Thursday, August 29, 2013

College Football Predictions Week 1

I'm adding point-spreads to this year's prediction tally for entertainment purposes only.(odds from

Week 1

North Carolina at South Carolina (-14) - Cocky 35 UNC 20 SC is one of the best teams in the country, UNC is not

Utah State at Utah (-2.5) - Utah St 27 Utah 17 Utah St is going to be pretty good this year

Ole Miss (-3) at Vanderbilt - Ole Miss 28 Vandy 10 Ole Miss is loaded with talent.

Rutgers at Fresno State(-9.5) - Rutgers 7 Fresno St 31 Fresno is the real deal, even with a Carr at QB

USC (-21.5) at Hawaii - USC 28 Hawaii 21 Let the Layne Kiffin deathwatch commence

Texas Tech (-5.5) at SMU - TTech 42 SMU 14 Underestimating Kingsbury is a mistake

Southern at Houston (-40) - Southern 17 UH 42 These Cougars are not good. Levine is overmatched.

North Dakota State at Kansas State (-13) - NDSU 14 KSU 42 Bison fans are acting like App St. Won't happen.

Rice at Texas A&M (-26.5) - Rice 10 aTm 56 No Manziel in the 1st half won't matter

Central Michigan at Michigan (-31.5) - CMU 17 Big Blue 34 I don't like this line for Michigan, I just don't.

Mississippi St. at Oklahoma St. (-12.5)[Game played on Reliant Statium's (Houston) horrible turf] - MSU 7 OSU 38 It's not that I think the Pokes are good (they won't win the Big Twen) but Miss St is pretty bad.

BYU (-1) at Virginia - BYU 17 Virginia 14 This is one of those games where I want to pick an upset, but just can't.

Louisiana-Lafayette at Arkansas (-10.5) - ULaLa 20 Hogs 17 Upset special, I still think the Hogs are bad

Alabama (-19.5) at Virginia Tech - Bama 42 VaTech 3 VaTech isn't that good either. Bama coasts.

Louisiana-Monroe at Oklahoma (-22) - ULaMo 17 OU 35 I don't think the Sooners will be threatened, but I do think 22 pts is a stretch.

New Mexico St. at Texas (-42) - NMSU 10 UT-Austin 24 No way the Horns win by 42

And finally.......

LSU (-4.5) at TCU [Game played in Jerry's World (Dallas)] - LSU 3 TCU 2 This won't be the real score, but it will be low and it will be close. Take the under. Neither offense is any good

Final thought: - I don't know who thought it was wise to put Pitt on a Monday night prime-time game, but Florida State is going to mop the floor with them.

Let's get this season started!

Monday, August 26, 2013

It's going to take more than Ed Reed to fix this.

Anyone with a good set of eyes, or the correct prescription on their corrective lenses, saw a Texans defensive backfield on Sunday that is taking on water. For the Chron however, things are all systems go.

Long time readers of the Chronicle will not be surprised by this. Despite the fact that the Three Stooges (McClain, Harvey and Solomon) enjoy access to the team (or maybe because of it) they fail to add any decent criticism other than the occasional "pathetic" or "awful" or "worst I've ever seen" blather on Twitter. Most Sports coverage on the Chron then is limited to Rah! Rah! stuff and typically fails to address substantive issues if they put the local folks in a negative light. Because of this we're fed the party line that "Ed Reed is the savior we've been waiting for" and somehow his presence is going to increase the man coverage ability of a fading Jonathan Joseph.

It's easy to take a look at the Texans defensive backfield and make the assumption that the weakness is the safety position. Too easy because that doesn't really tell the whole story.

1. Corner is a concern. - As stated previously, Joseph's cover ability has fallen off since his first year. Last year the excuse was injuries, this year the excuse is "it's just pre-season". Amazingly, the best cover corner that I see on the Texans' roster right now is Kareem Jackson. Once you get past the starting two however things start to degenerate fairly quickly. Brice McCain is a servicable back-up, but Brandon Harris has been sub-par. I can't see any scenario where Roc Carmichael makes the team. A.J. Bouye is just a guy. Maybe Joseph picks up his game. If not?

2. Safety. - Take away Daniel Manning, and what you're left with is a pile of below average. I realize that Ed Reed is going to be viewed as the second coming but, so far, we've yet to see him in anything other than street clothes. D.J. Swearinger can't unseat Shiloh Keo as the first string starter in Reed's absence. Think about that.

3. Linebacker - On paper, the starting 4 of Mercilus, Mays, Cushing and Reed is pretty sound, and Braman, Dobbins, Sharpton and Jefferson are fairly solid back-ups. You just hope that injuries don't plague this unit because the margin for error is pretty slim.

4. D-Line. - Watt, Watt, Watt. That's the key. If he's healthy the D-line is solid. Mitchell is servicable at the NT position and Antonio Smith is good when he's not having a mental melt-down. The problem is Smith is usually good for one or two of those per game. Why the Texans spent money on him is beyond me. They should have cut him and picked up someone in the $2-3 Million range in free agency.

In most cases the defense should be OK barring injury, but the same can be said for most defenses in the NFL. If the injury bug bites any team it's going to hurt. For the secondary however it's a very real possibility that the defensive backfield isn't going to be very good regardless of health. The Texans have not distinguished themselves when it comes to identifying good corner or safety talent. They got in a mess during the off-season and ended up buying damaged goods in the form of Ed Reed. Now they're stuck with it, for better or for worse.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Weekly Menu (08/22/2013)

OK, admittedly, having enough interest to do something daily was a bit of a stretch.


If you think eating breakfast for dinner is a "trend", You might be foodborg.

Main Courses:

People prefer wide-body aircraft. In related news, water is wet.

The Nation's auto media have their marching orders: Pimp the horrible new Chevy Sonic.

I always worry when movie critics give us "X movies we're dying to see" or that "you must see". Typically the result is an opinion piece written by someone who knows very little about what makes a good movie.

In the battle between UFC and the unions it's getting really hard to pick out a good guy.

There are seven days until the start of College Football. You're welcome.


Just in case (like me) you find your fantasy football drafts rapidly approaching


Izmir, Turkey - Definitely on "the list".

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

UT-Austin will never admit it....

....But aTm is kicking the crap out of them right now.

Yes, I realize that "you're Texas" and all of the trappings that go with that. The money, the merchandise sales, the past-their-prime coaches in the revenue sports. But the fact of the matter is, due mainly to their inclusing in a superior conference, aTm is consistenly beating the wheezing, creaking machine that is the Deloss Dodds empire to the punch over and over.

aTm gets LSU (in what is sure to be a Nationally televised regional Thanksgiving Day game) while UT-Austin is stuck with TCU broadcast regionally. aTm gets the CBS national exposure, aTm gets the financially struggling Lohghorn Network and the T-shirt fan. By almost every metric aTm is opening up a can of whoop-tuckus on UT-Austin right now and the latter is too stuck in their Austin-centric coccoon to truly realize it.

Not that this can't (and won't) turn around. Eventually the College Football landscape is going to transform to four 16-18 team "superconferences" and UT-Austin will probably be attached to the Pacific version of that. When that happens and the Dodds vanity project that is the Longhorn Network is finally put out to pasture (it will happen) then UT-Austin will find itself inching back ahead of aTm who find themselves one bad season away from becoming a permanent Mississippi State.

Like it or not Aggie fan, UT-Austin is the flagship University for the great State of Texas. Until they return to a place of National prominence they're going to have to satisfy themselves with bagfulls of money, replays of Vince Young's Rose Bowl performance and their place near the upper-echelon of a second-tier conference that's rapidly falling in upon itself. Fortunately for UT-Austin fans, their time spent admiring themselves in the mirror will more than make up for the fact that their results on the field will continue to be just about average.

Monday, August 19, 2013

As I've said, I'm not blogging politics any longer.

But if you desire a political fix I'm going to make a recommdation:

Evan, From Rick Perry vs. World.

He's not always correct in his guesses, but he's right a lot more often than he's wrong, and he writes from a Conservative perspective that's missing in today's Texas LockStep Political Media Age when calling Cal Jillison or Matt Angle is considered good enough.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

2 new sets of pictures

Uploaded 2 new sets of pictures:

2013 Atlantic City Trip

Misc. Food Drink & Cars

Doesn't get much better than that.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Science is dead (Part I)

On previous blogs, Twitter, Facebook and in various pubs sharing beers with friends I've long lamented the death of science and the scientific model. Of science, I've always been somewhat of a fan. Growing up in Midland, Texas I was in close proximity to the McDonald Observatory and my best childhood friend dreamed of having a job there. We also had a thing for chemistry. It's a miracle that we all walked away without major physical damage as we often tried combining common household chemicals in an attempt to create the greatest ant-killer man has ever seen.

As I grew into my teens, and in Jr. High and High School, I continued taking advanced science classes despite the fact that I was more suited to arithmetic (as my current accounting career testifies) than I was jumping onto the calculus and spinning the universal bottle. Even though I'm currently out of the science game, I never truly lost interest in its practice, nor have I stopped being amazed by the discoveries it produced.

In recent years I've been dismayed. Science, as I learned it, is dead. When Al Gore convinced the scientific community to help make him and his investors filthy rich (and, conduct one of the greatest long-cons ever on humanity) the scientific method as we knew it ran into a corner and coalesced with the Dodo bird over a nice Pimm's. Gone were observation and hypothesis to be replaced with faulty hockey-sticks, computer models that ignored the principle of GIGO and monolithic quasi-governmental agencies who decided who could, and who couldn't, make observation of fact. From open sharing sprang a herd of Mini-Lord Kelvin's convinced that everything which needed to be invented already has. A natural, cyclical, trend was immediately basterdized and attributed entirely to man's 3% contribution wrapped up neatly in a nice-cinematic Inconvenient bow that contained several easily-identifiable factual errors.

A bigger concern (to me) was that the conversation around climate-change switched from "what can we do when it gets here?" to "how are we going to stop it?" Overnight green became not a color but a movement and a (dodgy) political party and before we knew it the world was on about "carbon footprints" and a host of other items that were a.)Pretty impossible to truly quantify and b.)Not going to matter much in the grand scheme of things. Don't believe me? Go see how much carbon it takes to manufacture the "green" Toyota Prius.

They say that all serious movements are finished the moment they become a status symbol, and this is what happened to the Green movement. Once Hollywood got their claws dug in, it was pretty much over for those of a conservation persuasion as the ecomentalists were here, and in a big way. The biggest problem, due to the fact that the movement has no real science behind it, is that you can't shame a carnival barker. That's why Al Gore's house generates more carbon than Mexico and he sold his eco-TV network to the Middle-East oil magnates and still can stand up and give a speech about the "tipping point" without immediately dropping dead of shame. It's why Thomas Friedman still has a job despite being wrong on almost every economic statement he's made and living in a palatial home that would make Midas blush. At least, when the sea wouldn't stop despite his commands, King Canute learned something about humility before God. Al Gore and his minions seem to thrive on the very act of being proven wrong.

The downshot of all of this is that science, real science, is all but extinct. What's even worse however is that the pseudo-science that we're left with can't even get their fake conclusions right.

After all, we all know that all of the jerks who used to drive BMW's have now moved on to the much more stylish Audi.

Daily Menu (08/16/13)


College Football begins 19 days from now - And there was much rejoicing.


Let's start with the death of the scientific method - One study, involving several factors, cannot be used to decide that one of those factors is a driver in mortality rates (despite what the nutritionist industry wants you to believe).

The Truth is out there - OK, by "truth" I mean fodder for those of a black helicopter persuasion.

When Psuedo-Conservative "warriors" go all populist touchy-feely the results aren't pretty. - I think Greg Abbott is going to be our next Governor. That being said I don't think he's going to be an especially good one.

I would seriously hope that the majority of people who are to be America's new overlords would not be fooled by this. - What does it say about us that they've been feeding and clothing us for years now?

Main Course

Most area schools star Monday. What this means for most of us is that Monday traffic is going to be a nightmare. On these day's I find it easiest to treat the day like daylight savings time. I set my alarm one hour earlier and leave for work accordingly. The primary message here is this: Be careful. Kids are excited, newly minted High School drivers are jacked up on Amp and Rock Star, and you just never know what's going to zig when you think it's going to zag. All that said, stay-at-home parents everywhere will be the ones walking around the malls smiling maniacally as they celebrate their first day of freedom in months.


I would just like to point out that Dick Tracy has had one of these for years now.


RIP to the Chevy Volt - And good riddance. If anything, we've learned that creating an overpriced, horrible car for purely political reasons is a non-starter with the majority of Americans.

Don't forget to tip the wait-staff.

Sunday, August 11, 2013



For those of you who followed any of my previous blogs this is where I'm going to be in the future.  It's neither a food blog, or a sports blog, or a politics blog, or much of anything really, other than random thoughts and things that I like.

You might like some of these things, you might not.  The good news is you have a choice whether or not to read, share, ignore, etc.  In keeping with my recent blogging I'm disabling comments on here because I think that on-line, anonymous, commenting is where intelligence goes to die.

So, pull up a chair, order a drink (or three) and let's have some fun.

An ode to the taco

It's very trendy, for some, to crack on fast food and other places but even those of a no-fun persuasion might be convinced that this is pretty cool:

Wendy Roo: Tacos for every meal.

Yes, yes please.