What a great weekend to be a sports fan

What more could a sports fan ask for this past weekend?  well, I could have asked for the Cowboy’s to have won, but that’s just me.

Four of the top five NCAA Football teams got upset, with only previously #2 Oklahoma surviving.  Oh, and Navy beat #16 Wake Forest as well!  When is the USNA going to get some respect?  Sure Paul Johnson left to go to Georgia Tech, but this team is still very very good.  Not BCS worthy to be sure, but still…

Then there’s the Baseball races.  Wow.  The Mets collapsed again!  Guess it wasn’t just Willy Randolph eh?  Hope he had a beer and called Omar Minaya to say “HA!”  And it looks like we’re bout 2 innings away from another Ozzie Guillen tantrum in Chicago.  He has to be on the hot seat if the White Sox fail in their make up game against the Tigers.  Then there is the feel good story of the Tampa Bay Rays.  A payroll 1/5 that of the NY Yankees, and the Rays win the dvision, the Yanks get to play golf.  And the Twins.  Who would have expected the Twins to be looking at making the post season?  No one that’s who.  Even die hard Twin fans were writing this season off.  Oh, and Cubs fans, you still got a long way to go.  Not saying they won’t, but it is the Cubs.  And of course some “usual suspects” are back, LA Dodgers (aka the West Coast Red Sox), the Red Sox, Angels, and Phillies.  Oh and the Brewers are back for the first time since Cecil Cooper wore the uniform.

NFL weeken was interesting as well.  No unthinkable upsets like last week with the Patriots-Dolphins game, but still some upsets.  Kansas City over Denver?  Herm Edwards probably just saved his job there.  Brett Favre finally has a great day as a Jet, even if they were wearing the old NY Titans uniforms.  How Lane Kifin is surviving in Okland is beyond me.  It’s not that he’s a bad coach, but with Al Davis in charge, it’s more soap opera than NFL.  Json Garret in Dallas finally had a “bad” game as offensive coordinator.  Not enough touched for TO (though the Skins D had something to do with that), and no use of Felix Jones.  See what happens after the bye week.

The NHL preseason has begun as well.  Haven’t watched any games as yet, but I am looking forward to the new season.






If this was a Republican candidate doing this, or encouraging or supporting this sort of thing, the leftists would be up in arms, as would the mass media.  They’d all be screaming “fascism” and “censorship,” and “violations of first amendment right.”  Can you imagine the outcry?

But this isn’t a Republican doing this.  It’s Barack Obama’s campaign, and his well placed supporters.  Essentially, this boils down to threatening anyone who criticizes Obama in a TV, Radio, or print ad with criminal charges.  Can you say voter intimidation?  Can you say violation of free speach?  Ahhh, but according to those behind this assault, it’s all about “truth.” 

That’s the linguistic game being played.  It’s a double standard, all in how you spin it.  If a Republican does something like this, it’s all about “censorship” and “fascism.”  When a democrat does it, it’s about “promoting truth,” and “honesty.”  Bah.   It’s the same action, just spun differently.

And people honestly think that Obama is some sort of “new and fresh poltician.”  Nope, he’s an old school Chicago politician, in the best Richard Daly traditions.  Heck, his campaign staff are probably rumaging through cemetaries for additional voters.

Scoring the Debate

Well, it was an interesting debate on Friday. 

I must admit that I didn’t watch all of it.  I kept switching back and forth with the Red Sox game.  Probably should have stuck with just the debate.

Even so, I watched the majority of it.  It was intriguing to watch.  Two very different styles and tacts at play on a national stage.  On the whole, I call it a draw.  Neither candidate landed a “knock out blow,” or really grabbed the lead.  In part this may have been due to the moderator.

Let me take a moment to praise Jim Lehrer.  He is perhaps the last true jouranlist in mass media.  He played no favorites, and did his utmost best to keep the candidates on topic, and on time.  He even went so far as to “forcefully” cut off the candidates when they started into lengthy off topic expositions.  This was a very refreshing change from previous debates where various moderators would favor one candidate, or just allow them to ramble on and on. 

The back and forth between McCain and Obama was for the most part solid.  There were a few instances where Obama became petulant, and McCain got testy, but those were exceptions.  Even so, nothing new was forthcoming out of this debate.  In general it was the same old rhetoric, though McCain did float the concept of a spending freeze on the Federal Budget.  There was nothing new from Obama.

Stylistically, neither candidate got on a roll.  Obama was hurt by the time limits, and Lehrer’s strict adherence to them.  So he never got a rhythm going.  What works for rallies and stump speaches doesn’t work in a debate format.  In addition, Obama never got his thoughts together fast enough to really make a point.  Too many hems and haws and pregnant pauses.  So while he looked good on stage, he never quite got to conveying his positions.

McCain suffered from being unable to keep consistent in his style.  He avered between speaking to the audience (and the TV audience at large), and schooling Obama.  Responding to one question he would speak to America, laying out his positions, and in the next he would be scolding Obama like a teacher to an inattentive student. 

This debate as not going to sway anyone one way or another.  People will take away what they want to from this.  Obama followers will cro about how wonderful Obama looked and how he was smooth on stage.  McCain supporters will state that Obama showed his naivetee and inexperience, and just threw out buzz words with no substance.  Independents and undecideds will still be so.

One more into the Blu-Ray collection

In my most recent Amazon order, I picked up a bit of a guilty pleasure on Blu-ray.  That pleasure being Sam Raimi’s “classic” Evil Dead II.

I have always enjoyed just about whatever Sam raimi puts out.  Even the original Evil Dead was a fun horror-comedy romp.  But Evil Dead II was the first thing of Sam’s I ever saw.  It was an almost perfect blend of classic horror and Three Stooges Comedy (including fake Shemps on the evil entity).  The “troika” of Sam Raimi, Rob Tappert, and Bruce “The Chin” Campbell have made some highly entertaining stuff, and it goes back years, to their collegiate days.

I still have a copy of Evil Dead II on VHS.  But it was past time to update this title, and replace it with a newer format.  So, as I was cruising on Amazon, I saw this gem for a mere $19.99.  How could I possibly resist?

I did not immediately pop this one into the PS3 upon arrival.  I had a bunch of Dr.Who and the second series of Torchwood to get through first.  BUt when I did, it was just as good as I remembered it, perhaps even better.

One constant theme when I “review” Blu-ray editions of movies is that the net effect of transferring a particular title to Blu-ray can be hit or miss.  Some titles excel with the new format, others gain nothing, or even lose something.  Evil Dead II actually benefits form the new format.

Assuredly, some of the improvements won’t be noticable to some people.  But that’s part of the nature of the beast.  The biggest jump from my old VHS copy to Blu-ray is the sound.  The digital Dolby sound track on the Blu-ray disc is crystal clear, and background sounds I hadn’t noticed before now came through, even wearing standard stereo headphones. 

The piture is very clear as well.  I noticed very few issues with the picture, so the transfer to the blu-ray format seems to have gone well.  I am unsure if any digital cleaning as done to the print prior to transfer, but my guess would be that only minor touches were done. 

On the whole, it was still highly enjoyable to watch yet again.

The etras on the disc are average.  A couple of behind the scenes interviews/documentaries are interesting to watch, but only if you have an interest in such subjects.  I don’t bother with commentary tracks, so I can’t speak to those.

This is a good pick up, and at $20, and more than worthy one for fans of Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, or horro-comedy mixtures.

Another 9/11 Anniversary has come to pass


Here we are again, now 7 years on.  The Anniversary of the 9-11 attacks is here, and we have forgotten already.  Oh, not all of us have forgotten, but that’s mainly those who had to deal dirctly with what happened that day.  The vast majority of Americans, and the world, have pushed those memories aside, they have fortgotten what it was like that day.

The fact of the matter is, you either remember or you don’t want to.  Most don’t want to.  It’s too painful, too inconvienient.  And we are worse off for that.  Set aside the politicians, the leaders, those who got the “face time” on TV.  Ignore the pundits and the talking heads on TV and radio.  They will dominate the airwaves, for what little coverage there will be today.  Instead, go to one of the lists of the dead from that day.  All those people who never held public office, or got a cushy job reading the news, or expounding on the days events. 

There were, and are, plenty of great stories from that day.  While most may not be “movie of the week” type stuff, it is none the less real actions by real people.  It’s simple stuff that goes unrecognized, unrewarded, and virtually unknown to the masses.  We over look them, in part because what they did, or do, is “expected” of them, or worse, because they’re not “politically correct.”

So we ignore what’s inconvienient to our world views.  We push aside anything that may interfere with an agenda.  We seek to minimalize loss to further an unrelated goal.  So we minimalize the rememberance of events.  We did with Pearl Harbor.  We’re doing it with 9-11. 

It’s yesterday’s news.  It’s “not relevant anymore.”  After all, it’s just another Thursday right?

RIP Ken Marino, Rescue 1 NYFD.  Father, husband, sports fan, and fellow Stratomatic player.