Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Fantasy Football

This is some guy ranting about why he hates fantasy football (which he has never played... he states (though it'd be clear regardless.)) I have no real repsonse mainly because he's not attacking me or the way I play. I'm there socially (no, stop laughing.) Fantasy sports can provide an interesting frame for discussion... and collecting people can inspire comraderie as well... and since most of us (from the main league/set of leagues I'm in) are the sort that grew up scanning boxscores on a daily basis we'd be paying that much attention to the sports anyway. Then again, I've been living off my past in fantasy sports for years now... my interest in sporting events has declined precipitously. There was a big break back in '94 when I left for college and MLB went on strike... but I got back into baseball bigger starting with the '99 All-Star Game (Pedro's 6 consecutive strikeouts)... a year which also featured an NBA strike... and me losing access to student tickets at the U of A.)

The bit that forced me to link to it:
Point-spread bettors have been doing the same thing for decades, of course, watching a game not for who wins or loses, but for who covers and who doesn't. It's like tuning into NBC Nightly News not to find out what went on in the world that day, but to count the number of times Brian Williams uses the word "Pentagon.'' It elevates the irrelevant to a level of real importance.
Oh, I so want in on this.

I've played fantasy ultimate frisbee while watching tournaments but I've never really gone beyond sports. (Unless you count things like the Oscar's Pick 'em bit Yahoo! runs each year... but I'd call that an entirely differnet animal.)

I thought about a dead pool but then I realized it had nothing to do with Mission of Burma. Also I don't know anything about celebrities.

...but fantasy NewsCasters (or somesuch) would kick some serious ass.

-Link via Fark.

Two Down, Two to Go

I read Justine a few months ago; I finished Balthazar this evening. Mountolive is currently scheduled for a December start-date, with Clea to follow several months after that. And at this point what I'd really want to do would be to just keep going through the cycle.

Justine is relatively straightforward, at least as a self-contained unit. It is written by a human narrator, from his point of view, on his experiences.

Balthazar is written from the point of view of the same guy after he showed the manuscript for Justine to his friend (Balthazar, even) and got back commentary. Some of the novel is quoted from Balthazar's interlinear (the notes) by some is the narrator retelling the story, relating new (to him) episodes... especially ones he was not privy to.

The flow is a little rough... though the book has some intensly lyrical passages as well. Part I (105 pp in the edition I have) was strong, Part II (75 pp) was long, Parts III and IV (65 pp combined) were quick and packed with wonderfulness.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


This weekend the local independant radio station, 103.9 the Edge, had a 90's flashback weekend.

It was quite accurate: I didn't hear any At the Drive-In, Superchunk, Babes in Toyland, Silkworm, Dismemberment Plan, Les Savy Fav, Lush, etc.

That being said, I, of course, didn't expect to hear such bands... but the 90's flashback weekend was still less than exciting. They merely increased the frequency of the 90's songs that still get played.

A few back they did a random play weekend where, well, interstitial to the songs with which they normally saturate the airwaves they took randomized selections from a much, much broader playlist... even if, again, most of these songs can (or at least could) be found elsewhere on the radio. Still, it was nice hearing some weird Prince... even if I sat through most of Come On Feel The Noise before I realized that I was on the wrong station. It isn't that I would've enjoyed the song more were it being played on the Edge... it's just that I had less home that another station would be playing anything worthwhile. Plus I figured the song would end about 3 minutes before it did.

When I first started listening again to the radio regularly - when my Creative broke - I noted that The Edge had gotten a lot better. I still couldn't listen to it for more than an hour because I can barely make it through one song by the Killers, two is too much.

I am now fully sick of listening to the radio (after what, a couple months?) I don't need to hear (Sublime, RHCP, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, the Killers, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Audioslave) daily... much less multiple times per day. The scary thing is this is still the best rock radio station in town.

101.5 The Zone culls from a similar list except that they're more likely to play Linkin Park or Staind too. They also carry Stern which means there's just no music (or anything else worthwhile) in the morning.

93.3 KDKB is the rock station. Not as hard (overall) as KUPD and not as alternative (overall) as The Zone or The Edge and more classic than any of them. This station has been around forever and, IIRC, hasn't changed significantly.

100.7 KSLX has also been around for quite some time... which makes sense for a station that plays the classic rock. Their current artist of the month is Crosby, Stills and Nash.

97.9 KUPD is the hard rock station... playing... I don't know, MachineHead and Sevendust and Ra and Audioslave.

Those are ordered by likelihood I'll find a song I want to listen to... though recently when scanning I've been going from some point near the bottom of the list and moving up using the theory that since (a) it is most likely no station will be playing anything I particularly want to hear and (b) the best thing which could be played by KUPD would be better than the average on The Edge I don't have to worry about what could be playing elsewhere.

Also I listen to KBAQ about as much as the others combined. Or at least the non-Edge ones combined.

Sunday, August 14, 2005


I want to keep this updated but, really, there's nothing I want to write about.

My Creative is working great with the new 60GB harddrive. I do think it is using more battery power but I haven't had it run out on me yet despite almost constant use from around 7am to around 5pm.

I have a large painting project that I need to finish in the next 4 months or so. Start too. Large, in this case, meaning 4' by 5'. The largest one I've done previously is 3' by 2' and hanging above and to the right of my monitor. It should be no deal, really, except that I'm lazy and generally unwilling to work on such things if I don't have a good chunk of time... which will be a problem. I think at some point I need to just find a good free weekend and take a day or so off of work so I have a nice string of free time.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Results: Pixies Album Competition

I've delayed long enough so I'll just get to it:

The Official Favorite Pixies Album of Force Power Paintball and Other Diversions is Surfer Rosa.

This is probably not shocking.
The results, however, were clear and this result will be posted on the sidebar.

Thank you to those who participated. To those who didn't, find out more by following the links presented in the post on Pixies Track 15.

On to the analysis:

Total Points (average points per track)
Surfer Rosa: 101.4 (7.2)
Trompe Le Monde: 88 (5.9)
Doolittle: 87.6 (5.8)
Bossanova: 56 (4.0)

First Place Votes
Surfer Rosa: 13
Doolittle: 12
Trompe Le Monde: 7
Bossanova: 3

My personal rankings came out much the same as the overall rankings. One thing that struck me is that Trompe Le Monde doesn't get the first place love but it holds it's own overall. This makes sense to me; it's a great record full of solid, solid songs but it doesn't reach the highs of the first two albums. At least, that's my take.

Only two tracks got all available first place votes (after discounting COP votes, of course.) The top 9, ranked by average votes:
  1. River Euphrates - 4.0
  2. Bone Machine - 3.8
  3. Broken Face - 3.7
  4. Planet of Sound - 3.5
  5. Monkey Gone to Heaven - 3.5
  6. Cactus - 3.5
  7. Oh My Golly! - 3.5
  8. Hang Wire - 3.5
  9. Motor to Roswell - 3.5
Gouge Away also got all available first place votes... but it only had one competitor.

Six songs got all last place votes:
  • Rock Music
  • Ana (3 votes)
  • All Over the World
  • There Goes My Gun
  • Stormy Weather
  • The Navajo Know (against only Gouge Away)
I will now offer, once again, a big thank you to all who participated.

Also here are the Come On Pilgrim-including results:

Eric, voting the Come On Pilgrim song on top 7 of 8 times made it easy to convert your rankings to 4 album rankings. Converting mine was still straightforward but not at the cut and paste level.

Total Points (average points per track)
Surfer Rosa: 94 (6.7)
Doolittle: 79 (5.3)
Trompe Le Monde: 77 (5.1)
Come On Pilgrim: 65 (8.1)
Bossanova: 54 (3.9)

First Place Votes
Come On Pilgirm: 8
Surfer Rosa: 8
Doolittle: 8
Trompe Le Monde: 4
Bossanova: 2

Points from the first 8 tracks:
Come On Pilgrim: 65
Surfer Rosa: 60
Doolittle: 47
Trompe Le Monde: 41
Bossanova: 28

One track, I've Been Tired, got two fives (that is two first place votes within the first 8 tracks) while two tracks paired a 5 with a 2 (Caribou and Tame.) The other 5 fives all were paired with a four or a three.

Top 10 Pixies Songs

This is my list. Also, it is unranked:

Bone Machine
Broken Face
Is She Weird
I've Been Tired
Levitate Me
Planet of Sound
River Euphrates

This includes no tracks later than 8 and only one song each from Bossanova and Trompe Le Monde. One of those albums, however, surprised me in the Pixies Album Competition... the results of which are forthcoming.