23 July 2014

Read It

The New Yorker is putting up a paywall. Smart business, I guess. Slate has a list of what you should read before you have to get out your wallet. Because I'm a boring pretentious dick avid reader I have already read most of them. Here are my favorites, as copied from the Slate article:

Getting Bin Laden,” Aug. 8, 2011. This moment-by-moment account of the mission to get Osama Bin Laden, written by Nicholas Schmidle, is every bit as thrilling as Zero Dark Thirty, and much more rigorously fact-checked.

Taken,” Aug. 12, 2013. Sarah Stillman’s reporting illuminates an appalling, pervasive practice that you won’t believe actually exists. // I think I wrote a blog post about this one already but I'm too lazy to look it up. This article is by turns shocking, depressing, and terrifying. Small town, small time 'Murrica at its worst.

The Apostate,” Feb. 14, 2011. Lawrence Wright’s heavily vetted and fact-checked reporting on the Church of Scientology, which later evolved into the book Going Clear, offers a rare look into the notoriously secretive organization.

Trial By Fire,” Sept. 7, 2009. David Grann’s gripping story demonstrated that by executing Cameron Todd Willingham for the murder of his family, the state of Texas may very well have killed an innocent man. // David Grann, along with William Langewiesche, is one of the best long-form reporters in the world. His reporting on Cameron Todd Willingham is one of the reasons why.

While we're on the subject of William Langewiesche, read this if you haven't already: The World in Its Extreme. And if you feel like reading a gripping account of a horrible tragedy that will almost certainly give you nightmares, try A Sea Story.

A Loaded Gun,” Feb. 11, 2013. In this thorough and troubling crime story, Patrick Radden Keefe examines the life of Amy Bishop, who killed six of her colleagues in a mass shooting, and 25 years ago, may have killed her brother, too.// May have? That's being generous. 

What I haven't read but plan to read next:
"God Knows Where I Am,” May 30, 2011. Rachel Aviv’s look at mental health patients who reject their psychiatric diagnoses is smart and heartbreaking in equal measures.

That should keep you briefly entertained. Notably absent from the slate list: anything from Malcolm Gladwell.

Okay then. 




Don't Fight It

Dat Nose Tho!
OH HEYYYYYYYY
Lately the blog is puppies and babies, babies and puppies. I don't know how we got here, because I have neither one of those things. It's not that I don't love puppies (so much) and babies (enh, not as much as puppies, but they're growing on me) - it's just that I'm more of a guns and motorcycles type of guy. Yeah we're shopping motorcycles again. It's a Thing. There's only so long you can go without owning a bike. I experience maturity differently than most people, and by 'differently' I mean 'infrequently, for short durations'.

Anyway, this is Ruby again, showing off her cuteness for the camera. Don't even try and deny how cute she is. Everyone needs more of this in their life. I'm scheduled to spend some time with Brutus tomorrow and I hope that guy is looking forward to some hugs. SO MANY HUGZ. I've been looking forward to it all week. Roxy gets a little jealous but there are plenty of hugz to go around. So yeah, we love the pups in this space.

Ruby is turning out to be quite the high achiever. So far she's doing very well with her training and is a quick learner. She's not into her hell-raising adolescence yet but those days are coming. She's going to chew all the chewables. Can't wait.

18 July 2014

Sorry Bro

I don't play NBA2K but I have a pretty good idea what the Sprite Cam is, and this made me laugh.

When my friend Jimmy used to come over to play Madden the rule was that anyone who didn't skip the replay on a big play was a dick and would probably get yelled at. Harsh words were exchanged. It's fine that you scored on a long touchdown to Calvin Johnson (again), but I don't want to see it two times in a row.

16 July 2014

Efficiency

Image Courtesy FIVETHIRTYEIGHT (all rights reserved)
Great article on fivethirtyeight.com about Messi and his work rate during the World Cup.

tl;dr: -  He wasn't tired; he ran the least compared to all other outfield players (!!) but his production was still excellent. The data supports it, but anecdotally all you need to know is Argentina scored 8 goals in total, and Messi scored four and assisted on two more. Without him they don't even make it past the round of 16, and maybe not even out of their group.

No Pressure

This from Big Cheese, who is a nurse and married to a doctor. That's Baby Lucy in a dr's outfit. It's good to set expectations early.

14 July 2014

For All That It Meant and All That It Didn't Mean

The great Brian Philips writes about the World Cup. Looking at old pictures of my friends I feel the same way. He says:

Something I’ve noticed since I entered my mid-thirties is that no one ever looks the right age anymore. When I see friends I’ve known for years, they’re always a little older than I expect, a little different from the images I’m carrying around in my head. But when I see old pictures of them, pictures from the time when those mental images ought to originate, they look astoundingly, impossibly young. No one was ever as young as they look. They look like elves with goofy hair. So what am I picturing when I think of them? Something that never really existed, probably. Something both finished and unfinished, a story I’ve told myself. We tell ourselves stories to make time bearable. But the World Cup is over now, for all that it meant and all that it didn’t mean.

----------------
Great end to a great tournament. See you you in 2018. 

11 July 2014

MOAR PUPPY

Besos con Las Guitarras
Friend of the blog Slobscot sent me another photo of the sweet princess Ruby Q. (For real that is her name.) Since Ruby is definitely the cutest dog that anyone sends me pictures of I am posting it. Because this little beast will warm your heart.

Sweet Puppy with sweet guitars in the background is tough to beat. This photo has everything!

10 July 2014

Big Room Trance Classics: Rank 1 - Airwave



Dash Berlin just posted a short but sweet set of old-school trance classics, some of which have been updated, some of which are original. I loved it. The full mix is embedded above, but if you want to skip right to one of my all-time favorite epic trance anthems then just listen to the youtube below. Rank1 - Airwave. That's the jam right there. If you don't love it you need to do some drugs* turn it up.

I may have already posted this jam once before but I'm too pumped to bother looking. 

Kind of a slow starter so skip the first two minutes if you must.




*Just a joke, people.

Important Decision - Complete

Update:
The votes are in!
I used the one where I wasn't smiling.
I will make cookies in the next couple weeks and mail them to the winner of the drawing. Haven't done the drawing yet but I'll notify you if you win. :)


-----------------

Had to take a professional photo for the job at Megacorp, Inc. Sitting for photos is not my favorite but it could be worse. Because: employment. Narrowed it down to two. Which pic should I use?

Email or txt me.

Forgot to mention: I will send one person that gets back to me a care package of chocolate chip cookies. Winner chosen at random, entries due by Monday, 14 July. 

09 July 2014

Bummer, with Bonus Puppy Pics

STOP IT! YOU'RE MELTING MY COLD, DEAD HEART

I WANT TO GIVE YOU ALL THE KISSES
Big news of the week, aside from working a lot and Brazil getting eviscerated by Ze Germans, is that I'm no longer dating the girl I was dating. I liked her. It didn't work out. She was funny and gorgeous and fun to be around and I really liked spending time with her. So that's a Disappointment.

Yeah there are worse things and yeah, there are other girls out there but still: sucks.

In order to make this post less of a downer I added pictures of my friends new puppy. Her name is Ruby, which is super cute. He bought a mixed purebred designer dog, which we tend to frown on around here (GET A RESCUE FROM THE POUND), but I cannot deny the cuteness of this little beast. Looks like a sweetheart to me.

06 July 2014

05 July 2014

Drone + Fireworks = Win



Did you ever want to be inside one of those big fireworks but were kind of concerned about little things like personal safety? Well, look no further.

SCIENCE

Neil deGrasse Tyson is rad.

04 July 2014

03 July 2014

Tim Howard is the Truth



The US is out of the World Cup. They're out in part because they have only one world-class player, which is not ideal when you're playing against the rest of the world. The only reason they didn't get embarrassed on the international stage is that the one player they had that is capable of delivering an all-world performance is the goalie: he was huge, and he was awesome, and he was everywhere.

How much everywhere? He had more saves than anyone has ever had in a single game since they started keeping track of these things in 1966. As I pointed out to Big Cheese, the game has changed a little since those days. He got inside the heads of the Belgian players; they knew it would take a perfect shot to beat him. The tweet from the Belgian captain Vincent Kompany (who IS world class) after the game said, "Two Words: TIM HOWARD".

A lot of the talk about how Landycakes was left off the World Cup squad* included statements like "best player in US history". This is annoying, because while Donovan is the best outfield player in US history the best player in US history is Timmy Fucking Howard. There is no player on the US team now or ever that could have turned in a performance like the one he delivered yesterday. They just aren't good enough. I'm not the only one that thinks so. (Link is to Klinnsman quote: “We cannot win this World Cup, because we are not at that level yet,” Klinsmann told the New York Times. "For us, we have to play the game of our lives seven times to win the tournament. Realistically, it is not possible.”)

On a personal level, I wept tears of joy when Landycakes kicked us into the knockout stages back in 2010, and yesterday my heart broke more than a little bit when Chris Wondolowski shanked a ball from six yards out that would likely have been the winning goal in the 88th minute against Belgium. Football giveth, football taketh away.

I don't know if it was Howard's last game as an American in the World Cup. He is 35 now but goalies can play into their 40s, so even if he isn't the starter he should get a ticket in 2018 and 2022, because when you cover yourself in glory like he did yesterday then you deserve to be in the conversation for as long as you can stand on two legs and hold your arms over your head. You have to take three keepers anyway, so fuck it: take Tim Howard. He's the best ever to pull on a USA jersey, and if you don't love that then you don't love America.


* Landon should have been on the team. Wondolowski isn't good enough, no matter how hard he tries. And that was before he shit himself on international television late in the Belgium game.

29 June 2014

RANGE DAY - Just in Time for 4th of July

Good Trigger Discipline
This is my friend and her husband at the range. She's not as into guns as he is but I appreciate her getting out there and giving it a go. And she looks like she knows what she's doing, which counts for a lot. 

19 June 2014

Doing Stuff

I've been away. Full report when I get back. In the mean time: the world cup is still on. Check it.

If I have any time this weekend I'll do an interim update from my temporary location. Definitely visiting one of my favorite places this weekend, is what I mean. Last chance to view the butterfly exhibit this season!

12 June 2014

Kickoff

The World Cup is the worst. You cannot talk about the World Cup without talking about corruption, about misuse of resources, about social unrest.

The World Cup is the best. You cannot talk about the World Cup without talking about this:


That's magic right there. LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS.

It kicks off today. Watch as many games as you can - you might will see some magic.