I'm tardy...so here it is, all in one link.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Sunday, October 29, 2006
I don't have much to say today.
So why are you posting?
Cuz it's Sunday night.
But you only watched the first half of the Browns game.
So, say something already! >:|
Okay, here it is:
- The Browns won, somehow, although they tried to grab defeat from the jaws of victory. I hate that "prevent" offense. But that's all I can say since I did not see or hear the second half.
- The Detroit Tigers pitching staff gets Win, Place and Show for my "Idiot of the Week" awards. Five errors by the pitchers, one in each game. They accounted for 1-2 runs per game. That's why they lost the world series.
- Hooray St. Louis Cardinals! Congratulations on winning the World Series.
- Happy Halloween! I'll be dressed as a father of a 9-yo daughter and a 4.835-yo son.
- We got a bumper crop of pumpkin seeds. Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum. With bay seasoning or celery salt. Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum.
- My condolences to all of you who haven't exercised your right to vote yet. Mrs. Quipper and I are already done, courtesy of absentee ballots. So, while all the campaign ads are still a nuisance, I actually don't need to pay attention to any of them. Hah! Both parties should be found guilty of impersonating people that care, anyway.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
On my way to work today, I listened to the local talk radio show. The morning host was interviewing - not by choice - a person in favor of a state amendment to raise the minimum wage, and another in favor of gambling as a valid way to raise education funds. The supporting arguments revolved around "we have no other choice" (school education funding through gambling) to "all people deserve to make a living wage" (minimum wage).
Excuse me? Moral issues aside, why are these being pushed as "big wins" for the state? What happened to attracting business by becoming a business-friendly state? What happened to raising people's skills so they don't need to take minimum wage jobs?
Also, why are we cow-towing to unions when they are trying to prop up a 1950's manufacturing model of employment? Instead of griping about losing manufacturing jobs to overseas companies, unions (not the government) should risk becoming irrelevant and work to truly upgrade their members' skillsets.
Don't worry, China and 3rd world countries will be clamoring to unionize in the next several years anyway (if not already), and they'll have the same wage problems that we have now. Let 'em have them. We should be smart enough to be beyond them by now. Oops, I forgot: politicians, not governors, run the country.
Posted by Rick at 12:43:00 PM
Last night, the Cleveland Browns fired "offensive coordinator" Maurice Carthon. (And there was much rejoicing.)
After receiving upgrades from WR 1.0 to WR 2.0, TE 1.0 to TE 2.1, and O-line 1.0 to, well, we're not sure yet, Maurice's offense had the same problems this year as it did last year.
I am certain that on-field personnel had something do to with the problem, but that poor planning and stupidity were more to blame.
Adios, Maurice. As a parting gift, we offer to buy you that Offensive Game Planning for Dummies book.
Oh, the post title? Phil Savage is the General Manager of the Cleveland Browns. I believe he had a hand in the decision to extract the cancer from the body.
Posted by Rick at 12:38:00 PM
Monday, October 23, 2006
Did you know that Brown University conducted a study on college freshman to see if they really gain weight or not? They do, to the tune of 5-8 pounds. And sophomores gain 3-5 pounds. And men gain more than women.
No...not, "why do men gain more than women?" Or, "why 5-8 pounds as freshmen, but less as sophomores?"
No...why conduct the study? It's just more fat at the academic level. Tell me how this knowledge fosters utility - the greatest good for the greatest number? I don't believe it does. It simply provides another excuse for academia to get its hands on more government funds; another entitled entity, if you will.
I do believe that there are plenty of valid studies conducted by universities. But why this one? Who, in the upper echelons of funds distribution, decided this was just use of funds? They should be drawn and quartered.
When university departments have full-timers whose primary responsibility is to draft requests for grants, there's a problem. Talk about pork. Sheesh!
And the answers to the "why" you thought I asked? Simple: beer, fast food and lots of sitting. That's why.
Posted by Rick at 7:17:00 PM
Sunday, October 22, 2006
In football, when "root for the home team" means you cheer on your favorite college team two hours south of you, it's not a good NFL season. I believe insanity is doing the same things over, yet expecting different results. So why do I watch the Browns on television?
At least I had a decent diversion today; I did some online training for work. Actually, it wasn't as good of a diversion as I had hoped. :-(
This week's Idiot of the Week Awards are brought to you in the colors of the Browns, black and blue.
Win - Maurice "Plug" Carthon, Browns OC. Again, I watched the opposing offensive coordinator make just enough adjustments for his faltering offense to pull out a win. Brownies offense only plays well when it plays desperately. Maybe that is a better plan than having a plan. Why "Plug"? Easy, we should pull him.
Place - Joe Jurevicius - yeah, he caught a touchdown pass. But, he decided to use his body to catch, I mean drop, two other passes. Use your hands, man, that's why God gave them to you. Duh!
Show - Charlie Frye, quarterback. Several more bad decisions today, and bad mechanics, too. Looks like he's just waiting to get hit.
Honorable Mention - Tim McCarver, color analyst for Fox during the World Series. He called Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, catcher for the Tigers, a "natural born Hall of Famer". Huh? That's just so dumb, I have no further comment.
Kudos to the Buckeyes for trouncing Indiana. That's the way it should be.
And, I am starting to believe that the Browns actually have a decent defense. Now, if the offense would stop taking the qualudes right before game time....
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Mrs. Quipper and I received our absentee ballots yesterday, courtesy of Midwest Broward's Board of Elections. I will be exercising my right to select the best of bad candidates, or no candidates at all. And I will gladly shoot down any issue that attempts to extract more money from my pocketbook, or make the use of legal substances, like nicotine, illegal.
And I get to do it at home. In front of my computer. Investigating any issues and candidates on which I need more info before fulfilling my right/obligation.
And I will make a copy of my responses, just in case Midwest Broward loses my results. :-o
What a country! What a state? What a county. (sob)
Posted by Rick at 12:34:00 PM
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Meet Derek. Derek is a good kid. Mid-20s, clean cut, polite, and a drummer in rock 'n roll band.
Meet Stacy. Stacy is a Black Belt in Tae Kwan Do.
You are meeting Derek and Stacy now. The Quipper family met them three years ago, when our daughter started taking Tae Kwon Do lessons at one of the local studios.
So, what's so special about Derek and Stacy?
They have been married for roughly two years now. They got married in spite of some serious health complications in Derek's life: his lungs, both of them, worked at 15% capacity at best. Derek couldn't do a regular day's work. He stopped drumming, stopped doing much of anything. Every moment felt like he was swimming, and unable to get a good breath.
Then, Derek caught a break. Two lungs were available, and he was next. Talk about trial and tribulation during the first year of marriage! Lots of time in the hospital, wondering if the lungs would be accepted. Thankfully, Derek's body accepted them. Then, building strength. Geez, how long would that take? Then, how much would his life change? What danger would lurk around the corner?
Let's fast forward to today. The news is all good: Derek's lungs both work up to 90% capacity. His body is not quite up to full strength yet, but his doctors say he is very close. Thank God for making the lungs available, and for giving Derek good doctors and surgeons to take care of him as needed. Now, the only scar of any consequence is the one that all of us would dread in the same situation: six figure doctor bills needing to be paid off.
Family and friends of Derek and Stacy started the Celebrate Life Concert last year to celebrate Derek's health. The Second Annual Celebrate Life Concert is taking place this Saturday, October 21 at the Vermilion On The Lake Clubhouse, 3780 Edgewater, Vermilion, OH 44089. The celebration has food, contests, raffles, and five bands that will play their style of music, ranging from classic rock, to jazz, to hardcore metal. (The bands get progressively heavier as the day goes on.)
Doors open at noon, and the bands are scheduled from 3:00pm-11:30pm. A $10 donation is required for entry. All proceeds will go to assist in payment of Derek's medical bills.
The Quipper family invites you to join us as we celebrate with our friends. We hope to see you there.
Posted by Rick at 10:31:00 PM
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Here are the links to:
Our readings and sermon.
Our initial bible class on the study of Revelation, being led by the Classical Pelican, a called and ordained confessional Lutheran Pastor of over thirty-five years.
If you've seen these before, you can ignore them. I've been a little lax (a little? Hah!) in my Lutheran blog reading lately.
I stumbled across Putting Out The Fire today. There is excellent writing here, especially the five posts explaining what's wrong with Ablaze! Here they are:
Our churches should know about this (hint to the other CLC Deacons).
Posted by Rick at 8:35:00 PM
Mork from Ork would be proud of this one (maybe). The inspiration is not personal, but would make a great ditty for those pharmaceutical companies. Imagine the acoustic guitar playing in the background in a campfire-song style.
Ode to the Blue Pill
When the private's not salutin'
And the gun's no longer shootin'
There is really only one thing left to do.
Go to the apothecary
And consult the formulary
Buy the blue pill and be armed for an hour or two.
...or three or four.
I have no Idiot of the Week awards this week, as I've paid very little attention to sports, with the exception of the Buckeyes thrashing of the Michigan State Spartans. No hometown idiots in that one.
Posted by Rick at 6:40:00 PM
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Running in Circles was invited to be the house band at a House Of Blues event scheduled for next August, and we accepted.
YOWZERS!!! Holy smokin' guitars, Batman! WAAAAAHOOOOOOO! WOOOOOWWWWWWW!
I'm floored. I'm pumped. I'm thrilled!
Along with our current material, we'll be learning a dozen "jam" tunes so some music industry-types can join us on stage. Particulars will be worked out over the next several months, as local celebrities are also being invited to join in the soiree.
Awesome. Simply awesome. I can't put into words how excited I am. :-)
Posted by Rick at 12:30:00 PM
Sunday, October 08, 2006
At the end of halftime of the Browns game today, the TV announcers walked through a montage of Cleveland's "rich history", talking about the Brown's teams of the 50s and 60s, then touching on the teams of the 70s and 80s. My daughter asked why so much time was spent discussing the pre-70s teams. She asked, "Were they good then?" I told her that they were the best of the best.
She's a smart cookie. She then asked, "And now, they're just wimpy?"
And, although my daughter's football intelligence is growing, it's not for some others, meaning it is time for some Idiot of the Week awards:
Win - Dennis "Hands" Northcutt. He tries to catch a pass at the line of scrimmage with his shoulders. Pity his shoulders don't have fingers made for grabbing the ball. Ball bounces off his shoulder pads, straight to a defender, who catches it and runs it in for a touchdown. "Hands" is gaining a reputation for this consistent level of idiocy.
Place - The Browns, due to penalties. I only saw the second half. In that half, a holding call nullified a good rushing gain by Frye, after which the play calling became, well, predictable. On defense, a defensive holding call thwarted a "three and out" stop, which Carolina ended up converting into their last field goal. Messy.
Show - the Browns/Panthers announcers. At one point, they started a statement by saying "when teams are this evenly matched...". I'm sorry, they were not. Carolina's offense gave a poor showing. The announcers were being gracious to the Browns fans, but it was a lie.
Honorable Mention - the Carthon/Frye tag team. Is Carthon that bad, or does Frye make Carthon limit the game plan? I'm thinking it's the former, as Carthon was just as bad last year with "capable" quarterbacks, and give the same excuses. Anyway, if you know Frye is still learning how to make smart decisions against NFL defenses, why constantly put him in the position of having only one chance to win, and more likely, set him up to fail? Dumb.
Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's back to Florida I go....
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Facts is facts:
Facts about me
Fact 1: I am an asthmatic and do not smoke. Never have, never will. I use two inhalers daily to control my asthma.
Fact 2: I am allergic to cigarette smoke.
Fact 3: I play in a band -> bands play in bars -> bars in Cleveland allow smoking
Fact 4: It is MY CHOICE to avail myself to cigarette smoke.
Facts about smoking
Fact 5: Nicotine is not an illegal drug
Fact 6: You are allowed to possess and carry nicotine
Fact 7: Distribution of nicotine in any form is not a crime
There are two issues on the Ohio November ballot regarding smoking. I received an anti-smoking group's "Vote Yes/No" promotion in the mail yesterday. I knew nothing about these issues, and need to review them. For the most part, if I believe the anti-smoking propaganda: we are all going to die from second hand smoke; children will grow up with two heads and fourteen toes; and everyone will leave the state if we don't go smokeless (oops, that's happening already, duh).
I am fed up with this cr...er, stuff. If our elected officials would govern instead of politic, two things would have happened already:
1. FDA declares nicotine illegal, and it's a banned substance. No more issue.
2. Governments, as they always do, find another way to tax us that doesn't rely on cigarette consumption.
Really, how much money has been wasted in campaigns, how much time wasted, how much political capital expended for what should be a "once and done" issue?
Stupid politicians. Wimpiness rules. We lose.
Posted by Rick at 12:32:00 PM
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Warning: political rant.
Shouldn't the leaders of your political party of choice want all of their candidates to win? Logically, one would think the answer is "Yes, we want to win it all, every time." Here in the great state of Ohio, where I live in Broward County, Midwest edition, the answer is "no".
The great thing about this is that neither political party is really going hog wild over its candidate for governor. So, we are talking about a battleground state, having a miserable economy and people leaving in droves, with increasing taxes and a poor method for raising skoul funds (don't even get me started on the topics of tax levys and school funding - leave it for another post), this is the perfect location for either political party to take a fervent stand for their candidate.
It turns out both parties believe their candidate is not truly representative of who they want to support. One is too conservative (and black - I thought the Republican party was trying to "reach out"?), the other is too inconsistent (he is pro-gun as a liberal Democrat). But, one of them will win.
Welcome to the great state of Ohio.
Posted by Rick at 12:32:00 PM
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
The Quipper family decided to play a game before bedtime tonight. So, Quipper, Mrs. Quipper, the Artist (9-yo) and the Engineer (4.5-yo) decided to play Yahtzee.
The highlight was not the Engineer getting two yahtzees and a high score of 323. No, the highlight came when Mrs. Quipper had to decide what to do with one of her rolls. The Engineer, in his infinite wisdom, said the following:
"Uh oh! Mommy has to think!"
We all got a good laugh out of it.
Posted by Rick at 8:35:00 PM
Monday, October 02, 2006
What should be in every Project Manager's toolkit? In other words, what should I say when:
- The sponsoring manager wants a 1,500 hour project completed in three months by two people?
- The user asks if they can have all the screens reorganized, and still get the project done in the next week?
- The project team asks if they can get an extension on the project, when their self-inflicted wounds have already caused it to be delivered late?
- And...not to leave myself out...when the Project Manager asks if there are any ways to shorten the timeline without affecting quality?
Cheers! (Hat tip to Mr. Schreiber, who showed me the video on Saturday at his son's birthday party.)
Posted by Rick at 8:40:00 PM
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Local sportscaster Casey Coleman says something along the lines of "sports are the toy store of life". I cannot find the exact quote, but want to give him credit for it since I've only heard him say it. His dad, Ken Coleman, used to call the BoSox games.
In honor of Casey, let's take a walk through the toy store tonight.
My sentimental baseball pick
Sorry, Scottius, it's not the Cardinals, although I would like to see them do well. LaRussa either has to prove that genius title that everyone wants to give him, or move on. Ya may have backed into the playoffs, but at least you got in.
Shouldn't I root for someone from the American League Central? Naah, not really. I got what I wanted - Detroit did not win the division, and Chicago missed the playoffs. I'll root for the Twins to win the ALCS, but not to win the World Series.
I'll go with the Mets, even though I hate all New York sports teams. Why root for the Mets then? Because of this old guy named Julio Franco. I grew up as a young teenager wanting to hit and play shortstop like Julio did for the Indians. Now, at 48 years old, he is making the playoffs as a Met, who I believe have the best chance of winning the NLCS. I gotta root for one of my old sports heroes. He is now the oldest player ever to hit a home run and steal a base. Considering all the athletes at the AAA and AA levels that are doing their best to earn a spot in the majors, it really says something about Julio's abilities and health that he is still active and contributing at the major league level. Go Julio!
Hang On Sloopy! O-H-I-O
Yep, the Buckeyes did it again. They are still not firing on all cylinders, and easily managed a victory against the Iowa Hawkeyes, who have a good team. They've now beaten two top 25 teams on the road, on Saturday nights, in front of national television audiences. Go Bucks! (Sorry, Des Moines Girl. No offense.)
Indian Fever (Be a Believer) With the Cleveland Indians
If the Tribe can fill the bullpen, shortstop, and catcher voids, they can contend next year. Big "ifs", all three:
- The shortstop, simply called "that guy", celebrated his big off-season contract signing by getting fat and satisfied. No gumption, no energy, no contribution. Several veteran teammates called him out on it, almost by name. Not good.
- The catcher, a "hitting machine", is reaching A-Rod levels of meaningless offensive stats. I can't recall reading about him having one game-winning hit. He should drop a spot or two in the lineup so the hungry, more productive kids (read: Ryan Garko) can step into the power positions. The "hitting machine's" batting average means he will protect whomever he bats after, but his punch isn't strong enough for batting clean-up any more. And don't ask me about his ability to throw out runners (under 15%, I believe), or to call a game (pitchers' ERAs are one point higher than when our backup catchers catch.)
- The bullpen...what can I say? A good demolition would do it some good. Keep Mastny, see if Davis can stick, and possibly Betancourt. After that, start over.
Send in the Clow...Browns
They did it! How about that! And they forgot to play the first half of the game again. I'm happy they pulled out this one, because they had the opportunity to go o-fer nine based on the schedule. At least they should only go 1-8. :-o Go Browns!
I guess it takes a really inept Raiders team to lose to the almost equally inept Browns. When Leigh Bodden, our shut-down cornerback, left the game, I thought we were toast. Obviously, I forgot that most of the team chooses not to show up for the first half. On that thought...
Idiot Of The Week Awards
Win - the NFL schedulers that allowed the Browns/Raiders game to occur. It was sad. It was pathetic. It was...scheduled six months ago. Okay, I cannot blame the schedulers, so I'll give it to the Browns coaching staff instead. I've never seen a team so unprepared to start a football game.
Place - Charlie Frye. His 4th quarter interception should have cost the Browns the game, but the Raiders offense is so bad, it didn't make a difference. How bad was their offense?...
Show - Randy Moss. A truly pathetic effort by a truly pathetic "superstar". My 4 1/2 year old son put more effort into watching the game than Randy did playing in it. And my son didn't get paid to run around, being fake tackled. But he is more entertaining.
Honorable Mention - the Big Ten officiating crew at the OSU/Iowa game. They called a pass interference penalty that didn't even happen (should have been an unsportsmanlike conduct call, if anything), reversed a completion call that all three announcers agreed was a catch after watching replays, and missed a pass interference call occurring in front of two officials? Point differential: 7-10 points, in my opinion. Game shouldn't have been so close.
Back to the regularly scheduled political rants later this week.