#8 Counter Programming at its best  


When I got home from work last night, the last 15 minutes of "the break up" was on. I was very excited b/c i had heard that the reason the movie failed do well in the theaters was due, in part, to the fact that it has a "sad" ending. I wanted to see if a big studio had the guts to actually have such an ending.

Color me disappointed (in myself) for the ending. I should have known that an American audience couldn't handle an ending like the UK's Office. Granted, they are technically "broken up" at the end, but there's no indication that the characters are dating anyone else, or even upset with each other. There's even a hint that maybe something could rekindle after they bump into each other on the street.


After being angered by this, I was energized enough to watch Studio 60. Separate rant on that later.

When I turned the DVR off and went back to live tv, Mr. and Mrs. Smith was on. I left it on while doing other stuff, but I couldn't help get a kick out of the idea that, just maybe, jennifer anniston watched this movie at one point and became really upset. So then I had to watch it as though i was looking through her eyes...."oh yeah, i bet she felt really awkward after that scene" and such and such.

Then i realized the brilliance that is hbo. They played these two movies back to back! Bravo, Hbo, bravo!

#7 Does it pay to stay an extra year in college?  


I might be wrong, but I thought the end goal of going to college is to secure yourself a good job. Conventional wisdom sort of looks down on athletes who decide to leave school early to join the pros. Once again, CW is illogical and wrong.

The cliched cautionary tale is the athlete who leaves school early, gets injured, and then doesn't have an education to fall back on. If he had stayed in school, he would be more equipped to transition into the regular work force.

However, there are two types of college athletes: 1) athletes who are using college as the minor leagues of pro ball, and 2) athletes who would otherwise be smart and ambitious enough to get a college education even if they didn't play sports.

For the first type of athlete, it makes perfect sense to grab the money while you can. If there's a pro team who thinks you are ready, you'd be wasting your time in college. If the profession was ANY other field, the student would be laughed at for preferring what is essentially an unpaid internship over a paying job. If Bill Gates offered a computer programming junior a sweet gig, but with the caveat that he would have to start immediately, the kid would be an idiot to stay in school.

Let's say this athlete who decides to go pro gets hurt in his first year and is out of the league 6 months later. He'll have already made enough money to pay for a scholarship-less tuition to any college he can get in. And if he's not smart enough for a school to want him (sans athletic eligibility), then college would have been wasted on him in the first place. College degrees, on their own, are overated.

Now, for the second type of college athlete (the one who could actually succeed in a college classroom), college will be there if/when his pro career ends. There are plenty of people who go to college after the traditional 18-22 years. Nobody looks down on them. So what if this athlete/student is a couple of years behind? He will have made more than enough money to justify the slow start.

This is all a preface to my disagreement with Roy Hibbert's decision to come back for another year at Georgetown. The feeling is that right now he would be a 10th pick in the draft, but if he waits a year, he could move up to #2. First, this assumes that he'll actually improve on his game/success, which is always risky. But, it seems like he seems to be failing to realize that he's giving up a year of his earning potential.

[note: these numbers are off, because i could only find data for the 2005/2006 season which was the last season that rookies were locked in for 3 years (with a 4th year option) instead of the current 2 years (with a 3rd and 4th year options)]

If Roy Hibbert gets selected with the 10th pick, he will make 1.6 million in 2007 and 1.7 million in 2008.

If he waits a year and becomes the 2nd pick of hte 2008 draft, he will make 3.2 in his first year, and 3.5 in his second year.

However, what people forget to account for is that he'd be making 0 in 2007.

So, by the end of the 2008 season, the #10 pick Hibbert will have made 1.6+1.7 million (3.3) while the #2 Hibbert will have made only 3.2.

Of course, in 2009, the team's option on #10 hibbert will only be a raise from his 2008 season. So the #2 Hibbert will be making a lot more money than his counterpart. and the same will be true in 2010 (again assuming that both teams pick up the option)

The numbers get muddled, obviously, and even become more speculative when you account for endorsement deals and the like. Perhaps being the face of a championship winning georgetown would make Hibbert more marketable. However, the numbers are closer than people believe. and more importantly, the first million a person makes is the most important, because it becomes life altering. The difference between 7 and 5 million is negligible compared to 1 million and 0 (if he busts his knee and never makes it to the nba)

shoot, there was another point i wanted to make, but i completely lost my train of thought. that's actually a bit scary. Oh yeah...

Finally, I flat out dont' understand Hibbert's theory that being a middle first round pick would mean he would ride the bench but being a top pick means that he would be able to play immediately. I guess there is something to be said about getting more opportunities on a weaker team. However (and this is without any evidence), I feel like early picks are based on "take the best player available" and later picks are need picks.

More importantly, though, is that a player can definitely develop more in one season of NBA practices than in a 30 game college season. In the NBA, a player can give his entire focus to basketball. Even if he's not playing in "games", the practices can develop his skills.

Rookies tend to hit walls midway through the nba season becasue they aren't used to the grueling schedules. Plus, dominating in the college scene probably doesn't really develop your skills. You need to play against the best competition.

blah blah blah. this is too long. Short version: forget college and get drafted.

#6 If by weakness, Kay meant strength...  


then his comment was very strong.

"Taverez will eventually move back to the bullpen, where he can help one of Boston's weaknesses."


So Boston has a weak bullpen? That didn't feel right, so I looked it up. Turns out their bullpen is 6-1 with 15 saves and the 2nd lowest ERA in the majors (and first in the AL). Kay works for the New York Yankees. His job is to inform tv viewers of the game. The Boston Redsox are the Yankees main rivals. Kay should know whether the redsox have a good or bad bullpen. It's not rocket science.

#5 Dear Sutcliffe: Correlation does not equal causation.  


if there was something that was the antithesis of a "PS", i.e. a message that comes before the script, it would be "shut up!". That trumps all. Rick Sutcliffe needs to shut up during espn broadcasts.

However, the crux of this complaint is that Sutcliffe can be added to list of billions who fail to understand that correlation does not equal causation.

Here's what we know: Arod hit a home run in the first inning against Tim Wakefield. Johnny Damon was on second base when Arod hit the home run. Those two facts are correlated. They both existed at the same time.

Sutcliffe takes that extra step that all good and retarded color commentators make and assess the credit of the home run to Damon being on second base. Damon caused Wakefield to throw a pitch that would automatically be a home run. And what proof does Sutcliffe provide to defend this theory?

Damon is "fast". Damon stole second base. Wakefield looked at Damon. Wakefield even lifted his leg as though he were about to pitch but then turned towards second. He didn't go so far as to actually throw to second, but that must have been because his brain was so overloaded with all the information of DAMON IS ON SECOND BASE.

We can also infer that Sutcliffe wants to credit Damon for the homer, because of two reasons. 1) Even though chicks may dig the long ball, "scrappy" baseball players from "the good old days" hate the home run and LOVE small ball. And there's nothing smaller than a guy standing on second base taking an extra half of step lead.

and 2) it's arod. And arod is a bad person, who occasionally does good things, but only with the help of his teamates.

If someone wanted to do an actual statistical analysis of whether or not fast baserunners "disrupt" a pitcher, I think that would be a wonderfully interesting study. Oh wait, it's already been done, and the evidence shows that it's actually hitters, not pitchers who suffer slightly. This makes logical sense b/c a hitter is going to actually see the runner in his peripheral vision when he should be focusing on the ball, and he has the added pressure of not swinging through a pitch, or hitting a line drive, etc.

Of course, evidence or logic is no match for good old, "get your uniform dirty" small ball. So it's Damon who deserves the credit.

However, even if you take the incorrect theory as true, it's even less true (can something be more than "wrong"?) in Wakefield's case.

Tim Wakefield has been around forever. I'm pretty sure he was still with Pittsburgh when they were a playoff team. Yes, that Pirates team. Just think about how long ago you have to go back for the pirates to be a playoff team. Wakefield has won a world series with the Redsox. He's been in some of the most intense playoff battles in the past decade. He was on the mound when "Aaron F'n Boone" got lucky.

Tim Wakefield has been a Starter, a Closer, a Middle reliever, and back again. And oh yeah, he throws a knuckleball. Now i realize that Sutcliffe has never pitched a baseball in his life, but the thing with a knucleball is that you don't really throw it like a normal pitch. You don't have a million little things to worry about in your delivery. You just press the tips of your fingers on the ball and let it fly.

A knuckle ball pitcher really doesn't have "control" of the ball like a regular pitcher. You aren't aiming for the outside corner. The beauty and the curse of the knuckle ball is that it has a mind of its own.


The pitch that Arod crushed hung up high. Knuckle balls do that from time to time. If it was easy to pitch a knuckle ball, everyone would do it.

#4 Well, now that it's ruined her life, I can go listen  


Ever since Suzyn Waldman gushed over Clemens' signing, everyone has been making fun of it. FJM, boston's talk radio, and even Mike and the Mad Dog. However, despite my pervese need to experience awkward moments (even though they make me feel uncomfortable), I couldn't listen to this. It drives me crazy when people are not self aware, and knowing that Suzyn has no idea how stupid she is would have really killed me. Every time she opens her mouth, it sickens me that she has a job....and she sounds so proud of her position with the Yankees.

Of course, everything changed with today's article detailing how mad she is that the Mad Dog for playing the clip. She said it has "ruined her life".

Well that just makes my day. So now i can listen.

#3.5 a cut and paste blurb  


"The archetypal anecdote about Ronnie Lott recounts the time, late in the 1985 season, when doctors recommended surgery to repair the tip of his left pinky finger. The 49ers' star defensive back didn't want to miss any playing time in recuperation, so he chose a simpler procedure. He had the finger amputated above the third knuckle. He didn't miss a down."

#3 Anything but a "lazy sunday"  


Sunday had it all. The terrifying lows, the dizzying highs, and the creamy middles. In no particular order (other than chronological):

At my suggestion, my cousin and I attempted to take out my grandmother for her birthday. Somewhere along the numerous coordinating phone calls, I got squeezed out of the plans. My grandmother suggested that they go without me!

Anyway, after many permutations, the final plans became a bbq at my cousin's house, which turned out to be a blast. Grilling simply is the greatest form of cooking. Everything tastes better outdoors. [this would be the dizzying high]

I came home pretty tired, moderately sweaty, and totally in the mood for some video games. It takes a lot to draw my attention away from Star Wars Battlefront II, but on a whim, I decided to get out of my comfortable recliner to see who IM'd me. [this is the creamy middle]

Color me shocked that the grey ghost, who can ignore an email like it has the plague, was actually proactively suggesting to hang out. So, i shut off the game in mid battle, and get ready to go out. A couple of shots and a quick game of wii tennis later, and we're off. And that's where things started to go downhill. [and now, the terrifying low]

As per the norm (when I'm in charge of directions), we had a bit of trouble actually getting to the bar. After a big loop around the downtown area (stupid "no turns" and "one ways"), we finally get to the bar.....which was closed. Plan B was the bar two doors down...which was also closed. Do people not drink on sundays? Religious zealots strike again.

Option three was that irish bar McDougals that I know I've walked to from school. However, it must have been in a parallel universe, b/c it was impossible to find, much less drive to, from where we were. After a couple of loops around (look kids, big ben), we gave up and decided to go to the market street bar (Plan D, for those keeping count).

Walking in Penn Station, Plan E started looking better than D. Plan E was that shady bar INSIDE penn station. You know the one...we've all looked in it walking by just to see what type of clientele frequents it. Lonely guys waiting for a train? Degenerates? Both?

Well, the guy I was with had a much different opinion of the bar. "It looks like a real party bar". What? Huh? That's one step away from calling it "The Place To Be" (tm Seinfeld). So what the heck, we give it a try.

A completely empty bar except for two guys in the back awaited us. But, they had a nice tv with the Yankee game on. After we got a run down of what's on tap (a nice selection btw), we order two. As our beers are handed to us, we're told "that will be 12 dollars". This bar, you see, was actually in the Newark section of Midtown NYC., apparently. In shock, I shakingly hand her my credit card and ask if we can start a tab. "sure, but it's a 20 dollar minimum."

Everything begins to slow down for me. I'm still reeling from paying 6 dollars for a beer, but also focused on the future rage that will ensue when i'm FORCED to order a second round.

When you are in a bar like McSorley's, and you realize there is no music on, it's a beautiful thing. When you are in an empty bar in the middle of a train station, and hanging your head in shame, music would be a welcomed addition. Of course, one should be careful of what one wishes for....when someone finally started playing music, it was that depressing country music that makes you want to shoot yourself.

And it was very loud.

Luckily, the person we were waiting for came early, so we asked for a check before I got my second beer. Even though we had spent 18 bucks (on three beers!), a comment was still made about the minimum for a tab. I honestly don't know the point of the minimum, or whether or not it was being waived, or anything, so I figured a 4 dollar tip would cover all the angles. If i was being forced to get up to 20, then it's still a 2 dollar tip. If not, then I obviously overtipped, but at least I was getting out of that bar w/o being sodomized or anything.

Completely annoyed by the evening, i realized on my way home that 1) i was hungry and 2) all of my options for takeout were most likely closed. So i reached deep into the back of my cabinet, where those shady boxes of meals reside. The "in case of emergency, add water and microwave" type of deals. With my expectations at an all time low, i was pleasantly surprised by how "slightly above mediocre" it was starting to smell.

I put my tray in front of the greatest chair of all time, and placed the dish on the tray. Two seconds after turning around, i heard a horrible crash and was hit with flying glass and rice. On my chair lay my entire dinner, seeping through the fabric and instantly leaving an unremovable stain.

There was a moment of pause, where the entire next hour was able to flash through my head. This is a deep secret that I haven't shared with many people, but I'm very lazy. On top of that, I really hate doing work that didn't need to be done 10 seconds ago. The idea of having to pick up shreds of glass and trying to minimize the damage to the chair was overwhelming. And all that time, a great wind carried over me, and I thought "six dollars a beer!".

AJ's scenes that night when I watched Sopranos were very identifiable.

#2 "They might as well just stick a gun to your head"  


That's how a coworker described the people at Subway (the sandwich store). Last year, I was mocked for praising the virtues of Subway. It's rare that I'm wrong, but I was definitely on the wrong side of that debate.

Let me describe the differences between the two different types of Subways that I have experienced in the past year.

The people who worked at the downtown (NYC) location remembered me by the 2nd day, and knew what kind of sub i liked by the third. When they put on the cucumbers, they were lined up on an angle, laying on each other. Thus, each and every single bite had at least one layer of cucumber, and possibly 2 (where one cucumber slice ended, the other was already beginning). Picture the cucumber equivalent of a DJ overlapping one song over another at a club. That's how vital it was to my eating experience.

and when i said "everything but onions", they actually put, you know, EVERYTHING on except onions. Bless their hearts, they'd confirm that i wanted all three types of peppers, but they didn't judge me for it. And after awhile, they even started to buy into my definition of "extra" vinegar. [extra vinegar - noun - "an amount of vinegar that would be the equivalent of drowning a sandwich in vinegar, and then adding more vinegar"]

Basically, after a "big salad" from Monk's was stuffed into two pieces of bread, the sandwich became more than satisfying. And, the guy always rounded the price of the sandwich to somethign that only required one or two coins (i can't remember the exact price, but it was "easy").

Now, Newark's version of Subway is a little different. First, even though nobody else ever came to the store at 2 pm, every time I walked in was the first time. They wouldn't be able to pick me out of a lineup if the only other suspects were Fred Flinstone and the Penguin from Batman Returns. The one silver lining to not being remembered is that the same tricks can work over and over again. And the usually one failsafe move that I have is to order the fixin's one at at time. In other words, when she would ask what i wanted, I would say "lettuce and tomatos". this way, she'd put the tomatos on as though it was going to be the only thing going on this sandwich. then, after she put those on, i'd say "you know what, I'll have cucumbers too". see, if she goes into a sandwich knowing there will be a ton of toppings, she can feel comfortable skimping on each individual topping. But, if you go one topping at a time, she has to over apply the toppings, and then won't be able to backtrack.

Of course, even with this manipulative maneuver, the sandwich still came out "puny". I'd be lucky to get 5 slices of cucumber on a 12 inch sub. You could fit two fingers between slices easily. And i'm convinced they somehow make their bread more airy to cut down on actual product. It feels like it deflates the second you bite into it.

This is all a long, roundabout way of complaining that Subway is a rip off. Now, you may be asking why i continued to go there. Well, as hard as this may be to believe, there was actually a deli that was WORSE than subway. This place robbed you, and then laughed in your face about it.

Their idea of a menu is randomly scattered pieces of paper on all four walls. So you basically have to order and hope for the best in terms of price. A footlong turkey sub ran a little over 7 dollars, but it was a healthy size, so i wasn't that upset. Then, one day, after I order the sub, the girl goes "oh, i'll throw in fries, coleslaw, and a pickle". I thought that was super nice of her, and while I waited, i noticed a sign that said that the tuna melt came with such things. Since it was the only sub i could find, I was beginning to think that all sandwiches came with those sides. I was moderately steamed that the other order-takers had not alerted me to this fact the other days I had ordered. Of course, I couldn't be more wrong.

When I went up to pay, i was flabbergasted that my bill came to almost 11 bucks. I started frantically doing the math in my head. 4 bucks for fries, coleslaw and a pickle? was scam. Then it got worse. The fries were flat out soggy, the coleslaw was served in a plastic shot glass, and the pickle was a circular slice! as in, one of the two pickles that would be put on a burger. the size of a silver dollar!! i couldn't even fit my fork in the coleslaw container so i didn't bother. I've been scammed a lot of times by food establishments cough*mexicali rose* cough*, but this may take the cake. Paid 4 bucks for something I didn't order, and it was pathetic at that.

#1 Why doesn't scribe-fire work?  


I have this awesome plug in for firefox that lets me instantly blog with a touch of a button. The only problem is that it keeps adding %;% garbage to the end of sentences. It's really driving me crazy, b/c now i have to open up internet explorer and change my gmail account (I usually have IE set to my work gmail) and THEN open up the edit-blog page.

Not pleased.

30 posts in 30 days.  


Didn't moses do something like that?   Anyway, to the two readers i have out there, my bad for letting this blog die.  What little efforts i put into blogging went to Torre site, but that was a big waste of time.  So, i'm refocusing my energies to this blog.  My promise is to give you 30 new entries (not including this one), in 30 days, or your money back.