Thursday, June 28, 2007

Some off-Season Thoughts

A Recent Post about the Eagles at Spliterati made some of the local message boards. Its basically about how the Eagles, in the NFC East, may have won the 'losing battle' because they didn't lose that much, talent-wise, in the off-season.

I think its a bit half-three-quarters-full type argument myself. We Philly fans have a tendency to sour quickly on players about to leave or already out the door. Now this is certainly deserved in some cases. I mean lets be honest, fans were calling for the ouster of Mr. Air Banjo, Dhani Jones, for quite some time, and his departure certainly fall in the "don't-let-the-door-hit-you-in-the-ass" category. As does former safety Michael Lewis...He went the Pro-Bowl, had a down year in 2005 (who didn't?) and then left his confidence/brain in the locker-room last year. Maybe a change of scenery will do him good, but he'd become a liability in the Birds secondary. Period.

As for some others who got no love from the other site. Hmmm. I liked Rod Hood and Jeff Garcia. Hood was a great success story, from undrafted free agent to very capable 3rd corner for the Eagles. If we could've kept him for back-up money, he'd still be in green. Fact is, he hit free agency at a very highly paid position, and the Arizona Cardinals stepped up with starters' money for him. His departure hurts (its NOT crippling), because he's not a guy who went from good to regular toast like Lewis. We just have to do what we've done several times before, groom a young guy to step up. Is it Joselio Hanson? of the draft choices? Barksdale maybe? Dunno....or will it be a guy like Hood or Al Harris (the other 3rd corner made-good after cutting-his-teeth with the Eagles)? I'll say this. They will find someone.

As for the rest of the NFC East:
The Giants - I'll say this. I am much happier facing a backfield of Droughens/Jacobs backfield than a Tiki/Jacobs backfield...that little TV-bound fucker was a thorn in our sides his entire friggin' career. As Eli continues to spin his wheels (and he best be spinning them fast, because the Giants didn't do a whole lot to fix the sieve-like Offensive Line), I am struck by this: a few years ago, the Giants future looked bright, they had a top-pick QB named Manning taking the helm, and the Cowboys and 4skins seemed content to play out seasons with recycled fossils at QB (Testaverde, Bledsoe, Brunell). Everyone acknowledged McNabb was the dominant QB in the NFC East and there really wasn't any team close to challenging that.

NOW - Eli continues his one-step-forward-two-steps-back "progress" and the its the Cowboys and Redskins that arguably have more hope for their young QBs than New York. I'm not a big Jason Campbell fan (but not a big detractor either), he's raw. Got some talent, but who knows how far he'll develop. It looks like he's destined for a coaching-change down Washington way as St. Gibbs wears out his 2nd-tour welcome with a rudderless team that hasn't learned how to win (but sure knows how to lose). As for Tony Romo. Well I will say this, the Pro Bowl nod was wholly and completely undeserved and he didn't provide Eagles fans with an ever-lasting moment to gloat with that all-time choke fumbled snap on a gimme-game-winning-FG against Seattle in the playoffs. And while he'd never live that down in Philly, I have a feeling that if he WAS an Eagle and had performed like he did in the REGULAR season, that there would be a lot of hopeful Romosexuals buzzing around Philly talking about how much potential our QB had.

So there it is, in two years, the team I considered to be our closest competitor and toughest foe for the NFC East has completely changed. Bye bye NY. Dallas is clearly the team the Eagles need to be most concerned about. How will Big D deal with Wade Phillips? Will MEO implode/cause another season of distraction? Who knows. Who cares. The 'Boys have talent and we need to take care of business.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

OK OK, Time to Blog

Well folks, my Reserve time is just about at an end, so its about time to start chiming in again. So rejoice, my cynical fans, both of you. Anybody want to know what the reserves is like? Drop me a line.

Hmm, so what should I rant about?

How about how July sucks because I now have to wait all frickin' month for Eagles training camp to start. AUGH! And its not like I can use some summer blockbusters to whittle away the time - Transformers doesn't premiere until August. Harry Potter starts on the same day globally, so I'm good there....but other movies haven't come out yet here, like Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Die Hard 4 (oh, well that's another late July showing) get the idea. I want to see 1408, but I doubt it will be shown here unless it really makes a splash in the states.

I think Newsweek's review of Michael Moore's new movie Sicko is probably right on the mark when it says "But if Moore can be irritating, he's also indispensable. I think this time around a lot of people who don't cotton to the filmmaker's politics are going to find themselves lining up on his side. The simplicity of "Sicko's" argument is also its power. It asks us, as Americans, a few basic but haunting questions: Who are we? What have we become? The follow-up question is left unstated: What are we going to do about it?" I mean, I love Roger & Me - and thought of Michael Moore as a champion of the working-man. Then he turned left, way, way, way fucking left - I DON'T AGREE with his politics, not in the least, but I do hope that we start talking about ways to deal with our have or have not health-care system.

What else is going on?
The Philadelphia Eagles have changed their website. I can dig it. Its had the same look for a couple years now. Time for a fresh coat of paint. So long as the content stays, I'm down. The good news about the down time. I can focus a little on my Chinese, and sort of catch up with what's going on with the team.

Speaking of which....

Monday, June 25, 2007

Bears to Johnson: "Thanks but no Tanks"

The Chicago Bears got fed up with trouble DT "Tank" Johnson after his latest brush with the law. Johnson was waived three days after he was pulled over by police in Arizona. He already had been suspended for the first eight games of the 2007 season for violating probation on a gun charge. He spent two months in jail and was released in May.

Normally, I am very harsh on professional athletes who are dumb enough to get into trouble, but for as much as my internal cynicism is telling me, "F this dude", there's another side. He hasn't been charged with anything? We don't know if he was, in fact, driving under the influence. I mean if he WAS, while on probation, it doesn't get much more stupid. But you see, Tank was a cut different from some other high-profile NFL athlete who've gotten into trouble this off-season. I mean he spent time in JAIL and appears legitimately contrite after getting out. Was it all just an act?

So was he just tired, driving at 0330 on a Saturday morning? For his sake, I would hope so. Because if its a misunderstanding and his primary "offense" is driving 40 in a 25 mph-zone, then I think some team will give him another chance.

There will be some who will excoriate his stupidity right off the bat, and I won't be far behind. Let's face it, multi-million dollar career in the balance, the dude should've been living like a fucking monk until training camp started and he was back under more direct team supervision.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Robot Chicken Rocks

Like parodies?
Like Star Wars?
Then you'll love the treatment Robot Chicken gives to Star Wars:

Friday, June 22, 2007

Odds and Ends for the Week

Now this woman can "D-R-I-N-K"....a Washington woman blew a .50?? (and I don't mean a .50 cal machine gun) did she not die?

A mile-wide U.F.O.? (ok what was HE drinking?)

A ban on all DVD-copying? How the hell would they enforce this???

Darwin strikes twice.

Looks like the people of Okinawa don't want government authorities in Tokyo to gloss over the fact that they encouraged/ordered mass suicide of the civilian population as a way to avoid horrible capture at the hands of the dirty Americans in 1945.

Alright, so Smashing Pumpkins (remember them) finally releases a new album after all these years. Zeitgiest....but guess what the only store where you can a buy a version of the album that has the fucking title track is Target!...WTF???? You're kidding me right? Why not just include a how-to guide for online Torrent downloads instead of the lyrics. Dorks.

A Movie Friday

Well folks, let me say, I now know why merchandise for the movie Stealth was in the bargain bin at the Navy Exchange Pearl Harbor a week after the movie premiered.
WHAT A TURD....I mean that flick (film is too grand a term) suffered from just about every flaw imaginable, including the dreaded (and head-scratching) day-to-night continuity error "pioneered" by all-time-stinker Plan 9 from Outer Space. My wife summed it up best: the movie only provided a singular moment of enjoyment - for the guys - the Jessica Biel bikini segment. And I whole-heartedly agree, a few glimpses of her bod turned out to the only redeeming quality of the movie. And just to save you all the trouble, here there are:There.
No reason to waste two hours of your life pondering the baffling questions this movie raises, like: How in the fuck does a plane "go hyper-sonic"??
Does hyper-sonic have an "economy mode" because although the planes are fighters, they fly all over the globe without aerial re-fueling (there is one instance).
How does a plane fly from the Philippine Sea to Rangoon, Burma in 20 minutes? (oh yeah, hypersonic, forgot).
How do the same said aircraft, operating from a U.S. aircraft carrier in the South China Sea get all the way to fucking Tajikistan (Central Asia) without refueling????
How does a pilot trying to return from Tajikistan (to the carrier mind you), fly "south, southwest" but end up bailing out of her damaged plane over fucking NORTH KOREA???? (that one is truly mind-boggling)...somebody needs to get their ass a fucking Atlas in Hollywood.
How can is be night-time in Alaska, morning in Korea, and then night-time again in Korea all in the span of less than 5 minutes (movie time).....the fucking continuity editor must've been high...(as well the script writer, director, etc, etc)
It was awfully easy to escape North Korea as well, the DMZ just isn't what it used to be (when I was there), from the most heavily fortified and mined stretch of land in the world, to a harmless, pock-marked fun zone with the only separating our intrepid heroes from South Korea being a chain-link fence....*plus, why were all the North Korea emplacements, searchlights, etc trained inward, as if designed to keep people in, and not to watch the South.

Oh yeah, well we followed that up with Shrek 3. Which was much better. Very funny and I had a good time. Go see it if you like Shrek. Not the best of the bunch, but enjoyable.
Now, we're going to wrap up the day with Die Hard. See ya later.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Thursday Follies

Did I really take all week off, with no blogging?
Holy crap....sorry folks, don't mean to disappoint, but working a lot sort of takes the starch of what I want to do with the my limited time after work.

So what's cookin'?

First off, some of the guys from my wife's shift had a "movie night" in the barracks on Tuesday night. The movie? Reno 911! Miami. and I'll tell you what. It was fucking HILARIOUS. If you like the show in the slightest, you have got to see this movie. I was skeptical at first...I mean the show is basically skits, but the premise actually works (with a healthy suspension of disbelief). Moreover, its one of those rare comedies that is actually funny until the very end.

But mostly its been a lot of work lately, so while I've been keeping up with all the latest Eagles news (like the fact the Donovan made it through most the mini-camp work-outs), I haven't had the time to really put together any cohesive thoughts about the Birds, let alone the NFC East.

In other news. Slammin' Sammy Sosa hit home-run #600 today, against, of all teams, the Cubs. Hee hee. Once again the Phillies became the Phrauds....they blew 2 of 3 versus the Detroit Tigers, and did the same wilting-act versus the Cleveland Indians.

And the COUNTDOWN is officially on. The Fightin' Phils are now 10 losses from 10,000, which would set the standard for futility by any major league team, in any sport, anywhere. Good lord. What have the dedicated phans in Philly done deserve a club like this?

Saturday, June 16, 2007



Authorities today revealed the capture of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad's sister. Intelligence authorities had only heard rumors of the great hairy beast, but until today had never gotten a definitive picture. Apparently they do not watch ABC, because until recently it had been masquerading on a popular women's daytime talk show espousing "9/11 was an inside job" conspiracy theories and generally denigrating America every chance she got. Its a wonder it took so long to figure this out.

A Simple Explanation of America's Two Current Political Parties

A woman in a hot air balloon realizes she is lost. She lowers her altitude and spots a man fishing from a boat below.

She shouts to him, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The man consults his portable GPS and replies, "You're in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.

She rolls her eyes and says, "You must be a Republican!"

"I am," replies the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," answers the balloonist, "everything you tell me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you're not much help to me."

The man smiles and responds, "You must be a Democrat."

"I am," replies the balloonist. "How did you know ?"

"Well," says the man, "You don't know where you are or where you're going. You've risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and now you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but, somehow, now it's my fault."

Monday, June 11, 2007

Micc's Quick Hits

Been watching a LOT of news lately at work (sort of background noise while I study). And let me tell you, this whole immigration thing borders on the absurd. Talk about putting the cart before the horse. I mean, I understand that the issue needs to be addressed, but do we really need to address it this idiotically?

For the record, I don't agree with every criticism that Lou Dobbs makes about the bill in question, but a lot of what he had said this past week struck me as straight forward common sense - which means half the douchebags in Washington and all the pro-amnesty, let-em-all-in-types will disagree. Still his site, linked above, has not just his view, but links to all the proposed amendments, etc and is laudable for being a good place to find not just opinion, but also information in which to better inform you opinion.

God dang it, I missed out on O'Reilly's phonecard for the troops promotion he did with AT&T. Another anathema to the left, when I heard about it, I thought - damn, I want to do that for my fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines stuck in the sandbox. Too late. But there is a link to America Support You.

I urge my visitors (both of you) to check this out. You can do something as simple as send an e-gram to troops in the desert, or find a way to volunteer near you, or just click and watch the thanks from the troops for your/our support.

On a lighter note, the Phumbling Phils continue to perplex....shut-out, blow-out, shut-out....I just don't get this night they look great and are suitably crushing a bad team. The next day said horrid team is kicking their all over the field. This is NOT what championship teams are made of fellas. Get yer heads outta yer asses.....

Since I commented on the NHL's poor TV ratings, how about the NBA??? They haven't quite sunk to hockey's depths, but the rating continue to drop for a league increasingly out of touch with what people used to enjoy about it. Now we have teams deliberately tanking half a season to try and score a lottery pick, guys who 8 points per game (ppg) making MILLIONS (and acting like they deserve it) and a pro-league that can't field an Olympic team worth a fuck because too few of them have a clue about the concept of teamwork! Ok, time to climb down from that soapbox.

Well that's about it for now...I'm hungry, the woman will be home soon, and I think I will try and surprise her by having something ready to eat for the both of us that doesn't include mac-n-cheese (a family staple) or sandwiches

McNabb Practices

Ok, ok, he only directed the offense for a few short series to open the Eagles June mini-camp and ran around for about an hour, but it is still a sign of progress. Why is that? He practiced without a brace. (I sort of expect him to wear a brace to start the regular season, just as a precaution). I also think we shouldn't get too excited....let's see how the knee responds. I wouldn't be surprised if the coaches keep him off the field as a precaution, but it would a very encouraging sign if he can get out there for a second day in a row.

And if you think the team isn't looking forward to having him back or wistfully remembers Jeff Garcia? WR Reggie Brown had this to say, "We're used to seeing Don back there on every play and just having him back, it kind of sets you on your way."

Let's get down to business fellas. We still have some unfinished business. This year its in Glendale.

Good Thing...

That it is the doldrums of the off-season. I've been quite busy lately, what with working and studying and marathon gaming sessions, movies (went to see Pirates of the Caribbean 3 last Friday) and just chillin' on a beautiful Sunday (watched a couple of better-than-decent movies, Alpha Dog and Music-n-Lyrics and took the boyos for a nice walk).

I am keeping up with the Birds, but there isn't much to talk about. I've got some general thoughts that I will try and find the time to get out soon. But not right now: the alarm is going to go off at 4am, and I enjoy sleep. So while it only 8pm, I am going to go chill out with the dogs, wife, and relax in bed for a while and read.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Just for the Record

I just wanted to add that I like hockey. I just think its a damn shame that they've gone and changed the game and made it demonstrably better (in my limited exposure to the game with the new rules the past couple of years). Yet it hasn't made a dent, the NHL has clearly fallen behind sports like NASCAR, and even Golf (fuck, damn, shit) on the American sporting radar. Could soccer surpass hockey (shudder)??? Please no....

I am still pissed at them for wasting a season a couple years ago, well not pissed, but its not a fond memory....and think that after years and years of painstakingly building up a cool brand, and slowly but surely creating a foothold in the American sporting psyche that the NHL pissed it all away in a retarded labor squabble.

I mean, NBC tied for the lowest rating EVER with one of its Stanley Cup broadcasts. WHAT? What the fuck? The Stanley Cup? Perhaps THE hardest grand trophy to win in all of sport and NBC is barely scrappin' together a million viewers nation-wide? How is that possible? Heck in some major markets (like Dallas) there is a sort of beleaguered laughter, when House repeats skunk the Stanley Cup in the ratings, the wheels have fallen off, they've fallen the fuck off.

What have they (the owners, the league, etc) done to a sports I spent nearly two decades following with a passion? Wrecked it, its seems like.
Grrr, now I am getting pissed again....

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

BTW - The Ducks Won

For one or two of you that still care about the NHL, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks won Lord Stanley's Cup.

whuzzat? My thoughts exactly.
Snoozing already. Does anyone care? Did ANYONE watch?

Wake up yet?
What the hell happened to hockey? The games themselves are still cool for me, but I tell you what there must be a helluva lot of former NHL-junkies like me (nearly all my friends back where I grew up are this way)...those of us that used to follow hockey all spring long. Get into it, watch like out-of-town games, have fantasy hockey teams...and then BLAM...Lockout season gone, and suddenly I was without hockey for an entire year. At first I was pissed, then jonesing for a hockey fix, but finally I realized there were other things to do....Lo and behold, when hockey came back, I just sorta shrugged and was take or leave it...For the most part, I've left it - though that attitude is assisted greatly by the Flyers current suck-i-tude and precipitous fall from the hockey power-elite.

Oh, and sweetie, don't think that treatment will work with Football, its like comparing a stoner to a hard-core meth-addict....ain't going to happen, I main-line the Eagles straight into my veins and that will not change.

And another thing, I know they dropped "mighty" from their names, but the Ducks? That a fucking lame-ass name. Don't ducks fly south to avoid ice?

Eagles Thoughts in Early June

Some off-season likes and dislikes so far, the dislikes first because there are much fewer of them:

- Using our first pick in the draft on a QB. I know, I've said this before, and I may love Kolb in 3-4 years, but still...
- Losing Donte' Stallworth (big, young (26), fast) and replacing his with a smaller, older (29) speedster - Kevin Curtis. I liked the guy, what can I say. My intent was to get a Stallworth jersey if he re-signed. Oh, well.
- L.J. Smith having "sports-hernia" surgery. Again nothing to be done about it, but I have a feeling its going to limit him this year a little bit. I'd love to be wrong, maybe I'm just worrying too much, or maybe not
- Not being able to trade Sam Rayburn. Serviceable DT, wonder why we couldn't have gotten a pick for him?
- DE Jevon Kearse doing too much cardio in his rehab and getting too skinny
- Not finding the heir apparent for Brian Dawkins. I love Dawk to death, but I thought now was the time to find the guy to groom, and let him play and learn from a HoF safety....
Well that's about it for my admittedly nit-picky dislikes about the Eagles off-season

The likes:
- The rest of the draft! We got some size, especially at RB. Abiamiri is a decent size DE, Hunt and Ilaoa bring some bulk behind the line of scrimmage and Bradley has good size for an Strongside Linebacker (SAM).
- Jekyll time - Kevin Curtis. Speed galore and awesome hands, I have a feeling I am going to come around and really dig this dude. He's 29 (concern) but has only played 4 years in the NFL (thank to his Mormon mission). I'm not sure if he's an "upgrade" over Stallworth, but I think he's going to prove to be very capable guy in our offense
- New blood at DT. These guys went from prospective strength to crippling weakness last year and a change was necessary. So the Eagles raided both Superbowl teams for Montae Reagor (the steady vet) and Ian Scott (a run-stopper who filled in very well for the Bears when they lost Tommie Harris).
- The Eagles overall aggressiveness in their off-season plan. YES, it did take them a little while to get started and that strung out us phans a bit. BUT the Birds F.O. executed very well. They identified priorities, stuck to them and recognized/addressed weak areas, speaking of which:
- Say HELLO TKO! Takeo Spikes and Kelly Holcomb for Darwin Walker and 7th rd pick? (and maybe now for 6th and 7th rd pick). Joe Banner should add highwayman to his list of job responsibilities for picking the Buffalo carcass clean like that....
- BYE BYE Dhani, Mr. Bow Tie, Jones. Take your talentless, non-play-making Air Banjo somewhere else
- Taking a gamble on Saverio Rocca. I really hope this Aussie boomer can make it good.
- Re-signing some key FAs. Yes we let Stallworth go, but we did keep Quintin Mikell, Juqua Thomas and Correll Buckhalter. And if those aren't household names outside Philadelphia, so be it. They proved to be very capable players for the Birds last year (it was great to see Buck comes back after all those knee injuries) and I look forward to more contribution from those guys. Retaining players who know your system can do a lot for year-to-year continuity. Just gotta keep the right ones (fingers-crossed).
- The continued class and leadership on display from Donovan McNabb

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Game Night, Drill Sunday and American Day - What a Weekend

Whew, I cannot believe I am still conscious (let alone ambulatory). Had a pretty packed Saturday and Sunday.

The best part was without a doubt the massive seven-player Twilight Imperium cosmic battle royale that took place at the Mokuteki ball room on Saturday.
I'd never played anything larger than a 5-player game (and that only once), but the expansion set I got for game allows for 8 players (up from the previous 6).

Ok, ok, I know for some, rehashes about "geek night" - as the wife likes to call it - is not fodder for the most entertaining blog, but guess what? I don't give a shit. That's the great part about having your own blog. For that matter, for anyone who has ever played Risk, or Axis and Allies, or Shogun; or any one who played Master of Orion (I, II or III) or (better yet) Galactic Civilizations II but would like a more sociable experience, then you'll LOVE Twilight Imperium. It quite simply is the best board game I've every played. (Have I played Risk, Dungeon and A&A more? yes, but simply because I played the hell out of those games when I was a kid). Nothing compares to the innumerable permutations that TI can throw at a player.

Think taking over planets with a minimum of troops (1) is most efficient. You won't when landing force gets shwacked by local partisans...
oops, over-compensate a drop down a massive 4-5 troop invasion....better hope the planet isn't irradiated (Whalen)....
think you're going to get to maximize a native technology advantage and load up troops on ships that aren't normally able to carry troops and surge forward to secure a distant planet? Think again when hidden guns pop-up and decimate your entire fleet.
Ready to swoop in and pummel a system that only has a few measly fighters defending it? Remember to bring along some protection for your carriers! That way your landing force doesn't suddenly and painfully become your blown-out-into-the-vacuum-of-space force.

Have find happy, industrious indigenous people ready to assist your cause with money, ships, technology and the like.

Heck, that just a taste of what could -and did- happen; irrespective the plots and machinations the players themselves had in-store for each other (though folks Saturday night were exceedingly generous towards each other).

The other cool thing: one of the new races in the game, the Clan of Saar, a vaguely canine race that bears at least a similar pronunciation to Zaar:
Well that marathon game (which ended prematurely because I had to go to work Sunday Morning, though I did have the most victory points....) kept me up til almost 0100....and when the alarm goes off at 0400...let me tell you...there is a reason they call it the SNOOZE button. Well half-a-pot of coffee later I was toiling away at work, getting in some rescheduled reservist time. Then about 9 hours later it was time to go volunteer at Misawa's "America Day" that we hold for our Japanese hosts. Man let me tell you, it was the tail end of the second and final day, but the place was jammed! Unfortunately, the Chief's funnel cake table was all sold-out, so Christina and I didn't get to sell any (or sample the wares), but we did a few hours of clean-up....You know, study the senior NCOs, they chose a great spot, we broke it down FAST, and had the first truck ready in line to come and load up our goods for clean-up....

Now its Sunday night, I get tomorrow off, and its time go read the latest from one of my favorite authors: Raymond Feist's "Into a Dark Realm."