August 2008 Archives

Gustav Blogging - Sunday 10:05PM

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The news has been less dire, almost encouraging, about Gustav the last few hours. Still expecting a rough ride. Hoping to get a decent night's sleep although I doubt that's going to happen. I'm glad he's coming ashore tomorrow during the day. I like being able to see what's going on.

We had one minor blow a couple of hours ago. Just some wind and rain from one of the feeder bands.

Hope I can get in a shower before the power goes out tomorrow.

Still fairly calm here.

Gustav Blogging - Sunday 7:22PM

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Still waiting for Gustav. He's expected here at CrabAppleLane tomorrow afternoon. Most of the news today about his condition, which I've tried not to get too excited about one way or the other, has been positive. He's moving a little faster and he hasn't significantly intensified.

We'll pull the bird seed feeders and one of the nectar feeders in tomorrow as the wind picks up. I'll fill and leave one nectar feeder out during the hurricane. We had hummingbirds throughout Katrina and I plan to make the same deal with them this time: The feeder stays up unless it becomes a hazard.

The camera battery is charged and I'll take pictures tomorrow whenever I'm not doing something else. No telling when I'll be able to post them. Our internet is with AT&T now, not Charter Cable. It's mostly underground and I might be up sooner this time.

Sooner or later, we'll have to find some quiet time to relax. Turn off the news and maybe watch a movie. Staying busy getting prepared doesn't relieve the anxiety.

Gustav Blogging - Sunday 4:20PM

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Pulled the last of the outside things inside. We'll leave bird feeders out as long as we can. The birds are all over the seed feeders right now and the hummingbirds are swarming theirs. They sense something is up as do our cats. Our cats may be picking it up from us, though.

Started the generator. Took a few pulls as was expected after having it sit idle for three years. No problem, though. I'll change the oil after the first tank.

Still pretty calm here.

Gustav Blogging - Sunday 1:15PM

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We've got a few things left to do at CrabAppleLane and then the waiting starts. Was able to fill my tank and four additional 5-gallon containers in Covington after I drove to Bush first. Bush was entirely out of gas. When I reached Covington, I saw a tanker in the Shell station filling it up. I figured I'd wait even if it took 20-30 minutes. That's about how long it took and $3.71 per gallon is a better price than I had hoped for.

We have a generator that will run the refrigerator and freezer and maybe a fan and the TV/radio but it won't run the water pump. I plan to go start it up and maybe change the oil in a few minutes for the first time since Katrina. The smell of gasoline is coming back.

Gustav Blogging - Sunday 10:06AM

We've decided to ride it out here at CrabAppleLane. There are no good choices to be made. My sister offered us a hotel room in Niceville, FL, but we can't figure any route to get there that wouldn't have us on the road for at least 12 hours. Contraflow and road closures will make travel unbearable for us. Another sister headed to Atlanta yesterday but could only get as far as Mississippi.

We're expecting 90-100mph winds blowing from southeast to northwest. We think the house will keep us safe in this type of storm.

Gustav Blogging on a CrabAppleLane Sunday

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Woke up this morning and there is no change in our situation. Damn. We're still pondering what to do here. CrabAppleLane is under a voluntary evacuation order this morning ... as we were for Katrina. The rhetoric from public officials and the media is even more alarming this time than it was then.

Stay or leave? Not an easy decision to leave. We've never left. Not for Betsy. Not for Camille. Not for Katrina. Seems like a no-brainer to those a thousand miles away. Get to safety and deal with whatever happens when you get back. Better safe than sorry. Well, they're not mutually exclusive. During Katrina, we were able to deal with things during and after the storm that would have been disastrous and expensive had we left and not been able to come back for a few weeks. That was what happened for Katrina. Leaking windows was a minor inconvenience that we dealt with but it would have meant mold, a remediation team, a major expense and the insurance fight that goes with it, and upheaval of our lives had we not been here. That said, we have considered and are considering evacuation for the first time ever.

I offer two on this CrabAppleLane Sunday.

Gustav Watch - August 31, 2008
Gustav Watch - August 31, 2008 - These trees on the west side of the house are the tallest ones near us. They're not tall enough to crash through the roof. The worst they could do is fall and lean on the house. Katrina blew the trees south and east. We're expecting Gustav to blow them north and west. That 18" DirecTV dish survived Katrina intact and perfectly aligned. Neither pictured antenna are in use any more.

Gustav Watch - August 31, 2008
Gustav Watch - August 31, 2008 - Not expecting traffic to be pleasant in any direction but we'll head north if we decide to evacuate

4 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
They didn't play like Michigan. They played like LSU.
Jerry Moore, Appalachian State coach

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "But all hurricanes are different. Their winds blow uniquely, they move massive amounts of water to places that normally are dry. There is no guarantee that what survived Katrina will survive Gustav."

Gustav Blogging

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Mayor Nagin just ordered a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans calling Gustav the "mother of all storms". Probably meant "father". New Orleans is in danger of Gustav's winds, accompanying tornadoes, storm surges, and flooding if the newly-repaired levees don't hold.

CrabAppleLane is about 50 miles almost due north of New Orleans as the crow flies. We're north of Lake Pontchartrain and above sea level. The high winds and tornadoes are my main concerns. Flooding is not a concern. We were very fortunate for Katrina. She did minimal damage to CrabAppleLane. It had nothing whatever to do with good preparation, though. It was luck. Some people around here that were much better prepared had extensive property damage.

The eye of Katrina passed about 30 miles east of CrabAppleLane. The winds started here at about 6:15AM. She gusted and howled for about 10 hours straight. She was nasty. Gustav is heading about 100 miles west of CrabAppleLane at present. We'll be farther away if he holds his present course but we'll be on his worst side. If he maintains his present course and intensity, we're expecting a rough ride here.

I'll be posting as time, inspiration, and ability permit. Dave has graciously volunteered to post updates if I can't. That's assuming I'll be able to get updates to him. Communication after Katrina was awful. Hopefully, that problem has been resolved in the last three years. It's going to get a big test in a couple of days.

It's pretty calm here at the moment.

Saturday music

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Wish there was a better version of that Drive-By Truckers song. The studio version is just fantastic. I offer a little CrabAppleLane musical progression this morning as Gustav approaches. I needed something to cheer me up this morning as I prepare to go into work. Enjoy.

Alison Krauss & Union Station -> Drive-By Truckers -> Gillian Welch & David Rawlings -> Old Crow Medicine Show -> Tracktor Beam

The fantastic song below inspired this comment from someone on YouTube:

god his voice is heavenly....omg i would so trap him in my closet and make him sing for food.

Tracktor Beam - High Dice Blues

It is wonderful to see this kind of music in such young hands.

5 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
If I ever get my hands on
A dollar again
I'm going to hold on to it
As my only friend
Tracktor Beam, High Dice Blues

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "And so it came to pass, that the bands of European bluegrass did converge on the French town of La Roche-sur-Foron, where they entertained the populace for three nights and three days. And the Lord looked down and saw that the people were pleased. And so he was pleased. So much so that he sent the best sunshine one could wish for."

Anniversary

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Today is the 3rd anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. That event has dominated the lives of everyone in southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi for 3 years. It's been a very tough three years for most.

Encouraged by Deuce McAllister's running last night. He looks like he's fully recovered from knee surgery. Anxious to see what the Saints offense will do when they put all of their starters on the field. Jeremy Shockey did not play a down in preseason. Marques Colston only played sparingly. Deuce and Reggie Bush were never on the field at the same time. The Bucs, with Jeff Garcia and Joey Galloway, are up next.

It seems obvious to me that they should just swap the games next Sunday if the need arises because of Gustav. Play the September 7 game in Tampa and the November 30 game in New Orleans. A repeat of the 2005 season would be a disaster for the team and the city. No home games outside of New Orleans, except that one in London in a couple of months.

6 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
But let's hope for the best.
A good week of practice in Indy.
A quick recovery from Gustav.
A big win over the Bucs.
With David coming up with a game-winning interception.
Pete Finney, Times Picayune

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I'm not sure what's worse though: the ear-hair or the fact that it has split-ends."

Katrina & Gustav

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I was doing this three years ago. Some of those satellite images of Katrina still hold some power here. She was a monster. I've read this entry at least a hundred times over the last three years. The many thoughtful comments are still a bit overwhelming.

If things are like that again, I just don't know what we'll do. I'm fairly confident we'll survive the storm. It's the aftermath I'm worried about. Potential property damage (We were very fortunate during Katrina), limited supplies, soaring prices, long lines, unbearable traffic, crushing anxiety, and depression are my biggest concerns.

I've joined a Gustav-related FlickR group. I'll be taking pictures during and after the storm like I did with Katrina. Hopefully, better ones or better yet, none at all.

I'll watch a few minutes of the Saints/Dolphins game tonight but not much more than that. Most of the guys playing tonight will be doing something else next week.

7 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
The threat of Gustav has residents questioning how safe they will be if they stay, and if their property will be protected if they evacuate.
Susan Edwards, WWL Eyewitness News

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Hurricane Gustav rapidly intensified into a hurricane on 26 August 2008 (less than 24 hours after the first advisory was issued). As noted by the National Hurricane Center's Gustav discussion number 6"

Gustav on my mind

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CrabAppleLane turns their eyes to Gustav. The local paper is advising us to clean out out freezers tonight. The Coalition is ahead of us in preparation. They always are. I think tree hugging sister lives for this stuff. Just die already, Gustav.

8 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
She's a lot more well known than anyone from the Seattle -- sorry, we forget what the Seattle pro football team is called. Who's the coach again?
Greg Easterbrook, ESPN

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "My interpretation (or is the more appropriate word analysis? Hee!) is that it is an e-mail from a faraway person. Who wishes me health but cannot get up out of his/her seat."

About Adult Supervision

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He's decent. And if you or Bruce or anyone else tries to beat that out of him, I swear to God I'll take him away.

I'm watching the last little league game I attended. It was about 25 years ago and I want to say the kids were 6 or maybe 7. They're told to stay on the baseline, stay on the baseline, stay on the baseline. The batter hits a grounder to 3rd base. The 3rd baseman scoops it up when it gets to him and throws to the first baseman. His throw is woefully short and up the line. The first baseman goes up the line to wait on the dribbling throw. The runner approaches him and stops. He won't go out of the baseline. The ball finally gets to the first baseman and he tags the runner out. I turned to the person next to me and said I thought the runner should have been awarded first base because the base was blocked. She turns to me and says, "The runner should have run over the first baseman.". Alrighty then.

There's no crying in baseball.

The one I bring to you today features forfeits, resignations, and lawyers involved over ... a 9-year-old pitcher. Strike One: League officials issued a directive to a coach to replace 9-year-old pitcher Jericho Scott because he throws "so hard, fast and accurate that it might frighten or discourage other players". Duh, that's baseball, folks. It's perfectly natural to have some fear in you when you face a hard thrower. The thing is the "parents and coaches, not players, expressed a fear of Jericho's pitches". Strike Two: The other team walked off of the field and forfeited when Jericho was seen throwing warmup pitches. Yeah, those kids are learning a valuable life lesson from that. Strike Three: The league and Jericho's parents have both hired lawyers to sort this out. Incredible. Truthfully, I don't have a solution, either. Well, not a legal one...

The only problem with youth sports is

The Adults

9 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Jericho walked away from the mound in tears.
Pamela McLoughlin, NewHavenRegister.com

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "OMG, I thought. My landlord reads my blog. He's admitting it to me. I should acknowledge that. But how did he find it? Isn't that weird? That is weird. Should I... say something? "You know who I am?" Too weird."

The Honeymooners

The Honeymooners used to come on at 10PM at our house. They were reruns. The kids in the house were in bed but we could hear it from our bedrooms. More about that in a moment. I started recording them a few weeks ago off of WGN TV in Chicago. One of the cool things our DirecTV guide provides is a "First Aired" date. The episode we watched last night first aired March 17, 1956. I love having that information. By the time we were listening to them from our bedrooms in the 60s, they were in syndication. There were only 39 episodes in syndication and they were coming on every weeknight so a little basic math will tell you that you've seen/heard them all after 8 weeks. In our house, this routine went on for years. As we all got older, we were able to stay up and watch them. I've seen them all but haven't watched an episode in its entirety in a long time. Seeing them again now after many years is like seeing an old friend. I still know what's going to happen, still know every punch line, and still laugh when it's delivered. They are outrageously dated. How many viewers have ever seen an icebox or a wind-up record player in real life? This one hasn't. The show is more than just classic comedy, as if that wouldn't be enough, and it's much more than just a blast from the past. It's Americana.

10 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
When you come down the street, there aint no other side!
Ed Norton, The Honeymooners

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Why were the Honeymooners so special and why does their magical chemistry still have a hold on television viewers today?"

Another reason I love my DVR: I was able to record the Gold Medal game last night at 1:30AM local time and watch it this morning without knowing anything about it. It is the only game in the only event I've watched in its entirety this Olympiad and it was a thriller. Very happy I could do that.

About anthems: I'm still puzzled by the use of Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA as a rallying cry. It's not a particularly Pro-American song. It's a protest song and a kind of sad one at that. That may be ironic in Beijing, where protests are usually not blaring from the loudspeakers in the public square, but I wonder if the irony is being aimed at the US team and fans by the Chinese or vice versa. Does anyone really listen to the lyrics?

The Sunday Image: I offer one today from just outside our kitchen window. It's been raining all day.

CrabAppleLane Althea - August 24, 2008
CrabAppleLane Althea - August 24, 2008

About today's QOTD: 20 times? What does it take to get someone off of the road? Will double criminal negligent homicide be enough? The grieving husband/father is justified in suing everyone that had a hand in putting this guy behind the wheel.

11 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Walker has a history of driving offenses and arrests dating to the 1980s; police have said he had his license suspended 20 times.
Associated Press

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "In case you want to know whether or not Gianvito's movie is for you, these are the opening 3.5 minutes of the piece, which give a good sense of what you're in store for:"

Kinda reminded me of the Twin Peaks movie I just slept to. Sorry, not for me. -Rob

Upgrade Saturday

Spent most of the morning and part of the afternoon doing upgrades here. The first one was for the CrabAppleLane Forums (All CrabAppleLane Blog readers are welcome to join in. I'll add topics as requested.). That upgrade went rather smoothly and gave me a bit of foolish confidence that the next one would go equally well. Well, the next one was for Movable Type and I should have known better. MT upgrades are always, always character-building exercises for me. Four of the five blogs here were upgraded with no problems whatsoever and my spirits were soaring. The fifth encountered a problem that I still have at the moment and it disappoints me to no end. It is a problem others in the MT community are experiencing, which is a bit of a relief, but no one seems to have the solution, which is a big-time downer here. I am so tired of software problems.

Speaking of problems I'm tired of: Go away, Fay. You're not welcome here.

About today's QOTD: I can't make much sense of that. Can you? He'll be featured tonight against the Saints.

12 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
I mean, not really. I want to have an impact. Sixteen games, anybody can play 16 games. I mean, I will be grateful to make it through the season and play 16 games. That's my plan, to make it through the season. But to make it through the season and not make an impact (wouldn't be enough).
Chris Perry, Cincinnati Bengals

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "The center of Fay should emerge over the Gulf of Mexico just west of Panama City this afternoon, and we can expect a modest increase in strength as it feeds off the warm Gulf waters."

Friday Silliness

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Traffic on my route to work has gotten worse daily since school opened. You'd think it would have leveled off by now. I'm always wondering why I have to adjust to everyone else. Why can't everyone else adjust to me?

Another cellphone nuisance: There is a scene in Scrubs where JD utters into his new dictaphone, "I like toast". There are people with cellphones who will call someone the moment a thought pops into their head. Some of those thoughts are so close to "I like toast" that their cellphone should be immediately confiscated.

Click for a smile ...

Dan calls it incensed irony. It has me thinking of wise King Solomon this morning. One of the few stories I remember from 2nd grade religion.

R.I.P., Gene Upshaw. Your positions as NFLPA Union Head didn't always sit well with me. Your best position was guard alongside Art Shell as an Oakland Raider. Still, I'm saddened by your death.

13 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
We are the game
Gene Upshaw, August 15, 1945 - August 20, 2008

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "It will be interesting to see what effect Upshaw's loss has on the potential labor trouble brewing again with the NFL."

I suppose it goes to show you that money can't buy everything in the NFL. The starting defensive line listed below didn't get anywhere near Matt Schaub last Saturday night:

Charles Grant - $63 million
Will Smith - $70 million
Sedrick Ellis - $33.5 million
Brian Young - $12 million

Most Saints fans, coaches, cornerbacks, and safeties would like to see a little more productivity from this group.

For you fantasy football players, here's your Saints rundown:
Drew Brees - QB - Stud - Expect similar season from him this year as the last two
Reggie Bush - RB - Iffy - Still runs right, left, and backwards too much. The Saints can't seem to find him any open field. Boom or bust. No one knows.
Deuce McAllister - RB - Iffy - Looked OK last Saturday night. Left game with a smile on his face, which I found encouraging. Didn't take enough hits to gage where he is in his recovery but seemed to move very well. Won't really know what he'll be able to do until the season gets underway.
Pierre Thomas & Aaron Stecker - RBs - Don't bother - If Pierre or Aaron see significant playing time, the Saints are in a lot of trouble. Neither are bad players but the Saints really need Deuce/Reggie to have a decent season.
Marques Colston
- WR - Stud - He just gets better every day. Should have been All-Pro last year. Will be this year.
Devery Henderson - WR - Iffy - Very inconsistent. Been the knock on him since he turned pro. Led the NFL in drops last season.
Robert Meachem - Was excited about his emergence earlier in camp. Need to see more of him. He'll contribute this season but I can't say how much. With Colston getting almost all of the defense's attention, the opportunity is there.
David Patten, Terrance Copper, and Lance Moore - WRs - Don't bother - They'll contribute but your fantasy team is in trouble if you need one of these guys to perform.
Jeremy Shockey - TE - ??? - Will suit up this Saturday night for the first time. The Saints use an offense that is more to his liking than the one the Giants ran. Should be good for him.
Mark Campbell - TE - Don't bother - He'll contribute but that's as much as I can say about him.
Saints PK - Only worthwhile if you like indoor kickers as much as I do - Not even sure who it will end up being. Martin Gramatica & rookie 6th round pick Taylor Mehlhaff are competing for it.
Saints Defense & Special Teams - Avoid - The defense has been awful since the opening bell last season and shows no signs of improvement. The Special Teams are only OK.

14 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
I still have a lot of improving to do, even from '06 when I made the Pro Bowl.
Jammal Brown, New Orleans Saints

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Holy crap, it's good to have football again."

Just nothing, really

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Wish I could watch the USA-Australia game today.

My browser, Firefox, is locking up for some unknown reason every now and again. I can't really pin down any similarities in each instance but the only solution is to close it and open it again. I can go to the offending website afterwards with no some ill effects. Seems the CNN website has popups that conflict with the popup blocker in Firefox. Seems advertisers insist that we pay attention to them. It's not appreciated here.

15 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
We think that you do not really understand China's reality. China has its own version and way of exercising our democracy.
Wang Wei, Vice President of the Beijing Olympics Organizing Committee

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "They're waiting for the Second Coming of Bear Bryant. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the late coach's ghost is more powerful than Saban, at least in Tuscaloosa."

Not the video game

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I admit it. I like a certain amount of personal space. An arm's length perimeter is fine. I was the last person in a rather short line at the not-very-crowded sandwich shop the other day when a woman enters the shop, walks the 40 feet or so to the back of the line at breakneck speed, and stops within breathing distance of my shoulder ... literally. Her breath was blowing my shirt sleeve. Unnecessary and much too close. Yesterday, at another not-very-crowded sandwich shop, a woman couldn't bear to be behind me in line so she pulled up next to me. We stood shoulder-to-shoulder and I thought sure the order taker was going to ring us up together. This is a place that slides the dinner trays down the counter as the orders are taken and filled. She crowded me all the way down the counter until I finally left to wash my hands. When I got back, she was standing in front of my tray berating one of the people behind the counter about something. I thought sure they were going to spit in MY FOOD. The wife was with me both times although she didn't witness either. I told her about it at the table. Yesterday, I told her I was accosted by another space invader and we giggled about that for a few minutes. I think that term might stick here. Is it proper to use a stiff arm on a space invader? I can't help it. I'm in football mode.

My projected starting QB in TWO fantasy football leagues went out and got himself a bruised hand and a concussion last night. I just love preseason games.

Jennifer Lopez is an idiot. That is all.

16 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
If you can't hype yourself up when you walk out into a stadium and see 85,000 screaming fans, there's something wrong with you.
Justin Tuck, New York Giants

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Turns out, the good doctor's name is spelled Guhua, but is pronounced Hoo Ha. Even so, the man was clearly destined to be an OBGyn. It is just beautiful in it's symmetry. Just freakin' beautiful!"

Monday Morning QB - August 18, 2008 Issue

This is how I spent another 150 imaginary dollars yesterday:

Young,Vince TEN 5
Anderson,Derek CLE 18
Taylor,Chester MIN 4
Parker,Willie PIT 19
Jacobs,Brandon NYG 10
Addai,Joseph IND 45
Stokley,Brandon DEN 1
Doucet,Early ARI 1
Bruce,Isaac SF 1
Davis,Craig SD 1
Wayne,Reggie IND 27
Shiancoe,Vishante MIN 1
Gates,Antonio SD 15
Brown,Kris HOU 1
Bucs,Tb TB 1

Last week, doubt crept in overnight. This week, it didn't wait that long. With hurricane season heating up, I'm glad these are behind us.

17 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
He noted that 70,000 people remained at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore following a Ravens preseason game to watch Phelps in the butterfly leg of the 4x100-meter medley relay.
Barry Svrluga and Liz Clarke, Washington Post

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I'm completely out of sports cliches"

Thought I'd lead with the CrabAppleLane Sunday photo this week.

CrabAppleLane Texas Star Hibiscus - August 17, 2008
CrabAppleLane Texas Star Hibiscus - August 17, 2008

It's another fantasy football auction Sunday. My goal today is to end up with a dramatically different team than the one I ended up with last week. However, I am dealing with others such as myself: Real men of genius.

I'm usually not a big fan of player holdouts but the Rams have gone the wrong route with Steven Jackson. By fining him for every missed day, they're telling him that he's under contract (Last year of his contract) and they expect him to honor it. Fair enough. Unfortunately, he's exercising the only leverage he has to get anything beyond this year. If he comes in and plays and has a great year, his value will go up but the Rams will just slap the franchise tag on him and he'll be pretty much stuck with the Rams again. That's assuming the Rams will let him have a great year. How he's used is entirely up to them. If he gets hurt or has a sub-par year, they can just let him go or negotiate with him at his diminished value. At 25, I fully appreciate his unwillingness to cede control over his career to the Rams. If he's in their plans for this year and beyond, they should have handled it differently. If he's not in their plans beyond this year, they should have seen this coming. It says here that the Rams will yield.

The video from the song responsible for today's QOTD was filmed in New Orleans. Thanks, OCMS.

18 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
So while you sit and whistle Dixie with your money and your power
I can hear the flowers a-growin in the rubble of the towers
I hear leaders quit their lying
I hear babies quit their crying
I hear soldiers quit their dying, one and all

I hear them all
I hear them all
I hear them all
Old Crow Medicine Show, I Hear Them All

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "One of Bud Light's funniest ad campaigns to date, the Real Men of Genius commercials made a somewhat smooth transition from radio to television. 'Somewhat' in the sense that our imaginations will always be funnier that what is visually spoon fed to us, and mostly because the singer from the ads is better heard and not seen."

I measure the success of that campaign on one thing. There's not a group of men anywhere that doesn't want Real Men of Genius to lampoon them. -Rob

Saturday Shorts

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The Saints turned in two spectacular highlight plays in their loss tonight against the Texans. Reggie Bush jumped over a defender to get to the endzone and landed on his feet. Marques Colston went way up to one-hand a TD pass from Drew Brees. The defender had no chance.

The Saints were supposed to have question marks on defense this season. They don't. They're awful. I think most Saints fans would be happy with question marks.

Michael Phelps.

Unconscionable decision by FINA on the thrilling 100m butterfly. I don't understand it.

The Redeem Team looks golden. Got to see some of their game today against Spain. They're a fun group to watch.

One sentence from this blog post may be why I'll never appreciate soccer:

The game could hardly be described as thrilling - New Zealand lost 1-0 to Belgium in a match so one-sided that the Belgians appeared to miss opportunities out of embarrassment for their opponents more than inability.

The CrabAppleLane website was down for a while today. No idea why but it wasn't a bad day for that to happen.

Don't know if it will do any good but I signed it.

19 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
I'm the leader of the team, and I'll make sure there's no slippage.
LeBron James, Team USA

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "It was a hard ordeal to get one due to the shortages about, but by following a delivery van on Friday around the Grafton Street area I was able to get into the Carphone Warehouse in Saint Stephens Green shopping centre and nab myself a 16 gig white 3G iPhone, out of the 3 they got in."

Wonderland

I caught the last hour or so of Wonderland last night and can't imagine why I'd ever want to see the rest of it. It's a real downer of a movie. Val Kilmer's John Holmes is a worthless scumbag. He gets himself in league with one group of drug-dealing criminals to rob another group of drug-dealing criminals that he's also acquainted with. When he feels shortchanged on his cut of the robbery, he goes back to the robbed guys and tells them who did it. The retaliation is brutal and pretty graphic. The movie doesn't quite make clear why either group would tolerate him in their midst. He's a zero. This is the kind of gritty movie critics tend to love. I was glad when it was over.

I noticed something the other day at the grocery store. The milk is now more than the cereal. Two boxes of Corn Pops on sale for $4. One gallon of milk for $5.75. Amazing.

20 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
You're going to do to those guys on Wonderland, what you did to me.
Eddie Nash, Wonderland

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "It's like sucking on a toughcicle--this keeping up with a blog!"

Well, that's one way to put it. -Rob

Harp on

One of my family's favorite movies when I was growing up was McLintock. I was thinking about that this morning as I read the latest about Brett Favre in New York. It's been great theater in my estimation and I'll admit I've been harping on this story way too much since it started. It was my intention to not say any more about it. The truth of it is that I only read a fraction of the stories I see about him because there are just entirely too many and I've grown weary of it. If the headline catches my attention, I'll click on it and probably read a paragraph or two at most. The headline that caught my attention today contained this quote from my new favorite diva:

I felt 38 today. I'm not going to lie to you.

That brings me back to McLintock. I was reluctant to take yet another cheap shot at the Favre situation but I'm reminded of McLintock's reluctance: "Somebody oughta belt you in the mouth. But I won't, I won't. Awww, the hell I won't.". With apologies to John Wayne, I'd like to say that "I felt 38 today" is the last thing I'd want to hear out of a QB that my team just traded for and that only has one, maybe two, years to get them where I want them to go.

21 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Half the people in the world are women. Why does it have to be you that stirs me?
GW McLintock, McLintock

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "GM Mike Tannebaum along with Head Coach Eric Mangenius knew that to be successful on offense they needed a vertical threat to keep defenses honest (not 7-8 in the box & dink and dunk)."

A little privacy, please

| 6 Comments

I suppose I like the notion of GPS tracking when it catches someone in the commission of a crime. What happens to the information they've collected if the suspect is innocent, though? What if the suspect goes to a psychiatrist office, a strip club, a drug rehab center, or engages in some other perfectly legal activity that he'd like to keep private? Is that information going to be on file somewhere to be used against him at a later date? There are always those who say, "If you have nothing to hide, why should you mind?". Well, that's a rant for another day. From the article:

Without obtaining a warrant, Jack Kirk, a detective from the Fairfax police department's electronic-surveillance section, placed a GPS device on Foltz's van while it was parked in front of his house, Kirk testified.

Why not at least require a warrant? I think we should.

22 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
It is an investigative tool for us, and it is a very new investigative tool.
Officer Shelley Broderick, Fairfax police spokeswoman

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "In a triumph of low tech, Chinese bloggers are evading the Chinese national censorship system by simply converting their posts to read right to left rather than left to right.Clearly this is only a short term solution, and the government will adapt quickly, but it shows again how brittle these censorship systems are."

Overthinking - Part 2

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I'm thinking now that I might have been off the mark the other day. Not a new experience for me. I'm beginning to think the concerns of high fuel costs could actually be good for local business or, at least, not all bad. The products made out of state or overseas can't get to the local markets as cheaply as they once did. I think that should make products made closer to home more desirable and economical. Don't expect lower prices, though.

I don't think the biggest impact of high fuel prices has been felt yet. The work force is going to start trading in their long commutes for shorter ones. That's the biggest adjustment the economy will have to make and I think local business will benefit from that as well. If your vehicle gets 20mpg and you can shave 50 miles off of your daily commute, that's a savings of $2500 per year at $4/gal. It also shortens your day by about an hour. How many people do you think are weighing those options right now?

23 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
And some are beginning to wonder what an era of persistently high oil prices will mean for the multinational corporations that have come to rely on globe-girdling supply chains.
David J. Lynch, USA TODAY

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "People are not currently paying the full cost of their transportation, whether it is by vehicle or transit."

Monday Morning QB - 2008 First Edition

| 2 Comments

This is how I spent 150 imaginary dollars yesterday:

Cutler,Jay QB DEN $12
Anderson,Derek QB CLE $17
McFadden,Darren RB OAK $20
Jones,Julius RB SEA $7
Taylor,Chester RB MIN $3
Maroney,Laurence RB NE $18
Gore,Frank RB SF $25
Jacobs,Brandon RB NYG $18
Galloway,Joey WR TB $7
Crayton,Patrick WR DAL $2
Toomer,Amani WR NYG $2
Driver,Donald WR GB $5
Gonzalez,Tony TE KC $10
Reed,Jeff PK PIT $2
Vikings,Min DF MIN $2

I was feeling pretty good about it yesterday but doubt is creeping in now. It looks to me like I went for quantity over quality. We'll see.

I saw Shaft many years ago. I hardly remember anything about the film but the Theme from Shaft is one of the greatest movie songs of all time. It thoroughly overshadowed the film and Isaac Hayes thoroughly overshadowed Richard Roundtree. When you think Shaft, you think Isaac Hayes. R.I.P, Isaac.

24 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Is he any good?
My brother Dave

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Most people of this generation will know him best as Chef, but to me, he'll always be the guy who sang this song."

Auction Day at CrabAppleLane

| 2 Comments

It's Fantasy Football Auction Day at CrabAppleLane. After 10 years of drafting, the CFFL is trying an auction for the first time. I'm a little excited but also very nervous about it.

First, I'm not wild about having an auction this early in the preseason but everyone in the league has to deal with it so no one is at a disadvantage. The reason I don't like them this early is because you're not sure who is going to be ready at the start of the season. Aside from the very real possibility that one of your players might get hurt before the season, a lot of players are simply being held out of practice or held out of early preseason games. The Saints left 9 players home when they traveled to Arizona this past week, including at least three players expected to be taken in our auction today. Deuce McAllister, Marques Colston, and Devery Henderson all stayed in Jackson. Colston is OK. Not sure why he was left behind. He'll command a good price today. Deuce is coming off of a second major knee injury. Everyone says he's in great shape but I'd like to see him take a few hits before I take a chance on him. Henderson's roster spot is in real jeopardy. The knock on him is he drops way too many passes. Still, people's schedules are what they are and it couldn't be helped this year.

Second and more importantly, the league's members were very comfortable with the draft. I wasn't. In the 10 years we've been playing, all of our champions drafted 9th or higher and only last year's champ drafted 9th. I think it's possible for someone to draft 10th, 11th, or 12th and still win a championship but I think their chances are greatly diminished. In an auction, everyone is on equal footing. Everyone has a chance at any player they want. I like everything about an auction over a draft. Salary cap management, market forces, and the dynamics of the auction are all preferable to a draft. The only downside is it generally takes longer.

My buddy, Dave, who quoted moi the other day, gave me some insight into his Vikings, which I will not share here. :) I do the same for him with the Saints. In my perfect world, I'd have a friend representing every NFL team. Fans keep up and are current with their team. Magazines and national sportswriters don't and aren't.

I offer one today from the CrabAppleLane living room appropriate with today's theme:

Fantasy Football Auction Day at CrabAppleLane - August 10, 2008
The Big Board

25 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Most people who ever try auction instead of draft swear by it. I have been in an auction-style league for about ten years and in my opinion, it's the only way to go.
Killer B

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "omg. this is so much more fun than a regular draft."

Brian Westbrook

| 1 Comment

As a fantasy football player and a guy whose team has faced the Eagles quite a lot recently, I can attest with absolute certainty that Brian Westbrook is a great football player. He got a new contract and I think he deserves it. I don't think he's the best running back in football, though. I believe the other guy mentioned in the article, Ladainian Tomlinson, is.

26 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Meet Hailey Jo Hauer and Xander Jace Riniker, both born at 8:08 a.m. on 8/8/08, weighing 8 pounds, 8 ounces, in neighboring states.
USA Today

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Today I want to share a 1920s advertising post card by the Burlington Railroad for a Dude Ranch in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming."

Just some Friday things

| 3 Comments

They open today but I'm not a big fan of the Olympics any more. Too much hype, too much controversy, too much politics, too much doping, and way too much commercialism.

The other Olympics that open today. Go Brazil.

We finally meet the Goodboys Nation denizens. I had some of them when I was a kid.

About today's QOTD: I'd really like to hear the justification for that increase in price. I couldn't find a statement. Geez, $1650 sounds ridiculous.

27 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Questcor Pharmaceuticals last August raised the wholesale price on Acthar, which treats spasms in babies, from about $1,650 a vial to more than $23,000.
Julie Appleby, USA TODAY

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Finally the day has come and everybody - with the possible exception of those who have chosen to time such an auspicious date with wedding/child birth - is gearing up for the main event; the Opening Ceremony."

Football - What else?

| 2 Comments

The Saints open their preseason against the Cardinals in Arizona tonight. It's at 5PM Pacific time. It figures to be hot. I'll watch as much of it as I can stand. Preseason games are dull and meaningless. That said, fans who tell you they aren't encouraged when their team looks good or discouraged when their team looks bad are lying.

There's at least one other thing going on in the NFL this morning: The Brett Favre saga. I made a bit of a facetious comment the other day about why the Jets offer the best out for Brett Favre and the Packers, including a silly stab at what the Jets should offer. If the reports are true (Conditional fourth round pick) I think the Jets offered more than they had to. I think the Packers would have taken almost anything to get him out of town, out of the NFC, and off of their schedule. So far, my favorite statement from this latest turn of events comes from the comments section of ESPN:

Dear Brett,

We the New York Media are excited about your arrival to New York. We will analyze every move you make, every step you take. However, we would like to warn you what this means to your play on the field and your "gunslinging" ways. When your INT ratio per game reaches between 2 and 3, we will crucify you. You will then go from "legend- big ole' kid who loves to play" to "old washed up drama queen." Until that point we love you and welcome!!!!

Love, the New York Media.

Despite all I've said about this story over the last few weeks, I want to point out that I like Brett. He's a good guy and he has a great sense of humor. I've never been wild about his play. Brett has a little too much of the sandlot in him to suit me. I wish him well with the Jets and hope that he'll someday be able to forgive the Packers and their fans for what he put them through.

28 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
The NFL Network also is reporting that the Packers took great pains to ensure that Favre would not be traded to the Vikings by inserting a "poison pill" in the deal. If Favre were to be traded to Minnesota, New York would have to surrender three first-round picks to Green Bay.
ESPN.com news services

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Is it wrong to be this geeked for pre-season football? Because if it is. . .well, I'm wrong, and I've got no desire to be right."

The Grass Roots

I guess you never know what you might find on YouTube. Below is a 1970-71 vintage clip of The Grass Roots where they're NOT lip-synching. I hate lip-synching. I saw the much older Rob Grill version of The Grass Roots a few years ago and they sounded great but not like this. I never saw this band in their heyday live or on TV. They were ABC-Dunhill's version of the Monkees. Their Midnight Confessions, performed on the clip, was the first record (45 RPM) I ever bought. It was Number One on Smith Records' music chart in Lakeside Shopping Center at the time. I like their songs better than the Monkees' songs but I never knew who was who or who did what in this band. This was before the internet, on-demand TV, and all-day music channels.

L to R: Dennis Provisor (Keyboards, vocals), Warren Entner (Guitar, vocals), Rick Coonce (Drums), Rob Grill (Bass, Lead Vocals), and Terry Furlong (Guitar)

29 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
When
I think of all the worries
People seem to find
And how they're in a hurry
To complicate their minds
By chasing after money
And dreams that can't come true
I'm glad that we are different
We've better things to do
The Grass Roots, Let's Live For Today

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "We were told to play quietly to suit the subtlety of this fabled and beautiful venue, so, of course, we turned everything up extra loud and rocked that shit instead."

BBC America's Robin Hood

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I've been watching/recording Robin Hood for the two seasons it's been on. When I first saw it, I wondered how long they could sustain it. To their credit, the first couple of episodes were excellent. Introduction to the marvelous characters and their motivations was wholly responsible for that. Once the characters were all introduced, the writers pretty much ran out of gas. That was midway through the first season but they somehow continued on into a second season contriving even sillier stories. One of the central characters has been killed twice. The second season finale indicates there will be a third season. Yeah, I'll probably continue watching.

30 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Teachers, regardless of the path they take into the classroom, are leaving in droves. Some 14% of all new teachers quit after their first year; almost 50% are gone within five years.
Donna Foote

Blog of the day via Pitcherlady is here.

Quote from said blog: "On the short walk over there, we didn't talk about what brought him to this place or the ninety degree heat, or the fact that he'd had to not only ask for food but also for the bus fare to get back across town."

The Dark Knight

A few weeks ago, I was wondering if it was possible for The Dark Knight to live up to its hype. We saw it yesterday and for me, it didn't. I liked it and am glad I saw it on the big screen. It was a good, very dark film and Heath Ledger's Joker is an excellent villain. I found some of the many action sequences a bit confusing. Wow, they were loud. Some of them were really cool, though. I guess I'm just not that big a fan of Batman or Gotham City but the film is worth seeing.

Speaking of jokers, a real live one touched down in Green Bay yesterday. I don't think there's any truth to reports that the Packers have asked the NFL for a draft do-over. They took two QBs because Brett Favre retired, one in the second round.

31 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Never start with the head, the victim gets all fuzzy.
The Joker, The Dark Knight

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "The movie takes one on a dark journey into the minds of the Batman and his nemesis, The Joker, exposing the underbelly of a violent society mired in chaos."

Vantage Point & CrabAppleLane Sunday

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We watched Vantage Point last night. It's a great idea for a movie. I guess that's why it disappointed me. I think this kind of movie has an obligation to the audience to ground itself in reality or fantasy and let us know at some point which it is. This one went for reality but left way too much out. One important character (QOTD) apparently had knowledge that the audience didn't know he had. Another important character had enough knowledge to complete a pretty demanding task but not enough knowledge to figure out what kind of people he was dealing with. It wasn't all bad, though. Bert would say, "It's better than a finger in the eye". Well, yeah.

I offer one from just outside the CrabAppleLane side door:

CrabAppleLane Hummingbirds - August 3, 2008
CrabAppleLane Hummingbirds - August 3, 2008 - The camera lens was still a little fogged up but I kinda liked what it did here.

32 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Surprised to still see me alive?
Enrique, Vantage Point

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "

Don't feed the trolls

| 1 Comment

I ran across this article on trolls (Long, but an excellent read) by the New York Times' Mattathias Schwartz via Sheila. I'm fortunate that this place is obscure enough that it hasn't become an issue here but I have dealt with its forerunner in the past. Most trolls are essentially attention-starved vandals. They do and say things strictly to see what kind of reaction they can get. When I was a BBS sysop in Fidonet, it was called flaming. Not sure why a new name for the activity was invented. These people troll alone and they troll in packs. What has always gotten me about them (This goes for hackers, too) is their shared notion that their activities are doing good. Some examples from the piece:

"You look for someone who is full of it, a real blowhard. Then you exploit their insecurities to get an insane amount of drama, laughs and lulz."
"Am I the big horrible person who shattered someone's life with some information? No! This is life. Welcome to life. Everyone goes through it. I've been through horrible stuff, too."
"What's he going to sue me for? Leading on confused people? Why don't people fact-check who this stuff is coming from? Why do they assume it's true?"
"It's not that I do this because I hate them. I do this because I'm trying to save them."

Common sense defenses work against them 99% of the time. They're almost always looking for a quick fix and will move on if they don't get it. I don't want to get into specifics except to say to identify what they want and just deny it to them. But then we have the 1% of trolls who bring a little more weaponry to their cause:

"Weev says he has access to hundreds of thousands of Social Security numbers. About a month later, he sent me mine."

Stare at that for a moment.

33 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
You could hand me a billion dollars, and I'm still going to be on the field. It doesn't matter to me. But everyone has different situations, has different views on money. Money is not more important than football to me right now.
A J Hawk, Green Bay Packers

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "This past week I've been finishing up the revival of The Dog House BBS which has been down for just over 5 years."

A little baseball

Hats off to the Twins ... but let's keep them off of the field.

American League playoffs without the Red Sox or Yankees wouldn't surprise me this season. Tampa Bay is still atop the East, the Twins and White Sox are playing well, and the Angels, well, the Angels look like the best team in baseball right now.

Lots of interesting trades just before the deadline and lots of big names. I'd rate all of those trades even.

34 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
This cat's digging me
Face and all.
Louis Armstrong, The Five Pennies

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "So the latest innovation to keep the neighbors happy: valet parking for bikes."

Cool name for a blog. -Rob

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