Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Bucks win on the road?

Against a team with a winning record? In one of the more impressive nights of the season, the Bucks did just that beating Denver 110-89. Big nights from Bogut (16pts on 8-10 shooting and 11 rebs) and Magloire (16 pts on 7-9 shooting and 10 rebs) along with Charlie Bell's 17 pts led the charge. Bell was even more impressive with his good defensive game against Carmelo. Of course, a day after I defend Ford, he puts up an 0-4 night with 8 assists. But then again, nobody comes here for insightful sports junk anyway.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Big ol' post

I haven't posted in quite some time as I have been out on a business trip, then home taking care of a sick wife and a 2.9 year old, so my computer time has been limited as of late. Well, let's do some recap:

The Trip
I had to go to the world-famous exotic city of Detroit for work on Tuesday and Wednesday. The flight there I was able to procure exit row seats as this is a must for 6'4" studs, such as myself. Lately when I have flown, I have had some wierd/funny stuff happen, like the time I almost joined the mile-high club with a Peruvian grandmother (inadvertantly of course), but that's a story for another time.

While we were waiting to take off, I noticed that there was a mechanic on the wing of the aircraft walking around. Not having seen this before, I felt it was necessary to know what he was doing. Turns out he was taping the plane. That's right, he was taping the plane. After about 5 minutes or so of this guy doing his best McGyver impression, the captain walks out of the cockpit and comes to the intercom system closeby to our seats and says:

"Ladies and gentlemen, those of you on the left hand side of the plane have noticed one of our mechanics on the wing taping the plane. That's not just ordinary tape he's using, that's heavy-duty tape. He is taping up a part of the wing to keep the moisture out, (pause) and to hold the wing on. Enjoy your flight."

At the very end, he was chuckling and had a huge grin on his face. I had to laugh as well as it truly was one of those great moments in airline travel. Needless to say, the wing stayed on for the duration of the flight.

On the way back to the airport in Detroit, the cabbie made a valiant attempt to convert me to Islam over the course of the 20 minute ride. Whenever I attempted to correct him on his Bible knowledge or disagree with him on a point, I was met with a resounding "Hallalalalalalaaaa" until I shut up and he would then resume talking. Have to admit, that was the most enjoyable cab ride I ever had.

The Badgers
Jekyll and Hyde continue to reign for this team. Beating OSU, then losing to NW? Then barely beating the Goophs at home? This team really does play to the level of it's competition. I feel that although the games will be close, they will lose their last 2 games to MSU and Iowa (both ranked teams) as they are both on the road, and this team really hasn't had a monster road win all season.

The Bucks
Crappy, crummy, piss-poor play by almost everyone on the team. Of course, if you listen to most people, it's solely TJ Ford's fault they are losing. They want to blame him for everything from the crappy lease Kohl is in at the Bradley Center to the hanging chads in FL during the last presidential election. I'm going to take one of the minority positions on this and defend Ford. The kid hustles his ass off, and given he's only got 2.5 seasons under his belt at this point and had a 1.5 year break separating those 2.5 years in half, let's not all rush to bury him. I fully admit that he's got to have better shot selection and average better than 6.4 assists/game, but this whole team is new to each other, and nobody expected them to win the title. He's learning and the team will be better because of him.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Bob Villa, I am not

Well, on February 11, I got a surround sound system for my abode. It's in the basement where the TV is, which makes the placement for the system rather appropriate. This weekend I decided that the sooner it was up, the better. I really wanted the wires hidden and given that the basement is finished with a regular ceiling (versus dropdown), I figured I was screwed.

Alas! My wife pointed out that the Time Life home improvement books I bought back in my college days may come in handy. A glimmer of hope came across my face as I bounded down the steps (narrowly missing the boy's toys) and opened up the book on electronics. Lo and behold it told you how to do it. Well, it was about doing it with cable, but the same principles apply. I gleefully ran back up the stairs, (narrowly missing the boy himself this time with said toys) and confidently showed my wife how it was done. All I needed to do was to cut some holes in the wall, and use fish tape to pull the wires through the walls and ceiling. Brilliant!

So I was cutting holes in the wall (I did check for studs first, but enough about me looking in the mirror) and making sure they all lined up and how I wanted this all to work. The boy came down and said "Wow, looks like an army had a battle here". Not the most encouraging thing I ever heard, but accurate. Anyway, turned out that the ceiling was, as my dad would say, "uniquely done", which means "what in the blue fuck were they thinking?" So I (or more accurately my wife, she loves this stuff) had to make larger holes in the wall so we could get at the fish tape to pull the wires through. After making sure the children were both upstairs and listening to music, the wife and I were free to cuss like gangsters whose drug shipment was busted by the feds while finishing the job.

The 2 rear speakers are all wired and the front right speaker is set, it is only the front left speaker that is remaining. The speaker wire that came with that is so pathetically short that Tattoo from Fantasy Island couldn't use it as a belt. So I have to get some additional wire to make that speaker workable, but the major stuff is out of the way. All that is left after that speaker is set up is to patch the holes so that kids don't think we are adding another closet for thier toys. Then I can enjoy the sounds of the TV the way they were meant to be enjoyed, with my ears ringing and bleeding.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Ahhh, the joys of parenthood

My son got an ear infection last night, so my wife and I were up from about midnight until 4:30am when he was able to sleep for longer than 10 - 15 minutes at a time. Needless to say, I'm too tired for any real posting today. A very odd night at the Cheesehead house, but like the title says, one of the joys of parenthood: sick kids.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Well I'll be...

The Badgers continue to remain Dr. Jekyll with their impressive come from behind win 78-73 over #12 Ohio State. Alando Tucker led the charge with 27 pts and 16 rebounds and also delivered a baby, busted a meth lab, and built some low-income housing last night. The man was all over the place. Butch also continued his good play with a 17 pt performance himself. Gee, think he caught the message when he was benched? Ex-presidents Nixon and Taylor had solid nights contributing 13 and 12 pts respectively. This win marks the 2nd win over a top 25 team over the last 3 games. The Badgers get a well-deserved week off until their next game at Northwestern on the 23rd. They are proving my prediction of no NCAA tourney wrong and I'm very thankful for that.

The Bucks lost at Indiana last night
77-88 in a case of bad road team meets hot home team. The Bucks enter the All-Star break with 27-25 record which can only be viewed as surprising. Their defense has picked up lately and that will lead to more wins. Mo Williams will be back after the break and the Bucks have a favorable schedule as well. Things are looking up.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Home Lovin'

No, I'm not talking about my Valentine's Day evening with my wife (this is not that kind of blog). I'm talking about the Bucks win last night over the Sonics 106-91, making them winners of their last 6 home games. This also marks the 10th straight game of holding opponents under 94 points, which is a franchise record. Dear goodness, could this team actually be coming together? This win was all about the bench coming through huge, especially Joe Smith (18 pts in 19 min on 7-11 shooting), Gadzuric (10 pts in 18 min on 5-6 shooting) and Charlie Bell (8 assists in subbing for Ford who got hurt during the game). Contributions like that are wonderful to see from this squad and keep giving me hope that they could win their first round playoff matchup. One of the big stats was that the Bucks got 32 points off of 22 Seattle turnovers. That's huge, I mean like the-size-of-the-rose-bouquet-I-got-for-my-wife huge. Everybody scored last night, including the Bucks. **Rim Shot** Thank you very much, you're a great crowd! Try the veal!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Huge props (and Bucks stuff)

I got to give some props. I am very proud of my wife. On Saturday she went to our church for about 4 hours and helped package meals to be shipped to Africa. Our church almost tripled it's goal for how many meals they packed. The turnout to help was huge. Even my 5 year old helped out for 2 hours. Over 150,000 meals were packaged over the weekend. That means that over 400 kids, who are on the verge of starvation, can have a meal every day for the next year. That is phenominal. Great job Rachel and Adam!

The Bucks lost at New Jersey yesterday
79-94 in a listless effort. With the Bucks having a quick turnaround after Saturday night's game going to play against the Nets who had won 12 of their last 13 home games, nobody expected a win. Thanks to the snow storm, the game was played in front of about 5,000 people. Not much to talk about with this one.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Double Vision

Hey hey, lookie lookie, both the Bucks and Badgers win yesterday!

The Bucks won their 5th home game in a row by beating the
Charlotte Bobcats 99-93. It was a solid overall team effort with virtually everyone who played had a meaningful contribution. They did a great job in wiping out a 9 point defecit in the 3rd quarter. The Bucks have also played some very good defense over the last 8 games, only allowing opponents to score over 90 points twice (with the Bucks going 5-3 over that span).

As much flack as TJ Ford has received about his shooting, he's doing more for this team overall than the snubbed All-Star Redd is over the last 6 games that these guys have played together with Mo Williams out, thus putting more pressure on them to perform. Here's the stats they have:

PlayerShots (FG%)Pts RebAssistsTO
Ford34-85 (40.0%)
Redd46-127 (36.2%)

Now, I certainly am not saying that Ford is better than Redd, but in all the hoopla over Redd not making the team, I felt this was necessary to show. Ford certainly needs some improvement to his game as he needs to shoot in the 45-47% range and the Assist/TO ratio is not as high as it should be either. His rebounding is excellent for a PG and is a bit surprising. But I'm giving the guy some slack, as he's almost missed more time than he has played in the bigs, and I for one think his game is coming along nicely, as this graphic shows.

The Badgers took Penn State behind the shed for an old fashioned whoppin'
82-62. Brian Butch finally had a dominant game for the first time, (he must have read my rant) but granted it was against a line-up of 6"6" guys. When he has a 5" height advantage and add that to an additional 4-5" reach advantage, he should dominate. The past 2 games the Badgers have kicked the snot out of teams that frankly they should have. Dr. Jekyll is currently in the house, we'll see if he's still around on Wed night when they host Ohio State.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Mr. Crankbutt: Boo Hoo Kwan

The cranky one returns after a long hiatus to chime in about Michelle Kwan and the Olympics:

Thanks Cheesewad,
I am sick of hearing about the so-called "America's golden girl" Michelle Kwan. She hasn't won Olympic gold due to her choking time and time again and we're supposed to feel sorry for her. She whines her way onto the Olympic team and gets special treatment to get on it, because she was hurt when the qualifying happened. Now we hear that
she is still hurt and is likely not able to skate. The USOC are morons for even getting involved in this stupid drama. By all rights Emily Hughes should be on the team, she did everything she was supposed to and earned her way on. Kwan cried like a 3 year old and got on.

Kwan is quoted as saying: "It's a sport," she said. "It's not life and death." Oh really, then why was it so damn important that you cry your way onto the team? Why did you need a special meeting in order to show you should be on the team? Could it be that you are just an attention hog that cannot stand not being in the limelight? Does this sound like someone who wants to become a gold medal champion? You have had 2 other opportunites to get the gold and failed, time to move on and let others have the opportunites you did. Oh, and the moronic argument that is brought up comparing her situation to Nancy Kerrigan's is so off base it's ridiculous.

Needless to say, I'm going to be all "unpatriotic" and not root for Kwan should she be allowed to skate, after all, she doesn't deserve to be there.

Update Sunday Feb 12th: Kwan has pulled out of the games. Guess the drama was too much even for her.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Lombardi Cartoons

Everyone has to see this. One of the funniest things I've read in a while.

Now THAT'S what I'm talking about

The Badgers kicked the snot out of Indiana at the Kohl Center 72-54 last night in a huge win for a team that was in desperate need of one. The defense came back with Indiana held to 29.2% FG shooting for the game. Indiana was on a skid themselves losing 3 of thier last 4, so the Badgers caught them at a good time. Tucker and Nixon provided almost all the offense the Badgers needed and Gullikson was huge off the bench with 7 pts and 7 rebs. Butch was brought off the bench with Bo going with a smaller lineup that worked wonders. I hope Butch caught the message that he needs to step it up and be more physical. Hopefully they can use this win to launch into a late-season winning surge. But I'm not sold on this Jekyll and Hyde team yet.

The Bucks needed 2 OT to take care of the Orlando Magic
94-89 at the Bradley Center. The Bucks went with a small lineup for both OTs and bench players Charlie Bell (10 pts) and Gadzuric (17 pts) stepped up big from the bench. Both Simmons and Redd were outstanding in both OTs, with getting key rebounds. The oddest line of the night: Magloire had 18 rebounds and 1 point. If the Bucks keep winning, I'll take it. Redd and Ford both had key blocks in the OT periods and the Bucks played some good defense to earn the win.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

You know, I agree with this

Today the Milwaukee JS ran an article on the image problem at the Univ of WI. I gotta say, that in recent years, especially this year, this article is dead on. Many more athletes are getting in legal trouble now than say, 5 years ago and it's disturbing that this institution that had virtually no issues like this back then. Some of the quotes from the article:

When the UW Athletic Board discussed the strengths and weakness of the student-athlete discipline policy during its Jan. 27 meeting, alumni board member Wade Fetzer offered the toughest criticism. Sharing a conversation he had with a UW athlete, Fetzer told the board that many UW athletes viewed the policy as a joke.

The reason: Every athlete known to appeal a suspension has seen that suspension reduced by a five-member appeals committee.

Not a great thing to hear that the student-athletes don't respect the policy. Barry certainly has his work cut out for him being in his 2nd year as AD. Time to bring some accountability back to the athletic program. I've mentioned also about Bo Ryan's team having academic issues with 3 players lost for the season due to this and how this is a direct reflection on Bo. Barry also needs to nip this in the bud right away and get the academics back on track for the athletes as well.

I'm still a proud alum from WI, however, like many other alumni, I hold the U to a bit higher standard and am glad that other more "powerful" alumni have voiced their concerns.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The 2006 Backyard Border Battle has begun!

Yes indeed all, the now famous BBB between myself and my neighbor and good friend Shane has kicked off the 2006 season with the first event being completed this weekend. To catch the new readers up, last year's Battle was won by yours truly 4-3 over Shane. This year we have added new events to the Battle and the first event was one of the new ones, air hockey.

Shane and I went to Gameworks downtown for this installment of the Battle. First we had an outstanding dinner at the Loon Cafe, which has excellent chili I'd like to point out. Then it was on to the battleground. Now, this air hockey table was not your typical table, oh no, this table had the added feature of 3 PUCK PLAY! That's right, about 1/3 of the way through, 3 pucks would come out, and then for the last minute or so of the game (they were all timed) there would always be 3 pucks out on the surface until time ran out.

This was a best of 3 series as the place was quite packed. The first game saw me jump out to an early lead and I dominated the rest of the game which ended with a 15-8 victory. Shane had difficulty with the 3 puck play and was overwhelmed by my offensive onslaught. Score CC up 1-0.

Game two was a very tightly contested affair as the lead changed back and forth throughout the contest. The time had run out with 1 puck left on the surface and Shane up 11-10 as he went defensive this game to counter the 3 pucks, so I needed to make the last puck for the tie, which I easily did. Score after 2 games 1-0-1.

We took a break as there were people waiting to use the table and went off and played some of the other games, then after about an hour we came back to finish the event.

Game 3 was another close one with a game malfunction during play. After I scored a goal to tie it at 5, the game did not register it and did not kick out a new puck. So Shane and I bumped the machine as best we could while watching the time continue to run. We had to wait for the final minute where 3 pucks would come out. Feeling a bit of pressure given that Shane obviously rigged the machine to not count all of my goals, I was pushing the offense hard. Game 3 ended in an 11-10 victory for Shane as he luckily sank the final puck to tie it all up at 1-1-1.

The final game saw a flurry of action which drew the attention of quite a few of the younger patrons away from their games to watch the showdown. The crowd was clearly on my side as my superior abilities on the table quickly became obvious. The game was broadcast on all of the TV's in the place for all to enjoy. Chants of "Cheesehead! Cheesehead!" filled Gameworks as Shane was sweating with nervousness. The game was another see-saw battle with again the score tied at 15-15 with one puck left. Pointing at the goal in a called shot like Babe Ruth in the 1932 World Series, the crowd went wild. One quick, cold strike of the puck, and the game was over. 16-15 was the final score with Cheesehead Craig the victor. The crowd jumped up and down and cheered like the city of Pittsburgh after the SuperBowl. To show my appreciaton for their support, I gave some of the kids my Gameworks card so that they could enjoy playing a couple of games of air hockey as well. Shane was kind enough to stay a bit longer after the game so that I could sign autographs and have pictures taken with the fans.

This year's BBB has started off well again for me and it looks to be another exciting season of silly and borderline simplistic events. But fear not my loyal readers, I shall once again emerge victorious and the cup (which we still have to get) will once again be mine.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Warning: Lots of f*cking explatives ahead

If you are easily offended, do me a favor and skip this post.

Why does the Badger men's basketball team hate me so much? How can this team, which started with so much promise, end up fucking losing to the worst damn team in the Big Ten, Purdue 70-62? This is some of the shittiest basketball I have ever seen come out of Madison with them losing 5 of their last 6.

There's no fucking defense on this team, especially in the interior with Brian "not quite so" Butch. The Badgers have given up 46.8% shooting from the field, as teams are scoring on them more often than a hooker at Mardi Gras; plus they are being out-fucking-rebounded by over 5 boards/game. This team used to be built on defense and interior play, now we are just a bunch of pansy-ass outside shooters and the team has lost it's toughness, and needs to grow a pair in fucking hurry. This is not what WI basketball is Bo, not by a mother-fucking longshot.

Instead of building a team this year, Bo just went and relied upon Alando "shoot until my arms fucking fall off" Tucker to lead the team in scoring and hoped that the rest of the team would score enough to win. I'm predicting right now that this sorry-ass bunch of dipshits will not make the NCAA tourney. They will lose 5 of their next 7 games of the season and lose in the first round in the Big Ten tourney to finish the season 17-13 with no prayer of bid, not when you finish the season on a horseshit 3-11 run. No fucking way.

There, my rant is done and I apologize for the language. I just had to get it out of my system.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Hello, my name is Craig, and I'm an addict

I'm addicted to PartyPoker.net. Yes, I'm a sad man for playing Texas Hold 'Em poker on line, but I cannot help it. It is really fun and my abilites at poker have increased tremendously. Now, before I get any further along, I should point out that I AM NOT PLAYING FOR REAL MONEY! I don't believe in on-line gambling as it is waaaaayyy too dangerous to go down that road. I'll lose my $ in person at a casino like everyone else, thank you very much.

I've always loved playing card games and I'm pretty good at them, so figured I'd see how I'd do at poker. To date I'm over 70k in my bankroll (I started with 2k), however I'm nowhere near the top leaderboard players. I just log on, get the Yahoo radio going and zone out for a while.

One only gets better at things with practice, and even though the only 2 times I have played Texas Hold 'Em poker for real $, I came in 1st and 2nd, I won those on mostly luck and other people playing poorly. I have no dreams of becoming a professional poker player (hope that is settling for you O wonderful wifey of mine), but I would just like to have a bit more confidence when playing the game. Anyway, if you decide to go on there, I go by the same monicker that I do here. Look forward to seeing you there, taking your money, and having a good time.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Bucks - (Redd + Mo) = No win

It's simple math people, you take out the top 2 scorers, which is 40 pts/game for the Bucks, play against Yao Ming and T-Mac on the road and they will lose. Not real surprised at this result. However, I am a bit disappointed in Bogut in this one as he had a horrible game. 0-4 from the field in 26 minutes? Sheesh, thanks for showing up. Simmons was phenominal with 26 points and shot the hell out of the ball. Ford needs to remember that he is supposed to try and pass the ball a bit more. His 4-20 shooting just killed any chance the Bucks had of winning this game. Welsch had a nice night with 17 points showing he has the potential to be a big contributor off the bench. Magloire posted 13 pts and 15 rbs, but the Bucks got blown out once again on the boards, this time 48-38. What was once a strength of the Bucks has slowly slipped away, thus the disappointing losses. They have to get back to being a consistent rebounding team to get back to winning more.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Where's the parachute?

The Badgers continued their free-fall last night in an embarassing 51-66 loss to #6 Illinois, losing 4 of their last 5. The Badgers actually led this game 24-13 at one point in the first half, but let Illinois go on a 19-0 run. I wasn't surprised Illinois won this game, just at how poorly the Badgers played for the last 30 minutes. This team needs something, better yet, someone to give them a spark. The Badgers overachieved early on in the year, but this last stretch of 5 games has been brutally bad. They better turn this around quick or there is a very good chance of them being an 8 seed or worse, come tourney time.

Last night my almost 3 year old decided that she should get sick and thus, my wife and I spent about 2.5 hours cleaning up and making emergency runs to the bathroom with her last night. Amazingly, my daughter thought this was all just fine and was absolutely cute as heck during all that. My kids just amaze me at times with their calm reactions with things when I am expecting the worst.

EDIT: I should note that the 2.5 hours occured between midnight and 2:30 am.