Sunday, November 27, 2011

It Had to Happen Eventually.

I suppose it was inevitable. Ohio State lost its head coach to a scandal, the magnitude of which PALES in comparison to the scandals coming from Penn State and Miami.

The potential Senior Quarterback left for the NFL.

The interim head coach looks like Adam Sandler (and coaches like him--in his "Waterboy" persona).

Michigan had a strong offense and defense (it only took them 11 years) and was playing at home.

Michigan was desperate for a win after 7 straight years of losses (and 9 out of the last 10).

So Ohio State lost to Michigan. Big. Deal.

I can't say I didn't expect it. If Michigan didn't win this year, they were never going to. And I can't say I wasn't impressed with OSU's efforts. They showed more offensive prowess in this game than they've showed in just about all their other games this season combined.

Next year, OSU will have a new coach. Probably Urban Meyer (which I REALLY don't think is a good idea.) They will have an experienced sophomore QB with an experienced corps of receivers. They will have an offensive coordinator who knows what he is doing. And they will be playing in Columbus.

In other words, the playing field will be much more level.

But hey, I won $100 in the office squares pool for the game. I won the 3rd AND the 4th quarters. That definitely takes some of the sting out of the loss.

(Don't tell the IRS.) (Oops! Forget I said that!) (Really!)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Perhaps...Cue Cards?

By now, you may have heard about former "American Idol" contestant Lauren Alaina forgetting a line of the National Anthem before today's annual Detroit Lions pounding.

An aside: It seems to be an annual tradition anymore. On Thanksgiving day, we gather with family, eat turkey, and watch the Lions get drubbed on national television. The Lions haven't won since 2003 (when they beat the Green Bay Packers, ironically enough) and they often lose by big margins.

But I digress, as usual. My point is this: This is the second time in less than a year that a major celebrity singer has blown the singing of the National Anthem in a nationally televised NFL game. Aguilera's flub is probably the more egregious, since hers occurred before the biggest game of the NFL season.

I understand the pressure that can be in this situation. You are singing on national, possibly international, television, in front of an audience of possibly billions. The audience is completely quiet. Every eye in the stadium is on you. And you're singing a song that you don't sing very often, if you sing it at all. And while you may know the song, there's that possibility of that random brain fart occurring at the worst possible time.

So may I make a modest suggestion for the next big televised NFL game with a celebrity anthem singer?

Thank you. It's this: Try. Cue. Cards.

Keep them discreet, of course. Surely you can find a way to hide them from the camera.

Unless, of course, you want this to happen a third time. Or a fourth.

Monday, November 21, 2011


By now, if you haven't seen the viral video of Police in riot gear at UC Davis pepper spraying peaceful protestors, then here it is:

I can only think of six words for this: You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding.

I'm really not sure what the worst part of that is, but I think the top candidate for that award would have to be the casual way in which the cop with the pepper spray casually walked back and forth along the line of protestors, spraying them liberally while showing as much concern for their welfare as he might if he were spraying insecticide on a colony of ants.

I have a few questions for this cop: What, exactly, were you thinking when you did this? What was going through your mind? Were you explicitly ordered to treat your fellow human beings like roaches at the bottom of a trash can? How the hell do you sleep at night?

Also, did you night take into account the fact that EVERYONE has a cell phone with a camera these days? And that your abusive actions would soon make you the most infamous internet celebrity in the country?


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Suck it, Cornhuskers!

The University of Nebraska officially joined the Big Ten conference this season. And they joined with the same swagger that Penn State had when they joined it in 1993.

Penn State figured they would immediately dominate the conference. They were, after all, considered one of the strongest independent football teams in the country. The Big Ten had a few strong teams (Ohio State, Michigan) but they were in not in the same league as PSU. Or so they thought.

They learned the hard way that's not how things work in the Big Ten. And while they have managed respectable records, including 3 Big Ten championships, they have been far from the dominant force they were supposed to be. They have had some truly abysmal seasons as well, including a 5 year span from 2000-2004 when their combined record was 26-33 and they attended only one bowl game (which they lost).

Nebraska came in this year with much the same attitude. The swagger was there. Every pre-season sports prognosticator picked them to be this year's Big Ten champions.

However, with today's 45-17 shellacking at the hands of Michigan, of all teams, they won't even be playing in the championship game. They'll be lucky to get a New Year's day bowl game.

So go cry in your corn, Nebraska! Better luck next year. Or not.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Issue 2 Has Been Defeated

Tonight, in an historic referendum about the rights of workers, we voters of Ohio have soundly rejected State Senate bill 5, which would have stripped all public workers of the right to collectively bargain for any rights other than how much we would be paid (and really, in today's economy, how much do you think that would have been?)

I voted against this bill, as I'm sure did just about every other bargaining unit employee in my office.

It's not surprising. The amount of money poured into trying to pass this bill from business groups and other out-of-state organizations was at a level not seen since business groups tried--and succeeded--to bring Casinos to the state. This time, though, these groups faced a massive effort to defeat them on a REAL grassroots level, not like the astroturf movements that the Cock--er-I mean KOCHE brothers used to create the TEA party. (Yes folks. The media has renamed the Koch brothers--whose name WAS pronounced "Cock"--the "Koch" brothers. That, by the way, is pronounced like the the word "coke". That's about as close as those brothers will ever be to being associated with normal people).

The Pro issue 2 groups outspent the groups against it by more than 2 to 1. But in the end, they could not match the boots on the ground that the anti-issue-2 groups were able to muster. No matter how many TV ads they bought, they could not counter the REAL grass roots effort waged by the anti-2 campaign.

For this I am VERY glad.

Here is the "FOX news" story on this. When even they can't put a positive spin on a defeat like this, you know they are acknowledging a true ass-whuppin'!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Issue 2 Polling

Issue 2 comes down for a vote tomorrow. This is an issue to vote down a State Senate bill that will severely curtail the rights of me and every one of my fellow public employees.

According to every poll taken since this issue got on the ballot, it will lose by merely a 2 to 1 margin.

My problem is this: Pollsters are simply not doing their job correctly. They are asking questions that are too complicated.

If you want to take an accurate poll, you need to do 2 things:

1) Ask the respondent if they know what issue 2 is.
2) Ask the respondent if they will be voting yes or no.

If you don't know what a push poll is, then take the time to look it up.

If you really want an accurate poll, keep your questions simple.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

No E-Readers Please!

I won't use a Kindle. Or a Nook. Or any other E-Reader on the market.

First of all there is the obvious reason: I accidentally drop a book on the floor, I reach down and pick it up. I drop an E-reader on the floor, I look down and see how many pieces it is in, then think about how expensive it will be to replace.

Second: I stop reading a book, I place the nearest convenient scrap of paper where I left off. Or I set it face open upside down on the nearest flat surface. Then, later, I pick it up and resume reading. I stop reading my e-reader, I power it on again, and hope I can somehow navigate to the last place I was reading before my 15 minute break is up.

Lastly this: I rarely buy any book if it's not a paperback. Most books I read once. This is not because I hold a dislike for any particular book--it's just that once I've read one, I have little desire to read it again, particularly if the book is fiction.

We as a people have to get away from converting all of our written history to digital information. Digital storage assumes that we will always have a way to access it. I have yet to meet anyone who can tell me that will always be the case.