Sunday, September 10, 2006
Broncos v/ Rams: Story of the First Half
The prescription drugs aren’t dulling this pain. The only thing keeping Denver in this game through the first half is defense; the three turnovers--an idiot throw from Plummer resulting in an interception, a soft fumble by Tatum Bell, and a more understandable fumble by Plummer--has resulted in just nine points for the Rams. Shanahan, who hates unforced errors and sloppy performance, must be fuming right now. His team looks in no way prepared for this game.
To the point of this writing, three of the four first half Broncos’ possessions have resulted in turnovers. Even if the Broncos find a way to win the game, that is a big time losing statistic. Losing starting jobs, losing composure, losing most games by far more than nine points. That the Broncos are still “in” this game is a tribute to a defense that has come up big when it needed to and a Rams team that hasn’t executed as well as it should have.
The Broncos could still win this game, but it would be something like a miracle. Not a raising the dead miracle; more like a turning water into wine miracle.
I like Vicodin.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
The Things You Learn
The things I learned about my local hospital after spending 8 hours in the emergency room.
So, today I am thankful that the problem is minor, and pissy that the problem is causing me this irritating, dull pain that is happily seeping past the wall of drugs that I took this morning.
Friday, September 08, 2006
Thursday, September 07, 2006
The UN Sucks at Standup Comedy
I can only imagine that the members of the United Nations are joking when they, essentially, say that Iran has violated the international body’s dictates in one of the world’s most pressing security issues, but, gee, they shouldn’t actually be punished or forced into compliance.
See, this is funny stuff--if by funny you mean not something that’s bound to make me life in this lifetime. And it makes me think that the UN should get entirely out of the stand up comedy business.
On this wildly important issue, the major world powers all agree on two things: first, that Iran should not have access to nuclear weapons, and, second, that Iran is doing everything possible to gain the technology to begin manufacturing of nuclear weapons. Then, after agreeing on these two very important facts, these powers have tacitly agreed to dance around the subject, make all the right diplomatic noises, and accomplish precisely nothing while waiting for what would then seem to be inevitable: a nuclear Iran.
The powers that are stonewalling even basic sanctions against Iran are, in a very real sense, complicit in Iran’s growing nuclear potential.
Why is this a big deal? Consider that the non-nuclear Iran is already funding the insurgency in Iraq. The non-nuclear Iran is funding and supplying terrorists in Lebanon. A non-nuclear Iran is already a force destabilizing the region; now imagine the kinds of acts that their government would carry out if they had nuclear weapons on their side.
A nuclear Iran would accomplish two things: it would make a shooting war more likely by pushing the United States into a war to protect vital national security interests and it would practically guaranty our failure in Iraq. An emboldened nuclear Iran would first strike out at Iraq and, at very least, continue pushing to start a civil war; the efforts would just be more overt and aggressive in nature. It would also be emboldened to provide groups like Hezbollah with even more in the way of aid and equipment. The idea of Iran slipping a little nuclear weapon into a terrorist’s hands in hopes that the weapon would be used against either an Israeli or American target is terrifying.
If you believe the Middle East is a mess right now, imagine what it would look like if a nuclear weapon hit an American Embassy in North Africa or somewhere in Jerusalem. Or London or Madrid or New York, for that matter. The prospect of a broad and bloody war--something that would make Iraq look like a playful romp in the sand by comparison--would grow tremendously with a nuclear Iran. And the further that Iran would push its influence, even without the storm of a nuclear terrorist attack on a major target, the more likely the United States or Israel will find it to react aggressively.
The best way to avoid something truly horrific would be to ensure that Iran doesn’t reach nuclear capability. It’s an unstable country with an irrational government; the idea of a nuclear Iran should make anyone uneasy, especially given the United States’ current commitments in the region.
Speaking of Music (Because We Were You Know)
One of ResurrectionSong’s regular visitors has started a brand new site of her own, Hathor - Sekhmet. You probably won’t recognize her because she’s writing under another name (and, no, I ain’t tellin’.
Now, the important bit.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Questionable Taste: A Young Man’s Musical Follies
You now know me as a music snob giant. I have a music collection that humbles all but the most impressive collectors, I look down on lesser mortals in the realization that my taste in music is far better than theirs and probably more obscure, too. I am pretty damned cool.
It was not always so. While I rarely feel the need to apologize in public, I must admit to these musical sins. They have weighed on me for years--indeed, there have been times when I listen to Woven Hand or Belly where I have felt like a fraud. I have worn the mask of music snob, but behind the disguise lurks an uncouth man with a taste for cheese.
This is where I apologize for my errors and where, in the tradition of useless apologies from American public figures, I hope we can just move on.*
Metallica and Queensryche
Both bands, on the weakness of their recent albums almost made the list. Only a few albums stand between the Ryche and me being embarrassed to admit that they have a place in my CD collection. Rage for Order and Mindcrime will always hold a place in my heart--even when I’m grimacing over Q2K and Tribe.
For Metallica, it is impossible to ignore their contribution to heavy metal. They were a brilliant, loud, fast, hard band that played some of the catchiest hard core ever; that their later albums can’t even come close to the near-perfection of, say, Master of Puppets, is sad. But re-visiting “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” and “Damage, Inc” convinced me that I can still say I love the band. It just comes with an asterisk.
* And if you didn’t notice the sense of self-deprecation in the art snob comments, at least consider that my tongue was at least close to my cheek during the entire writing of this post.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
He Said it Better Than I Did
Earlier today I was talking to co-workers and trying to explain what I like in movies. I told them that movies had to either make me laugh or make me feel, and that all else was a waste of my time. Of course, it’s a little more complex than that, but lunchtime talk only leaves so much time for nuance.
Moving the story along…
This evening I was reading a bit about Noel Coward and came across this quote:
Made me feel all warm in side…
This will be the first time (and possibly last time) that I share one of those embedded YouTube videos. Not that I’m opposed to them, I just don’t usually see anything that really catches my eyes. This is different.
Noah Kalina is a photographer who has taken a picture of himself everyday from January 11, 2001. Apparently, on July 31, 2006, he stitched his work in progress together to create one fast-moving view of over five years of his life. The movie creates an odd sense of motion with the changing backgrounds and hair that makes the whole thing compelling to view. It isn’t particularly emotional or funny, but the visual sense of change (maybe even the lack of change) is somehow intriguing.
One of the comments on the video suggested that this might be what it’s like when you’re dying and your life “flashes before your eyes.” Or maybe it’s a testament on the mundane nature of our lives where the years fly by and it’s hard to tell one day from the next. Maybe, for Noah, it’s the ultimate scrapbook of concealed memories that the rest of us can only imagine. Hell, maybe it’s just a narcissistic exercise masquerading as art.
Whatever it is, I know that it caught my attention.
The Most Important Question of the Day
The most important question of the day is this: why the hell isn’t Idiocracy playing anywhere in the Denver area? Mike Judge has apparently given us another winner and I can’t see the damned thing.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin, Deceased
Steve Irwin died of what pretty much anyone who paid attention might have imagined he would die of: an accident involving a wild animal.
I liked watching Irwin, although I also thought that he was insane. The effortless way that he handled the most dangerous of animals, the flip manner he displayed, spoke more of derangement than bravery. Which I kind of liked.
He was funny, enthusiastic, and charismatic; the kind of larger-than-life personality that can make television compelling.
What is most tragic is that his wife was on a trip and has yet to be told of her husband’s death; I hope she doesn’t learn it from the headlines of some daily newspaper.
Rest in peace, Steve Irwin, and thanks for the insanity.
Another Update: I agree with my friend, Trench, on this: the video of Steve Irwin’s death will be leaked and it will be exploited by people willing to capitalize on someone else’s grief to make an easy buck. And Irwin’s wife and family will be the ones that lose the most.
The man died in a freak accident; we don’t have any need to see the specifics and it will do none of us any good to see the tape released (whether leaked onto the Internet or shown on a local newscast).
Life Lessons from NFL Players
San Diego Chargers linebacker Steve Foley was shot by an off-duty police officer. Luckily, his wounds aren’t life threatening; he should survive the incident just fine.
If the official version of events are true, Foley can teach us all a valuable life lesson: the best way to not get shot by police officers is to not do stupid things.
Don’t get me wrong: police make mistakes and the wrong people do get shot. But the best way to minimize your chances of being on the wrong end of a bullet is to not act like a fool when an officer with a gun is pointing it at you.
None of which changes the fact that this story makes me want to visit the Hotel Del again. What a beautiful hotel. Had I the wherewithal, it is where I would choose to be married (when, someday, I get married again and stuff).
Update: And even more, this is just creepy. Which has nothing to do with the NFL or the Hotel Del.
And While We Aren’t Talking About the NFL or the Hotel Del: I think I’m a little cranky with Chris Muir right now. Although, maybe not for the reason that you think after having checked out the link.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Broncos Head Into the Season
This was written Thursday night, but a busy schedule kept me from typing it up and doing the requisite editing.
The Broncos look good. They’ve sorted their problems at wide receiver, the offensive line is will be making big holes for whichever running back ends up in the starting slot of Mike Shanahan’s Great Running Back Machine, and the starting defense has played reasonably well. It all should add up to the Broncos competing for the division championship again. Truly, the Broncos have one of the most consistently good teams in the league, with a few dips into honest-to-God greatness, since Shanahan took the coaching position over a decade ago; there is little reason to imagine that the fans will have to struggle with a sub-par team this year.
But that isn’t to say that the Broncos will be up there with the elite this year. They will be competitive, they will probably make the playoffs, but this is still a team trying to pull together loose ends. They have a series of running backs, none of whom looks to be a future Hall of Fame player, but one of which will rush for over 1,000 yards this season. They have a good starting defense, but I question their depth when the almost-inevitable injuries strike at some point this season. They have a quarterback who had a brilliant season capped off by a really tough day in a disappointing loss in the playoffs.
Are they better than their mediocre pre-season might indicate?
I don’t think so. I think they are one of the better teams in the league and that they will leave fans frustrated through a tough season--never dropping out of contention, but never managing to put much distance between themselves and the mass of teams in the middle. That isn’t bad, it’s just hardly the thing of legends.
Now, for some thoughts about the players. (Remember, written Thursday--so some of this might fall into the “Duh” category.)
Goodbye to Bradlee Van Pelt and Ron Dayne. BVP has a slender chance to stick with the team, but given Dayne’s near-complete shut out in the preseason it would be shocking if he made it to the final roster. I like both players, I’ll miss both players, and I hope they find homes on other teams.
David Kirkus, though, is here to stay. Good moves, good hands, great work ethic--I don’t think anyone will ever mistake him for Rod Smith, but these are the characteristics that Shanahan likes in his wide receivers.
And, no surprise to anyone after watching these early games, Jay Cutler looks like a special player. He’s poised, makes smart decisions, shows a strong arm, and does a good job shrugging off his mistakes (which, for athletes, is an important skill). It’s impossible to tell what a rookie’s career is going to look like, but Cutler has talent and it will be fun to watch him grow into the position.
© 2005 by the authors of ResurrectionSong. All rights reserved.
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