Monday, September 30, 2013

Football 2013 - Week 5

by Bill Holmes

My recap of the only football games that matter.

It was a good week on the high school gridiron. Bishop Kenny beat the Paxon Eagles 42-6 and are now 3-0 for the season, 2-0 in district play. Next up the Crusaders will be at the Ribault Trojans.

LD Bell beat the Grapevine Mustangs 54-13 after falling behind 13-0. It was the first district game of the season. The Blue Raiders improved to 3-1 overall. Next up is a home game against the Irving Tigers.

On the college front I'll get the bad news over with first. In a no surprise result, the Miami Hurricanes demolished the USF Bulls 49-21. It actually wasn't that close, the Bulls scored 14 points in the fourth quarter against the Canes scrubs. One of the TD's was on an interception. Miami had four turnovers too so that limited them a little bit. USF maintained their perfect record at 0-4. Next up the 3-1 Cincinnati Bearcats in Tampa. 

The TCU Horned Frogs beat the SMU Mustangs 48-17 after trailing 10-7 at the half. The Frogs retain the very valuable Iron Skillet Trophy that goes to the winner of the Ft. Worth - Dallas rivalry. TCU improves to 2-2 for the season. They still need to improve on offense. SMU is fairly weak and TCU scored one TD on an interception and another on a kickoff return. It gets tough for the Frogs next week. They have to travel to Norman, OK to play #14 Oklahoma. The Sooners are coming off a 35-21 win at #22 Notre Dame. It will be a Big 12 (which has ten teams) conference game. The Horned Frogs were able the sneak into Norman a few years ago and upset the Sooners but there will be no surprises this time around.

Now on to Florida at Kentucky. Unlike the basketball rivalry, the football series has been completely dominated by the Gators. This was their 27th straight win over the Wildcats. I think it's safe to say Kentucky is primarily a basketball school, kind of like Duke only with an even longer tradition. The final score was 24-7 but the Gators dominated all facets of the game. Their air attack is still suspect, but they ground out 246 rushing yards. Matt Jones had 176 of those yards on 28 carries. The Gators held the ball 38 minutes and played their usual stellar defense. Florida improved their record to 3-1 and 2-0 in the SEC although to be honest, they have played two of the weakest conference teams. It gets a little harder next week when they play Arkansas in The Swamp. The Razerbacks are coming off loses to Rutgers and Texas A&M but look like a decent team. The Gators need to win that game and get some offensive rhythm because in two weeks they travel to  #6 LSU. 

In the SEC game of the week, the #9 Georgia Bulldogs upset the #6 LSU Tigers 44-41 in an exciting game. It was the first lose for LSU. That's the second win over a top ten team for the Dawgs. They beat the then #6 South Carolina Gamecocks a couple of weeks ago. Their only loss is to now #3 Clemson. They are looking like the team to beat in the SEC East. 

Overall the SEC was 8-4 and 4-0 in non-conference games. As a reward for beating two #6 ranked teams this year, the Georgia Bulldogs are now ranked #6. Seems fair. Alabama is still ranked #1 and there are four SEC teams in the top ten. Seven SEC teams are in the top 25. The Gators moved up two spots to #18.

Now on to the NFL. Once again I had a perfect week. 

The Jacksonville Jaguars got back their number one quarterback, Blaine Gabbert. It didn't make any difference. The Jags scored first and then lost to the Colts 37-3. Gabbert threw three interceptions. Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for a whopping 23 yards. The Jags are now 0-4 and travel to St. Louis next week. Apparently the free beer promotion did not improve the play on the field. Although it may make it more palatable to watch the game.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory again. They are becoming very proficient at that. This week after leading 10-0 after three quarters they lost to Arizona 13-10. The Bucs are also now 0-4. They host the 1-3 Eagles next. 
Fire the Cannons, but not too often

The Atlanta Falcons were on the national stage against the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football. Atlanta was in the game until the fourth quarter and did make a run at the end of the game. Still, they fell short and lost 30-23. They fall to 1-3 for the season in what was supposed to be a good year. The Jets visit next week. The Falcons should be able to win that one.

The week ended up at 4-4. My pro teams are now 1-11 for the season. I think the problem is that none of my NFL teams, all from the South, want to play in a freezing Super Bowl in New Jersey. So far they are being very successful at avoiding that February event. It seems possible that USF, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville could all go winless this season. What will week six bring us?


Scattershooting 9-29-13

by Bill Holmes

Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to Rico Carty 

Sunday's Summary

My incomplete recap of the week

Undecided - that's what I am about Blacklist. The premier was not as strong as I had hoped. The premise and first script were pretty unbelievable. The FBI is mostly incompetent, the timeline was inconsistent and the criminals are brilliant one minute and stupid the next. There also wasn't that much Spader screen time. I'll give it another look next week but it needs to get better. I hope it does because I'm a Spader fan.

Watched Hostages today. That is one screwed up family. Everybody has secrets. I'll watch at least one more episode before I decide. Acting was OK. I thought this pilot was better than Blacklist.

Watched Paul McCartney on Jimmy Kimmel. He's promoting his new album called New. Sir Paul looks good for 71 but the voice is getting worse. I've noticed this the last few times I've seen him. Sure glad I'm not getting older.
Paul McCartney's album NEW

We still don't know if the Rangers will be selected for the wildcard game. What we do know is that Billy hasn't been selected. Got an email from the Rangers today with the news - We're sorry that you were not selected for the Wild Card Ticket Opportunity -
Still in the lottery if the Rangers were to advance in the playoffs.


I don't think it worked.

Have a little visitor tonight (9/24). A little pink/translucent lizard/gecko. These guys are hard to catch. No big deal, maybe he'll eat a bug or two before he leaves. Not to be confused with the big guy who poops on my patio.

Funny -

I noticed today (9/25) when I went to Kroger that Le Peep is closed. It was there this past weekend. Their breakfasts were good and it seemed like they had a good number of diners. Even the lighted signs are gone from the building so maybe they moved. Didn't see any sign or notice on the door. That's a big vacant spot in the shopping center.

9/26 - The frustration of being a baseball fan - 
Completely unacceptable. Rangers infield makes four (4) errors in the second inning. Moreland, Kinsler (2) and Beltre. A Rangers record (of shame). Allowed three Angels runs and completely blows Garzas pitch count and the lead.

9/26 - Followed soon afterwards by Thrill of Victory -
Profar saves the day with a walkoff HR in the 9th. Rangers win 6-5 over the hated Angels. A mostly bad game by the Rangers but a win is a win. Thank you Jurickson. Rays win easily. Indians almost blow it but win too. Wildcard race remains the same with Rangers one game out with three to play.


Please tell me why we need a pregnant British woman with bad hair telling us how to wipe our ass. Excuse me "bum". #obnoxious

There is an outside chance I will celebrate this holiday. - You'll be glad to know that I did celebrate this holiday appropriately.

9/28 - Just watched Bob Newhart on The Tavis Smiley Show. At 84, Bob is still funny. How did it take until 2013 for him to win an Emmy? A national treasure.

9/28 - On Encore Westerns - The Big Show - a 1936 Gene Autry film with the Light Crust Dough Boys and Sons of the Pioneers, with lead singer Roy Rogers. Pretty funny and bad movie except for the music. There were a few good stunts and I don't think they used CGI. No individual billing for Roy in the film but appears they added him on later posters. Some of the film takes place at the Texas Centennial in Dallas. Looks like a few scenes were actually filmed at Fair Park, back when it was brand new.

9/29 - I had planned to write a review of the 39th season premier of Saturday Night Live but it's not worth the time. Tina Fey was the host and even she wasn't funny. An absolutely terrible show. Six new cast members. New bimbo Weekend Update co-anchor. Music by Arcade Fire. It's going to have to get better before it 
can get much worse. Too bad.

It has been a big week for the Rangers. They won seven games straight games against the Astros and hated Angels. What did that get them? An opportunity to play one more game, number 163 of a 162 game season. They play the Tampa Bay Rays here on Monday night (9/30). The winner of that game gets into the playoffs as the second AL wildcard and will play Cleveland on Wednesday. I pull for the Rays when they are playing anybody but Texas. I want the Rangers to win the game, go on to the playoffs and ultimately win the World Series. That being said, if the Rays win it will be OK and I'll root for them to have a good playoff run. Monday's game is a true "must win". Lose and you're done for the year, win and you have another opportunity. So, for at least one more game - GO RANGERS!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Football 2013 - Week 4

by Bill Holmes

My recap of the only football games that matter.

Let's start with some good news because by the end of this post there will be plenty of bad news. On Friday night the Bishop Kenny Crusaders beat the Wolfson Wolfpack 45-18. This is a district game against a school about five miles away. It's always nice to beat the neighboring schools. Paxon is the next opponent. In Texas high school football news, Bell had a bye week. They play Grapevine next. 

On Saturday the Gators beat the Tennessee Vols 31-17. This was the ninth straight time Florida has beaten Tennessee. In the 1990's this was the premier game in the SEC East. Not so much lately as the Vols have fallen on hard times. A couple of terrible choices of head coach have put the program in a deep hole. Nevertheless it's a conference and division win for the Gators. They started slow, but played OK most of the game. The bad news is that their starting quarterback, Jeff Driskel, is lost for the season with a broken fibula. Tyler Murphy is now the starter. He played OK in the game but has little experience. There is now absolutely no depth at the quarterback position. Maybe because of this, the Gators dropped one position in both polls even though they convincingly won the game. Next up is @ Kentucky. 

The SEC had a good week going 8-3 overall and 6-1 in non-conference games. Alabama is still firmly in the top spot in the polls. In the AP poll there are five SEC teams in the top 12 and seven in the top 25. 

The USF Bulls and TCU Horned Frogs had byes this week. That's the best news possible for USF. They are terrible this year and next up they face the Miami Hurricanes. The Canes are coming off a 77-7 win over Savannah State despite losing their starting QB in the first quarter. It could have been worse. The fourth quarter was shortened to 12 minutes and the Canes didn't score nor did they try to. Miami beat Florida a couple of weeks ago so I look for a big Bulls lose. TCU hosts SMU who just got beat 42-13 by Texas A&M. The Frogs should win.

This was a no big upsets week in college football. All top 25 teams that played won. This should be the last week for that as the meat of the schedules crank up. Good teams will be playing each other every week from now on.

Now on to the pros. How about a shutout. I always expect the Jaguars to lose and they didn't disappoint. They lost to Seattle 45-17 and didn't score until it was 31-0. Their one-time all pro running back, Maurice Jones-Drew, only gained 45 yards on 19 carries. They had three turnovers and lost all offensive statistics. This could be a winless season for the Jags. The Colts are up next.

Another team you can depend on to lose is Tampa Bay. They got beat by New England 23-3. The Cardinals come to Tampa next. That is a possible win, but don't bet the farm on it.

Now we move on to the Atlanta Falcons. They were picked by many to win the NFC and go to the Super Bowl but have managed to go 1-2 so far. They lost to the Dolphins 27-23 and host the Patriots next. It's never easy facing Tom Brady.

So my pro teams went 0-3 for the week and are 1-8 for the season. All team totals for the week were 2-3 with three byes. This is working out to be a season where byes are a positive for the records.

One other point before we leave week four. There were several disgusting blowouts this week. Top 25 teams feasting on very weak football schools. #4 Ohio St. beat Florida A&M 76-0, #7 Louisville beat Florida International 72-0, #17 Washington was able to squeak by Idaho St. 56-0, #20 Baylor barely triumphed over Louisiana-Monroe 70-7, #16 Miami was able to win 77-7 over Savannah St. and finally the #8 Seminoles beat Bethune-Cookman 54-6. There were a couple of other lopsided games but these were the worst. Total combine scores of these games was 405-20. This is ridiculous. It may be time to further divide the college football divisions and not allow the top 75 or so teams to play the bottom 50 schools or at least not count the results. I know these small schools get a big, for them, payday by playing the top teams. That part is good. The results of the games are not. They're not good for the fans and they're certainly not good for the losing team. I can't imagine that it is very satisfying to the winning team either. The chance for injury is greater too. Top 25 teams with kickers bigger than the opposing team's interior linemen is not a fair fight. 

So, on to week five. Think positive thoughts. 

GO Crusaders, Blue Raiders, Gators, Bulls, Frogs, Jags, Bucs, Falcons and SEC!


Scattershooting 9-22-13

by Bill Holmes

Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to the great 

Willie McCovey - Sunday's Summary

My incomplete recap of the week

It's a good thing there are no ties in baseball or the Rangers and Rays might play four 0-0 ties this week. Both teams are trying their best to get out of the playoffs. The division titles are history. They are tied for the wildcard slots but four other teams are within striking distance. I'm ready for some good baseball games. I hate rooting against the Rays but it's most favorite team vs less favorite team.

As it turned out the Rays and Rangers split the four game series and remained in position for the two wildcard slots.


  • Interesting insight into Aaron Alexis, the DC shooter, life here in Fort Worth.

9/18 - Checking out the CDs — at Half Price Books Records Magazines.
Bought a Heart Greatest Hits and Everly Brothers Greatest Hits and More which has 50 songs. Both CDs for $10 total.
I love browsing the used books and CDs. They have DVDs, games and vinyl too. 

9/18 - Does anybody know what this plant is? It popped up a couple of weeks ago in the middle of some ground cover. The flowers barely open up. Huge leaves and it grows fast.
The consensus was that it's squash/zucchini. Nothing to harvest yet.

9/18 - Pulled my left cheek muscle today. Not sure how. It hurts more to walk than to ride the bike. Unfortunately I can't ride to the fridge for a fresh beer.
I have recovered and am now able to walk to the fridge. Please note that the picture is not an actual photo of my butt.

9/19 - It is now officially that day -
9/20 - I swear this was not me - no mention if it was men's or women's underwear.

Deanna Boyd @deannaboyd 4h
Man wearing underwear as mask just robbed the Wells Fargo Bank in 1600 block of University. Fled north on bike.Call FWPD if you see him!
Retweeted by FW Star-Telegram

The Rangers lose two out of three to the Royals. They waste two outstanding performances by the starting pitchers. In one game they lose 2-1 on a bases loaded walk by the bullpen. In the other they lose 4-0 in ten innings on a walkoff grand slam home run after seven scoreless innings by the starter. Rangers are now 1½ games out of the wildcard. Seven more games in the season, all at home. Three against Houston and four against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Orange County of California of the west coast of the United States and neighbors to Disneyland. I think I got the name right, but the zip code may be in there somewhere too. Crunch time.


9/22 - Why? Don Cheadle (born in 1964) narrates a 1963 retrospective and Carrie Underwood (born in 1983) sings Yesterday. Couldn't they find anybody who was actually alive in 1963? Hey, Bob Newhart (born 1929) was backstage. I thought Carrie's rendition of Yesterday was bad. Elton John (born 1947, a very good year) was also there. He could have sung YesterdayBTW, Yesterday came out in 1965. #Emmys

It was a great early fall weekend here in North Texas. Temps in the 70's and 80's. Lotsa people out walking, jogging and biking. More dogs and people than usual at the new Bedford Bark Park. I think every motorcycle and convertible, with the top down, in Texas was on the road. It's going to heat up again a little this week, but it looks like we are through with the 100° days.

Lastly, let's not forget the Navy Yard tragedy that happened on Monday (9/16). I'm at a lose as to how this happens on a military base by a mentally disturbed person with civilian security clearance. It's bad enough that we send our troops into harms way in dangerous places. Bases in our country should be safe havens. I expounded on this subject a little more in my BillyJim47 Blog



National Security - Navy Yard Shooting

by Bill Holmes

I'm confused. We have a National Security Agency (NSA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and several other agencies, local and national, spying on US citizens. Despite intercepting our phone calls to our grandkids and emails from Nigerian princes and boner pill vendors, these agencies don't seem to be able to look at and analyze the paperwork that is voluntarily submitted to them.

The two most recent examples are the Aaron Alexis shootings at the Washington Navy Yard and the Edward Snowdon theft of classified documents. Both of these individuals had security clearance to be in a position and place to do their dirty deeds. To get a security clearance you have to submit multiple forms. Supposedly the reviewers of these forms don't take them at face value. References are checked, searches are made for criminal records, mental health records are reviewed and who knows what other verifications are made.

Are we spending our national  security dollars in the right place? There were yellow flags with Snowdon. There were bright red flags with Alexis.

Last night (9/17) Charlie Rose had three former FBI people on his PBS show. One was Mary Ellen O'Toole, Ph.D. who was an FBI profiler. With 20/20 hindsight, she pointed out several issues with past behavior by Alexis. He had a couple of issues with guns, he had multiple disciplinary issues while in the Navy, he had inconsistent behavior with his family and friends. His discharge from the Navy was less than decorated. He had documented mental health issues. Despite all of this, he obtained enough of a security clearance to be working on an IT contract at a Navy installation. He also was able to get a gun into the Navy Yard.

So the question is did anybody actually review his application for clearance? Did the contractor do even a cursory review of his application? If the answer is yes then that review process needs to be improved. If the answer is no then heads need to roll and procedures must be tightened.

Here is my theory. With the need to give security clearance to five million people, many deadbeats and worse slip through. Some of those deadbeats are probably people who review security clearance applications of others. There is also pressure on the conscientious reviewers to get the applications approved. There is work to be done and the workers need clearance. In the case of Aaron Alexis there was IT network wiring that needed to be completed.

The FBI profiler, with hindsight, came up with several points about Alexis that indicated danger. She never interviewed him but has looked at his behavior paper trail. She mentioned several points that would make him a bad risk for a trusted position. Why can't this knowledge be passed down to those who review applications or those who supervise these workers. It seems to me that every time we have a mad gunman or a security breach there are many warning signs that have been missed or ignored. How about we fix the process or fire the incompetents.

I have one other question that applies to the Navy Yard and Fort Hood shootings. Where were the military police (MPs), shore patrol (SPs) or Marines? It seems that civilian cops ended the episodes and took the casualties. Thanks to the local police departments but shouldn't the greatest military on earth be better prepared for attacks.

It's time to fix the way this works. We don't need five million people with security clearance. We don't need every janitor, cable puller or carpenter to have security clearance. We need to determine what is actually top secret and then really limit that access. The current system is a result of laziness. Stamp every document top secret, classify every government installation as restricted. Then you don't have to actually analyze the content of the documents or the national security impact of the installation.

One of the points brought up by the former FBI people on Charlie Rose's show is that there is little coordination between agencies on mental health issues. We have made it almost impossible for healthcare professionals to share information with other health workers and especially with law enforcement agencies. Dangerous people will continue to get past checks until there is more coordination. This applies to gun licenses as well as security clearance. It's a delicate balance between personal freedom and public safety. It seems to me that the government uses privacy laws as an excuse when a bad guy does bad things and they don't stop him while at the same time they completely ignore individual rights and privacy when it serves their purposes.

Let's figure this out. I'm tired of hearing how government agencies are reviewing their procedures to ensure whatever bad thing happened never happens again. Do those reviews ever result in changes? The norm is to have congressional hearings where politics and grandstanding is the agenda. Then the issue fades from the headlines and maybe a scapegoat resigns but no real change happens.

It has now been a week since the Navy Yard shootings. Have you seen anything about it in the news in the past couple of days. Nope, that news cycle is over. When the next shooting or security breach happens we'll get all indignant, for a couple of days. Come on National SECURITY Agency, spend as much effort checking those applying for security clearance as you do scanning phone records of the rest of us.

What do you think?


Monday, September 16, 2013

Scattershooting 9-15-13

by Bill Holmes

Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to the great Clete Boyer - Sunday's Summary

My incomplete recap of the week

True - 

Walked around Bedford Boys Ranch this morning (9/9). There were at least 50 geese on Lakeview Dr. They were all over the street and in the yards. Must be a visiting flock because the normal 15 to 20 geese were still at the lake by the pavilion. On another note, it's disheartening to see how much recyclable stuff is put out with the regular trash.

I hope this passes. The Bedford Boys Ranch Park needs work, especially the lake. It's only a couple of inches deep in places.

I was going tho write a review of the new Arsenio Hall Show that debuted Monday. It was so bad that I decided not to do a full review. I realize that I'm probably not in the target demographic but I expected at least some good material. He's had 19 years to come up with stuff. It was mostly unwatchable. My review is thumbs down, don't bother or ½ ★.

Frito-Lay isn't the only one making edible chips. Soon you'll be able to check your Quark to see what time it is and also snack on them. Yummy.

Sloppy, lazy reporting and pop science. Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist and professor at City College of New York. You may have seen him on some PBS or Discovery programs. Smart guy but why would CBS This Morning have him on to talk about this calm hurricane season? Aren't there any weather experts at CBS or in NYC? The reason is that Kaku is on the CBS payroll and he has perfected a glib TV delivery. In the case of weather, he's just reading others' studies and parroting the findings. BTW, Kaku predicted an above average hurricane season this year. Oops. Next time I need an opinion on theoretical physics I'll give Michio a call. When I want an opinion on hurricane season I'll check with NOAA.

Will Apple be applying for a patent now?

From God's Twitter account @TheTweetofGod
"Working in mysterious ways" is functionally indistinguishable from "fucking up".

The Rangers are doing their best to piss away the AL West and maybe even a wildcard spot. Pouty Boy Yu Darvish starts today (9/14). Can Texas stop the bleeding? Maybe we should enlist the real Texas Rangers for today's game to bring a little firepower to the lineup.


That was strange. While I was watching sports, my resident lizard came up on the patio, walked over to the door mat, raised his tail, shook it and laid a deuce. First time I ever saw a lizard poop. Don't know if he's mad at me or just a random act.