Archive for May, 2011

May 24 2011

More Flooding

Published by under News,Personal

Even more water was predicted today. Up to 6 more feet, from what I hear. Flood stage is around 2 more feet. The river is proving just how much of an insurmountable force nature can be. So after work, we were back to it.

I now have multi-dimensions of pain in my muscles. I should probably think about increasing my life insurance if I need to keep this up too much longer. Some one should at least profit from me being driven into the ground.

If anything, this is just eating away any desire I would have to live on the water. Well, maybe not totally, but it might have to be one of those nice man made lakes that are regulated. Seems a better way to go.

Pictures of the flood can be found here. Twitter updates can be found here.

Yesterday’s song didn’t seem to help so instead of a song about rain causing a flood, today I’m gonna go with a song about a drought. Couldn’t hurt right?

Warning, if you have a known allergy to 80′s metal hair bands, you might not want to listen.

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May 23 2011

Flood

Published by under Personal

There is no other way to explain it. I’m tired. Exhausted.

My code monkey hands were not meant for hard labor. But that’s what the day called for. My boss left work this morning at 9 am after he got a call that water was up to his driveway. I got an email in the afternoon asking for help for sand bagging. So I came home, changed, picked up TJ and we went out to try and ready his home for the rising water.

Normally North Dakota is a fairly arid place. Little moisture and certainly not the place you normally have to concern yourselves of with flooding. The last few years have changed that. Unfortunately for my boss, he has to wait it out for a few more weeks as the snow melt from the mountains continue to cause issue. There is flooding down the river on the Mississippi and they have tried to keep the water back but it sounds like if they don’t do controlled releases, they will soon be uncontrolled which is worse for everyone down the Missouri and then to the Mississippi.

This is a short post cause, frankly, I’m too tired for much else. Gonna just post a song that I couldn’t help think about while we filled bags and built walls.

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May 22 2011

Tick Tick Boom

Published by under Entertainment,Personal,Sports

Last night we went to the BisMan Bombshellz first bout in Bismarck. Being a busy weekend and kids were all over the place, we weren’t certain we could make it but we found a way to make it work.

I haven’t heard much advertisement other than through friends, so I wasn’t sure what to expect for a turn out. When we got to the VFW, the parking lot closely rivaled the full load from a Bobcat’s games. We almost regretted not getting our tickets early. That ended up being a non-issue. The setup they have I think they could support twice as many spectators as they can at the Bobcat’s games.

I’m going to be honest. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I really don’t know much about Roller Derby short of a few 5 minute ESPN segments and that episode of Psych where Juliet goes undercover to infiltrate a roller derby crime team. Not to say that all derbiers (I don’t know what they technical like to be called) are deliquents and criminals. I haven’t even seen Whip It yet (but it is on my netflix queue behind a few Hitchcock movies).

Truth be told, right now I’m kinda hoping that idea of derbiers not being violent felons is true. I’m also hoping they don’t mind being called derbiers in case I’m wrong. A few of those girls really look like they could hurt me beyond what I would consider my acceptable pain threshold for a deserved beating. It’s probably best to just try and avoid the subject and move on.

I did try to get some pictures at the event, but the lighting wasn’t allowing that possible from the bleachers. I likely could have gotten some good shots from the “suicide seating” down next to the ring, but I think the potential of coming back to the bleachers after leaving my wife with 4 kids would have put me into a situation I mentioned above in which the pain I was owed was beyond what I was comfortable facing. I will look through the pictures and see if I can “salvage” a few of them and post them online.

Speaking of the “suicide seats”, it took me most of the way through the first bout to distinguish WTF he was saying concerning them. I wasn’t sure if he was saying “Get the f’ off the floor” or “come on down”. Eventually, I grasped the point he was trying to convey was “Get your kids off the floor so we don’t get sued when your child inevitably gets bashed in the face by a wayward skate”. Understandable. Others must have had similar difficulty understanding the announcers as I saw tons of people leading their kid to certain disfigurement. Either that or after properly weighed the risks and rewards of the action and logically determined being that much closer to the skaters would be a much larger mark on that child’s life than the potential of having a skate wheel divot permanently branded on their child’s forehead. Sound call, there, bucko.

The crowd really didn’t seem to get into it for the first bout. I’m not sure if it was apathy, confusion, a lack of appropriate alcohol having been consumed, or something else I have yet to consider, but they was a marked difference between the two bouts in terms of fan participation. I didn’t mind as it gave me an opportunity to try and figure out how it worked.

As for the kids, while I don’t think there is anything wrong with it for the kids, my younger kids had difficulty grasping the subtleties of the scoring mechanics. It’s easy to understand “When the ball goes through the hoop, they score points”. It’s a bit more difficult to understand “When the girl with the star on her head passes all all the apposing team the first time, they score a point for each apposing player there after”. It basically meant I heard a lot of “Why are they cheering?”.

They still enjoyed coming out, but I don’t think they want to be season ticket holders. At least until they are able to comprehend a multifaceted system of scoring consisting of following intervals of occurrences on the field covered with 10 bodies speeding around an oval and colliding like they are being forced through a large hadron collider. Kids. What are you gonna do?

All in all, I had a good time and was glad I was able to go. I think it is something that would be fun to go with a group of friends and maybe if I can get on the floor, have a chance to get some pictures worth posting. Sans kids.

PS. If you are a derbier but find the term “derbier” unsavory, please spare my pretty face and just tell me what else to use. I mean no disrespect.

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May 21 2011

The Accidental Sea

Published by under Personal

Today was a busy day for me and I kinda forgot about making a post, so this one is kind of weak. I really don’t want to fail only 3 days into my challenge though. Gotta go the distance a bit.

I have posted this on my twitter already, but it’s just such a well put together piece that it’s worth the extra bit of exposure.


(via Ransom Riggs)

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May 19 2011

Quarterback Stats

Published by under Sports

I have to say I have become really demoralized when I think of the state the NFL is currently. This bickering between the owners and the former players association can only be compared to a divorce going very badly. Both sides fighting and pointing fingers isn’t nearly as fun as watching teams battle on the gridiron.

I’m trying to look past that. I’m certain they will find a way to get games played and come to some sort of agreement. It’s a multi billion dollar sport and I have hope that people aren’t that stupid to just throw that away. Where there is money, there’s a way. In that hope, I have been looking at stats to hopefully help once the family fantasy football league inevitably starts up again this fall. I found an opinion article by some arm chair writer on the bleacher report ranking the active QB’s. I didn’t put much stake in such articles, but they are still entertaining to read.

What I did, though, was start to look at some of the stats of all the active quarterbacks who are coming into this season. Specifically, I was looking at the career TD passes to interception ratio. In any football league, this can mean a huge deal when trying to pick who is going to be your big stud to lead you to victory. Not that it has helped me in recent years, but let’s just call that variance and ignore that bit for now.

This is what I found out though. There are 5 active quarterbacks who have a career TD pass to interception ratio of at least 2:1. 4 of them, I doubt any one would be surprised at and many people probably wouldn’t have much trouble guessing. The last one surprised me a bit.

These are the ones that are likely easy to guess:
Tom Brady
Peyton Manning
Philip Rivers
Aaron Rodgers

Right there you have 4 of the likely first 7 QB’s to be picked in any league. There are a couple of players like Brees and Vick who narrowly missed this list that would be in the mix too.

The last name missing from this list is Donovan McNabb. For all the ungrateful complaints from the Eagles fans, they owe a lot of their success over the years to McNabb, but he isn’t really what you would think of as a top tier QB. On paper, he is right up there with just about any one as this stat proves. Does that mean I’m going to bump him up on my draft list? Probably not too much unless he goes somewhere favorable. To be honest, I thought the Redskins would have been as favorable as any spot. Shannahan and Reid run similar offenses and both are typically QB friendly. Maybe he’s just getting old and has reached the end of his career.

What do these stats mean? Possibly nothing. Seneca Wallace nearly made this list, for fuck sake. And there probably should be some attempt qualifier for this since Stephen McGee (who the fuck is that?) technically also made this list with 2 TD’s and no Ints but that is statistically irrelevant (only 44 attempts). Or maybe he’s a wasted asset riding the pine behind Romo.

Truth is, they likely mean a ton but they are only a piece of the puzzle. There are a bunch of other details that affect this as well. Unfortunately, data isn’t always easy to access. If some one knows of an open database or even spreadsheets where I could make my own, I would love to do more of this. Statistical analysis may sound boring, but you can do some cool things with it if you look for the right stuff.

Gotta do what I can to get that edge in the fantasy football league.

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May 18 2011

Movies: Insomnia, Whites, Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Howl’s, Fahrenheit 451

Published by under Entertainment

Since I haven’t been posting, I do have a good sized backlog of movies to post about. Thanks also in part to the DOJ for the extra time too, but that’s a post for another day. I have 28 more of these (at least) so I certainly don’t want to blow my wad all at once. Gotta pace myself.

Insomnia

Insomnia is one of the last films from Christopher Nolan I had left to watch. All that remains is The Prestige. I have that one on my list but likely won’t see it soon unless it comes on instant watch in the near future. Nolan seems to gravitate to interesting stories and, in many cases, combines those with unique formats. Insomnia is a pretty straight forward format, but the story is pretty interesting. It follows a cop as he is investigating a murder in northern Alaska in the summer. While chasing the murder, he accidentally shoots and kills his partner. Due to an ongoing investigation on himself, he hastily decides to cover up that he was the one who killed his partner. His conscience eating away at this poor judgement along with the elongated daylight of the north begin to wreak havoc on his sleeping schedule leading to yet more questionable decisions and affecting his thoughts. There are a bunch of good performances throughout the film and the story is more than interesting enough to hold it’s own. While it won’t be mistaken as one of Nolan’s best films, it’s still quite good.

Good

The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia

This movie is a documentary about a family of extreme redneck outlaws that seem to flaunt and take pride in being such. This movie is partially a follow up on the family that started out from the movie Dancing Outlaw. Dancing Outlaw covered one member of the family who got noteriety for both his dancing talents as well as his brash behavior. This movie examines the rest of the family who are likely even more rowdy than their most famous family member. Now, I should tell you this is produced by MTV. It does have kind of a Jackass feel to it and it really seems like the family lays it on thick to put on a good show. Even if they aren’t really as unruly and raucous as they seem on screen, it’s still an amusing movie.

Good

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

I pretty much instantly recognized the main character’s voice as also being the main character from How to Train Your Dragon. Maybe my like for that movie gave this one some bonus points, but this popcorn film really exceeded my expectations. After disappointments like Percy Jackson (which I didn’t care for), I was happy to find this a good family movie to sit down and enjoy. It’s funny, well acted, and doesn’t try and take itself too seriously. There isn’t anything terribly special about it, but you don’t always need to have something extraordinary to enjoy it. If I had to choose between this and How to Train Your Dragon, I still pick the latter, but this is worth seeing too.

Good

Howl’s Moving Castle

Director, Hayao Miyazaki, is like the Jordan of anime. He has a long list of very successful and critically acclaimed movies. I think this is one of his better ones. For the first time in a long time, everyone in our house from the age of 2 to what-ever-age-my-wife-is, watched this movie in it’s entirety. I don’t think they all enjoyed it as much as I did, but it held their attention. An accomplishment in it’s own right. The story is about a girl cursed by a witch and turned into an old woman. She finds her way onto a magician’s walking castle helping him with cooking and cleaning. Together, along with a hodge podge of various other characters, they go on an adventure trying to help the magician in his quest to stop warring countries that are destroying their home. At it’s heart, it’s an anti-war movie. Miyazaki always seems to have an easy to see greater message. This one isn’t so in your face about it that it detracts from the story, though.

Great

Fahrenheit 451

I tried to find an open domain version of the book to read on my wife’s kindle. It’s one of those contemporary classics that you feel you have to read. Although I was unsuccessful, Netflix had it the movie on their instant watch list. I am more of a movie person than a book person any way. Everyone complains all the time that the books are better. I don’t always agree. I think in this case, that it must be true. There was just so much lacking from the film that it couldn’t have been that bad in book form. If you get past the costumes that seem to be plucked from the original Willy Wonka and the Tom Baker version of Doctor Who, it has the makings of a tremendous story and film. It just doesn’t follow through for whatever reason. The sole interesting piece of this movie is Julie Christie playing 2 roles as both Montag’s wife, who eventually turns him in, and the neighbor who draws him to the forbidden fruit of the books it’s his job to burn. Perhaps it hasn’t held up to the test of time for me or perhaps they tried to capture too much in too short of a time. Whatever it was, this just doesn’t seem to live up to it’s potential.

Bad

Over the last few months I’ve knocked off 7 movies from my top 50 from IMDB goal including 2 from Hitchcock. Shortly I’ll get those pieced together in a post. Exciting, isn’t it.

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