Thursday, December 23, 2010

Grey Area

I don't understand the punishment received by the Ohio State football players who were sanctioned for receiving improper benefits."

"The players are eligible for the bowl game because the NCAA determined they did not receive adequate rules education during the time period the violations occurred, Lennon said."

Quite the non-ruling ruling. On the heels of the Cam Newton ruling, the NCAA continues to arbitrarily dole out punishment, rendering their decisions as laughable. The NCAA couldn't be more transparent that bowl revenues drive their decisions.

As Pryor and his teammates enter the draft, they will escape any punishment.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Luck on Our Side

While I was caught off guard by the benching of Donovan McNabb, I was completely puzzled as to why Mike Shanahan would hand the keys to the Fiero to Rex Grossman. The Redskins thought enough of John Beck to trade for him, and he has a much greater upside than RG.

Then it hit me, and made complete sense.

Shanahan does not want to win. Losses increase draft equity.

The Redskins want Andrew Luck.

John Beck gives the Redskins a greater chance for victory, and if he shows any flash of talent, it will impede instilling Luck as QB from day one. Keeping Beck planted on the bench prevents any chance of an offseason quarterback controversy. The Redskins will show McNabb the door, Rex isn't taken seriously as the starter, and Beck remains an unknown quantity.

Strangely, I fully agree the Redskins need Luck. He is a proven winner, and has the upstanding 'it' quality of a winner. The Redskins won't draft another Auburn dual threat QB (Newton) and may settle for Mallett, but Luck is needed to revive this franchise.

If his career doesn't pan out, he can run for Congressional office.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

RIP Bob Feller

Really sad to hear of the passing of Bob Feller. He was the first autograph I ever received (who wasn't a Disney character) at a Prince William Pirates game. I remember him being extremely patient and nice, and I thought, "wow, he's just like my grandfather."

I cannot think of a better compliment to give.

Little did I know of his experience or character, which I've come to learn. I'm glad my first autograph egged me to dig deeper. He was a great individual.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Weekend Chevron Thoughts

- Graeme McDowell makes the most of his talent. His final three holes (ridiculous bogey save on 17, 20 footer for birdies on 18 & P1) at the Chevron World Challenge were magnificent. I don't know how his swing doesn't lead him to hook every shot.

- European golfers putt better than their American counterparts. The (current) best professional putters - McDowell, Poulter, and Kaymer.

- The PGA Tour needs more match play, what better time than the Silly Season? Possibly something similar to Wentworth, but with eight golfers, three round-robin matches, and then a semi-final and final. Possibly invite golfers across different tours (PGA, LPGA, Champions, Nationwide).

- Has anyone heard from Ryo Ishikawa in the last six months?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

I'm Embarrassed to Admit...

In the throes of Election Season, I figured there was no better time to watch a Wizards game and provide an outlook on their 2010-2011 prospects.

It will not be pretty. The team is a collection of individual parts, with little cohesion. I don't blame it on newcomers learning the scheme, but the attempt to capitalize on mismatches, to the detriment of development or team cohesion.

The Wizards have a few (two) bright spots.

1.) John Wall - Exciting and talented, and willing to defend and jump passing lanes. Needs to improve shot mechanics and bulk up (while keeping his speed). Beyond speed, he has the ability to fluidly change gears. Unfortunately, hits the floor 10-12 times a game; I hope he has the endurance to last a full NBA season.

2.) Javale McGee - He hustles and has size. Pithy compliments to pay a seven footer making millions, but it passes for praise on the Wizards. He received a standing ovation when he advanced the ball on a fast break.

Middling Wizards:
3.) Andray Blatche - Has size, but refuses to battle in the paint. Content to "operate" from the perimeter and settle for an off-balance contested shot. Not looking to involve his teammates in the offense, marginal defender. Has had two years worth of NBA development in his sixth year in the league. Somehow this constitutes 'middling'.

4.) Nick Young - Spot-up shooter, cannot create his own shot. Had no interest in the outcome of the game.

Horrible Wizards:
4.) Kirk Hinrich - Lost a step since his time in Chicago, which is painful, considering he only started with 3/4 step. Cannot push the ball in transition, or create his own shot. Defensive liability.

And, barely jersey-worthy:
5.) Yi Jianlian - No low post presence. Refuses to work in the paint, and pulled all his rebounds on deflections. Plays like a guard, the worst guard in the NBA. I watched incredulously (and comically) as he hoisted threes. Cannot be in the lineup as the game concludes, as he is a poor FT shooter, and poor defender.

The Wizards need Gilbert Arenas in the lineup (to replace KH), but I worry he'll take shots from Wall. Wall had a great line in last night's Win over Philadelphia (29, 13, 9 steals) but looked exhausted after playing almost 45 minutes.

I'd love to see the Wizards distribute PT to some of the end-of-the-benchers. Cartier Martin has a good shot, appears to hustle, and led to the call of the night ("Cartier playing like a gem!"). They need to dismantle every component of the team not named Wall or McGee and develop size (at any cost). Get something for Arenas while he still has value (any value). I'd take Luke Babbitt for Arenas, who would provide size and an unselfish attitude.

The Wizards are going to have a difficult season. Game 3, at home versus the Sixers, was a must win, which required a buzzer-beating game-tying three to be pushed to overtime. Between a few great nights from Wall and/or Arenas &unexpected wins, I'd guess they win 25 games (25 - 57).

I'd forgotten the pain of the final two minutes of a close NBA game. The half court inbounds after a dead ball won the game for the Wizards, but it was a bore to watch.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Swings and Misses

After Matteo Manassero's European Tour victory, I figured I'd check the progress of my October 2009 Best Golfers Under 25. Updated 2010 rankings below.

10. Tony Finau - Who?

9. Pablo Martin - I remember him being in contention in a few Euro Tour events. Currently 71st on the Euro Tour $ list.

8. Shane Lowry - Saw him on a mid-week Golf Channel Ireland Match with McIlroy, Clarke, and Harrington.

7. Rickie Fowler - Monday Ryder Cup heroics for a team which fell agonizingly short. No PGA wins, but a consistent performer and check casher.

6. Jason Day - PGA Tour winner, had a breakout year.

5. Ryo Ishikawa - Solid year, made cuts in Majors, played sparingly in the US.

4. Matteo Manassero - Great win in Europe, becoming the youngest winner on the European Tour.

3. Jamie Lovemark - Solidly in the Top Five on the Nationwide Tour, will begin career on the PGA Tour in 2011.

2. Anthony Kim - Injury plagued 2010.

1. Rory McIlroy - Win at Quail Hollow right before turning 21. Missed the PGA Championship playoff by a stroke (T3)

2010 Golfers Under 25

10. Seung-yul Noh - Leads the Asian Tour in scoring average.
9. Kevin Chappell - A win on the Nationwide Tour and the game to win on the PGA Tour.
8. Oliver Fisher - Some success on the Euro Tour (2nd, 2010 Madeira Islands Open), still looking for first win.
7. Danny Willett - Finished 2nd at the 2010 Dunhill Championship and has seven Top 10 finishes on the 2010 Euro Tour.
6. Chris Wood - Impressive showings in the Open, needs more consistency on the Euro Tour.
5. Jamie Lovemark
4. Jason Day
3. Matteo Manassero
2. Rickie Fowler
1. Rory McIlroy

At some point, very soon, two or three of these guys will be in contention on Sunday (PGA 2011) vying for their first win at a Major.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Style Blogs

As the list of blogs I follow evolves, I've gained interest in style blogs, which also seem to be proliferating. A few good (great) ones that won't steer your wrong:

A Time To Get - The best, a great place to start, and possibly end. Amazing content (LA based), and Nick is a great guy. I've read from start to finish. Also runs The Get Up and Get Down
A Continuous Lean - One of the bigger style spots, with excellent content
Manifold Destiny - DC based, although you'd be hard pressed to guess.
You Have Broken the Internet - Coming hard out of Chicago.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pet Sounds

Is Brian Wilson's beard an homage to Brian Wilson's beard?

Friday, October 01, 2010

Ryder Cup - Friday

The US rain suits have already been fired. Ms. Pavin is not available for comments. Honestly, if you ditch the original raingear, why wouldn't you let the team wear their own?

You're getting old when you remember Squeegeegate from 1995 @ Oak Hill, when they weren't squeegeeing through the hole.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

2010 Ryder Cup - Fourball

7:45 AM -- Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson (USA) vs. Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer (EUR)
8:00 AM -- Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar (USA) vs. Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell (EUR)
8:15 AM -- Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods (USA) vs. Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher (EUR)
8:30 AM -- Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton (USA) vs. Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington (EUR)

I give Captain Corey Pavin (CCP) a C+. Furyk would hvae paired well with Cink, Watson, or Overton, as would Zach Johnson, who excels at 8-15 foot putts. I'm not surprised Mahan has a late wake up call, but I think Fowler could have have energized the US team with an early win. Additionally, I'm sure Watson/Fowler have orchestrated some crazy handshakes for post birdie/eagle celebration.

Thankfully, European Captain Montgomerie fared almost as poorly (B-). Kaymer is a must play, as are Westwood, McIlroy, and McDowell, but his final two pairings are short hitting duos, and Harrington's flight should have been scheduled to arrive Saturday evening. Ross Fisher is a wildcard, and Luke Donald is playing well.
Europe's final pairings are too similar in their games.

Expect a short course setup in the morning.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ryder Cup 2010

Celtic Manor is upon the us. The Ryder Cup is two days away. Corey Pavin, heed my advice, and fist pumping up the fairways carrying the Ryder Cup trophy will be almost as sweet as your Cleveland 4W baton at Shinnecock Hills in 1995.

Friday AM - Fourball

Tiger Woods & Steve Stricker - The dynamic duo from Harding Park, the pairings works, and they should be inseparable during the week.

Phil Mickelson & Dustin Johnson - Practcie round buddies, requested to play together. Grant their request (only in fourball).

Jeff Overton & Jim Furyk - Team USA has a propensity for playing all team members on Day 1, and you don't want JO spraying it in the afternoon foursomes. Pair him with the hot hand and Ryder Cup vet.

Bubba Watson & Rickie Fowler - Again, a pairing of brochachos. Rookie jitters are superseded by ability to bag fowl.

Friday PM - Foursomes

TW & SS - The Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson (or Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman) of the Ryder Cup

PM & Stewart Cink - Both good putters. SC provides length and accuracy.

Zach Johnson & Matt Kuchar - Put them on the range together in the AM, comaring the likenesses between Des Moines and Atlanta. Plus, a hotter hand (ZJ) and the slightly-cooling-off MK.

JF & Hunter Mahan - Both have Ryder Cup experience, and their games (similar length & putting ability) mesh well.

Monday, September 27, 2010

KC Chiefs - 3-0

The title is a bit of a misnomer, as I'm more impressed with Thomas Jones than the Chiefs staying undefeated through Week 3. The guy just wins ballgames. A three time castaway (Cardinals, Bears, Jets), his teams are winners, and he produces, often in the backup RB role. He's a great platoon player, and knows his role.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Jeff George

I was at the beach LDW and wanted to throw around the pigskin. The only option was a relic. Not the contemporary Nerf-y garbage, the football was older than 80% of the people on the beach. If it were to get wet, it would have weighed 93lbs. It was autographed by Knute Rockne.

Man did my arm hurt all week.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Ryder Cup Captain's Picks

I'm guessing Pavin selects (in order of confidence):

Tiger Woods
Zach Johnson
Stewart Cink
Anthony Kim (despite the bad wrist)

I'm shaky on my Kim pick, if not Kim, I'd expect Nick Watney. I'd love to see Rickie Fowler, but I think we'll have to wait until 2012.

Sorry Charlie Hoffman, if one tournament win made you a selection, Greg Kraft (Puerto Rico 2009) should be really upset.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chambers Bay Postmortem

The 2010 Amateur was the unveiling of Chambers Bay. While the course was a stern test for the field (it can be stretched to 7700 yards) I don't know how it will fare when the US Open is contested at CB in 2015.

I don't see how CB can be groomed to US Open standards. The rough is wispy and doesn't receive irrigation, and bunkers line many of the fairways, in lieu of rough. The bunkers won't be as penal as the deep rough which has become a US Open hallmark.

The greens are severely undulated, requiring novel approaches which take advantages of the bounces to find the right level of the putting surfaces. If the surrounding turf was to be grown to US Open height, it would negate the banking required for shots to approach the hole, and detract from the original intention of the course. Conditions (wind, rain) didn't appear to play much of a factor.

What will make CB difficult? Length? The amateurs were hitting mid-iron approaches on 500+ yard par fours. I guess the course could be stretched (8000+?), but it needs to be configured in reverse. Figure out what club/shots should be hit for approaches, and place tees accordingly.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

2010 US Amateur

In the same vein of Whistling Straits, the 2010 US Amateur is at Chambers Bay. Scotland in Washington (state). I'm all for introducing new courses into the 'elite US rota', but is an imported feel a prerequisite for membership in the club?

Great five by David Chung at the 26th hole. Really utilized the slope of the green for the hole-out par. Great individual, as is Peter Uihlein. Two highly ranked amateurs (#4 and #1, respectively) in the midst of great summers. (Chung winning the Western Amateur).

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sleeper Cell

In an effort to get healthy, I've tried to eat/drink better (I no longer drink soda) and exercise daily. To improve my mental health, I may need to give up sports radio.

The "analysis" of the circadian rhythms of Jim Furyk is ridiculous. The situation can be stated in two words.

He overslept.

Hosts/callers have opened Pandora's box regarding the laziness/spoiled nature of athletes ("he's entitled and doesn't have to attend mandatory functions"), which flies past the border of absurd into downright stupidity.

How it is still a story on Friday, I have no idea. There is tournament golf being played (FedEx tournament golf, for what that is worth).

Thursday, August 12, 2010

PGA 2010

Great to see Darren Clarke play a good first round, a win would be well deserved.

I don't know what to make of Whistling Straits. Is it links golf, or a cookie cutter Pete Dye. Having played the Pete Dye club in West Virginia, I see many similarities, to include fairways with excessive contours, and severe changes (elevation, angle, lie) from fairway to rough. Large greens which rely on undulations rather than shape, and surrounding mounding and bunkering. Over bunkering in the fairways.

I'm not overly impressed. I guess I'm a sucker for golf history, and a Vijay Singh win doesn't qualify.

Thinking back to the Vijay win, where is Chris DiMarco these days?


In the vein of micromanaging, microreporting from the PGA.

"The first and ninth tees remained shrouded in fog. No player was actively hitting balls on the range. Australians Jason Day and Stuart Appleby were having a conversation, while Day simultaneously bounced a golf ball with his wedge. Appleby finally removed his visor, hooked it on his bag and walked to the locker room."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Hawk

I've always been a huge fan of Andre Dawson. He'd wield the bat like a flyswatter with a vendetta.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Greenbrier Classic Post Mortem

A wonderful week for The Greenbrier Classic. It started with Erik Compton in the lead, and ended with Stuart Appleby's 59 to clinch the tournament win by a shot. Can anyone really complain when scores are in the mid/low 60s, with one 59? Let the pros shoot -68, I prefer the birdie-fest to the monotonous finishes at other tournaments (US Open).

Wonderful win for Appleby, he's one of the true nice guys on Tour, and easily one of the most resilient (possibly #2, behind Compton).

It was embarrassing to watch Jeff Overton repeatedly tamp down spike marks on Sunday, in addition to repeated club drops on his follow-through, cursing, and his visor toss, which brought back George Welsh memories. He needs a major demeanor adjustment.

Charles Howell III played a bogey free tournament, his reward? T9. Crazy.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Greenbrier Open

The hero and the...

Co-leaders after Round One are Erik Compton and Matt Every. The two time heart transplant recipient and the laughingstock of the PGA for his possession charge.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Future Major Winners - Who, Where, and When

Watching Louis Oosthuizen pulverize St. Andrews out of nowhere (he'd made one cut in a Major) got me to wondering who will be the next first time winners in Majors, and when. In order of overall likelihood of winning a Major:

5. Ian Poulter (2011, Royal St. George's). IPs game is suited for links golf, I was surprised he didn't play better @ St. Andrews. IP isn't the youngest (34), if he doesn't get it in the next 3-4 years, his window may have closed. I wouldn't be surprised if he played well at Whistling Straits in the PGA.

4. Rickie Fowler (US Open, Merion, 2013). Oozes game, and played well (back door T14 A St. Andrews) in windy conditions @ his first professional experience in the British Open. I thought his swing would break down in the wind, but it only got stronger. I look forward to seeing it taxed on the leaderboard of a Major.

3. Rory McIlroy (US Open, Congressional C.C., 2011). Young, with many opportunities to win. Game is well suited for all Majors.

2. Anthony Kim (Masters, Augusta National, 2011). Remember him? He's been missing from the headlines since surgery to repair his wrist, but his game (length, putting) is suited for Augusta (no rough).

1. Martin Kaymer (PGA, Atlanta A.C. 2011). Great swing? Check. Young? Check (24). Major experience? Check (T7 @ Open). Other wins? Check (Five Euro Tour wins). MK will win multiple Majors. His stoicism reminds me of fellow countryman Bernhard Langer.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Open - 2010

Lee Westwood is my pick for the week. Scores are going to be ridiculously low. McIlroy will only gain confidence with a great first round.

Meanwhile, a great story developing with John Daly.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Circling the Drain

Wow, the list of unsigned NBA free agents is awful.

The only players with any redeeming value:

1. Shaun Livingston - Unfortunately, his time in DC is over, with the drafting of John Wall.

2. Quentin Richardson - He is still good for 10 & 4.

3. Linas Kleiza - Good size, can play a number of positions. Good hustle.

The Wizards should try to sign McGrady (a consistent forward, with Grant Hill renaissance potential?) or any of the aforementioned (even Livingston, as a Wall backup).

Thursday, July 08, 2010


How is Paul Goydos' 59 at the John Deere Classic not on the front page of

Has golf become that irrelevant?

Ordering the 59s (best/worst)

1. David Duval @ Bob Hope Chrysler Classic - 4th Round - 'The Fatty Fist Pump'
2. Al Geiberger
3. Paul Goydos
4. Chip Beck

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


It was disappointing to see Kevin Durant resigned with Oklahoma City. I was hoping he'd return to his DC roots after his contract expired.

I'll continue (or start, maybe) the Carmelo Anthony vigil.He'd pair great with John Wall (or anyone running the point).

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Brinson Paolini - VSGA Amateur Champion

Brinson Paolini is a name to follow in golf. Having just completed his ACC Freshman of the Year season at Duke, he won his unprecedented 3rd straight VSGA Amateur title. At 19 years old. The kid can play. I expect him to follow in the footsteps of previous VSGA Amateur champions (John Rollins), and parlay his win into professional success. Belle Haven is a difficult golf course, and he owned it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Caption Contest

The confluence of Eric's two loves?

Friday, June 18, 2010

2010 Majors

Excellent first day at the US Open, with coverage stretching until 10pm EST. A West Coast US Open @ Pebble (late) and the British @ St. Andrews (early) I don't think we'll ever see better adjacent Majors (on the heels of a memorable Masters).

Unfortunately, the PGA is at Whistling Straits, which pales in comparison to the other venues. The only PGA location comparable to the first three Majors would be Baltusrol.

At Pebble, I completely missed the Hudson Swafford 8-9 finish (after coverage stopped). He got Santana Moss'ed.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The 2010 US Open @ Pebble Beach

The opening round of the 2010 US Open is upon us. The US Open should be played at Pebble Beach more frequently. Maybe once every eight years? I'd like to see a Pebble, Oakmont, Shinnecock 'mini-rota' every eight years, with the other five years in the rota being populated by lesser courses (Bethpage, anything but Olympic).

As for the tournament, history dictates the winner will be a iconic golfer at the top of his game (Nicklaus, Watson, errrr Kite, Woods).

Long Shot - David Duval. Plays US Opens well.
Dark Horse - Francesco Molinari. Like his plodding/accurate game.
Favorite - Ernie Els. Pebble Beach is a fitting venue for Major #4 for The Big Easy.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Happy 40th Birthday

Phil Mickelson. A triumph at Pebble Beach would be a great present.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Erik Compton

The kid is a true fighter, and a story everyone should know. A true hero of golf. He epitomizes what it means to be an athlete, and to compete.

I'm excited for the US Open at Pebble Beach. Johnny Miller stated (paraphrased), 'The US Open should be contested on three courses, Pebble Beach, Oakmont, and Shinnecock Hills.' Which I decipher as, 'The US Open should be contested on three courses, Oakmont, Oakmont, and Oakmont.'

Saturday, June 05, 2010

John Wooden

The world lost the best, with the passing of John Wooden. He transcended his occupation, a truly great man.

My favorite story about John Wooden was how he steadfastly wrote love letters to his wife, Nell, , even after her passing (twenty four years ago).

On Friday, he asked his son to give him a fresh shave. When his son asked why, John responded.

"I'm going to see Nell."

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Miserable Company - LG

We've recently replaced our air conditioning units. The old units were Chrysler units, which lasted easily 20+ years. We upgraded to LG. Unfortunately, the LG in our bedroom is a complete lemon. We fired it up, it doesn't cool, and sounds terrible.

Dealing with LG customer service has been horrible. Their 'process' (which they refuse to divulge) requires a 'unit review' by a repairman to determine if the unit can be repaired, or needs to be replaced. If either is required, based on factors LG won't explain, they decide if they will cover the replacement. They have already raised concerns, since the unit we purchased was made in 2008. They seem to believe they may not cover brand new units made two years ago (!). They also won't let us know the duration of the decision process, which, as temperatures in DC reach 90' is miserable.

Thankfully, we'd been considering LG appliances for our kitchen, which we will now run away from. For a $500 AC unit, they've negated any chance I'll be spending $3000+ on their kitchen appliances. LG's loss, Kenmore or GE's gain.

Update: After another call, even if the unit is determined to be a piece of garbage, and a replacement is sent, LG won't cover the cost of removal of the old unit and installation of the new unit. I'm guessing they sub out the work and won't pay for the associated labor.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


The new (self-titled) Stone Temple Pilots album drops today. I've always been a huge fan of the band and consider them to be vastly underrated. Scott Weiland is back, hopefully to deliver the camp from Tiny Music...Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop and driving, soulfulness form Purple. Hard to believe he is still making music, and not a casualty of addiction.

STP occupy a huge chunk of my early 1990s/high school memories. Learning to drive my Grandmother's hand-me-down Chevrolet Cavalier, 'The Brown Hornet', windows rolled down, trying not to stick to the plastic seat.

Monday, May 24, 2010

UVA Men's Golf

Unreal ending to the East Regional @ Yale, as UVA advances to the NCAA Championships.

AB and ER

Attended a wonderful interview session with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert on Friday night. The event had no set agenda, it was just the two on stage (with a moderator) to discuss their experiences, anecdotes, beliefs, and leanings. Q&A followed, and, finally, a meet and greet and book signing. Both were very humorous, with ER being more understated/subtle than AB.

I enjoyed listening to AB's take on foie gras, which was on point. Food critics should be attacking Monsanto/Cargill ("big food") and the King, Colonel, and Clown as opposed to foie gras. Both AB and ER buy only from purveyors of the highest quality, and when you visit their farms/facilities, "the ducks happily approach humans, which is something you don't experience in a mass produced facility".

Briefly met both at the book signing, and, while being near the end of the line, both were humorous and engaging. To keep on theme, they compared the wait to the wait of a production line, which was apt.

Reflecting on the night, it is apparent the two are good friends (ER introduced AB to his wife) as they engage with ease. I think they'd be a great duo for a movie, possibly a food themed remake of The Apple Dumpling Gang? AB would be a great Tim Conway.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Annoy and Enjoy

Normally I like to keep my writing upbeat, but I need to vent. I watch little TV, but of the few shows I follow, these people annoy me the most.

3. Rachael Ray - Food Network - Seems overly fake, and has bastardized the skill required for great cooking.

2. Michael Breed - The Golf Fix, TGC - An annoying mile-a-minute personality.

1. James Oseland - Top Chef Masters - I love how the chefs/judges rebuke every comment he makes. By the way, food cannot 'be subterfuged', subterfuge is a noun, not a verb.

On a better note, three types of candy reminding me of childhood.

3. Baby Ruth
2. Krakel (or Special Dark) - I don't think I ever had a full (non-mini) bar
1. Rolos

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Umbrian Wine Tasting

I attended a wine tasting of Umbrian wines, produced fully organically. Organic production easily leads to a philosophical discussion, as the wine essentially 'makes itself' from the grapes, and the well-timed squeeze of the vinter. Unfortunately, I was not overly impressed with the resulting product. While in some cases it developed for an extended period before bottling (2+ years) there was not a direct relationship to an improvement in quality of the wines. They did not measure up to their Italian brethren.

Regarding the whites, I'm predisposed to assess an Umbrian white (or any Italian white) two immediate strikes. Italian whites are Chris Gaines, why not stick to reds? Poor coloring, a less than floral nose, and a lackluster finish left me unimpressed, and having no inclination to purchase.

Unfortunately the reds really suffered on account of the fully organic production, resulting in very one-note wines. Coloring tended to be on the lighter side, and complexity was non-existent. The wines were very dry, and, in large quantity, would lead to puckering. I don't see how they would pair well with food. Normally, I prefer a bolder red (Brunello or Barolo), but, of the Umbrians, liked the lighter reds, which were more drinkable. Food/cheese parings (especially a brie) would most likely enhance the reds.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

I've watched...

...a lot of golf. Rory McIlroy's 62 @ Quail Hollow was one of the best rounds I've ever seen. It was a pleasure to watch. I'm speechless. Wow.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Shots of Thoughts

Fruits of the day (in order of preference): Banana, apple (Granny Smith), raspberries, blueberries. I wish peaches were in season.

Cities I've never visited: LA, Chicago

Cities I want to visit: Nashville, Austin

My guess at the Washington Nationals 2010 record - 76-86

Unappreciated artist: Bob Seeger

A great way to kill five minutes.

Friday, April 23, 2010

NFL Draft Thoughts

- Redskins started to shore their line drafting Williams from Oklahoma. His athleticism pairs well with the running game I'd expect Shanahan to espouse.

- Congratulations to the Denver Broncos for drafting the 2nd best WR in the draft (as opposed to Dex Bryant) and a fullback in the first round (Tim Tebow). Congratulations to the Tim Tebow team, for making him appear to be a serviceable QB. Did Denver lose his tape from the Senior Bowl? Performing well, with an abbreviated throwing motion, in a workout is the equivalent of hitting it well on the driving range. It rarely transitions to the course. Once he is facing a rush, and is forced to move in the pocket, he'll revert to his natural (long) motion, which does not afford enough time to deliver before succumbing to the oncoming rush. Denver needs to develop an excellent running game to give him any chance to succeed.

- The Detroit Lions are building an entertaining team. Bradford, Suh, Best are great faces for the franchise.

- Jimmy Clausen (still in free-fall) has a huge chip on his shoulder. A Drew Brees'esque chip. Time will tell if he uses it to positively motivate his development. I expect him to go to the Vikings @ 34 or the Chefs @ 36.

- The draft on Thursday night was novel, but I'll miss the late Friday scuttlebutt leading up to a Friday draft. I remember the breathless Ed Werder coverage when the Texans chose to draft Mario Williams over Reggie Bush.

- Loved the Make A Wish kid announcing the Steelers pick.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Apple Dumpling Gang

I'm extremely impressed how, in a time of cynicism and explicit ignorance towards advertising gimmicks, Apple's "discovered" 4G iPhone could cause such a stir. As social media expands, like a spilled liquid, Apple exploited the oldest advertising trick in the book, suspension of disbelief.

For the story to be accurate, and the phone loss to be accidental, Apple would have to allow a twenty eight year old engineer to leave the premises with the hone. Apple is the company who made iPad developers work in supervised locations before the release of the device.

The discovered phone was sold (scalped) for $5,000. It could have been sold to a techno-geek for $100K.

Oh, and yesterday Apple released their earnings report. Fortuitous timing.

Well played, Mr. Jobs, well played.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Grounded, Understanding

Yesterday a coworker brought his seven year old daughter to the office, which was a departure from the routine to which I've grown accustomed, to the point of ignoring the obvious. Through the eyes of a child an office must appear overly sanitized, quiet, and structured, which I equate to uninteresting. While we labored, she was engrossed in Shrek, and I'd be lying if my interests didn't begin to lean towards her direction.

The sight of a child in the office enabled me to see many things I've 'unseen' for years, as they've blended into my familiar surroundings. The clacking of keys on the keyboard, the imposing shape of an industrial printer, how to operate a coffee pot. Watching my coworker and his daughter walk the hall, I was shaken from looking without seeing to go beyond the direct image and place the same walk elsewhere, together on the Mall, or into church on a spring morning, rather than executed in an office. One barely knowing the efforts of her Father at work, but knowing her Father.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

UVA v. Clemson

I attended the Saturday contest between UVA and Clemson baseball, in Charlottesville. Oh the heels of a UVA lacrosse dressing-down of JHU, the loss didn't have as great a sting as I would have anticipated. Winning the series didn't hurt.

Davenport is a great field to watch a game. LF seating provides a great perspective of the mountains behind the backstop/reserved seating. Being clustered with the outfield pines provides shade and cover from the fading afternoon sun. There are no bad seats at a college baseball game. The play was spottier than the conditions, I was thankful UVA could win the series with their night victory.

Friday, March 19, 2010

NCAA Odds and Ends

Great slate of games yesterday, best opening day for the the NCAAs since 1998 (Bryce Drew of Valparaiso beating Ole Miss @ the buzzer). I've evolved my opinion on what it takes to win games deep into the tournament, from experience/upperclassmen, to an excellent low-post player, to a versatile wing, to...? My point? I've abandoned thoughts on championship formulas as I've come to the realization upsets result from a.) a guard who can penetrate b.) a lights out two guard. Have both, and you've got an entertaining game.

(Aside - UNC v. W&M @ Carmichael on Tuesday was the best NCAA game I've watched in two years.)

- Not surprised by the Texas collapse. Going to be a long summer in Austin. Ish Smith has 68% of the heart of the WF team.

- Carrying your NCAA bracket in public is worse than an adult bringing a mitt to a Major League baseball game.

- Yesterday was so great there was no mention of Kentucky/Kansas (#1) wins.

- An edict of my personal NCAA bracketality states it is advantageous to enter bracket pools of friends who live outside driving distance, to avoid falling prey to location bias (unless Georgetown is a no-show).

- The Big East bandwagon got (slightly) lighter after yesterday's games.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Austin Freeman, Diabetes, and Georgetown

An uneven season for Georgetown men's basketball got more difficult, as Austin Freeman was diagnosed with diabetes. I feel terrible for AF and the team, and hope they can rally around their best player.

Admittedly, I know little about diabetes, and considered it to be a disease brought on by age. I know it comes in various forms, and Type 2 is brought on by obesity. It can afflict anyone (AF, jay Cutler).

Regardless of the outcome of the Georgetown season, I'd like to see AF and John Thompson III bring awareness to the disease. Georgetown needs to create an awareness platform, and seek to educate area residents on the symptoms, in the hopes of early detection.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Things That Would Never Happen

I'd heard the 2010 NFL Draft was deep, but I had no idea. Reviewing the Pre-Combine Draft Board, I can't remember a year with similar talent. Jhavid Best at 40? Wow.

I wish the Redskins would trade down, and dump any/all players of value for draft picks. This is the draft to have multiple picks in the first two rounds.

I can't stand New England (for numerous reasons, but, in this instance, for their multitude of picks).

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I Stand Corrected

Sport has risen at the Olympics. Great win by USA Mens' Hockey, Bode Miller, and Even Lysacek.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tina Fey Back on SNL

Tina Fey is hosting SNL in April, which will be the flagship show of a mediocre season. The Top five SNL skits I'd love to see Tina Fey parody (parody of a parody).

5.Hub's Gyro Guys (the most underrated skit of all time) (Schneider, Sandler)
4. Church Lady (Dana Carvey)
3. Gumby (Eddie Murphy)
2. Sprokets (Mike Meyers)
1. Matt Foley (Chris Farley)

I hope they combine her played Sarah Palin with Celebrity Jeopardy, or my new favorite, What's Up with That?.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Vancouver Olympics

My up-to-the-moment memories of the Vancouver Olympics:

- The tragic luge death, and resulting inconclusive findings
- Warm temperatures, causing events to be postponed (skiing) or tracks to be resurfaced (short track speed skating)
- Barricade collapse
- NBC taking a bath ($200M+) on Olympic coverage
- Protests

- Thankfully, Canada's gold in men's moguls, and the touching story of Bilodeau brothers, is a bright spot

I don't want to imagine the ramifications if Canada loses the hockey gold.

WGC - Accenture Match Play

Some musings heading into the first round:

- I wouldn't want to pick the winner of the Player bracket, wow (Westwood, Els, Stenson, Ogilvy).

- I expect Lee Westwood to lose to Chris Wood in R1.

- Great matches:
- Ishikawa (8) v. Sim (9)
- Villegas (6) v. Dustin Johnson (11)

Saturday, February 06, 2010


As the snow continues to fall, watching UVA v. Wake I'm reminded of many a Saturday morning rec. basketball game, coming home to watch Pee Wee's Playhouse, and afternoon ACC games.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Who Knew?

I was pleasantly surprised to see Miss America 2010 was from Virginia, and also from Fredericksburg. It spurred some digging. For years I have known of famous Fredericksburg-ians Al Bumbry, Mark Lenzi, Greg Rouse, and Judge Reinhold, but was surprised to learn Danny McBride was raised in Fredericksburg. Impressively D McB still keeps a place in Fredericksburg.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

2010 Abu Dhabi

The Euro Tour event is shaping up for a good final round. Kaymer leads, with Poulter & McIlroy one stroke behind. Chris Wood is also in the hunt. Great watching for Sunday morning. McIlroy is the truth, his swing is a work of art, and approaching the fluidity of Ernie Els. It makes the swing of Poulter appear as if he is trying to suffocate his swing with a pillow.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ears and Eyes

Recently, my musical tendencies have been geared towards more upbeat artists. The latest mix from DJ KnewJack, Cloak and Dagger, is ridiculous. I've been juggling C&D with Girl talk (both NIght Ripper and Feed the Animals), The Blueprint 3, and both Wolfmother albums.

When flipping pages, I'm entranced by Charcuterie, enjoy Drive (although not to the extent I enjoyed AWNM and Johnny Bunko), and am catching up on Chuck Klosterman (IV, although reading in reverse-chronological order dissolves his tightly-wound mind shots into frayed, albeit poignant, rants).