Wednesday, December 31, 2014

To Podcast, or not?

I've been debating whether I should start my own podcast.

I know how to do it.  I did a few for the school last year (but haven't done any this year, because frankly, I haven't had the time), but I should probably start doing those again.

There are a number of sites with free storage where I can hold the mp3 file for the podcast, and I can easily record something.

image from SoundCloud
I'm thinking SoundCloud would be a good place to store the podcast at.  It's free, it's accessible, and it also has it's own app.

But what to talk about?  I can talk about sports.  Current Events.  Pop Culture.  Things like that.  I don't want to talk about my job, or coaching my team, or things of that nature.  They would need to be more about things that are out in the world.

Whatever it is, it wouldn't be very long.  I'm thinking like about 15 minutes or so...maybe I could pull it off once a week.

Every time I consider this, I get cautious, because... well, 2 things:
1.  Who the heck am I to have a podcast?
2.  Who in the world would listen to it?

The other reason I'm hesitant, is that I've been unable to keep any sort of activity going on this blog for the past 6 months, and now I'm thinking about adding a podcast to the mix?

However, there's something about the format that holds interest to me.  I love listening to them, myself, and they can be so interesting on so many front.  The Serial Podcast the past few months was immensely entertaining, and recently I've been introduced to a new podcast called "Startup", that actually discusses the process of starting a new podcast company.  I've only heard 2, but I think it's pretty interesting.

There is something about the format that appeals to me.  I'm a reasonably opinionated person, and it could be something that is fun.

Well, I guess it's a possibility that I'll continue to consider.

I may post a link to a "trial run" of a podcast.

Maybe I'll post something that will have something to do with the Bowl games tomorrow.

Friday, December 26, 2014

This Blog Stinks!

So, I'd been thinking of blogging about something, and I actually looked in here, and the last blog post was in April.  During the 1st round of the NFL Draft?

This Blog does stink.

It's not that there isn't some things out there that I couldn't have blogged about:

  • The REM by MTV Documentary
  • The Foo Fighters Sonic Highways Series on HBO
  • The first "College Football Final Four?
  • Why the NFL is losing credibility (at least for me)
  • "The Interview" movie being cancelled
  • Seeing the Avett Brothers in concert this summer
  • Books I've read (there's been some good ones)
So, you know...  I think I'm going to maybe look at A Total REVAMP!

Re-doing the format, maybe adding a couple of gadgets.  

I heard Henry Rollins on the "Mohr Stories" podcast, and he talked about how much he writes a day.

And I hear Adam Carolla and his show, and they are always talking about how if someone really wants to do something... they just do it.  They don't sit around and wait for it to happen.  They make it happen.

So, I'm hoping to come back, and soon.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Live Blog: 2014 NFL Draft

I'll be live blogging the 2014 NFL Draft tonight.  (Well, round one anyway.)

Friday and Saturday, rounds 2 through 7... I don't know if I'll have time.  I've got an awards banquet on Friday night and a track meet on Saturday.

However.  Tonight, I will be watching, and discussing the picks.

I've spent less time on the draft this year than just about any other year.

So who will be the first pick?  Signs point to JaDaveon Clowney from South Carolina... Apologies if I spelled your name wrong, Mr. Clowney.

As I type this line... we are like 5 minutes from the start of the draft.

I'll type in the picks as they roll in, maybe share a thought or two..and also include others opinions...I'll be on twitter using the hashtag:  #doofusdraft

I just tweeted my first question of the night, Who will pick Johnny Manziel?

New to the draft this year... they will be playing "Walk Up Music" for each of the picks selected that are in attendence... could be kinda cool, but it could also be bad.

I'm really sick of this "I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man" song.  We get it, you're the man.

I'm starting the night on espn, but I'll switch back and forth with the NFL Network...but I've watch Chris Berman do the draft for so many years, it feels like it would be wrong to start somewhere else.

The Commish gets a loud round of boos, as he opens the draft.

The Texans are on the clock.  How long will they make us wait?
-earlier today said they weren't taking any trades, and they had their pick why are we waiting?
The Pick is IN:  And it's, it's, it's... Jadeveon Clowney, DE from South Carolina.

Sure glad we waited ten minutes for that.

The Rams are on the clock.  They could go any number of ways, but probably an offensive lineman.

My brother Rich is commenting in the comments below.  Let's see if we can get him on the twitter, and I can include his thoughts along with my stream of consciousness.

The Rams Pick is in, and it's Greg Robinson, Offensive Tackle from Auburn.
-seems like a good pick because their quarterback got killed last year against the Seahawks and 49ers, and the Cardinals defense is no joke either.  They gotta give Sam Bradford a chance.

The Jaguars are on the clock, and the thought is that they will pick Kalil Mack, the Linebacker/Pass Rusher out of Buffalo...but they need alot of help.  Rich also thinks they take Kalil Mack.

Jason LaConfora is tweeting that the pick is Blake Bortles the QB from University of Central Florida.
The Pick is in...and it is Blake Bortles.

The Browns are on the clock... Johnny Football time?  Or Something else?  Personally, I don't want Sammy Watkins or Kalil Mack going to the Raiders, and it looks like one of them will be there.

And Bortles, girlfriend Linsay Duke was tweeted out within one minute of him being drafted.  So that's at least some kind of record.

The Browns have traded the Pick to Buffalo, and the Bills pick is in:  Wide Reciever?  Offensive Tackle?  Trade is from 9th pick to they probably didn't have to give up an arm or a leg.
With the 4th pick, the Bills select Sammy Watkins, WR from Clemson.  Whew, glad he's not in Oakland...but now Kalil Mack is still there.  Still...Sammy Watkins is a big time playmaker.

Raiders on the clock, and I think they take Mack, unless, unless, they trade back...
-the pick is in.  5th pick is... Khalil Mack, LB from Buffalo.
The Atlanta Falcons are on the clock.  The could go O Line, they could go D Line.  They shouldn't go Wide Receiver.
Tampa and Minnesota both follow the Falcons, and they both could use a quarterback...could Johnny Football be taken soon?  Falcons are taking their sweet time.

The Pick is Jake Matthews, Offensive Tackle from Texas A&M.  I think he'll be a good player.
-and based off the "pick after the Raiders" theory...he'll probably be a hall of famer, like his Dad.

The Bucs are on the clock...and they are taking WR Mike Evans, WR from Texas A & M

The Vikings are on the clock...could this be Johnny Football?  And, and, and... three straight picks from Texas A & M ?  Let's see...

Minnesota has traded the pick to the Browns... let's see what Kevin Costner does here!

This has to be for Bridgewater or Manziel... gotta be for a quarterback.  Minnesota picked up a 5th round pick for dropping back one spot.  I'm trying to stay off twitter to avoid spoilers, until after the pick is announced.
With the 8th Pick in the draft...the Browns select... Cornerback Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State.
-Woah a surprise pick!  He's the best corner in the draft, but it's surprising they traded up one spot to get him.  Cries of "Cleveland sucks" echo throughout the draft hall.

The Vikings are on the clock... and Manziel and Bridgewater are still there...but maybe they are thinking Corner too?  because Cleveland traded up for a reason?  Let's see what happens...the pick is in.  Rich thinks the Pick is Aaron Donald the DT from Pitt...and I'm not checking twitter to have it spoiled.

The 9th pick in the draft, the Minnesota Vikings select:  Anthony Barr, LB from UCLA
-a surprise pick for sure...but I know alot of Chargers fans who really, really liked him.

With the 10th pick, the Lions waste no time, and their pick is in, and Barry Sanders makes the selection of:
Eric Ebron, the TE from UNC.  He's a very talented player. But not anyone I would have suspected going there. (By the way, if you have a few minutes... click on the Barry Sanders link... Wow, he was fun)

I tell you what, I'm no draft expert...but these last 3 picks have me shaking my head...I can see Gilbert I guess, but why trade up for him?

Meanwhile, the Heat are up 85-77 right now in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, over the Nets.

The top 10 Selections are done.  The Titans are on the clock.
-The Titans select Offensive Tackle Taylor Lewan from Michigan...he's a good player. (Of course, they are all really good college players, this is why they are being selected in the first round of the draft.)

The Giants are on the clock... Adam Schefter just speculated that Johnny Manziel could fall to the Cowboys.  Which would be amazing, but only if they took him.
The New York Giants select: Odell Beckham, WR from LSU.

The Rams are on the clock again:  DT Aaron Donald from Pitt is the selection.

The 14th Pick belongs to the Bears...who ya got Rich?
-Rich thinks it's Calvin Pryor or Kyle Fuller.

The Pick is in...and it's Kyle Fuller CB from Virginia Tech.
-Darn, he's a good player...but I was hoping he'd drop to the Chargers.  By the way... 11 picks to go, and only 2 cornerbacks have been taken...the chargers have a big need there, but lets see who goes in these next 10 picks.

Rich likes the pick (he's a Bears fan).  He thought they would go safety, but he (Fuller) makes sense.

The Steelers are on the clock with #15:  Steelers take Linebacker Ryan Shazier from Ohio State.

The Cowboys on the Clock!  Pick 16!  Johnny Football is still there!
-Everyone on twitter is urging Jerry to do it.  This is hysterical.  I'm actually laughing out loud.

The Pick is in: and its.... It's... It's... Zach Martin, OT from Notre Dame. So, they don't take Manziel, and they don't pick a defensive player.  That was... anticlimatic.

The Ravens are up, and they usually draft very soundly.  They select CJ Mosley, LB from Alabama.
-No surprise... Ray Lewis really likes this pick.

The Jets are on the clock, and I think they have to be thinking WR...because there have only been 2 taken, and they don't have much at that position...and they Pick Calvin Pryor, Safety from Louisville.
Interesting that the Jets ignored the offense.

The Dolphins are on the clock... not sure what they need, Maybe an offensive lineman?
-I asked my friend Joey who the Dolphins wanted and he said Morgan Moses, but trading down is the first option.  And they took alot of the time up.
-the pick is in, and it is:  Jawuan James OT, from Tennessee  They needed help on the line.  That pick makes sense.

Sounds like NO, has traded up into the 20th pick...must have someone specific in mind.
-The Saints select Brandin Cooks, WR from Oregon State  That guy has some wheels!  Lance Moore is gone, Darren Sproles is gone...the Saints could use a little Boom! as the playmaking positon.  That's another guy I was hoping would last to the Chargers.

5 Picks until the chargers come in... The CB Dennard is there.  Also, my favorite choice is a trade back for someone trying to get a QB.

The Packers are on the clock... could be the CB Dennard...could be the Safety from Alabama.
-with the 21st Pick, the Packers select: HaHa Clinton Dix, the CB from Alabama.
He's a pretty solid selection this late in the first round.  He played in a 3-4 style pro system in Alabama...he'll be a pretty good fit in Green Bay, I think.

4 Picks until the Chargers...and 3 of the Top 5 corners are still there.  Although Dennard is the one I really want...he's most likely to be taken before them... would still like a trade down for someone wanting Johnny Manziel, and/or Teddy Bridgewater.

The Browns have moved up... taking the Eagles pick... here comes Johnny!  or Teddy?  Reports out of Cleveland earlier today said that they favored Bridgewater, so let's see what happens.  But it has to be a quarterback, right? The Pick is in:  Johnny Manziel, Quarterback, Texas A & M... Johnny Football is finally drafted!

The Eagles picked up a 3rd rounder for dropping back 4 spots.

The Chiefs are on the clock:  They could go OLine, they could go WR, they could go DB.  Whoever they pick, I'll end up being disgusted with in about 6 months.
-This is the 23rd pick.  Dee Ford, DE Auburn  He don't impress me... I would have been upset if the Chargers took him, and they needed a pass rusher worse than the Chiefs.

24th Pick:  The Bengals are up.  Last year, the guy I wanted got picked one pick before the Chargers.  So it'll probably happen again.  You know what?  It worked out OK.  DJ Fluker turned out pretty good.

And yep, I was right:  The Bengals select Darqueze Dennard, CB from Michigan State
-There goes the guy I've been hoping for all day.  Ha.

The Chargers are on the clock.  The could go corner...they could go pass rusher, they could go offensive line, they could go Nose Tackle.

And the Chargers select CB Jason Verrett from TCU.  I'm ok with this pick, with Dennard off the board.  I didn't want Roby, the CB from Ohio State...and the Chargers need a cornerback who can play.  He's not a big guy...but he's fast, and he brings the wood.  He's a decent pick, and I don't think he's a reach.

The Eagles are on the Clock at 26, and there are only 6 picks left after that.
The Eagles select Marcus Smith, DE from Louisville.  I don't know much about him.

With the 27th Pick:  Deone Bucannon Safety from Washington State to the Cardinals.

At 28 the Panthers select WR Kelvin Benjamin from Florida State.  He's a big target.

With the 29th selection, the Patriots will probably do something surprising, because that's what they Patriots do, and they always make it work.  I'm gonna guess DeMarcus Lawrence from Boise State just for fun...let's see how I do... the pick is in:  Dominique Easley, Defensive End from Florida  He's a gamble, he only played 3 games his senior season.  Talent , yes!  But a definate risk.

San Francisco is on the board at 30, then Denver, then Seattle.

The 49ers select Safety Jimmie Ward, from Northern Illinois  I don't know that guy at all...but Northern Illinois had a very good team.  Only two picks left, Super Bowl competitors Denver and Seattle.  That's four safeties in the first round.

With the 31st Selection, the Broncos select...I'm gonna guess someone to protect their old balls Quarterback.  And I'm wrong again...they picked CB Bradley Roby from Ohio State.  He was the one corner out of the top 5 that I didn't want the Chargers to take, because he played very inconsistent.  He's all kinds of talented though.

Seahawks are up!  Let's see if I can get another pick wrong... Maybe a WR?  The Lee kid from USC?
-Hear that the Vikings are thinking of moving up, by Trading with Seattle to get a QB.  Teddy Bridgewater?  Derek Carr?

And the Vikings have moved up, and Twitter is saying it's for Teddy Bridgewater.  And that is the pick.

He was my favorite of the three quarterbacks taken in the first round.  And he'll fit Norv's offense much better than Bortles or Manziel.

OK, I'm done.  Maybe tomorrow, I'll do a quick update or something...but for tonight...I'm done.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hail to the ... Huskies?

So, if you are anything like me, I would bet that you didn't have UCONN winning the national championship this year in the NCAA Tournament.

In fact, I had them winning 2 rounds, and then losing in the sweet 16.  I knew they had a pretty good team this year (but not great).  I knew they had a great player is Shabazz Napier.  I knew they had a former player (Kevin Ollie) as head coach.  And, I knew they had spent last season ineligible for the NCAA Tournament.

That's about all I knew.

So I was surprised when the Huskies won it all.  But not too surprised.  Because the college basketball NCAA Tournament is a crapshoot and a half.  Just this year there were an 8 seed and a 7 seed playing in the title not such a big story.

However, you know what a BIG story is?  How the University of Connecticut is now, PERHAPS, the most powerful men's BB program in the nation?
(Their women's team is undoubtedly the best program in the nation)

Don't believe me?

Well, since 1999. The UCONN Men have won 4 National Championships.
Duke has won 2.
North Carolina has won 2.
Kentucky has won 1
Kansas has won 1
Louisville has won 1
Michigan State has won 1
UCLA has won 0

So the University of Connecticut Huskies have won as many titles in the past 16 seasons, as Duke, North Carolina, and UCLA...COMBINED.

Not bad for a University that was once joked about on Cheers.  (Rebecca Howe mentioned that she was a graduate of the University of Connecticut...and Norm Peterson mentioned that they were big fans of their basketball team "the fighting tax accountants".)  (PS... I can't remember if he called them tax accountants or tax attorneys, or what...but I couldn't find it online...but I clearly remember the University of Connecticut joke)

In fact, when you look back at what Coach Jim Calhoun's quite remarkable.  Calhoun was hired by UCONN in 1986.  While UCONN was a member of the powerful Big East Conference, they were pretty much perennial 'cellar dwellars'.  Coach Calhoun changed all that.  In 1990, they won the Big East Tournament for the first time (Which.... by the way, I totally watched that game), and Coach Calhoun was named the National Coach of the year that time.

Coach Calhoun took UCONN from a joke to a perennial contender.
By 1999, he had won the first of 3 National Championships he would gather while running the Huskies.  Calhoun was known for being cantankerous and difficult and a general pain in the butt...but he was a great coach.  In his time at Connecticut, he would win 8 conference championships, 7 conference tournament championships...and sending 27 different players to the NBA.

Even more remarkable, when you think about it...UCONN had no tradition going for National Titles, no name recognition, no glamorous location  (It's located in Storrs, Connecticut).  Not quite the recruiting draw that it would be at places like UCLA or Duke, or heck... any of the traditional powers.

So the next time you consider the "blue bloods" of the college basketball landscape, the Kentucky Wildcats, the Kansas Jayhawks, the UCLA Bruins of the world.... You should include UCONN.  They deserve it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How I Met Your Series Finale

So, How I Met Your Mother ended on Monday evening, after 9 seasons.  Most of which were pretty darn good (the last one excluded). It all built up towards this the main character, Ted still had never actually "met" the 'Mother' (even though we had been introduced to her character this season).

It was.... Disappointing.

I'm not going off the deep end, and I'm not ranting and raving or upset about it.  After all, it's just a TV show.  And a pretty superficial and silly one at that.

I can kind of understand the reasoning behind the ending (Spoiler Alert...skip the Next paragraph in italics if you don't wants to know.)
In the final episode...Barney and Robin marry, Ted and the Mother meet, Barney and Robin get divorced, the Mother and Ted have 2 children but don't get married for several years (weird?), and the Mother dies...and the show ends with Ted's children imploring to go after their Aunt Robin.

According to sources, show creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, shot the final scene with the children during season 2.  So they have known for a LONG, LONG, time how they planned to end the show.  And, on some level... I understand it.  The show was continually...year after year...


The show was continually about Ted being in love with Robin.  He was in love with Robin from the first episode.  He was in love with Robin when they were dating.  He was in love with Robin when she was dating other people.  In fact, one of Ted's ex's (Victoria) flat out told him that he needed to get rid of Robin if he was going to move on.  She was right.  Over the years he was with The Mother, Robin was never around, and was traveling the world...she wasn't there.

So I get it.

And the show... WAS... Technically, called... How I MET Your Mother.  He was telling the kids how he met their Mother, and we learned she had been gone for six years already.

HOWEVER... I didn't like it.  I understand it, but I don't like it.

1.  You just spent an ENTIRE season...ridiculously, spread out over three days.  And then in the last episode, you jump forward,.. year after year roll by within minutes.
2. As mentioned, this ENTIRE season has been spent on Barney and Robin's wedding and marriage, and they were literally divorced in 10 minutes.  What a waste of a season.
3. Ted and Robin?  Really?  He let her go.  Seriously.  And actually.  In This Very Nightmare of a Season...he stood and let a metaphorical balloon of Robin go.  He let her go.  He went out of his way to help Barney marry her.
   If You Knew Ted Was Going To End Up With Robin, You Do Not Film That Scene!
4.  The Mother - We spend 8 years waiting to see a glimpse of her.  Over the course of a season, she is gradually introduced to the gang (meeting all the characters, except for Ted) and we learn that she's just like Ted...and they are a perfect match.  In fact, when he breaks the "3 days rule" to call her the day after the wedding...Lilly said "This time is different".  It was different.  And so, with this incredible character that was built up over 9 seasons, about how perfect and funny and adorable she was and we finally get to meet her...and you kill her off in a half hour?
5.  This is the equivalent of a young boy searching for a long lost pet...finally finding him, and then having him die.  You don't do that.
6. Why couldn't we have spent a little more time with the Mother?  Every single person I know who watched the show actually liked the character, and the actress who played her.
7.  Why spread the entire season out over a weekend...and then throw together that rush of a mess of a Finale.

I know that Series Finale's... especially comedy finales, are hard to do.

The Friends finale was good, but c'mon...anything that series did that ended with Ross and Rachel together would have been good.  Monica and Chandler could have died in a helicopter crash that fell on Joey and Phoebe, if Ross and Rachel would have gotten back together at the funeral, it would have been fine.

Cheers had a great final episode...but at the time, it was universally panned.

The Seinfeld finale is still hailed as a terrible episode..but was it?  Really?  I mean I catch it on re-runs every now and then...and there's alot of funny stuff in there.  I just think people didn't like the idea of them going to jail.  If they would have gotten off, and gotten to celebrate how they didn't care about other would have been liked better.

MASH had a great finale.  But that wasn't a typical sitcom.  Scrubs had a great finale (for the original scrubs...not the rebooted Med School Scrubs that they tried).

Probably my favorite of any series finale was HBO's "Six Feet Under".  Which was simply phenomenal.

Anyway, I won't care too much about the HIMYM finale, because I legitimately enjoyed the show for 8 years.  (Just not this past year).

Friday, March 28, 2014

Year of the Bugg

Jake Bugg, that is.

Jake Bugg is probably my favorite new artist of the past year or so.

Most people probably have heard him, if they haven't heard of him.  His song "Lightning Bolt" was the backdrop for this Gatorade commercial that ran constantly last spring and summer.

Jake Bugg's first Album, Jake Bugg, was released to quite a bit of critical acclaim in late 2012.  I remember laying in bed, and reading the review for the album...and it basically said he was a young, British, Bob Dylan.

So I was a bit intrigued.  So I listened to a couple of his songs on YouTube, and thought his album was worth a download.  Let's just say this... it's amazing.  To think that a 19 year old created an album with that much depth and talent is jaw dropping.

I'd like to share a few of his songs here, and since most people have heard "Lightning Bolt", how about a few of them you probably haven't heard?

My two youngest boys (ages 10 and 11) Love Jake Bugg, and this song "Taste It" is one of their favorites:

My personal favorite off the first album is "I've Seen It All".

And just so you don't think all his songs are basically uptempo acoustic... here's the example of a ballad.

So, you know...the kid is pretty talented.  I was impressed, and I recommended him to anyone who would give him a listen.

And then, this past September...he tweets out that his "second album is finished" and he released Shangri La in November of last year.

Named Shangri La after the name of the studio he recorded it in.
Needless, to say... I was hopeful...but I was also a bit worried.  I mean, he's still just a kid (20) now, and how could he have enough...what... experience? moxie? something... to pull off another album that came off as mature as his debut album.

Except it was.  It was just as good.  Maybe better.

A few of my favorites would include:  "There's a Beast and we All Feed It"

There's also the extremely catchy "Slumville Sunrise"

and also: A Song about Love

Do yourself a favor...check him out.  You don't have to buy the albums, if you don't want.  Go to his youtube channel...sample some songs... order a few of them, I doubt you'll regret it.

Whenever I'm working in my office, listening to songs...I usually have my Google play library open, and I just random play through all the music on there.  Whenever Jake Bugg comes always makes me smile.  He's talented, he's enjoyable, and he has a unique sound to himself.

I'm hoping 2014 will be the "Year of the Bugg"

Also...just announced a few days ago...he's releasing a new four song ep, coming out soon...He's the title track from that... called "Messed Up Kids".

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy Birthday!

Not only is it St. Patrick's Day, but it is also my wife's Birthday.

Happy Birthday Babe!
Hope everyone has a safe and happy St. Patricks day (and birthday!).

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Happy Birthday to Kurt Cobain

The Nirvana front man would have turned 47 years old today.

Hard to imagine someone so young, with the odds of life stacked so against him, having a significant impact on society in such a short time.

The recent passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman just serves as another reminder.  Drugs are bad. MMMkay?
I can't imagine the despair and difficulties that would draw someone to grab a heroin needle.

I know Kurt didn't die from heroin, he took his own life.  But it is widely documented that he struggled with heroin addiction, and nearly passed away from an overdose just a month or so before he actually died.

Highly recommend the book by Michael Azerrad "Come As You Are:  The Story of Nirvana" which documents the band's short time at the top, but also goes into the backgrounds and stories of the members of the band, with particular attention paid to Kurt.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

General Musings of the Doofus

I haven't written anything in here in like, quite a while.

So, let's see...what's going on in the world?

The President's State of the Union Address was last night.  I tend to avoid politics altogether.  And you know why...because it's never ending.  Obama spoke, and I thought what he said sounded good, but then the Republicans came on and said how everything Obama said was wrong.  I used to think the same thing about President Bush...he'd speak and I thought what he said sounded good (although he's not nearly as good of a speaker as Obama), and then the Democrats would come on and say how everything Bush said was wrong.

Whatever.  I'm a moderate.  I take pretty much both parties with equal size grains of salt.  There's no way either side can be all right and all wrong.

The Superbowl is coming up.  Peyton Manning and his Broncos face the Seahawks and (I'm not sure who their marquee player is?  Russel Wilson? Marshawn Lynch? Richard Sherman?) their complete team.

It looks like it will be a great game on paper...#1 offense vs #1 defense.  The Superstar aging QB vs an intense, young, and hungry defense.  I'll probably cheer for the Seahawks, because #1 the Broncos are AFC West Rivals, and #2 I can never cheer for Peyton Manning.  (I personally think it's some sort of envy stemming from when he was drafted first by the Colts, and the Chargers got stuck with Ryan Leaf).

Motley Crue announced yesterday that they are retiring....cue all the "I thought they were retired already" jokes!  But, before they go, they are going on a final last hurrah, if you will.  I'm not their biggest fan, but once upon a time I liked them alot, and it's kind of sad seeing them go through this "publicity stunt" type event just to get some attention again.

The Weather has been in the news...guess what?  It's Cold and Snowy!  Nevermind the fact that it's January with February coming up and it's pretty much always cold and snowy in the winter.

Justin Bieber was arrested!  And I'm not really sure why anyone cares...or why I brought it up here.  (OK, fine, you caught me...I went to Google News after the Motley Crue thing, I was out of ideas)

I heard something on the news the other day, that teens and young people are fleeing Facebook by the millions.  This is not surprising.  Have you been on facebook lately?  It's a bunch of old people showing pictures of their Grandkids.  Frankly, I'd have given up facebook a few years ago...except for the fact that there are a few friends from college and HS on there, that I'd have no other way to keep in contact I keep my account.

OK, that's it for me.  Maybe I'll put something of some substance on here sometime soon.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Cold Day in Minsk

Sam Malone, the fictional Cheers bartender and owner... in one of my favorite episodes said that the next time he read a book to impress a babe, it would be "A cold day in Minsk."

He said this after reading Leo Tolstoy's massive "War and Peace", to impress Diane Chambers and one of her "snooty" professors.

How does this concern the self proclaimed Sports Doofus?  Well, as part of a ridiculous deal I made with myself a few years back, I try to read at least one "classic" each year.  Over the past few years I have read: "Little Women", "The Count of Monte Cristo", and "Don Quixote".  (and a few others).

Coming in at 1,296 pages, this has got to be close to the longest book I have ever read. (although there a few Stephen King books in that range).

As I have noted many times before, I'm not a book reviewer, or a literary critic... but sometimes I like to talk about books.

Well, what can I say about "War and Peace" other than it's long, like really long?

It's a good book.  It covers a number of Russian families (Most notably the Rostov's and the Bolkonski's), during the early 1800's in Russia.  This is the time in which Napoleon was invading Russia.

It was originally published in 1869, and was of course, originally written in Russian.  The translated version that I read was the "free version" available from Amazon's Kindle store.

Tolstoy rotates back and forth quite a bit in the book between the main characters, and their families, and their lives (in both war and peace time), and the action of the war itself...discussing the generals, and the strategies, and etc, etc...

There's a little bit of everything in the story...death, destruction, love, temptation, adultery, financial trouble, criminal behavior, and basically anything you could imagine happening in a war torn nation.

A couple of thoughts:
1.  I enjoyed the book.
2.  Would I have read it had it not been "free"?  No, I would not have paid for it.
3.  I did gain a sense of "accomplishment" in finishing it.
(after all, it took me pretty much 3 solid months to finish after day after day)
4.  It was NOT an easy book to read.  There are a TON of characters, many of whom disappear for hundreds of pages and then reappear.
5.  Do I recommend it?  If you are a literary type...yes.  If you are just a normal casual reader, probably not.  Just watch one of the several movie versions, if you want to know what it's about.
6.  I am glad to be done.  Whew!  That took forever, and I'm ready to read some books that were written, you know, in this century.

Another Point of Interest:  War and Peace is going to be made into a Television Miniseries by the BBC in the coming year.  So, if you want to know the story without reading the massive tome... it is on it's way.

So while I am glad to be done reading about Pierre, Natasha, Nicholas, Mary, Andrew, Helene, and the rest... I am looking forward to seeing the BBC production, and also to see what they can do with such a massive original work to condense down to 6 episodes.