Friday, September 22, 2017

Music Friday: "Stone Free" & "All Along the Watchtower"

This past week I've been listening to the Hendrix discography. 

Here are a couple of my favorites from the master. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sunday Hangover: Colorado State

Alabama won 41 to 23. To outsiders or to people who don't follow college football closely, Colorado State putting 23 points on the board could be surprising.

The Rams have a solid quarterback and an NFL-caliber wide receiver. And that running back they used is one heck of a player. They have a good offense. 

The Crimson Tide is still trying to get their backup linebackers to play like starters with Jennings and Evans still not ready to play. 

For me, the defensive performance on Saturday is a concern. 

However, the offense looked good. I know Ridley's TD catch and run was played on the highlight shows, but the one Tide fans should focus on is the TD by Robert Foster. That was an impressive display of speed. 

Next up is an away game versus Vanderbilt, a team that just beat a ranked Kansas State team in the environs of Nashville. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Music Friday: "Unfuck the World"

I saw the interview with Chuck D and Tom Morello on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and I was intrigued by the new supergroup that includes folks from Public Enemy, Rage Against the Machine, and Cypress Hill. 

With that combination of forces, you think they might present protest music and political lyrics? 

Yes, just maybe...

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday Hangover: Fresno State

If I were a gambling man, I'd consistently put big money on Alabama not covering after the team's usual big time primetime opening game. They didn't cover the point spread, but they, for the most part, looked pretty good. 

I wanted to see more production out of the running backs, but we did get to watch a number of different receivers catch the ball. Hentges was wide open on a touchdown, and I hope to see more passes going to tight ends. Hentges is steady, but I've read good things bout Irv Smith, and Forristall saw a good bit of action last season. We haven't seen much from him so far this year. 

Tua, the second-string QB, got some time in the game, which is good. He looked solid. 

With the losses in the linebacking corps, they played a lot of younger players, and at times that inexperience showed. The D looked bad a couple of times on some simple screens. 

Linebacking play is something I'll be focusing on when the Tide squares off against Colorado State in its next game. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Music Friday: "Right Moves" & "To the Dogs or Whoever"

This morning I'm listening to The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter. Here are a couple of songs from that fine album. 

Have a good weekend, folks. 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sunday Hangover: Florida State

One of the more hyped opening games of the college football sort of lived up to expectations. 

Both defenses played pretty well. I was a little worried when the Seminoles scored pretty quickly on that early drive. Francois was on fire. 

Alabama answered, and it was 10 to 7 at half. 

The Crimson Tide offense looked lethargic a great deal of the time. Hurts threw a huge touchdown pass to Ridley, and the rushing game rarely got runs over a few yards, but the team grinded out 184 yards by four runners, Hurts included. 

Alabama's passing game was not consistent. But I think that was mainly because of Florida State's outstanding front seven. 

With all of the the fine work the special teams and defense did in the second half (two interceptions and a blocked punt), the game would have been a blowout if the offense would have capitalized on great field position more than once. 

On the other hand, the Tide gave FSU poor field position most of the second half, and the Tide's D played salty. 

I noticed a lot of second-team players playing in the front seven during the game, and there are, as I find out now, reasons for that. As for the DLine, I suspect they just wanted to rotate people to keep the big men fresh. 

But for the linebackers, the Tide's D exited the contest with serious injury problems. Three outside linebackers are hurt. Starter Christian Miller is out for the season with a biceps injury. Key backup Terrell Harris is out for the season with an elbow injury. Another crucial outside linebacker, Anfernee Jennings, is out for a maybe four weeks with an ankle injury. And starting inside linebacker Rashaan Evans is out for a few weeks with a groin injury. 

The next four contests break down this way: vs. Fresno State, vs. Colorado State, at Vanderbilt, and vs. Ole Miss. 

The last two games of those four are a concern because Vandy has a good defense, and Ole Miss can be dangerous. Sure, they're in serious trouble with the NCAA, but infractions they'll likely get won't affect them this season, and they still have plenty of talent to give any team problems. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Music Friday: "The Evil Has Landed"

One of the better albums I've got this year is Villains by Queens of the Stone Age. 

If you're a fan of the band, do yourself a favor and get the new album. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Fumbling Toward Culinary Talent: Cilantro-Lime Thousand Island Dressing

I made some Thousand Island dressing a while back. It was good, but conditions on the ground made me tweak the recipe a bit.

The traditional recipe calls for a hard-boiled egg chopped, minced onion, and parsley. 

However, I didn't feel like snipping parsley in the dark (I made the dressing at night), I prefer shallot over onion, and I had cilantro in the fridge. 

1 cup of mayonnaise
1/4 cup of ketchup and Sriracha chile sauce
2 tablespoons of dill relish
1 tablespoon of minced shallot
1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of finely chopped cilantro
Small sliver of lime (think of a small cut-up bar lime used in a gin and tonic) squeezed
Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Throw the ingredients together into a bowl and whisk until smooth. 

Music Friday: "You Don't Mess Around with Jim"

The past couple of days I've been listening to Jim Croce's Greatest Hits

This is one of my favorite songs from those selections. 

That dude had a fine mustache. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Band Names Gratis Part Six

As I did once in 2012couple of times in 2013, another time in 2014, and again in 2015, I'm providing some band names I've thought of. 

Here they are:
  • 400 Hundred Pound Hacker
  • Friendzone
  • We Heart Cersei
  • Winter
  • Coming and Going
  • Squirrel Proof
  • False Equivalency
  • Yellow Hammers
  • Sex Towels
  • Cheap TP
  • Adult Education Dropouts
  • Bike Sharers
  • Freak Flags
  • Peyote Coyotes
  • Avocado Nuts
  • Bond's Dead Girlfriends
  • Daredevil's Dead Girlfriends
  • Sweet Xmas
  • Mange
  • Hazard a Guess
  • False Prophets
  • Hooligans
  • Quagmire
  • Conscious Quagmire
  • Flip-Floggers
  • Fog of War
  • The Sham
  • Plausible Deniability
  • Plausible Undefinability
  • Comma Splicers
  • Fused Sentences
  • Run-ons
  • Fragments
  • Preposition Danglers
  • Zingbots

    Tuesday, August 22, 2017

    Random Notes from a Crank

    If you'd like to read a detailed, informative, and intelligent perspective on MoscowDon's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan, read "Trump Flip-Flops on Afghanistan, Opts for Years-Long Quagmire." Cole relates six reasons why the Taliban is so powerful, reasons why providing more troops isn't going to do much at all. The last sentence is acerbic but spot on: "If Afghanistan's curses are corruption, fanatical identity politics and a hatred of globalization, its more problematic organizations resemble most of all ... Trump's base." 

    In somewhat more positive new, Grist reports that "California Defies the Claim that Environmental Regulation Kills Economic Growth." The state's cap-and-trade law is reducing emissions and spurring innovation. As the report's main author relates, “The narrative that strict environmental policies that impact large parts of the economy are always bad is simply not the case. These policies have pushed innovation, and innovation is always good in a capitalist system.”

    Unfortunately, that report doesn't take into account California's water problems. 

    And don't get me started on Arizona. 

    Friday, August 18, 2017

    Music Friday: "Sir Duke"

    This song rattled across my iPod shuffle this morning when I was doing errands. 

    Good ole Stevie Wonder...

    Have a good weekend, folks. 

    Thursday, August 17, 2017

    Fumbling Toward Culinary Talent: Green Chile Chicken Chili

    I got this recipe from the magazine Cooking Light, but I made a few modifications. 

    3-4 cups of chicken stock
    4 cans of Northern beans, rinsed and drained
    2 cups yellow onion, chopped
    2 shallots, chopped
    3-4 garlic cloves, minced
    1 tablespoon of flour
    2 tablespoons of ground cumin
    4 4 oz. cans of mild chopped green chiles
    2 cups of shredded chicken
    4 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice
    olive oil
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Sour cream 
    Sliced avocado
    Chopped cilantro 

    Put a cup of stock and 2 cans of beans into a blender and blend until smooth. Eat olive oil in stock pot on medium-high. Add onions and cook for 4-5 minutes, add shallots and cook for 3-4 minutes, add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. 

    Sprinkle flour over aromatics and cook for a minute. Add cumin and chiles and cook for a minute. Add the stock-bean mixture and the rest of the stock and drained beans. Add salt and pepper. 

    Reduce to medium heat and let the concoction simmer for about 10 minutes. Add chicken and cook for a 5-10 minutes. 

    Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, a few slices of avocado, and some cilantro. 

    Tuesday, August 15, 2017

    Random Notes from a Crank

    With the current state of affairs related to the despicable nonsense in Charlottesville and the brazen know-it-all unintelligence of the U.S. president, it's no wonder that I'm watching old episodes of The Twilight Zone. I don't like the current reality in so many different ways. 

    From what I gather, the Neo-Nazis and KKK and various white supremacists got together in Charlottesville to protest the taking down of Confederate monuments. While I know this may be an unpopular opinion, I tend to lean toward keeping Confederate monuments. Here is why. 

    Many of those monuments were erected in the extreme era of Jim Crow America. I personally think they are a stain on American history and should be kept up to show people how institutionalized racism was and is. There's no reason to sugarcoat American history. As Roxane Dunbar-Ortiz has documented in her fine An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, from the the outset the European vision for America was fueled by white supremacist beliefs. 

    In another line of thought that is popular around social media these days, the monuments could be similar to participation trophies, which could be an apt way to think about them. But it's troubling that monuments were erected for a group who wanted to secede from the country because of "states' rights," which is just another way to say they wanted certain states to have the ability to enslave people of color because of their white supremacist ideologies based on bullshit and the Bible. 

    I went to grad school in the Deep South, and on a number of places at the University of Alabama there are placards that recall the glory of the lost cause. I remember one in particular that, if I remember correctly, references a "War of Northern Aggression." 

    For me, when I read it, I found it to be an anachronism that tells how far we've come as a country and how we still have a long way to go.  

    This is why I have mixed feelings about tearing down Confederate monuments. 

    But to just be clear, MoscowDon is a complete moron, and I denounce the racism of the groups who gathered in Charlottesville. 

    My uncle and father enlisted in World War II to fight Nazis, and to see people defending their crazy-ass beliefs sickens and troubles me. 

    Friday, August 11, 2017

    Music Friday: "Burning Stars"

    On his Twitter feed, Jason Isbell recommended this album. I took his recommendation and bought the thing. 

    It's good - thought-provoking lyrics, softly subtle arrangements, and interesting surprises within. 

    Here's one of my favorite songs from the album.