Wednesday, September 9, 2009

These Lying Eyes

I drove by a store called "Baby and Horse Boutique." I was driving quickly, and I left my neck above half arching back for a better look at the store-front. Babies and horses? That's ridiculous, I said; then I pulled my head back around and drove away.

Upon inspection, these old eyes they fool me: 'Body and Home Boutique' is the actual name of the store. That makes more sense, I said, pulling the reigns back, and Rusty and I trotted off.

Monday, September 7, 2009

10 Years, Classroom: You're On

This guy says his kids will be smarter than your kids. And my kids. Everyone ever.

If you even think you may want kids one day, he's calling your possible future kids out, bro's

Of course, he has a point:
Tools like the Nintendo DS are extremely powerful and will be in my children's hands.

There are other learning games around like Brain Age and whatnot that don't help with specific skills, but help overall cognitive thinking. That, to me, is much more crucial than knowing your multiplication tables or how to spell specific words.

I agree.

I too am raising my tikes using that paragon of brain development, Nintendo, and in 10 years, we'll meet your kids in the classroom, or on the set of a movie, and brain punch them.

Turning Red

OK Heidi, my nipples are rashing-up and still no labor. My wrists kinda hurt too. At what point can I stop this?


Between anxiously waiting for her to go into labor and this Sunday's game I'm pretty sure I'm going to have a heart attack.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Genius of Trent Dilfer Strikes Again

Transcripts of sports play-by-play and talking head shows should exist. That would help me out.

Since they don't yet exist (until the day some stenographer, Redskins-loving, father-to-be stumbles upon this very post) I have to recount this tale sans proof.

After the BYU / Oklahoma upset, the heads were talking sprained AC joints; specifically, the weeks required to recover from one. The main head says that the medical experts they'd talked to say 2-4 weeks, but Trent Dilfer, who's sprained his AC joint umpteen times, claims it could just be a week or so, severity notwithstanding.

So they caveat the advice of medical experts with the advice of quarterback—and apparently now medical—expert Trent Dilfer.

For the second time in the last hour: What the hell?

Movie (Trailer) Review

Whiteout: What the hell?


Glancing at the NFL coverage map for week 1, it appears that—unlike most of the country—I won't be able to watch the Redskins from home confines (of Medford, Oregon). Damn.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Yesterday was the due date…do I just sort of wait around now?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Life Lesson

Son, if you taunt your opponent, moments after defeating him in an emotional battle, you might get punched in the face.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I purposely did not consult a single statistic in formulating the analysis that follows.
   –Trent Dilfer describing his QB ranking system


Is what I would name my son if I lived in China.

It's also the sound of NFL ownership tills around the country.

According to Forbes 2009 list of NFL valuations, the NFL is still raking dough hand-over-fist.

In terms of total value Dallas tops the list at $1.65 billion, the Redskins are a near (by Federal Government accounting standards at least) number two at $1.6 billion.

Those are the newsmaking numbers.

Lesser reported is the Redskins decimating the league in operating income: $90 million with the closest team $20 million behind. Dallas had an operating income of just $9.2 million. With a income like that how do those beers and grub prices strike you now?

Also of note are player expenses, including benefits and bonuses. For all the flak Dan Snyder takes for being a supposed human ATM, the Redskins spent $139 on player expenses in 2008. Compare that to the other top 5 valuable teams: $165 (Dallas), $131 (Patriots), $139 (Giants), $141 (Jets), $140 (Texans).

Sure, feeding and paying Albert Haynsworth costs a hundred mil alone; but we're not exactly trying to buy a championship here, unless you think the Texans are too.

Monday, August 31, 2009

If Only

From the yet unpublished Joe Bugel's Guide To Coping With Labor Pain:
"Tape an aspirin on it. Tape an Alka-Seltzer on it. Let it dissolve. "

Saturday, August 29, 2009

You, Sir, Are Wrong

While Jason La Canfora helmed the good ship Redskins Insider he had a reputation for being a hater. To be more precise, he let his (alleged) dislike of the organization pepper many of his posts, even posts with subjects unrelated to decisions made by the organization.

La Canfora's Insder posts were frequently duplicitous; in one paragraph he'd land a jab, in the next he'd ice the bruise. While throwing jabs is what any objective journalist should do (leaving aside what objectivity a reporter should bring to a blogging role), regular readers of Insider noticed the jabs were of the nasty sort, and the ice was never very cold.

Posts critical of top-Skins brass (Snyder and Cerrato) often relied anonymous execs, scouts, or sources from around the league. Some of his commenters mused that many of these league execs were Jason himself.

Plus, he's a Ravens fan.

Anyway, he leapt from a readership of mindless Redskins homers to league wide reporting and blogging for NFL junkies on the Network. He recently issued his picks for the 2009 season and, based on his background of blog bias against the burgundy and gold, I was interested to read his take on the NFC East.
NFC East
Winner: Eagles. This has been a real struggle for me, with the Eagles and Giants both suffering significant losses this preseason...I'll stick with the Eagles for now, but not by much, and this smells like a three-team race to me.

Loser: Redskins. The Redskins look like a team with a top-5 defense and a bottom-5-10 offense, which is roughly what they have been for five years now. Winning 7-8 games seems about right -- they'd beat[sic] start quickly before the schedule and weather turn severe -- which probably puts them bottom of the pack, unless a division foe gets ravaged by injuries.

Now maybe Jason is right in claim but he's absolutely wrong in substance. Way wrong.

Putting aside the Redskins 2 playoff appearances in the last 4 seasons. Forgetting that just last year they swept the Eagles, who went on to the NFC championship game. Chuck out our 13-17 record against the NFL east the past 5 years; a record that includes 2 coaching changes and 3 offensive coordinators (a better metric would be our 3-3 record just last year, Jim Zorn's first). Let's not posit that, given big-name departures and preseason injuries in the East, the Redskins actually appear to be the most stable team in the division.

Nope. None of that.

Let's just look at the claim—the entire basis of Jason's prediction—that the Redskins have been a bottom 10-5 offense over the past 5 seasons.

2008 #19 (ahead of the Superbowl winning Steelers (#22))
2007 #15 (ahead of the Superbowl winning Giants (#16))
2006 #13 (ahead of the NFC champion Bears (#15))
2005 #11 (ahead of the AFC champion Superbowl winning Steelers #15))
2004 #30 (...OK he has our number here)

So, in the last five years they've been a bottom 5-10 offense once. And, to add an asterisk, the one year was Joe Gibbs' first, playing with a Spurrier squad. Not exactly the cellar dwellers he claims they are.

…but, wait-wait-wait, he probably meant the Redskins were bad at scoring points (though the top-5 D is derived using the same system, yds/g, so it hardly seems fair to mix and match methodologies). 2 of the last 5 years featured the Redskins among the NFL's 10 worst point scorers. One of those, again, Joe Gibbs' first year righting a very wronged ship; the other, Jim Zorn's first. Two new coaches, two point scoring deficient seasons.

La Canfora probably tried to slide this by the editors:
8-8 feels about right, given their division and what I percieve to be their talent level. I don't even think an improved D and a year of marriage between Zorn and Campbell will help. Given that I berated the organization for not drafting o-linemen, and chided the picks of David, Kelly and Thomas, I'm going to double-down and root for failure. Hey, I've invested too much time inveighing against those draft picks to even consider the possibility that even one of them could produce this year. Nope. Not going to do it. Hell, 8-8 is liberal of me really.

His pick could be accurate if it read:
The Redskins have shown productivity on the offensive side of the ball where yardage is concerned, but have struggled to convert those yards in to points. Part of the problem is the absence of big play (insert paltry big play stats here), the other is a top-5 D that in 2008 didn't force many turnovers or score any points (1 of 4 teams without a defensive TD in 2008). Though the additions of Albert Haynsworth and rookie DE Brian Orakpo may remedy the problem of too-few forced turnovers, they came at the expense of an aging O-Line that stuggled to stay healthy in 2008. I again see them starting strong in 2009, but, as last year with a 6-2 start turned 2-6, just one major o-line injury could leave this team again mourning past draft picks traded for aging vets, when o-line depth could have been addressed.

See Jason, I even managed to jab Cerrato.

Whatever. It's hard, I'm sure, to know the ins-and-outs of 32 squads but if you make a statistical claim, dammit check that it's an accurate one. Otherwise, Jason, you're what your haters always said you were: A hater.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Old School

"If a guy's going to miss the season because he's hurt -- I think nagging injuries, at one point you have to say, 'I'm playing.' Tape an aspirin on it. Tape an Alka-Seltzer on it. Let it dissolve. Play"
   –Joe Bugel

Monday, August 24, 2009

Slinging Sammy

Man stats: Passing, punting, rushing, recieving, defense, 11 punt returns, and an extra point. That was gridiron football.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

That's Useful, Put It in the Pile of Other Useful Things That We Don't Use

The fruit of my labor days has been spent sweetly. If we're spending the little money we have, it's on something we really need (or, in the lady's case, really wants).

But as we near our labor day the fruit of others generosity has increased by many-fold. Grandma keeps adding to the stock, Mom's friends can't help but picking up nick-nacks, and the baby shower left us quite a trail of cardboard and bags, and now we're richer in belongings, poorer in closet space.

So much stuff, and I can't decide if any of it is useful. Most probably isn't.

We have some Burt's Baby Bee goop, will it get applied? He'll surely out-grow most the onsies before wearing, right? Little man shoes, will we strap them on? Warming things, pumping things, cleaning things, plastic things, what?

I say no no and no. Next time give us some towels, safety pins, and a pair of scissors and from squarish-cloth-shape we can wrap the babe as needed.

The baby Converse are pretty stinking cute, though.

So Cruel

"It is cruel to note how long it has been since the Redskins truly were "very good." In the last 17 seasons years, they have won 10 games just twice."

That is cruel, so thanks for noting it, Bos.

Oh, sarcasm; I get it.

"We didn't make any plays, they beat us on third down and we made poor decisions. Other than that, it was delightful."
     –Greg Blache, on the Redskins 1st team D's performance against the Steelers

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Snap Back, With Grace

According to What To Expect When You're Expecting:
"Doing your Kegels faithfully during pregnancy will help your vagina snap back more gracefully after your baby's grand exit."

The choice of the adverb "gracefully" and phrasal verb "snap back" makes for an awkward sentence. Actually, any sentence that features a vagina snapping back is an awkward one. Mix in "faithfully" and the baby exiting the body in a grand manner and you have a giggle worthy statement.

But, it begs, does the vagina return to form gracefully or is the vagina graceful in its returned form?

Grace was cursed with a graceless vagina.

Amazing childbirth: That soon after its violent expansion the vagina recoils with grace.

I hope that when the boy makes his grand exit he doesn't leave Mom with a less graceful vagina.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


If one pulled their stare from the captivating promise of the green preview screen to view the theater's two newest entrants, they surely would notice the bump on her midsection. This bump and my open protective hand, bracketing her gentle sway—a gesture full of earnest care but an empty safety measure—would lead this preview-missing movie-goer to conclude that our expecting circumstance was the reason we came to the movie.

They’d be correct.

Away We Go is the story of an expectant couple searching for a place to start their lives as parents. Starting your life as parents is difficult, maybe not for everyone; for us, though, it is very.

The difficulty stems from the new importance of your every decision. The ability of plastic clips to perform their designed task requires MIT-like research. Transposing human needs onto a newborn means new, previously unheard of, products. They poop how frequently, into what, and at what cost? They wear what, how, when, and at what cost? They sleep in this, rest in that, lay in the other thing, and at what cost? Price tags play a major role in this act. Air and milk are abundant and free, but I guess the fresh-faced require a good deal more than that these days.

That human birth has occurred successfully for a hundred-thousand years, that every current one of the human billions had to slide a uterine and cervical path, most delivered using only the rusted tool of instinctual know-how (though know-how alone won’t clean up that mess) does little to assuage your fears. The dread certainty of future uncertainty is implacable.

Nothing you read will answer the most important and persistent question: Are we be able going to give him all he needs at every turn? The question can’t be answered; we know not what turns will come and, thusly, can’t know his needs, or ours, at those places.

Away We Go doesn’t mention any of these difficulties, which is a strong mark in its pro column. Instead it focuses on the couple’s relationship and the baby’s effect on it. We with pea in pod recognize all the subtle promissory glances, the assurance of soft touch. We know her uncomfortable rustling; his uncomfortable affirmations of her beauty. When he promises that he’ll love her, even if her vagina goes AWOL in a pile of postpartum pudge, we laugh, part at the promise, part that we’ve made and not meant that same promise too.

The movie, also to its benefit, doesn’t explore the psyche of the characters. They aren’t searching for themselves; they’re searching for a place to be themselves. The movie goer is just watching the search.

How many of us are searching for what we are or who we are? We, cut of self-assured and reassured cloth, don’t search for who were are: we know. What we know about ourselves is often only infinitesimally affected by what we find from day-to-day. Though over time the dots that connect the day-to-day of our past and present do create a picture of our persona, they mostly just serve as place markers. We were there, now we are here. When the dots serve as behavioral direction, when they alter your course so hugely that the broader picture of who you are is irreparably changed, they do so not because you were searching for them but because they dropped onto your noggin.

In this blog, like the movie, I don’t plan on chronicling what fatherhood does to me but where fatherhood ends me up: About those places and how I feel at each. I will also chronicle my passion and interaction with the performance of the Washington Redskins. If my son is a dot, a place mark, set to alter my course: It is one I embrace. The rise and fall of the Redskins on crisp Sundays, however, that is the dot that lands square on my head.

Why include football? To be relevant, to connect me to most. The truth is, watching, or reading, another’s life unfold in an average way is only mildly entertaining. During Away We Go you never lose yourself. While watching what was meant to be an affecting scene I thought, longingly: In the theatre next to us a house is turning into a robot and blowing shit up. Football serves to blow this blog up from time to time.

At present, however—given the flutter of foot seen on the skin below her navel—the time for blowing shit up has passed. It is indeed time to put away such childish things; but where will it all go and how much does the place it goes cost?