Monthly Archives: February 2012

ESPN Currently Fails To Meet My Standards For Ethical And Honorable Sports Journalism

Before I get started with the bit about ESPN, you need to read this because it’s of the highest importance. 4.87 40 from a guy who’s 6’4″ and 346 lbs. DAMN. Dontari Poe is the badass of the week. I need him to be one of the new Steelers.

Anyway… on to ESPN. I’m boycotting it. Their hypocrisy regarding the Syracuse basketball scandal in the context of how they slammed JoePa (even though ESPN essentially committed a worse crime than he did because they had cold hard evidence) was almost enough for me to boycott them a few months ago.

But I’m actually done for real now. And this, as Binks so eloquently put it, is why:

ESPN, in their coverage of the Nationwide Race, provided an audio clip of Danica Patrick’s in-car radio where she talked about how hectic it was, making her sound nervous like she couldn’t handle it two laps before she wrecked. I am sure other drivers have said the same thing but Danica’s makes it on the highlight reel because she is a girl and they want to make her seem inadequate. ESPN, your worldwide leader in sports.

Not gonna lie though… I’ll definitely miss the “This is SportsCenter” commercials. Forever my favorite. But I’ll find a way to deal.

For all my other sports-related needs, I have the internet so don’t think that my brackets will fail to be adequate, Ben. Since Pitt is having an off-year, my clarity has been restored. “100% objectivity, 0% heart” is my 2012 bracket motto. And, now that I think about it, kind of my 2012 life motto too.

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An Elegant Proof Of God And The Power Of Storytelling

That’s what Obama said about Life of Pi.

I finally got around to reading it. And honestly, it’s kind of excellent. Case in point:

There are always those who take it upon themselves to defend God, as if Ultimate Reality, as if the sustaining frame of existence, were something weak and helpless. These people walk by a widow deformed by leprosy begging for a few paise, walk by children dressed in rags living in the street, and they think, “Business as usual.” But if they perceive a slight against God, it is a different story. Their faces go red, their chests heave mightily, they sputter angry words. The degree of their indignation is astonishing. Their resolve is frightening.

These people fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves. For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart. Meanwhile, the lot of widows and homeless children is very hard, and it is to their defense, not God’s, that the self-righteous should rush.

Only three things have made me question my agnosticism since the day I totally gave up whatever religious and/or spiritual beliefs I still held. They are as follows:
1)  The Alchemist
2) The Black Album
3) Life of Pi

To anyone who’s so caught up in their religion that they know nothing of the real world and/or anyone who thinks that the real world is unimportant because existence here is temporary, here’s a sincere piece of communication: Get over yourself.

The Word ‘Pittsburgh’ Appears 23 Times In This Post

For every blog promise I keep, I break 500,000 more.

It’s impossible to not talk about Pittsburgh. Half the people that read this are currently living in Pittsburgh. And a quarter have lived in Pittsburgh at some point in their lives. So, 75% of the people that read this care about Pittsburgh on some level. Therefore, I shall continue blogging about Pittsburgh. It helps me feel connected. Although, I should blog about Mobile more often. That would be more interesting. After Pittsburgh emotions subside in my heart, the Mobile posts will pick up. Some things about this city you probably don’t even want to know, though. For example, when I registered to vote, I saw that some politician’s pamphlet said something about fulfilling the will of God through the sovereignty of the people or something like that. That was his tag line. If this guy was running in Pennsylvania, not one single person would take him seriously.

Anyway, I basically stay up to date on all things related to Pittsburgh sports. Which means I visit lots of Pittsburgh blogs. Particularly Pittsburgh sports blogs. Although, because Pittsburghers love sports so much, a lot of Pittsburgh blogs are at least 50% about Pittsburgh sports.

SmorgasBurgh rarely makes me smile (it’s usually kind of obnoxious, actually) but I still check it out to see what’s going on when I’m bored. However, today it kind of made me laugh because of the most accurate description of Pittsburgh construction that I have ever read.

I have been listening to a lot of talk radio in the car recently because my commute has been extra long. There’s construction near my house…By the way, why is the posted detour always the most ridiculously long alternate route? There is always a much faster detour that they don’t tell you about. Do they do this on purpose to fuck with us? Only a moron would take the posted detour. (I had been taking the posted detour until like two days ago when my wife finally told me about the shorter route.)

If you live in Pittsburgh or near Pittsburgh, there’s ALWAYS construction by your house and your commute is always extra long.

Whenever that damn truck got stuck under the bridge at 2nd Ave and Bates, it took them FOREVER to fix it. I even moved away for a bit during that time and when I moved back, they were still working on it. Basically, one lane at one of the most critical intersections for Pittsburgh commutes  was closed the whole time. My trips to/from Greenfield and then to/from Oakland and then to/from Greenfield again (I moved a lot that year, if you recall) were screwed.

And getting from my office in the South Side to CCAC South and then back home (3x/week) for A&P was HELL because they were fixing that bridge on 885. My life was construction every time I got in the car. The only alternate route was 51 and everyone knows that 51 is ALWAYS A BAD IDEA.

Even when I started A&P2 at CCAC Allegheny, I had to deal with construction (although it wasn’t nearly as bad).

You kind of need to stay on top of things in terms of knowing about the construction or else there’s a lot of time wasting going on.  For example, during the same summer, Matt/Bill/Vince and I were trying to get to the North Hills on some lovely weekend morning. The easiest way to go from Greenfield is the Boulevard to 579 to 279. But the ramp from the Boulevard to 579 was closed. And there was no warning that it would be and we apparently neglected to watch the news that week. So we had to take the ramp that puts you on the Liberty Bridge (and anyone from Pittsburgh knows that the bottom of that ramp is congestion hell even in light traffic and especially during construction) then obviously across the bridge and through the tunnel then up 51. And you basically can’t get to the Fort Pitt Tunnel from that direction so we had to go all the way to the West End Bridge and I think we were in the car for 45+ minutes on a no traffic weekend morning when it would normally have taken like 10-15 minutes.

I mean, construction difficulties are not usually THAT bad. It was just a very unfortunate summer. However, it’s usually way worse compared to the construction in other cities. Almost anyone who’s living in Pittsburgh but not originally from Pittsburgh will verify that.

It’s just a generally bad city for getting around anyway. I kind of think it’s a combination of terrible planning for the future (but who can predict the future?) and geographical limitations. It’s surrounded by three rivers which are surrounded by mountains. You can’t exactly just build an interstate loop around the outside. So Pittsburghers have to go through everything to get to where they want to be on the other side. All the interstates go through downtown. And if you want to get from one side of the city to the other side of the city, you inevitably just have to drive through multiple neighborhoods of slow neighborhoody traffic and stoplights to get there. Pittsburgh does not have turning lanes. The neighborhood streets are too narrow. That must be why the Pittsburgh Left exists.

I never had someone from out of town visit me without getting lost on the way to my house.

And don’t ever mention the construction on 28 to someone from Pittsburgh without being prepared for an opinion that can only be described as sheer irritation. I really think it’s been a construction zone by whole life. I certainly don’t remember when it wasn’t.

Sometimes Little Things Make Your Day Even at 5AM

50 Very Sensible Goals

I smiled for 16 minutes then watched it again and smiled for another 16 minutes.

And because I live in Sesame Street world, I’m starting a mental list of things that start with S that motivate me (or if you want to take it one step too far… things that start with S that make me smile):
– space
– soccer

To be continued…

Out Of Control Cravings

Closest Bruegger’s: Tallahassee, FL… Please send me a Rio Grande Wrap.
Closest Chipotle:  Somewhere between 100 and forever miles away… Please send me a chicken burrito bowl with corn, all three salsas, and cheese.
Closest Dunkin’ Donuts: Somewhere between 50 and forever miles away… Please send me a large iced coffee with sugar and skim milk.
Closest place for good Indian food: I have no idea. But it doesn’t seem like it’s gonna be anywhere within a reasonable distance… PLEASE SEND ME SOME NAAN.

Relevant: The closest Ikea is in Atlanta. And it costs $299 to ship this $129 bookshelf to my apartment. Looks like I’m going on a roadtrip next week. Maybe Atlanta will also have all those other things that Mobile is lacking and I can get my fix all at once.

Truth: Working For NASA Is Still My Dream

New Girl is my new favorite show. It was just ok when it started. But it keeps getting better. It’s full of little things that make me smile.

Jess: Why do we care about a crescent moon?
Winston: I don’t know, but I’m gonna live up there someday.

It’s more lovable if you watch it. That quote doesn’t really translate well to strict typage. Just watch the episode (SideReel now or Hulu next week).

Winston: “What Can Old People Do?”… “Does It Taste Better With Hot Sauce?”

With that one, you need context. So, go watch it. You’ll at least smile.

Back to space… this is the most epic space-inspired musical masterpiece of all time. Sorry, Gustav Holst. James Horner wins.

Physics is my #1 love. Anything having to do with mass and special relativity is my jam. When I need motivation, I think about space and elementary particles and listen to the Apollo 13 theme. It puts things in perspective somehow. And makes me feel joy from the inside out. Most happiness, even excess happiness, is just something you kind of feel on the outside. Physics and the universe make me feel happiness in the endiocardium of my heart and the ventricles of my brain. I kind of feel it in my spinal column, too. I just like physically connect with it. And I don’t know why. I guess it just makes everything I’m looking at come alive because I think of what’s going on at lower levels to make it that way? It’s trippy. Even if thinking about these things is entirely unrelated to what I’m trying to motivate myself for (and 99.999999% of the time, it is), I still hit like power mode and conquer all fears and tasks.

All I ever wanted as a kid was a NASA jumpsuit. And I just found out that you can go to Space Camp as an adult. SIGN ME UP. I thought that ship sailed years ago. After nursing school graduation, I’m going to Space Camp as a reward for my hard work. And/or Harry Potter Land.

“Why are you so happy being a nurse when it seems like you should be working towards becoming some kind of NASA badass?” you ask? Because I hate actually doing physics. The real work of physicists and engineers is doing math and computer programming and that kind of thing. And I truly love math with all my heart but I’d freak out if I had to do that all the time. I also need to interact with people. Basically, I’m not a physicist or engineer for the same reasons I wasn’t a lawyer.

Sophomore year of college I was powering through astrophysics and quantum physics books (because the Carnegie Library is AWESOME) and I decided that physics made me way way way happier than anything else so I signed up for Physics 1 and then dropped the class 3 weeks later because I was sick of doing problems about pulleys and balls rolling down hills. I didn’t take physics in high school and I guess I just expected it to be a lot cooler. I rocked that shit and was doing really well in the class, but it was just so boring I couldn’t take it anymore. I wanted lecture to be about how awesome stuff was and not 50 minutes of equations. Physics problems are not as fun as chemistry problems. And I talked to this physics major kid who was kind of sitting in on lecture because he was prepping for a TA gig or something and I was like “Is this what I’m going to be doing as a physicist or engineer?” and he was like “Yep, pretty much.” So, I went straight to Thaw Hall and dropped that shit like it was hot.

It just wasn’t gonna work out as a career.

But if we ever have a space colony or something and a staff of medical professionals is needed, I’M THERE. And more realistically, if we ever have space shuttle missions again, I’m gonna go be an astronaut nurse. I don’t even care if I have to live in Texas or Florida. Obviously, my kids will totally be ok with the abrupt relocation because they’ll love astronauts, too.

Here’s an awesome (although, old) article.

We don’t launch spacecraft, but they don’t launch them without us.
– Space Gateway Support motto

Moving on, anyone wanna tell me why the Discovery Channel is full of crappy reality TV shows now? I haven’t had cable for years, but every time I go to my parents house, I try to watch Discovery and get super bummed out. It should be more Human Planet and less All-Star Dealers. Although, I did kind of like the one episode of Moonshiners that I saw and everyone says Ragin Cajuns is interesting. Also, Deadliest Catch is sweet. And Cash Cab is always a good time. But I kind of feel like those things, even if they’re cool, are just not what Discovery used to be. I always have to switch to NatGeo, the Travel channel, the Science channel or sometimes Animal Planet. Even the History channel is exponentially better these days.

Here’s a list of awesome shows on the History channel that perhaps make more sense as Discovery channel programming:
– How The Earth Was Made
– Around The World In 80 Ways
– Underwater Universe
– Food Tech
– Mystery Quest
– Monster Quest
– The Universe
– Jurassic Fight Club (R.I.P.)

And Top Gear (US) doesn’t really make sense on either channel, but it’s awesome. And nearly as good as Top Gear (UK). I wish there was an Awesome channel that basically had all the cool shows I want to watch from all the channels I’ve mentioned (and HGTV… I love love love House Hunters). Everything else is personalized these days. Why can’t my TV viewing be personalized, too?

Get it together, 2012. You’re letting me down. This is the future.

And a message to 2015: My expectation is that this will be a reality by the time you arrive, so make it happen. Because I’ve had that expectation my whole life and will be absolutely disappointed if instant hydrated pizzas aren’t feasible yet. I also want these because, quite frankly, I’m tired of tying my shoes. Also, they’re fly as hell. Why am I not including hover boards on the list of things I want in 2015? Because I would fall off. Every time. Forever. I lack adequate balance for all activities that require even a shred of balance. My mom put me in ballet when I was little to correct this problem. It only partially corrected the problem. Even 100 years of ballet would not entirely correct the problem.

Classical Music Wednesday

Pretty cool, piano guys. Particularly starting at 3:04.

Also, you should hear that played on an organ sometime. You’ll die.