Friday, December 30, 2005
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Saturday, December 24, 2005
1) Thank you CBS for showing the Steelers fans the entire game. I understand once the game is out of hand, but from kick off, all I saw was Steelers fans. Thanks
2) Continuing on that note, is there a good looking female Steelers fan? I have yet to see one
3) For all you dumb Browns fans who though the Browns could go 9-7 this year: you're retarded. This team should look to be 7-9 NEXT year. Playoffs are still a long way off.
4) Frye showed signs of good things, but also showed that he's a rookie. It didn't help that his first couple passes were dropped, so he started pressing early.
5) How many times did the Browns run the ball in the second half? 3? 4? This led to the Steelers blizting like mother-fuckers. Hey, rookie qb + no line + all pass plays = good times.
6) Hey Romeo, they're blizting from the outside, look into it.
7) What happened to the defense that gave Carson Palmer trouble? The Steelers had whatever they wanted, ground and air, all day long
8) Aaron Shea and Steve Heiden are different people. Just a heads up for next week CBS.
9) How bout that running game? At least the browns got their first 1,000 yard rusher in 20 years.
10) It never fails to amaze me that players STILL try to tackle Bettis by the shoulders (the Steelers first TD). How bout trying for the legs? Can we try that?
11) This team has a severe lack of talent, all over the field. That could be because of those sweet Butch Davis draft classes. And lets not forget Chris Palmer and Dwight Clarke.
12) The O-Line still stinks, though its not terrible, I guess thats an upgrade. The D-Line is still terrible, and that I place on the previous GMs, Courtney Brown AND Gerrard Warren. Awesome.
13) I miss Braylon Edwards
14) I don't miss Quincy Morgan
15) Man, that game really put me in the mood for Christmas, have a merry one.
I hadn't really heard of the album before, but I saw the deluxe edition at a used CD store near campus and picked it up.
Safe to say, it was a good choice.
The album is completely 70s, and I mean that in the best of ways. Yes, its over the top, over produced and a giant spectacle. But thats the point. The songs are huge, there are great soaring arrangments, lots of random instruments and just tons of noise. But it works.
This isn't some slick Backstreet Boys ProTools production, this is an album full of real instruments playing great arrangments. Flutes, oboes, tons of drums, great guitars; just excellent.
But the what about the songs? Top notch. These are songs by John when he was on the top of his game. Someone Saved My Life Tonight is the big hit off the album, but its not the only stellar track. (Gotta Get A) Meal Ticket is a great rockin tune; I fuckin love the guitars during the chorus and Better Off Dead has a great piano part and even better lyrics.
The Deluxe edition has got some bonus tracks at the end of the album too, like John's version of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and Philadelphia Freedom. They kinda take the flow out of the album, but it works because A) there is a lot of space between the end of the origional album and the bonus tracks B) the extra songs kick ass.
I have to admit the bonus disc hasn't recieved as much play as the main one, but it is still pretty good. It is a live concert of the entire albums, complete with over the top 70s style guitar solos. Rock!
All and all, this is one of the over looked gems from the 70s, I would definitely check it out. I want to give key tracks, and I hate sayin 'every song is good' cause I hate when people do that. Honestly? Listen to the album in track order, but if you must pick and choose, I would take: Bitter Fingers, (Gotta Get A) Meal Ticket and Writing. Oh, of course, Someone Saved My Life Tonight.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Monday, December 19, 2005
Sunday, December 18, 2005
And the way I see it, we have three options.
1) Send in enough troops to overpower insurgents and have the amount that the experts and generals said we needed, not what we got.
2) Leave today, tomorrow, yesterday. Get the fuck out now and don't turn back.
3) Stay the course. Keep not having enough troops or enough armor. Maybe eventually we secure the country, I dunno, but there's no real end in sight.
What do I think will happen? #3 of course. I think #2 would be good also, if only because no one has got the politcal balls to do #1.
Option 1 requires raising taxes (or at least not cutting them) to pay for the military equipment and more soliders, possibly a draft. This is the most likely way to get 'victory.' However, theres no way this country will let its politicians send MORE troops over there.
And since we won't do option 1, I say we do option 2, I guess you could call it "Cut and Run." Cause with option 3 nothing is really getting done and our troops are overwhelmed and we are still getting losses. And we're basically in a civil war right now. Or we get the fuck out with no more American losses. Cause I prefer no losses to some.
(and by the way, this isn't saying the soliders aren't doing a great job, its that their hands are tied. They need more men and more supplies. If I was told to write a ten page paper in 1 hour, I wouldn't/couldn't finish it. It wouldn't be because I was a poor writer, it was because I didn't have tools I needed to write a 10 page paper.)
Bush says that they're risking national security. Well, the jackass in me says they already fucked up national security by sitting on this story for more than a year and not letting Bush deal with this during the election.
Friday, December 16, 2005
But here is the thing. I'm torn on this, would it be great/kinda satisfying (well, not really great, its never great when the leader of your country gets impeached) to see the whole Bush clan punished? Yes. The entire republican party is tied into Bush (or Delay). Ya, they should all get punished. But the last thing I want is Bush to get impeached and some other republican comes in there and "cleans house" restores some rule of law, and then gets reelected in 2008. So the main players are punished, but the whole politcal machine that put them there is still in power. I want Democrats in power, but unfortunatly, they don't seem to know how to get there.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
The Cavs are struggling, thats for sure, and they were blaming Brown, "who's heard of this guy? what has this guy done?"
The Cavs don't play defense. End of story. They don't. There's no hustle, there's no fight. Is part of that Brown's fault? Yes. But Damon Jones is doing his best Jeff McInnis impression right now, opposing teams go right at LeBron and the Cavs don't have an enforcer type guy on the inside. So is it partly Brown's fault? Ya, it is. But lets be honest here, the Cavs are young and the Cavs need to learn to play some defense. Induvidual and team.
Coach Brown knows this. GM Danny Ferry knows this.
Like I've said many times before, judge the Cavs by how they finish the season, not how they start.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Look, here's the thing, the Cavs HAVE to enquire about Artest. Just have to. I believe the only untouchables are Z and LeBron (though not in that order). Besides that I think anyone if fair game, but it would take a lot to trade Hughes.
But is Artest better than Hughes? I think so, but he IS a bit more crazy. If the Cavs really want Artest its probably going to take some kind of Hughes, Gooden and Jackson combo. Do I do it in a second, no. But do I see if I could talk with Artest before I make this trade for him? See how serious he is about coming to Cleveland? Yes.
And don't get me wrong, I love Hughes, but I do think Artest (non-baggage) is better than him. The issue is, is Artest worth it. I think yes. Even if its just for a little while, just to show some defensive intensity. To show the guys what real hustling is all about. Plus, Mike Brown has coached him before.
It would be interesting to see where he ends up (I wouldn't bet on Cleveland).
Monday, December 12, 2005
I don't think it can be understated how playing at Akron prepared him for this. Akron had crappy teams and crappy weather, meaing he didn't have any Ted Ginn's to throw to. Or All-American centers or tackles. He's played AT big stadiums, for the away team.
The 'Frye to Edwards' combo has looked good because both guys know they need each other, but don't look past the fact that both guys played college ball in shitty-weather schools. I'm not sure if a Vince Young (or Tim Couch) type guy, who played in nice warm weather really understands the crappy-ness of Cleveland weather.
And Cleveland is on the list.
Would I take Artest? Yes. In a second. First of all, he would change the entire defensive culure of the team the minute he steps off the plane. Plus, having him and LeBron go head to head in practice everyday could be a good thing.
Gooden would be traded, and probably Luke Jackson. Now, LeBron and Z would probably be untouchables. Hughes would be close behind them. Would the Pacers trade him to a divison rival? Probably not.
Also, Stan Van Gundy stepped down, I can't wait to see Pat Riley on the sidelines again.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
That is all
almst- I got a hand written letter from Joe Tait, Cavs announcer. Terry Pluto had an 'write an email to Joe Tait' thing a little while back in his news letter and I decided to. I forget what I wrote, but I know I mentioned sitting next to the radio listening to him announce Cavs games. When I was growing up we didn't have cable, where ALL of the Cavs homes and most of the away games were broadcast. Part of me still loves getting into the car and hearing Joe's voice call the game.
Friday, December 09, 2005
3 years before I was born, I was never even alive when he was, but I still feel a loss. I still wonder what Lennon could've done in the 80s, what music he could've made. Would he have toured? I know that most 60's artists didn't really do much after the 70s, the rest of the Beatles have had some nice songs here and there, but nothing like the 60's and 70's. Would he have reunited the band? Would that have been worth it or awful? Would he and McCartney write songs again?
"Gandhi and Martin Luther King were great examples of non-violent people who had died violently; what does that mean, that when you're such a pacifist you get shot?"
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
At the end of the game, it wasn't just LeBron making big shots. Hughes made a runner with little time left on the shot clock, Gooden made a turn around in the same situation, and Snow hit a pull up jumper from the wing (again with little time left on the shot clock). These were the daggers. The nails.
And the Cavs played defense, Z played D, Gooden took a charge, the entire team got big rebounds. As I've been saying all year, this team will be getting better as the year goes on. The defense isn't there (LeBron included) and the half court offense still needs some work. But this team will be better in April that December.
The Cavs hadn't won in Sacramento for since 98, but lets not get too far ahead of ourselves. These aren't the old Kings, the Weber, Vlade, Bibby Kings. Is it a nice win? Yes. Did the Cavs not suck too bad on their West Coast trip? Ya, but 2-1 would've been better than 1-2.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Right now I think he has to say he doesn't know. Cause if he had an answer, it'd be saying he's thinking about the perfect season. Which he doesn't want to do. The Colts are trying to win the next week and so on. The longer Dungy can put off answering perfect season questions, the better for the Colts.
But will he rest them? I HIGHLY doubt it.
Last Thursday, Dietrich was looking in the well-to-do suburb of Hudson for things like tall grass, sewer pipes and a wood pile that the father described, when her 101-pound mixed breed dog, Ricco, stopped in the woods and "just laid down and started looking at me."
Monday, December 05, 2005
Aggravating/Enjoyable Travel Note of the Week
I did not travel on Sunday. I had my first home game of the year, driving nine miles east to the Meadowlands. But I did live vicariously through Jason Cohen, my HBO compatriot and Inside the NFL production manager, who is a hopelessly addicted Browns fans. He travels to Blondies, a bar in Manhattan which is home to Browns games every Sunday, and there, with a Cleveland-loving crew, looked on in horror as first-round pick Braylon Edwards went down with what looked to be a serious knee injury. The Browns, as you know, have been snakebitten with injuries to stud receivers (see Kellen Winslow Jr.).
"Braylon goes down,'' Cohen reported, "and the following exchange goes down with two guys next to me.''
First fan: "Welcome to Cleveland, Braylon.''
Second fan: "Just hope he can run by next September.''
First fan: "Now Kellen has a bunkmate.''
I know this: Thousands of similar sentiments were spat out at bars across this great land of ours when Edwards went down. Guarantee.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
As for the other coments, about how the BCS has good matchups and blah blah blah. Look, I'll be watching exactly two bowl games this year. Ohio State vs Notre Damn, because of Ohio State. And I'll watch USC vs Texas cause it means something. Besides that, why should I care? Penn St and Florida St are playing for 3rd, I do not care. It doesn't mean anything. Sure they are both good teams, and they both have old coaches... but I don't care about either team, the outcome means nothing, why should I give a rats ass.
This is why I can never fully get behind college football: a lot of games don't mean anything. The Bowls don't matter, they just don't.
The title game matters; that's it. In every other major sport, the post season matters. College basketball, NFL, MLB, NBA and even the NHL; win or go home. Keep on winning and you win the title.
College football postseason: win or lose, you go home. And unless you're ranked 1 or 2, it doesn't matter.
I know the games 'do' actually matter. The school that wins gets more money, the winner gets a better chance a recurits and all that. There are benefits. But these same things would happen in a playoff system. You think Duke doesn't benefit on the recruiting trail by playing deep into March?
The article ends like this:
Last season, California was 10-1 but got bumped out of the Rose Bowl by Texas, a slight that caused an outcry from the Pac-10 and elsewhere.
The Ducks won't get as much sympathy this season.
And for once the BCS gets to gloat.
The BCS should not be gloating, they should be breathing a sigh of relief that neither Texas or USC lost. The BCS didn't do shit, they just got lucky nothing fucked up happened this year.
And why no sympathy for the Ducks, lets see: They lost one game (Notre Dame and OSU each have two losses), they play in a major conference, a conference that the 2 year reigning national champs reside.
As for the teams they've played... Oregon is 10-1 and their two non-conference opponents: Houston and Montana. Not exactly powerhouses. Penn State 10-1, non-con oppoenets: South Florida and Cincy. Wow, again, not powerhouses. Notre Dame had a tough schedule, but they lost to the same team Oregon did (#1 USC ) and they lost to a shitty Michigan State team. OSU has two losses, although to two very good teams (Texas and Penn State), but they are ahead of Oregon. So I don't get it. I just don't. Why shouldn't Oregon be pissed that TWO 2 loss teams are ahead of them? Huh?See, Oregon did all it could, only lost one game (to the BEST TEAM IN THE COUNTRY) and they don't get the money games. This is why theres a problem in college football. First of all, eveyone besides two teams are playing for a ranking other than 1 in the postseason. Whoo hoo, Ohio State beat ND so now we're ranked 3rd. We're number 3, we're number 3! And the teams can't decide it on the field, if this were basketball and Oregon got a shitty seed, they would just buckle down and take it out on their opponents, eventually winning a game vs a top team. But in football... they can't. They get what the voters give them. Or a computer.
Charlie Frye started his first NFL game today, and started well.... up 14-3 at the half... The Browns lost 20-14, ouch. Frye had two TD throws to Edwards, who was later injured, he was also sacked 5 times in the second half. I didn't see the game due to work, but from what I've been reading, it looks like Frye did alright.
Saturday, December 03, 2005
If you don't know any of their songs, at least check out these: I Get Along, The Boy Looked At Johnny. Boys in the Band, The Man Who Would be King, Can't Stand Me Now (their hit) and What Katie Did.
Friday, December 02, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
This has always been my philosophy with basketball (and not just because I play center too), start inside and work it back outside.
Keep sending the ball to Z or to Shaq, until the other team can prove it can stop them, or they double team. Once you get the big guy established, guards have to double down on them, and the big guy can pass it out. This leads to wide open jumpers (like Marshall's 3 in overtime) and better passing lanes. I never understand why the Rockets or the old Lakers would go away from Yao or Shaq for long stretches of the game. It's mind boggling.
When the Cavs offense breaks down its usually because Z is in foul trouble and LeBron and Hughes are carrying the load too much. If the Cavs are going to win games in the half court set Z has to play part.
Does Z need to pass it back out more often? Yes. But he's trying, hes rebounding, scoring, playing pretty good defense (he defended Brand's last shot yesterday pretty well). He played great yesterday.
Anyway, good game, ended November strong and now they got a West Coast swing coming up.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
They remind me of MJ's Bulls teams in the late-'80s -- because LeBron has reached a certain level, they're always going to win 50 games, kill any bad/mediocre/decent teams at home, and look fantastic on certain nights. But when a game comes along like that Thanksgiving game against Indiana, and suddenly they have to play defense, and somebody's actually guarding LeBron, and they're settling for jumpers and one-on-one plays over good shots ... that's when they get exposed. Let the record show that the Spurs beat them by 26 and Indy handled them by 18. Wasn't a coincidence.
(Saddest ongoing subplot: The erosion of LeBron's passing skills. Here's a guy who sees the court like Magic and used to delight in setting up his teammates ... now he's hoisting up 29 shots in some games? What happened to the guy who made everyone else better? Remember the days when we wondered whether he would average a triple-double for a season? Long gone. Honestly, I liked watching him more as a rookie. This is right up there with Lindsay Lohan losing her boobs in my book -- it's a borderline national tragedy. I can't talk about this anymore, I'm getting upset.)
I kinda agree with the passing skills. He hasn't lost them, he just doesn't set up as much right now. He still does make some amazing passes, but I don't think he uses them as much right now.
Personally, I think you'll see LeBrons passing stats go up as the year goes along. The offense is still trying to find its flow in the half court. I'll tell ya this: the Cavs will be a much better team come April than in November, and it won't even be close. LeBron will have his passing stats later on, don't worry.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
I'm with Pluto, retire his number(21)!
If you wonder why I care so much, about a player that I never saw play here's why: You like watching LeBron play? Did you like seeing Price, Daugherty and Nance play? Then thank World B. Free. He basically saved basketball in Cleveland.
The team stank, there was no interest, but Free and some coach named George Karl came in and brought the Cavs to the playoffs.
So basically, the reason the Cavs are still around is because of some guy with a crazy name.
World. B. Free.
My parents read my siblings and I many Berenstain Bear books growing up, and these books are still popular. At the Hudson Library, the Berenstain Bear books were some of our most popular kids books. And for our Holiday Book Donations at Barnes and Noble, the Berenstain Bears are some of the most requested books.
In more than 200 books, the Berenstain Bears, written and illustrated by Stan and Jan Berenstain, helped children for 40 years cope with trips to the dentist, eating junk food and cleaning their messy rooms.
The first Berenstain Bears book, "The Great Honey Hunt," was published in 1962. The couple developed the series with children's author Theodor Geisel -- better known as Dr. Seuss, then head of children's publishing at Random House -- with the goal of teaching children to read while entertaining them.
Monday, November 28, 2005
money quote from the end (which is exactly the way I feel):
Even those who voted against Mr. Bush a year ago saw little satisfaction in his woes.
"Part of me enjoys watching him squirm," said Shirley Tobias, 46, sitting with a colleague from Netscape at a coffee shop in Grandview, a suburb of Columbus. "But he's squirming on our behalf. We're all in this together."
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Turkey Bowl was awesome yet again, was it the best? No, I don't think so, but it was fun as always. We've been doing it for 7 years, and my goal is to get 10 of them in. 3 more to go (though no Samir and Jess next year).
Thanksgiving Day was good, played some jazz music, hung out with the family, and got introduced to Sudoku (which is addicting).
I think Friday night was my highlight for the weekend (as I worked all Saturday and Sunday). Jess, Sepe and I went to Brubakers Pub in Hudson, where we met up with Douche Bag. He just got back from Iraq and he's now 21. So we bought him some drinks. Anyway, Douche called up Little Stauffer and her friend. There were also a ton more Hudson kids there, many who I haven't seen for quite some time.
It was great seeing Amburgey and Melissa, I'm not gonna lie. I know I've said this before, but it bears repeating: As a trombone player, I got more out of the Hudson band then anyone else on any other instrument. I've kept in touch with so many of them, its amazing. I've talked with people from other sections, and none of them keep in touch with more than one or two people. I see a ton every year at the Turkey Bowl and I hung out with Douch and Little Stauffer at the bar.
Anyway, I'm just glad I was in that section, and got to be friends with these fuckers.
Friday, November 25, 2005
The Cavs were never in the game yesterday vs Indiana. The Pacers have more depth, have more experience and have more talent.
It looked like the Cavs were shocked at how hard the Pacers played yesterday. The Cavs half court offense (while better than last year) still needs a ton of work. Everytime LeBron or Hughes would drive the lane, someone on the Pacers rotated and contested their shot. Every. Time.
On the flip side, the Cavs played terrible defense. Guards got to the lane easily, big men made easy passes to cutters, and the Cavs couldn't guard a 3 point shooter to save their life.
The whole team played poorly, though one particular guy stood out to me.
Now this isn't to say that Jones was the worst guy out there, or that if he played better, the Cavs would have won. No, the whole team sucked yesterday, one guy won't make a difference. But Jones stood out to me.
First of all, Jones hasn' been talking to the media since Eric Snow got named the starter. Even though the Cavs are winning. And Jones is playing big minutes. But he's pouting. When he did speak to the media, he defended T.O. He's saying if the Eagle won't play him, they should cut him, so he can play somewhere else. Um... no. That's not how it works, you can't be a pain in the ass, piss off your bosses and just go somewhere else and play. You get punished. T.O. is getting punished.
But Jones did more yesterday. Jones has a little dance he does whenever he makes a 3 pointer. When the Cavs are at home and they are winning, its cute. However, when they are on national TV getting their asses handed to them, it looks retarded. But that didn't occur to Damon. He hit a three, then celebrated with his little dance/handmotion thing. Then on defense he let his man shoot 3s. A lot of 3s. Jones was guarding Jaskivioafdhjahfs the guy who almost came to the Cavs. The Euro pg who can shoot. Well, there was at least 3 times when the Pacers sent him off a pick, and Jones went under the pick (instead of fighting through it) leaving the dirty Euro open to shoot 3s. Which he made. The Pacers kept running the same play, cause Jones kept doing the wrong defensive move.
Now, it sounds like I'm ripping on Jones, and I kind of am. But if he wants to start, he has to play better defense. Not terrible defense. And showboating when down by 20 points doesn't exactly help either.
As for the rest of the Cavs, they just aren't there yet. LeBron isn't there. Hughes isn't there. Z isn't there. Offense. Defense. Nothing. Can they get there? I think so, but they needed to play a better team game in the half court, and they didn't. The Cavs should make the playoffs and hopefully get to the second round. I think they are number 4 in the East after Detroit, Indiana and Miami.
But this game might be different come April.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
This is A) the park on Rt 91 and B) the same park we've played at for the last 6 years, if you can't find this... well... good luck. If you have cones, spray paint or your neighbors driveway reflectors, bring them, we'll need to mark lines somehow. Also, if you own a football, bring said football.
On a personal note, I'd recomend wearing cleats and layers of clothes. People who own cleats have a pretty noticable advantage over non-cleaters. And I always go with the layers, cause I start out freezing but by the time the game gets going, its way too much.
Unconfirmed, but contacted
Dan Gross ("I'll be there if I'm not too hungover." Bullshit! You're playing)
Douche (and I believe Douche contacted Lemon Boy some random T-Bones from my senior year)
Not sure if contacted
Definitely Not Playing
Brian Sepe (Arizona)
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
If you want me to visit your website, please don't send me an email with the following in the title: 1. Scott Stapp 2. of Creed. I like baseball, my love for baseball is why I signed up for your newsletter. If you had just put Scott Stapp in the title, you could've fooled me. But you screwed up big time by mentioning Creed. In the future, if you want me to visit your website, offer more baseball related stuff.
What a weekend be an Ohio sports fan, the Cavs won both games this weekend, a blowout at home and a great game in Philadelphia. The Cavs were down 16 at one point, and they came back on won it.
The Philly game was Saturday night, during the day I was watching a little football game between Ohio State and Michigan. I'm not going to go into the game that in depth, but I'll say this: Troy Smith has won me over. It took me awhile, but Smith should be the starter, this is the first game I thought he really took control of. Though, I will say this, one of the annoucners mentioned how the Texas game would have turned out if Smith had played the whole game. Fair question I guess, but how much would have that changed Ohio State's season? I mean, we still lost to Penn State, and Smith played the entire time in that game. I don't know, but I'm lookin forward to his senior year.
And then the Browns shut out the Dolphins on Sunday. How the hell does that happen. And Charlie Frye played.
And it was all good.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Friday, November 18, 2005
"I'm not worried because your military commitment is delayed if you're a professional athlete," Pavlovic said. "I don't think I will have to go even when I retire because we change the rules every year in my country. We even change the name of the country. Everything will work out for Vlade."
Thursday, November 17, 2005
By the way, Newman's wife? Robin from Hangin with Mr. Cooper.
In case you've missed it, read about Sony's shitty (illegal) CD software. Oh, and boycott Sony for sometime, this shit was ridiculous.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Let's be a little bit wonky today: Yesterday, in another one of his pathetic little whines about critics of the Iraq war, George Bush, making a not-unlike-Nixon trip to Asia, stopped in Alaska to say: "Let me give you some quotes from three senior Democrat leaders: First, and I quote, 'There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons.' Another senior Democrat leader said, 'The war against terrorism will not be finished as long as Saddam Hussein is in power.' Here's another quote from a senior Democrat leader: 'Saddam Hussein, in effect, has thumbed his nose at the world community. And I think the President is approaching this in the right fashion.' They spoke the truth then, and they're speaking politics now."
Since Bush dared not speak the names of the Democrats in question or offer any context for their quotes, hey, why not do some good bloggy work here?
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Personally, I think McNabb is done for the year. He's too hurt, the team is too messed up, theres so much shit going on there. He needs the surgury, its that simple. They aren't winning with him playing hurt, might as well get it over with.
Interestingly, both McNabb and Bledsoe had killer interceptions last night, just killer. Bledsoe was being sacked and just threw it away (poorly) and it led to (seemingly) the game clinching touchdown. What an awful throw.
But McNabb may have pulled off a worse one. McNabb didn't even see the defender, threw an out rout to nodbody and Roy Williams took the ball right in for a score. We were at the bar, so there wasn't much game sound, I can't even imagine what the stadium sounded like. I'm sure you could hear a pin drop.
Monday, November 14, 2005
This will just get the Bill O'Reilly's of the world all bent out of shape. Especially with Bill fighting the War On Christmas.
(He recently stated that the phrase Happy Holidays is offensive to Christians.... Wow. As for that whole story, I always assumed Happy Holidays included: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, Chanunka and New Years. See, multiple holidays. It doesn't mean Christmas sucks, or fuck you Christians. It encompasses all holidays of this time of the year. But aparently including everyone is offensive to Bill.)
There are some fights that are worth it, and there are some that aren't. This athiest (and the Pledge of Allegience one) are going to be the face of the entire American left, whether they should or should not. Do they have a point? I think they do. Is the bad press worth it? I don't think so. This is how the whole 'Democrats hate God' shit comes about. Stories like this.
Last year, they would have lost this game. I had seen this script before, the Cavs get a large lead in the early goings, and over the course of the game, the other team makes a comeback, eventually taking the lead and winning the game. The Cavs lost games like this (off the top of my head) to Boston and New Jersey last year. They had control, then lost it. Last night showed both their lack of maturity AND their growing maturity. Did you see Marshall celebrate after he hit the tying 3 ball? No. The Cavs are still young and learning (Marshall should have never had to of taken that shot, the game shouldn't have been close). Things came undone but the Cavs held in there. And once overtime came around, it was over. They got the control back and took the game away.
The offense still needs work. There were a couple sequences like this: James gets the ball, jab step, jab step, dribble, step back jumper. Sometimes this worked, other times (like late in the game) it didn't. Austin Carr was screaming that LeBron's teammates didn't set picks for him, and that partially true. But LeBron didn't make a move towards the hoop and settled for the jumper.
The defense needs work. The Cavs had 17 point lead at half time. And the game went into overtime. I think if this game were in Cleveland, the Magic could not have come back. But the Cavs lost focus, on offense AND defense in the second half. The Cavs let their intensity slip a litte, and the Magic made them pay.
Damon Jones needs to get over himself. Jones is on a self imposed ban from the media, after coach Brown picked Snow to be the starter. Jones is going to get a ton of playing time, especially late in the game. Snow and Hughes smothered the Magic backcourt early on in the game, setting the tone. Snow may not score, but with Hughes, James and Z in the lineup, he doesn't have to.
Z haters can shut up. This was a type of game where Z was supposed to fizzle. He was playing a young kid in Dwight Howard, who is quicker and more athletic. But Z played great all game. He had some clutch rebounds, some clutch shots and some clutch defensive series. What more do you want? He's not flashy, he's not out spoken, but he is a very very good basketball player.
(On a side note, the post game interview with Z and Tait was awesome. Z talked about how even though he's been here forever, he's still finding his niche in this team full of good players. "It used to be me and LeBron would have to shoot 20 times for us to win, now thats not the case.")
This team is going to be really really good. They have an early 4 game winning streak, just imagine what this team will be like once everyone gels together... Play the Cavs now, cause you won't want to come March.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Friday, November 11, 2005
For the NL, if I had a vote, I'd have given it to Clemons.
Although, this whole 'a pitchers wins don't matter' vs 'a pitchers wins are all that matters' arguments are getting out of control.
While it's true that pitchers can't help what the rest of their team does, so if they give up 1 or 2 runs, but their team scores 0 or 1, then they pitched very well, but got unlucky. So I understand the talk for Santana and Clemons. But at the same time, pitchers are pitching in a vacum. A few runs given up early is different than a few runs given up late. If the Astros take a lead and Clemons gives it up the very next inning, those runs hurt a lot more than if he gives up a run here or there when he's spotted 5 runs.
I understand all the baseball stat stuff, I really do. But I think theres a limit to what you can measure. I tend to agree that most clutch hitting averages the same (over time) as a players normal batting average. However, if its a big AB, you'd rather have Derek Jeter up than a wide eyed rookie. Or Bip Roberts. So while I agree that the Win is overrated, I just don't think that it is completely useless. I dunno.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
I love the NBA. I'm one of the few true NBA fans out there, it's my favorite sports league, college or pro. The players are the most athletic and graceful of all the sports. I think it's the best blend of induvidual and team skills out there.
Everyonce in awhile I'll hear a friend who isn't a real big basketball fan talk about how they just can't watch the NBA anymore. The most common reasons are A) the players are all thugs, B) they just don't call traveling, C) no one tries and D) the players are all thugs.
First of all, the whole 'thug' issue is border line racist. Oh Ron Artest, Kobe Bryant, see? Iverson and his problems. His tirade versus practice. Latrel Spreewell.
How about Ray Lewis? One of the most undercovered sports trials I've ever seen. How about Leonard Little? Heard of him? He's a DE for the St Louis Rams, he killed a woman while driving drunk. Then he got a DUI a couple years later. Um? Ray Caruth? The starting running back for the Baltimore Ravens spent time in JAIL this offseason! There's the whole TO stink right now (I'm not linking to any TO news, I'm sick of it) I know it's not anywhere near as serious as the aformentioned, but he's a selfish showboat, which I thought everyone hated about the NBA?
How about Ugueth Urbina? Or Doc Gooden?
My point roughly the same as MacCallum's:
Barry Bonds acts like an idiot and that's on Barry Bonds. Terrell Owens acts
like an idiot, and that's on Terrell Owens. Iverson rants about how he dislikes
practice, and that's on the entire NBA. I can't even imagine what people would
be saying if the NBA had a steroid problem like the one plaguing baseball right
now. Or if Iverson had torn apart the 76ers in the same fashion that Owens
tore apart the Philadelphia Eagles this season, I honestly feel he would've had
to fear for his life.
Is it race? The NBA is the blackest of all the sports leagues, by far. It's also the one most linked to hip-hop culture. The baggy pants, the corn rows, all that. Black players in baseball had cornrows (I know Lofton had them for awhile, all I remebered is that I missed the flat top), and NFL players do to. But Joe Public never really sees them. NFL players have helmets on, baseball have caps. The NBA players are right out there, tank top and shorts. You see the tatoos, the emotions, the cornrows- everything. It's definitely more raw/in your face. All I know is when some one says "I hate the NBA, its full of thugs" I get a little irked.
Maybe it's not, I dunno. I do know that it's not just me who thinks this. Jason Whitlock had a great column(Insider$) about the Olympic basketball team when they sucked it up in the olympics. All those tatooed and the cornrowed millionaires misrepresenting our country. Bah.
As for the traveling nonsense... My buddy pulled this gem out the other day, "I just can't watch the NBA, they never call traveling anymore." I'm sorry, but this is the lamest excuse to not watch a sport. Just say you don't like basketball, its okay. Like man, I never watch football anymore, they just never call offensive pass interference. I used to like baseball, but the guys never really touch second base on the double plays anymore.
Do NBA players travel? It happens *cough* LeBron* cough. But it's not like there's an epidemic of walking going on. It maybe happens once a game. If this is what is keeping you away from the NBA, then stay away.
As for the whole 'not trying' complaint... Are the most tense minutes in a football game the beginning? How about baseball? Are early innings more intense than late? Basketball is the same way. They try the entire time, no one is loafing around. It's just, as the fourth quarter is closing down, the intensity picks up.
I dunno, I love the NBA, despite and because of its faults. I love the 45 month playoff system. And how the last 2 minutes of the fourth quarter take 20. (Cue lame ending) I love this game.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
With Howry its a bit different, his status depends on Wickman. If Wickman retires, then Howry becomes much more important. If Wickman decides to stay, then paying a ton for Howry doesn't make sense. In a perfect world, the Indians could sign both these guys and find a way to trade for Manny.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
(that being said, my TO and Moss on the Raiders dream could still become reality. I think Joe Buck's head would explode if he had to announce a game with T.O., Moss and Sapp)
Monday, November 07, 2005
I don't think its a big deal, if they had lost the home opener, I'd be more concerned. Then we'd have stories everyday about when Mike Brown will get his first win and all that.
The Cavs very first road game, with the new coach and new players, was against the defending world champions, who some are picking to lose 10 games or less. So they lost a game they were suposed to lose. Okay.
The Memphis loss? I can understand it, but I'm not exactly pleased. I mean, its not like Memphis is a bad team, they made the playoffs, so it's not like the Cavs lost to a patsy.
Tonight the Cavaliers play in Toronto, which is a game they should win (need to win?).
Thursday, November 03, 2005
It's hilarious as always, but I have a little beef with this coment:
Although I'm not as high on the Cavs as others -- does anyone else find it ironic that a guy who couldn't play defense (Danny Ferry) put together a team that doesn't look like it can play defense?
Ferry wasn't exactly a known defender, but he was a tought Madsen type guy. He got in peoples faces, he got dirty, he'd punch a guy here or there. My point is, Ferry hustled, and thats about 90% of defense, actually trying. So combine the trying factor with athletic people, add a defense-first coach, and there ya go.
As for a non defender putting together a team of defenders... Billy Beane couldn't exactly hit real well, but his Oakland teams tend to score runs, don't they?
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
I rarely buy computer games, the last game I bought that wasn't a Civilization game was Black and White. Needless to say, I don't play a lot of high graphic PC games. So when I bought CivIV, I learned that my computer, after 5 years, was out to date. That's a whole other story, but needless to say after some video card and rdram installing, the game is working great.
I've played a few games so far, and heres what I think:
Leonard Nimoy is sweet. Spock himself narates the game, and there are nice little quotes from throughout history for every tech you learn.
Religion is weird. This is the biggets change in CivIV and I'm still getting used to it. There are 7 religions, and they are all the same, its a matter of when you learn them. The goal is for you to try to get other Civs to adopt your relgion. The more you spread your religion, the more people like you. I haven't gotten to where I really know what I'm doing yet. I don't find myself trying to make missionaries to spread my religion (so far I try to get one early, to get it out of the way). If another civ adopts your religion, you can see into their cities, which is kinda cool. But I'm not very aggressive, I don't really start a lot of wars, so I don't particularly care what people are defending their cities with.
Bring back the Great Library! They switched up some of the Wonder attributes and I don't like it. The Great Library now gives you 2 Scientist specialists in the city you built it. The old attribute (gain any tech that two or more known civs have) is now with The Internet, which is practically useless (although, I do like that its icon is Al Gore). By the time I have The Internet I already have almost all the techs or I'm at least the most advanced.
Other Wonder stuff:
The Pyramids don't give every city on the same continent a granary any more. It now enables you to access any of the government civic functions. Honestly, either one doesn't really make sense.
There is no Darwin's Voyage Wonder, which sucks. That was a great Wodner to grab some free technology. As one poster said "They stuff the game full of religion and take out Darwin? Where was this game made, Kansas?"
Wonder Videos. Still not at cool as the CivII videos. They just aren't. Speaking of CivII stuff, still no talking advisors. Those guys where sweet. I almost never used my advisors in CivIV (or at least my advior screens).
Still no Hitler and where's Abe?. There are a ton of leaders in CivIV, the most I think to ever start a game (At the end of CivIII, after all the expansion packs, there were more total Civs and leaders). Some Civs have two leaders, which is kind of cool. Cause a French team led by Napolean has a little bit more aggression than one led by Louis XIV. The American are one of the civs with two leaders, FDR and George Washington. This is the first time the Americans have been Lincoln free, and I kind of miss the lanky bastard. The Germans also have two leaders, but neither are Hitler. I know, it probably wouldn't be the most PC thing to do to put Hitler in the game. But they have Napolean, Genghis Khan and Mao Zedong. These aren't exactly nice guys either. Meh. Also, would it kill them to have Churchill for England?
One final leader note, their clothes don't change. I know its a small beef, but since the origional Civilization, the more advanced you became, the nicer your leader dressed. When you start the game, everyone is in rags and by the time you ended you were wearing a suit. Now you start a game and Bismark is in full uniform with a metal helmet. Bah.
Workers really work. There's a ton of stuff for the little buggers to do, you can buld farms, pastures, quarries, mines, towns and a million other things. I'm not smart enough to have them do it all myself, so I just put them on automate and let them go. They don't seem to like to chop down forests as much as in III, but its still a problem.
Resources matter. There's tons of more food stuff you can trade. And you can mine marble and stone. If you get these, you're set to build some Wonders. Certain Wonders cut their production time in half if you have marble or stone. So it's good to explore early and stake your claim to the valuable land.
Settlers are different. First of all, they can move 2 spaces a turn, which is cool. But the bad thing is, there are now wild animals that attack your units, so its imperative that you send the settler out with a defense, or theres a good chance they will get eaten. I find myself having to actively push myself to make more settlers. I seem to lose track of them in my race for religion and wonders, to the point where I only build 4-5 cities. Which is bad, cause some wonders require 6 buildings to construct (6 of you cities need a University to be able to construct Oxford University).
Map Size/Game Speed. I find the default map a little too constricting. I don't mind competing with Civs for land, but I don't like dealing with 4 on a rather small continent. I like larger maps, more space, more resources, more room to let me just horde Wonders.
My cheap attack mode doesn't work any more. My CivIII tactic was to get an Right of Passage aggreement with a civ and then load my military onto their land. Once I have all my guys situated, I attack in one giant turn. I tired that in CivIV, and once you declare war, all your units move off their land.
Speaking of war, I had a tank get killed by a defending Longbowman! What the fuck. Can't we fix this shit. The longbowman is the best defensive unit in the game by far. They remain relevent for a long time (they can even stop tanks here and there).
UN Victory? Does it work? I build the UN Wonder, we have vote to see who should be UN Chairman. I have enough votes to get it, but nothing happens. I dunno, maybe I'm seeing somethin wrong (not everyone voted for me, but I'd get 500+ and I'd need 423 out of a possible 600+... I dunno)
Inside jokes/cool stuff. As mentioned with the Al Gore/Internet Wonder joke above, there are some fun Easter Egg type things. There are a ton of Great People (prophets, artists, scientists, merchants etc) and they each get unique names from throughout history. These are just cool to see, Shaskpere, Plato, etc. Fun stuff. The quote for the Rock and Roll tech (and the song for the Rock and Roll Wonder) is by the Velvet Underground. Cool stuff.
Now, I kinda agree with Whitlock on this, but it's not that simple. And maybe it's not race at all, I dunno, but it doesn't look good.
The fact remains that Willingham was Notre Damn first black coach. He also happens to be the first Notre Damn coach that was didn't get to complete his first contract (he was fired after 3 of the 5 seasons).
Charlie Weis comes in, takes all of Willingham's players and scores a lot of points. Starts off worse than Willingham did during his first year. Then gets a 10 year deal.
Again, is it race? Probably not, at least its not the simple 'I hate blacks/I love whites' line of thinking. But, if nothing else, it looks bad.
Bill Livingston on how Z is actually appreciated
Bud Shaw on new coach Mike Brown
Terry Pluto is being optimistic for the season
My favorite part is Livingston talking about Z's defense (and his critics, like the PD's Roger Brown):
Z often seems to be strictly an offensive guy. The battering his feet took early in his career robbed him of what quickness he had on defense.
Still, he was among the leaders in blocked shots last season, while serving as the besieged last line of defense. That should improve this year, both because of Brown's emphasis on getting stops and because of the addition of guard Larry Hughes.
It might be surprising how much better Ilgauskas looks on defense this year when he is not having to pick up guards who have blown past Jeff McInnis.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Cause personally, I'd rather have my side look good than have the country try to improve.
Monday, October 31, 2005
I agree, after a loss like that, it's time to see Frye get some time. I mean, Houston! Come on guys.
As for Shaw... I don't know how saying that Crennel looks like a defensive coordinator helps anything. I mean, this team has had little talent over the past few years, it's not like Romeo is messing around with a stacked deck here. Personally, I think this year is a wash no matter what. Start judging Romeo in a year. If the Browns are still this bad come Halloween '06....
Also, Terry Pluto talks about Gooden's defense and rebounding, Frye's chances of playing and the possible return of Brian Giles.
Oh, and more amo to shoot down those 'James to mythical big market team' rumors (from the first link):
Want to know the definition of being filthy rich? How about buying a $2 million home and then tearing it down. That's what James did with his Bath-area home over the summer, which he bought for $2.1 million before his rookie season in 2003. He plans to rebuild on the lot.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Thursday, October 27, 2005
However, Will Perdue has them finishing fourth in the division and NINETH in the conference. So he's prediciting the Cavs won't make the playoffs. So the Cavs add Larry Hughes, Donyell Marshall and Damon Jones (oh, and a healthy Luke Jackson) and DON'T improve in the East? Good, I'm glad he's getting paid to write about basketball. Way to waste some money ESPN. (Purdue is also counting on Tim Thomas to resurrect his career with the Bulls, I'll take that bet).
On the other hand, John Hollinger has them 1st in the division and 2nd in the conference overall:
Take a team that won 42 games with zero long-range shooting. Add two of the league's top bombers and, for good measure, replace Ira Newble with Larry Hughes. Jackpot.I like his thinking!
Most guys seem to think that their defense will be a problem, and I don't buy it. If anything, I think the offense will struggle, especially early on. I think coach Brown will have them working their asses off on D.
Well, it doesn't really suck, its just that its old, I got the computer when I first got to college 5 years ago. Everything works great, it just can't handle the Civ IV. The graphics, the sound... it all looks sweet. And once I upgrade the RAM and video card, it should run clean as a whistle.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Though I have to say I liked his Courtney Love-Kurt Cobain joke from the Pam Anderson roast (How is it possible that Courtney Love looks worse than Kurt Cobain?) better. Also, gotta love the Norm mention.
Q: Do you have any ideas for cool Halloween costumes? I'm sick of the slutty nurse, slutty french maid, slutty [insert female occupation here]. What is the Sports Gal going as?
--Jen M., Middletown, N.J.
SG: The Sports Gal is going as a mother of a young baby who doesn't sleep enough -- a permanent scowl and eye bags and you're all set. But I'm glad you asked because a person's Halloween costume says a lot about them, especially females. Halloween costume choices are distant cousins of playing pool at a bar. In bar pool, there are two types of women -- the ones who bend over because that's the only real way to make a successful shot, or the ones who perform a half-crouch so their butt doesn't stick out ... hence, jeopardizing their chances and proving to everyone that they don't really care about winning the game, and they're only playing so guys will check them out.
(Just for the record, I dated only two half-crouchers, and neither of them lasted long. Any woman worth her salt will bend over, stick her butt out, try to make the shot and deal with the consequences of random drunken dudes leering at her rear end. This separates the keepers from the pretenders if you're choosing a mate for life -- I'm telling you. Don't end up with a half-croucher. These are also the women who wear makeup to bed during the first 6-7 weeks you're dating and pretend they never go to the bathroom until you've been dating for like four years.)
Anyway, here are the three groups of female Halloween costumes:
Group A: Girls who use their costumes as an excuse to get attention from guys. Common examples include the slutty bunny/cat/genie/nurse/angel/cop/french maid/schoolgirl or slutty anything-with-a-tail. Please note, I'm not against any of these costumes -- in fact, I support and applaud them. Mainly because they can be the equivalent of somebody holding up a sign and saying either, "I'm up for some casual sex tonight" or "I'm definitely ready to start cheating on my boyfriend." But here's the problem: Sometimes the girls who make these choices are the quiet/uptight/prudish types who think this is their way of letting loose for the year. So it's almost like playing roulette, trying to figure out what their intentions are.
(By the way, for a less trendy, somewhat slutty costume, you might want to break out the cowgirl or dominatrix gimmicks -- more elaborate, more expensive, but also more respectable, more commendable. You can't go wrong. If you don't have the money, steal it.)
Group B: Girls who go overboard and end up stuck wearing a sweaty mask or costume that legitimately hinders them for the entire night. This is bad -- like Donna Martin dressing as a mermaid for the West Beverly High Halloween party. Could potentially kill your night. Plus, you always get like four monster zits after wearing a sweaty Halloween mask for too long.
Group C: Girls who are downright creative with their costumes. For instance, two years ago at the "Jimmy Kimmel Live" Halloween party, Sarah Silverman dressed up as Sexy Hitler (basically, Hitler in drag as a sexy woman). People at the party were floored. In fact, my editors are floored right now as they decide whether this paragraph can run. But those are the costumes you end up remembering, not the 550,000,000th person who dressed up like a slutty cat.
Without further ado, four suggestions for Halloween, 2005:
Costume No. 1: "Taradise"
This bangs out the "I'm still cute, you might want to think about hooking up with me later" angle, but it's also funny -- you need a blonde wig, a slutty outfit, a liquor bottle, smeared lipstick, fake scrapes on your knees and giant fake knockers. And you just need to stumble around and scream crazy things while your friends hold you up. Later, when you get drunk and start acting like this for real, people will assume that you're still playing the "Taradise" role. This also works for Courtney Love if you want to go in that direction.
If you're going slutty, go all out -- wear a stripper's outfit, stick dollar bills in your garter belt and carry around a makeshift stripper's pole. Why not go all the way? People will notice you. Especially if you're attending a party that includes Clinton Portis.
Costume No. 3: Nicole Richie
Dress in a skeleton outfit, only with fancy clothes on. Can't miss and a guaranteed laugh when someone asks who you are.
Costume No. 4: Generic Women's College Basketball Coach
My personal favorite. First, go to Marshall's and buy the ugliest beige pants suit you can find. Second, buy a Nancy Reagan wig. Third, buy 8-inch high heels and practice walking awkwardly in them. Fourth, learn how to do that whistle where you stick your index and pinky fingers in your mouth, then make an excruciatingly loud noise. And you're good to go.
In the ABJ, Tom Reeds mentions how Browns fans remember Tim Couch getting killed, but he points towards Eli Manning and Byron Leftwich as the other way it could turn out. I see his point, same thing with Peyton Manning. (In the PD, Roger Browns talks about Frye starting, this is after I think he makes up a 'Mike Piazza to the Indians' rumor and debunks it).
But lets look at David Carr of the Texans. Hows that going? Or how about Carson Palmer, who didn't play and just sat and learned? That seemed to work out. And that Tom Brady character, he seemed to back up for awhile.
So both sides have an argument. Some guys have done well after getting beat up, some guys do well by waiting and learning. I think, since the Browns have an okay running game and okay recievers, I'd rather have Frye sit and wait.
Plus, if you put Frye in now, it tells everyone that this year is over (okay, it was never really an issue, but still).
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Where does book 11 fit? Well, I think it's better than 7-10, though during my last re-read I really enjoyed those books more than I remember. What happens is a new WoT book comes out, and I waited 2+ years for it. So I buy it the first day it comes out, and rush through it. I'm so eager for new plot stuff that I just race through the entire thing. And during that first read, if I'm not reading about Mat, Perrin or Rand, then I'm pissed. But during a reread, where I know ahead of time I'm not going to be seeing the main 3, I can appreciate it a lot more.
But Knife of Dreams, was it worth the wait? I say yes, stuff happens, it's not all politcal, there's a good deal that occurs, some stuff I figured I'd never see. Needless to say, exciting, fun stuff.
As for what that stuff is.... well... spoilers and all that jazz...
The overall sense of the book was 'the end is near,' the last battle is coming. More and more dead people keep popping up, and even a whole town. The world ripples from time to time and the builings change. Like the hallways and the like. Rooms disagpear.
The book definitely had some smiling/chill moments. What I define as a smiling/chill moment is when I read or hear something and I just grin or get chills. Examples are whenever I read the part in The Great Hunt where Mat blows the Horn or when I first heard George Harrison's version of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. I just get chills and start grinning. Well, this book had its moments too.
The first time was when Nynaeve went to the Borderlands and recruited people to ride for Malkier. Seeing here ask the men to ride with Lan, for their forgotten country... awesome. I mean, that is just cool.
The second really sweet part was the Trolloc attack on Rand in...(okay, so I forget what palace he was in at the time, he jumps around a lot). Rand and Logain began to fight back witht he normal fireballs and stuff... but then Rand loses control of saidin and Lews Therin takes over. Rand can't control whats going on and he starts making crazy weapons. And they are bad ass. These giant fire flower tornado things (or something like that) and some Deathgates (like gateways). And he just keeps doing cool shit, but Rand has no idea what he's doing and can't control it. Also, Logain starts copying the weaves, so you have a lot of badass shit happening.
Those two scenes stuck out to me as the best in the book.
But the biggest part of the book was that plot threads got wrapped up. Jordan spent a lot of the last few books setting things up; positions people and events, like a calm before the storm. Well, a lot of them end here. Perrin and Faile get reunited, which I was grateful for. I just got sick of all the Shaido Aiel stuff to be honest. Just plain sick of them, and when they captured Faile, which made Perrin stop doing cool wolf kickass stuff, well, this shit had to end.
And it does here, it actually ends. The only real intersting part of the whole Faile rescue was the fact that Perrin had to fight Aram, the tinker. I think this was Jordan's 'gasp' moment: Aram turning on Perrin. Not completely unforseen, but many people (including myself) liked Aram. I liked the violent tinker. It's too bad he died. [The 'gasp' moment Jordan mentioned was the Ayamar's mass suicide, meh].
Also, one of Min's first viewings of Rand was of a bloody hand. This could've been about his heron-marked hands or maybe Mat's Band of the Red Hand. But we learn in book 11 it had to do with him losing his (left?) hand, in a fight with Semirhage. It was a quick battle, Rand went to see the Seanchan, expecting to see the Daughter of Nine Moons, and he's strolling up with a bunch of channelers and they get attacked by Semirhage. But Rand is the only main person seriously hurt and Semirhage gets captured rather easily. I'm torn on this scene. It felt really really rushed (as was the Aram scene), and though it was cool, it just went too quick.
The Band of the Red Hand returns, which is always fun, with Olver and is 'Uncles.' The Mat and Tuon scenes are some of the most fun in the book, with each side not trusting the others cultural beliefs. Oh, they finally get married. Mat is actually married to the Daughter of Nine Moons, I never thought I'd see the day.
Elayne's main plot thread wraps up nicely too. She wins the Crown of Andor AND she captures some Black Ajah (but not before getting caught hereself). I was worried sick when Elayne got captured towards the end of the book, cause I didn't want this thread hanging over into the next one. It was so close to being completed that I wanted it finished, I didn't want to wait. And thank God, I didn't. Jordan had her saved within a chapter or two and that was that.
Also, the Rebel sisters figure out that Halima can channel saidin and she ran off. We find out who ratted out the Rebels to Elaida and we figure out who killed Adelas. Also, we see Tam and Elyas again (but still no Hurin).
My big surprise was that Jordan might still bring back Moiraine. We finally get to see the letter that she wrote to Thom. Mat asks to see and Thom shows it to him, thats all it took. And they mention the plan to go save her, with the Tower of Ghengi and all of that. (See various wotmania.com theories for more explanation). After book Crossroads of Twilight, I didn't expect to see Moiraine again, I figured with the way the plot was trodding along now, there's no way we'd see her again with two books left. I mean, at this point she's been gone for more books than she was in.
Overall, I enjoyed it a lot. But I was going to enjoy it no matter what. Personally, I don't think Jordan can finish up the series in just one more book. I just don't. And I'd rather he not. Since we're close to the end, and we can all see it coming, I don't really mind waiting for him to take his time. I'd rather him take 5 years and have a thorough, complete last battle with lots of detail, instead of some quick stuff. Like if Logain comes in and says he just battled Taim and killed him. That would suck, I need to see everything happen. He spent tons of time and pages building up these stories, and if he just runs through the last book just to finish it... oiy.
But anyway, for more thoughts on the book (cause this post took me awhile, I'm not exactly sure how coherent this is), here's a KoD discussion I recently had, enjoy:
AJBoucek: so. what were your thoguhts on the book
AJBoucek: now that i've been through it
Benny08302: i think he rushed stuff
Benny08302: i mean, i enjoyed it, but i was going to enjoy it no matter what, you know?
AJBoucek: i think he should have brought mat perrin and rand together as they were in the first few books...at least periodically
AJBoucek: that way we can get all the main characters and storyline moving in minimum pages
Benny08302: plus i tend to rush through a new one right when i get, i enjoy them more on rereads
Benny08302: yea, like he keeps hinting at shit
Benny08302: like that mat perrin and rand should be to together
Benny08302: but he doesnt do it
AJBoucek: i hate how he writes sometimes. he'll spend a chapter on some random character i don't care about...and its not that i don't enjoy the sidestory point of view....but the whole time i'm thinking of how i'd rather be reading about the main characters
AJBoucek: so taims demandred?......thats what i gather. not like it hasn't been assumed for the last few books
Benny08302: tahts what im sayin, i did a reread a few summers ago, and really enjoyed the secondary character stuff, but when i read it the first time i get all pissed off that im not reading about a main character
AJBoucek: its like if you would come out with them faster i wouldn't mind all that stuff
AJBoucek: btu i feel like "ok i get 600 pages for the next 3 years....." and then it turns out 200 of them are on shit i don't really care for
Benny08302: allegedly this is the second to alst book
AJBoucek: i really hate elaynes point of view
AJBoucek: yeah 13 is the number i think
AJBoucek: 13 spokes on a wheel
Benny08302: yea, plus i think theres no way he ends it in one book
AJBoucek: but i had heard this was going to bethe last battle book
AJBoucek: and trhe next was going to be like new age of legends shit....and then in the final book he does shit with a new age or something. but i guess not
Benny08302: i thought the taim/demandred thing was debunked
AJBoucek: like you firgure he killed all those forsaken and now they're back
Benny08302: he has to start the whole moiraine rescue
AJBoucek: clarify what you mean by debunked?
Benny08302: and complete it
Benny08302: like i thought a character (i forget, some punk) talked to taim and then talked to demandred, and thus proved that they werent the same
Benny08302: or some crap
AJBoucek: i really dislike the women point of views. i wish he'd write just from mat/rand/perrin for the last few books and knock this shit out
AJBoucek: i dunno taim is one of the forsaken though
AJBoucek: that last line where he says "let the lord of chaos rule"
AJBoucek: \wasn't it only the forsaken that had that order
AJBoucek: like all the forsaken he killed are alive again.....like come on, is balefire good for nothing
AJBoucek: i had counted them as finished plotlines...now its like hes going to have to deal with them all again...or all at once which i think would be kidna lame myself
Benny08302: like, i assumed we were going to get smaller towards the end, all the characters would meet up and then we'd have a single point of view (or mulitple points of view from one scene)
AJBoucek: like tie up loose ends and bring everything back together
AJBoucek: i don't want the series to end with a bunch of shit not resolved ect
Benny08302: yea, but i hope he doesnt just try to tie shit up really quickly
Benny08302: like he killed aram in two paragraphs
AJBoucek: like if the books end without giving closure to certain characters ect it would be kind of lame.
AJBoucek: i hated aram anyway
AJBoucek: aram was a little punk bitch
Benny08302: true, but it was like hey my body guard is attacking me, hey hes full of arrows, next page
Benny08302: and the whole faile rescue was anticlimatic
Benny08302: for being drawn out for like 5 books
AJBoucek: i liked the chapter where lan left nynaeve to go to tarwins gap and then she goes and rallies all those malkier ppl for him
Benny08302: yea, that scene and the scene where rand lost control and lews therin started doign crazy shit
AJBoucek: i personally wish faile had died a long time ago. i was never a fan of her character and i think perrin's character would be a lot more interesting if he was like this brooding general type who lost his wife
Benny08302: i did like the tam apperance
AJBoucek: yeah its just like rand never tells anyone wabout lwes therin
Benny08302: like if the last battle doesnt involve mat, perrin, rand and a comination of lan/tam/logain/elyas killing things...
AJBoucek: logain is bitching about how hes holding onto the soure ect and rand says nothing but he should say "hey i'd shut your fucking mouth before this crazy guy kills us all"
Benny08302: and the whole semirhige thing was too quick also
AJBoucek: thast what makes the interactions so good but so irritating at teh same time. no two characters are ever aware of all teh information at the same time
AJBoucek: so its like theres that "whens he gonna find out" kind of feel
Benny08302: which he kinda does n purpose to make it like 'real life' because no one always shares everything, but as a reader, reading along watching,its frustrating
Benny08302: like the whole halima shit
Benny08302: with egwene, your god damn headaches are from the bitch
AJBoucek: i hate how the men take it up the ass too. they just let women walk all over them in these books.
Benny08302: also, no fain/shadar harin/slayer, waht gives
Benny08302: no fade/dark one rape scenes
AJBoucek: like come the fuck on you 3 are ta'veren and have all these powers/skills ect and yet you let these people who don't know teh half of it walk all over you
AJBoucek: haha rape scenes
AJBoucek: yeah what ever happend with that slayer guy...i bet he shows up at tower og ghenji
AJBoucek: wasn't he like half rands uncle or something
Benny08302: yea, like a lan uncle/rand uncle combo or some crap
AJBoucek: i hate fain too. i think he shoulda been killed off in any number of the scenes rands fought with him. everytime i think "this will be the end of that fucking jew peddler" but no he makes it out alive
Benny08302: hes gonna be gollum
AJBoucek: yeah but the female points of view like elaynes ect...those kill the whole books
AJBoucek: like they make book 5 unreadable
AJBoucek: in tanchico.....and this book gets really boring in those chapters
Benny08302: also, aviendha can now tell ter'angreal by touching them
AJBoucek: that was kinda cool. it at least added something to elayne bitching about her 'babes'
Benny08302: so egwene can make cuellindar, nynaeve can heal stilling, elayne can make ter'angreal and they are all super powerful
AJBoucek: they should just have rand mat and perrin come together and start killing shit.
Benny08302: yes, a scene with mats luck, the wolves and rand blowing shit up
AJBoucek: and like that steam engine thing....
Benny08302: mat can make guns
AJBoucek: like herid fel was a cool character until the gholam wasted him
Benny08302: yea, that thing wasnt in here either
AJBoucek: but that was way back
AJBoucek: now they bring up his steam engine and shit....its like jordans way of ushering in a new age
AJBoucek: rememebr when that gholam killed that old guy fell in cairenhein
AJBoucek: like apparently that guy had solved soem jaor shit....but never got to reveal it b/c he died
AJBoucek: i bet thats never resolved
Benny08302: i thought he gave rand the idea on how to cleanse sadin
AJBoucek: like the earlier books there was more face time with the main people and more oh them actually fighting or doing shit. now its kinda like a news report. "rand met with bashere, rand traveled here"
AJBoucek: much less personal or soemthing, i dunno
Benny08302: mats gotten decent face time the last few books, which has been cool, i like mat
AJBoucek: maybe i missed that....i thoguht he died before he could tell anyone and they made it out to be this huge thing
AJBoucek: yeah mat had a good story this book
Benny08302: perrins face time has been annoying as hell
Benny08302: and rands has been uneventful
AJBoucek: but at the same time i feel like......you spent the whole book riding with valan luca and tuon...get to advancing this shit faster
Benny08302: im just glad theres no more luca
Benny08302: i like how he basically said the noal was jain farstrider
Benny08302: er... 'cousins'
AJBoucek: see i think i'm forgetting shit b/c how did mat first end up with jain
AJBoucek: lor noal if you will
Benny08302: he saved him from the gholam i think
Benny08302: at soem point, and then just stuck around
AJBoucek: i didn't reread shit when i picked this one up so i was like just going with the flow when they named 50 dif aes sedai i didn't remember and shit
Benny08302: plus there was 'noal' sightings throughout the early books, old wrangly hermit guy hanging out in the background
AJBoucek: i was unaware of this