I’m thankful for: Fantasy Football Update

I won!

I won the regular season at least. In our league the first 13 weeks are the regular season and weeks 14-16 are the playoffs. I won mainly because every random player I drafted on a whim turned out to be great. Notably, Michael Turner who became the heart soul and scoring center of my team. This is even better than it sounds because this is a keeper league, so I’ll go into next year with a strong core.

I haven’t had many super-strong weeks lately. There’s a good chance I won’t win it all in the end. And may I add, how do the Titans put 47 points on the board without throwing to Bo Scaiffe!? C’mon! Either way I’ll be very happy, I don’t think I’ve ever won any league like this.

What I’m not thankful for: No prize for the winner. Bragging rights are nice, but cash is even nicer!

Links o’ Interest

Star Trek movie trailer. I didn’t realize was Trekdom was so riled about this one. It’s the story of Kirk and Spock, with new actors playing them. Looks very good to me.

Cut and Paste

The chosen people

Funny, and wise

What creature is this warning about?

Bruce Lee playing ping pong. Incredible (but true?)

IQ by occupation

Real class: Car of teens hits and kills other driver. They won’t help, but order fast-food to delivery scene. Follow-up: he’s escaped custody.

There’s bed-head, then there’s space-head

Yes, this is a real book

Bad jobs: Cranial brick transporter

I just love the internet.

AC DC’s newest video is in Excel ASCII format. Very neat.

To err is human…

Dying 11-year old’s last wish, feed the homeless.

Patriots Update

I feel it’s time to give some kind of report card on my beloved Patriots. My problem is that I haven’t seen many games. Last year almost every Pats game was on national TV, this year there have been only two or three. It’s hard to get a read. But lack of knowledge has never stopped me yet so here we go.

  • Defense: We haven’t had a good secondary since the Law/Milloy days. Getting older every year, but they are still getting it done. Mayo’s a monster.
  • Offensive Line: These guys are the key. Early in the season they looked terrible. Cassel was having bad games because he couldn’t stand in the pocket for more than a second. Everyone looks bad when they are about to be sacked. As they have tightened up Cassel has looked better every game.
  • Cassell and the long ball: Cassel started off throwing only short passes. Why? In the games I watched, whenever he threw it more than 20 yards it was way off the mark. I mean, way off. He looked like I would. I’m not sure what has happened lately but all of a sudden he’s throwing long accurately. This has opened up the offense.
  • Using Moss: In the first half of the season he didn’t even try to throw to Moss. What a waste! Now that he’s going to him a lot, Moss is catching them a lot. Funny how that works.

So is Cassel the real deal? Clearly, he’s a good player. But is it him, or the system? I tend to agree with Tuesday Morning Quarterback, it’s mostly the system. Belichik looks better every day. And trade Brady? It’s worth asking I suppose, but it’s crazy. Cassel’s playing well, but a few games does not a hall-of-famer make. Let’s see how things stand at the end of the season and talk then.

Muttroxia: Best of 2006 and 2005

As 2008 begins to wrap up, let’s take a trip back a few years. This is my personal list of the best Muttroxia posts of the first couple years. Better to do this late than never. (Best of 2007 is here.)

Politics & Government:
My analysis of the 2004 Presidential Election. I still stand by it.

Analyzing food combinations at Romano’s and Waffle House, why you’re always in the slow lane, and reality TV talent shows. I work the numbers on a particularly bad editorial, decimate an NPR talking point, and work through the game theory of stock manipulation.

Sports & Games:
Grading Sports and the Funnel Theory, 1, 2, and 3.
College Sports suck. The fans too.

Dumb Observations, Humor and Other:
Bad user interface on clocks
Paying at the Grocery
Roadsigns, roadsigns, and labels
Pizza Orientation (you’re still all wrong), and the pizza postulate (still holding up).
I discover I’m old, trying to play soccer with the young ‘uns.
The Bed-couch is still a great idea.
Death to Pandas!
Analyzing the top 500 rock songs, which leads me to the top Aerosmith songs ever.
I hate carseats. I really do. Plastic bags, Circuit City, encores, and tipping also.

Top 5 Indigo Girls songs

I didn’t realize what a strong Indigo Girls contingent there was in my readership. I haven’t listened to them for a long time. It was a good excuse to play two hours straight of music. This is mostly their first two ‘real’ albums, because that’s all I know. I have three more recent albums but somehow they never get on the playlist. So picking a top five wasn’t very hard at all compared to the Aerosmith exercise.

Another thing I learned from the Aerosmith. I have put links to most of these songs. But they are not tagged as .mp3s, you’ll have to add that to the filename. It’s my hope that this will keep the music thieves from stealing my bandwidth. If not then I’ll have to take all the .mp3s down from here also.

This was spurred on my commenters from my last post, go read that one. Funny how we all pretty much agree.

Galileo: This one has gotten better over the years. I think this was when they had figured out how electric they wanted to be. They were adding more instrumentation and featuring more of a band sound than before. The lyrics resonate with me more each time I hear it.
Blood & Fire: Not only is it a beautiful song, but very nostalgic. For a couple years in the ’90s I was hanging out with an old high school friend Amanda. Amanda was a singer and this was one of the songs we’d do together. It’s a fairly easy song to do on guitar (A, B, and E. Until tonight it never occurred to me to put a capo on the 2nd fret.), and it fit our moody style. Wonder what happened to ol’ Amanda. I gotta get on Facebook soon.
Closer to Fine: The classic that started it all. I play this one at gatherings, it never fails to get the girls off their feet.
Land of Canaan: I almost put down Prince of Darkness. I get them confused in my head. Prince of Darkness has a strong chorus and a good shout or two but lacks the verse and drive of Land of Canaan.
Welcome Me: I am not picking a number one, but I have a feeling this might be it. It still holds up. A great song.

Honorable Mentions:
Down by The River: This was in the top 5. Something had to be cut and since they didn’t write this one I pulled it out. I just love this kind of music. Deep moody electric music with strong chord changes. It’s the kind of song I sink into. (And of course you know that the original is by Neil Young, right?)
Keeper of My Heart: I really like the chorus. Here is my love and anger… Unfortunately that’s the only part I remember. I couldn’t understand why my copy of Nomads Indians & Saints didn’t have a song called Love and Anger.
Kid Fears: I can’t argue with Biff, it’s a great tune. It’s back when hearing Michael Stipe’s voice didn’t make me want to gouge my own eyes out. And it is a fun easy one on guitar, but it didn’t age well for me. The chorus is great but the verses were only so-so.
Midnight Train to Georgia: The original is great, but this cover holds it on and a little more. Ani DeFranco plays on this also.
Crazy Game: From their truly first album Strange Fire. Mostly forgettable, but this song has always stuck with me.

(By the way, chords for Down by the River, Closer to Fine, Welcome Me, and Kid Fears are available — email me privately.)

Amy Ray rocks

We caught her solo act last night. Awesome. Like the Indigo Girls, but electric and loud and hard. Girl can sing!

No, she didn’t do any Indigo Girl songs. At least none I knew, I haven’t kept up with the Indigo Girls for a good 10 years or more. She had the keyboardist from the Indigo Girls there. She was wonderful, could play great keyboards, instantly harmonized perfectly with Amy, and generally was getting down. The rest of the band was so-so. Certainly not bad but not particularly stand-out for a headlining act.

Amy is just immensely talented. Her singing is not only good, it has an incredible self-confidence. Not even arrogant, but after you’ve sold that many albums and toured that often, you just know that you’re good.

The guitar playing is great. Nothing complicated, but well-written songs that feature the guitar sounds. It’s amazing how much a simple rhythm works when it’s done just right.