We are going to start this entry on a little bit of a sad note. Those of you that pay attention to my scribblings will note that I semi frequent a local watering hole. By hole I mean just that, it is a bar with older folks in a college section of town, which in and of itself is kind of a nice thing, and everyone there is pretty much a regular. While we all aren't on a first name basis, it is pretty common that we know most of the people there and even those of which we have a passing acquaintance are worthy of at least a hello when seen out and about.
The bar, Uncle Jimmy's, has been a part of my existence in one form or another for the better part of 17 years now. From sitting in there drinking beers and eating quarter pound hot dogs for a buck during the Penguins first Stanley Cup run back in 1991 to the fact I have run the bar's fantasy football league for the last 7 years now, it has been almost part of my home, regardless of where my official domicile would be, it is one of the constants of my life. The owner, Jimmy, was himself very much a character. It wasn't uncommon to stop by the place shortly after it opened at 11am and see him there and have him still be there when they closed up at 2am that night. And he was more than content to mingle with the regulars and tie one on on a regular basis with us, at least until recently, when his health started taking a turn for the worse. The operations of the bar were handed over to his grandson, who has done a respectable job with the place, but it isn't quite the same without seeing Jimmy in there on a regular basis. That being said, Jimmy passed away this week, he had been battling cancer for the last 6 months, along with a variety of other ailments, so while his passing isn't shocking, it is still saddening.
I have been keeping a single bottle of beer in my fridge for a while now, a Harp lager for those keeping score at home, and it has been in there for probably about 5 years, or 5 part time jobs ago. I guess I was saving it for a special occasion, and this seems like a good enough time to crack it open and raise a glass to an old friend so don't mind me if I drink while I type the rest of this blog.
I think I just learned something about blogging, there really isn't a good segue from death. It kind of drives the whole mood down. Thing is, I really wasn't in a down mood when I started this. I had ye olde creative juices flowing for some things I wanted to say but I am not sure how to go from point A above to point B. Funk and Wagnel don't have any elements of style to proceed from that point.
I can say that I dropped a couple more applications off over the course of the last two days. I am of mixed feelings about getting a part time job over the next week though. I certainly could use the extra cash to start once again rolling in, by the same token, I am working overnights at the radio station for the next week, so I am not sure I want to kill myself by working two jobs over that span. Still, I have been doing the one job thing for about a month now, it is probably time I get off of my ass and start filling up my social calendar with work.
The radio gig has been hit and miss recently. I think it is mostly my fault, I just don't feel "on". I am there and I am making the trains run on time, which is my primary job, but by the same token, I feel like a 6 cylinder running on 5, I am just missing something. Maybe if I bury my head in my work during the overnights I can get my head back in the game so to speak. I tend to approach it like a baseball player, I have to hit my way out of the slump I feel like I am in.
Speaking of baseball, it is Joe Random time. I am up to my fifth season playing my game, though it is the first season that I started the year on the major league roster and I am about a quarter of the way through it, having played 40 games so far and I have compiled a .407 batting average with 17 home runs and 49 RBI's, so I guess I am off to a good enough start. I am second amongst American League first baseman in the All Star voting, only Todd Helton is having a better year than me at that position.
I did finish my Tim Dorsey book, so I naturally went right out and got another one. I will go into more detail on the neverending thread, but suffice it to say that I enjoy his work enough that I almost felt I had to go get another book after finishing the last one.
Hey look, I went to bed and came back to blog some more. Actually I went to sleep and then got up this morning (Saturday) and went about doing the things that I like to do and then I came back. A couple little adds to the blog page under the furry entry, some more Book of the Dead stuff, some reading of the new Tim Dorsey book and a trip to apply for another job and now I am back.
The trip was actually a wasted one, I went to go get an application from Joe Beth Booksellers, and as I ask the cashier if they have any applications I find out that they only do applications online, so I pretty much wasted my trip. Well, not entirely, she did give me the website, so I managed to apply for another job while sitting on my ass today. Go me!!!
One of the other things I did while putzing around online today was take part in a mock fantasy football draft. Yes, this is how geeky I am, I will do something like that, which doesn't even count for anything, just to see how I might or might not do. Basically what a mock draft does for you is it gives you a gauge of how other people that you don't know view players for the upcoming fantasy football season. Below is the list of guys I ended up with. To make sense of the draft rules, it was 14 rounds and you had to draft at least the following; QB, 2 RBS, 2 WRS, RB/WR, TE, K DST and 5 reserve players. To understand the list, going across is position, round drafted, selection number, player, and team. I actually opted to draft first, simply because I wanted the joy of picking first and not getting a pick again until #20 just to see how other people viewed the middle picks. Ideally either Tomlinson or Adrian Peterson will be #1 overall in most drafts, so that is no brainer territory, but how the next 18 would fall interested me greatly. As for how I did, well here you go....
QB 6 (#60) Hasselbeck, Matt (QB SEA) - rated #63 overall, so this isn't much of a reach to grab with the 60th pick when I hadn't drafted a quarterback yet.
RB 1 (#1) Tomlinson, LaDainian (RB SD) - rated #1 in Sportsline Top 200, really a no brainer with the first overall pick.
RB 4 (#40) Jones-Drew, Maurice (RB JAC) - rated #21 overall, if this had been a real draft I would have been happy as hell to get him the 19 spots later I did in this draft.
WR 2 (#20) Fitzgerald, Larry (WR ARI) - rated #19 overall, about where he should be grabbed.
WR 3 (#21) Johnson, Andre (WR HOU) - rated #26 overall, so if I didn't take him here, he probably wouldn't have been on the board when I selected again at #40
TE 9 (#81) Shockey, Jeremy (TE NYG) - listed as #129 overall, this was a need pick, I hadn't filled out the tight end spot yet on my draft board, this was the best name available as far as I could tell.
RB-WR 5 (#41) Harrison, Marvin (WR IND) - rated #77 overall, due to his missing a large chunk of last year with a bad knee and off season surgery. This pick would be a reach of a pick, but if you are going to make reaches, better the names you know and have proven themselves than the ones you don't and haven't.
K 14 (#140) Reed, Jeff (K PIT) - another need pick, but the very last pick in the draft. Not listed among the top 200 players, in most fantasy leagues the guys who wasted early picks on kickers are the guys losing money, as probably the top 20 or so are interchangeable on a week to week basis. You will never see me pick a kicker until I am almost forced to.
DST 10 (#100) Jaguars, DST (DST JAC) - rated #128 overall, this again is a need pick and was the best defense on the board at the time. Like kickers, I don't waste a lot of time on drafting team defenses. In those leagues, like the one I run, where you draft individual defensive players, I will start drafting defensive guys as early as the 6th or 7th round, but teams defenses are almost as interchangeable as kickers, unless you have one of the really crappy ones (yes I am looking at Cincinnati when I say that).
RS 11 (#101) Schaub, Matt (QB HOU) - rated #150, this is where I will disagree with the Sportsline folks, he is better than Kitna (#149), Campbell (#127), and probably Aaron Rogers (#104) just based on career numbers. Plus, I had already drafted his #1 WR (Andre Johnson) so in fantasy leagues I would get double points on their hookups.
RS 13 (#121) Crumpler, Alge (TE TEN) - rated #134, took as a backup to Shockey, probably the best receiver the Tennessee Titans will have this year, if Vince Young can master the art of throwing accurate passes.
RS 7 (#61) Jones, Thomas (RB NYJ) - rated #45 overall, so a little bit of a steal at pick 61, drafted more on potential with the Jets spending money in the off season to upgrade their offensive line.
RS 8 (#80) Gonzalez, Anthony (WR IND) - rated #99 overall, the plus is that Peyton Manning throws him the ball, the minus is if Harrison is healthy, he is no better than a #3 receiver in Indianapolis.
RS 12 (#120) Packers, DST (DST GB) - not in the Top 200, but accounted for 6 TDs last year, so not a bad backup to Jacksonville as a unit.
There, did that bore you enough. I could have talked about tennis instead, which I am way digging on right now. Tennis is like golf to me, I will not sit down and watch the Nabisco Open per se, but give me a major event and I can get all caught up in it. Wimbledon qualifies in that regard. Add to the fact that there were a handful of early round upsets, including the #1 and #3 seeds in the women's draw and it has been quite compelling to watch so far. Plus as an added bonus, it is on while I am at work, so I can have the TV on tennis while producing the morning show, rather than say, CNN.
While on the business of courts, am I the only one that doesn't get the outrage or cheering over the Supreme Courts overturning the DC gun ban? This may have been the least important decision they made this week, yet it got the most play. So the court says you can't ban ownership of guns to law abiding citizens, it didn't get into the issue of waiting periods or background checks, so this is really a no brainer to me. Unless you make gun ownership illegal, which legislatively will never happen, then you can't ban people from purchasing something that is legal to have. I was far more troubled by the other rulings the court made this week, including deciding that people who rape children can't be given the death penalty. Also there was the reducing of the award that Exxon had to pay in the Valdez case. The fact that the accident happened in 1989 and Exxon is still haggling over what if anything they should pay the people of Alaska whose livelihood they ruined after having a drunk captain pilot an oil tanker strikes me as dubious at best. The court said that the compensatory damages should be proportional to the punitive ones and cut the judgement from $6 billion dollars to $500 million. To the average Alaskan who has lost their means of support in the fishing industry, this cuts their award down from $89,000 to $15,000. These two cases would scream of judicial activism, actual legislating from the bench rather than upholding previous laws or court decisions. The thing is, because one of the rulings went against the death penalty and one was a pro business ruling, neither liberals nor conservatives will call the court into question because they both got a little of what they wanted.
The worst ruling was the releasing of a convicted murderer however. The court, in its infinite wisdom, ruled that a man that was convicted of murder had to be freed because during the trial he did not have the chance to question his accuser, violating his 6th Amendment rights. Mind you, the reason he didn't get to face his accuser was because of the simple fact that he killed her seemed to be lost on the court, so they let a felon walk. But that is okay, we got our gun ruling, so the rest of this stuff can be swept under the rug.
Enough of a rant from me, I better get to spell checking this disaster and posting. Nite all.