December 2009 Archives

Time Running Out on 2009

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As time winds down on another year, I once again find myself pondering the expression, "don't have the time" and its brother, "can't find the time". Did so quite similarly last year, also in 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, and 2003. Everyone says it. Have you thought about what the person you're saying it to thinks about it? Standard Annual CrabAppleLane Disclaimer: Do not expect any profound conclusions or Earth-shattering insight in this post because 1) my output almost never reaches that level and 2) I still have no position on it.

About the time: A 91-year old person shouldn't take on a 35-year project with hopes of finishing it. He/she probably doesn't have the time. There are also instances where an arbitrary deadline is imposed. Someone called and is coming over in an hour. "I don't have time" to cut the grass before they get here ... even on my John Deere.

Where age or deadline is not a factor, is it really true when someone says that? If so, wouldn't the person you're telling it to know it? There are 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, etc, etc ... (If you get less than that, you're exempt from these foolish thoughts). So, what you're really saying is, "I don't wish to use my time that way". To say it that way, of course, is kind of rude so we say, "I don't have the time" instead.

A task could/should be done and both of us are capable of doing it. I tell you, "I don't have the time". How should you react to that? Is my time more valuable than yours? Am I implying that you DO have the time? Am I simply saying I don't want to do it? Am I over-analyzing? Yes, absolutely, to at least two of those questions.

I always plan to add considerably more thought to this essentially self-plagiarized (Auto-plagiarized?) entry after having another whole year to think about it but I have somewhere to go in a few minutes and ...

I don't have time to do it now

Have a Happy and Safe New Year

AllTheBest,
CrabAppleLane

Testing Facebook registration. (Update: Miserable failure)

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Time Has Come Today 4:58 The Chambers Brothers AM Gold: The '60s Generation
  2. Smack 2:30 3 Doors Down The Better Life
  3. Love in the Chapel (North and South) 4:06 Bill Conti The Right Stuff / North and South Soundtrack
  4. Cold Fire 4:27 Rush Counterparts
  5. Gold Dust Woman 5:02 Fleetwood Mac Rumours
Quote of the Day
Wake up in the morning
See your sunrise loves to go down
Lousy lovers
Pick their prey but they never cry out loud
Fleetwood Mac, Gold Dust Woman

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Nick Drake cover versions"

Wednesday whatnot - December 30, 2009

There's actually a show on television called Keeping Up With the Kardashians ... and large numbers of people watch it.

From Helen A.S. Popkin of MSNBC:

While the medium of expression has changed over the years -- from the cover of one's Mead Trapper Keeper to Facebook and other Internet-loitering spots -- proclaiming the suckitude of one's school is an ancient rite of passage.

True, but posting pictures of teachers and inviting others to comment is crossing a line, I think. I'm surprised the student did it in such a way that she was so easily found and held accountable, though.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Doctor Jimmy 8:41 The Who Quadrophenia [Disc 2]
  2. Rock Of All Ages 3:17 Badfinger The Very Best Of Badfinger
  3. That Certain Female 3:03 Charlie Feathers Kill Bill, Vol. 1 Soundtrack
  4. Combination 3:41 Aerosmith Rocks
  5. Bright Sunny South 3:08 Alison Krauss & Union Station Live [Disc 1]
Quote of the Day
Said my kind-hearted father as he took my hand
"As you go in defense of our dear native land
Son, be brave but show mercy whenever you can
Our hearts will be with you 'til you return again"
Alison Krauss & Union Station, Bright Sunny South

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "A toy train for Dave Bieter so he will stop trying to force a trolley and AMTRAK upon the kind, decent inhabitants of the City of Trees."

Tuesday Tidbits - December 29, 2009 Issue

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Never fully understood the fascination Hollywood had with James Dean but the fascination with Grace Kelly is a whole other kettle of fish. That one, I got ... but imagine a director, Gregory Ratoff, saying this:

What I love about this girl is that she's not pretty!

What??? I'll defer to The New Yorker's much more eloquent Anthony Lane:

Few movie directors have been certifiably blind, and on the strength of this oversight Ratoff tops the list with ease, but, to his credit--and to Kelly's relief--he was ready to rave about this creature for reasons other than her looks.

That about sums it up.

The Bears did what the Saints could not do for themselves Sunday. The Bears win last night over the Vikings in overtime at cold, cold Soldier Field clinched the top seed and homefield advantage for the Saints. Of course, that won't matter much if the Saints don't snap out of the funk they've descended into the last few weeks. If they can lose to Tampa Bay in the SuperDome as they did Sunday, they can surely lose to any of the NFC playoff teams there. Still wondering where the magic went. Hopefully, it's still nearby.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Deceiver 2:43 Judas Priest Sad Wings Of Destiny
  2. Jungle Boogie 3:07 Kool & The Gang Pulp Fiction Soundtrack
  3. The Dope Show 3:47 Marilyn Manson Mechanical Animals
  4. Rock Is My Life, And This Is My Song (Quad Mix) 4:41 Bachman-Turner Overdrive The Anthology [Disc 2]
  5. There Is A Reason 5:14 Alison Krauss & Union Station Live [Disc 2]
Quote of the Day
If I could cuss right now I would
Jared Allen, Minnesota Vikings

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Chillier times in Minnesota there could not be. Of course every December in the land of 10,000 lakes, the mercury drops to frigid depths, but this December the Minnesota Viking sideline is frostier than usual."

The Saints managed to lay an egg yesterday in a very meaningful game. The loss to the Cowboys last week was not that big a deal to me but their loss to the Bucs yesterday is very worrisome to ALL Saints fans this week. There was a lot on the line (Homefield advantage) and the Bucs are not very good. They're certainly not as good as the Saints playoff opponent will be. This is a disturbing trend.

My fantasy football season is over. Both teams finished in the money. One tied for 3rd place and the other finished 2nd. One of the problems with this game that every fantasy football player deals with is motivation. How motivated are his players late in the season? Are his players playing hard because his team is still in contention? Is he getting much playing time? Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans is having a monster season. His team is eliminated now but his team is still giving him as many opportunities as they can because he has a shot at an individual NFL record. That's the kind of player you WANT on your team. On the flip side, the Colts yanked their starters yesterday while the game was still in doubt. The game was meaningless to them. If Colts starters play at all next week, they surely won't play much. It's the last week of the season and this is why most fantasy football leagues end their season before the last week. Naturally, my opponent this week had Chris Johnson while I had Colt Reggie Wayne. I'm absolutely not making excuses. He has a great team, also beat my team during the regular season, and deserved to win the championship. I'd complain about my luck this week but my opponent last week released Jerome Harrison (47 points) just before our game and I only got a first round playoff bye because of two Eddie Royal kickoff returns in the last game the Chargers lost. I picked up Harrison this week but, like a dumba$$, didn't use him. His 20 points this week would have me in the lead tonight but probably wouldn't hold up to Adrian Peterson and the Viking defense.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Help Yourself 3:24 Sad Brad Smith Up In the Air (Music from the Motion Picture) Soundtrack
  2. Old Love 7:53 Eric Clapton Unplugged
  3. Closer 6:13 Nine Inch Nails The Downward Spiral
  4. Orchid Potion 5:26 Medwyn Goodall Celtic Myst 3
  5. Flight Of The Rat 7:58 Deep Purple Deep Purple In Rock
Quote of the Day
Oceans of water underneath our feet
Terrible design
Dusty rooms you cannot sweep
Clouding up your mind
Sad Brad Smith, Help Yourself

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Today, I was perusing the net, as I am apt to do, and I found a link, that led me to another link, that led me to this link: The Middle Finger Project."

So we saw Sherlock Holmes yesterday. My hope is this film is merely the setup for the next one because that's pretty much all it seemed to be. Director Guy Ritchie was introducing us to Sherlock Holmes and his world as Guy Ritchie sees it or wants it to be. There were two stories running throughout ... one for this movie, one for the next. The one for this film was only barely discernible amongst the stuff being thrown at us. The one for the next film was tantalizing and mysterious. Robert Downey Jr's Holmes is as physical as he is cerebral but we knew that from the trailer and Ritchie's turn-of-the-century London is industrious, gritty, and very dusty. This movie was only OK, a little too frenetic to suit me at times, but introductions are now out of the way and the next installment, assuming there will be one, will determine if Sherlock Holmes is the blockbuster franchise it should be.

Pictured below is an album cover that contains a bootleg album I spent about $5.99 on in 1975 or 1976. That was about $1 more than the record store charged for their regular albums. I blogged about this album a few months ago. I just finally got my USB turntable hooked up where it's usable. More on that another day. Hearing the jabber on this album now some 30+ years later is the only thing I like about it. Click on it to hear it. Bootlegs were ripoffs even in 1976 but more for the consumer than the artist. There's about 30 seconds of music in this clip. The recording quality is not very good. It was probably done by someone who sneaked in an old time cassette recorder. Added to that quality issue is the normal quality issue of a 30+ year old album that's been moved around more than a few times. If you don't recognize the hissing and popping of a vinyl album that's been mostly sitting around, then you're just too young and I envy you a little. :)



The Saints are playing for the top seed in the NFC playoffs today. They're at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and are 15pt favorites. I'd like to see them win the game this afternoon like they're 15pt favorites. It would give them a chance to start gearing up for the playoffs in three weeks. They'll be able to rest people who need rest, work people who need work, and give some of their banged-up starters a chance to heal.

GEAUX Saints

I offer one today from the CrabAppleLane backyard. We're gritty and dusty here today, too, and the birds are industrious.

CrabAppleLane Chipping Sparrows - December 27, 2009
CrabAppleLane Chipping Sparrows - December 27, 2009

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Whole Lotta Love 5:34 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II
  2. Scotch & Chocolate 3:08 Nickel Creek Why Should The Fire Die?
  3. Under The Boardwalk 4:18 Bette Midler Beaches
  4. Sunny Cellophane Skies 2:43 Status Quo STATUS QUO The Collection
  5. At The Dance 3:33 Various Artists Closer You Get, The - Soundtrack
Quote of the Day
You've been learnin'
Baby, I been learnin'
All them good times, baby, baby
I've been yearn, yearnin'
Way, way down inside
Honey, you need I
I'm gonna give you my love
I'm gonna give you my love
Led Zeppelin, Whole Lotta Love

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "So, I found out yesterday afternoon that a whole bunch of new people are discovering this site on a regular basis. Understand when I tell you that there was an annoying amount of "Whoop Whooping" when I heard. Sometimes it can feel like one is simply pressing the publish button and sending stuff out into the ether and in actual fact NOBODY knows it's out there and NO ONE is reading."

I know that feeling very well. -Rob

Up In The Air

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The plan was to see Sherlock Holmes on opening day. We got to the ticket window only to find the showing we wanted to see was sold out as was the next one. We were there. What to do? We decided to go see Up In The Air instead.

The three main characters in Up In The Air are played by George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, and Anna Kendrick. Clooney and Kendrick are in a tough business. Firms hire them to lay their workers off and they're shown telling the workers some of the most ridiculous things like "Don't take it personal" and there's another one I won't quote that is even more ridiculous. Business is bad for everyone else so business is good for Clooney and his young associate. They spend most of their time flying from one job to the next. Farmiga plays a love interest of sorts for Clooney. He meets her in a hotel bar and they swap travel anecdotes. They hook up on the road as their paths cross. They're always on the go but you think one or both of them may want something more. Clooney turns in his usual excellent performance. He's money in the bank for most film goers these days. If he's in it, it's bound to be good. What surprised me was how well the two women were able to keep up. The three of them should all get academy awards if you ask me. There's more to this fantastic, smart film for adults than those three delicious performances but I don't want to spoil it for you. See it when you can. We'll see Sherlock Holmes tomorrow but it's got a very tough act to follow.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. We Can Get Wild 4:19 Mark Knopfler Kill To Get Crimson
  2. Telegraph Road 14:19 Dire Straits Love Over Gold
  3. The Closer You Get 3:28 Rachel Portman Closer You Get, The - Soundtrack
  4. Like To Get To Know You 3:20 Spanky & Our Gang Rock 'n Roll Relix 1968-1969
  5. Gemini Dream 4:09 The Moody Blues Moody Blues Greatest Hits
Quote of the Day
When Father Tim Jones advised his poorest parishioners in York that they should shoplift in supermarkets for things they need this Christmas, because that was better than mugging or burglary to pay for them, he introduced a fascinating new relativism into the Ten Commandments.
Giles Coren, London Times

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Aside from best film (drama), "Up in the Air" also earned a nomination for Clooney as best actor (drama) and nominations for best supporting actress for Vera Farmiga (who plays Clooney's mirror-image romantic interest) and Anna Kendrick (who plays Clooney's colleague)."

Merry Christmas - December 25, 2009

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Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas from CrabAppleLane

CrabAppleLane - December 25, 2009
CrabAppleLane - December 25, 2009

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. The Ark 5:37 Gerry Rafferty City To City
  2. Every Breath You Take 4:15 The Police The Police Greatest Hits
  3. Swanee River 0:37 The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy
  4. Despertar 5:07 Aisha Duo Quiet Songs
  5. Run Run Run 2:36 Jo Jo Gunne Back to the 70s
Quote of the Day
And we'll sail out on the water
Yes we'll feel the sea grow
Yes we'll meet out on the water
Where are all strangers are known.
Gerry Rafferty, The Ark

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Here it is - my last share of the 2009 downloading season. I look forward to this one just as much as some of you!"

Christmas Eve - 2009

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Merry Christmas Eve or Happy Christmas Eve to ALL of the awesome CrabAppleLane Blog readers. I know there aren't that many but I appreciate all of you. Still not sure if Happy or Merry is correct but I think they're both appropriate. My favorite Christmas Eve song:

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Welcome to the Machine 7:25 Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here
  2. Knockin' On Heaven's Door 4:21 Eric Clapton Time Pieces - The Best Of Eric Clapton
  3. Suite Madame Blue 6:31 Styx Equinox
  4. Perfect Strangers 5:31 Deep Purple Perfect Strangers [Bonus Track]
  5. Smooth 4:58 Santana Feat. Rob Thomas Supernatural
Quote of the Day
And if you said this life ain't good enough
I would give my world to lift you up
I could change my life to better suit your mood
Cause you're so smooth
Santana w/Rob Thomas, Smooth

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "I probably wouldn't put pictures of me in a tie (or a dress) and write about the rates. I probably wouldn't pitch you dozens of times in a row. I probably wouldn't just rehash links to listings."

Wednesday Whatnot - December 23, 2009

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The New Yorker gives me reviews of the two movies I want to see most this week, Avatar 3D and Sherlock Holmes, and also a rather funny cartoon that has some relevance at CrabAppleLane. My wife hates sporks. It is a running joke here because just about every takeout meal I pickup includes them.

From Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News:

The Cowboys did more than remove December doubts while raising red flags about New Orleans. They established that they will be the only team in the NFC playoffs - if they get there - that knows it can win in New Orleans or Minnesota.

Got all that from a single 7pt win, did ya? Just last week, you were calling for the head coach's job. All of the 13 previous weeks' ups and downs that team endured is now erased? The five losses and some of their fairly weak wins told you nothing? The Cowboys played their best game of the season and the Saints played one of their worst. There will be adjustments made. All of the potential playoff teams in the NFC have issues, including the Cowboys (The biggest issue they have at the moment is that they may not even make the playoffs). When healthy, I think the Saints have the fewest. It was a good win for the Cowboys but it is just one. There's more football to be played.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Tea for the Tillerman 1:01 Cat Stevens Tea for the Tillerman
  2. Life's Like A River 3:52 Scorpions In Trance
  3. A Place Where We Used To Live 4:34 Mark Knopfler The Ragpicker's Dream
  4. A Great Day For Freedom 4:18 Pink Floyd The Division Bell
  5. Animate 6:03 Rush Counterparts
Quote of the Day
There used to be a little school here
Where I learned to write my name
But time has been a little cruel here
Time has no shame
Mark Knopfler, A Place Where We Used To Live

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "One of my favorite Okkervil River songs, I always save "Listening To Otis Redding At Home During Christmas" for December, as Will Sheff so perfectly captures the emotional undercurrent of the season. Melancholic? Yes. Smart? Indeed."

Tuesday Tidbits - December 22, 2009

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From the Washington Post via MSNBC.com:

The recession's jobless toll is draining unemployment-compensation funds so fast that according to federal projections, 40 state programs will go broke within two years and need $90 billion in loans to keep issuing the benefit checks.

Two years? I'm not alarmed that those funds are running out so much as I'm flabbergasted that those 40 states keep that much in reserve and even more flabbergasted that there are 10 states who won't run out that soon. I had no idea.

Good Luck, Diane Sawyer. My impression of Diane Sawyer was formed at a journalism awards show I saw many years ago. While Peter Jennings, Dan Rather, Linda Ellerbee, Geraldo Rivera, and a few others read prepared speeches and tried to be profound or funny, Sawyer spoke off the cuff. It was refreshing and impressive. Some of what I've seen her do since isn't in that category but I'm sure that ability is still in there. She'll be fine.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Man In The Wilderness 5:51 Styx The Grand Illusion
  2. Heavy Cloud No Rain 3:48 Sting Ten Summoner's Tales
  3. Things I'd Like To Say 2:22 New Colony Six Rock 'n Roll Relix 1968-1969
  4. Space Truckin' [Live] 19:54 Deep Purple Made In Japan [Disc 1] [Live]
  5. We're For The Dark 3:54 Badfinger The Very Best Of Badfinger
Quote of the Day
We had a lot of luck on Venus
We always had a ball on Mars
Meeting all the groovy people
We've rocked the Milky Way so far
We danced around with Borealice
We're space truckin' round the the stars
Deep Purple, Space Truckin'

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "He was the driving force behind one of heavy metal's founding members, and formed a second formidable metal band before he radically changed gears and devoted himself to Renaissance-inspired folk music."

Here at CrabAppleLane, the Dallas game is behind us and our focus is now on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday in the SuperDome. A win wraps up homefield advantage for the playoffs this week and would give them a meaningless game the following week against Carolina in Charlotte. That's a big preference. I'd rather they not go to Charlotte in a must win situation because the Panthers are always tough on the Saints. They were pretty tough on the Vikings last night, too. I think they get the win this week but homefield advantage won't matter much if they don't start playing better defense. They've been susceptible to the run for a while but now they're susceptible to the pass and the big play, too. No easy ones from here on out. That said, the Saints won't be the only flawed team in the NFC playoffs. The Vikings, Eagles, Cardinals, Packers, Cowboys, and Giants have their issues, too.

On the fantasy football front, one of my teams eked out a win last night while the other squandered an opportunity to put some distance between themselves and their opponent. I had a three point lead and three players going in last night's Panthers-Vikings game. Percy Harvin, DeAngelo Williams, and Ryan Longwell managed to put up one point each and I'll now probably lose. I'm done. I don't think that six point lead will hold up against the other Steve Smith of the Giants tonight.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Blueberry Hill 2:54 Louis Armstrong Back Through The Years (Disc 2)
  2. Get Your Gun 3:18 Marilyn Manson Portrait Of An American Family
  3. Look At Yourself 5:13 Uriah Heep The Best Of Uriah Heep
  4. Mother 5:34 Pink Floyd The Wall [Disc 1]
  5. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas 3:51 James Taylor October Road
Quote of the Day
You can say 1,000 times that you have a great burger and no one will listen to you, but if you put a beautiful woman in the ad, they will.
Andy Puzder, CEO of Carl's Jr.

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Every day it seems there's a fight between a resident and his homeowners association. Even though the HOA generally looks idiotic in enforcing some silly rule, the HOA is covered because the rules are written down. Homeowners are given a copy of the rules, and must agree to abide by them. When they don't, the HOA moves, and media outlets get a story."

Go read the rest of that one. -Rob

CrabAppleLane Sunday - December 20, 2009 Issue

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Tip of the cap to the Cowboys on a great game last night. They put together an excellent game plan and executed it. It was an inspired effort on their part and their quarterback, Tony Romo, played a great, mistake-free game. Disappointed here in the loss but it's just one and I know the Saints can play better than they did last night. Back to work for our guys. It's a tough loss but I expect them to put this one behind them and move on to the next one. No time to wallow in sorrow.

After the Saints game last night, I was only up for some CME. The new Star Trek fit that bill nicely. For what it's worth, I was done with the whole Star Trek franchise after the last New Generation film (The one where Commander Data died). I thought they had nothing new to offer until I saw the trailer for this one, which looked like a special effects extravaganza, except for the costumes. Nothing like super advanced civilizations that still dress like cave people.

Chris Pine did a pretty nice job with his James T Kirk in a mostly thankless role. William Shatner is so intertwined with that character that anyone else playing him will almost necessarily have to border on parody. Pine walked to that line without going over it and I give him lots of credit for that. There are holes in the story so big you could drive a starship through but I don't think anyone watches a Star Trek movie for the story any more. I surely don't. See Roger Ebert's QOTD for a description befitting the film. Ebert is both a fan and practitioner of CME. I watched it for the action and the special effects. It delivers on that score. Get yourself a big bowl of popcorn and surrender yourself to its absurdity ... and sign up for the next one.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. People Got To Be Free 3:01 The Rascals Rock 'n Roll Relix 1968-1969
  2. Snowblind 5:31 Black Sabbath We Sold Our Soul For Rock 'N' Roll
  3. Joy/Angels We Have Heard on High 4:19 Trans-Siberian Orchestra The Christmas Attic
  4. Everybody Wants To Rule The World 4:11 Tears For Fears Tears Roll Down (Greatest Hits 82-92)
  5. Something Wicked This Way Comes [Clean] 2:55 Barry Adamson Lost Highway Soundtrack

I offer one from the backyard today. It features a chipping sparrow pondering the universe at his/her favorite watering hole and some much-needed sunshine.

CrabAppleLane Backyard - December 20, 2009
CrabAppleLane Backyard - December 20, 2009

Quote of the Day
But the franchise has become much of a muchness.
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "The following movie trailer advertises yet another inspirational dance flick, right? No, no, wait. It actually advertises an emotional disease-of-the-week movie, right? No, no, wait. What the hell is this? And why is Satan in this movie?"

Bizarre movie trailer. -Rob

Game Day - Saints/Cowboys - December 19, 2009

Big game in the SuperDome tonight for the Saints. I love Saturday night games. The Cowboys are in town. The trends, if you believe in that sort of thing, favor the Saints. They've beaten the Cowboys 5 straight, have homefield advantage, and are playing a team known for recent December swoons. Except for homefield, I don't think much of the trends. My hopes lie elsewhere. The Saints have all sorts of injuries on defense and will rely mostly on their offense tonight. I think it will be a shootout and I just don't think a lot of teams can hang with the Saints in a game like that for a full 60 minutes. Reciting the formula here has become almost superstition but it hasn't changed. If the Saints take care of the ball, they'll take care of the Cowboys. And one more thing:

GEAUX Saints

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Fuck Frankie 1:48 Marilyn Manson Smells Like Children
  2. Romeo & Juliet 6:02 Dire Straits Making Movies
  3. Ophelia 3:31 The Band The Best Of The Band
  4. Ocean Blues (Emotion Blue) 4:39 Tom Cochrane & Red Rider Tom Cochrane And Red Rider
  5. If I Ever Lose My Faith In You 4:31 Sting Ten Summoner's Tales
Quote of the Day
It is no accident that three of Louisiana's best-known politicians have been at the center of the national health care debate.
Campbell Robertson, New York Times

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "So does this make Dallas a desperate team?"

TSO, New Orleans, and a little more

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After an outstanding dinner at Liuzza's on a cold and rainy night in New Orleans, we went to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert at the New Orleans Arena.

First, Liuzza's: Patsy had a shrimp remoulade po-boy that she is still raving about this morning. I had a very messy, quite delicious roast beef po-boy. Pure heaven. I miss New Orleans food, particularly the po-boys, and especially Liuzza's. What we get on the NorthShore just isn't the same.

About TSO: We've seen them three years in a row now. I can't say that they get better every year but they surely get bigger every year. This is an enormous production. Love the HD flat screens but could probably do without the flames and the blinding lights and maybe they could cut down on the narration and chit chat a little. Would also like to see them do a better job getting the music mixes right (Leads a little more in the foreground, singer's microphone turned down a little, etc). It was still a great show. We had decent seats last night except for having a stairway between us and the stage. The audience's constant traipsing back and forth on the stairs blocked our view too much of the night to suit me. My sister had better seats in the same section. The stairs were behind her in relation to the stage. It was all Christmas music and Night Castle music this year. No covers, no special guests. Catch them if you can.

Tidbit: New Orleans needs a better concert venue, one that is big enough to attract the good shows but not so big that it swallows them (SuperDome), one that is also built for great sound and where all of the seats face the stage.

Tidbit: Speaking of New Orleans and today's QOTD, ESPN's Wright Thompson wrote a lovely tribute to New Orleans and the Saints. Fabulous read.

Tidbit: Laugh of the day for NFL fans comes courtesy of Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

The Cowboys are the league's top TV draw, so the NFL schedules good opponents for Dallas in December.

The NFL schedule burdened the Cowboys with the Chargers, Saints, Redskins, and Eagles this year for their last four games. The Chargers, Redskins, and Saints were all 8-8 last year and the Eagles were 9-6-1. The NFL couldn't have been neutral? I know, I know. Neutral is anti-Cowboys, too.

Tidbit: For all of their own missteps and considerable political opposition, the greens still have one overpowering argument. They should stick to it.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. A Rush Of Blood To The Head 5:51 Coldplay A Rush Of Blood To The Head
  2. Everlasting Cocksucker 5:14 Marilyn Manson Smells Like Children
  3. Pinion 1:03 Nine Inch Nails Broken
  4. I'm Not The Man 3:46 10,000 Maniacs MTV Unplugged
  5. Suicide Solution 4:20 Ozzy Osbourne Blizzard Of Ozz
Quote of the Day
The soul of New Orleans is in a trumpet and a low-ceilinged bar. It's in the free red beans in the back. It's in the art hanging near the food that has two dogs howling at a New Orleans Saints moon. It's in the voice of Kermit Ruffins, two hours into his standing Thursday night gig at a packed club hidden in the neighborhood behind the French Quarter, the place weathered and peeling like the side of a workingman's boat.
Wright Thompson, ESPN.com

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "At 8-5 the Cowboys are in serious trouble."

I'm just not getting all of the doom and gloom coming out of Dallas about the Cowboys. Their fate is in their hands. What more could a fan ask for? -Rob

Everydaystranger was Blog of the Day here at CrabAppleLane on November 19, 2003. She had lost her job. Sorry about that, Shannon. We've been blog buds ever since. She's always a joy to read and is doing something she's calling Around the World in 80 Blogs. I meant to do this yesterday morning but a brain cloud or something prevented me.

I live in Bush, LA, USA. Bush is about 50 miles due north of New Orleans as the crow flies. There are many pictures littered throughout this blog and the original blog but I thought I'd present two from about 20 minutes ago. It has been raining almost nonstop for most of December here. Rainfall this month has already broken all records and it's still only the 16th. We're also still recovering here from a weather event you may have heard of; Hurricane Katrina. We were in the voluntary evacuation area and chose to stay. It was the right decision for us. It was an unforgettable experience. It is never far out of mind and most of us refer to it as "The Storm" as in "how did you fare in the storm?".

I present pictures from CrabAppleLane

CrabAppleLane Backyard - December 16, 2009
CrabAppleLane Backyard - December 16, 2009

CrabAppleLane Backyard - December 16, 2009
CrabAppleLane Backyard - December 16, 2009

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Born For Adventure 5:16 Styx Equinox
  2. I'm In Love With My Car 3:05 Queen A Night At The Opera
  3. Top Of The Bill 3:29 Scorpions In Trance
  4. Politik 5:19 Coldplay A Rush Of Blood To The Head
  5. Hells Bells 6:01 AC/DC AC/DC Live
Quote of the Day
They know best how they can mess with us
Nursing an opinion's getting dangerous
And in a world where good's not good enough
Let's get loaded and kick up a fuss
Garbage, Boys Wanna Fight

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "I wanted to get to know where you live, what you love about it, maybe what you don't love. It sounds strange, but this web thing, it connects us all and yet we're all so different in our environments - I blog drinking coffee and sitting at the kitchen counter. Maybe you read in a study, on a patio, or inside a frosted kitchen."

Ladykillers

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Ladykillers is a Coen Brothers movie that I have been avoiding for a while now. Since Fargo, which I liked a lot, I've found that I love some of the references, some of the scenes, some of the plot devices in their movies but I hardly ever leave one of them satisfied. Ladykillers is one of those. It's a caper film base on a previous film of the same name that starred Alec Guinness. I saw that one, too. It wasn't any better. Tom Hanks leads a band of silly criminals. Their plan is to tunnel into a bank from the basement of a house where Hanks has rented a room. The owner of the house is a little gullible and thinks the criminals are playing music in her basement. The Coens spend the first two thirds of the movie setting up the final events and I was interested in how it will turn out until the first event happened. After that, the rest are too predictable and take way too long. Despite a stellar cast and some funny moments, Ladykillers is a waste of time.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. One Thing On My Mind 3:41 Montrose Montrose
  2. I Count The Tears 2:14 The Drifters 16 Greatest Hits
  3. Holy Man 4:30 Deep Purple Stormbringer
  4. Flashbacks 1:10 Danny Elfman The Frighteners Soundtrack
  5. Boomtown [Variation Louis' Favourite] 4:12 Mark Knopfler Local Hero Soundtrack
Quote of the Day
I don't want my NFL owner to give injury updates. I don't want him on the sidelines or in the locker room. I want him up in his box, and I want him to stay there. I want him to hire a strong personality with expertise and fire, and preferably lots of experience. Then I want the owner to get out of the way, period.
Michael Ventre, MSNBC.com

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Since his poor outing in Week 2 against the Giants, Romo has thrown 18 touchdowns and just four interceptions while averaging close to 280 passing yards per contest. Friends, that is flat-out elite quarterbacking."

It was a no-fun drive home last night in a driving wind and rain storm. Thankfully, there was no street flooding on my route. It was especially dark and hard to see. Compounding the vision thing was a lot of fall leaves in the air and on the roadway. More rain in he forecast this morning and flash flood warnings.

Tim Cowlishaw of The Dallas Morning News is calling for a new head coach in Dallas. Not unusual for a columnist to call for a head coach's job but what makes this one interesting is that the Cowboys are 8-5, one game off the lead in their division, and in total control of their destiny. The Cowboys win their division if they win their last three games.

From Sports Illustrated's Don Banks:

I have to be honest, Mike Smith's mad face scares me even when I'm nowhere near him and only watching on television. I mean it.

Mike Smith is the Atlanta Falcons Head Coach. They played the Saints Sunday and I saw what he's talking about. I'm scared, too, but not of him ... for him. He's going to burst a blood vessel or have a stroke. Lighten up, Mike.

If the real Arizona Cardinals beat the Vikings last week very impressively, who were those guys last night? From my seat, I think it should have been worse. 49er QB Alex Smith missed several wide open receivers. The loss is not the only bad news for the Cards. Larry Fitzgerald left the game with a knee sprain. It didn't look all that serious to me but my diagnosis from 1500 miles away (Or from anywhere else) is worthless. If it is serious, that's a much bigger loss.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Mother Mary 3:48 UFO Essential UFO
  2. St. Judy's Comet 3:17 Paul Simon Negotiations And Love Songs 1971-1986
  3. Treat Her Right 3:31 George Thorogood & The Destroyers The Baddest Of George Thorogood & The Destroyers
  4. Happiness In Slavery 5:21 Nine Inch Nails Broken
  5. Lightning Crashes 5:26 Live Throwing Copper
Quote of the Day
On Monday night, the Cardinals specialized in self-destruction. They were abysmal in the first quarter and improved to awful in the second.
Kent Somers, The Arizona Republic

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "It was, in fact, pathetic, given that final outcome was three points, which is the number of points the Cowboys lost thanks to yet another Nick Folk miss. Just before Folk's miss, the Cowboys failed to score after having a first and goal from the San Diego 4, thanks to the Chargers stuffing Marion Barber three consecutive times from the 1."

Monday Morning QB - December 14, 2009 Issue

The Falcons gave the Saints all they wanted yesterday and maybe just a little more. This is the world the Saints live in now. The Falcons, who totally laid down for the Eagles last week at home in a 7-34 laugher, came out yesterday against the Saints with fire in their eyes. Next up are the Dallas Cowboys Saturday night in the SuperDome. The Saints defense had better play better this week than they did yesterday.

My fantasy football team got a big lift from the Eagles defense and special teams last night that probably gave me enough of a lead to offset any performance Frank Gore might come up with tonight. Quite surprised at how well my team played although it didn't hurt that my opponent kept Reggie Bush and Eli Manning on his bench.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Happiness Is A Warm Bong 3:33 Coyote Shivers
  2. Southern Girls 3:04 Cheap Trick Original Album Classics
  3. Midnight Rambler 9:12 The Rolling Stones Hot Rocks, 1964-1971 [Disc 2]
  4. Head Like A Hole 5:00 Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine
  5. The Grand Duel: (Parte Prima) 3:25 Luis E. Bacalov Kill Bill, Vol. 1 Soundtrack
Quote of the Day
The Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints wouldn't stick it to us, would they?
Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN.com

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "It just appears that both the Giants and Philadelphia "want" it more than Dallas does right now. And by "want" it, I mean they are more aware, more focused and their effort simply seems sharper. If you are Jerry Jones, this situation must be the most discouraging aspect of where your teams stands. How do you make an entire team understand the gravity of their situation? And how do you get them to respond properly to said situation?"

The Saints take on the Falcons today at noon local time. Both teams are pretty banged-up on defense but the Falcons are banged-up on offense, too. Quarterback Matt Ryan and running back Michael Turner won't play. The Falcons are only barely in the playoff hunt and have nothing to lose by throwing caution to the wind and playing super aggressive all-or-nothing defense. That's what I expect them to do. The Saints are already in the playoffs and clinch a bye with a win today. The formula is the same for them as it has been all year. If they take care of the ball, they'll take care of the Falcons. And one more thing:

GEAUX Saints

I expect the Boston Globe to be somewhat partial to the team they cover. As someone who reads a lot of NFL City Newspapers looking for fantasy football information, I come across that phenomenon in 100% of those papers. However, some things are just beyond comprehension. ALL NFL "Power Rankings" are meaningless but some of them are downright ludicrous.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Word On A Wing 6:05 David Bowie Station To Station [Bonus Tracks]
  2. Vic And Ray 4:36 Mark Knopfler Golden Heart
  3. On Every Street 5:04 Dire Straits On Every Street
  4. Thank You For The Music 3:51 ABBA Gold
  5. Personality Goes A Long Way 1:03 Dialogue Pulp Fiction Soundtrack

Today's QOTD comes from one of the many ridiculous conversations to be found in Pulp Fiction, Number 5 of the iTunes Shuffle today on why Jules doesn't eat pork ... or dog.

I offer one from the CrabAppleLane backyard this morning. Our glorious Bradford pear tree is in fall color change mode. Appropriate, I suppose, now that winter is only days away. They're not quite as spectacular as the northern sugar maples but they're the best we can do in the south, I think.

CrabAppleLane Backyard - December 13, 2009
CrabAppleLane Backyard - December 13, 2009

Quote of the Day
I wouldn't go so far as to call a dog filthy
But they're definitely dirty
But ... a dog's got personality
Personality goes a long way
Jules Winnfield, Pulp Fiction

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "I just returned home from a long book tour and am going through a week's worth of postcards now."

Not sure what to make of that video. -Rob

Saturday Stuff - December 12, 2009

If CrabAppleLane had a vote in the Heisman Trophy race, it would go to Nebraska defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh. Suh will probably be the first overall draft pick next year. If you saw the havoc he created against Texas, that's why. He was making plays despite being double-teamed all day and even triple-teamed on a few plays. An interior defensive lineman that can cause that much trouble for an offense is a hot commodity in the NFL. He'll be able to step in and help someone immediately ... also a hot commodity. Unfortunately for us Saints fans, he'll probably end up in Tampa, where we'll see him twice a year.

When it rains on New England Patriots fans, it pours.

Tiger Woods should have cleaned up his mess a little better before he went on his sabbatical. Prolonging, procrastinating, and postponing won't work. I think it will make things worse unless he simply decides to retire.

Long before Tulane or Louisiana-Lafayette made it to the College World Series and even before LSU became a fixture there, UNO was the first Louisiana University to make it to Omaha. It was 1984. They lost their first ever CWS game to Texas (Pitching greats, Roger Clemens and Greg Swindell, were on that CWS Champion Longhorn team), sent Michigan home in their second game, and then lost a tough one to Oklahoma State in their last game ever in Omaha. Yesterday, UNO approved a proposal to drop their athletic program down to Division III.

I was a UNO baseball season ticket holder for a number of years, including 84. Some pretty good baseball players passed through while I was watching. Major leaguers Randy Bush, Jimmy Bullinger, Joe Slusarski, and Wally Whitehurst just to name a few for UNO. Bullinger and Whitehurst were on that 1984 CWS team. Fun days. I also got to see Will Clark and Rafael Palmeiro of Mississippi State, Tulane pitcher Frank Wills of De La Salle High School (Wills was at De La Salle when I was), and Ben McDonald, Russell Springer, and a whole bunch of other LSU stars. This is sad for me.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. 24 Hours At A Time 5:06 The Marshall Tucker Band Greatest Hits
  2. One 3:06 Three Dog Night The Best Of Three Dog Night
  3. Rock Fever 3:53 Rainbow Straight Between The Eyes
  4. Cabaret (Single Version) 2:48 Louis Armstrong & All His Stars Sings - Back Through The Years/A Centennial Celebration (Disc 1)
  5. Eleanor Rigby 2:07 The Beatles
Quote of the Day
In the Washington-at-Dallas contest, there was an eight-minute stoppage in play while officials and coaches argued about whether the Redskins should be called for ... delay of game.
Gregg Easterbrook, ESPN.com

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "The turbine -- which is undergoing final tests now -- is supposed to provide enough energy to power the park, including its many restaurants and shops. But of course, the wind does not blow all the time, so Tivoli is plugged into the Danish electricity grid"

About classy???

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At the former workplace where Patsy and I first met, there was a collection of the smut magazines of the day (Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler). Hustler magazine was fairly new on the scene then and their pictures were more explicit but the models, the photography, and the settings weren't quite as spectacular and professional as Playboy and Penthouse. What Hustler was known for then was raunchiness, particularly in their cartoons. This was before publisher Larry Flynt was shot and subsequently found religion. One of those cartoons, Chester the Molester, could never be published today. It was in off-the-charts bad taste. I remember two non-Chester cartoons so vividly that I would love to find them again. One is a takeoff on the old Timex "takes a licking and keeps on ticking" commercials involving elephants. The other one has Rudolph talking to the other lead reindeer right after Santa threatened him with a whip. I think I would post that one or link to it if I could find it. The Timex one is a little too raunchy. Funny as hell, but very, very raunchy. All of this is my way of saying that when Larry Flynt says about his nephews, "the junk they publish hurts my reputation", I have to laugh once again at something coming from Larry Flynt.

Steelers-Browns: After an impressive Monday night win over the Broncos to get to 6-2, one sports pundit wondered "how did this team lose two games?". The Steelers have lost five in a row since and I'm wondering how that team won six games. They looked awful last night against Cleveland, who are pretty awful, themselves. I saw Ben Roethlisberger get sacked on three successive plays. He's a great player and those sacks weren't all his fault but that is just inexcusable for a player of his caliber and experience with that much at stake.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. No Remorse (I Wanna Die) 4:16 Slayer & Atari Teenage Riot Spawn Soundtrack
  2. Alabama 4:02 Neil Young Harvest
  3. Beggars Day 3:46 Nazareth Hair Of The Dog
  4. Bird Of Prey 4:09 Uriah Heep The Best Of Uriah Heep
  5. Skateaway 6:40 Dire Straits Making Movies
Quote of the Day
You know she used to have to wait around
She used to be the lonely one
But now that she been skatin' around town
She's the only, only one
Dire Straits, Skateaway

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "As you are no doubt aware, it's kind of impossible to go anywhere or do anything in our modern world without being the target of advertising. Been to a movie lately? How many commercials did you have to sit through? While you were sitting in a seat you had paid to sit in, I might add."

Thursday Tidbits - December 10, 2009

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If you missed it last night like me, Jay Leno's 9@9 with Drew Brees below.

He's a good guy on the field and off. There are two big Drew Brees fans at CrabAppleLane.

GEAUX Saints

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Maybelline 3:36 Foghat Foghat
  2. Rose In The Heather 2:44 Nazareth Hair Of The Dog
  3. Under The Sun/Every Day Comes and Goes 5:51 Black Sabbath Black Sabbath Vol. 4 (Remaster)
  4. Knockin' On Heaven's Door 4:23 Eric Clapton The Cream Of Clapton
  5. Hold On 5:07 Deep Purple Stormbringer
Quote of the Day
The Halloween jack is a real cool cat
And he lives on top of Manhattan Chase
The elevators broke so he slides down a rope
Onto the street below, oh Tarzie, go man go
David Bowie, Diamond Dogs

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Sunrise over Resurrection Bay, Seward, Alaska."

Breathtaking. -Rob

Wednesday whatnot - December 9, 2009

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There has been a relentless search for Osama Bin Laden for a long time now. I wouldn't let too much ride on the outcome of that particular endeavor.

Note to Microsoft: I like automatic downloading of updates and do not want to turn it off. Instead of asking me if I want to install "updates", why not tell me how many updates you want to install? If it's 2, I might say yes. If it's 13, I may do that later. I know there are probably ways to avoid this dilemma but I absolutely do not want to be bothered with them. I already waste too much time and brain matter on the computer.

Second note to Microsoft: Don't release so may updates at the same time. Ditto on the I know there are probably ways to avoid, etc...

There is some predictable fallout in Washington from the Redskins loss to the Saints this past Sunday. They've released their placekicker, Shaun Suisham. The guy was 18 for 21 this season and 3 for 4 on the day but that one miss Sunday and the two a couple of weeks before cost him his job. That was the easiest thing to do, I suppose. Head Coach Jim Zorn:

We played for that field goal. And we were all assured, and I believe Shaun was assured, that, you know, that ball was gonna go through with that 23-yard field goal. And yet it didn't. It does affect all of us.

The Redskins had a 7pt lead at that point with less than two minutes to play in regulation. I suppose you shouldn't fire the coach who played for the field goal in the first place or the 11 guys who let the Saints drive 80 yards in the next 33 seconds to tie the game. 80 yards, 33 seconds. Well, maybe they won't get fired this week.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. A Song of Simplicity 3:46 Elijah Bossenbroek Harmony In Disarray
  2. Changing Tracks 4:18 Wishbone Ash Bona Fide
  3. Stockton Gala Days 5:29 10,000 Maniacs MTV Unplugged
  4. Overton Square 3:12 Henry Gross One More Tomorrow The Best Of Henry Gross
  5. All You Need Is Love 3:47 The Beatles
Quote of the Day
Anyway, as you've probably heard, the Tiger Woods Bunny Ranch has grown to reported double-digits. By the time you've finish reading this Countdown, it may be illegal. See, according to PGA rules, players are allowed only 14 clubs in the bag. Forrrrreee!
Jeff Schultz, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "This page of Oregon coast photos will keep growing, so you may want to sign up for the RSS feed"

Reminded of something

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Something came up today and I was instantly reminded of a scene from Northern Exposure. Through the glory of YouTube, here it is:

What a great show that was.

Tuesday Tidbits - December 8, 2009

Don't know how long the video below will be available to websites but it seemed timely in light of the news coming out of the Tiger Woods Saga this morning. His once lofty legacy is being rewritten every day. Not normally one to pile on with cheap shots but there wasn't very much else on my mind this morning.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Battle Without Honor Or Humanity 2:29 布袋寅泰 Kill Bill, Vol. 1 Soundtrack
  2. Jane 4:11 Jefferson Starship At Their Best
  3. Hammer To Fall 3:41 Queen Classic Queen
  4. The Jean Genie 4:07 David Bowie Aladdin Sane
  5. Free 4:24 The Martinis Empire Records Soundtrack
Quote of the Day
Sits like a man but he smiles like a reptile
She love him, she love him
But just for a short while
She'll scratch in the sand
Won't let go his hand
He says he's a beautician and sells you nutrition
David Bowie, The Jean Genie

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Waiting on cold, blustery mornings are the pits -- you either have to sit in your car or brave the elements like we did and sit outside to wait. But coffee in hand makes it all bearable. Plus you get to people watch, as some "celebrity" flamboyant guy dressed in a long mink coat arrives and makes you forget about the 20-minute wait (I overheard some say he is from a local reality tv show involving housewives.)"

The Saints got themselves a lucky win yesterday in Washington. Today's QOTD mentions the biggest but just one of the great plays that went the Saints way. Their one turnover on the day turned into a touchdown for themselves. Robert Meachem made one of the best Saints plays ever turning teammate Drew Brees interception into a touchdown for the Saints to tie the game at halftime. That's a defensive touchdown for you fantasy footballers. Meachem also had the game-tying touchdown, a 53 yard bomb against the Redskins prevent defense, that sent the game into overtime. Yeah, the Redskins played hard but they made some big mistakes, too. This is easily Meachem's best game as a Saint and I don't think you'll be hearing the word "bust" mentioned in the same breath with him any more. Good for him.

The Redskins outplayed the Saints for 58 minutes. The game is 60 minutes long, though, and sometimes longer. The Saints kept playing and when the Redskins screwed up, they were in position to take the game away from them. I prefer the blowouts like last Monday night's game but the close ones like yesterday's are every bit as pretty in the standings. There are concerns, though. The patchwork secondary that performed so well against the Patriots Monday night were pretty much beaten all day by the Redskins yesterday. Part of that can be attributed to lousy, lousy field conditions. It had snowed the day before in Washington and the field was wet and sloppy along the sidelines and in the corners by the goal line. The Redskins smartly took advantage of it. The Saints are piling up too many injuries on defense. Hopefully, the Saints top three cornerbacks will be back in time for the playoffs. We'll take this win. There are teams in Minnesota, New England, Dallas, Tennessee, and Pittsburgh that would love to have a lucky win this morning.

Speaking of Pittsburgh, Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin vowed to "unleash hell here in December" after last week's loss to the Ravens in Baltimore. He must be a Gladiator fan. Yesterday, his team lost at home in Pittsburgh to the now 4-8 Raiders. Some unsolicited, unwanted advice from CrabAppleLane to Mike Tomlin: Locate, then unleash.

GEAUX Saints

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) 7:08 AC/DC AC/DC Live
  2. Slow Down 3:31 Zebra Zebra
  3. A Hard Day's Night 2:33 The Beatles
  4. Way Over Yonder 4:49 Carole King Tapestry
  5. This Is Us 4:39 Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris All The Roadrunning
Quote of the Day
If, in order to lose, the Redskins need to intercept a pass yet somehow let the other team score a touchdown on the same play, they can do it. For years, we'll see replays of Robert Meachem stealing the ball from interceptor Kareem Moore and returning it untouched for a 44-yard touchdown with 22 seconds left in the half.
Thomas Boswell, Washington Post

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "I have not yet seen it mentioned, so I'll just throw this out there: Alabama is 0-7-1 against Texas all-time. Bear Bryant was 0-3-1 against the Horns. Nick Saban will really etch himself into Crimson Tide lore if he does something that the Bear could not."

CrabAppleLane Sunday - December 6, 2009

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I offer one from yesterday's maintenance adventure. All amateur home do-it-yourselfers will recognize some of the techniques I employed. I first tried to get it off by hand. It's supposed to be only hand tight. Unfortunately, it was the original filter (Almost 15 years old. Note the John Deere green.). It didn't budge. The clamp was next. I was able to turn it about a quarter turn before I ran out of room to get to it. It's in a very tight spot. That quarter turn didn't loosen it enough for me to continue by hand. Finally, the last resort was to jam a screwdriver into it and turn it. Very, very messy and things got worse because the first jam didn't loosen it enough. I had to jam it in again in another spot. Hydraulic fluid is very slimy and it was all over my hands. This all could have been avoided if I still had one of those old-timey oil filter wrenches. Had one a long time ago. Couldn't use it on any of my vehicles any more and it was too big for the oil filter on the tractor. Wasn't thinking about the hydraulic filter when I finally threw it away. Lesson learned. NEVER THROW TOOLS AWAY.

Hydraulic filter - December 6, 2009
Hydraulic filter - December 6, 2009

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. To Be With You 3:31 Mr. Big Love Bites: More Romantic Power Ballads
  2. Can't Buy Me Love 2:12 The Beatles
  3. Bird Of Prey 4:09 Uriah Heep The Best Of Uriah Heep
  4. Tall Cool One 4:40 Robert Plant Now And Zen
  5. St. Judy's Comet 3:17 Paul Simon Negotiations And Love Songs 1971-1986
Quote of the Day
With my one hand loose I aim to satisfy
You like my loving machine I like your bloodshot eye
Robert Plant, Tall Cool One

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "No! A thousand times, no! Generations of newspapermen have clung to the dream that one day they might write something half as good. I will maintain with my dying breath that the line was genuine."

Monk - 2002-2009

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A few years ago, we caught a bit of Monk while channel surfing. The episode was well underway and it was kinda cute but we didn't watch it all. Our gnat attention spans went on to other things and that was that. TV networks like to give you a sample preview on what's coming next so you will stay tuned. One of those convinced us to stay tuned one time and that's how we caught our first whole episode of Monk. If you're not familiar with the Monk character, the IMDb has a decent summary. He is a thoroughly original creation. We enjoyed that first episode so much that we programmed our DVR to record the series. The USA Network puts on "marathons", where they will run episode after episode of a program for 24 hours straight. The DVR recorded several of those and we caught up with 5-6 years of that program in a few months and we've kept up ever since. We think we've seen them all.

Last night's episode was the series finale. It was a fitting end but I agree with the syndication experts when they say that conclusively wrapping up a series like that kinda spoils its syndication value. I have no desire to ever watch another episode of Monk, Six Feet Under, or The Sopranos (And their finale sucked).

CrabAppleLane had snow last night. It is totally gone this morning but I thought I'd share a couple of the not-so-great photos I took of it. It lasted for about an hour, I'd say.

CrabAppleLane Front Yard - December 4, 2009 10:15PM
CrabAppleLane Front Yard - December 4, 2009 10:15PM

CrabAppleLane Back Deck - December 4, 2009 10:20PM
CrabAppleLane Back Deck - December 4, 2009 10:20PM

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Little Jeannie 5:05 Elton John Greatest Hits 1970-2002 [Disc 2]
  2. Stranglehold 8:24 Ted Nugent Ted Nugent
  3. The Voice 5:17 The Moody Blues Moody Blues Greatest Hits
  4. Ships 4:38 Red Rider As Far As Siam
  5. Come On Say It 3:33 Henry Gross One More Tomorrow The Best Of Henry Gross
Quote of the Day
It's a gift... and a curse.
Adrian Monk

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "I also stated that I'm proud of how our head coach has handled the situation and prepared the team to play hard every week. It's not an easy task for any coach and I feel like we have played hard and been in every game - even with the plethora of injuries."

TGIF - December 4, 2009

The week started with something I couldn't fix (Plumbing problem) and, hopefully, will end with something I did fix (Wood pellet stove). I'd like to call it a wash but it doesn't feel that way. I'm still out of pocket. Will continue on the overdue fix-it and routine maintenance kick this weekend and see what else can go wrong.

I'm glad there's still some fun in the NFL. Eli Manning signed his name on a wall of the brand new Cowboys Stadium after the Giants won the first ever game there. Not usually a big fan of vandalism but Go Eli.

The New York Jets and Buffalo Bills played a game in Toronto last night. The game held no interest for me except for this: The players and coaches were roaming the sidelines in short sleeves ... IN TORONTO IN DECEMBER. The CrabAppleLane wood pellet stove was going full blast last night here in Louisiana. Something isn't right.

Runner-up QOTD courtesy of MJD of Yahoo! Sports:

I'll be honest with you, though. If I was in Ryan Longwell's shoes, given what we know now about Tiger ... if my wife was in his same vicinity right now, the paparazzi probably wouldn't be my biggest concern.

All five songs came up from "Greatest Hits" CDs this morning. The cool thing about randomness, I suppose. I don't know if that's happened before in the short time I've been doing this and it seems unusual to me because I'd be surprised if Greatest Hits CDs make up more than 5% of the CrabAppleLane collection.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Natural Thing 3:52 UFO Essential UFO
  2. Shambala 3:25 Three Dog Night The Best Of Three Dog Night
  3. Mad World 3:29 Tears For Fears Tears Roll Down (Greatest Hits 82-92)
  4. Down On Me 3:10 Janis Joplin Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits
  5. Road House Blues 3:19 Béla Fleck & The Flecktones Greatest Hits Of The 20th Century
Quote of the Day
The Saints called season ticket holders this week about playoff tickets and Gregg Williams told my mom if the Saints have another injury at corner she'll be the nickel back against Atlanta.

She's real excited because she hates the Falcons.
Ralph Malbrough, WWLTV.com

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "This week's opponent is the New Orleans Saints. Last night I watched Drew Brees and company dismantle the New England Patriots, such an ass whooping did New Orleans lay on New England that Mr. Icy Heart himself, Patriots coach Bill Belichick felt obligated to linger in shame with Saints coach Sean Payton rather than give the perfunctory fuck you handshake at midfield after the game, and was seen making small talk with Saints quarterback Drew Brees on the field afterward."

Thursday Tidbits - December 3, 2009

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For all of us who don't have a prestigious Stanford degree and aren't ridiculously talented and ridiculously rich: It's nice to know we're not also ridiculously stupid. This is a story I don't really care about. It will generate a stupendous amount of silliness and jokes at Tiger Woods' expense, like that linked article by one of my favorite online writers, Helen A.S. Popkin. Too bad for Tiger but it was surely avoidable. No sympathy from CrabAppleLane.

For the weather freaks: Some are predicting snow here this weekend. If it happens, that would be two years in a row and probably a new record for most consecutive years of snow in Louisiana.

For the Saints fans: Billy Miller. Miller was injured in the preseason and is out for the year but is still doing whatever he can for his team, including writing that nice bit about David Thomas, who will probably end up taking his job next year. Very classy. Good on you, Billy. And here's one on another CrabAppleLane and Saints favorite, Marques Colston. Hard not to like him.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. The Mighty Quinn (Quinn The Eskimo) 2:53 Manfred Mann Rock 'n Roll Relix 1968-1969
  2. Cracked Actor 3:01 David Bowie Aladdin Sane
  3. Louise 3:22 Mark Knopfler & Dave Edmunds The Booze Brothers By Brewers Droop
  4. Let Me Touch You For Awhile 3:46 Alison Krauss & Union Station Live [Disc 1]
  5. Just Because 5:18 Earlimart Mentor Tormentor/li>

Today's QOTD is about the 1972 Miami Dolphins and Mercury Morris, in particular. They are the only team to finish a season undefeated. They toast each other with champagne every year when the last undefeated team gets beaten. If that ritual ends this year, preferably at the hands of the Saints, Jemele and I will both be happy to see it go but we're hardly alone. It was always petty.

Quote of the Day
Whether or not the Colts or Saints are your team, silencing Mercury Morris is a cause we all can believe in. And with the way the Colts and Saints are playing, let's just say they're not only in Morris' neighborhood, they're in his kitchen, making a turkey sandwich, drinking his Kool-Aid, and they've left the cap off the mayo.

All they've got to do now is run up the DirecTV bill and take a nap in his bed.
Jemele Hill, ESPN.com

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "The majority of the NFL has between 2-5 players on their IR, while the Redskins are tied with 3 other teams that have 9 shelved. Amazingly, there are 3 teams with more IR injuries, one of which being the UNDEFEATED Saints. So what's the big difference? Cerrato prefers to plug holes with practice squad players while the Saints add veterans."

The teams and their situations are different. It is an understatement to say the Saints lucked out that veteran, Mike McKenzie, was still available, still in shape, and was able to step up. It is to their everlasting credit that they let him play and didn't try to protect him. You can't do that in the NFL, anyway. A good opponent will find anyone on the field that isn't ready to play. -Rob

The online commerce experience will not quite be what I want until I can cancel or reduce services online. Most online commerce sites will not allow you to just painlessly reduce or eliminate your spending with them without hearing a "Please don't leave us" spiel from one of their human representatives, who are armed with all sorts of lollies to keep you in their fold once you tell them your intentions. That confirms one of my beliefs. Business views loyalty as weakness to be exploited. The loyal customer (Good customer) gets nothing but thanks and maybe a handshake. The threatening, squeaky wheel customer (Not so good customer) gets pretty much whatever they want.

This is the last week of the regular season in most fantasy football leagues. Both of my teams will be in the playoffs this season but I don't expect either to do well. They both started fast but have played pretty bad the last few weeks. Reggie Wayne is the most consistent player on both of my teams but his NFL team is so far ahead of the pack chasing them for home field advantage that I think the Colts are going to start sitting him more.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Incident At Neshabur 5:01 Santana Abraxas
  2. Thank God I'm A Country Boy 3:06 John Denver Back Home Again
  3. Stormy Monday 8:49 The Allman Brothers Band At Fillmore East
  4. See You In Hell, Blind Boy 2:10 Ry Cooder Crossroads Soundtrack
  5. Poltergeists 2:11 Danny Elfman The Frighteners Soundtrack
Quote of the Day
I'm pretty sure Darnell Dinkins alone will will be worth a few weeks of therapy for Belichick. He scored the Saints' fourth touchdown. He's a third-string tight end. He didn't even have a reception before Monday. At what point does coach Sean Payton start pulling players out of the crowd?
Jeff Schultz, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Westbrook and a few of his teammates, though, did run into some downtime before the event got started, and they amused themselves by tracing their hands on the disposable tablecloth in front of them and autographing the handprint."

It was a great night for Saints fans last night. I usually don't like to stay up that late on a week night but I'll make this exception any day. That effort was more than we could have hoped for. Drew Brees is a rock star in New Orleans and there is no way to minimize his impact on the Saints and the city but there were other players worth a mention last night, too. The usual suspects on offense, basically everyone, were at their best but I give my game ball to the defense. I am particularly impressed with Mike McKenzie, who played the best game of his life with only a week's worth of practice. Brett Favre isn't the only one who can do that. Apparently, it's an ex-Packer thing. Wonder if Willie Wood is still available. One last thing: I was very surprised to see Belichick yank Tom Brady with more than 5 minutes to go trailing by 21. It wasn't likely that the Pats were going to pull out a win but he's a great player and a comeback like that has happened in the NFL. On to Washington to face the always-tough-on-the-Saints Redskins.

GEAUX Saints

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Beethoven: Symphony #9 In D Minor, Op. 125, "Choral" - 4. Presto, Allegro Assai 12:57 Georg Solti: London Symphony Orchestra Immortal Beloved
  2. Breaking The Law [Live] 2:24 Judas Priest Living After Midnight
  3. Don't Talk 5:22 10,000 Maniacs MTV Unplugged
  4. Carry On Til Tomorrow 4:50 Badfinger The Very Best Of Badfinger
  5. (Love Me Like Music) I'll Be Your Song 3:21 Heart Dreamboat Annie
Quote of the Day
We obviously didn't play up to their level
Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "With the second and third picks in the 2000 NFL Draft, the Redskins selected LaVar Arrington and Chris Samuels, respectively. The two combined for nine Pro Bowl selections, and for Samuels, this season marked the tenth that began with him as the team's starting left tackle."

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