the highest-ranked non-conference champions completing the field.

The questions are how to pick the "wild card" teams, and how to seed the teams. Minor details. But, the major details are the 16-team field with the conference champs.

Now, how to pick the "wild card" teams? I'm gonna use the Coaches Poll. Or the BCS standings. They are close, but not quite the same, both in teams and in ranking.

First, the easy part: Here are the conference champs, who get an automatic bid:
Conference Champion Record Coaches Poll
Atlantic Coast Conference Florida State 13-0 1
Southeastern Conference Auburn 12-1 2
Big Ten Conference Michigan State 12-1 4
Big 12 Conference Baylor 11-1 5
Pacific-12 Conference Stanford 11-2 7
American Athletic Conference Central Florida 11-1 15
Mountain West Conference Fresno State 11-1 20
Conference USA Rice 10-3 31
Mid-American Conference Bowling Green 10-3 32
Sun Belt Conference Louisiana-Lafayette 8-4 NR

Now, we add the "wild card" teams.
Conference Team Record Coaches Poll
Southeastern Conference Alabama 11-1 3
Big Ten Conference Ohio State 12-1 6
Southeastern Conference South Carolina 10-2 8
Southeastern Conference Missouri 11-2 9
Big 12 Conference Oklahoma 10-2 10
Atlantic Coast Conference Clemson 10-2 11

I'd seed them by Coaches Poll, champions first -- kinda like the NFL does -- and match the teams up with Number 1 hosting Number 16, Number 2 hosting Number 15, and so on. And, I'd let the teams that lost in the first round still go to a bowl. The first-round losers will either be a conference champion, or a top 15 team. Most bowls would jump at either.

Here's the seeding:
Team Qualification Record Coaches Poll
Florida State Atlantic Coast Conference (Champion) 13-0 1
Auburn Southeastern Conference (Champion) 12-1 2
Michigan State Big Ten Conference (Champion) 12-1 4
Baylor Big 12 Conference (Champion) 11-1 5
Stanford Pacific-12 Conference (Champion) 11-2 7
Central Florida American Athletic Conference (Champion) 11-1 15
Fresno State Mountain West Conference (Champion) 11-1 20
Rice Conference USA (Champion) 10-3 31
Bowling Green Mid-American Conference (Champion) 10-3 32
Louisiana-Lafayette Sun Belt Conference (Champion) 8-4 NR
Alabama Southeastern Conference (Wild Card) 11-1 3
Ohio State Big Ten Conference (Wild Card) 12-1 6
South Carolina Southeastern Conference (Wild Card) 10-2 8
Missouri Southeastern Conference (Wild Card) 11-2 9
Oklahoma Big 12 Conference (Wild Card) 10-2 10
Clemson Atlantic Coast Conference (Wild Card) 10-2 11

And, here are the first round games:
  • Clemson at Florida State
  • Oklahoma at Auburn
  • Missouri at Michigan State
  • South Carolina at Baylor
  • Ohio State at Stanford
  • Alabama at Central Florida
  • Louisiana-Lafayette at Fresno State
  • Bowling Green at Rice
Some really good match ups in the first round, and some really lame ones, under my seeding. But, seeding is a minor detail.

Put a 16-team playoff like this in place, and, whoever is left standing at the end, whether it's an eighth-straight SEC team, a team from the Sun Belt, or one of the other quality teams on this list, and you'll have a true national champion.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Baby It's Khan Outside

It’s the Christmas season. And, of course, what would Christmas be without ... a Star Trek reference?

The song Baby, It's Cold Outside first appeared in the MGM feature Neptune's Daughter in 1949. It starred Esther Williams, Red Skelton, and ... Ricardo Montalbán.

[The YouTube]


Friday, December 6, 2013

To the moon!

It's been over 40 years, but I found out yesterday that a life-long dream is coming true. I'm going to the moon.

Naturally, since it's part of the government bureaucracy, I had to find out from a third party. NASA hasn't even contacted me yet, in fact. But, the news leaked out. I'm expecting a call from then any moment.

Frank J. was kind enough to put off nuking the moon for a couple of weeks. He didn't promise anything beyond that, but I think it's a reasonable compromise.

Anyway, I'm off to the moon. I guess I need to pack. I'm not sure what to take. I might want to take some snacks. Something to drink; Tang maybe. My iPad. Probably won't take any cash. I don't think I'll need it there. Besides, the moon takes VISA.

What else should I take?

I mean, if you found out you were going to the moon, what would you take?

Oh, and is there anything I can bring back for you?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


So, what's the Word of the Year?

Depends on who you ask. Is it "selfie," "tweaking," or some other silly word?

Well, if you ask Merriam-Webster -- I think she used to appear on Happy Days -- it's "Science!"


How did they pick that word?
This year's list was compiled by analyzing the top lookups in the online dictionary at Merriam-Webster.com and focusing on the words that showed the greatest increase in lookups this year as compared to last year. The results, based on approximately 100 million lookups a month, show that the words that prompted the most increased interest in 2013 were not new words or words used in headlines, but rather they were the words behind the stories in this year's news.
So, "knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation" is what people wanted to know.

That had to be a shock to the people that thought that "science" meant "Al Gore said it."

Other words on the list?
  • "Cognitive," which, I think, is a wine.
  • "Rapport," which is someone who wears his pants around his knees.
  • "Niche," who said "Out of chaos comes order."
  • "Metaphor." What's a metaphor? To keep cows in.
There are more. You should learn these words. Because words are good things. We use words every day. In fact, this whole things I'm writing uses words. And no words were harmed in the creation of this blog post.

Well, not permanently harmed.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Microsoft Bra

Heard about the Microsoft Bra?


Mary Czerwinski is a Research Manager of the Visualization and Interaction (VIBE) Research Group at Microsoft, according to her Web page at Microsoft. She's working on a bra that has sensors that will be able to determine if the wearer is encountering stress. And, since stress often leads to over-eating, the Microsoft Bra is a diet aid.

And, apparently, it works:
The stress-busting bra was recently tested by a small group of volunteers who were able to get feedback on their moods. Microsoft built the sensor pads with a microprocessor powered by a 3.7-volt battery. It was able to sample up to eight bio-signal channels simultaneously, according to Czerwinski’s research paper...
Now, I'm uncertain how I feel about this.

Microsoft's Xbox is a good device. Let me clarify: I like the Xbox 360; I've never used an Xbox One. I've used a Microsoft Mouse, and liked it. Microsoft Office works pretty well, once I get used to where things are every release when they move everything around. But, I don't like Windows. Well, Windows 7 (which is actually Windows 6.1) works okay. XP worked alright. But Vista stunk up the joint. And, while I've not spent the money to get my hands on Windows 8 or 8.1, those I know that have, hate it on a desktop computer or a full-size laptop.

So, some stuff Microsoft gets its hands on works well, and some doesn't.

Let me ask you, ladies. Do you want Microsoft to get its hands on your bra? So to speak.

What do you think about the whole thing? Good idea?

Monday, December 2, 2013


There's a news report that some fast food workers in 100 cities are planning a strike.

Isn't that just special?

They want to get paid $15/hour to flip burgers or ask if you want fries with that.

Now, don't misunderstand me. There's nothing wrong with flipping burgers or asking if you want fries with that. But if that's your idea of a dream job, then you're a slacker and a drain on society. Running a McDonald's or a Wendy's? That's great. Owning one? Better. Flipping burgers? Not so much. That's an entry-level job, not a $15/hour job. And, if you think it is, you're part of the problem.

You know what, though? I think that a one-day strike won't get the job done. You see, if you don't show up for work without calling in sick, it's perfectly fine for the company to fire you. Then, not only do you not have to go to work on Thursday, you don't have to go in Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or any other day that ends in "y."

And December is the perfect time to pull a stunt that'll get you canned. Winter's here, it's cold. You got to heat the house. You might even want to get the kids a Christmas present.

But, tell you what. Why don't you just not show up on Thursday and tell the kids that it's all Bush's fault or Wall Street's fault. It's not the fault of the Democrats that have extended what would have been a year, year-and-a-half slowdown into a five-year economic disaster with no end in sight.

Go ahead and strike. There's plenty of unemployed that would love to take your job. Until they move up to a better job. Then, maybe you'll get your old job back. But not at $15/hour.