February 07, 2007

Stupid Headline of the Day

Super Bowl Helps Nevada Sports Books Set Near-record for Wagering

How do you set a near-record? By not breaking the actual record!

Thanks AP, we're all a little stupider for reading that.

Posted by: Ted at 05:13 AM | category: Links
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February 06, 2007

Philadelphia Is At Full Strength (And You Still Suck)

Spent an eventful weekend visiting Robyn and her new husband Henry. Well, that was the excuse, anyways. The real reason we travelled to Norfolk was for minor league hockey.

Liz discovered that President Bush was going to be visiting Williamsburg on Saturday, which is right on our way. In order to avoid any potential traffic problems caused by security around the decider-in-chief, we took an alternate route which made for a beautiful drive through the countryside.

After spending the afternoon visiting, we headed downtown to see the Norfolk Admirals play the Philadelphia Phantoms. This was Henry's first live hockey game.

The people at the arena (Scopes?) were really nice, but I was truly pissed off about the accomodations for the handicapped. We wound up on the lower parking level, and the only way to the entrance was to go up the vehicle ramp, where we almost got run over by a cop! He was insisting that there was an elevator, and we were insisting that the damn thing was inside a locked foyer and not accessible. Once inside, the staff listened to my complaints and did their own check and sure enough, the parking elevator was locked up. Odd thing is, nobody there had a key to unlock it, because it was mainly for the adjoining theater. I can't believe that they've never encountered this situation before, and it took me a while to calm down.

So anyway, game time. The Admirals are in the middle of a great season, so the arena was better than 3/4 full. They're a farm team for the Chicago Black Hawks, and we enjoyed spotting the various incarnations of the Admirals uniforms from years past. They've changed logos a couple of times, and back a few years ago their team colors were blue and gold, which made for really good looking jerseys. Now they wear Chicago's red, black and gold.

I'd heard that minor league hockey had been tamed. No fights, no hitting. Let me tell you, NOT TRUE! In the first few minutes of the game two guys dropped their gloves, threw off the helmets and went at it. As usual, the refs waited until they fell to the ice in a heap to break it up. After the next face off, two more guys did the same thing. The place was going wild! There were a couple of scrums later on and quite a bit of pushing and shoving, but that was it for the fights.

As for hitting, there were some hellacious hits. Norfolk is a smaller and faster finesse team but they dished out more than they took during the game.

My biggest problem with the Admirals is that they tended to make one pass too many. I screamed myself hoarse to put the damn puck on the net as they repeatedly passed up shots to try to make the perfect set up. As expected with minor league hockey, the skill level was a shade below what you're used to seeing in the NHL. Passes just missed, or if they did hit the tape weren't controlled well. Lots of "oops, forgot something" moments as they frantically hit the brakes and tried to reverse to gather up a missed puck.

No matter, the game was fun and we'll be doing it again soon. I wish we lived closer, because season tickets would be great. Oh yeah, lower section tickets were $16.00. Can't beat that. The title of this post is a combination of what was announced as a Phantoms player left the penalty box - "Philadelphia is at full strength" - the crowds hollered response each time - "AND YOU STILL SUCK!". Cracked me up.

The Admirals came back from two down to tie it up 3 all. No score in the overtime, and the Admirals took the shootout to win it.

On Sunday, Liz and I stopped at Williamsburg Pottery on the way home. This place is amazing, like a super-duper yardsale/flea market/k-mart/dollar store/nursury. Laid out in a sprawling jumble of buildings, you can easily spend hours there just looking around - and we did. Imagine your local craft store, which is probably pretty large if you're near one of the big chains. Now imagine that store if it sold nothing but baskets. That's one department at Williamsburg Pottery. Cool place. I picked up some smoked salt and rice vinegar in the gourmet section, along with a few other odds and ends for the kitchen.

So all in all we had a very enjoyable weekend.

Heh. I just heard from Robyn, who was up early doing homework after Henry left for work. He wants to go to the hockey game this Friday.

Posted by: Ted at 06:01 AM | category: Square Pegs
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February 05, 2007

Three Things That Piss Me Off

Later I'll get a chance to tell you about our wonderful weekend, but for now, in no particular order:

1. Charities that don't pick up when they say they will. You called and asked if we had anything to donate. As a matter of fact, we did. So, per your instructions, we packed up two boxes of stuff, put signs on them and set them out by the curb. Your people didn't bother to come by and the wind made short work of the plastic we'd covered the boxes with, so now tomorrow the trash guys get to haul off two soggy boxes of crap. Next time you call, you're going to get an earfull along with a request to take us off your calling list.

2. Did you know that a black coach won the Superbowl? Yeah, big whoop to most of America, both black and white. Thanks though, to those idiots who repeatedly whacked me over the head with the diversity shit all night long. Broadcasters (2a. Phil Simms is an annoying ass) and advertisers alike. In this day and age, we're supposed to be past the race thing. Note it once and get over it. By the way, congratulations to both Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith for getting their teams to the big game. Y'all are tops.

3. Rascal Flats. To me, their music sounds manufactured, like they're the Back Street Boys of country music. I was flipping through the stations this morning and heard their version of "Life Is A Highway" from the movie Cars. Gack. I'd rather listen to the Laurence Welk version, it would have more soul. I think I know where the Menudo rejects go when they reach puberty.

Posted by: Ted at 05:20 AM | category: Square Pegs
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February 02, 2007

Happy Groundhog Day!

Have a great one.

Posted by: Ted at 06:10 AM | category: Square Pegs
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Happy Groundhog Day!

Have a great one.

Posted by: Ted at 05:23 AM | category: Square Pegs
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Happy Groundhog Day!

Have a great one.

Posted by: Ted at 05:10 AM | category: Square Pegs
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February 01, 2007

Rocket Launch Saturday

Unfortunately, I can't make it. Liz and I are headed down to see newlywed daughter Robyn and Henry this weekend. To make up for the lack of smoke, fire and noise, we've got tickets to see a minor league hockey game Saturday night. Go Norfolk Admirals!

Posted by: Ted at 07:28 PM | category: Rocketry
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What Goes Up, Must Come Down

That's true of rockets too. Of course, the trick is to control exactly where it comes down.

Dick Stafford links to some wicked cool video of a Delta 2 rocket that suffered an... uh, anamoly (their word) just seconds after liftoff. I'd seen the second of the three clips that he links to, and wondered what kind of damage was done to the facilities. Now I know. A chunk of burning debris landed in the parking lot where the folks in the blockhouse were working, incinerating a couple dozen cars and leaving a big crater in the asphalt where it hit. By incinerate, I mean windshields and tire rims were *melted*.

Dick also covers this more recent oopsie (unofficial term) that happened a couple of days ago on the SeaLaunch platform (including more video).

In both of these accidents, nobody was injured. It ain't called "rocket science" for nothing, people!

Posted by: Ted at 07:20 PM | category: Space Program
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I've Been Looking For This

I even mentioned it last May.

Must see is this nifty CG video of one of NASA's Mars missions, with the opening soundtrack supplied by Lenny Kravitz. Kick ass.

Posted by: Ted at 07:11 PM | category: Space Program
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