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User Journal

Journal Journal: NFL w/ a Fringe of Soccer 1

So Randy Moss is now a Patriot.

Corey Dillon managed to work within the program for a couple of years (and once he acted up, we cut him).

Rodney Harrison didn't have the best reputation for the Chargers (though that may have been more because of his prodigious fine total...).

Arguably, TO would be a better project for the Patriots; Moss has a history of, well, laziness, which doesn't necessarily fit in with the Patriots system. Still, I think that his willingness to renegotiate the contract underscores a desire to get a ring, and if he reverts to prior form, the core leadership in the locker room (Brady, the elite-level QB that Moss has never really had (save for maybe Cunningham in Minnesota way back when?), Bruschi, Vrabel, etc.) may need only to flash some Super Bowl rings and say "you can raise hell when you have even two rings."

If worse comes to worst, he can be cut rather easily, and the Patriots have really only burned a fourth round pick. On the other hand, the tandem of Stallworth and Moss has got to be giving secondaries throughout the AFC nightmares....

EDIT to add the fringe of soccer that was advertised: Villa win 2-0 away to Man City. Providing more evidence that Martin O'Neill's vision is being realized, James Maloney and John Carew (both January window acquisitions) were Villa's scorers, while Petrov and Ashley Young (the other main acquisitions this season) performed very well. Villa have won 3 straight road games in the league for the first time since 1998.

I expect Villa to be competing in the UEFA Cup for 2008-09, with a possible Champions League appearance in 2010-11.

User Journal

Journal Journal: An idea just popped into my head... 2

Why not surreptitiously drop oil-eating bacteria into Middle Eastern oil wells?

Enviros would be happy due to reduced petroleum supplies.

Western oil companies (few, if any, of whom have any drilling interests in the MidEast) would be happy due to reduced supplies increasing prices for their oil.

Alternative energy interests would be happy (due to generally rising petroleum prices).

The only losers are the MidEastern oil states, and those who are dependent on specifically MidEastern oil extraction (including, for instance, Islamic terrorist groups).

User Journal

Journal Journal: Muslim fuck-buddies? 1

A Sign of Progress?

A new wave in marriage is sweeping the Middle East: misyar ("visit") marriages, wherein "the woman gives up spousal rights and stays in her residence while the man visits her for sex.

How exactly (minus the vestigial woman-hating components that accompany the Sunni fatwas allowing this practice; the Shi'a have a practice that is essentially a marriage for a specified length of time which expires without divorce proceedings) is this that different from modern Western love/lust (though, admittedly, I've had as much direct experience with Western love/lust over the last few years than I've had with Middle Eastern or Eastern love/lust, which is to say none, but that's neither here nor there)?

It is, as Cavanaugh states, a symptom of organized religion's need (and thus the need of states dominated by such) to issue a blanket proscription, and then in certain defined situations, allow a total exception; these marriages (especially the Shi'ite version) appear to legalize prostitution ("I'll pay you $500 to marry me for tonight"). While entering into a misyar with the intention to divorce is proscripted, most of these marriages include provisions for instant divorce in the event of pregnancy, or even if news of the misyar gets out. The misyar is thus a license to bed-hop.

The parallels to Western societies that prohibited sex outside of marriage and their rampant teenage marriage rates (along with short marriages ending in either the death of one partner or divorce) should not go unnoted (so there!). That these marriages are especially popular with the student set underscores the parallel.

So to Ahmed and A'isha, keep on with that. Sexual liberation today, liberation from your theocratic oppressors tomorrow!

User Journal

Journal Journal: EPL Power Ratings (30 August, 2006)

Just plugging recent (mostly from this season, but the last two weeks of play from last season are also factored in) results in the EPL into my power rating algorithm... (W-L-T records are for 2006)

  1. Manchester United (3-0-0)
  2. Portsmouth (2-0-1)
  3. Liverpool (1-0-1)
  4. Aston Villa (2-0-1)
  5. Everton (2-0-1)
  6. Chelsea (2-1-0)
  7. Newcastle United (1-1-0)
  8. West Ham United (1-1-1)
  9. Arsenal (0-1-1)
  10. Fulham (1-1-1)
  11. Bolton Wanderers (1-1-1)
  12. Wigan Athletic (1-1-0)
  13. Reading (1-2-0)
  14. Manchester City (1-1-1)
  15. Blackburn Rovers (0-2-1)
  16. Charlton Athletic (1-2-0)
  17. Watford (0-2-1)
  18. Middlesbrough (1-2-0)
  19. Tottenham Hotspur (1-2-0)
  20. Sheffield United (0-2-1)
It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: Funniest sports betting post in a while

In response to a post advocating laying 3 points with San Diego against Oakland, in the wake of the Raiders signing Jeff George:

[Y]ou are brilliant. BTW, take the 2.5 -114 at Pinny. And, if you wait for Oakland to win one more preseason game you may get Oakland Fan to bet that line down a little further. Of course, you have to remember that they are all cashing in their food stamps, so it may take awhile for them to bet this line down considering they are doing it $3 at a time.

{I'm sure that one of the few things the Patriot and Steeler fans in the JE circle can agree on is the characterization of the Raider fanbase...}

User Journal

Journal Journal: UP THE VILLA!

Ellis is out! Ellis is out!

English Premier League soccer club Aston Villa (ASV.L: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Monday it had agreed a 62.6 million pound ($119 million) cash takeover by a group led by U.S. billionaire Randy Lerner.

The 44-year-old Lerner, former chairman of credit card issuer MBNA and owner of the Cleveland Browns American football team, said he planned to get the team back on track. "It is my belief and the basis for my bid to acquire Aston Villa Football Club that it can compete at the highest level within the Premiership and in Europe," the American said in a statement.

I don't think this is either a Glazer or Abramovitch situation... AVFC don't have the assets to strip of Man Ure, and it doesn't seem like Lerner wants a Chelski-esque plaything where when he gets bored of losing money and winning championships, the club will be left in massive debt.

User Journal

Journal Journal: SlashCapper 6

I'm planning to start posting my sports handicapping here at /., but I'm not going to clutter up this journal with that stuff.

So if you're interested head on over to SlashCapper's journal.

Proudly posting content that's probably illegal in the State of Washington!

United States

Journal Journal: Cato @ Liberty

For those of you that haven't discovered the Cato Institute's Cato @ Liberty blog, here are a pair of highlights:

  • The leading advocacy group for a living wage argued in a California court 11 years ago that increasing the amount they had to pay their outreach workers (whether through a minimum wage increase or through having to pay overtime) would force them to hire fewer outreach workers
  • The Libertarian Center:

    Glaeser and Ward are right. There is little principled difference between the Rs and Ds these days about the size and scope of government. On that score, the main disagreements now are about which favored groups get to feed at the government trough at the expense of the rest of us. By contrast, the really fundamental issues today, the issues that define ideological loyalties and drive voters to the polls, are cultural questions: abortion, stem cell research, gay marriage, guns, immigration, nationalism. Church attendance is now a better predictor of voting patterns than income.

    And so, whether Jonah likes it or not, libertarians are in the center of the American political debate as it is currently framed. In the red vs. blue culture wars, libertarians find themselves in the middle, along with that large, nonideological chunk of the electorate that is equally squeamish about the religious right and the countercultural left. This is a new and unaccustomed position for libertarians to be in, but I am coming to believe it represents a unique opportunity for us if we can figure out how to take advantage of it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: In which I pull a MacArthur 6

For the first time in over 2 years, I am online from my own computer with broadband. Take due notice thereof and govern yourselves accordingly.

Journal Journal: SIRIUS: An analysis of repeats on BuzzSaw 2

Many of you may recall that I subscribe to Sirius (and have since before Howard Stern was signed). My #1 preset is BuzzSaw. Following is an analysis of BuzzSaw's playlist between midnight ET on Dec. 23 and approximately 2:00 pm ET on Dec. 24. The data is courtesy of The SIRIUS Stream Explorer; a condensed form of the data follows the analysis.

In the 38 hours studied, 469 songs were played (counting examples like "Heartbreaker" straight into "Living Loving Maid" as one song), for a mean of 12.3 songs/hour. 384 distinct songs were played. No song was played more than 3 times in the period, implying that the odds are against hearing a song twice within 12 hours.

  • 9 songs were played thrice
  • 67 songs were played twice
  • 308 songs were played once

All in all, I would say that this is a pretty good balance of repetition versus variety, in my opinion. In listening for 24 hours straight, one could expect to hear at most c. 50 repeats.

  • .38 Special - 4 plays, 4 distinct songs
  • AC/DC - 27 plays, 16 distinct songs
    • Played thrice: "Highway to Hell"
    • Played twice: "Back in Black", "Big Balls", "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap", "For Those About to Rock...", "Hells Bells", "Shoot to Thrill", "Sin City", "T.N.T.", "You Shook Me All Night Long"
  • Accept - 1 play
  • Aerosmith - 25 plays, 21 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)", "Rag Doll", "Same Old Song and Dance", "Walk This Way"
  • Aldo Nova - 2 plays, 1 distinct song
    • Played twice: "Fantasy"
  • Alice Cooper - 8 plays, 4 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "Billion Dollar Babies", "I'm Eighteen", "No More Mr. Nice Guy", "School's Out"
  • April Wine - 1 play
  • Autograph - 1 play
  • Axe - 1 play
  • Bad Company - 6 plays, 5 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "Bad Company"
  • Billy Squier - 10 plays, 8 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "Christmas Is the Time to Say...", "In the Dark"
  • Billy Thorpe - 1 play
  • Black Sabbath - 12 plays, 10 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "Iron Man", "Paranoid"
  • Blackfoot - 3 plays, 3 distinct songs
  • Blue - 3 plays, 3 distinct songs
  • Blue Oyster Cult - 3 plays, 2 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "(Don't Fear) The Reaper"
  • Bob Rivers - 3 plays, 2 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "I Am Santa Claus"
  • Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band - 1 play
  • Boston - 8 plays, 6 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "More Than a Feeling", "Peace of Mind"
  • Buckcherry - 1 play
  • Cheap Trick - 2 plays, 2 distinct songs
  • Cream - 3 plays, 2 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "White Room"
  • David Lee Roth - 2 plays, 2 distinct songs
  • Deep Purple - 4 plays, 4 distinct songs
  • Def Leppard - 13 plays, 10 distinct songs
    • Played thrice: "Bringin' On the Heartbreak"
    • Played twice: "Photograph"
  • Derek and the Dominos - 1 play
  • Dio - 5 plays, 3 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "Holy Diver", "Rainbow in the Dark"
  • Dokken - 2 plays, 2 distinct songs
  • Eddie Money - 1 play
  • Eric Clapton - 1 play
  • Faces - 1 play
  • Foghat - 3 plays, 3 distinct songs
  • Foreigner - 4 plays, 4 distinct songs
  • George Thorogood - 6 plays, 5 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "Bad to the Bone"
  • Golden Earring - 3 plays, 2 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "Twilight Zone"
  • Grand Funk Railroad - 1 play
  • Great White - 3 plays, 3 distinct songs
  • Guns 'n' Roses - 9 plays, 7 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "Live and Let Die", "Welcome to the Jungle"
  • Heart - 4 plays, 3 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "Magic Man"
  • Humble Pie - 3 plays, 2 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "I Don't Need No Doctor"
  • Iron Maiden - 4 plays, 4 distinct songs
  • Jefferson Starship - 2 plays, 2 distinct songs
  • Jethro Tull - 1 play
  • Jimi Hendrix - 16 plays, 12 distinct songs
    • Played thrice: "Purple Haze"
    • Played twice: "Dolly Dagger", "Foxey Lady"
  • Joan Jett & The Blackhearts - 2 plays, 2 distinct songs
  • Joe Satriani - 2 plays, 2 distinct songs
  • Joe Walsh - 3 plays, 3 distinct songs
  • Judas Priest - 5 plays, 5 distinct songs
  • Kiss - 9 plays, 8 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "I Stole Your Love"
  • Krokus - 1 play
  • Led Zeppelin - 21 plays, 16 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "Black Dog", "Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid", "In the Evening", "Kashmir", "The Ocean"
  • Loverboy - 1 play
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd - 10 plays, 8 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "Sweet Home Alabama", "That Smell"
  • Metallica - 10 plays, 9 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "Seek and Destroy"
  • Molly Hatchet - 2 plays, 2 distinct songs
  • Montrose - 1 play
  • Motley Crue - 8 plays, 7 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "Girls, Girls, Girls"
  • Motorhead - 1 play
  • Nazareth - 3 plays, 2 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "Hair of the Dog"
  • Neil Young - 2 plays, 2 distinct songs
  • Night Ranger - 1 play
  • Ozzy Osbourne - 11 plays, 9 distinct songs
    • Played thrice: "Crazy Train"
  • Pat Benatar - 4 plays
  • Pat Travers - 1 play
  • Queen - 12 plays, 7 distinct songs
    • Played thrice: "Fat Bottomed Girls"
    • Played twice: "Another One Bites the Dust", "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Stone Cold Crazy", "We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions"
  • Quiet Riot - 2 plays, 1 distinct song
    • Played twice: "Cum On Feel the Noize"
  • Rainbow - 3 plays, 3 distinct songs
  • Ratt - 5 plays, 3 distinct songs
    • Played thrice: "Round and Round"
  • Red Rider - 3 plays, 1 distinct song
    • Played thrice: "Lunatic Fringe"
  • Rick Derringer - 1 play
  • Robert Plant - 1 play
  • Robin Trower - 1 play
  • Rolling Stones - 7 plays, 4 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "Gimme Shelter", "Honky Tonk Women", "Sympathy for the Devil"
  • Rossington Collins... - 1 play
  • Rush - 15 plays, 12 distinct songs
    • Played thrice: "The Spirit of Radio"
  • Sammy Hagar - 8 plays, 7 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "I Can't Drive 55"
  • Saxon - 1 play
  • Scorpions - 8 plays, 7 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "Rock You Like a Hurricane"
  • Steppenwolf - 3 plays, 2 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "Magic Carpet Ride"
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan - 5 plays, 4 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "Pride and Joy"
  • Styx - 2 plays, 1 distinct song
    • Played twice: "Renegade"
  • Sweet - 3 plays, 1 distinct song
    • Played thrice: "Ballroom Blitz"
  • T. Rex - 2 plays, 1 distinct song
    • Played twice: "Get it On (Bang a Gong)"
  • Ted Nugent - 5 plays, 5 distinct songs
  • Tesla - 3 plays, 2 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "Modern Day Cowboy"
  • The Allman Brothers Band - 1 play
  • The Amboy Dukes - 1 play
  • The Black Crowes - 4 plays, 4 distinct songs
  • The Charlie Daniels Band - 1 play
  • The Cult - 6 plays, 5 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "Fire Woman"
  • The Doors - 2 plays, 1 distinct song
    • Played twice: "Roadhouse Blues"
  • The Edgar Winter Group - 3 plays, 2 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "Frankenstein"
  • The Firm - 1 play
  • The Kinks - 1 play
  • The Runaways - 1 play
  • Thin Lizzy - 5 plays, 4 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "The Boys Are Back in Town"
  • Tom Petty - 1 play
  • Triumph - 2 plays, 2 distinct songs
  • Twisted Sister - 2 plays, 1 distinct song
    • Played twice: "We're Not Gonna Take It"
  • UFO - 5 plays, 5 distinct songs
  • Van Halen - 19 plays, 12 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "And the Cradle Will Rock...", "Everybody Wants Some!!", "Feel Your Love Tonight", "Hot for Teacher", "Panama", "Runnin' with the Devil", "Unchained"
  • WASP - 1 play
  • Whitesnake - 4 plays, 4 distinct songs
  • Y&T - 1 play
  • Zebra - 1 play
  • ZZ Top - 14 plays, 10 distinct songs
    • Played twice: "Gimme All Your Lovin'", "La Grange", "Sharp Dressed Man", "Tush"
User Journal

Journal Journal: Request for Advice & Comment (veganism & love) 10


It's been a while since I last posted. A rundown of what has happened in the interim is well beyond the scope of this JE.

I. Have. Fallen. Hard. For. This. Girl.

She's a coworker of mine (at least for now...). There's been one encounter outside of work which sorta-kinda evolved into a date (with me, the "first date" has always been somewhat nebulous... each of my previous relationships grew out of a friendship; thus by the time it progresses to a stage where it's undeniably a date, it seems kind of ludicrous to declare that landmark in time as a first date... in short, in matters of the heart, I'm an evolutionist, not a creationist [though with more than a little bit of intelligent design thrown in for good measure ;o) ]).

She's a vegan. My diet is, um, highly carnivorous. We're talking about there being no greater delicacy than a giant cheesesteak (be it Philly or New England style).

She's a member of PETA. She supports, at least at some level, at least one group branded by the powers that be as a terrorist group. In short, she's likely vegan for moral reasons above all else (a ubiquitous "Meat is murder" button on her jacket is possibly also evidence of this).

The conflict should be apparent.

It can't possibly work out, can it? Could you carry on a relationship with someone you view as at least an accessory after the fact to murder? Could you carry on a relationship with someone who would be delusional if they didn't view you as a murderer?

Now, I'm horrid at reading women (or people in general, for that matter), but she seems to be genuinely interested in me. I have no choice but to take her statement-in-passing that I'm the first non-vegan she's socially dined with in some time as some kind of honor: out of the 99-plus percent of the male population that's not vegan, she's at least considering me.

(For the record, I studiously ordered pasta primavera... while not vegan [yummy alfredo sauce], it's a rare meat-free meal for me.)

Given the shyness that breeds the friendship-first phenomenon (see above), I thus tend to evaluate LTR potential (note that this is not an expectation thereof but simply a contemplation there of) before jumping in. This fundamental issue is about the one unresolved one in my mind.

I'm never going to feel comfortable (nor, I suspect, will she) consuming meat in her presence (ovo-lacto type product could very well be acceptable; she herself consumed chocolate cake with whipped cream for dessert; I won't tell any of her vegan friends) nor in any way asking her to be a party thereof.

Can I be an ovo-lacto-vegetarian? A vegetarian/dietary vegan? A dietary vegan who shuns leather (but accepts, say, wool)? A full-on vegan?

Tried to amend my carnivorous habit
Made it nearly a pair of days
Cheeseburger at City Jake's
-- With apologies to Jimmy Buffett

From Saturday afternoon (I have forgotten when exactly I ate that stromboli) until noon today, I consumed no meat, sort of to see whether I could. There really wasn't anything planned about this... I have no doubt that my crash veg diet was horrible for me and that with enough research and so forth (or simply a knowledgeable vegan to cook for me... ;o) ), I would do much better.

I gotta run, so I'll post this rambling missive as is... post comments below.

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Another megabytes the dust.