Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mike Vick "should be executed" according to Fox News' Tucker Carlson

Yes, really, he said that.

"I'm a Christian, I've made mistakes myself, I believe fervently in second chances," Carlson said on the show. "But Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did [it] in a heartless and cruel way. And I think, personally, he should've been executed for that. He wasn't, but the idea that the President of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs?"
I will never condone what Vick did, but he served his time, and by all appearances, he seems to have himself on a pretty good path in his life right now.  This is not to say he couldn't screw up again, but his comeback has been remarkable so far.

This was all said in response to a story that President Obama spoke with the Eagles' owner and praised him and his organization for giving a convicted felon who has rehabilitated himself a second chance to be a productive member of society.

So, a couple of points here.  First Carlson is way out of line for that comment.  By that definition, the line to the gas chambers would be a very long one indeed.  I've often said that Vick would have gotten a fairer shake by society if he had killed a person instead of a dog.  This would be a prime example of that.  But then, he is on Fox News, so fair and balanced is only a slogan.

Second, there is a lot of talk of why Obama would make that call.  Well, he didn't call to talk about Vick, he called to talk about the Eagles' plans to make Lincoln Financial Field self sustainable energy-wise with their new 'green' initiatives.  The conversation turned to Vick after that, so the assumption that this was a call to solely praise Vick is wrong.  But, so what?  Vick is being made an example of in so many ways, why not make him a good example of someone who has committed a despicable crime and has rehabilitated himself.  Let's not use the reverse-celebrity bias here to belittle his rehab just because he plays football.  Shouldn't anyone who has excellent skills at a particular profession get a second chance?  Assuming of course that profession is not directly linked to the crime.  Having a convicted child molester going back to work for a daycare is not appropriate.  I would not expect Vick to open a kennel or animal hospital anytime soon either.

Let's not forget that Vick also owes creditors millions of dollars.  Those creditors would not have had a chance of getting any of that money back if Vick was not allowed to play football but instead had to bag groceries.

If we, as a society, are going to send people to prison for all sorts of crimes in the name of rehabilitating some of those people for when they are released, then why is Vick not getting credit for demonstrating that, in his case, the system worked?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Can't We All Just Get Along?

Oy vey!  Here comes the civility issue again. 

Over on ScienceBlogs, a new blog has started recently called Dean's Corner.  Written by a Jeff Toney, a Dean of a college at Kean University.  His most recent blog post was questioning the civility (and tone) of some of the ScienceBlogs bloggers and asking them to consider other words to use instead of "stupid" or "dumbass" when referring to someone who may not agree with their opinion.  Yes, yes, calling people names is an ad hominem argument.  There is a whole slew of atheist/agnostic religious apologists who implore the "Gnu Atheists" to be more civil so we can all just get along.  The commenters kindly warned him to put on his asbestos underwear for the inevitable response.

Another recent addition to ScienceBlogs (I think he's been around for a year or so, but not very active) is Evolution for Everyone.  His recent blog post is entitled, "What's Fair in Games, Sports, and Science" talks about how in Chess, once the king is taken, the game is over.  In sports, once the final buzzer has sounded, the game is over.  There is a clear winner and a clear loser.  In Science, the king has fallen on Creationists many times over.  The final buzzer has sounded on all their tired old arguments again and again.  Game over.  Yet, the keep coming back for more, such as Josh Brecheen of the Oklahoma legislature that makes no bones about wanting to bring Creationism into the science classroom as an equal to the teaching of evolution.  Sorry.  Game over.  Take your ball and go home.

It is increasingly difficult to remain civil when your opposition are zombies.  Dead arguments raised again and again to waste more and more taxpayer dollars in lawsuits that have already been tried.  Game over.  Dover vs. Kitzmiller took care of that for us 5 years ago with several others before that.  The Discovery Institute, a creationist think tank, has been promoting the idea of Intelligent Design for many years.   Intelligent Design theory is nothing more than Creationism with the word "God" removed from the argument so it doesn't sound so religious.  They argue, and will continue to argue, that Intelligent Design is a sound scientific theory to challenge evolution.   In order to be considered a valid scientific theory, once must put forth some hypotheses that are testable.  They must test them, and report on them through the process known as peer reviewed research.  There is not one single testable hypothesis that has yet emerged from Intelligent Design.  Their only method of attacking evolution is to attack science itself.  Again, with zombie like arguments that have been dismissed through scientific rigor again and again.  Take your ball and go home.

But they don't.  I'm relegated to using a quote from Road House
"If somebody gets in your face and calls you a cocksucker, I want you to be nice. Ask him to walk. Be nice. If he won't walk, walk him. But be nice. If you can't walk him, one of the others will help you, and you'll both be nice. I want you to remember that it's a job. It's nothing personal...I want you to be nice until it's time to not be nice."~ Dalton
We are way past the time to be nice.

Now, you would think that all the Jesus loving Christians out there would be nice.  Not so much.

Dawkins, you and your atheist friends cannot win. America WILL become a Christian Republic even if we have to write a whole new constitution. Millions of us are dedicated to this righteous cause. We will suceed. And then we will invade godless countries like "Great" Britain and kill all of your heathens. First we need to take care of things at home and in the Middle East but we will get around to Europe. You Godless freaks will die but then you will roast in hell for infinite time. Goodbye you loser.
I hope you die slowly and you fucking burn in hell! You dammed
blasfemy!!! Right now you are rotting on the inside... But you must
now (sic) that there is indeed a God! A great god! And he will forgive you if you regret from your fucking behavior. And you should realise thatyour entire life has been a delusion...and that right now your destiny is all fucked up! Fucking atheist!!!!!!!!!!!
haha, you fucking dumbass, I hope you get hit by a Church van tonight and you die slowly
Those are real letters sent to Richard Dawkins.  Christians are so nice and civil aren't they?

PZ Myers will often post emails on his blog with a thoughtful running commentary on them such as this one.

So tone and civility is an issue on both sides.  Human nature will dictate that we will get upset if continuously pushed.  At what point are we allowed to push back?  I can assure you that every single one of the tired creationist arguments has been and will continue to be shot down time and time again with lucid, reasoned, and civil responses.  They just aren't listening anymore.  So some will continue down the civil path and other will advocate a more in your face approach.  Which one ultimately prevails?  I don't think we will know in my lifetime, but the civil method has been tried with little success since the publishing of Darwin's Origin of the Species.  Maybe a change in tactic is needed.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

St. Joseph's Stripped of their Catholic Affiliation

This is good news.

I think PZ Myers sums it up pretty well also.

So, the hospital can do Mass.  Big Deal.  Is that ALL they hospital was getting out of the deal?  Good for them for standing up for basic human decency and sticking a middle finger up at he Diocese.

Let's hope they don't cave in to the murderous principles of the Diocese in the future.

The hospital's statement is here.
“Consistent with our values of dignity and justice, if we are presented with a situation in which a pregnancy threatens a woman’s life, our first priority is to save both patients. If that is not possible we will always save the life we can save, and that is what we did in this case,” said Hunt. “We continue to stand by the decision, which was made in collaboration with the patient, her family, her caregivers, and our Ethics Committee. Morally, ethically, and legally we simply cannot stand by and let someone die whose life we might be able to save.”

Here is the written statement from the Diocese.

Here is a list of some of the dispicable things the statement says the hospital has done.

  • Contraceptive counseling, medications, supplies and associated medical and laboratory examinations, including, but not limited to, oral and injectable contraceptives, intrauterine devices, diaphragms, condoms, foams and suppositories;
  • Voluntary sterilization (male and female); and
  • Abortions due to the mental or physical health of the mother or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Creationist Interpretation: Catholic Priests are not Human

A crazy Young Earth Creationist by the name of Brock Lee has an interesting interpretation of the definition of species.

By biology's own definition of the word species, according to Mr. Lee, a species is an interbreeding population.  He expands on this point by saying that if you are a virgin, or a child, then you are not human because you are not yet breeding.  He states that, according to evolutionary thinking about species, it is OK to sacrifice a child or a virgin because they aren't really human and killing a non-human wouldn't be illegal.  Such is the warped mental gymnastics of a YEC.

He uses this as an excuse as to why kids are wanting to have sex at a young age, because us evilutionists have convinced them that they are not human until they start breeding.  So, does there have to be spawn, or just an attempt at breeding?  This warped theory would also apply to homosexuals as well, or so I would assume.

So, by expanding on Mr. Lee's own (ahem) logic, every Catholic priest should also be non-human.  Maybe that is why they are molesting all those children.  It is their own perverse way of thinking they will become human themselves.

Oh, the stupid is strong with this one.

Of Equinoxes, Solstices, and Seasons

My none to pleasurable journey through Utah in snow storms over the weekends that book end Thanksgiving got me thinking about the seasons.  That, and a few random Facebook comments from friends about my mis-adventures.

There are four dates on our calendar that represent the change in seasons.  These days have names.  For the first day of spring, it is called the Vernal Equinox and is supposed to represent the day when there is an equal amount of daylight and night, at least at the equator.  For those of us with a Northern Hemisphere bias, this day is March 21st.  For fall, it is called the Autumnal Equinox, and occurs on September 21st.  The other two days are solstices, which represent the minimum (winter) and maximum (summer) day of sunlight.  For summer, this is June 21st, and for Winter, this is December 21st.

So, my question to myself was, why are these days the actual start of the season?  Wouldn't it make sense if these days were the midpoint of the season?  Wouldn't it make more sense for the Summer Solstice, being the longest day of the year, be the midpoint of summer?  It does to me.  This seems to make a lot of sense in winter as well.  The weather conditions in Utah can only be described as wintery.  In fact, they had Winter Storm Warnings!  Wouldn't it make more sense for winter to begin 1 1/2 months before December 21st?

Just think, we'd be halfway through winter right now.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bishop Thomas Olmstead is a Douche

Just when you think Catholic leadership couldn't be more disgusting...

St. Joseph's Hospital here in Phoenix, may lose its Catholic status.  This all stems from an incident that occurred last year when surgeons, with the permission of Sister Margaret McBride, a hospital VP, approved a procedure that effectively aborted an 11-week old fetus so that the women, a mother of four, could survive a rare condition of pulmonary hypertension.  The physicians determined that the placenta had to be removed to keep the woman from dying.

The Asshole Bishop was none to happy about this and within days of the procedure, excommunicated Sister McBride.  That is not the end of the story, the Bishop is now threatening the hospital and its parent company, Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), of losing their Catholic status if they don't meet his demands.  What are his demands?
  1. Submit to a review by the Diocese and certification "to ensure full compliance" with the Catholic Church's moral teachings.
  2. CHW also must agree to provide its medical staff with ongoing training on the church's ethical and religious directives regarding indirect abortions.
  3. CHW must acknowledge that Olmsted correctly described the 2009 procedure as an abortion and St. Joseph's hospital misinterpreted the church's directive on indirect abortion.
To reinforce Olmstead's arrogance on the matter, he also says, CHW's "actions communicate to me that [the hospital does] not respect my authority to authentically teach and interpret moral law in this diocese." He added, "Because of this, I must act now" to ensure that "no further such violations" take place at the hospital and to "repair the grave scandal to the Christian faithful that has resulted from the procedure."

Set aside the arrogance for a second and let's examine the central claim here which is what is basically a "pro-life" position.  First, I think "Pro-life" is a terrible name for their position, because it is not.  It is simply "anti-abortion."  Where is the distinction?  Well, this case is a prime example.  The "Pro-life" position in this case is basically saying that the mother and fetus MUST both die!  How is that "Pro-life?"  It was a clear diagnosis by the doctors that his woman would surely die if they did not remove her placenta, which results in an indirect abortion of the fetus.  Sister McBride made the wise decision that if neither will live without the procedure, then at least one will live with it.  Isn't that the real "pro-life" position here?  I don't even know if it was known to the doctors or to Sister McBride that the woman was already a mother of four, but the Church's ethical and moral position is that both should die and leave four children without a mother.

I can't even begin to fathom how a loving, caring, rational human being in the position of Sister McBride would not have made the same decision.  Good thing Olmstead wasn't making them.  As a result of her decision to save a life and allow four children to have a mother, she was excommunicated.  But the Church won't bother to excommunicate a priest who molests children.  The Church is on the wrong side of so many ethical and moral decisions that you'd think the Devil himself was running the place.

Back to the arrogance of Asshole Bishop Olmstead.  The hospital must acknowledge that he and he alone has correctly described the removal of the placenta as an abortion.  It's not enough to prescribe to the hospital that they must be certified on the unethical and immoral teachings of the Catholic Church, but they must acknowledge him personally that the procedure they used is an abortion.

Bishop Olmstead, you are a sick fucker.  I really can't fathom how anyone can remain a Catholic when their leadership are as ass backwards as this yahoo is.  Retaining your belief in Christianity is one thing, but calling yourself a member of this Catholic Church with decisions such as this and the molestation/abuse scandals, is beyond me.

Friendly Holiday Advice

Just received this via email.
Please, take care of yourself this Christmas. A recent joint study conducted by the Department of Health and the Department of Motor Vehicles indicates that 23% of traffic accidents are alcohol related.   
This means that the remaining 77% are caused by assholes that just drink coffee, carbonated drinks, juices, milk, water, and crap like that.   
Therefore, beware of those who do not drink alcohol. They cause three times as many accidents.  
This message is sent by someone who cares about your well being.
 Let's be careful out there!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kentucky is the Smartest State According to Ken Ham

This is just classic!

Ken Ham runs a creationist museum in Kentucky and he has managed to secure government support for tax incentives to build an Ark Encounter where they can mis-teach the masses on the authenticity of Noah's Flood, etc.  Needless to say, he had been taking a lot of flack for this, so Ken decides to respond with a blog.  The blog is "How Does Kentucky Line Up with the Rest of the States?

At one point in the bullet list of things about Kentucky, none of which are relevant to the argument, is the following gem:
  • And . . . in regard to education? Someone better tell Jay Leno and Hollywood in California that according to statistics on education (i.e., which is the smartest state?), Kentucky ranked higher than these following states (and significantly higher than California where Jay Leno lives) based on 21 factors (see
  1. Kentucky
  2. Arkansas
  3. Washington
  4. Ohio
  5. Illinois
  6. Oklahoma
  7. West Virginia
  8. Utah
  9. Michigan
  10. Oregon
  11. Georgia
  12. Hawaii
  13. New Mexico
  14. Louisiana
  15. Alabama
  16. Alaska
  17. California
  18. Mississippi
  19. Nevada
  20. Arizona
Wow!  Kentucky is the smartest state!  Well, not really, but there is a certain level of dishonesty here.  His claim is that Kentucky is ranked higher than states such as California (as a dig to Leno who joked about his Ark Encounter), which is correct, but he numbered his list with Kentucky starting as number 1.  Well, if you follow the link above, you will see that Kentucky is actually ranked 31st, although his numbering is implying that Kentucky is ranked first.  Such is the subtle dishonesty of Ken Ham, who no doubts suffers from severe headaches from all the mental gymnastics his brain must go through to justify his belief.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cold Remedies: Zicam

I have heard these cold "remedies" mentioned quite often on Facebook.  As soon as someone posts they've got a sniffle, Bam!  "Take Zicam."  "Take Airborne."  "Take Vitamin C."

Let's start with Zicam.  Zicam, first and foremost, claims to be a homeopathic remedy.  Immediately, red flags should be going in the air on that one claim alone.  Homeopathy is bullshit.  It's basic premise is bullshit.  It is in direct violation of the laws of chemistry.  The concepts of concussing water and water memory just make it plain absurd.  But, let's set those aside for a moment.  Zicam has the following FAQ on their website.
Haven't there been studies indicating that zinc is ineffective?
And, their answer is,
Clinical studies of zinc based cold relief products that use different active zinc formulations (for example, zinc sulfate), different delivery systems and lower doses of zinc have had differing results. Zicam Cold Remedy’s combination of Zincum Gluconicum and Zincum Aceticum reduce the duration and the severity of the cold.
Um, OK.  Yes, clinical studies have shown that various zinc formulations and delivery systems have had differing results.  The jury was still out on some possible formulations when Zicam was first introduced to the public.  But the thing to note here is the argument of authority, The above paragraph basically dismisses the clinical studies and simply states that Zicam's formulation will reduce the duration and severity of the cold.  Based on what?  There was a 2003 study done by the parent company of Zicam that did find that Zinc Gluconicum was effective in reducing the duration of a cold.  Any study sponsored by and conducted by the same company that produces and markets the product should be viewed with great skepticism.

Let's look at the active ingredients.  Zincum Gluconicum has been studied as a potential for reducing the duration of a cold, but studies have either been inconclusive or deemed as flawed.  The FDA has issued the following warning for Zicam nasal sprays:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notified health care professionals about long-lasting or permanent loss of the sense of smell associated with use of the OTC cold remedies Zicam Nasal Gel and Zicam Nasal Swab. The FDA has received more than 130 reports of sense of smell loss associated with these products. Many people lost their sense of smell with the first dose; others reported a loss after multiple uses. Individuals should stop using these Zicam products and notify their health care provider if they experience a loss of the sense of smell.

As for the other ingredient, Zincum Aceticum?  The only place I can find any real mention of it is in a homeopathic dictionary that states that this is prescribed for the following indications as it related to the back:
back; skin; out-breaks on skin; pus-filled pimples; neck;
There is a second list of indications as it related to the genitals:
genitals; urethra (urinary part of genitals); pain; gnawing, biting;
Huh?  What does any of that have to do with a cold?  Or even cold symptoms?  Now, here is the gross part.  Homeopathy uses the principle of "like cures like."  What this means is that if you DON'T have any of those indications (avoidance of saying symptom), then ingesting zincum aceticum will CAUSE those indications.  That is why, if you HAVE one of those indications, ingesting zincum aceticum WILL alleviate that indication.  Got it?  Does that make any sense to you?  Let me use a different example.  If you have a rash, the homeopathic theory would suggest that a chemical that would normally cause a rash will cure a rash.  In theory, you could rub (or ingest) poison ivy to cure a skin rash.  I don't think so.

Homeopathy likes to add 'um' to its ingredients, so zincum aceticum, is basically a compound of zinc and acetic acid.  Concentrated acetic acid is corrosive and can cause skin burns and irritation to the mucous membranes.  Acetic Acid is used in small concentrations in vinegar.

It should also be noted that Zicam is sold with a formulation for Vitamin C.  Ironically, ascorbic acid, is listed as an inactive ingredient in the Vitamin C formulation.  A common form of ascorbic acid IS Vitamin C.  So, I don't think that is really helping you much.  Also, if you go to their "Ask an expert" section, it states, "And there is no evidence that vitamin C will help you get over your cold faster."  WTF?  Then why have a formulation for it?  And, to top it all off, they also state not to eat or drink citrus fruits or juices for 30 minutes after taking Zicam because, "The acids found in citrus fruits and juices can reduce the efficacy of zinc." 

Nice stuff.  I think I'll pass.

Fantasy Football Update - Playoff Week 1


That is the sound of the gunshot that has mercifully ended my season.  I have Tim Hightower of the Arizona Cardinals and their fearsome rushing attack to thank for it.  With the Cardinals Jay Feely having single footedly crushed the spirit of the Denver Broncos, Hightower decides that meaningless garbage time is when he should channel Barry Sanders and go off for something like 80 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns in the 4th quarter (that is 20 fantasy points).

That's not to say that I have not benefited from garbage time points.  Carson Palmer has been the poster child for garbage time passing yardage this year.  In fact, fantasy owners are doing themselves a disservice by not accounting for potential garbage time scenarios when setting their lineups.  It's just that Tim Hightower has averaged 4 fantasy points per week over the last 10 weeks. 

I pretty much have no chance of defending either of my pick'em league titles either.

Oh, well.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fox News is Dishonest Once Again

Fox News posted this little piece on its website at the end of November.

School Bans Christmas Colors

A school in Florida has not only banned Christmas - but everything associated with the Christian holiday.
Teachers at Heathrow Elementary School have been ordered to banish images of Santa Claus from classrooms - along with traditional Christmas colors like red and green.

"You can't use red and green," one outraged parent told WESH. "It's ridiculous."

The parent, who serves as a volunteer room mother, said she was recently given a list of guidelines that listed the holiday restrictions.

She said the basic theme of the letter was, "We don't want to offend anyone who doesn't believe in Santa Claus or the Christian beliefs."
Apparently, Fox News never bothered to confirm the story.  Never bothered to communicate the school in question to clarify.  Didn't do anything.  Period.

When the school found out about the article, it sent the following letter to Fox.
November 29, 2010

The school district of Seminole County would like to correct the recent news stories regarding the "ban of red and green" at Heathrow Elementary School in Lake Mary, Florida. The banning of red and green is simply not true
Out of respect for their diverse community, the common practice for December classroom activities has been a winter theme which can include red, green, or any color.
Unfortunately the principal of the school was not contacted by any parent prior to the news stories. Parents are encouraged to contact the principal with any questions relating to school policies and practices.
Regina Murray Klaers
Public Information Officer
Seminole County Public Schools
[Florida has a very broad Public Records Law. Virtually all written communications to or from School District Personnel are public records available to the public and media upon request. E-mail sent or received on the School District system will be considered public and will only be withheld from disclosure if deemed confidential pursuant to State Law.]
How did Fox respond?  To their credit, the posted the contents of the letter beneath the original story, but instead of editing or correcting the original story, the simply placed a question mark behind the headline.

School Bans Christmas Colors?

As if that makes up for their dishonest and incompetent reporting on the matter.

You can see the page for yourself here.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Remembering Lennon

I admit it.  Growing up in a cave, I have little recollection of John Lennon.  I may have vaguely known of the Beatles and I bet the first time I heard John Lennon's name was the day he was killed.  I have some vague recollections of news images, but I can't be sure if it was Lennon or Reagan.

Now that I am older, wiser, and moved out of the cave, I can only remember Lennon based on what has been said of him in death.

Perhaps his most popular and important song is Imagine.  It is a beautiful song to listen to even if you don't try and comprehend the words, which, I suspect, a lot of people don't.  It strikes me as humorous how many people mention this song and its message and love and peace and then in some way reference his soul or spirit.  Why does this strike me as humorous?  Because, if any song could be considered an Atheist Christmas Carol, Imagine would be it.  Here are the first two verses.
Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...
He clearly speaks of living life in peace if we can imagine no religion, no heaven, and no hell.  A beautiful sentiment in a beautiful song.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Being God is a good gig if you can get it

More of the Reasons I Am an Atheist.

Example 1.  Recent story out of Mississippi.
Police say the father of two missing Alabama children will be charged with murder.
Mobile Police spokesman Chris Levy said Wednesday that the discovery of remains believed to be the man's 3-year-old son gives authorities enough evidence to file two murder charges against John DeBlase, 27.

A boy's bones were found in rural Mississippi earlier in the day after DeBlase told police where to look.

Levy said witnesses told authorities both suspects beat the kids on numerous occasions.

"We have some incidents where people observed them striking the children with objects," Levy said. "The children had some injuries that warranted medical attention which they never properly received."
 I don't see any precious sky fairy doing anything to protect innocent children from these monsters.

Example 2.  A story on the complete and utter failure of prayer.
When Kent got sick in January 2009, his parents, Herbert, 42, and Catherine, 41, followed the teachings of their fundamentalist church and prayed fervently.
For 10 days the couple remained in their Northeast Philadelphia home praying over their 2-year-old son's 32-pound body, believing his symptoms, including a sore throat, chest congestion, diarrhea, and trouble swallowing and sleeping were signs of a bad cold or flu.
When the boy died of bacterial pneumonia on Jan. 24, 2009, Philadelphia Assistant Medical Examiner Edwin Lieberman ruled the death a homicide, noting that it could have been prevented with basic medical care.
I can't even begin to speak to how utterly disgusting and vile this is.  An innocent child is dead because their parents believed in something that isn't.  They are criminals and child abusers for letting this child suffer.  They should also throw the head of their church in prison.  Here is his response.
Of Kent's death after his parents' prayers, Clark said: "The result was not what they wanted because our faith is imperfect at times. But God is perfect."
Let me translate that for you.  Your child died because you didn't pray enough.  Disgusting.

Being a fictional deity is a good gig.  All of the credit and none of the blame.

Fantasy Football Update - Week 13

I managed to pull out a comfortable win to finish the regular season on an up note.  I manged to qualify for the fourth seen in the playoffs (out of six).  We shall see if my luck holds.  I held a solid lead going into the epic Patriots-Jets Monday night game.  I had two players going, Edwards for the Jets, and the NE tight end.  My opponent had Sanchez, someone who I can't recall, and the Patriots D.  There is something comforting about playing an opponent that has the QB going against the Defense.  It is really not a recipe for success.  In this case, the Patriots D did well allowing on 3 points and handful of sacks and turnovers to get 14 points, but it cost Sanchez big time as he only ended up with 4 fantasy points.

My opponent in Round 1 of the playoffs is the same one that started my 5-game losing skid in the regular season.  Time to exact a little revenge.  Yes, you Princess/Cheesehead!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Arizona State Defeats Arizona for Territorial Cup

It's funny, when I went to ASU, I don't remember anything about the Territorial Cup.  The point was to beat UofA's ass in football.  We could have cared less about the Cup.  Anyway, I digress.

Last night's ASU victory was sweet.  This was the year that Arizona was going to be dominant and had a chance at the Rose Bowl.  As for ASU, this was a rebuilding year.  We weren't going to be very good.  In fact, we only had 13 seniors on the team.  The fewest in the PAC-10 and the fewest since 1985, the year before ASU went to the Rose Bowl.

ASU finished with a 6-6 record, but since two of those wins were against lesser football conference opponents, the Devils are not bowl eligible.  However, not all hope is lost.  Of ASU's six losses this year, only one was not a contest, a 50-17 blowout at the hands of Cal.  As for the five losses? Well, it started in Wisconsin who was ranked #11 nationally at the time.  A one point loss in a game that many thought ASU got robbed on a bad call.  Also, there was a kickoff return that ended at the 1-yard line at the end of the first half that would have given ASU another 7 points.  Wisconsin was a team that would eventually go on to post 3 consecutive 70+ point games later in the year and the Devils only lost by 1 point.

Next came Oregon, ranked #5 at the time.  The Devils were never really given a chance, but they played Oregon tough for 3 quarters before finally losing ground in the 4th and lost 42-31.  Not an embarrassment by any stretch.

Loss #3 was to Oregon State by 3 points.  A good effort and a close loss.

Loss #4 was the beat down by Cal.

Loss #5 was a one point disappointment @ USC.  The irony?  They lost on a blocked PAT, 34-33.

Loss #6 was a 17-13 loss to 6th ranked Stanford.  Another close loss to nationally ranked top 10 team.

So, not a bad year effort wise.  A more mature team might have pulled out the Wisconsin and USC games.  One break or two versus Stanford and Oregon State and the Devils could have been a 10-2 team this year without a big stretch of the imagination.  Oh, the what ifs!

As for last night's sweetness, ASU salvaged a tie in regulation with a blocked PAT (karma from USC) and then won the game in overtime on a second blocked PAT.  Absolutely amazing.  You rarely see a blocked PAT affect a final score, let alone be the play to end a game.  The game was marred by some atrocious punting.  At one point, the ASU punter had an 8-yard punt after his foot kicked his own calf and almost missed the ball.  However, he was quickly forgotten when the U of A punter managed the rare 0-yard punt.  A very strange game indeed.

Congratulations to ASU for closing out their season with a win over the Mildcats.  As for U of A, they finish on a 4-game losing streak and will be relegated to a minor bowl.  A far cry from the dreams of roses they entered the season with. 

Fork'em Devils!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Movie Review - Tangled

I had my kids for Thanksgiving, so we went to see Tangled on Wednesday.  I don't think my son was all that excited for it since he is 12 now and those are girly movies.  My daughter was more than happy to see it.  I think my son warmed up to it thought.

Disney has certainly done better in the past with Beauty and the Beast and a few others, but I thought this movie was entertaining.  What makes a good Disney cartoon is the villain, and Tangled had a doozie.  She was sweetly vile and wicked.  Also, there needs to be a good pet sidekick and the chameleon certainly had his moments as well.

Overall, not a bad effort from Disney.  One thing I was surprised about was in the opening studio sequence it was revealed that this was the 50th Disney animated movie.  I'm kind of surprised I had not seen that marketed more than it was.

Movie Review - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1

Princess and I went to see on opening Friday night.  The dark theme continues from the get go and doesn't let up except for a couple of brief moments.  It's been a few years since I read Deathly Hallows so I'm not sure what details were left out, which means I think they did a good job of hitting the critical parts of the book.  Overall, I think the movie was excellent knowing full well that they had to find a dramatic ending and leaving pretty much everything unanswered.  There is no way they could have done this book in one movie, so I think the decision to split it up was the right one.

Also, the kids, who are now all young adults, are pretty darn good actors now.  Watching some of the earlier movies, the acting was jarring in places, but that was to be expected.  I don't recall any "bad" acting moments in this movie.

I am looking forward to the finale.

Fantasy Football Update - Week 12

This is a season of streaks.  Started 0-1, then went 7-0, now I'm on an 0-4 slump.  I lost Frank Gore and Vince Young for the season so I'm stuck starting Palmer or McNabb.  Not sure if I need a win this week or not to even make the playoffs.  Strangely, I'm not sure I even care at this point.