Monday, January 26, 2015

Very Random Thoughts - January 2015

  • Why would a yoga mat made out of synthetic stuff cost $60, marked down from $80? Glad I don't need one.
  • Often times I laugh at myself. Occasionally I laugh with myself, which is better than at.
  • Why do peas have to be split in order to be in soup?
  • I get a lot of exercise getting up from my chair to fetch the stuff I just forgot on my last trip.
  • Ironically, Barack Obama is not covered by ObamaCare. He has a slightly better plan.
  • Why do sports reporters/announcers always say "flu like symptoms"? Do athletes just get the symptoms and not the actual flu?
  • If I live to be 2,000 years old I will never be able to use all the address labels various charities have sent me. 
  • 99% of so called "experts" who have very simple solutions to complex problems are full of shit.
  • Has there ever been one of those fragrance commercials that made any sense? We're inundated with them during the holidays.
  • The election of Barack Obama was a milestone in Black history. It was an even bigger accomplishment for the majority White electorate.
  • How come in Westerns the horses never get shot?
  • Why does everyone always say "Merry Christmas & Happy New Year"? How come Christmas is merry and New Years is happy and not the other way around?
  • Getting clothes out of the dryer is a joy on these cold damp days.
  • All indications are that I have survived to see another year rung in although it may just be a dream. 
  • It is clear to me that most celebrities, other public personalities and politicians do not possess an "embarrassment gene".
  • Remember when a blitz in football used to be called a red-dog?
  • Given the changing landscape of fashion and what is "in" vs what is "out", shouldn't tattoos and piercings be given considerable thought? Look at photos from 30, 20, 10 or even 5 years ago for proof that styles change.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Scattershooting 01-25-15

Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to the great

Sunday's Summary

My incomplete recap of the week

For a change of pace I walked around Chisholm Park this morning (1/19). Haven't been there since summer. What a surprise. The whole Chisholm Aquatics Center has been completely razed. The buildings, pools and water features are all gone. Lotsa work going on and a steady stream of cement trucks. Right now it's just some big holes. It looks like the footprint will be about the same size or a tad bigger.
The old, now demolished, water park
Seemed like a good speech to me. I'll of course have to wait for the TV experts to tell me for sure what I think.
On the same subject, that Republican rebuttal by Joni Ernst was terrible. Did you know she only had one pair of shoes growing up? Bad wig too.

So far so good today (1/21). Quick run to Kroger and found Pabst 12 packs on sale for $9.49. Then on to the bike shop and I managed to get out for less than $100 which is always a challenge. Since Fred's Downtown Philly is next to the bike shop I had to get a Philly cheesesteak which by the way goes perfectly with a cold PBR. A productive and delicious day.

Exactly -

I mentioned last week that a grader was stuck in the drainage canal at Boys Ranch. Today (1/23) was the first time I've been back there and it's still in exactly the same place. Had a camera this time. Maybe it's not actually a working piece of equipment and is going to be part of the new playground. The kids will love it. The lake was back almost to normal level too after yesterday's rain. It had been dropped a few feet, I assume for the canal construction. As usual no workers on site.

Hey folks, immunize your kids so these little guys won't be exposed to measles. Believe in medical science, not conspiracy theorists or kooky celebrities.

Sad day for baseball fans. Ernie Banks, AKA Mr. Cubs, died today (1/23). I often saw Ernie play on TV in the 50's and 60's. I was lucky enough to see him play live once when the Cubs visited the Braves in either '68 or '69. "Let's play two today." RIP Ernie.

Words to live by. I try to live up to it each day.

I heard this song Saturday when it played over the closing credits of a TV show. I haven't heard it in a long time, in fact I haven't heard any Jim Croce songs in forever. It seemed Jim and his songs were everywhere in the early 70's and then tragically he was gone at 30. This song became popular after his death. So for this ‪#‎SongSunday‬ it is the January 1974 #1 hit Time In A Bottle -

Here is a bonus ‪#‎SongSunday‬ selection. Today is Alicia Keys' 34th birthday, so it seems appropriate to listen to her stuff. She is one of my favorite current artists. This is the title song, which she co-wrote, from her 2012 album. It rose to #5 on the R&B/Hip Hop chart and #11 on the Hot 100. Here is Girl On Fire -

He truly is Coach K now. Mike Krzyzewski wins his 1,000th NCAA basketball game as Duke beats St. Johns 77-68. Congratulations.


The Nightly Show

The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore premiered on January 19th. It is the replacement program on Comedy Central for The Colbert Report. It airs immediately following The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

I am a huge fan of The Daily Show and was also a huge fan of The Colbert Report before it shut down in December so Stephen Colbert can take over The Late Show on CBS later this year. Both shows were essential viewing for me. I was sad when The Colbert Report came to an end. 

Larry Wilmore was one of the "correspondents" on The Daily Show for the past few years and did many funny bits. I had high hopes that his new show would fill the void left when The Colbert Report shut down. So far that hasn't happened.

I watched all four shows this week before I sat down to write this review. I kept hoping it would get better. It had some funny stuff but the panel discussion in the second half of each show is a train wreck. The overall format reminds me of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher. Larry opens the show alone with some topical humor in the form of a newscast. He is then joined by four guests, actually three guests and one member of the show's cast/staff, at the desk. Larry asks each of them questions and the others are free to chime in. It is not as much of an open discussion as on Maher's show and seems much more structured. The staff member is there purely for comic relief. 

At the end of the panel segment is something Larry calls "Keeping It 100" in which he asks each panel member a ridiculous question. The audience, and Larry, determine whether the answer is 100% truthful or something less. It's a keeping it real kind of truth or dare. He asked one panel member who is part Latina and part Black which group she would identify with if she had to choose only one. He asked a Cuban-American if he would kill Fidel Castro if he was alone with him in a room. What purpose do these hypothetical questions serve? How many heavy hitters will join the panel if they think Larry will ask them an embarrassing personal question?  I think it's a stupid bit. 
There will probably be many tweaks to this show. Maybe the things I dislike will be eliminated or at least reduced. Larry is a funny guy but so far I don't think the show is. After the first week, I would give the show a C-. That's a B for the opening segment and a D- or F for the fake panel segment. 

I realize that I am not anywhere near the demographic that this show is aimed at so I'm sure they are not concerned what the old farts think. I'll tune in again every so often to see how the show evolves but it is not must see TV.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Scattershooting 01-18-15

Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to the great

Sunday's Summary

My incomplete recap of the week

This post is an incomplete recap of the past two weeks since I didn't post on the 11th. 

It's time for ‪#‎TBT‬. As I mentioned a couple of days ago we lost one of the good guys. Uncle John was a WW II vet, police officer, firefighter and youth coach. A lifetime of service. Here is a picture of him with his family on their front stoop circa 1961. The second is Uncle John and me celebrating our birthday in 1950. We share the same birthday. RIP.

Got my electric usage email for the first week of January. It shows actual for the week and estimated cost for the next bill. It doesn't look good. This crappy cold, wet weather is not only damn unpleasant, it's expensive. I want sunshine and warmth. Unfortunately the second week in January was even worse.

I missed ‪#‎SongSunday‬ so let's do ‪#‎MusicMonday‬. I mentioned the good music on AXS last night (1/11). Here is a sample of The Mavericks stuff. Good musicians, good singer, good songs. They started in Miami in 1989 until 2004, took an eight year break and got back together in 2012. I think I became aware of them through lead singer's, Raul Malo, solo career. They never hit it real big, maybe because they don't fit into a specific genre. It's fun music for them and the audience. Here is Back In Your Arms Again -

I'm feeling a little sick. I was peacefully watching Letterman after which I thought would be some guest host for the departed Craig Ferguson. Drew Carey filled in last week. Instead it was a late night edition of The Talk, a daytime woman panel talk show and The View knockoff. I wonder if they got this late night gig because host Julie Chen is married to CBS CEO Les Moonves? I'm sure not, it must be because of her talent and because daytime women shows have the exact same demographics as midnight TV. Checked the TV schedule and these very talented women will be on all week. Just peachy. Luckily my remote changes channels very well.

Just saw that Everything German is opening their German market next to the restaurant today. Based on the pictures they posted, the merchandise looks a lot like that available at German Deli at 121 & Glade. This weather has been perfect for some good German food either at the restaurant or prepared at home.

Watched Charlie Rose tonight, 1/15, (I watch most nights) on PBS and the great Marcus Roberts was on. For those who don't know Marcus, he is a world renowned pianist and professor at FSU. He was born and raised in Jacksonville and educated at Florida D&B in St. Augustine. Blind since age five, he is one of the pillars of today's jazz community. Here is a rendition of one of his signature songs, What Is This Thing Called Love -

When looking on YouTube for the Marcus Roberts video I came across this strange fact. George and Ira Gershwin wrote a song titled How Long Has This Been Going On in 1928. Marcus recorded it and it is very nice. However, it is not the song I expected. I'm more familiar with the 1974 song by Ace which is officially titled How Long. First the Gershwin song, then the comments for the Ace song. I like them both.

Now the more recent rock version of How Long by Ace that reached #3 in 1974 -

For this ‪#‎TBT‬ I just grabbed the first envelop of old photos I came across. These two pictures are circa 1991, my oldest's high school graduation. The photos are of me and Kelly with his beloved Nana and Grandpa, my folks. We are leaning against his first car in front of his house in Valdosta. I hesitated to publish these due to my poor choice in wardrobe. I still have the shoes (well worn Top Siders) and often wear them. The car, house, shorts, shirt and my hair are long gone. Mom and Dad are gone too.

What is a guy to do? For the first time since late August there are no football games on this Saturday (1/17).

They have started the improvements at Bedford Boys Ranch. The first phase is fixing the drainage canal and redoing the playground. They are using a grader for some of this, but I think Bubba screwed up. The grader is about halfway into the canal and the front wheels are a couple of feet in the air. I didn't have a camera with me but it's like the one in the picture.

It's ‪#‎SongSunday‬. The local Oldies radio station is doing a "One hit wonders" weekend. One hit wonders are singers, musicians or groups who had one hit that made the top 40 but were never to be heard from again. Sometimes they disappeared completely and sometimes they reappeared in a different group or genre. Although not thought of as a one hit wonder this group only had one song that made the top 40, to #7, yet they are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Most group members went on to future success. Here is the 1967 anthem by the Buffalo Springfield. Ironically the song title is never mentioned in the song For What It's Worth -


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Football 2014 - Week 20

My recap of the only football games that matter

This is my last football post for this season. The college champion has been decided and I have absolutely no interest in the remaining teams left in the NFL playoffs. 

Again there were four games in the NFL this past weekend. The games started with Baltimore going to New England. Going in I didn't think the Ravens had a chance. Turns out they had a very good chance. They led or were tied the entire game up until about five minutes remaining. Baltimore had a 14 point lead twice in the game but unfortunately for them Tom Brady still plays QB for the Patriots. Brady had some help when receiver Julian Edelman threw a 51 yard TD pass to another wide receiver Danny Amendola. The Pats finally pulled ahead with 5:13 remaining then held on. It was not New England's best game as they rushed for only 14 yards on 13 attempts. As the top seed the Patriots now get to host the AFC title game after the 35-31 win. 

The second Saturday game looked like even more of a mismatch as Carolina traveled to Seattle. The Panthers went into the game with the worst regular season record of any playoff team while the Seahawks had the #1 NFC seed and had only lost one home game all year. Carolina hung in there and actually won most offensive statistics. Unfortunately for them they also had three turnovers one of which was a 91 yard pick six. Seattle won 31-17 and will host the NFC championship game.

Sunday brought what had been hyped as Ice Bowl II as Dallas went to Green Bay. It turned out that the legendary frozen tundra of Lambeau Field was not as frozen as first anticipated. Temps were in the 20's at game time. I think the New England game was a little colder but no one had made a big deal about that. Both teams went into the game with 12-4 regular season records. Dallas had not lost an away game all year and Green Bay was undefeated at Lambeau. Something had to give. Unfortunately for the Cowboys it was them. It was a good game. Dallas led by four at the half and held that lead until 9:10 remaining. The Cowboys had a chance and looked like they would score with about five minutes to go. Dez Bryant made a circus catch on the one yard line but it was ruled not a catch by the replay officials. The Packers were able to run out the clock for a 26-21 win. The Cowboys are done and Green Bay gets to go to Seattle for the NFC title game.

The last game of this playoff round was Indianapolis at Denver. I thought the Broncos would win this one. Indy hadn't looked that good to me against the Bengals the week before and Denver had not lost a home game this season. Shows what I know. The Colts held a 14-10 advantage at the half then held Denver and the once mighty Peyton Manning to three second half points. Final score was 24-13 but the game didn't feel that close. Since the end of the game we have learned that Manning was injured going in. He looked bad at times. Is this the end of his great career? It is obvious that Colts QB Andrew Luck has a bright future. The new guard beat the old guard in this one. Indianapolis gets to now go to New England, where another old guard QB reigns, to play for a berth in the Super Bowl.

On Monday night we had the first ever college football playoff championship game. It was held in Arlington, TX which is just down the road. The game pitted #2 Oregon against #4 Ohio State. I was really hoping for an Oregon victory. I have a strong dislike for all things Big Ten, Ohio St. and Urban Meyer. Once again I was disappointed which has been a theme this entire football season. The Ducks scored first but it was mostly Ohio State after that. They seemed to be much more physical and controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. When Oregon did score, they did it quickly which meant their defense was on the field most of the game. The Buckeyes dominated time of possession 37:29 to 22:31. That is a whole quarter longer. OSU also had a much more balanced attack compared to the pass dominated Oregon offense. The one big weak spot for Ohio St. was taking care of the ball. They had four turnovers but Oregon failed to take advantage. The Ducks did manage to get the score back to 21-20 midway through the third quarter but it was all OSU after that for a 42-20 win. The Buckeyes are the college champions. 

So I wrap up another football season. This has been a particularly bad year as the Gators, Bulls, Jaguars, Buccaneers, Falcons and Bell Blue Raiders had less than stellar years. Only the TCU Horned Frogs and Bishop Kenny Crusaders excelled. What will 2015 bring? The Gators and Falcons will have new head coaches. The Jags, Bucs and Bulls will have significant changes to their coaching ranks too. Tampa Bay has the #1 2015 draft choice, Jacksonville #3 and Atlanta #8. Will the coaching changes and draft picks make a difference? Florida has lost several high school recruit commitments due to a poor 2014 campaign and the resignation of coach Muschamp. Will new coach Jim McElwain be able to shore up this recruiting class? I'm optimistic that 2015 will be a better football season.

I'll watch the remaining NFL playoff games and probably consume some beverages and snacks during the games. No Super Bowl party plans yet, but there is plenty of time for that.

The 2015 college season gets into full swing on September 5th although there will be a few games before that. The NFL kicks off on September 13th. I'll be back then to lend my expert observations and opinions to the mix. Until then, happy punting.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Football 2014 - Week 19

My recap of the only football games that matter

Thankfully after a break to make way for meaningful NFL games we are back to meaningless bowl games. There were three on Monday. These games featured several big time football programs although most had less than stellar seasons. 

Opening up the day was the Autozone Liberty Bowl from Memphis. This was the first of three loses for the Big 12 which only has ten teams. Texas A&M (SEC) beat West Virginia (Big 12) 45-37. 

That was followed by a complete rout of once proud Oklahoma (Big 12) by Clemson (ACC) 40-6. The Sooners didn't score until more than halfway through the fourth quarter, then promptly missed the extra point kick. Some days it just doesn't pay to get out of bed. Hard to believe that Oklahoma was once ranked #4 early this season. This all happened in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, not to be confused with any non-athletic bowl or the other bowl game in Orlando. 

Finally there was the Advocare V100 Texas Bowl in Houston. Advocare is a modern day snake oil sales company and V100 is quote "V100 Tropical Chew provides a synergistic combination of vitamins and minerals to help supply the body with the nutritional components it needs to maintain optimal health.* With 100 percent of the daily values for 16 essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients, V100 Tropical Chew is a safe bet for a balanced nutritional supplement.*" The * is for "* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.This game featured Arkansas (SEC) vs Texas (Big 12). Back in the dinosaur age, these two teams were in the Southwest Conference and played each other every year. The Razorbacks won 31-7 but that does not tell the story. Texas had a grand total of 57 yards, 2 net yards rushing in the game. They also had two turnovers. Arkansas held the ball over 20 minutes longer than Texas. It was a game of men vs boys. 

Three games, three loses by the Big 12 two of which were embarrassing routs. 

Tuesday brings us three more bowls and more big names that had less than outstanding seasons. Opening the day was the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, another catchy title. This game matched Notre Dame against LSU. Both teams were ranked high at one time. ND as high as #5 and LSU #8. The Fighting Irish finished unranked and LSU at #23. It was a good game with ND scoring a last second FG for a 31-28 win. LSU let the SEC down on this one. 

Another SEC team was in the next game, the Belk Bowl. Two ranked 9-3 teams, #21 Louisville vs #13 Georgia. The Bulldogs upheld the honor of the SEC with a fairly easy 37-14 victory.

The last Tuesday game was the Foster Farms Bowl in Santa Clara. Foster apparently has several farms. They sell mostly chicken, turkey and cold cuts stuff. The 68K stadium was only half full despite local team Stanford playing. The Cardinal manages to beat Maryland 45-21.

New Year's Eve had three of the big six bowls. All ranked teams playing for big payouts. The first was the Peach Bowl that pitted #6 TCU against #9 Ole Miss. The Frogs intercepted a pass within the first 30 seconds and scored in the first minute. They were just getting started. TCU ran up a 42-0 lead before the Rebels finally got a FG in the 4th quarter. Ole Miss had a pitiful 129 total yard, only nine on the ground. No contest and an SEC humiliation. There will be talk about the Horned Frogs being ranked outside the top four playoff spots. 

The middle game was the Fiesta Bowl. This game had #10 Arizona from the big name PAC 12 against #20 Boise State from the mid level Mountain West. So of course the Broncos won. It looked like a romp when Boise State got out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter but the Wildcats fought back but fell short 38-30 when they ran out of time with the ball on the Broncos 10 yard line. Good game.

To wrap up the day we went back east for the Orange Bowl. This pitted another SEC team, #7 Mississippi State, against #12 Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets controlled the game with a devastating ground game. They reeled off 452 rushing yards and held the ball almost 10 minutes longer. Final score was the Ramblin' Wreck 49, Bulldogs 34. Another bad performance by a high ranked SEC West team. The posted attendance was 58K in the 80K stadium but it looked like even fewer were actually there. 

Finally on New Year's Day we get to the two playoff bowls. The only games that really matter. But first there were three warm-up games. Let's start with the Outback Bowl that pits another SEC West team, #19 Auburn, against the Big Ten's #18 Wisconsin. This turned out to be a good game although it was another loss for the SEC West. It was a back and forth game with seven lead changes in regulation. The Badgers scored the tying FG as time expired in regulation. The Tigers missed a tying FG in the first OT when the ball hit the upright. Wisconsin wins 34-31. 

That game was followed by the Cotton Bowl right down the road at Jerry's World. This game had a couple of top 10 teams, #8 Michigan State and #5 Baylor. The Bears were ahead by 10 at halftime and by 20 at the end of three. Then the Spartans woke up and scored 21 unanswered points in the last quarter for a 42-41 win. Their last TD was scored with 0:17 remaining. Baylor is a completely one dimensional team. They pass and score quickly. They had 603 passing yards and -20 rushing. MSU held the ball over 13 minutes longer than the Bears. I'm not a fan of the Big Ten, but I'm even less a fan of Baylor so I was glad to see this result.

The last warm-up game was #16 Missouri vs #25 Minnesota in the Citrus Bowl. This game lacked the drama of the other two. Mizzou led most of the game and won 33-17. Finally an SEC victory. 

On to the playoffs. The first ever FBS division playoff game was the at the site of the first ever bowl game, the Rose Bowl. It was #3 FSU against #2 Oregon. As usual the Noles fell behind early and trailed by five at halftime. That was as close as they got. This time the second half comeback magic failed to materialize. The teams traded TDs in the first half of the third quarter. From then on it was all Ducks. They reeled off five unanswered TDs for a 59-20 win. It appeared FSU gave up. They for sure gave up the ball with five turnovers. The Seminoles should be embarrassed by their effort. They should be even more embarrassed by most of the team leaving the field without congratulating Oregon on their win. A classless punk action by a football program that is known for bad behavior. Their 29 game winning streak comes to an end as does their reign at national champs. This should also be the last college game for Jameis Winston and his bad behavior. Oregon now heads to Arlington for the championship game.

The other semifinal game was #4 Ohio State vs #1 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Alabama got out to an early lead and managed to barely hold on to it as the first half ended at 21-20. Ohio State convincingly won all the stats but had two turnovers and had to settle for FGs twice when they got inside the five. They outgained the Tide 348-139 in the half. The Buckeyes pulled ahead in the third quarter with two TDs before 'Bama scored late to get the game close again. All the marbles on the table for the last period. The teams traded TDs but Ohio State held on for a 42-35 win. The Crimson Tide had their chances but couldn't pull it off. The nail in the coffin was when they allowed an 85 yard pass TD with 3:24 remaining to fall behind by 14. Another loss for the SEC West. That puts Ohio State in the championship game against Oregon here in Arlington, TX on January 12th.

Going into these semifinal games I would have hoped that FSU and Alabama would advance to the finals. An SEC team against a home state Florida team. Seeing how the Seminoles played and reacted to the lose in their game, I'm glad they didn't advance. I dislike Alabama and Nick Saban but they are an SEC team. That and the fact that I really dislike Ohio State and their ass coach Urban Meyer. I'll be rooting for Oregon in the championship game.  

Friday brought four meaningless bowl games. It was sorta old home week for me. There was the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth and the Gator Bowl in the old home town. 

The first game was just down the freeway in Ft.Worth at Amon Carter Stadium on the TCU campus. It was the long named Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl that pitted powerhouses Houston against Pitt. Unfortunately it was not a chamber of commerce day in Fort Worth and Amon Carter is an outdoor stadium, temps in the 30's and rain. It was good to see that Lockheed-Martin sponsored the game after Bell Helicopter dropped out. Both Ft. Worth companies and both very indebted to the armed forces. This was another game that looked like a rout only to have a big comeback win. Pitt led 31-6 early in the fourth quarter. Then Houston got hot and a little lucky. They scored 29 last quarter points thanks to two onside kickoffs. The last TD was scored with a minute remaining and they elected to go for the two point conversion for the win rather than a sure tie. Final score Cougars 35 Panthers 34. 

Next was my hometown Gator Bowl. I know, it's not called the Gator Bowl anymore but it will always be the Gator Bowl to me. It was overcast, but temps in the 70's for most of the game. This once prestigious game had two unranked teams, 7-5 Iowa against 6-6 Tennessee. The Vols dominated early and had a 42-7 lead by the end of three quarters. The Hawkeyes scored three fourth quarter TDs after Tennessee took out many of their starters. Final score 45-28. This was a much needed SEC win. 56K showed up for this one, mostly Volunteers. 
Gator Bowl circa 1954

Back to Texas for the third game, this time in San Antonio. The Alamo Bowl matched two 9-3 schools, #14 UCLA and #11 Kansas State. This was another almost comeback game. UCLA won the first half 31-6, K-State won the second half 29-9. Final, Bruins 40, Wildcats 35.

The Friday wrap up game was the Cactus Bowl from Tempe. Yet another game when one team failed to show up for the first half then found some spark. Oklahoma State led 24-0 at intermission then held Washington off for a 30-22 win. This game didn't start until 10:25 PM EST. It was a rare Big 12 (ten teams) win this postseason. 

On Saturday the Florida Gators had the bowl spotlight. That's because the always prestigious Birmingham Bowl was the only college bowl. A time honored tradition since 2006 that is so popular there is no title sponsor. This game pitted the 8-4 East Carolina Pirates against the 7-4 Gator. Somehow Florida managed a 28-20 win. Carolina had 200 yards more offense and almost five minutes longer possession. Both teams had three turnovers. Not exactly a pretty game. This game marked the end of the Coach Muschamp and QB Jeff Driskel era at Florida, neither will be missed. It was a sad year for the Gators. There were an alleged 30K fans in the 71K seat Legion Field which opened in 1927.

There were also a couple of first round NFL playoff games on Saturday. The first was between teams that really didn't belong in the playoffs. Carolina finished the regular season with a 7-8-1 losing record and Arizona was 11-5 but they lost four of their last six games and were on their third or fourth starting QB. The Cardinals had a total of 78 yards, only 27 rushing, and three turnovers. The Panthers also had three turnovers but at least moved the ball some. It was an ugly 27-14 win for Carolina.

The night game was the old rivalry between AFC North division members Baltimore and Pittsburgh. They split the regular season games. The game was close in the first half with the Ravens taking a 10-9 lead. The Steelers led most of the statistics but self-destructed with three turnovers. Baltimore went on to win 30-17.

Two more NFL games were on tap for Sunday. Opening up was a 26-10 Colts win over the Bengals. Cincinnati was shutout in the second half and never really threatened. It was not a very good game.

Finally Detroit came to Arlington to see who plays on. It started out all Lions. They got out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Dallas looked lost on both sides of the ball. Bad back Tony Romo got sacked often and looked confused and frustrated. The Cowboys got lucky near the end of the half and scored on a 76 yard pass play. About midway through the third quarter the Lions led 20-7 then the 'Boys got hot. They scored three times to pull out a 24-20 win. The whole D/FW area has playoff fever. The Cowboys reward for the win is a trip Green Bay next week. Forecast gametime temperature is 8° and it's already being labelled Ice Bowl II. 

There was one last meaningless bowl game on Sunday night. It was the GoDaddy Bowl in Mobile. This mop up game featured national powers Toledo against Arkansas State. What a great event. Toledo won 63-44, a real defensive battle or maybe it was actually an arena football game. 

There are now only real playoff games left. The one final college championship game between Ohio State and Oregon plus more rounds of the NFL playoffs. 


Scattershooting 01-04-15

Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to the great

Sunday's Summary

My incomplete recap of the week

Happy New Year to all. May 2015 be the best year ever.

Remember it's a new year so be sure to write MMXV on your checks.

Geek alternatives for the new year are 7DF or 11111011111.

Today (1/2) is my first born's birthday. He is a little bigger now than in this photo. He is a great person, husband and father. He has also been helping to protect us for almost twenty years. Thank you Commander Holmes. All of us here in Texas love you and miss you. Happy Birthday Kelly!

StubHub sent me an email today (1/3) reminding me that the college championship game will be held in my neighborhood. Out of curiosity I checked the ticket prices. Upper deck ranged from $650 to $1,500. Middle and lower levels go from $1,000 to $11,000. Suites are also available for $40,000 to $113,000. Think I'll just get a couple of suites. I also noticed that there are way more tickets available on the Oregon side.

Just a suggestion but when you have a huge order, want to split it so you can use food stamps for part of it and crumpled bills for the rest, maybe self checkout is not the right choice. On top of that you have multiple questions about prices of items and don't understand how the scales work. Finally you used an electric shopping cart but appear to be about 30 years old and had no trouble running back and forth to the attendant every few seconds. Of course the store was busy too. Obnoxious.

Sad news. I got a call from my Aunt Anne to tell me that Uncle John had passed this morning. It was not unexpected but that doesn't make it any easier. He was a true hero. A decorated veteran of WW II, a police officer and a firefighter. A trifecta of service. He was a gentle and kind man. You will be missed Uncle John. RIP.

Why didn't I think of this? Just browsing around the interweb googly thing and came across a recipe. Part of it was to cook the beans in a crockpot. I've always cooked beans on the stove but this seems like a good idea. Learn something every day.