Saturday, October 18, 2008
And what's the pre-credit, subtitled denouement? "Oakland would eventually saddle SF with Barry Zito, who stunk up the house for a year-and-a-half"?
Friday, October 17, 2008
Stop me if you've heard this one before: Pre-teen boy, blessed or burdened with abilities beyond those of the ordinary humans among whom he lives, enrolls in an ancient institution that is part school, part cloister, and part fortress, where over almost a decade he learns traditions that are thousands of years old, studies the arcane lore of his chosen field, and develops the unusual faculties that set him apart from the people outside his school's walls. Though he is a less-talented student than many of his friends, he is somehow annointed, to the chagrin of some of his more capable peers, as a key figure in the fight against a shadowy enemy that threatens not just his school, but the entire world. With some misgivings, much luck, and no particularly spectacular insight, and with the help of his friends -- including a know-it-all fellow student, a band of trained fighters, a surrogate father later killed by the enemy, and a wizened mystic who sacrifices himself -- he manages to defeat the threat and find love along the way. It's a fun read, even if the author needs an editor who will trim unnecessary detours and lengthy digressions into esoterica that appeal only to the author's more obsessive fans.
That book, of course, is
McClendon is in the news again this week. He leveraged himself heavily to buy hundreds of millions of dollars of shares in his own company, Chesapeake Energy, as it rode energy prices to a high of $74 a share in July. Then something something economy (sorry for the technical jargon there), and the next thing McClendon knows, Chesapeake is trading at $12 and his lenders make a margin call, forcing him to sell 95% of his holdings, awesomely right before a 31% bounce.
Now, the guy still has a $42 million stake in Chesapeake (and presumably has other holdings as well), so even apart from his douchebaggery you probably wouldn't feel sorry for him. But he does seem to have downgraded to "fabulously wealthy" from "NBA-owner wealthy" in a few short months, and that's something, right? So here's hoping McClendon is going to have to sell his share of the Team That Is Dead To Me so that he can keep paying his landscaper and manicurist and anti-gay rights interest groups, preferably to some out-of-town millionaire looking to pave the highway to a different NBA-less city.
Read all about it here.
Also not to be missed is Bill Simmons take on the game. I'm not the one to judge this, but it seems to me that Simmons' analysis is much more even-handed than usual.
Too early to really figure the dynamics as yet, but the fact that the Immunity Challenge was a giant wicker game of Plinko was okay in my book.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
In other news, Michael picked out the exact same carseat and snap-and-go stroller for Jan's baby that we have for Phoebe, so that was cool.
Abby Lockhart was born from a one-ep guest spot as Carol Hathaway's OB nurse way back in 1999. She then entered med school, helped John Carter through his weird post-stabbing-of-Lucy addiction to pills, went back to nursing after her deadbeat ex stole her money, dealt with her bipolar brother and way more bipolar mom (Sally Field!), eventually got her medical degree, struggled with alcoholism, dated Luka Kovac, dated Carter, dated this sort of Paul Rudd-lookin' med student named Jake, fell in love with Luka, got pregnant, had his baby, nearly died in childbirth, struggled with alcoholism again, slept with Stanley Tucci, got back together with Luka for the most part, and recently survived an mob-related ambulance bombing. And that's leaving out the majority of the weekly attacks, storms, helicopter crashes, hijackings, kidnappings, run-ins with Forest Whitaker, and assorted other catastrophes she's endured over the past nine years. There really isn't room on the internets for all of it.To put her tenure in perspective (as well as that of the show), she has appeared in more episodes than Anthony Edwards, and she's done this despite the fact that by the time she joined the cast, George Clooney and Gloria Reuben had already left the show.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I repeat: The Philadelphia Phillies are going to the World Series.
I remember 1980, those bizarre extra inning games at the Astrodome, attending Game 2 of the World Series, jumping up and down on the couch on October 21, 1980 after the miracle Boone/Rose second out and the strikeout of Willie Wilson. I was seven.
I remember 1983. We attended all the playoff games in Section 214 of the Vet, surrounded by the players' wives and families, so I got to hang out with a nine-year-old Gary Matthews Jr, Joe Morgan's kids and others. I was 11, and after five LCS appearances in an eight-year span, I figured they'd be back again soon.
I actually missed going to the 1993 playoffs. It was my senior year of college, and I was knee-deep in thesis and unable to make it back home. I had to watch that 15-14 disaster, the Schilling masterpiece and Joe Carter's bomb from the tv room in the Hitchcock House lounge.
This has been a long fifteen years.
In between, I've seen the Sixers give me remarkable joy in 2000-01 only to fall short at the end, and the Eagles break my heart in three straight conference championship games (two in person) followed by 4th-and-26, a trip to the Super Bowl and, yeah, more disappointment.
It's time to hope again. Philadelphia, push your chips in the middle of the table. Starting next Wednesday, we've got four more wins to go. It's time for this city's twenty-five year drought to finally end.
Okay, I have no idea what Cameron and Chase are still doing on the show (and hey, where'd that private eye go?), but beside that, it's still a show to enjoy. (Next week: Thirteen!)
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Tentatively, I'd like to draft next Tuesday night at 9pm EDT if that works for everyone -- minimizes the tv conflicts.
e.t.a.by.adam: In other Broadway news, Oliver Platt has signed up to star in the upcoming Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls, portraying good old reliable Nathan, Nathan Nathan Nathan Detroit, a role previously inhabited on stage and screen by Walter Matthau, Alan King, Frank Sinatra, Robert Guillaume, Bob Hoskins and, of course, Nathan Lane. No casting yet for Sky Masterson, Miss Adelaide or Sarah Brown -- let alone Nicely-Nicely Johnson -- so your suggestions, hopes and fears are welcome.
Regardless of your political views, it's a piece worth reading.
As stats are to baseball, polls are to politics; i.e., the basic numeric measurement of how things have gone in the past and how they might go in the future. Ask any pollster, though, and he will tell you that polls aren’t meant to be used as predictive tools — they’re simply a rough measure of where the electorate stands at a given moment. As pollster John Zogby put it to me, “We take snapshots. And when you take many snapshots in a row, you get motion pictures.”
But unlike baseball stats, polls are a notoriously imprecise measurement. In baseball, at least, a hit is a hit. With polls, a yes isn’t always a yes. Sometimes it’s more like a “maybe,” or a “yes, until I change my mind,” or an “I don’t know, but I’ll say yes anyway to get you off the phone.” Poll results can vary dramatically based on what you’re asking, who you’re asking, how you’re asking, and how many people decide to answer you. Three different polls were conducted recently asking Americans how they felt about the federal $700 billion bailout. They all asked the question in slightly different ways and the results were essentially useless: One poll had people in favor of the bailout 57 to 30 percent, one had them against it 55 to 31, and one was basically split down the middle. In other words, polls are, at best, educated guesses. But if there’s one thing Nate Silver loves to make, it’s an educated guess.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Okay, so we have no idea whether the flights were spoonfed or found, and I don't really love or hate any teams strongly enough yet to make this a great season. But overall? Good clues, solid editing, worthwhile episode.