Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Flotsam and jetsam Enthusiasts

How can I go wrong with the following bets? Having a more intimate knowledge of gambling than I, I am soliciting opinions:

Colorado + 28 - Texas would rather give Bush the Heisman than play VY into the 4th quarter of a noncompetitive game and risk injury.
FSU + 14 - FSU has been kicked around recently, and could have a serious chip on their shoulder and put something (anything) together against VT. I would love to take the money line, but I cannot find it anywhere.


As quality network television has gone the way of the dodo, one of the few shows I watch with any regularity is The Food Network's '$40-a-Day' with Rachael Ray. I love to hate her perky banter, which is both trite and repetitive. She acts the part of a prude, but has posed for FM and shot airbrush futures to all-time highs. If I were to bash the show to anyone over 45, I am sure it would be considered sacrilege. Thankfully, there are people who do it better than I could imagine.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


I was just briefed on a meeting I missed, where a warfare center based its estimated cost on historical expenditures, which is good, unless they were blowing through money recklessly, and the estimations are awry. When trying to inform the client as to why estimations based on historical expenditures were a bad idea, I would have been hard pressed not to pull out,

"Because they know all they solda ya was a guaranteed piece of shit. That's all it is. Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time. But for right now, for your sake, for your daughter's sake, ya might wanna think about buying a quality item from me. "

Monday, November 28, 2005

Bowl Projections

The build up towards a USC v. Texas Rose Bowl has blinded me from the mediocrity prevalent in college football in 2005. Granted, bowl selections are a the output of a biased assessment of what school will bring the most fans to the game, but the projected BCS Bowls (with the exception of the Rose) look awful.

January 2, 2006, at 4:30 p.m. ET ABC
Sun Devil Stadium: 73,471
CFN Projection: Notre Dame vs. Ohio State

Commment: I hate ND in their resplendent glory, especially for a team that has won the games it was supposed to win. So they played USC close and lost. Who cares. OSU fans travel well, read not-so-well.

NOKIA SUGAR BOWL - Atlanta, Georgia
January 2, 2006, at 8:30 p.m. ET ABC
BCS (SEC Champion if not in national title) vs. BCS
CFN Projection: LSU vs. West Virginia
Comments: LSU is a great team, so great I have watched 0% of their games, including highlights. WVU, enjoy the last Big East BCS bid. It is probably a good thing this game was moved from NOLA, as having a city flooded and burned down in a six month span would be unthinkable.

FEDEX ORANGE BOWL - Miami, Florida
January 3, 2006, at 8 p.m. ET ABC
Pro Player Stadium 72,230
CFN Projection: Virginia Tech vs. Penn State
Comments: I hate them both.

Friday, November 25, 2005

You Have got to be Kidding Me

I ordered a jacket from Moosejaw on 11/07 as a gift, that I needed to receive by 12/01. As the jacket was on backorder and would not ship until 11/15, I was assured if any problems were to arise, I would receive a prompt phone call and explanation.

11/25, no call, no jacket.

I called moosejaw, and was told the jacket had yet to be shipped, although it was now in stock, and could be shipped in two days.

Normally, the terrible service would leave me steamed, but somehow the holiday spirit kept me from giving grief to the moosejaw phone representatives. Also, I was backed in a corner and forced to cooperate, should I wish to receive the jacket. All I can ask is never order from moosejaw; their shipping operation is a joke. I will be saying silent prayers every night their jobs are outsourced.

Shaking my head and smirking...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Outstanding (What Work is Really For)

Sent: Tue 11/22/2005 4:41 PM
To: Ryan
Subject: ?

here's the way i see it.

in MJ (sacrilegious, i know) you have a #1 receiver (depth chart only, #2 if you count algernon) going up against detroit and a dre bly-less secondary.

in BJ (sacrilegious as well because any BJ is better than BJ) you have a teams #2 receiver who often gets the single coverage thanks to the attention even an injured drew bennett commands.

both teams like to check down to their tight ends quite often and both have quarterbacks capable of pulling the ball down and moving.

it's encouraging that MJ had a pretty good showing last week against a tampa defense that's usually pretty stout against the pass.

it's also encouraging on the flipside that BJ is going up against what is arguably the worst secondary in the league in SF this weekend.

atlanta is away at detroit while tennessee has SF at home. away teams from my experience try to take the crowd out of the game by pounding the ball if they can and it's more common for home teams to be able to run the ball...

all of these things make them seem like somewhat equal choices maybe leaning slightly toward BJ in my mind at this point.

the next question is gameplan. after losing two in a row at home (one to a terrible GB team) while trying to pass the ball more will atl try to revert to what they do best? pound the ball with duckett, juke 'em with dunn and outrun 'em with vick? who knows... what will the gameplan be? ten. on the other hand frequently has issues running the ball and SF has shown that if they dedicate the personnel to it they can stop even a good runner (tiki for 71 yds, julius to 85) so the mediocre chris brown could be in for a long day and mcnair could put it up 35 times with great success...

then you have to look at which team has the most potential to end up throwing the ball more regardless of the initial gameplan (who is most likely to end up down 17 at halftime). my vote in this category would have to be ten. with the emerging dorsey-lloyd combo but then there's the frank gore/kevan barlow medical issues. on the other side you have detroit with one of the most powerful offenses in the league if they could ever get their sh!t straight. the roy williams/charles rogers/mike williams combo is pretty sick if they can find a way to score...

the final thing i'd look at are the early over/under indicators. i always go where the points are when i can't make a decision any other way. as it stands -- both games are at 42.5

what a b!tch...

i'm glad i don't have to choose (although i have some similarly sh!tty choices).

if it were me... i'd choose jones but it's really a coin toss in my mind...

From: Ryan [mailto:]
Sent: Tue 11/22/2005 3:48 PM
Subject: ?

Who do I start, Michael Jenkins or Brandon Jones?

I am leaning towards Jenkins.

I'm Over It

Last weekend I went to Charlottesville to view UVA taken behind the woodshed by VT. All the Hokies were in their glory, and I realized the great distance UVA will have to overcome to match VT's football ability.

While the loss was humbling, from a macro prospective I don't at all mind. A comparison between UVA and VT is no comparison, as UVA possesses the higher rankings (with the exception of engineering), greater prestige, a bucolic grounds and more successful alumni. I had a wonderful time as a student at UVA and have no regrets.

All VT has is football. I understand why it is their biggest source of pride.

In standard VT fashion, I was appalled by their 'Stick It In' chant, on the heels of convictions for sex with minors for their cuurent QB and RB, in addition to the Supreme Court ruling involving VT football players and the Violence Against Women Act.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Does anyone else...?

Gesture a fist pump when they realize they are in a month having 30 days (November), as opposed to 31, resulting in being paid a day earlier, or, so not to have to stretch out a paycheck an additional day?

I can't even describe the February joy for cheap and poor bastards like me.


As the leaves have fallen off the tree the sports media turns its attention from the over-exaggeration of Mike Vick's skills to the verbal fellatio of Duke basketball. How can you not stifle laughter while 'validating' why Duke is running its starters with 6:00 left in a game against hapless Seton Hall, up by 50. I was saying prayers that JJ Redick would be undercut on a drive to the hoop.

Great to see Duke has recruited another white slap-the-floor point guard we will have to withstand for the next four years. Coach K has sacrificed athleticism and the best available recruits for system guys he can brainwash during their time spent in the Duke program. Duke players are components of an overall system, which does not translate to NBA success.

I cannot wait to see the kickback K receives when coaching the Olympic team.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


I, once again, did not win the Mega Millions jackpot. However, it did get me to thinking what I would do to celebrate if I won.

Most likely, I would buy a house in the country, with a large acreage, somewhere between Fredericksburg and Charlottesville. The plot would have to include a heated pool, for the celebration, where I would have the Drive By Truckers open, followed by Poison. I would spring for decent beer (MGD, Molson Ice) and the throw-down would be catered by Chick-Fil-A AND Baja Fresh. As the night wore on, a bonfire would be built, but it couldn't be too close to the moon-bounce (rented), lest it pop/melt.

The country terrain, and night sky would provide the perfect backdrop for the midnight go-kart races.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Lasts Fall Run

After work, I partook in one of my favorite activities, a run on Capitol Hill. From my office in SE, I run up to the Capitol, make a left and run down the Mall, to the Washington Monument, curl around past the Jefferson Monument, along the Potomac, past the Lincoln Monument, up the Eillipse, past the WW2 monument, back past the Washington and the Capitol and back to the office.*

Sadly, my failing eyesight (near-sightedness) doesn't allow much of a view of distant scenery with a naked eye. Hopefully I will spring for contacts over the winter to more enjoy the run. It is a gorgeous run, paired today by fantastic weather for November.

*Today's run was abbreviated based on impending darkness and my Moby's lunch of a kubideh platter.


Has the chronic short-mindedness from which most of us suffer, which, in small aspects, has led the economic bubble of the late 1990's, early 2000's to become a parenthetical footnote, leading us down a specialized, but similar path?

I do not believe the bursting of the bubble was a terrible event, the market correction did not negate the billions of dollars that funneled into internet research and expansion of bandwidth, for which we are currently reaping benefits. I view the real estate boom as an output of the bursting tech bubble, as money was funneled to investment options that offered more tangible returns.

Has collective amnesia led us to overvalue Google, current market cap of $110 billion? Google is a contributor into my daily routine, but is not integral, and I have yet to see plans for long term Google strategy, other than hiring talent and advancing a 'shoot at everything that moves' mentality that spans geographical mapping and information processing, medical and genome research. Is Google the sure thing the flow of money indicates? Will Google investment reap corollary benefits that are received industry-wide? Regardless, I look forward to reading "The Google Story", by David P. Vise, to be released tomorrow.

Also a great read:

Friday, November 11, 2005

VD and Mudsugar

While it sounds like a before/after effect, I am actually referring to two separate entities.

VD - Veteran's Day. My commute to the office was fantastic, I crossed the 14th Street Bridge at 70 mph, and no Mini Coopers for miles. I was so ecstatic I drove home-and-back six times for enjoyment purposes.

Mudsugar - I've accepted the opportunity to contribute to a recently launched DC webzine that is the convergence of numerous talented DC minds to cover and opine on local entertainment and points of interest. My initial review of the Immortal Lee County Killers at IOTA should be posted shortly. I invite you all to review/comment/heckle.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Mario Andretti in a MC

My commute to work normally renders me tense and upset; this morning I was witness to an act that brightened my day, which happens on @ 1% of my commutes.

Crossing the 14th Street Bridge into DC between 7 - 9 AM requires me to be stuck in complete gridlock; cars are bumper-to-bumper, travelling @ 2 mph and trying not to allow anyone to merge into traffic.

From the periphery, a Mini-Cooper came darting off the on-ramp and attempted to cross from the far right to far left lanes as quickly as possible. The guy entered the interstate doing @ 50, and actually crossed the first lane while being perpendiclar to the oncoming traffic. Foot glued to the gas pedal and acting out his deathwish, he can to a halt when he almost t-boned the Accord in the 2nd lane, who was laying on his horn. Undaunted, the Mini-Cooper made a 90' right turn to get into the actual flow of traffic and proceeded as if his brazen actg was a common occurence.

I was highly impressed. I am fortunate to drive an SUV, if I owned a Mini, I'd be pulling the same act.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Common Man

From today's WP in regards to President Bush campaigning for candidate Jerry kilgore:

"The thing I like about this fella is he's from Virginia and he grew up on a farm," Bush continued. "That means he's a down-to-earth person. He doesn't have a lot of fancy airs, a person who knows how the common man thinks."

So, what is more pressing on Kilgore's mind? Making it home from work in time to catch The Simpsons on FOX, or how much he really thinks 'My Name is Earl' has a good premise, and hopes it catches on to the mainstream to get picked up for next season.

Isn't it great how Bush characterized American leaders based on pre-Monroe doctrine characteristics? In a time of horizontal intergration, Bush is trying his damndest to insulate the US from external influences.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Shiftless and Lazy

Below is my correspondence with a defense industry writer for the WP (answered only after it was Cc:ed to the ombudsman) The response of the writer I find to be greatly annoying, as if my inquiry can be flippantly disregarded, based on their 'experience'. Anyone with 1/2 a brain would realize I was asking a baited question, and concoct a thoughtful response (or at least name sources) so as not to piss me off. It is on account of worthless reporters that generalize statements to fill columns that students can no longer use newspaper articles as source material for research projects.

Ms. Merle,

Being an employee for a private defense firm and responsible for responding to RFPs, FRQs, etc., there are a myriad of options for contract funding, including FFP, T&M, CPFF and the contract vehicles for acquisition award require specific details related to manyears, personnel/resumes, and COS. In many cases profits are fixed for the life of contracts, which span multiple lines of funding. In summation, to generalize R&D maximizes profits is a misstatement of fact, in light of varying contract options, and would require quotation for validation.


-----Original Message-----
From: Renae Merle
Sent: Mon, 7 Nov 2005 14:57:11 -0500
Subject: Re: Fwd: Inquiry regarding 'Military Ordered To Trim Budgets'

Mr. Drewniak,

Thanks for your interest. I have been covering the industry for several
years and that is the general consensus of company executives, industry
analysts, etc.

Renae Merle
The Washington Post
phone: 202-334-7446
11/07/2005 02:45 cc:
PM Subject: Fwd: Inquiry regarding
'Military Ordered To Trim Budgets'

-----Original Message-----
From: RRD96
To: RRD96;
Sent: Sun, 06 Nov 2005 17:58:58 -0500
Subject: Re: Inquiry regarding 'Military Ordered To Trim Budgets'

To the ombudsman of the Washington Post,

I have yet to receive a response to an earlier email inquiring as to
the source of a quote regarding defense firm profitability. I was
hoping you could assist to rectify the situation to my satisfaction.

Ryan Drewniak

-----Original Message-----
From: RRD96
Sent: Fri, 04 Nov 2005 09:29:41 -0500
Subject: Inquiry regarding 'Military Ordered To Trim Budgets'

Good morning, Ms. Merle,

In your most recent article 'Military Ordered To Trim Budgets' I was
hoping you would provide clarification in response to the line (which
already contains a typographical error),

"The military's procurement and research and development programs,
from which defense companies most of their profits, are considered
vulnerable, especially those that are behind schedule or over budget."

What research did you perform to confirm R&D efforts reap defense
companies the highest profits?

Thank you for your time, I look forward to a response,


Saturday, November 05, 2005


Another WP article that made me sick to my stomach:

If legislators responsible for running the country were held to the same fiscal responsibilities as CEOs, the US would be under indictment. We are drawing ourselves farther from reality and common sense to a caste-based appropriation system where Republican party members who fall in line are rewarded (monetarily) in their districts, leading ultimately to re-election. Constituencies are left in the dark regarding daily Congressional interactions, that dip into their pockets for pork-barrel funding.

Washington needs more practical occupations (engineers, etc.) elected, who understand the bottom line and cumulative statistics, rather than having en egotistical focus and trying to allot maximum spending to their district.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Nothing Going On

Is it just me, or is everything really slow this time of year? Headlines revolving around the Bird Flu and the judges in the Tom Delay case wouldn't even make the cut for 'I Love the '00s - 3D'.

Usually I fawn over the repartee' surrounding a VH1 special, but the current installment of abreviated years is truly lacking. The spots are weak (Fruit Roll Ups?) and the commentary is horrible, I don't think Biz Markie even speaks english.

Circumstances are getting desparate, miserable TV and a slow week at work have thrysted my attention to my Fantasy Basketball team, which I cannot decipher to be decent or miserable. I've got Lebron, Carmelo, Dwight Howard, Jason Richardson, Rip Hamilton, Antawn Jamison, Brendan Haywood, Darius Miles, Emeka Okafor, Smush Parker. Who knows?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Great Wizards win tonight. I love how the Wizards have become a likeable/marketable team, dumping Kwame and not chasing Larry Hughes at $13M/per and allowing him to play second fiddle to Lebron.

I am soliciting advice for my Fantasy Basketball League, as I have no clue what I am doing. I ended up having the first pick, and took Lebron, with no knowledge of how pre-rankings are established (S. Marion #3?).

While not my team, it bears mentioning the way one team's draft played out. I think he had a better chance at winning Powerball.

RD Player
1 Steve Nash
2 Yao Ming
3 Andrew Bogut
4 Paul Gasol
5 Kyle Corver
6 Tony Parker
7 Raef Lafrentz
8 Mike Miller
9 Jason Williams
10 Troy Murphy
11 Keith Van Horn

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

What the?

At what point did Mars shrink the dimensions of its 'Fun Size' Halloween candy? I was extremely disappointed, and somewhat angry, while distributing candy to trick-or-treaters to discover the size reduction. When I was of the age to trick-or-treat, one fun size bar was a decent take, which has since become miserable, as 5/6 current fun size treats have the cumulative size of one normal candy bar.

I have great respect for Reese's, whose size has remainded constant.