Life is too short to eat fat-free cheese
Friday, April 29, 2005
Days of our Packers
From the comments yesterday, people want to hear more about the Packers (thanks for playing along everybody). Since the first mini-camp just started, it seems appropriate to discuss them anyway. First, I must plug SBG's site as I was asked for some advice for his upcoming wedding and marriage. Give him a look.
The off-field issues have dominated the headlines with Al Harris, Ahman Green, Javon Walker and Bubba Franks. The Al Harris situation is a crock. This will amount to a big pile of nothing. The cops are saying there is a lot that is unfounded in this whole fiasco and Al just did the stupid thing of putting himself in a situation he never should have been in the first place.
Ahman Green has some serious anger issues that he needs to address. He has had far too many "domestic problems" for his young life. The Packers need to make him go through anger management classes and do what they can to help him. I am not of the same mind of other Packer fans who say "Think of the image of the Packers and the damage this is doing, so we need to cut him". Sorry, I think we should help those who need help, not just ship them off elsewhere for someone else to deal with.
Javon Walker hired Drew Rosenholdout for his agent and now wants the Packers to "show him the money". Problem is, the Packers don't have what Javon wants to see this year in terms of money. Everybody knows that the Packers have cap problems and are just getting to the point where things are reasonable. Next year, the Packers will have approx $15M to spend and Javon will get a bigger payday if he just waited. Needless to say, at least he has given the Packers plenty of warning to get this worked out and Thompson will make something happen to get him in by training camp for sure.
Bubba Bubba Bubba, not sure why he's so upset with getting his pay doubled with the transition tag. Another guy who wants to be "shown the money" and is, but wants more. Just like with Walker, he needs to see that next year there will be more $ available. He'll come in for training camp also. Nobody is knocking on his door right now to sign him for what he's asking for, maybe he should pay more attention to the sound of silence.
I have to say that even with the loss of Sharper, the Packers' secondary is deeper and more athletic than last year. The Pack went out and get players that have a proven track record of tackling, the biggest issue from last year. Combined with the higher level of intelligence of Bates, this unit is going to be better.
Favre was asked to skip this mini-camp so that he can stay home with his wife and family. However, I believe this was only part of the reason. Sherman needs to know exactly what he has to work with for the future and having Nall and O'Sullivan take reps now is huge. Rodgers needs to get some work this weekend also. If Favre was at this camp, none of these guys would get the reps that both they and the coaches need to see. Let's be honest here, Favre doesn't need the reps. This was a good coaching move by Sherman.
The Crew finally beat the damn Cardinals behind a great pitching effort by Capuano, so he get's the game ball.
Tune in next week when we'll hear how Grog's road trip was with the Brewers, how my softball tourney went (along with a picture of our new jerseys), and other news. Have a good weekend!
Thursday, April 28, 2005
You have to leave a comment
That's the rule for today, if you visit, you have to leave a comment. I don't get many comments (could be I'm a poor writer and nobody cares... nah) and I need an ego boost. I want to see how many comments I can get in a day, so tell your friends and neighbors to stop by and leave a comment. Thanks.
For the sports section today, the Brewers lost another one as Grudzi'llhaveasnack hit for the cycle. I'm giving the MVP award to the bullpen. Giving up 4 hits and 1 run over 4 innings gave the Brewers a shot at staying in this thing. However the slump continues for this team.
My wife and I had a discussion of what our favorite 1 chocolate and 1 chip snack would be. It cannot be a chip or chocolate snack you make, it has to be one you grab out of a bag, already made (so no Ritz with cheese spread answers). Here's my response for each:
There are several that I really like such as Cheetos, Pringles, and Nacho Cheese Doritos. I don't care for trail mix or stuff like that. I like my snacks segregated, thank you very much. I am not a huge fan of flavored chips like BBQ potato chips and such. That said, this should key you to my favorite, and I have changed my mind since my last conversation with my wife.
Winner: Ruffles. You just can't beat an original.
I used to work for Nestles in high school and summers in college, so I am well versed in the chocolate arts. I enjoy most types of chocolate and I know when stuff is crap and I refuse to buy/eat it, like most of the cheap Easter and Halloween candy. M&M's are classic, with or without nuts. Kit Kats and Carmel Twix are always good, as is plain chocolate.
Winner: Milky Way. It's got chocolate, carmel and nouget, the holy trinity combo of candy bars.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
I officially hate Cardinals
Ok, I'm sick of playing the Cardinals. Can't we play AZ, or some other crappy team instead of 85 straight games against the defending NL champs? There is hope however, as Al's Ramblings points out that the Brewers have outscored their opponents this year, even with their losing record. They will start winning, I'm just sick of playing St. Louis. Oh, and would somebody tell the Brewers' pitching staff that walking 8 batters is bad. My game MVP is JJ Hardy, he got 2 RBIs and this award will hopefully brighten a tough start of the season for him.
This email was just forwarded from my wife, and being in the mortgage business, this was especially funny:
A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA loan for a client. He was told the loan would be granted if he could prove satisfactory title to a parcel of property being offered as collateral. The title to the property dated back to 1803, which took the Lawyer three months to trackdown. After sending the information to the FHA, he received the following reply:
"Upon review of your letter adjoining your client's loan application, we note that the request is supported by an Abstract of Title. While we compliment the able manner in which you have prepared and presented the application, we must point out that you have only cleared title to the proposed collateral property back to 1803.. Before final approval can be accorded, it will be necessary to clear the title back to its origin."
Annoyed, the lawyer responded as follows: (actual letter):
"Your letter regarding title in Case No. 189156 has been received. I note that you wish to have title extended further than the 194 years covered bythe present application. I was unaware that any educated person in this country, particularly those working in the property area, would not know that Louisiana was purchased, by the U.S., from France in 1803, the year of origin identified in our application.
For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to the land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France, which had acquired it by Right of Conquest from Spain. The land came into the possession of Spain by Right of Discovery made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route to India by the Spanish monarch, Isabella. The good queen, Isabella, being a pious woman and almost as careful about titles as the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold her jewels to finance Columbus' expedition. Now the Pope, as I'm sure you may know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and God, it is commonly accepted, created this world. Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that God also made that part of the world called Louisiana. God, therefore, would be the owner of origin and His origins date back, to before the beginning of time, the world as we know it AND the FHA. I hope you find God's original claim to be satisfactory.
Now, may we have our damn loan?"
The loan was approved.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
BP for the softball team last night stretched out far too many unused muscles. Normally I play first base, but that's no fun in BP, so I roamed the OF to get some exercise and get my arm loosened up. Later on when we did do some infield practice I played some 2B and 3B, just for fun. Sure enough, my last grounder at third, I hurt my right thumb for the 2nd time in 3 years. Now, if I was a major leaguer, I'd be on the bench for a week, then be put on the 15 day DL, retroactively of course, then get 2 consultations before getting surgery that would put me out for 2 months. Given I don't have that health plan, I'll just take it easy and avoid contact. No worries though, I'll be fine for this weekend's tourney and the upcoming season.
Check out my Packer draft review over on fantasyfootballexperience.com and let me know what you think. It's going to be fun writing stuff over there during camp, preseason and the regular season.
Monday, April 25, 2005
I originally was going to title this post "Weekend Update", but then SNL's attorneys let me know that that was a trademarked slogan and they would sue if I didn't change it (damn you Lorne Michaels!). Let's go over what happened in nice, neat bullet-point format as I really like bullet points.
Friday, April 22, 2005
With the 24th pick...
The Green Bay Packers select: Dan Cody, DE from the University of OK. Dan is 6' 5" tall and weighs in at 254 lbs. Dan enjoys rushing the QB and tackling runners for a loss. Dan's favorite color is red, but is willing to change that to green given his new employer. He enjoys meat and potatoes and is looking forward to the team fondue party. Dan is looking forward to many meetings with KGB while sacking the QB this upcoming season.
That's my pick on who the Packers will end up picking in the draft. Would I want someone different? Yes. But this is who I believe that they will end up with.
My draft scenario #1: Packers draft David Pollack in rd 1, then get Brodney Poole with their first rd 2 pick, then get Odell Thurman with the second rd 2 pick. This fills a lot of needs on D with 3 potential starters.
My draft scenario #2: Packers trade Ahman Green and one of their 2nd rd picks to Miami for Jason Taylor and they swap 1st round picks. Packers take Ronnie Brown with the #2 pick, thus even though they incur about $2 mill more in cap from this move this year, they significantly upgrade the defense and do not have to worry about Green's expiring contract at the end of the season when a franchise tag would be inevitable, thus making better use of thier cap space by having 2 players instead of just 1 for the same amount next year. Not a chance this will happen, but fun to visualize.
My draft scenario #3: Packers draft Thomas Davis in the first round, then get Matt Roth when he surprisingly falls to them in Rd 2. Barrett Ruud is the next 2nd round pick taken.
Just some fun with thinking about possibilities. Ted Thompson is a high quality GM and I have a lot of faith that he will draft a good player. Just so long as the 1st round pick is not a friggin' QB, I'm happy.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Thank goodness that's over
The Bucks miserable season came to an end on Tuesday night and finally put us fans out of our misery with the Bucks losing by 500 to Toronto and finishing the season at 30-52. The defense was absolutely horrid this season and the offense was inconsistent at best. Now comes the great waiting game to see if Redd will stay with the Bucks or go home to play for Cleveland and team up with the great LeBron James. Earlier this season, this seemed an easy decision for Redd to go there, but the coaching situation there now is a mess and the Cavs, who were once a lock to be in the playoffs, fell short and are in emotional shambles. I really want Redd to stay and for the Bucks to pick up a quality PF in the offseason. I'll end this column as I do all the ones about the Bucks: here's hoping for some ping-pong ball magic come draft day.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Behind Curtain #2...
I refuse to discuss the latest Brewer meltdown in today's post, so let's go to another topic: bankruptcy.
There is a member of our fantasy baseball league that will from time to time send out an email posing a question for discussion. Yesterday's was: "If you guys were in Congress would you vote yes or no on the stricter bankruptcy laws?"
I immediately replied "yes" as I believe that bankruptcy is now seen as an easy, quick fix to irresponsible people who pile up debt then want a way out of paying for it. Being in mortgage myself, I have seen thousands of loans where people have not just 1 or 2 maxed out credit cards, but 4 or 5. People go out and get cards for every store they could conceivably go to and use it as much as possible. Too many people believe it's their inalienable right to get credit, abuse it, then be absolved from it by saying "Oops, my bad". It's rewarding financial mismanagement.
The counter argument was that a Harvard study released earlier this year showed that approx 50% of all bankruptcies were from "Major Medical Bankruptcy". However, bankruptcies where people had $1000 of unreimbursed medical expenditures in 2 years were included as "major". $1000 over 2 years? That is $41.66/mo, which is hardly a hardship. The study even says that the "debtors' out-of-pocket medical costs were often below levels commonly labeled catastrophic". The study does not prove to me that medical costs are the leading cause of bankruptcies in the US.
Yes, there are people who do come across catastrophic events in their lives, and should things go poorly for them, they should have this as an option. However, bankruptcy should be deemed as a last resort, not a quick fix.
Feel free to comment your thoughts. I know that there is a lot to say on this topic, but I didn't feel like writing a huge manifesto.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Conundrum of the Week
I figured enough about sports for today, so let's see who can figure these 2 little brain teasers out.
A man is sitting in a pub feeling rather poor. He sees the man next to him pull a wad of £50 notes out of his wallet. He turns to the rich man and says to him, "I have an amazing talent: I know almost every song that has ever existed." The rich man laughs.The poor man says, "I am willing to bet you all the money you have in your wallet that I can sing a genuine song with a lady's name of your choice in it." The rich man laughs again and says, "Ok how about my daughters name, Joanna Armstrong-Miller." The rich man goes home poor. The poor man goes home rich. What song did he sing?
Once upon a time there was a dad and 3 kids. When the kids were adults, the dad was old and Death came to take the dad. The first son, who became a lawyer, begged Death to let the dad live a few more years. Death agreed. When Death came back, the second son, who became a doctor begged Death to let his father live a few more days. Death agreed. When Death came back the third son, who became a priest begged Death to let the dad live till that candle wick burned out and he pointed to a candle. Death agreed. The Third son knew Death wouldn't come back and he didn't. Why not?
Answers will be tomorrow in the comments section.
Edit: The answers are in the comments section now. Congrats to Shane for getting the answer to the first riddle correct.
Monday, April 18, 2005
That was one ugly series this weekend against the Cardinals. The pitching by the Brewers was not all that bad frankly, it was the offense that was horrid. The Cardinals will score runs, that is a given, but the Brewers threw Sheets, Davis and Santos at them, all had decent to good games, but absolutely no support.
Brady Clark had a fantasic series, collecting 6 of the 13 Brewer hits, but nobody else showed up. Carlos Lee has had one good game in the last week (remind me to replace his ass on my fantasy lineup). Spivey is striking out at a rate Jose Hernandez would envy. Jenkins is doing little, but more than either Lee or Spivey, although that's not saying much. What's going on at 3B? I Don't Know's on third. They need to get their collective heads out of their asses as there is no reason for the kind of production they had against a mediocre pitching staff that the Cardinals have. They had a chance to at least go 2-1 against them this weekend.
Bah, this will happen again this season, just a bit upset that the offense that was supposed to be upgraded is eerily similar to last year.
Friday, April 15, 2005
I had a fever last night and lots of aches, pains and dizziness and went to bed at 8:30 and was generally miserable most of the day. So my apologies if my post today is not well thought out. The Packer schedule was released and the beginning 5 games and the final 4 games are very favorable for the Packers, so they should start and finish the season strong. However, there is a 7 game stretch that is just brutal in the middle and it starts right after the bye week.
It looks like this: @MN, @Cincy, PITT, @Atl, MN, @Philly, @Chi. Yep, that's 5 road games and only 2 home games. That's a combined record of 68-44, which translates into an average record of 10-6. The Pack are looking at 3 division winners, one being the defending NFC Champs. This is the make or break portion of their season. 4-3 is absolutely necessary and better is, well, better. Assuming a 4-3 mark during this streatch and 4-1 in the first 5 games (3 home) and 3-1 in the last 4 games (3 home), this would amount to an 11-5 season. That is my prediction this year for them at this point. Obviously, the draft, injuries and such will play a big role in any changes, but every other fan is making their predictions, so figured I'd join in. I'm also going on the fact that the offense is still very much intact and the defense cannot be any worse than last season, and the Pack went 10-6.
The biggest game, for me, is the Monday Night game on Nov 21st against the Vikes. Why? Because I am going to try and get tickets for this game and if I am able to go, I want the Packers to win dammit.
That's all from me for now. Enjoy your weekend everyone, and on Monday we'll discuss the Brewers sweep of the Cardinals.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Last night my son, Adam, and I went to see the Stomp Odyssey movie at the Minnesota Science Museum's IMAX theatre last night. This was his first actual movie experience and he was especially awed by the screen size. I knew he would love the group Stomp and I was correct. The movie is about 40 minutes long and highlights other cultures ways of making rhythm with Stomp's unique presentation as well. In looking over at my son, he was bobbing his head with the Japanese drummers and when it was over cheered and clapped along with the rest of the audience.
Immediately after leaving the theatre along with the entire ride home, Adam was doing his best impression of the Stomp gang and the other people in the movie. This was without a doubt the biggest highlight of the year for me, just watching him and then joining in. He was even doing this while in line at Dairy Queen for a Dilly bar. He's almost 5 and at such a great age right now, where great things like this leave a lasting impression.
Speaking of Stomp...
How about the stomping the Brewers did on the Pirates yesterday? (It's all about the segways people). Lee pounded out a clutch 2 run, bases loaded double in the bottom of the 8th to give the Brewers the lead and Miller drove in 2 more with a follow up single and a 4 run lead. Although Miller got thrown out trying to make it a double, I am not going to fault him on that at all. He has been everything and more that the Brewers wanted out of him and is one of the pleasant surprises this season so far.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Got stuff to do so this will just be a quickie today...
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Wow! 465 ft HR by Branyan! Then he follows that up with a 399 ft shot! You gotta be kidding me! I knew Branyan had power, but he's drawing walks and getting other hits as well! I'm just going to put an exclamation point after every sentence I write about Branyan! He's paid off in spades so far!
A great job by the pitching staff as well for the Crew. Davis wiggled out of some jams and it was quite fun following the game on-line at work (when I could mind you). It took me a while to come to believe in Davis (look at his picture would you?), but I'm a solid supporter of him this year. Good pitchers find a way to get out of jams and he is doing exactly that and not getting flustered and making things worse. Been a while since you could have said that about a Brewers starting pitcher.
Where there's smoke...
Two weekends ago, I lit my gas grill for the first time in a while to celebrate the warm weather by grilling some steaks for the family. I went back inside to see if I could help with any other dinner preparations while the grill heated up. After about 2 minutes, my wife noted a lot of smoke coming from outside as the grill is right outside our kitchen/eating area. I went outside and lifted the cover off the grill and was promptly greeted by a fireball the size of most VW Beetles.
The grill lid was on fire, the grates were, even the sides of the grill were bursting in flame. I immediately turned off the gas and simply stood in amazement at the Las Vegas style fire display. I was waiting for some tiger to run by and jump through this. My wife comes out with the fire extinguisher, just in case as we watch this burn. My kids are watching from a window by the grill and my son in a very rare moment while he is awake is just speechless. We decide to close the lid to lessen the chance of a reunion with the fire department from last year's block party. Upon doing so, the flames then shoot out the crack in the back of the grill where the hinge is and then I realize how stupidly close the grill was to my house. Seeing several paint bubbles start to form and get bigger, I open the lid again to direct the flames upward instead of at my house. At this point, the fire is now only visible from low flying planes.
After about another minute, all the flames are now gone along with 85% of my eyebrows. I re-light the grill just to see if I can tempt fate and not have myself blown across the nearby golf course. (Yes, my wife would have happily shouted 'Fore' as I flew through the air). There was no reoccurence of the fireball and the grill worked perfectly fine after that.
Moral of the story: Grilling is far more fun than one ever thinks it could be.
Monday, April 11, 2005
For those of you new to this blog, Grog was unearthed and frozen from my backyard by my son while digging with his construction toys. We've acclimated him to this century and I've decided that Grog needs to see the country, so he has been given the assignment of following the Brewers around the country on their road trips, and after the road trip, he'll give his impressions of how things went.
Grog not like this city much. Dirty city, ugly people. Some of ugliest people Grog ever see. Grog been around before toothpaste and shampoo, so that something. Ugly people make Grog miss Rachel pretty smile. PNC Park is nice. Grog like beer, but cups too small. Grog needs to remember to bring own mug in future. Nachos good, but Brewers hitting better. Grog make segway. Grog enjoy games. Laugh at people that like Pirates. Two guys yell back at Grog. Grog hit them with club. Left alone for rest of games. Lady by Grog bring black cat to game, look tasty. Not able to steal from her during 7 inning stretch.
Grog think this city good. Big buildings pretty. Chili cheese hot dog make Grog happy. Hot cat be better, asked man why not hot cat. He make comment that Grog stupid. Grog headbutt man when nobody looking. Now who stupid? Ha Ha! Grog see lady with 2 white cats. Grog think they make pretty slippers for Rachel. Before Grog can get cats, Grog fart and many people run. Lose lady with cats. Grog sad that no gifts to bring back to Rachel. Brewers not do as good here. Brewers lose 2 games. Grog has idea that Brewers hit ball better with bigger sticks like Grog club. Go to tell Yost, but policeman say not allowed by team. Grog say with Oracle of Cheese and give him beers. Policeman take beers and let Grog see Yost. Yost say wrong to have bigger club. Grog understand and ask Yost to play poker. Yost, Grog, and other Brewers play poker. Grog have big fun.
Thanks for the article Grog. Tune in for Grog's next entry after the Brewers road trip from April 20-27 when they visit Houston, SF and St. Louis.
Come back tomorrow, when we'll discuss the Brewers home opener and how I almost burned down my house.
Thursday, April 07, 2005
2 and Oh my goodness!
Doug Davis pitched a great 6 innings and continued his good performances from Spring Training. It seems that Yost is getting to give his unproven pen some work early and seeing what he has and who is going to step up with both Sheets and Davis getting some higher pitch counts. In a recent ESPN Magazine article where Ben Sheets was interviewed, he was asked who he would want on his fantasy baseball team and he responded "Doug Davis, seriously, did you see what he did the second half of last year?" That prompted me to see what he did the last 2 months last season, and Ben's right, the guy was phenominal as had under a 2.50 ERA but only 2-3 record but gave 9 quality starts, as he was also a victim of the Brewers 2nd half run scoring drought.
The biggest surprise has got to be the offense right now. Everybody is contributing and it is really nice to see. Lee and Spivey both get a HR and the team whacks out 13 hits and draws 5 walks. You get on base that often, good things are bound to happen. Nobody's confusing this team with the Big Red Machine of yesteryear, but let's hope they keep this up.
I have an article posted over at the Vikes Geek (or at least it will be posted soon) in a response to a Packer preview he posted. VG puts out great, well-thought out articles on the Vikes and has my respect for that. He's not your typical Viking poster on some forum board that just keeps spouting out hate against all the other teams. He has linked to me and thus, I have added him to my links and he officially will be the last Viking website I will link to.
I have my first article posted over at fantasyfootballeXperience on the Packers so give it a read if you are so inclined.
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Sometimes, you just need to go to bed and put the day behind you as soon as you can. That's what my day was like yesterday. I ended up staying 2.5 hours over at work and getting yelled at by one of the biggest jerks I have ever encountered. Arrogant, condesending and asinine do not even begin to describe this guy. Anyway, my whole night was ruined and frankly I didn't feel like thinking about writing anything today.
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
The Title Run Begins...
Ok, maybe I'm reading too much into the Brewers conquest of the Pirates yesterday. However, it was sure nice for Sheets to get some run support, and run support he got. Who the hell thought Cirillo had that much game left in him? Granted, it won't last, but it's nice to see that it's there. Hardy did a great job in his first game, very impressive. Sheets didn't have his best stuff, but I think that with his limited Spring Training regimen, it was expected (no walks though, kick ass!). We have to wait until Wednesday to see if Davis can put up a good performance. I have a good feeling about him this year. We're #1! We're #1! All right, all right, I'll stop that now.
NCAA Championship Game
That May kid is something. He's got that Barkley ability to get inside and use his body to create space to get his shots and rebounds. He'd look pretty good in Bucks purple, blue, white, err what exactly are their colors? He has a few stamina issues, but overall his game is good.
Monday, April 04, 2005
Yeah! About time this season got started, I like the idea of spring games, but I'm so happy when it's all over with. I've got a 2nd reason to root for the Brewers this year as I drafted them in my fantasy baseball team. Just as a reminder, I was in a draft with 5 other guys and we each pick 5 teams. Then we have to put together a starting lineup (no DH) and 6 pitchers as our "team". You can have no more than 4 players from any given team in your lineup at any time, and you must have at least 1 player from each team. You get 5 free moves during the 1st half, after that, it costs you. I was a bit of a homer on my team, but it's my first year doing this kind of league, so here's my opening day roster and let me know what you think. The teams I got were Texas, LA Angels, Milwaukee, SF and Cleveland.
C - Victor Martinez
1B - Mark Texiera
2B - Alfonso Soriano
SS - Orlando Cabrera
3B - Hank Blalock
LF - Carlos Lee
CF - Brady Clark
RF - Vladimir Guerrero
Pitchers - Ben Sheets, Jason Schmidt, Bartolo Colon, K-Rod, Francisco Cordero and Armando Benitez
Enjoy the games today!
Friday, April 01, 2005
Buck, Buck, Buck
Happy April Fools Day!
Like to thank Mr. Cheer or Die with a great prank on the Viking fans yesterday. Check out what I helped him accomplish with those rubes. He posted that the Vikes were going to draft the NFL version of the Sidd Finch SI classic.
A special link to SBG today. His weekly column on Pepper! where he has 10 questions/50 words with fellow bloggers has a special guest today as he went down to FL for some Spring games and the SOB actually got Derek Jeter to play! Go check him out.
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