Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 12:29 pm

And now, Lex’s official basketball preseason prognostication

Filed under: Wildcats — Lex @ 12:29 pm
Tags: , ,

Fear the Wildcat.

(h/t: Ed)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007 7:43 am

All I can say …

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 7:43 am
Tags: , ,

… is what Melissa says: Best. Jack-o-Lantern. Evah.

Monday, October 29, 2007 8:33 am

Colts 31, Panthers 7

Filed under: Panthers — Lex @ 8:33 am

I saw about one minute of this game around the end of the first quarter, but that was it. Just as well. Next, on the road to Tennessee.

Weather 1, Buttercups 0

Filed under: Buttercups — Lex @ 8:32 am
Tags: , ,

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains (although Greensboro could be forgiven for having forgotten that last part).

Thursday, October 25, 2007 6:18 am

Ridin’ the rails

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:18 am
Tags: ,

Via Tony Plutonium, some vintage live R.E.M. I liked this song even more than “Radio Free Europe.”

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 7:46 am

Things I’d rather not think about, Part 27

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 7:46 am

In the event of an anaconda attack …

Other team 4, Buttercups 1

Filed under: Buttercups — Lex @ 6:04 am
Tags: ,

I missed this game, too, this time because I was ConvergeSouthing. Victoria had another commitment and didn’t arrive until halfway through the first half, with the team already down 3-0, whereupon the coach immediately put her into the game on offense.

V. apparently had 11 shots on goal, although she didn’t score. That tells me she kept the ball down on the opponents’ end a great deal and that she is overcoming her reluctance to take shots when the opportunity is there, particularly from longer range.

Ann said Victoria added a lot of speed to the ‘Cups’ offensive game. I believe it.

Season record: 1-3-2.

Monday, October 22, 2007 8:13 pm

“Indexed” explains it all for you

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 8:13 pm

The grand unified theory of college majors. Set aside a good 30 minutes for this; at first glance, I suspect it’ll be well worth it.

UPDATE: Welcome, visitors from Technorati. Y’all make yourselves at home.

Sometimes, even technical virtuosity won’t save your butt

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 8:09 pm

Just ask Eddie Van Halen, who actually gets my sympathy for what happens here.

(h/t: Cone

Lolcat for noobs, why it matters

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:24 am

One of the more entertaining Internet memes for a certain type of nerd, of which I am one, is LOLcat. LOLcat is derived from Laugh Out Loud Cat and refers specifically to a picture of a cat with wording on it that makes it look like the cat is saying something that, in light of what’s in the photo, is funny. You can find examples at LOLcat.com and ICanHasCheezburger.com. (Probably my favorite is the one derived from the adventures of the late writer Hunter S. Thompson, the one referring to bat country.)

The words used on LOLCat photos are written in LOLcat (also referred to as kitty pidgin). LOLcat is a combination of the bad grammar one suspects cats would use if they could talk or write, combined with the kind of typographical misconventions common in Internet chat rooms. One example would be “noob,” which implies “newbie,” that is, someone new to a particular skill or venue. Cluelessness on the newcomer’s part frequently also is implied. Another example is “pwned,” derived from “owned.” If you say simply “pwned!” to someone, that means you “own” him, that is have superseded his efforts in whatever area is at issue. So you might see these two terms in a sentence such as, “Ur not doing it rite, noob! Pwned!”

So, in the most important religious development since King James, a bunch of Internet types have taken it upon themselves (and, via the wiki format, invited anyone to help) to translate the Holy Bible into LOLcat, complete with illustrations. In this translation, God the Father in Heaven becomes Ceiling Cat, which, if you think about it, makes sense from the cat’s point of view. My friend the Diva Geek, who does translation for a living, has contributed the LOLcat Lord’s Prayer and also expounds a little on why this isn’t nearly as stupid as it seems. I just enjoy it for the adolescent humor, but those of you whose senses are more refined than mine might find her mini-essay enlightening enough for you to get into LOLcat for yourself.

UPDATE: Greetings to visitors from The Wall Street Journal. Y’all make yourselves at home.

Sunday, October 14, 2007 9:55 pm

Panthers 25, Cardinals 10

Filed under: Panthers — Lex @ 9:55 pm

I’ll take any win, especially a win in which you pull away in the fourth quarter. Arizona was fourth in the conference in scoring coming in, so holding them to 10 is admirable. But this game was closer than the score indicates. Take away a few big plays and the Panthers were mediocre, in danger of losing to another mediocre team also in quarterback trouble.

The biggest big play was probably Deke Cooper’s spectacular juggling interception with less than 3:30 to play. How that ball stayed off the ground long enough for Cooper to finally secure it will always be an NFL mystery.

Second biggest was the TD bomb to Steve Smith, a score I chalk up directly to poor coaching by Whisenhunt. Memo to him, straight from the 2005 Seahawks: If you want to control Smith, double-team him and hit him at the line. (Not that I am advocating that. By all means, follow Whisenhunt’s example so Smith can score.) Carolina’s other receivers are essentially the same as they were in 2005: incapable of breaking games open if Smith is neutralized. (The one exception might be TE Jeff King, who’s a definite improvement as a target over the now-retired Kris Mangum.)

Here’s the bottom line: If you took away the bomb, Smith’s numbers would have been 9 catches for 61 yards, or 6.8 yards per catch — not even mediocre.

Deshaun DeAngelo Williams’ 75-yard run helped a ton. Take it away, and he still averaged 5.1 yards per carry, better than respectable. But the feature back, Deshaun Foster, managed 2.5 yards a carry. You want that number up around 4.2 or better. For much of the game, the Panthers’ O-line looked like it couldn’t manage to push the Cards’ D-line around much.

Finally, all hail Vinny Testaverde. He looked damn good and probably just bought himself a starting job for the rest of the season. (UPDATE: Not so much, apparently. Which is why John Fox is head coach and I am not.) As my mother the former Latin teacher said, “Vinny, vidi, vici.”

Next: two weeks to prepare for Indianapolis. Reminds me of ’96, when we had 2 weeks to prepare for San Francisco. Maybe it’ll help. Maybe.

Friday, October 12, 2007 5:07 pm

Friday Random 10

Filed under: Friday Random 10 — Lex @ 5:07 pm

“Carrie Ann,” the Hollies
“Lifeline,” Athenaeum
“Old Man Kensey,” R.E.M.
“Can’t Explain How It Happened,” Ivory Joe Hunter
“The Flowers of Guatemala,” R.E.M.
“Terrifying,” Rolling Stones
“Down In It,” Nine Inch Nails
“I Don’t Want You,” Ramones
“Harborcoat,” R.E.M.
“Please Don’t Cry,” Dreams So Real

Well, so much for random, although the songs did come from different albums.

And the lagniappe:

“Rejoice,” U2

Thursday, October 11, 2007 1:48 pm

Namesakes

Filed under: Salute! — Lex @ 1:48 pm

When she was down in Decatur, Ga., recently, Ann took this pictue of the DeKalb County elementary school that’s named after my great-grandfather. (More about him here.) It’s now a magnet school, which I think is cool for no reason I can put my finger on.

If I’ve got the story right, the school is built either on land he donated or land he had to sell after an unsuccessful Congressional campaign left him in debt. Not sure which, and my dad, who would know, is no longer with us.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007 12:45 pm

Visitors

Filed under: Housekeeping — Lex @ 12:45 pm

Ed Cone blogs here about his blog traffic, what drives it and what his blog drives.

Prior to taking the blog dark last winter, I was averaging around 180-200 hits per day. After I resumed blogging, the numbers climbed back up from roughly zero (hits from searches on “Thomas the Tank Engine,” among other things, helped keep things alive). They’re now averaging 40 to 60 hits, and I’ve perceived no upswing or downswing in recent weeks.

Sometime in the past few days, when I wasn’t looking, this blog passed the 100,000-hit mark. It’s a classic example of getting results just by hanging around. I’ve never gotten a link from Atrios, Drudge, Instapundit, Slashdot or any of the other heavy hitters Ed names. (Have never written the kind of thing that would lead me to expect one, for that matter.) I did get a link from Salon.com once or twice via a friend of a friend, and those were good for 1,800 to 2,000 hits per day each before traffic settled back to normal.

I do this for me. If visitors find it worthwhile, I’m delighted, and thanks for stopping by.

Monday, October 8, 2007 8:56 pm

Panthers 16, Saints 13

Filed under: Panthers — Lex @ 8:56 pm

I’ll take the win, but it easily could have gone the other way. A healthy Olindo “Cripple” Mare likely wouldn’t have had a 30-yard field goal attempt blocked by Julius Peppers, and sending him out to attempt a 52-yarder when he’s too ailing even to do kickoffs strikes me as a questionable decision at best.

That said, the Panthers did muster something of a running game and, well, I didn’t get to watch the whole game, but at least they seemed to be moving the ball.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that the rest of the schedule looks very strong — much stronger than it looked in the preseason. Arizona is up next, and they’re 4th in the conference in scoring. The only wins I would bet serious money on the rest of the year are Atlanta and New Orleans again and maybe Jacksonville. We get Dallas on a Sunday night, and the way they’re playing right now, it looks as if the Panthers’ almost unbroken tradition of humiliation on national TV might well be continued.

UPDATE: Jake will miss the rest of the season after deciding to have his elbow operated on. Gosh. Good thing we’ve got David Carr as a backup. And that he’s not wracked with back pain after being sacked yesterday. This is where the O-line has to suck it up and earn its money; neither Carr alone nor Deshaun Foster alone will scare anyone.

Monday, October 1, 2007 8:38 am

Bucs 20, Panthers 7

Filed under: Panthers — Lex @ 8:38 am

Another game I didn’t get to see, but apparently that’s just as well: The Panthers were only one garbage-time TD from a shutout. DT Kris Jenkins is calling the team’s play “garbage.” The offense mustered 99 rushing yards and 155 passing yards, with WR Steve Smith held to just 32 yards. The defense let the Bucs run almost at will and got no sacks again. QB Jake Delhomme was nursing a sore elbow while David Carr played, but Jake would have made little or no difference.

This was the Houston game all over again, with the difference being that Bucs QB Jeff Garcia didn’t need to pass but for 176 yards. His TD was rushing.

The Panthers, in a way, don’t need to worry about their secondary anymore. They need to worry about the run, because they absolutely cannot stop it. It’s not clear how much difference the absence of MLB Dan Morgan makes, but if this team cannot stop the run, it will spend the rest of the season looking at one ground-gaining, time-consuming drive after another. And that would turn this likely-mediocre season into an awful one.

Cub camp

Filed under: Hooper — Lex @ 8:26 am

Hooper and I attended the Family Fun Campout this weekend at Camp — well, I forget the name of it at the moment, but it’s a camp down off U.S. 64 West in the Uwharries, beautiful country. Weather was perfect.

We didn’t spend the night — we had no equipment, and I wasn’t sure whether Hooper was more in love with the idea of camping out than with camping itself. As it turned out, I think he would have been OK. Even so, we got to get better acquainted with the other kids and some of the parents.

He didn’t care much for the field games — not only wouldn’t he take part, he wouldn’t even watch. (It was sort of like his practice sessions for his soccer team two years ago.) But he did well at archery.

He also had an absolute blast at the catapult range. I guess it’s more a slingshot range. There’s a two-story fort that some of the dads go up into with full-face helmets on, and then the kids shoot tennis balls at them with big slingshots made of thick rubber tubing. I was one of the targets, and unfortunately for me I only counted three slingshots. There was a fourth one, hidden by leaves, and it hit me right in the side of the head the second firing commenced. Rang my bell darned good, too. Hooper didn’t hit me, but he got one of my co-workers, Robert Bell, twice.
I overheard one of the den leaders afterward saying that a properly executed shot created a muzzle velocity (muzzle?) of better than 90 mph. “OK, then,” I thought. “Lawsuit much?”

Well before the end of the evening program he was ready to go home, but we hung in ’til the bitter end before heading back. I’d do it again, but there are a number of things I’d want to bring next time, including camp chairs and a cooler with real drinks. The camp has a bathroom and water fountains at each campsite, so it’s not like you’re really roughing it, and that’s OK with me.

Buttercups 1, I forget who the other team was 1

Filed under: Buttercups — Lex @ 8:16 am

I wasn’t there for this one (see above post), but Victoria got the Buttercups’ goal. And that’s even more than winning. OK, not really, but it sounded good. That brings the season record to 0-2-2 as we go into the midseason weekend off.

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