Happy Labor Day

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Happy Labor Day

Got plans?

CrabAppleLane Butterflies - August 31, 2014
CrabAppleLane Butterflies - August 31, 2014
 
CrabAppleLane Butterfly - August 31, 2014
CrabAppleLane Butterfly - August 31, 2014
Just would not sit still
 
CrabAppleLane Wildlife - August 31, 2014
CrabAppleLane Wildlife - August 31, 2014
Not sure what this little fellow's story is. Originally thought maybe he was a
fledgling because he seemed to be exhausted. Now, I kinda think the
opposite. I think he's exhausted because he's extremely old.
Pure conjecture here, though. I'm no expert.
 
CrabAppleLane Hummingbirds - August 31, 2014
CrabAppleLane Hummingbirds - August 31, 2014
They're starting to swarm. Two males don't normally
get this close to each other except to fight.

 

Thought I'd open with some wildlife images from the CrabAppleLane backyard.

Finished 8 of the 9 physical therapy sessions that were prescribed but had to cancel the ninth due to a work issue. Haven't decided if I'm going to reschedule that 9th one or if I'm going to decide that 8 is enough (Apologies to the TV show). The tingling, pain, and numbness in my right arm have been lessened but not completely relieved, which is what I was hoping for. I don't think one more session will do it.

It's Saints-Falcons week here at CrabAppleLane. The NFL in its infinite wisdom (No need to laugh here . I've laughed enough for all of us at that whopper) has decided to schedule the fierce rivals to play on opening day. Not wild about this. I think Atlanta will succumb to their lack of depth across the board and fall apart by midseason but that won't help the Saints here. Still expect a Saints victory, though. More here if you're interested.

Would be unfair to the LSU Tigers to say they stole the game from Wisconsin last night. Would also be unfair to say the Badgers gave the game away. The Tigers simply took it from them. For almost three quarters, the Badgers had their way while building the 24-7 lead. They ran out of gas and answers while the bigger, faster, deeper, more athletic Tigers finally wore them down. They scored the last 21 to win and probably would have scored the next 21 if the game had continued. Pretty fun thing to see and also a lot of fun watching the Les Miles haters backpedal as the Tigers mounted their rally.

Keep getting email from fantasy football sites. I suppose that's the price for looking into that crap regularly. One of them is advertising fantasy football at $3000 per team. Yeah, there's a chance I'd do that.

About today's QOTD: If you haven't seen that play yet, just do it. It's amazing.

4 days until football season ...

5 song iTunes shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star Playlist:

  1. Solitary Man - Neil Diamond - Classics: The Early Years
  2. I Think We're Alone Now - Tommy James & The Shondells - AM Gold: The '60s Generation
  3. Somebody To Roll - Nazareth - Play 'N' The Game
  4. Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress) - The Hollies - Rock Of The 70's
  5. Bad Company - Bad Company - Harley-Davidson Cycles: Road Songs

Quote of the Day

I think the replay booth just wants to watch that some more.

Nebraska game announcers

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Everyone knows that the Falcons vs Saints rivalry is one of the biggest in the NFL. It's almost always a good game, but this year seems extra special. It is the season opener with two of the greatest offenses in the league. So is there a reason not to be excited?"

CrabAppleLane Cardinals - 2014 Edition

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For better or worse, here they are:

  • QB - Jay Cutler - $14
  • QB - Joe Flacco - $10
  • RB - Jamaal Charles - $42
  • RB - Zack Stacy - $18
  • RB - Stevan Ridley - $8
  • RB - Jonathan Stewart - $5
  • WR - AJ Green - $30
  • WR - Mike Evans - $4
  • WR - Justin Hunter - $3
  • WR - Steve Johnson - $1
  • WR - Tavon Austin - $1
  • TE - Greg Olsen - $11
  • TE - Jared Cook - $1
  • PK - Jay Feely - $1
  • D/ST - Ravens - $1

Today is Auction Day in Ya Boys Civil War Fantasy Football League. Though I'm not as prepared as I'd like to be on player evaluations, I think I have a plan this season on how to manage my cap. You need a little luck in fantasy football. You need production out of the players you target but you also need production from unexpected places. You need one or two good surprises. That's what I'm hoping for this season.

For you players out there, here's the rundown on the Saints and the three teams they've faced so far in preseason. Drew Brees looked sharp last night against the Colts but he also missed a couple of passes that he normally hits. Chalk that up to rust. Until last night, he hadn't played in a game. In fantasy football and real football, he's a stud of the highest order. His improved running game might take away from his stats a bit but he's still going to pile up big yards and a lot of TDs. About the running game: It will be split up amongst Mark Ingram, Khiry Robinson, and Pierre Thomas mostly. They've all looked terrific and all are fantasy-worthy in larger leagues but you're probably not going to get consistent production out of any of them. On the wide receiver front, Marques Colston looks healthy and Brandin Cooks, who didn't play last night due to a stomach virus, looks terrific. Kenny Stills took a step back last night when he re-injured his quad. Robert Meachem, Joe Morgan, and Nick Toon will likely round out the receiver corps. Colston and Cooks will be heavily involved in the game plan every week. The rest of them are the maddening types for fantasy football players ... big game one week, total zeroes the next three. Jimmy Graham leads the tight ends, both on this team and in all of fantasy football. The Saints managed to get him isolated on a hopelessly overmatched linebacker last night and the result was a 38yd completion on a third and long. He's going to have a big season again. The placekicker duties are still undecided but neither of the players vying for the job looks all that special. They're on a team that scores a lot of points so it makes sense to take one of them if the battle is settled when it's your time to pick. The defense has a renewed objective of causing turnovers this season. So far, they've done a pretty good job of it. Free agent Jairus Byrd will be an asset in that area. The defense figures to be improved over last year.

For the Rams, the only player who impressed me was Zac Stacy. Their backup QB looked OK and their defense will be tough again. Sam Bradford didn't play against the Saints and he went down with a knee last night. I'm not touching Bradford, even as a backup, and it's hard for me to recommend any of their pass catchers if I don't know who's going to be throwing to them every week.

For the Titans, QB Jake Locker looked pretty good but he's definitely a backup for now in fantasy football. New head coach Ken Wisenhunt will be tossing the ball around the yard so he'll have opportunities. I could see him working his way from QB2 to QB1 or from QB2 to free agent. WR Justin Hunter looked very good against the Saints but I didn't think much of the other pass catchers on that team.

For the Colts, QB Andrew Luck had a tough outing but I'd still take him as my starter for the right price. He's going to be a great player for a long time. Their running game is a mess. Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw both looked OK but that's about it. Some kid named Herron looked very good but that was against 2nd and 3rd teamers. I think they're going to be throwing the ball a lot. Of their wide receivers, Reggie Wayne is no more than a WR3 or WR4 these days. Ty Hilton, who tore up the Chiefs in the playoffs last season, didn't do anything last night and I think he'll be another of those maddening types. TE Coby Fleener has excellent rapport with Luck and should be a starter in most leagues. Placekicker Adam Vinatieri is about the same as always. He should start in most leagues. Their defense is pretty decent against ordinary offenses like the Jets and Giants but they were no match for Drew Brees and the Saints last night. The Saints would have dropped 50 last night on those guys. Brees played less than a quarter.

In other news, I worked for maybe an hour and a half yesterday in the yard finishing up a job I started last Sunday and starting in on another. Nothing there except that I guess I have to take it easy in the Louisiana heat. I had to stop and catch my breath several times. I used to love to work in the mid-day heat. I suppose getting older has something to do with it but I'll just have to adjust to the reality that I can't do that anymore. It worried me. The chainsaw was fine, though.

CrabAppleLane Vitex - August 24, 2014
CrabAppleLane Vitex - August 24, 2014
In the blistering sun
 
CrabAppleLane Texas Star Hibiscus - August 24, 2014
CrabAppleLane Texas Star Hibiscus - August 24, 2014
 
CrabAppleLane Backyard - August 24, 2014
CrabAppleLane Backyard - August 24, 2014
Removed the Chinese Tallow (See stump) and I'm in the
process of removing a Bradford pear tree. The areas that
used to be shaded are now bathed in sunlight.
 
CrabAppleLane Cardinal - August 24, 2014
CrabAppleLane Cardinal - August 24, 2014
Doesn't seem to mind the extra sunlight ... yet

On an unrelated football note: I've heard the Washington Redskins referred to in game broadcasts as the "Washington football club" or just Washington several times now. That trend is picking up momentum. I think this might very well be the last season of the Washington Redskins. I'm OK with that.

11 days until football season ...

5 song iTunes shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Last Five Purchased Playlist:

  1. Burn (Live In Europe) - Deep Purple - Made In Europe (Live) - 8/17/2014 10:08 AM
  2. Intro: Over the Rainbow / Kill the King (Live) - Rainbow - On Stage (Live) - 8/17/2014 10:05 AM
  3. Carry On... Jon - Blackmore's Night - Dancer and the Moon - 8/17/2014 9:39 AM
  4. The Battle of New Orleans (Digitally Remastered) - Johnny Horton - The Battle of New Orleans (Digitally Remastered) - 8/2/2014 1:09 AM
  5. King and Lionheart - Of Monsters and Men - My Head Is An Animal - 7/12/2014 11:18

Quote of the Day

Brees only played one quarter, but in that one quarter, he managed to throw for 128 yards and two touchdowns before showing the Colts mercy and heading to the bench for the rest of the game, a game the Saints won, 23-17.

John Breech, CBS Sports

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "I actually thought the secondary was very impressive.  Going up against Drew Brees, the quarterback had a couple of great passes that you just couldn't defend."

Had a date with some lawn equipment today. Still working on taking down a troublesome Bradford pear tree that found the stash of Bradford pear steroids a previous owner buried. That tree is tall, strong, and very resilient.

CrabAppleLane Backyard - August 17, 2014
CrabAppleLane Backyard - August 17, 2014
Not how an arborist or a lumberjack would
do it but, then again, no one would ever confuse
me with either of those.

About today's QOTD: If you dont get it in 30 minutes, is it free?

18 days until football season ...

5 song iTunes shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star Playlist:

  1. Lightning Crashes - Live - Throwing Copper
  2. The Saints Are Coming (Live from New Orleans) - U2 & Green Day - The Saints Are Coming (Live)
  3. Cocaine Habit - Old Crow Medicine Show - Big Iron World
  4. I Will Wait - Mumford & Sons - Babel
  5. Greenback Boogie - Ima Robot - Greenback Boogie

Quote of the Day

In its filing to the FAA, Amazon said that so far it has only been able to test its drones inside its Seattle R&D lab or in other countries. Its goal is to get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less via the rotor-powered flying machines.

Mike Snider, USA TODAY

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "An interesting thing about Vincent D'Onofrio taking the ALS Ice Box Challenge is that it also gives fans an idea of what he will look like playing The Kingpin on Daredevil."

Saints win but ...

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Yeah, they won but there is a lot to be concerned about this morning.

Negative concerns:

  • My biggest concern today is seeing top cornerback Keenan Lewis limping off to the locker room. That's a big loss if it's serious.
  • The penalties. 22 of them this time. Get a sack for an eleven yard loss and commit a illegal hands to the face on the next play that gives the opponent five yards and an automatic first down? Not cool. Jimmy Graham is venting his frustration with the NFL for outlawing dunking the ball over the goalpost after a touchdown by, you know, dunking the ball over the goalpost after a touchdown ... twice. Got flagged both times. Not as concerned as some about this because the Saints coaches and his teammates will ultimately put a stop to it.
  • They had a good running game last week but a pretty bad one this week. To be fair, the patchwork offensive line saw much more of the Titans starters this week than they saw of the Rams starters last week.
  • The Saints had five takeaways and still only won by seven.

Positives:

  • The five takeaways.
  • Saints wide receivers got behind the Titans defense at least four times. When Drew Brees finally gets into a game, that's going to be a real problem for defenses. That's speed they didn't have last season.

Fantasy football players should take note of Titans wide receiver Justin Hunter. He had a good game. Caught touchdown passes from two different Tennessee quarterbacks. They may have something there although I don't know what kind of passing game they're going to mount once the season starts.

19 days until football season ...

5 song iTunes shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star Playlist:

  1. Don't Fear The Reaper - The Mutton Birds - The Frighteners - 1996
  2. White Wedding - Billy Idol - Billy Idol - 1982
  3. Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2) - Pink Floyd - The Wall - 1979
  4. Telegraph Road - Dire Straits - Love Over Gold - 1982
  5. My Wife - The Who - Who's Next - 1971

Quote of the Day

It's the first sign of a team that has no discipline and that's the first sign of poor coaching.

Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints Head Coach

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "From what I saw and by all accounts I've read, Jake Locker's performance was a highlight as he led the Titans to a touchdown and a field goal before departing in the second quarter. The touchdown was to Justin Hunter, who had another in the second quarter."

I offer a few from around the yard today. Kind of a lazy day but I got a few things done.

CrabAppleLane Tiny Toad - Blending in - August 10, 2014
CrabAppleLane Tiny Toad - Blending in - August 10, 2014
 
CrabAppleLane Stump - August 10, 2014
CrabAppleLane Stump - August 10, 2014
SOmeone other than me could probably explain that leaf-shaped oddity
I didn't do it
CrabAppleLane Big Leaf Magnolia - August 10, 2014
CrabAppleLane Big Leaf Magnolia - August 10, 2014
Would love to see this thing add some diameter to its' trunk

Starting physical therapy tomorrow for some neuropathy in my neck, shoulder, and arm. I've been having some numbness in my right arm for a time now. I've had it before but it always went away after a day or two. This time, it has lingered. Since I had an appointment with my rheumatologist anyway, I told him about it. He asked me a few questions, asked me to perform some motions with my arm, and sent me for X-rays. It appears to be a pinched nerve in or around my neck. See QOTD.

25 days until football season ...

5 song iTunes shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star Playlist:

  1. Sweet Baby James - James Taylor - Sweet Baby James
  2. Soldier Of Fortune - Deep Purple - Stormbringer
  3. Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
  4. Scarborough Fair/Canticle - Simon & Garfunkel - Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits
  5. Spirit In the Sky - Norman Greenbaum - Spirit In the Sky

Quote of the Day

Ten Funny Things
That Happen to Your Body
When You Get Old

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #438

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "If no one's around, I'm likely to sing along with Aretha Franklin's version of "You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman, but not the Carole King version."

Football is here

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The Saints take on the Rams tonight in St Louis. It's the first exhibition game for both teams. Football is back. There are a couple of mini-stories playing out tonight in St Louis. One is the bad blood between Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and just about the entire Saints coaching staff and a good many of the players and the other story, of course, is the debut of Michael Sam, the NFL's first openly gay player. About the bad blood: There is absolutely no doubt about that but I agree with the QOTD and don't think it's going to spill onto the field in this game. The bounty scandal was mostly Williams' doing. All of the players were cleared and coaches Sean Payton and Joe Vitt and GM Mickey Loomis were punished mainly for not reining him in. Even though most of the defensive players he coached in New Orleans are gone now, there won't be a lot of guys in black and gold happy to see that guy. I'm sure Michael Sam will get more attention tonight than the Saints lowest draft pick but that's football, right? Drew Brees won't play because of an oblique injury. It's fairly minor by most accounts but there's no good reason to risk aggravating it in the first exhibition game. I'll watch until it starts getting sloppy and then I'll move on to other things.

27 days until football season ...

5 song iTunes shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star Playlist:

  1. Long Hard Road Out Of Hell - Marilyn Manson & The Sneaker Pimps - Spawn - 1997
  2. Video Games - Lana Del Rey - Video Games - 2011
  3. Highway Star - Deep Purple - Made In Japan - 1972
  4. The Mummers' Dance - Loreena McKennitt - The Book Of Secrets - 1997
  5. Rebel Rebel - David Bowie - Diamond Dogs - 1974

Quote of the Day

The New Orleans media has had a lay-up storyline for tonight: a reunion with former bad-boy defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who is out of Roger Goodell's penalty box, on the Rams' sideline and presumably ready to unleash every blitz package known to man against 33-year-old Saints backup Luke McCown and his seconds. (Not buying that one. Now if this was a regular-season tilt...)

Joe Strauss, St Louis Post-Dispatch

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Finally head coach Jeff Fisher has the defensive coordinator that he's always wanted in Gregg Williams. In 2012, Williams was handpicked by Fisher to lead the Rams defense, but then the "Bounty Gate" scandal happened and the Rams had to move on without Williams."

I offer an image today from the last weekend of spring vegetables. These are some peppers that I've been too lazy busy to pull up.

CrabAppleLane Peppers - August 3, 2014
CrabAppleLane Peppers - August 3, 2014

George W Bush writing a book about George H W Bush? What is he going to put into the book? What is he going to leave out? Many, who have no idea about either, will be glad to tell us, I'm sure.

Was told that the cemetery at Chalmette Battlefield was a must see. Haven't been out there since I was a kid on a school field trip but hope to get out there next month. Love cemeteries.

There's football tonight or some semblance thereof known as an exhibition game. The Hall of Fame Game is on between the Bills and Giants. For fantasy football players, the two new players to watch are both rookie first round wide receivers. Sammy Watkins of the Bills and Odell Beckham of the Giants. Unfortunately, Beckham won't play due to injury. Got news for you fantasy football players not from New Orleans. The real superstar rookie wide receiver this season will be the Saints first rounder Brandin Cooks. He's got a much better quarterback throwing to him than Watkins or Beckham and he has been lighting up training camp. You heard it here.

32 days until football season ...

5 song iTunes shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star Playlist:

  1. The Battle of New Orleans - Johnny Horton - The Battle of New Orleans (Digitally Remastered)
  2. My Wife - The Who - Who's Next
  3. You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive - Patty Loveless - Mountain Soul
  4. Let Your Love Go - Bread - The Best of Bread
  5. Diamond Dogs - David Bowie - Diamond Dogs

Quote of the Day

We fired our guns and the British kept a-comin'
There wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago
We fired once more and they begin to runnin'
On down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

Johnny Horton, The Battle of New Orleans

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "The Battle of New Orleans was settled at Chalmette Plantation, where Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson's troops scored a final victory for the United States."

I offer a few from around the yard on this beautiful, but hot, CrabAppleLane Sunday.

CrabAppleLane Big Leaf Magnolia - July 27, 2014
CrabAppleLane Big Leaf Magnolia - July 27, 2014
 
CrabAppleLane Cardinal - July 27, 2014
CrabAppleLane Cardinal - July 27, 2014
 
CrabAppleLane Backyard - July 27, 2014
CrabAppleLane Backyard - July 27, 2014
 

It felt good to get that Chinese Tallow tree down yesterday. I ran out of daylight so I couldn't finish the cleanup. That's my task for today. I transplanted two of these Chinese Tallow trees from my sister's yard in Madisonville many years ago. They were just saplings then and I planted one in the backyard and one in the front yard. I have since cut both down. They're pretty but they're also pretty invasive and susceptible to rot. This one in the backyard was going to rot if I let it. It will be replaced by the Big-Leaf Magnolia.

39 days until football season ...

5 song iTunes shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star Playlist:

  1. Nothing Else Matters - Lissie - Covered Up With Flowers - 2011
  2. On Every Street - Dire Straits - On The Night (LIVE) - 1993
  3. Warrior - Wishbone Ash - Argus - 1972
  4. Ballroom Blitz - Sweet - Rock Of The 70's - 1974
  5. Liar - Queen - Queen - 1973

Quote of the Day

I think it's unfair to expect very high-income homeowners who paid a fortune to live in their building to have to be in the same boat as low-income renters, who are very fortunate to live in a new building in a great neighbourhood.

David Von Spreckelsen, Senior Vice President at Toll Brothers

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "If the trailer for 50 Shades of Grey is anything to go by, the film looks to be awful. From the offset, it's packed with sexist film tropes and lazy stereotyping."

Never read the book. Probably won't see the movie. Apparently, it's a thing, though. -Rob

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  • Rob: Thanks, Dave. My thoughts on Cutler are exactly the same. Their O-line is better and read more
  • Dave E.: I like Cutler. Three talented targets and right now it looks like their defense might read more
  • Rob: Week 3 is the Saints home opener. They're tough in the SuperDome but they also read more
  • Dave E.: Good luck with the auction. I'm still working on my draft strategy. Flipped back and read more
  • Dave E.: "What if it's delivering an iPad and a whole bunch of no good people see read more
  • Rob: I hear Bernie is booked on weekends. :) If Cassell doesn't pan out, Bridgewater will read more
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