Sunday, May 28, 2017

Just checking...

"Just checking..."

I'm in control of my smartphone, not vice versa. But in a slow, um, moment (or two, or three) during TY's graduation I did peek at my fantasy baseball team. Just checking... (he he)

Just checking, cont

Smartphones. Social media. Blah blah blah. Modern living in the 21st century has some "negative" side effects. Example: People having less sex. (part 2)

There are many other reasons to think that changes in our mental health and wellbeing may be damaging our sex lives... drops in sexual activity may be due to increasing levels of unhappiness. Western societies in particular have seen a mental health epidemic in the past few decades, focused primarily around depression and anxiety disorders.
The Many Reasons People are Having Less Sex
Another example: Kindergarteners are fleshy.

Dr Rebecca Duncombe, who led the study, said the lack of physical ability shown demonstrated that children are not as active as they should be in the beginning of their lives. 
“A child’s physical development level impacts their ability to complete simple tasks such as sitting still, holding a pencil, putting on their shoes, and especially reading – all skills essential for school,” she said.
Kindergarteners Less Fit than Even 6 Years Ago

I say these are "negative" side effects, but with quotes around the "negative". It's certainly possible that future generations won't see this as a problem. I'm half-fossil at this point, so move along. Going forward, the world will have less sex, fewer children, less physical activity, more anxiety, etc. So what. Take a pill. Grab your smartphone. Talk to your Alexa about today's weather.

The Weather Man

Movie: The Weather Man
Review: 3 bill-stars (out of 5)... good

The Weather Man is bleak and depressing. You wonder how a movie like this gets funding. (google google) The Weather Man made $19M worldwide, presumably on the back of the movie's star, Nicholas Cage. It cost $22M to make. ( )

Regardless, this is a 3+ bill-star movie. It's unusual. Nicholas Cage is outstanding as an all-time schmuck. You want to feel for the guy, as everything he touches seems to go awry. But at the same time, he really isn't a great guy. He's narcissistic, whiny, and a total douchebag (pardon my 70's jargon).

A good movie.

Look at this house.
Someone should be happy here.
How did I fuck this up?
- The Weather Man
I fired up channel 1 on my Comcast. (click click click) There it was: The Weather Man, $3.99 to rent/watch. I'm going to drop my Netflix DVD in the mail and then quit that service. It's only $5 a month, but, ya know, technology! I can pretty much find everything I want "on demand" now. So, goodbye Netflix. I hardly knew ye.

Visiting the leftie anthill

Fun Quiz - 
How much €€€ did the new NATO headquarters cost?
(a € is a Euro, like a $ is a dollar, eh)

Brussels is the home of NATO and the EU, and therefore the home of modern-day political correctness. Brussels is the leftie anthill, home to the most voracious, corrupt, and ugly set of nabobs this side of communist China.

Well, President Trump visited NATO headquarters in Brussels and was undaunted. He lectured the smug, buzzing nabobs about NATO countries in Europe not paying enough $$$ (€€€) to support NATO or their own defense. Then he paused and took a snarky dig at the fancy, new NATO headquarters where the meeting was being held.
I never asked once what the new NATO Headquarters cost.
I refuse to do that.
But it is beautiful.
- President Trump on the cost of the new NATO HQ, white house link

President Trump versus the Euro-nabobs. Trump win.

This fancy headquarters thing struck home with me. We see this locally all the time here. The nonchalance with taxpayer dollars results in luxury-style construction of public buildings that house the city's nabobs. Naperville's ridiculous police station has a man-made lake and a pagoda. And I swear that Naperville is on its way to paver the entire city, not just the Riverwalk. My pet peeve - landscaping the medians of roads. It's tons of $$$ and traffic congestion to build. Then it's a perpetual $$$ cost to mow, water, fertilize, re-plant, etc.

Fun Quiz answer - The new NATO headquarters cost more than 1 billion Euro!

Maybe Trump should have asked... his reaction to this waste would have been worth it.
thanks... yow, bill

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Man Who Knew... a 1-star movie

"Marching Redhawks art shot"

I'm walking out to the mailbox and this couple is running by. The lady turns to the dude, "There are a lot of houses for sale here." I would characterize her tone as having a "this is a hot mess" inflection. Good eye, lady. (sigh)

First Trump loss

President Trump took his first real loss since his election. Last week, a "special counsel" was appointed to the FBI investigation into Russia and the election, etc.

This setback is entirely self-inflicted.

  • Sessions recused himself from the Russia probe because of some trivial nonsense.
  • Then, Sessions' nabob replacement, Rothstein, assigned Robert Mueller as Special Counsel.

The common thread: both moves were done to appease leftie dems and media.
Did this ever occur in 8 years of Obama? No.
Was the never-ending Hillary investigation handed off to a non-partisan Special whatever? No.
Will this appeasement finally end the dems' Trump-hating jihad? No.

Doubly annoying... the rightie media continues to try appeasing the left as well. For example, the editorial staff at the locally-owned Morning News hailed Mueller as a "good choice" and "respected". Respected? Respected by who? Mueller is lifelong bureaucrat and is a fellow toadie of Comey, the FBI, and the denizens of the swamp that is actively working against President Trump.

Let me end the suspense of all this Russia/Special Counsel stuff for you.
  • Mueller's investigation will take a long, long time... more than a year. Mueller's goal will be to accumulate as much media time and to stretch out the investigation as long as possible.
  • Mueller will reach no conclusions. He will neither condemn nor exonerate Trump and his administration (think of something like the Comey-Hillary press conference last July).
  • Mueller's report will be summarily dismissed by both dems and repubs before it ever sees the light of day. And rightly so!

The Mueller Special Counsel thing is obfuscation and distraction. Plain and simple.
Obama had the correct response. Ignore and dismiss. Let the other side pound sand.

Here are just two of the many choice quotes from President Trump's first foreign policy trip to the Middle East. He has boldly confronted terrorism and encouraged our allies in the area to act. So refreshing!

Drive them out!
Drive them out of your places of worship.
Drive them out of your communities.
Drive them out of your holy land and drive them out of this earth.
This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life and decent people all in the name of religion … this is a battle between good and evil.
- President Trump speech on Islamic terrorism in the Middle East, link

I won’t call them monsters because they would like that term. They would think that’s a great name.
I will call them, from now on, losers because that’s what they are. They’re losers. And we’ll have more of them. But they’re losers. Just remember that.
- President Trump on the UK terrorists, link
Losers. Remembering. Got it.

The Ramanujan movie

Movie: The Man Who Knew Infinity
Review: 1 bill-stars (out of 5)... pretty bad

This is a Lifetime movie. OK, that's metaphor. I don't know for a fact that it's a Lifetime movie, bur I don't know that it isn't either. (ha) It's a soap opera-style telling of the story of Ramanujan, the famous Indian mathematician and genius: It's all here for you - sappy plot devices, plenty of violin music, closeups of characters emoting to the camera... blargh. Most damning of all - the movie is boring and slow-paced.

Jeremy Irons is the best thing here in his role as G.H. Hardy. The actor who portrays Ramanujan is just okay.

Not a good movie.

Wrong. Great!

Well, I was wrong. After b-slapping my Blackhawks, I predicted that Nashville would be quickly dispatched from the NHL playoffs. My prediction was: The Preds are fakers and tourists.

After the Blackhawk, Nashville beat St. Louis and Anaheim and are now headed to the Stanley Cup Final.

In these amazing NHL playoffs, we get another Game 7 tomorrow night:
Ottawa Sens @ Pittsburgh Pens
The winner will take on Nashville in the Stanley Cup Finals.
I will be in attendance... on my couch. (ha)
yow, bill

Sunday, May 21, 2017

REDHAWKS graduate

"REDHAWKS graduate"

The positivity!

Marlowe: The Lady in the Lake

Book: The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler
Review: 3 bill-stars (out of 5)... good

"I don't like your manner," Kingsley said in a voice you could have cracked a Brazil nut on.

"That's all right," I said. "I'm not selling it."

He reared back as if I had hung a week-old mackerel under his nose. After a moment he turned his back on me and said over his shoulder: "I'll give you exactly three minutes. God knows why."
- Philip Marlowe

This is a 4 bill-star Philip Marlowe book that is dragged down to 3 stars by a really bad ending. If one of your characters says the plot resolution is "kind of far-fetched", you know things have gone astray.

Grayson was a long stooped yellow-faced man with high shoulders, bristly eyebrows and almost no chin. The upper part of his face meant business. The lower part was just saying goodby.
- Philip Marlowe

Well, right up until that crappy ending, you get Philip Marlowe in all his splendor. Wise guy. Sarcastic. Downtrodden. Dames. Guns. Cars. Drinking. Great fun! Of course, I think of Humphrey Bogart as I'm reading. Raymond Chandler is just a fantastic writer. His descriptions of people and places are great, and he's a quote machine. I imagine Chandler having so much fun while he's writing... laughing to himself much of the time.

She wore a steel gray business suit and under the jacket a dark blue shirt and a man's tie of lighter shade. The edges of the folded handkerchief in the breast pocket looked sharp enough to slice bread. She wore a linked bracelet and no other jewelry. Her dark hair was parted and fell in loose but not unstudied waves. She had a smooth ivory skin and rather severe eyebrows and large dark eyes that looked as if they might warm up at the right time and in the right place.
- Philip Marlowe, The Lady in the Lake
A good read.

Cool book covers are going the way of album art, right? Kind of Which retro Lady in the Lake book cover do you like best? Here are 5 from which you can choose.





I dislike Sun May 7

Fantasy baseball update: I dislike Sun May 7.
There are 33 days between Apr 18 - May 20. In those 33 days, the Naperville Roses have hit at least one home run in every single day... except Sun May 7. Ha!
I think that's a pretty unusual/amazing stat, though I can't prove it.

Last night uber-rook Cody Bellinger hit (yet another) home run for The Roses.
There's a lot of special stuff going on here:

  • It's great fun to fall asleep with no home runs and then wakeup with a surprise dinger waiting for you because of the late west coast games. That was the case with Bellinger last night.
  • It's extra fun to have plucked THE rookie this season from the scrap heap. Bellinger is fantastic! In his first 24 games in the BIG leagues (a little less than a month), Cody B has: 90 atbat, 9 dinger, 21 run, 24 rbi, a 0.300 average and an OPS over 1.000. The cherry on top: he's a goof. He looks funny in the batter's box. Bellinger is 6'4" and stands straight up and down, close to the plate. But once he gets going, he has the classic silky smooth swing you only see in a left-handed batter. 
  • Belling turns 22 in July. (snort!)
  • In fantasy, home runs are pretty much my only metric. Nuts to pitching, that's for sure. I almost never look at the other team's stats. If I hit a home run during the day, then generally, I'm fantasy-good. Lately, I've been very good.

With nearly every batter these days swinging for the fences, you're going to get some odd stats. Even with that, the numbers for Joey Gallo are extreme:
  • Joey Gallo has 8 singles this year. That's in 44 games and 140 atbats. How is that even possible?!?! (shrug)
  • Joey Gallo is batting a paltry .184... almost 50 points below his weight. (yikes)
  • Gallo has only 26 hits in those 44 games. But 13 of them are home runs.
  • The punch line: Joey Gallo is the #18 Yahoo-ranked player as I type. He is the KGG MVP and leads the team in every bopping category, except TB. He even leads the KGG in steals with 4.

It's the new way, brother. MLB players are younger, BIGGER, and more athletic. It's all bout the home run, walk, and strikeout... three true outcome players. I don't see any of this changing any time soon.

The Naperville Roses are strong. A dinger every day. (smile) It's extra positivity to really like my young and BIG players.

And baseball overall is strong. Hold that though... I feel a transition coming on.

Hey Kevin Durant. I'm NOT watching.

Whatever happens with the score happens.
So relay that to the fans who are upset... If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.
- Kevin Durant, yahoo post
The NBA playoffs are a train wreck. It's one uncompetitive series after another. It's one boring blowout after another. It looks like both Cleveland and Golden State will enter the NBA Finals with perfect 12-0 records.

Is this playoff dominance some great achievement to be studied and marveled at? Absolutely not. It's simply a byproduct of the synthetic teams that have been the signature of this Buster LeBron era.

  • Cleveland - LeBron, Kyrie, and Kevin Love... all 3 are top 10 players in the Eastern Conference. Who else? Jimmy Butler, Paul George, John Wall, The Greek Freak in Milwaukee (maybe), Kemba Walker, D Derozen.
  • Golden State - Durant, S Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green... are 4 players in the top 15 of the West. Westbrook, Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, D Lillard, K-A Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Gordon Hayward, L Aldridge, Mike Conley?

So, Kevin Durant, LeBron, etc. I'm NOT watching your bogus playoffs. Doofs!

I AM watching baseball and... the NHL playoffs. The NHL is the anti-NBA. Competitive. Exciting. Upsets. Very physical. Guys calling the refs fags. (link, snort) Fighting. Incredible goaltending. Etc.

Nashville was the #8 seed coming in. They swept (and embarrassed) the top-seeded Blackhawk. Now, they've lost their captain and their leading scorer to injury and are still just one game away from the Stanley Cup Finals with a 3-2 lead over Anaheim. Great story. And great games to watch.

The NHL is fan friendly.
Even with the Blackhawks early exit... the NHL playoffs are fantastic!
ding... yow, bill