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Thursday, September 28, 2006

One that might annoy my European- or at least my soccer fan- readers...

So I'm on the StairMaster at my gym the other day and on one of the TV's ESPN was showing a soccer match. Now, apart from gym class, I never played soccer, so it's probably me. But...several things, actually. First- I don't get why they start the clock at 00:00 rather than have it end at 00:00? Basketball and hockey are played over there, but they run the clock the "right" way! Second- what is up with the "extra time" thing?! When the ball goes out of bounds- STOP THE CLOCK! If there's a player injury- STOP THE CLOCK! If the game is tied and you want to have an overtime period, fine. But after 90 minutes, that's it for regulation, none of this 2:34 or whatever of added time business! Third- once the team on offense kicks the ball over midfield, they should NOT be allowed to kick it back onto their side of the field- it should be a turnover, similar to the back court rule in basketball. C'mon- a soccer field is big enough, work a lil harder on the opponent's side of the field, don't wimp out kicking the ball back onto your side! Fourth (and on this I might be mistaken) but if a player steps on the sideline while dribbling up-field, why is this allowed? If he steps on the sideline (again, ala basketball), shouldn't that be a turnover (with the clock stopping!) shouldn't that award the defender for his efforts? Fifth- why does the goaltender wear a different jersey from the rest of his team?! A hockey goalie doesn't! There is no, nor should there ever be an, "i" in team! Wear the same jersey as your mates! I could go on (a shot clock perhaps? Or how about all of these guys flopping around on the field, appearing one step away from the grave if an opponent so much as breathes on them, then hopping right back up if the ref doesn't do the red card, or yellow card, thing?)

Now, about Canadian football...(Jes kidding! Alright, call me the Ugly American!)

"Sail on down the line/Funny how the time can go/Friends say they told me so/But it doesn't matter..."

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Odds and sods...

First- I have gotten VERY behind in my email once again :( My apologies, I will do my best to get caught up soon...

I've had to rebuild much of my Links & Stuff page on my website over the last few days- not sure what I did, but somehow all of my links ended up going to the same site. It did give me a chance to review some of 'em, and delete dead links when necessary...but a bit of a chore...

It's primary election day here in Massachusetts, candidates out and about, shaking hands, kissing babies (or is that kissing hands and shaking babies?!) Apart from the Dem gubernatorial primary, not many other races of note (two non-descript Republicans vying for their party's Senate nomination to lose to Senator-for-Life Ted Kennedy.) One note- I've seen waaaaaayyyy too many ads from the three Dem candidates for Lieutenant Governor! Folks- if spending mega-$$$ on television ads for a position more irrelevent than the Vice Presidency is supposed to convince voters of your fiscal responsibility, guess again! I'd consider voting for one of 'em if they DIDN'T run ads! But a lackluster day at the polls overall...

I've just started reading The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, by Francis S. Collins. One of the sadder things in our modern society is the disconnect between faith and reason, as if one cannot co-exist with the other. Indeed, they ought to be complimentary. If one truly believes in the all-powerful Creator revealed by faiths around the world, surely that Being is intelligent enough, powerful enough, ingenious enough, to set into motion all of the processes of the universe, including those of our world, processes which man, slowly but surely, falteringly at times, is discovering and learning. Similarly, reason alone, science alone, does not, cannot, and most likely never will, be able to explain the very origins of existance, of the natural, without resorting to the Supernatural. Take the Big Bang Theory. It sounds as reasonable as any presented to describe how the universe has evolved. But what existed before the Big Bang? What- or Whom- brought into existance the material that begat the Big Bang? Faith should be informed by reason, but also, reason should not automatically discount the Supernatural.

I seldom find the time to see movies when they first come out. But there are three that I'm looking forward to seeing (yes, it probably won't be until they come to On Demand or DVD- alright, you!) The first two are Hollywoodland, about the death of Superman actor George Reeves (co-starring Diane Lane, an actress I luv- she's great!) and also The Black Dahlia, based on the James Ellroy novel (a great read, BTW) about the Hollywood murder of Elizabeth Short (which co-stars Hilary Swank, another fantastic actress!) Both have as their milleu post-WWII Los Angeles (Hollywoodland the late 50's, Dahlia the mid/late 40's.) I've just always found tales about that time and place fascinating, particularly noir-ish ones. The third one (which has received great early reviews) is The Departed, loosely based on the life and crimes of Boston gangster Whitey Bulger, featuring a stellar cast and crew. See you at the movies!

"Pack up all your dishes/Make note of all good wishes/Say goodbye to the landlord for me/Sons of bitches always bore me..."

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Random thoughts...

Been getting in some good runs of late! I've been able to increase my mileage again some, been doing 7 miles 4-6 mornings/week (weather permitting)...what have you been doing @ 5:30am, hmmm??? I'd like to drop a last 6-8 or so pounds by October 1; I can do it, as long as I maintain reasonable discipline and consistency in my exercise- and eating- regimens...But I have noticed that it's much darker at that hour now than it was a few weeks ago...fall is coming...Fall has always been my favorite season, it's only drawback being that it's followed by winter...if there was someway to go from, I dunno, New Years straight to May, that would be heaven!

I wish I had a little extra disposable $$$ to put into an, um, for-entertainment purposes-only (yeah, right!) wagering account. I could've made some decent $$$ last season had I done so, and while early, I would've been off to a winning (75%- yes, that's vs. the spread!) start on the college football season this year...and yes, the NFL kicks off this weekend! I have good hopes for the Patriots this season; while I'm not yet ready to predict another Super Bowl appearance, I really do not see any team, in either the AFC nor the NFC, any better than the Pats. I think there are 2-3 teams in the AFC as good as- not better than, but as good as- the Pats (Pittsburgh, Denver, maybe Indy...and the Chiefs may surprise) the NFC still being the weaker (Carolina is getting a lot of buzz; I think Philly may surprise some folks.) Anyone wanna bankroll me?!

Just a short one on religion. I read and hear a lot of folks bash religion, religious leaders and faiths, always quick to point out any and every short-coming, misstep, mistake, and hypocrisy commited under the guise of religion. Sadly, these do occur, and yes, oftentimes criticism is deserved. And religion is a very easy target for those so inclined to bash it. But those who are unrelenting critics of religion, or at least certain expressions of faith, of religion, might do well to also ponder the countless positive acts, large and small, done by religious institutions, clergy, and members. Warts and all (and they are considerable) faith and religion have done more to advance civilization around the world than any other entity.

I've said this before, but I need to vent it again. I really get tired of making the effort to reach out to and take an interest in others, their needs and lives and issues and experiences, of extending myself to others, in all of my walks of life, and far more often than not receiving little in reciprocity. In truth, I probably would be better served if I were more selfish, self-centered, self-serving, in many of my various relationships, on many levels. I do have a difficult time putting myself, my wants, needs, and desires, before others, and I also have a difficult time walking away from those who, despite my efforts, can not, or will not, seem to make the slightest effort to extend themselves to me and/or to recognize my efforts, my contributions, be it by a lunch or dinner or drinks, a phone call, an email, an IM, more money, or a simple commendation or "thank you." And yes, I realize that, too often, I have little time that is truly my own. Maybe it is that that bothers or offends some folks, the fact that, too often, I cannot find or make the time to get free, to meet in a flash, in the flesh. So be it. But as best I can, I make the effort to maintain contacts, to return calls and messages and email and such in as timely a manner as I can. And I'm really getting tired of those- again, in all of my walks of life- who cannot or will not extend that simplest of courtesy. For some it may be worth remembering, or repeating- those you meet on the way up are the same ones you may meet on the way down, and it is usuallly wise to treat them accordingly, with mutual respect and courtesy.

RIP- Steve Irwin (crikey!)

"She's a lot like you/The dangerous type..."