Not-So-Random Thoughts

Not-So-Random Thoughts

It’s an off-day, so it’s time for some more not-so-random thoughts. I’ve had some things on my mind. Here are a few of them…

Enter the Kingdom of Awesome.

–This is the greatest thing I’ve seen in a while. If you love The Wire (and who doesn’t?), you’ll love this. It’s The Wire RPG.

Pointer Pointer!

–So I just finished “Paterno,” the latest from our friend Joe Posnanski. Posnanski is the best sportswriter in America, so it’s obviously well-written, but no one is judging this book by the quality of the writing.

Poz was really in a no-win situation. He went to Happy Valley expecting to write a certain type of book — a celebration of the career of Penn State football coach and anointed saint Joe Paterno — and it turned into a completely different book after the revelation of the unimaginable horrors perpetrated by Paterno’s long-time assistant Jerry Sandusky.

I liked the book, and I thought it was even-handed. If you are looking for a slash and burn attack on Paterno, you aren’t going to get it here. Posnanski was very critical of Paterno’s actions in relation to Sandusky, but he also spent a lot of words talking about all the good things Paterno did in his lifetime. The contrast between the moral authority that Paterno spent his life building, and the way he went out — accused of ignoring, and enabling, contemptible crimes against the most innocent of victims — is stark. He helped hundreds of kids during his lifetime, but it’s the handful of kids that he did not help that has stained what had been a remarkable career.

It’s a terribly sad story, but I do recommend the book.

–I’m easily entertained, but these 70-year old color photos are great.

I love this. A 6-year old guesses what some classic novels are all about, just by their cover.

You may have seen this during the recent Olympics, but it’s still pretty amazing. It’s a graphic demonstration, comparing Usain Bolt to every 100-meter men’s sprint champion in Olympic history.

–So…the new Dave Matthews Band album came out this week. (It’s good.) Next week: new The Killers album. Good month for me.

The Future of U.S. Soccer: The Unlikely Rise of Clint Dempsey. Let me note, for the record, that Dempsey now plays for my favorite team, Tottenham Hotspur.

–Good grief, I can’t quit laughing when I watch this.

–The new iPhone (iPhone 5) was announced yesterday. I’ll be placing my order before the week is over. I have finally given up on the Droid.

–Okay, consider this an open thread to discuss whatever you’d like. Enjoy the off-day. Wooooo.

45 thoughts on “Not-So-Random Thoughts

  1. The 6 year old girl is brilliant. In a lot of cases, her idea of what the book would be is better than the actual book.

    She really nailed it with Steppenwolf: “hangs out with fancy ladies”, indeed.
    And Atlas Shrugged: “It looks like a saddy, saddy, saddy bookie.”

    The Catcher in the Rye: “It doesn’t really have a story.” One of my favorite classics, but she’s kind of right (like Seinfeld being a show about nothing).

    Her interpretation of Jane Eyre as a gold digger is novel and could lead to a lot of debate in literary circles.

    Her version of To Kill a Mockingbird is beautiful and moving, the movie version will bring me to tears.

  2. Animal Farm – “It looks like it would be a funny book with a good really nice ending. ” If there’s one thing the George Orwell is known for, it’s his how cheerful his books’ endings are.

  3. Love the color photos. Those are fascinating.

    In addition to the DMB this week, there’s a new ZZ Top album produced by Rick Rubin, and a new Bob Dylan.

  4. Listening to-
    Dirty Projectors
    Radiation City
    Watching-
    Hell on Wheels

    I know there’s some Chicago area guys who read RN. Anyone this song with a million inside jokes about Chicago sports teams and local culture?

    • Listening to-
      Dirty Projectors
      Radiation City
      Watching-
      Hell on Wheels

      I know there’s some Chicago area guys who read RN.Anyone this song with a million inside jokes about Chicago sports teams and local culture?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqrtoFWglMY

      Hell on Wheels is awesome. You should watch The Walking Dead.

  5. From the baseball world..2013 schedule has some interesting things..

    Interleague Opening Day: Reds vs Angels, Monday, April 1 – So we open win an AL team…weird

    *Interleague series:
    Home: 3 Seattle, 3 LA Angels, 2 Oakland, 2 Cleveland… You know we have to go to see Seattle, LA and Oakland baby…
    Away: 3 Texas, 3 Houston, 2 Oakland, 2 Cleveland

    *What a start to season: First 12 games—home 3 Angels, 3 home Nationals, 3 at Cards, 3 at Pirates….Well nice start to the season..

    *Long road trips, in games, 8,9,9,10
    Long home stands, in games: 10,10,7,7
    *One weekend trip to Wrigley: May 3-4-5 (Fri-Sun)
    *No weekend trip to St Louis
    *Back to back Cleveland series: May 27-28 at GABP, May 29-30 at Cleveland
    *Off day on each side of games at Oakland: Off June 24, off June 27, two games between June 25-26.

    *Out of All-Star break: 3 Home vs Pirates, then 10 game West Coast road trip, 3 SF, 4 LAD, 3 SD, then off day, 3 home vs Cardinals….That could be a very interesting West coast swing..

    *6 game home stand to end season: 3 Mets, 3 Pirates

  6. At risk of being a traitor to my generation, I absolutely can not listen to Dave Matthews. It’s not that its neccessarily bad, per se, but it’s boring or just not memorable and frankly doesn’t do a thing for me.

  7. @RiverCity Redleg: I completely get why people don’t like Dave (my wife, for one)… and yet for me, they weave some sort of magic spell that even when part of my brain wants to say “no,” it ends up coming out “more, more, more.”

    This is also my obligatory NSRT post: Listen the Avett Brothers people. New album also dropped on the 11th. I bought it and Dave at the same time. My life improved this week.

    • @RiverCity Redleg: But anybody in the early 30′s to mid 40′s age bracket should own a copy of Under the Table and Dreaming all the same. For the children.

      I’m 36. That music hit it big when I was in high school. It was a bit of a different sound, and sometimes fairly pleasant.

      But I really can’t say it stood the test of time with me. DMB is okay, but I’m not sure I understand how big they were and still are today.

      I think I might still have a CD of UTD, but I haven’t listened to it in almost 20 years.

      • DMB was a local act when I was in college. I’ve just kinda stuck with them, though I wasn’t faithful for a few years in the early to mid-2000s.

        I have the new Avett Brothers album, but haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet. Otherwise, I would have mentioned it.

  8. @Matt WI: I’ve been listening to the Avett Brothers solely due to your recommendation from the last (or maybe a couple ago) NSRT. If you like them, you would also like The Civil Wars as well. My obligatory NSRT music recommendation is to listen to the EELS. Mark Oliver Everett is a musical genius. I can’t get enough.

  9. I’ve read Posnanski’s bio as well. I think you hit the nail on the head. People love to forget the 90% of Paterno’s life before the scandal, but they ought not to. I thought Poz was as fair as could be expected, although I wished for more insight from all those exclusive interviews over the last months and weeks of Paterno’s life.

  10. Just noticed that our run differential is now exactly the same as the Cardinals’. After hearing all year about how they’ve underachieved their peripherals, I wonder what this says about either team? Have we OVER-achieved or have they UNDER-achieved, because two teams in the same division with the EXACT same run diff in September separated by 11.5 games is pretty odd.

  11. Watching…SOA ( best show in production on TV right now, IMO), waiting for Justified to come back. I’m watching Copper, not sure if I’ll stick with it. Rest is just stuff to fill the time for me.

    I’ve basically given up on network tv, anything that shows any promise (good character development) takes too long to build an audience and they cancel it.

    • Watching…SOA ( best show in production on TV right now, IMO), waiting for Justified to come back. I’m watching Copper, not sure if I’ll stick with it. Rest is just stuff to fill the time for me.I’ve basically given up on network tv, anything that shows any promise (good character development) takes too long to build an audience and they cancel it.

      Did you give Longmire a try, think it’s on A/E, just finished it’s first season run. Also Glades is pretty good also.

      As for the music scene…don’t listen to anything made after 1989…

  12. Interesting (and very long) article at Grantland arguing that the Nationals made a mistake in shutting down Strasburg. Main point: Strasburg has already been babied for his entire professional career, so is at minimal risk of overuse hurting his arm. Toward the end, a pretty extensive discussion of the way Dusty Baker used Kerry Wood and Mark Pryor, contrasting it with the way pitchers are managed today.

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8369941/history-shows-washington-nationals-shut-stephen-strasburg-too-soon

    • Interesting (and very long) article at Grantland arguing that the Nationals made a mistake in shutting down Strasburg. Main point: Strasburg has already been babied for his entire professional career, so is at minimal risk of overuse hurting his arm. Toward the end, a pretty extensive discussion of the way Dusty Baker used Kerry Wood and Mark Pryor, contrasting it with the way pitchers are managed today.

      Ah, you just HAD to open that can of worms. lol. I’ll have to check back later to see what all the comments will be on this topic. It’ll be interesting. A good conversation starter on an off day. Thanks. I think the Nats are foolish to shelve Strasburg, but that is to the Reds advantage, so shelve away Nats. Thank you GM Rizzo.

  13. How dare you infiltrate some soccer into this baseball MB. Lol. Soccer? Gotta be an off day. Sacreligous. Blasphemy. I’d rather watch a 1-0 baseball game anyday than a 1-0 soccer game. I’d rather be waterboarded than have watch a soccer game or a WNBA game on TV. Maybe they are like hockey, I don’t know, good if you go in person, but awful on TV.

    • How dare you infiltrate some soccer into this baseball MB. Lol.Soccer?Gotta be an off day. Sacreligous.Blasphemy.I’d rather watch a 1-0 baseball game anyday than a 1-0 soccer game. I’d rather be waterboarded than have watch a soccer game or a WNBA game on TV.Maybe they are like hockey, I don’t know, good if you go in person, but awful on TV.

      There will be some soccer in every one of the NSRT posts. Sorry.

      Baseball is the only thing keeping me from becoming completely obsessed with soccer.

  14. Chad this might be a bit random but in an off day thread back in July I believe it was you suggested that people watch the BBC series Sherlock. Well recently I did, and it’s now my new favorite show. Watched every episode at least three times now. I think I have a problem.

    • Chad this might be a bit random but in an off day thread back in July I believe it was you suggested that people watch the BBC series Sherlock. Well recently I did, and it’s now my new favorite show. Watched every episode at least three times now. I think I have a problem.

      Thank you!

      Best program I’ve ever seen on television. Perfectly crafted.

  15. The whole racial thing with Brandon miffs me a bit. People outside Cincinnati are calling Brandon classless (and worse). They say he is always causing problems with his mouth. Nobody stood up for him on the cbssports.com website. Most who commented were from Pittsburgh.

    I don’t care about the incident, maybe Phillips misheard, maybe Hughes is a racist. There is no law against not liking someone of a different race. Last I heard you can express your opinions (right or wrong) in this country. The problem I have is with people who know nothing about the man calling Phillips horrible things and demanding he be punished for his actions. WHAT?! The guy lives in our community for most of the year. We know that whether he is a great ballplayer or not, he’s a good guy. His flaw is that he speaks his mind, something the rest of us (with the possible exception of Chad) have the luxury of doing every day in our personal lives.

    Pittsburgh, we’re rooting for you. We are happy to see you doing well. Relax.

  16. Dave Matthews Band is arguably the worst band of all time. Thank goodness most of the news here concerns the Reds.

  17. DMB is a door on which I’ve never found the handle. Lately, I’ve been listening to some older stuff – Robyn Hitchcock’s “Ole! Tarantula”, Soul Coughing’s “Irresistable Bliss”, “The Loud Family’s Plants And Birds And Rocks And Things”, Cotton Mather’s “Kontiki” are in the car changer at the moment. Reliving the 90s, I seem to be.

    TV-wise, I’ve been watching Wilfrid on Netflix – that show is admirably messed up.

  18. So, based upon all the comments between the Redleg Nation editors on twitter, I watched all 4.5 seasons of Break Bad on Netflix. First, I don’t recommend a person watch it that fast. For the fan who watched it over a several year period, Walt’s decline into a true bad guy takes years as opposed to me watching it happen in a few days. His change seems rather abrupt in contrast. Second, I was never really able to sympathize with Walt. I understood his motivation, but his decisions are stupid. I have a hard time sympathizing with stupid people. Third, Hank reminded me of someone I knew from my real life so I kind of liked him from the start. Over time as he became a more prominent player on the show with more screen time, he flipped from the antagonist to the protagonist and Walt from the protagonist to the antagonist. Way cool. Hank is awesome.

    I also like Jesse. If all the bad people in the world could be like Jesse. I can’t figure out if he is a good bad guy or bad good guy. Perhaps both. The two sisters suck (Skyler and Marie). They are miserable human beings. Saul is funny. Mike was pretty cool. Gus was the coolest bad guy ever. Todd? Todd needs to find a hotspot in hell.

    Anyway, it’s a pretty good show. Way too dark from my taste, but extremely well done. That’s why I gave it 3 out of 5 stars on Netflix. (Netflix thought I would give it 4.7 starts out of 5. I thought you knew me, Netflix.)

  19. Watching…SOA ( best show in production on TV right now, IMO), waiting for Justified to come back. I’m watching Copper, not sure if I’ll stick with it. Rest is just stuff to fill the time for me.

    I’ve basically given up on network tv, anything that shows any promise (good character development) takes too long to build an audience and they cancel it.

    Between AMC and FX I don’t watch much else on cable or network TV. Also Breaking Bad is probably the best show on TV (IMO) but I love SoA and Justified.

    And if you love network shows that have a niche audience but the network didn’t give much thought to you should watch Community. It’s my favorite show on network TV but is due to get the ax after this season which they had a shortened season order. Also Parks and Recreation is great, we should all strive to be Ron Swanson.

  20. It’s a good thing I never got into Breaking Bad as the Dish network no longer carries the AMC channel.

  21. I got a hamburger at McDonald’s yesterday for the first time in a few years. I have one question.
    Where’s the beef???

  22. Loved the six year old’s opinion of classics, I’d have the agree that her version of some of them sound better than the original. “It looks like a really sweet kiddie book” for One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest was especially funny. :lol:

  23. I went with the galaxy nexus from the google play store and the t-mobile prepaid $30 100 minutes, unlimited text and 5gb of hspa+ data.

  24. I’m curious as to the current Android phone Chad has. I’ve been rolling with a Samsung Galaxy Nexus for almost a year, and it is by far the best phone on the market, and will still be after the iPhone 5 launches. If a sales rep swindled you into a mediocre device like the Droid 2, 3, Charge, or some other crap device I understand your frustration. I have had more success with the Android platform than on the iOS one, but different strokes for different folks, I guess.

  25. I have a Droid Bionic. My wife used to have a Droid Incredible, and I had a Droid X previously. All had problems that the manufacturers knew about and refused to fix. (For example, the data connection goes out on my Bionic at least twice a day, requiring a reboot of the phone.)

    She got an iPhone last year, and I’m getting one now. I’ll never own another Droid.

  26. God, the Bionic is a sorry piece of trash that almost drove its manufacturer to insolvency for the third time. I would rather carry around a laptop and feature phone. I understand now.

    Also, the ‘Stros plucked a game off of Philadelphia to keep that wretched team further away from October.

  27. Twitter was LIT UP last night with the news that the Phillies lost to the Astros. Glad we have an intelligent fan base.

  28. @RiverCity Redleg: Noted. I’ll check out the EELS. A coworker flipped me the Civil Wars “Barton Hallow” album awhile back… good stuff. Their cover of “I Want You Back” comes out of nowhere, and it’s so good. Very talented people.

  29. First time commenter here. I stumbled on this blog a few times (from ESPN and other sources) and it’s now become one I check daily. Great Reds insight that I look forward to reading. And now I find out that Chad has excellent taste in TV (The Wire is the greatest TV show ever but it seems very few people have watched it). I finally broke down and decided to comment.

    On TV & The Wire: Loved The Wire RPG video you posted. So funny. I especially liked the bit about season 2 as that’s exactly how I felt about season 2 on my first viewing. Going back and rewatching it a 2nd (and 3rd) time has been better but that first viewing was a little underwhelming. Someone commented on Parks & Rec and Community–I’ll second that. Both are great shows–I’d say the former is the funniest show on TV right now. Both are in danger of being cancelled after this season as well. It’s so sad to see such smart, original and funny programming getting canned all the time by the big 3 networks(RIP Arrested Development).

    On soccer: I just started getting into soccer around the end of the EPL season last year. Such a great game. Yes, it can be low scoring at times, but the intensity and tension are constant throughout much of the matches. A team can counter and score so quickly at any given time. I’ll watch the EPL or WCQs over the NFL any day (and I know that’s blasphemy coming from an American). I have chosen to root for Arsenal though.

    On Android: I also have a Bionic and I hate it. I recently switched jobs and was given a Mac (my first) and now I’m planning to switch to an iPhone when my contract is up. The Bionic has been terrible.

    I think that’s enough rambling for one comment. Thanks for the excellent work you do on the blog, Chad (and other writers). It’s become my top source for all things Reds.

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