Moneyball

Ok, so I finally saw Moneyball. I had written a previous post about it where I mentioned the A’s team in question was the one that lost to the Yankees in the playoffs….that was not it. It was the team after, the one that lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Minnesota Twins (2002 Season). The team with the 20 game winning streak. That team did NOT have Jason Giambi, and they got rid of Jeremy Giambi mid-season. It was a team full of scrappy guys (with 3 great pitchers, of course…Hudson, Moulder, Zito.)

I did like the movie. I thought Brad Pit did a great job, as he tends to do at this stage in his career. It was refreshing to see the realism…a story does not have to have a happy (Hollywood) ending to be a good movie.

Moneyball Looks Like A Winner

Perhaps it’s the fact that I loved that particular Oakland team.  They started slow, stinking it up royally, until they came on like an avalanche.  Maybe that’s why the heartbreak was so extreme.

Slide, Giambi, slide!!!

I can still picture the Derek Jeter “flip” play in which he so deftly got the ball into Posada’s hands to tag Jeremy Giambi out.  And no, there was never any slide.  Could he have beat the tag if he slid? Very possibly, but we’ll never know.  I can only think back to that play like a kick in the guts, the play that turned the series around.

In any case, I heard Moneyball was shelved at least a couple of times during or after production.  That’s never a good sign.  Could the story translate to the big screen?  Here are the drawbacks:

1) Let’s face it, first of all, it’s a baseball movie.  Traditionally, baseball movies haven’t done that great.

2) It deals with the Oakland A’s…not the most popular franchise.

3) It is based on a real story, which unfortunately means we can’t expect the A’s to win the championship in the movie.

4) Why was it shelved so long?

5) Did I mention it’s a baseball movie?

What does it have going for it:

1) Of course, Brad Pitt.  The guy can act, is charismatic, and has the movie star looks people want to see.

2) The story.  I think this will touch more than baseball geeks. It may not look popular on the surface, but I think there’s something here that will speak to people.

3) Not sure.

I’m really hoping it does well.  The A’s have been floundering, and history has not been kind to the teams Billy Beane has been fielding after the Moneyball era.  The problem is, would you pay $10 dollars to watch such a movie, or would you wait for it to come to Netflix streaming, or cable?  I think that for people outside of Oakland A’s or hardcore baseball fans, it would be the latter.  But we’ll see… In the meantime, check out the Moneyball trailer here.

 

 

Basics of Debt Mamagement

Taking a series of courses on money management should be a required part of obtaining your high school diploma. Too many kids graduate without a clue as to how to balance a checkbook, how to avoid debt, how to get out of dent, etc. It seems to me that for the most part, “The Man” is perfectly ok with our school systems producing future credit card slaves and expecting young ones to pick up Money Management basics on their own, or through their parents–who may be just slightly less ignorant.

How do we as a culture expect to plug the holes of our nation’s sinking economic ship when we don’t do enough to educate our kids on money management, etc.?

A Turd for a Turd

So I had these Mexican neighbors who owned an ugly Pug (they’re all ugly). The neighbors were nice, for the most part, although in reality, we did not see or speak or see each other that much. My job as a metaphysical guru prevents me from having much time, so I get up, go to work, and come back late. In any case, the chihuahua, and the neighbors’ kids, were an entirely different matter.

The dog started leaving turds all over my front yard. I came across them whenever I cut the grass. One time, I got done mowing to notice a yellow flat turd stuck to one of the mower’s wheels. Absolutely nasty. I saw the Mexican kids out in their front yard with their stupid dog, and I walked up to them, saying, “I would appreciate it if you clean up after your dog. I had to scoop up a ton of turds today.” They simply looked at me and nodded. I thought I had made strides, but I continued to find those stupid yellow turds all over my front yard.

A couple of weeks after I talked to the kids, I was out mowing the yard, and again, noticed a ton of turds. I don’t know what got into me, but I proceeded to scoop up all the turds into a pail. I looked at the pail, which must have had at least a good 20 or so turds inside. I tried to say a quick mantra, “Breath. Relax. Be one with the universe. Do not resort to an eye for an eye. Be the better person. Turn the other cheek.” Etc, etc. I did this for a good 5 or so minutes, but in the end, I tossed the turds all over their front yard! “See how you like cleaning out tons of dog shit.” I thought as I walked back into my house.

What happened? Why couldn’t I control my nature? In that very brief moment, I failed to see logic and went with raw emotion. I lowered myself to their level, and worse, I felt good about it. How can I lead thousands of people as a Guru, and yet I acted so petty? What kind of an example is that? After much pondering, I came up with the following assertion:

“Our nature is not divine. It may come from a divine creator, but we are not divine by default.”

Of course, this goes against the teachings of my bizarro counterpart, but it’s the truth as far as I can tell. See, the difference between me and the Deepaks of the world is that I’m willing to admint that I’m human and I don’t know it all. What I know is that tossing all those turds in the neighbors’ yard felt damn good. Am I proud of it, certainly not. Would I do it again? I hate to say it, but probably. Shit, what kind of a guru am I???

That’s it…you’re CUT OFF!!! (Literally…)

This could be considered a man’s worst nightmare…well, at least in terms of the ego. A Los Angeles woman went crazy ape shit on some poor sap and cut off his “member.” Wow, the revenge tactic Lorena Bobbitt made famous surfaces yet again!

First of all, a word of advise to unfaithful, or “cheating” males:

1) Don’t cheat. Stop it. You committed yourself into a life long relationship and you need to accept responsibility for making things work. This act is especially shameful if you are some middle age geezer with kids and a wife who stuck with you for years.

2) If you absolutely cannot make things work (the woman is crazy, abusive, etc) then leave.  Easier said than done, but then again, if the person is missing a few nuts and bolts, it will benefit you in the long run.

Secondly, advice to cheating males who get caught AND have a “feisty,” or, “less than stable” wife:

1) Oh boy, do you have some ‘splainin’ to do.  You can always go the Kobe Bryant route and spend a ton of money on a “please forgive me” gift.

2) Be apologetic and show remorse.  If you act cocky…well, let’s just say you might not get the desired reaction from your spouse

3) Stop cheating!  And unfortunately, you will probably have to hear about this incident for years….maybe the rest of your life.  Be prepared for this.

4) sleep on your stomach.

5) You may want to stay away until your spouse cools down a bit.  Rent a room at a motel 6, sleep in the car, stay with a far off relative, etc.  Just don’t expose yourself to harm–let the emotions settle down as much as possible before settling yourself back to your routine as if nothing happened.

Thirdly:

1) No matter what you do, sometimes it will never be enough.

2) If your spouse is ultra jealous and abusive, stay away!

 

But what happens if your wife is nuts, or to be more fair, your scumbag behavior drives her to nutzoid land and you end up drugged and mutilated?  Hell, don’t put yourself in that spot.  Go back to my “don’t cheat” advise, or if your behavior is going to break up your family, consider leaving.  Of course, don’t shy away from your legal responsibilities (alimony, child support, etc).  That’s just life.  You make your bed and you lie in it.  If you don’t, life will catch up with you some day, don’t fool yourself into thinking you “got away with it.”

 

Semi-Artificial organ transplant achieved…Cyborgs next?

Andemariam Teklesenbet, a 36 year old Swedish patient with an advanced case of cancer, received the world’s first artificial trachea transplant. Doctors concocted a revolutionary way to accomplish this, which included building a trachea out of a plastic (artificial) material and coating it with the patients own cells to avoid rejection.

I find this utterly amazing. To think what medical science will be able to accomplish in the next few decades with this as a baseline starting point. Here is a link to the USA today article.

I am looking forward to seeing what we will accomplish in the field of regenerative biology. I pray to God for a day when people with neuro-muscular ailments or spinal chord injuries/nerve damage will be able to receive treatment and healing. Stories like this make me appreciative of the human intellect with which we’ve been entrusted.

Qiuvo

FL Studios for iPad and iOS is finally out!

The makers of Fruty Loops, the kick ass sequencer software for PC have finally released FL Studio for iOS devices! It is about time. I was tired of downloading a bunch of crappy drum machine apps costing anywhere from $4.99 to $14.99. Other than Garage Band and some cool Korg apps, most of the stuff I tried was very sub par and limited. We now have the FL Studios Mobile app, which is perhaps the best drum/synch sequencing value for your buck. Check out this sweet app here:

http://www.image-line.com/documents/news.php?entry_id=1307332924&title=get-fl-studio-mobile

Let me know what you think of the app.

Black Friday: Consummerism Gone Crazy

I need an Alka-Seltzer right about now.

After a Thanksgiving evening of food, discourse, more food, tv, more food, nap, more food, etc, I am a prime candidate for that Chinese diet tea that makes things move, if you know what I mean. The menu consisted of 2 turkeys (one baked, one fried) and an array of delicious and very rich side dishes and desserts. At about 10pm, I hit a food coma that kept me out of commission until it was time to go home in 33 degree weather–not fun.

So here I am, with a boiler full of Thanksgiving and ready to hit the sack. If I play my cards right, I can get 4 hours of sleep and still make it in time to catch some Black Friday deals at some of my favorite stores–NOT.

The Black Friday phenomenon is now ingrained in our American culture.  Many stores open before 7am to lure countless poor saps.  Hell, many stores open at midnight. I remember working retail as a young man and having to open the store at 6am for this “special” day.  I remember people waiting outside in the cold for the doors to open, thinking: What the hell is wrong with them?

What makes folks get up so early in the morning after a Thanksgiving celebration? A whopping 20% off certain items? Really? And now, most stores are taking full advantage of the American consummer’s gullibility and itch for that ever elusive deal. They bank whole campaigns around this Black Friday concept.

Not me.

I refuse to participate in this madness. Keep your 20%, I’ll go to the store when the lines die down, when my stomach is no longer pissed at me, when I’m good and ready. 

I wonder when this madness started?  Early 90s? Mid 80s?  I certaily don’t recall anything like Black Friday prior to this, then again, kids don’t remember this kind of stuff, usually.  And yes, it is madness, right up there with the popular Keeping Up With The Joneses and the Fill Out This 26% Interest Credit Card, Get A Free T-shirt phenomenons.  Besides, Black Friday certainly doesn’t need me–it is doing quite well on its own.  There may come a day when Thanksgiving becomes more synonimous with Black Friday than with turkey, or even, well, giving thanks.

Tidbits of Truth and Nonsense