April 29, 2006

Two Wrestling Videos

The first one is new, the second one, you may have seen before. Both are on my MySpace profile as well.



April 28, 2006

Car Talk

After much agonizing discussion and consideration, we're trying to wring a few more months (years?) out of the old Saab. Sure, it's had its problems, but a new car would cost a lot of money. Plus, we spent a bunch of money fixing it lately, and we want to reap some of those benefits. On the other hand, we're not going to fix it anymore. Something breaks, it stays broken. If that means we can't drive it anymore, then that's the sign we should get another car. I trust there will be more rebates on the old Ford Focus, so it's not like our chance is gone for good.

April 26, 2006

A True Story

This is a true story, no matter how unbelievable it sounds.

Someone my neighbor from back in Stow knows a girl who was housesitting for some friends when their dog died. She calls up the owners and tells them, and they ask her to please just take the dog to the vet, which she agrees to do. Unfortunately, the dog is a Newfoundland, and it weighs over 100 pounds. She calls up her boyfriend to ask for help, since she can't lift it. He can't go to the subway with her, so he suggests they put it in some rolling luggage, which they do. At the subway, she has to get the thing up some stairs, and she's having trouble. A nice guy stops and helps her lug the bag up the steps, asking what she has that's so heavy. Not wanting to sound like a freak who carries dead dogs around, she says, "Computer equipment." At the top of the stairs, the previously nice guy, punches her in the stomach, grabs the bag, and runs off with it. Needless to say, he was in for a surprise when he opened the bag.

As unbelievable as this sounds, it's been verified as true by a very reliable source. Plus, it's not like you could make this up.

April 24, 2006

Car Trouble

The other day, we took the Saab into the shop because it was stalling and hesitating and the air conditioner wasn't working. They "fixed" both problems and sent us home. This held us over for 2 whole days until we were driving the old Saab on Sunday and the AC didn't work and the car hesitated and stalled. Hmmm, seems like there is still a problem. Soooooo, we're taking it back to the shop tomorrow to hopefully find out what's really wrong with it and how much that will cost. This will be the third time into the shop this month, and we're up to about a thousand bucks in repairs so far. Much more and it will be time to kick the old girl to the curb.

For this reason, I got in touch with my mom's dad, a Ford retiree. If we get a new car, it will be a Ford Focus ZX3 since he can give me the retiree discount and there is three grand worth of discounts going these days. I want to get a yellow one. Anyhow, I'll keep you, the loyal readership, posted on our car status. I find myself starting to dislike Swedes as a result of this experience, but I bet it will pass.

April 22, 2006

Another for your reading enjoyment

There's a new blog in town.

When I left Raleigh, James Sutton had just bought a house in downtown Raleigh for a price that would make Chicago homeowners faint. He spent some time remodeling, getting to know the neighbors, buying manly furniture, painting the walls in the bedrooms bright primary and secondary colors...all the things you would expect. He was dating a lovely accountant named Katie.

Now, they're getting married in July, and they started a garden. Not only that, they've started a blog about the garden: How Does Your Garden Grow. I've added it to the list on the left under Garden Grows Blog. Even if gardening isn't your thing, you should probably add this one to your blog rotation, or at least read the first post and decide for yourself. If you have any tips, I'm sure they would appreciate it.

April 13, 2006

And a 1, and a 2, and a 3

We went to the Cubs game today, taking my total of major league ballparks up to five, four of which haven't been torn down, chopped up, and thrown into Lake Erie. The hometown nine failed to get the job done, but that's OK, it was a good time with good seats. This is a picture of the starter Carlos Zambrano throwing a pitch. You can see we had a good view. The rest of the pictures will be online shortly. I'll keep you posted.
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April 12, 2006

Blog Du Jour

I'm going to the Cubs game tomorrow, assuming FedEx gets my tickets to me in time. Ooh, I just checked, and they tell me they've been delivered. Now we'll see how fast the Wheaton College Post Office can get it's act together before I go down there and start kicking butts and taking names.

These people are coming to Wheaton next week so they can try to get arrested. At least, that's what it seems like they're doing. Their actual goal appears to be to rewrite the Bible to their liking.

Why is it that teachers and people who work at churches are so bad at returning phone calls and emails?

Attention all bloggers: If you like a song, just tell us the name. No need to reproduce the lyrics for no reason.

Springtime is here, kids, let's see if we can resist the socks with sandals urge this time around.

I have a 30 inch tall basil plant. Thought you'd like to know.

I've read at least three different things in the past week about either Facebook or MySpace. It's like all the world's parents suddenly decided to figure out why they haven't seen their kids in three months. To answer your question, yes, it's right here.

The person I feel the worst for in this whole Duke Lacrosse thing is the coach who felt he had to resign. By all accounts, he's a good guy. I'll feel even worse if the lack of DNA evidence leads to the revelation that she made the whole thing up and this coach and his team were unjustly harassed by the whole country for a month.

I know someone who got into Harvard this spring, but is on Wheaton's wait list.

I'm looking for new music to listen to. Leave your suggestions in the comments, and keep in mind that I'm not interested in angry chick music.

I started watching House, and now I can't stop.

All for now.

April 5, 2006

Technique

I was making an outline of wrestling techniques that I would want to teach to college wrestlers when something hit me. I had a lot of stuff listed underneath "Front Headlock" on my outline. This made sense, considering how often I scored from that position in my high school and college career, but I hadn't thought about it in this way before. Here's my list of six different techniques, all of which I've scored with enough to call it "a move that I do."
1. Head in the Side
2. Arm Drag
3. Sword
4. Whip
5. Inside Trip
6. Cross Ankle Reach

You, ma'am, are an idiot

Let me relay a story to you:

Black congresswoman Cynthia McKinney tried to bypass security to get into the Capitol building. Fair enough, this happens all the time. Congressman are given special pins to wear that signify their position, though some more famous representatives tend to forget from time to time and are allowed to go through on recognition. Well, Congresswoman McKinney was not recognized by the guard on duty at the time, tried to sail on through and ignored three requests to stop. At this point, the guard placed a hand on her arm. McKinney then proceeded to hit the guard. Yes, that's right, a member of congress assaulted a member of the Capitol Police. Wait, it gets better. McKinney has since called the incident an example of racial profiling against her. I'm not certain at what point a guard not recognizing someone and asking for some ID is racial profiling, but then again, I'm generally considered to be a rational person. There are 435 representatives and 100 senators. That's a lot of faces to remember. Heck, sometimes the representatives need the pins to identify each other since you can end up with 30 or 40 new faces every two years. At this point in the story, the US Attorney is trying to determine whether McKinney will be arrested. Whether she's arrested or not, she's an idiot, and I'm glad she doesn't represent me.

April 1, 2006

Recent Reading

Here are some of the most recent books I've read (or read through). See if you can figure out the theme:

Forging Genius: The Making of Casey Stengel by Steven Goldman - This book talks about the formative baseball years of Casey Stengel from his playing days until shortly after he took command of the Yankees, commencing a run of 5 consecutive World Series wins. Goldman is an entertaining writer with a flair for making historical and pop culture references having little to do with the sport at hand.

The Hypochondriac's Guide to Life. And Death. by Gene Weingarten - As a self professed former hypochondriac, Washington Post humor columnist writes about the human body and everything weird that can go wrong. Chapter titles include "Hiccups Can Mean Cancer," "How Your Doctor Can Kill You," "Tumor. Rhymes with Humor," and "Relax. Hypochondria Never Killed Anyone. Oh, Wait. Yes, it Did." Trust me, it's funny, and you'll probably be scared the next time you get a headache.

Baseball Between the Numbers by Baseball Prospectus - Tackles much of baseball's conventional wisdom by attacking it with cold, hard reasoning. These guys (and girl) have a moderately well known website and are on the bleeding edge of baseball research. If you want to know why baseball works the way it does and how to make it work better, this is your book, as they explain a lot of things in fairly easy to understand language, and they keep the heavy mathematical lifting safely behind the curtain.

Winners : How Good Baseball Teams Become Great Ones (And It's Not the Way You Think) by Dayne Perry - Perry analyzes playoff teams from the past 25 years to figure out why and how those teams made the playoffs. More than facts, figures, and graphs, Perry tells the story of these teams and some of their more colorful players. Stories of Pedro Guerrero, Rickey Henderson, Dave Dravecky, and others fill the pages, keeping the pace quick. The only quibble I have with the book is that it treats all playoff teams as equal in its analysis, when there is a big difference between a team like the 2005 Padres and the 2005 Cardinals (the book stops at 2003). However, this is explicit in the text, so it's hard to fault him for doing what he said he would do.

The Numbers Game : Baseball's Lifelong Fascination with Statistics by Alan Schwarz - The book traces just what the title says from the invention of the box score in the 1850's to the efforts of Retrosheet to recreate every game pitch by pitch from the statistical and news accounts. The reader sees the introduction of the computer, the battle between various parties for the rights to statistics, the efforts to clean up the mess of numbers from the earliest days of the game, and the controversy over records purposely altered for some purpose or another. It's baseball history from a perspective never considered.

Dollar Sign on the Muscle: The World of Baseball Scouting by Kevin Kerrane - Written in 1984 and currently out of print, I got it at the library. The author follows a bunch of different scouts around for the 1981 scouting season. The reader meets men who have been in the business for 60 years and others just starting out. One learns about the life of the scout, what they look for, and how the game is starting to change. Finding out how scouts evaluate players, the different approaches of different teams, and the various levels of subjectivity is interesting, especially combined with the names of the players involved, especially now that every player mentioned (save Julio Franco) is retired, so it is possible to look back and see how the scouts did. Recommended for anyone with the slightest appreciation for the history of the game.

Baseball America 2006 Prospect Handbook by Baseball America - I got this book by mistake via a miscommunication about a birthday present between my wife and mom. It's interesting, though it is purely a reference book. Each major league team's top 30 prospects are listed and decribed along with their stats. There is also an short analysis of the overall quality of a team's minor league system. This book is interesting if you're into prospects and will be more interesting to me in three or four years when I can see who made the Show.

Baseball Prospectus 2006 by Baseball Prospectus - They've been at it for about 10 years now, and they keep innovating on the cutting edge of analysis. This is their yearly book that lists all the players, makes comments about each, and includes their hyper-accurate analytical projections for the coming year. Included are essays on each team and essays about certain statistical analysis they've done for this year's book. I'm counting on them to help me win my fantasy league this year, and while they market the book as a way to help with that, they're really trying to figure out why teams win and how to make good baseball decisions based on the data at hand. They tend to attack the sacred cows of baseball, which ticks some people off, but they do it with data, which I like.

Riya

I put a bunch of pictures on Riya in the past week or so. Riya is different because it identifies faces. Then, you tell it who the faces are, and it tries to find more faces in your pictures and identify them automatically. Then, it gives you a chance to tell it whether it was right or not. That way, you can categorize your pictures. I found pictures of people I didn't even know I have. Go ahead and go to www.riya.com and search for your name to see if I have any pictures of you.