Thursday, December 31, 2015

Year end 2015 "show"


Though I don’t have a show anymore due to having no computer which to do it, I decided to create a playlist for a best of 2015 show featuring what would get my vote if I had to cast a ballot for the Logan Awards today without any nominations.

Unlike past years, I cannot think of one video which I would feel is worthy of the award. I know there are ones made but I either have not seen them or have forgotten. (Note: I know about the rap battles, epic and princess, and don’t find any of them worthy but since jurors would have to vote for at least one video, I would cast it to the PRB Daenerys vs Maleficent)

As far as songs, 2015 was a down year from my POV. There were a lot of releases in 2014 most notably by Weird Al Yankovic whose Mandatory Fun was the first #1 comedy album in decades. (How nothing from it won a Logan Award is a different post)

Similar to videos, I can’t think of one non FuMP song that would get any consideration. I checked Dr. Demento’s funny 25 and don’t see anything either as the top 25 has many songs from past years and made for tv or video snippets. As far as non FuMP artists, I listened to the title track from the Doubleclicks President Snakes and was not interested and though I respect the music from Schaffer the Darklord, I have aged past the point where I can appreciate it.

As I usually do on my end of year show, I figure out the playlist in reverse order by putting the track I like most at the end to finish the show with it and going backward through the ones that would get my vote and if there is space, other songs. So here is how the show would go:
Opening, I babble about theme then explaining that this first song is how many feel at this time of year

The North Side of the Pole, Part 2: Cardiac Time – Moneyshot Cosmonauts
My Blouse - Carrie Dahlby
Lando (2015 version) – Raymond and Scum
1,000 FuMPs – The FuMP
Dinky McDiddlyboots – Devo Spice
 (Big Damn) Hero – Mikey Mason
Fury Road - Insane Ian

Get on mike, list songs, explain that the following would get my Logan Award vote today. State only one video would get my vote right now but would expect just like as I did when I was a juror, that I would find other things that got my vote from the nominations.
 
Four Things You Need to Know – TV’s Kyle

Urban Dictionary – Dino Mike

If It’s Right – Steve Goodie

Dr. Pepper – Carla Ulbrich

Itchy Song #1543 – Steve Goodie

Put it Away – Devo Spice

Unexpecting the Expected – Dino Mike

The Twilight Zone – Luke Ski
 
Get on mike, list songs, thank people for listening, state one more to close 2015.

Benedict Cumberbatch – Insane Ian

More parodies than I expected and yes, I only find 4 original songs worth a vote which is the exact opposite of what it has been for me recently. Once Logan Awards nominations are accepted, I will make sure the songs that would get my vote are nominated (unlike the ones from  the year I was a juror).

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Pandemic Legacy part 5

Quarantine Specialist Ahmed Klinger log:

With our medic, Dr Erin Hunnicutt, shaken from the ordeal in San Francisco and since containment has become more of an issue than treatment, I was brought into the situation for her as the zombie plague spread from the west coast of South America to South Africa.

We set up quarantines to prevent things from spreading into North Africa and Europe as our researcher, Dr Henry Pierce, was able to provide the scientist info to cure the Martian Fever and get ahead of the anti-vaxxers problem.

Knowing it was required, I acquired funded help to eradicate the Martian Fever but in doing so, the lower 2/3 of Africa and all South America succumbed to the zombie virus as outbreaks and riots happened in the southern extremes and spread north.

After I got the info to cure the Silurian situation, a Madrid epidemic happened and we got word that UNIT was about to shut everything down on the next outbreak. Captain Jack Harness called us from Torchwood stating they are ready. We assigned it to Johannesburg.

The devce floated over the city then shined a beam of light which covered about 1/3 of the area causing the infected in the area to slowly vaporize. Then reports stated that people started trying to get infected so they could ascend into heaven to be with God. Santiago had an outbreak shortly after and UNIT sprung into action to shut down things there.

We did establish a new military base in Hong Kong and now the Martian Fever is easier to cure but the team as a whole has lost confidence after the multiple failures in April.

Date Apr 30

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Pandemic Legacy mini-update 2

Director's Jacob Potter report:

I was not looking for the phone call from Ms. Stewart who along with stating the plague spread to San Francisco shortly after the medic left stated that I should be lucky to still have a job. According to her the Doctor was able to step in to control the faded people outbreak and UNIT was able to remedy the Martian fever with a partial shutdown of the affected areas. I was in no position to recommend making it a full shutdown.

Ms. Stewart also quoted the Doctor who stated that the people we have treated and cured in the middle east and Asia were not turning into zombies but rather Silurians.

I was also told the Madrid military base is now permanent, some funding will be directed our way and that Torchwood is developing something to help with the faded people problem. Heck with that phrase; I'm calling them zombies.

Right after I was done listening to Director Stewart, there was an alert. Everything is back. The partial shutdown was not effective.

April 16

Monday, December 21, 2015

Pandemic Legacy part 4

Researcher Henry Pierce blog:

UNIT is starting to get annoying with their demand of adding military personnel to the team and they even set up a base in Madrid but we are ignoring them as we have handled things with style so far.

Initial reports were not good as Africa, South America, and Mexico City were hit hard. We quarantined the African situation and were able to cure the anti-vaxxer situation in North America and Europe and what we have been calling the zombie plague in the middle east and Asia. Then we got alarming news.

The incurable disease has mutated further and worse. Infected in those areas have become faded and filled with rage starting in Mexico City. We got a warning to avoid those areas. We tried quarantine procedures but due to our inexperience with them we lost control and got reports that cities in the Western Hemisphere ranging from Chicago to Lima are now filling with these mutated people. Fortunately the quarantine barely held in Los Angeles or our medic, Dr. Erin Hunnicutt, would have been scarred.

If we have been keeping control of the zombie plague on the other side of the world, what the hell do we have now?

With this new, scary development, military and financial support will be required all for us to have any chance to keep the world from going into utter chaos.

April 15

Friday, December 11, 2015

Pandemic Legacy part 3

Researcher Henry Pierce log:

Commander Jacob Potter had a heated conversation with the head of UNIT then spoke with us. He stated the military branch will now be supporting us and that UNIT wants military personnel on our team. Our success the previous two months is the only reason they have allowed our group to stay as is.

We were concerned that we would have to start to quarantine areas but found out instead that we are required to eradicate at least one disease after we cure it since the money was redistributed to military assistance. Having done that the previous two months, the challenge did not seem that difficult.

Reports came in and the Martian fever came out strong in Asia and in an effort to show how they can help, UNIT military setup a quarantine in Tokyo. The system upgrade from our home base in Cairo paid off as we were able to discover a cure to it almost immediately and with the medic eradicate it quickly.

The zombie plague and anti-vaxxer problems were also handled rather quickly only having one outbreak in Delhi by the time we cured them.

We developed more info to cure the Martian fever in the future as well as securing better transportation for me.

Right now our team is kicking ass and Commander Potter called UNIT's head Ms. Stewart and told her where she can stick her military assistance.

March 29

Pandemic Legacy mini-update 1


Commander Jacob Potter log:
Not only am I stuck in Cairo for a computer upgrade, I heard rumors that we will be doing more than just treating the ill and curing the current strain of the diseases and that our in-field funding which was in January already reduced from previous years’ standards is being eliminated. I left a message with UNIT's scientific director Kate Stewart about this.

I also want to tell her how fortunate she is to have someone like me now in UNIT and that I deserved to be compensated far more than what I currently am and I don’t care if the finances are not sound within the organization as it would cost far more to replace me than it would to pay me fairly.
Since I have a family at home, I do not want to risk it since there are not many jobs like the one I have and I am well aware Ms. Stewart knows that as well.

March 1

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

This date revisited


Thirty years ago today, the 12-0 Chicago Bears went to the Orange Bowl to play the Miami Dolphins in what turned out to be the most watched regular season game in the history of the NFL.

Recently, I discovered that someone posted to YouTube the entire broadcast of the game including only a few commercials (Miller Lite golf one and one featuring William “the refrigerator” Perry). There were a couple of things I knew about the game and a couple that I discovered upon watching the broadcast like the announcers were Frank Gifford, Joe Namath and O.J. Simpson. I know O.J. was in that booth but forgot about Broadway Joe.

The most surprising thing to me was not that Bears QB Steve Fuller was starting his fifth game of the year for the often injured Jim McMahon but in his previous four starts including games which the Bears won 44-0 and 36-0 that he had not at that time thrown a touchdown pass in 1985.

I correctly remembered that in the Bears first two possessions they did not in any of the 8 plays give the ball to Walter Payton who still was an elite player who in that game broke an NFL record by getting over 100 yards of rushing for the 8th straight game but they were only down 10-7 when they first gave Payton the ball on a possession where later a screen pass to him was intercepted.

I did not realize that the Bears tried to cover the Dolphins third wide receiver Nat Moore with either safety Gary Fencik or Dave Duerson (who by diving head first into a pile made me cringe knowing that he killed himself and was discovered with concussion based brain trauma).

I remembered that the Dolphins scored on 2 one yard runs and that their only points of the second half after being up 31-10 at halftime were on a pass that bounced off Bears lineman Dan Hampton’s helmet.

Looking at the box score I noticed two more things I did not know: The Bears had more total yards for the game and that in standard fantasy football, Dolphins QB Dan Marino had only .14 more points that Bears QB Steve Fuller who scored twice on a QB sneak and completed his only touchdown pass of the season to backup WR Ken Margerum. (In one week contests like Draft Kings or Fan Duel, Fuller would have had more points.)

I have said for years that the Dolphins losing the AFC title game that year to New England was the only reason the Bears won Super Bowl XX. After watching the game, looking at the stats, and realizing that Super Bowl XX was in the Louisiana Superdome on AstroTurf which helps the Bears who played its home games on it, I can no longer say that.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Pandemic Legacy part 2

Researcher Pierce log

While setting up the new parmanent Cairo research station, we got some bad news. Our January success has caused our funding to be cut in half again and worse we heard that the same disease we can't cure now has mutated to the point where it can't even be treated. We did get some good news hearing that a quarantine specialist is being trained to help.

Then we get a report that diseases came back but thanks to proactive measures taken based on the info the Doctor gave us, the Johannesburg situation was not as bad as initially reported.

We knew that we had to act quickly. After working well in January, we have gotten better at what we do when together. Our medic, Dr. Erin Hunnicutt, headed to the Pacific Rim but not in time to stop outbreaks in Sydney and Osaka and outbreaks of the untreatable disease in Laos and Los Angeles reminded us of the urgency of the situation.

Before leaving the Cairo office, I was able to supply the scientist, Dr. David Houlihan, and the medic with intel and treated those in Europe. The scientist was able to acquire info about the disease which has only developed due to parents refusing to vaccinate in North America and Europe and after discovering a cure in Atlanta and treating those in Chicago and DC. we eradicated it.

I then headed east as the scientist figured out the new strain of the Martian fever to provide the medic info about the zombie plague. We used our funding for quick travel to get the medic to Cairo and cured the three curable ones before the Africa/Latin America disease caused a worldwide shutdown.

Though I wanted to develop the concept to make anti-vaxxer problems easier to cure in the future, the rest of the team wanted personal upgrades instead. Now the medic has a special assistant who can treat one area away while the scientist can now store more disease info.

While working on those upgrades, we get a video call from Oswald at UNIT. She and or it congratulated us for our work but stated our in-field assistance is no longer available. I tried explaining that is why we are successful but she won't listen. Hearing that a future outbreak in one of nine areas would probably start rioting did not matter but we were told that UNIT will discuss this at their next meeting.

Feb 25

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pandemic Legacy part 1

This is part of a series of upcoming blog posts adapting the events which happen in our play of Pandemic Legacy from the point of view of the character I play each month.

Starting from this point, the blog will contain elements and situations that happen within the game and are definitely spoilers so if you are going to play the game and you do not know what can happen, do not read this or any future post titled Pandemic Legacy.

Researcher Henry Pierce log:

It is never pleasant to be called into work on a holiday but at the CDC er UNIT, (That will be difficult to get used to saying) we are called when ready.

Over the years, I have sat in the conference room many times. With me are a scientist, Dr. David Houlihan, who has been through this before though not as often though he can do his job as well as I can mine and in some cases better and our medic, Erin Hunnicutt who is not as experienced but with our new communication system, we can keep a close eye on each other and easily assist when necessary even if we are on opposite sides of the world.

Commander Jacob Potter stated in his briefing that one of the four diseases seems to be mutating faster than normal but did not get specifics on which one and will update once he gets more info. He then added another factor: Our in field funding had been cut by 20% from the original standard or by 33% from the more recent one. However, unlike the original in field assistance that we used to have or the third party selected assistance of more recent usage, our team itself will determine what type of assistance to receive. After a brief discussion to determine what method to have at our disposal, we looked at the city by city report.

Seeing that South America and the southern portion of Africa was most urgent, Dr Hunnicutt headed that way with me following shortly after providing info to one of the other diseases which she was close to solving. Looking at the locations, I was pleased to see that travel within South America and from there to Africa has improved. Dr. Houlihan was heading to New York then Europe but diverted to Los Angeles instead to treat an epidemic there as it was the same infection as the one plaguing the southern hemisphere.

Unfortunately New York had an outbreak and while South America was being treated, there were multiple ones in the Southern half of Africa. Since the approval for a requested temp research station came early, we decided to build it in Cairo. We also got approval for high speed transport which Dr. Houlihan used to treat all of those in the African outbreak in one day.

We then had an epidemic in London followed by a report from HQ: The disease from South America and Africa has mutated significantly and is not currently curable. Treating it will also be more difficult. Please cure the other three diseases.

Shortly after, Dr. Houlihan made it to Cairo to cure the disease in the far east and after Dr. Hunnicutt reported that she found the cure for the one which was in the eastern US and Europe, was airlifted to Atlanta to cure that one before treating the northeast part of North America in one full swoop.

I made my way to the far east and was able to eradicate that disease before heading west. After an epidemic was reported in the Middle East, we used our fourth and final funded event to promote disease awareness day leading to one quiet night. While Dr. Hunnicutt treated the incurable disease, Dr. Houlihan was able to treat those affected by the most recent epidemic and meet me on the way to Cairo to provide the info I needed to cure the last curable disease and since I treated the last known case of it on the way, that was also eradicated.

At the debriefing in which we were told that a dispatcher and a young protégé are being trained to possibly join us in future missions, our crew was told they can make a couple of upgrades while stating that due to our recent success our future in field funding is being cut in half. We asked about making the station in Cairo permanent which was immediately approved.

We then got a call on our coms. The name stated John Smith but he told us to call him the Doctor who we also know as the president of the world. After thanking us for our hard work, he stated that the disease we cured in the far east was something of which he saw a mutated version in his past on the planet Mars 40 something years from now. We then got a download from him about that incident which will allow us to cure that disease in the future on site rather than at a research station. He also provided a list of where things might happen next.

Date: Jan 29

Pandemic Legacy intro

The concept of a legacy board game is that things within the game constantly change through the use of a special deck of ordered cards which are revealed during specific moments of the game. It is designed to be played once in multiple sessions and things that happen in one session can affect all future ones.

Having picked up a copy of Pandemic Legacy, I realized it would be cool to provide a blog from the POV of the character I am playing. FYI: The blog will provide spoilers for the game. If by any chance you are going to play it, reading the entries will provide information that will be revealed during the course of play.

Commander Jacob Potter entry:

It is a new year and new challenges await. In the past we have treated multiple diseases throughout the world often with success and under close control preventing cities from the chaos that would occur from multiple outbreaks or in worst case scenario shutting down the entire planet for a couple of days to restore order on the occasions we failed.

Due to the worldwide economic situation and threat of terrorism, our organization, the Center for Disease Control, has been integrated into Unified Intelligence Taskforce also known as UNIT. This means that the military assistance we had in the past that prevented city uprising will no longer be there meaning that cities can go bad if things don't go well and that our personnel are no longer protected if an outbreak occurs in their area meaning that all of us are at risk of to get ill or distressed hampering our performance or even be lost.

We were also informed that the in-field funding will be provided on an "as needed" basis and that new procedures are being considered in case we fail. I am not sure exactly what either means but no doubt our team will eventually find out. At least through UNIT, there is improved research facilities, communications, and infrastructure. The crew has also been through specialized training for more techniques possibly allowing them to become better at their jobs.

I was hoping for a quiet New Year's Day but no luck as multiple reports are arriving. Time to call the crew in and get started.

Jan 1

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The nightmare continues

I am not sure why it took as long as it did to think of it but a couple of years ago I wondered what Doctor Who episode aired on the day I was born: Sat Nov 13, 1965.

I looked at the third entry and was confused:


I knew The Daleks Master Plan was the 12 part serial from the third season but had to look at Wikipedia to figure out what The Nightmare Begins was about.

I did not know that for the first two seasons and most of the third that every episode had an individual title along with being known as part of a serial.

I am laying on the couch at 7 AM on a Saturday having been awake since 4:30 AM from leg spasms that originated bowling in 1994, aggravated by a 2009 surgery and operating a fork lift the day before when my job situation prevented me from taking the day off to go to a convention. I also know these spasms would make driving or even sitting in a car 280 miles today and tomorrow for a birthday party not advisable while my right elbow is sore from trying to get better at disc golf in June.

Right now the title of the entry applies.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Moving clocks

Today, November 1st, people in most of the US move their clocks back an hour and similar to the second Saturday in March when people move them forward an hour, there will be people complaining and wondering why this is done. At least the places whose signboards are still programmed to change the clocks based on when it was done before 2007 will again be correct after being wrong for a couple of weeks.

I know there is a sign in Jimmy John's which states no one can explain why it is done so I will give it a shot:


The left column would happen if the cities don't spring forward and the right if we did not fall back. These places were chosen since most of those who read this live near one of those cities.

This is when sunrise would occur in these places if there was not a time change.  Without changing the clocks the sun would rise well before most people wake up in late June and well after most people leave the house in late December.

To me, the inconvenience created by moving clocks is far better than what would happen at the solstices I'd we didn't.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Right idea, wrong bet

Many times while betting on a horse race, I will figure out how the winning horse in a race will run as far as its position on the track but the horse I believe will be in that position doesn't end up there and another one wins.

In January 2013, I realized that the Back to the Future 2 scene on Oct 21, 2015 could be interpreted with the Chicago Cubs sweeping Miami to win the National League Championship Series on or just before that date. I called it Zemekis Theory and posted to this blog about it then.

In January this year, I made a bet on the Cubs to win the pennant and thought I had a chance but the Mets pitching staff and one previously unknown player overcame the Cubs lineup. I then realized the error in the theory which others in the previous 2 1/2 years mentioned to me.

It involves the Chicago Cubs winning a championship.

Knowing that a 4 game sweep would potentially finish on Oct 21, 2015 and that Vegas was flooded with bets on the Cubs, the correct bet that applied the Zemeskis Theory would have been on the Mets to sweep the 4 game series which would have been at least 12-1 odds and probably higher.

Anyway, now that the Chicago Cubs have again failed to win a meaningful championship (unlike the two playoff wins the team and its fans celebrated earlier this month) I decided to update the chart I made in 2009 showing the mathematical odds of the Cubs winning a World Series or National League title:


New mathematical odds of the Cubs not winning a World Series since 1908: 238.76-1
New mathematical odds of the Cubs not winning the NL pennant since 1945: 571.66-1




Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Stormed by Paul

There is a "freemium" game on Xbox called World of Tanks. It plays like Call of Duty in that teams of 15 players compete live against each other but with everyone in a tank.

There are different types of tanks and different levels of them and the server pairs groups of similar levels and types in each match contested on different types of terrain raging from narrow streets to mountain passes to large fields.

Since the first victory on each tank every day gets a bonus to their XP, I usually play until I get a win on all my active tanks I play which are varied types on levels ranging from 5-7.

I had a level 6 light tank and was happy to see that the server put me in a game on a large hilly field but a little down when I realized the tanks in the game range from level 6 to 8 but there was one artillery unit on each team. That made my plan simple: Go to one edge of the field, zoom to get behind the other group of tanks and take out the artillery unit since they have the least armor but the largest shell which can hit any uncovered tank anywhere on the board.

I then noticed the gamertag of the person with the atry: Paulnotstorm. (former member of DaVinci's Notebook and half the comedy music/you tube series group Paul and Storm) I called out to my daughter to watch. I got to the edge of the field, passed one tank which did minor damage to my vehicle as I zoomed by but I got to the far end. As I went across, I got the warning I was noticed and hurried to find the arty. When I did, instead of facing the other end of the board, Paul's tank was facing me along with at least 2 other tanks as my tank was hit multiple times and destroyed before I got off a shot.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Longest simple trip for groceries

Last Saturday knowing I had something later, I put on pants over my gym shorts and without socks in shoes left for a quick trip for groceries some for an event later that evening, multiple phone calls later, I went close to 100 miles.

The initial trip is in black and each additional segment is a different color with each dot a destination.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Not wanting to be a "king"

Since I stopped playing fantasy football, I have been asked about the weekly fantasy football leagues which I see and hear advertised constantly this time of year.

I explain this way: It is neither fantasy nor a league.

The idea of rotisserie sports which is now called fantasy sports is that players are in leagues competing against each other by drafting a team of players and managing them through a season releasing, acquiring, and trading players while determining which ones to put in their lineup.

The weekly games are more similar to team confidence pools in which people pick who wins games. Most of those contests involve selecting players who have a value assigned to them keeping under a maximum.

What made me successful in fantasy was being able to determine who over the long haul will combine for the best outcome for 16 weeks and not one and by putting the time and energy to make my squad as good as possible.

That does not translate in the weekly contests. So why don't I play fantasy football? No longer willing to devote the time and energy I used to and don't trust other players or leagues any more.

Twisting Homer Simpson stated in an early episode, I am OK with ice cream without toppings since for too long, I was worried so much about the toppings that I could not enjoy the product.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

What does #8 mean?

This post is not what I was planning it to be. This was to be a detailed summary of keeping track of my steps for 42 days and comparing it to the 100+ coworkers in my company. The 690,000+ steps I walked put me 8th overall which would have won me a t-shirt that won't fit my 3X body. It would have been 2nd in my building out of about 40 people only less than someone who has ran a marathon but did not win any "team" prizes since two of his randomly assigned "teammates" ended up in the bottom 10.

I was going to compare steps on days at work and not working, mention that during the 5 days of Gencon, I took fewer steps than if I was working, wonder how many more steps I would have taken had I played in the 3 disc golf tournaments I didn't play, and most of all, I was going to wonder how an old, fat, broken down, arthritic man who takes medicine used in chemotherapy to manage his 24/7 pain could finish 8th.

Last Sunday, day 38, I walked about 4,000 steps to a place that has a wings special before 4PM. After placing my order, I emptied my pockets of my phone, Ipod, earpiece, and pedometer to make it more comfortable to eat. The pedometer fell to the floor and the display became illegible. I decided to get a FitBit because the idea of other people seeing the number of steps I am taking does inspire me to take more at home and no doubt that has helped me lose 7lb during the step challenge. Since it was cheaper and that I don't like the idea of one on my arm, I got the one that attaches to my pants just like the one I had.

Once I synced my device to my tablet and got FitBit friends, I noticed something. Their daily step goals are less than 1/3 or 2/3 of my average and comparing my steps to theirs is futile. I then realized why. Those people have a job or life that doesn't require them to walk anywhere near what I take just like most everyone at my company. Those people also know that if they spend an hour sitting at a computer typing, they won't be doubled over in pain after getting up.

The phrase "5 decades of excuses" then applies as I try to justify everything that is wrong. Even though I lost the weight I demanded of myself to play in a tournament, a practice round played yesterday shows that my right arm/elbow is still not healed enough to compete so I can't play on Sep 13th liked I hoped.

Disc golf tournaments as well as conventions are the things that give me reason to drag myself off the couch at 5:15 to get to work. When those things are not able to provide the relief from life that I need, it leaves me empty especially when they disappear. As I hustled at work today trying to get things done as someone needed a day off to see a doctor, ugly thoughts rampaged through my brain. The concept of "accidentally" falling on the tracks as a commuter (or freight train) approaches always makes itself known when I walk across tracks even if there is no train in the area. The thought of making a public statement in November about making sure there won't be "6 decades of excuses" then ending things suddenly also appeared.

I have stated for years that if I did everything I wanted to do in life, I would have died in a JV home in the 70s. I know I lack the courage to attempt to make any those thoughts real. If I did not have courage while alone and friendless in 1996, I won't have it now. Life is special because it is finite and during many days, I am reminded about that including while typing this entry. More than likely my arm/elbow will heal and I will play in a tournament again even if it means next year in which I am qualified to play in the 2016 amateur worlds in Madison, WI July 9-16 2016. I am already registered for Windycon in November as well as Marscon and FuMPFeST in 2016 and to be honest, things are looking real good for the Dolphins this season.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

What is a home game?

As Super Bowl XIX wound down to the 38-16 49ers win over Miami, I was not happy. I told my father it was a home game for the 49ers who claimed that since the 49ers did not play home games in Sanford Stadium in Palo Alto, CA it was a neutral site game. I stated that if Candlestick Park was ever unusable due to an earthquake, the 49ers would play in Stanford and reminded my father of that statement when in November 1989 the 49ers had to play a home game there after the same earthquake which disrupted the 1989 World Series.

That conversation came up again as the 49ers moved to Levi's Stadium in San Jose which as the map shows is farther away from San Francisco than Stanford Stadium and today after hearing ad rates, looked up Super Bowl 50 on Wikipedia where it states: The San Francisco Bay Area last hosted in 1985 (Super Bowl XIX), held at Stanford Stadium in Stanford, California, won by the home team 49ers. (49ers head coach Bill Walsh is quoted as saying if felt like a home game)





So what do I have to gain by presenting this information for someone who died almost three years ago? One of the reasons I post to this site or to a private Google doc is to get it out of my head. Hopefully this post will do that.

Monday, August 3, 2015

13 years in downtown Indy

Yesterday finished my 13th year at Gencon. Unlike most of the previous ones, I got to Indy about 6PM on Wednesday and left about 3:15 on Sunday. In the past I have arrived later and left earlier and in the first couple of years was there only one or two days.

Originally I would go only to help Luke sell and move merch but now to me it is a gaming convention where Luke and others perform and I along with others I know go for various reasons. There are 17 different tracks at Gencon and the chart explains who have participated in which category over the years in the event and not just in a dealer's room demo.


Breakdown per category with examples:
Anime:
Board Games: Redneck Life, Shootin' Ladders, Puerto Rico, Empire Builder.
Non tradable card games: Zombie Ninja Pirates, Dominion, Cards Against Humanity
Electronic gaming: Video games, Battletech pod simulators
Entertainment: Music concerts
Film:
Historical miniatures: Battle games played on created landscapes using representations of former soldiers
Kids events
Live Action Role Playing (LARP)
Miniature hobby events: creating and painting miniatures
Non historical miniatures: Warhammer, Battletech game
Role Playing Games
Seminars: Most are on Wednesday where people talk about being inside gaming
Spouse events: For those dragged to Gencon who don't care about anything with gaming.
Tradable card games: Mostly Magic, in one large section of a hall.
Workshop: Teaching how to create games or miniatures.
Misfits: Anything else.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I wish I was in Kalamazoo

Never thought I would say that but that is where the Professional Disc Golf Association world amateur championship is held this week. Though I am qualified to play in the Grandmaster division (for those born in 1965 or earlier), I was unable to get the time off work to allow me to fully participate in the event. 752 people did and here is the breakdown by division as well as a couple of pics from a temp course created specifically for the event as 9 different courses are used with players playing up to 6 different ones in four days with the top half of many divisions playing more on Saturday.





Seeing the pics from the event as well as those from the player meeting and swag from the event was ok. However, the same person who took the pics (the one from my division whose performance caused me to change divisions as listed two posts ago) posted a video of his foursome being introduced. That broke me. Even before I started playing in events this year, I knew that I would be another face near the bottom of the leader board in the Amateur World Championship which was a reason I gave up the vacation time for someone worse than me in bowling who is participating in a similar event and due to handicap technically has a chance to win significant money.

Playing in the event is something I want to experience at least once. I was assured that if my weight is at 250 next May when I have to register having already qualified that I will get the vacation time. For me next year is not guaranteed. In my last year of league bowling and tournament ball golf, I was thinking next year and injury prevented me from participating. I have a year to try to stay healthy while still being able to afford to go to Madison, WI next summer.

Note: In all the men's divisions under 70, players went six rounds on six different courses. The top third plus ties played a round and the top four a nine hole final. The person whose play made me decide to switch divisions finished tied for sixth.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Walk like a madman

The title caused two different annoying songs to earworm into my head. My apologies if the same happens to you.

For the company healthy living week, my company had a 42 day walking challenge and they supplied pedometers for anyone interested in joining it. Since I was told that I would have to be put on a randomly drawn team to participate, I declined the offer since I did not want to blame other people if they underperformed causing the team I was on to lose since I know that the nature of my job along with playing tournament disc golf causes me to take a whole lot of steps.

Now that the challenge is over, one of the people in it was kind enough to let me have his pedometer so I will be monitoring my steps for 42 days starting on July 17 finishing on August 27. I only have one scheduled tournament in that time and due to elbow tendinitis, my participation in that is currently questionable. However, due to the kindness of my two best friends (a statement I would have never thought I would make in the 20th century), I will probably be going to Gencon Indy at the end of the month for the 13th and probably last time since future years should be at the disc golf world amateur championships which is also held about the same time.

Here is the list of the top 25 walkers out of the 106 entries. I removed names and replaced a couple spots with either what I would have won or significant goals to potentially better.


There are multiple buildings in my company as well as people who work at the customers' locations so that is why only one of the top 12 work in the building which I do. My goal is to finish with the second most steps of those in my facility which should be doable.
 
To be honest, I am not interested in wining a water bottle since I already have one gathering dust in my locker and the t-shirt that I could win are not made in 3X so it would not fit me. I will after the 42 days are over provide the total steps I take in a future post.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

recalibration

I was eagerly waiting for the 2015 disc golf season since ages for divisions are based on year of birth  making me the young one in the 50+ age group thinking I would have a chance to win.

Before my first tournament, I looked at the entry list in my division and my expectations dropped. Every tournament round played is rated based on what propagators (players who have played in many rounds over the past 12 months) score in that round as well as everyone's score and the ratings of the others in my division are significantly better than me (anywhere from 5-8 shots per round)

In spite of that, I played against them and was pleased with the people I met and they were the people I was hoping to face in that division. Though I could compete for a 6-12 hole stretch, over a two round tournament, I was no match. Even though I was fourth out of 12 after one round in a tournament, I was still 9 shots out of first and after my second worst tournament round over the last two years, finished 12th 31 shots back. My overall rating after the three events I played in 2015 dropped the equivalent of 2 shots per round.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, I played in a club event which had one amateur division and after my best ever tournament round, was 7th out of 29. The second round was difficult for me and I ended up 16th. That event allowed me to gain enough player points to qualify for the 2016 world amateur championship next summer. I am eligible for this year's event but due to work/vacation issues, I can not go.

I decided to look at the play of the top amateur in the 50+ division. He has played 17 tournament rounds over the past 10 weeks. His worst rating of those rounds is better than my best one on July 4th weekend. Noticing that, I decided to for now play in the lowest rated open age division with players whose ratings are close to mine giving me a chance to compete.

Since the Illinois Open Series disc golf tournaments show hole by hole results on their website, I was able to create this showing the individual rounds both the top player in IL (and as far as player points #1 in the US) and me. (This was created a week after the original post after a tournament played on Sunday where I finished 16 shots out of first but one from cashing.)

 
(Click on it to read)
 
MG1 refers to Men's Grandmaster Amateur which is the name of the 50+ age division
MA4 is Men's Amateur Novice which is the lowest open amateur division

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Spolied by perfection?

I have posted before about wanting teams that are the best in the regular season to win titles and unless there is a personal reason, I do that. This year's Stanley Cup finals is one of the personal reasons as the third place Chicago Blackhawks is playing the Tampa Bay Lightning who had the same number of wins as the division winning Montreal Canadians.

Thinking about the previous times the team I most wanted to win won a title, there is a pattern.

Note: Since the 2010 Blackhawks had more wins than the #1 seed San Jose Sharks, I consider them having the best conference record.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Lose is a four letter word

The title of the post refers to a song by a group called Power Salad which is about Cleveland sports futility as well as people who make spelling errors. http://www.thefump.com/fump.php?id=1423

Since the Cleveland Browns won the last title for the city in 1964 and with the Cleveland Cavs in the conference finals, I figured now or never to figure the mathematical odds of the three Cleveland sports teams in the top level of the sport not winning a championship for 50 years.

As in the past, I figured out the odds of the team not winning in a specific year and multiplied them. When divisions and conferences or leagues had equal number of teams, it was easy. When that wasn't the case, it was more difficult like when the Cleveland Browns were in a four team division in a 13 or 14 team American Football Conference from 1970-1981 and from 1983-1994.

When conferences had an unequal number of teams, I figured out the chance of winning the conference and multiplied by 2 like the Indians from 1977-1992 who played in a 14 team American League while there was a 12 team National League.

Cleveland Cavs

1971-1974 -  16-1
1975-1977 -  18-1
1978-1988 -  22-1
1989             24-1
1990-1991 -  26-1
1992-1995 -  28-1
1996-2014 -  30-1

Total odds - 6.64-1

Cleveland Indians

1965-1968 -  20-1
1969-1976 -  24-1
1977-1993 -  28-1
1995-2012 -  88-3
2013-2014 -  30-1

Total odds - 6.40-1

Cleveland Browns

1965             14-1
1966-1969 -  32-1
1970-1975 -  320-13
1976-1981 -  176-7
1982             28-1
1983-1994 -  176-7
1995             30-1
1999-2001 -  312-9
2002-2014 -  32-1

Total odds - 6.36-1

Complete odds 270-1

I was surprised that the Cavs who started playing 5 years later had the highest odds of the three teams of going without a title but the NBA expanding a few years later than MLB of the NFL along with no MLB champ in 1994 and no NFL in Cleveland from 1996-1998 was the difference.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

No Canada

Yesterday, the Montreal Canadians lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning and became the last Canadian team eliminated from the playoffs. The Canadians were the last team to win the Stanley Cup in 1993. I decided to figure out the mathematical odds of that happening like I have did in the past with the Cubs, Lions and Blackhawks.(Cubs now at 237-1 with no title since 1908)

As the makeup of the NHL changed over the past 22 years, so has the yearly chance of a Canadian team winning the title.

1994, 95 -                8 out of 26
1996 -                      7 out of 26
1997, 98 -                6 out of 26
1999 -                      6 out of 27
2000 -                      6 out of 28
2001 through 2004 - 6 out of 30
2006 through 2011 - 6 out of 30
2012 through 2015 - 7 out of 30

Doing the math, it comes out to 214-1. I was surprised it was so high.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Logan analysis

The seven nine jurors have made their selections and the top five in each category have been announced and I have thoughts about them so I am writing this to get those thoughts out of my head.

For music video they are:

CBS Follies - Bitch in Business
Epic Rap Battles of History - Sir Issac Netwon vs. Bill Nye
Rhett and Link - I'm on Vacation
Weird Al - Tacky
Weird Al - Word Crimes

The ERB and Tacky videos I have seen and would have not been considered if I had a vote. There were only a couple of ERB vidoes over the years that I would have condsiered and this one is nowhere close to either of them even with Weird Al playing the Newton part. I found the Tacky video the 5th best of the 8 that Weird Al released last year. I did watch the CBS and Rhett and Link videos having not seen them before and found neither of them funny at all.

I was initially surprised Paul and Storm's video This Song was not a finalist and even more so when I was told Paul Saborin was added late to the juror list making all their 2014 work ineligible for the award.

Though Weird Al only appears in a drawing in the video, I found Word Crimes superior to the other nominees as well as any video made last year.

For original song they are:

the great Luke Ski — Fake Adult
Mikey Mason — Last Day at Work
Mikey Mason — Settle
Power Salad — Ama­zon Drone
Worm Quar­tet — Fueled by Angst

I was surprised that Dr. Demento's #2 song of the year, Monty Python's Silly Walks Song was not a finalist. I like all 5 songs but only Luke's and Worm Quartet's were in my top 5. Over the past couple of years, this has become the category with the most songs one would find worthy of winning.

Luke's song finished #1 on Dr. Demento in 2014 and I am hoping that like the previous year it ends up winning a Logan Award as well.

For parody song they are:

The Boobles - Have Natural Es
Carrie Dahlby featuring Wyngarde - Almost Parent Time
Devo Spice (feat. Power Salad) - Snack Bar
Kyle Kalligren and Tony Goldmark - Kill the Mouse
Weird Al - Word Crimes

When I first heard Carrie perform Almost Parent Time at Marscon 2014, I said the robot cat statue might as well be painted pink for the 2015 awards even knowing Weird Al was releasing an album in the summer. Then I saw the video for Word Crimes. Even without the video the song is far and away better than any parody I heard from 2014 including Carrie's song which I found better than any individual parody released in 2012 or 2013.

Having three out of the nine jurors being female left me surprised only 1 1/2 of the 15 finalists are female unlike last year where an all male panel (including me) produced 5 female finalists out of 15.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

costumes and chickens

I needed to get something for a costume for Erin and since it is not October, we ended up heading into Chicago proper at the Chicago Costume Company located at Cicero (4800W) and Montrose (4400N).

It was weird pulling into the 6 stall parking lot behind the building as it involved a ramp from the street. When we got out of the car, we heard a sound that you just don't hear in Chicago. I looked and saw a chicken coop with at least one dozen chickens.






We walked around to the front of the building and noticed the costume shop shares the building with a store that sells golf equipment. I was amazed by everything they had from masks to props to wigs to full outfits and they had the thing my daughter needed for less than the price I saw on line. I had to take one pic inside the store:


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Marscon 2015 by the numbers

People in the vehicle: 6
People in vehicle when it arrived at my house Wednesday night: 2
Temp Fahrenheit Thursday morning: 0
People picked up downtown Chicago after Amtrak was almost 3 hours late: 2
Extra miles driven to go downtown: 42
People who ate at IHOP on Thursday night: 11
Different states those people call home: 6
Max people who could sit it either hot tub before it overflowed: 5
Number of ice machines on the room floors of the hotel due to construction: 0

Minutes spent getting pair of shoes at Mall of America: 5
MOA Food places closed due to renovations: 4
Places in Mall of America that sell Coca Cola: 0
Years I have taken a picture of my left hand giving the finger to a Pepsi logo in the south food court: 5
Dollars spent on "premium" Cold Stone Creamery vanilla ice cream cone with no toppings: 6
Pocket and actual phone calls made to/from my sister before we got a hold of each other: 5

Stairs from 1st floor lobby to 2nd floor: 18
Stairs from 3rd floor room to 2nd floor: 19
Times I used stairs on Friday causing my left leg to be in pain the rest of the weekend: lost count
Dollars spent on hotel stand cheeseburger/chips/Coke meal three times over the weekend: 9
Dollars spent to register for weekend though I was in January informed in an email which I foolishly erased that I was registered: 60 (I sent the email unsure if I registered. Since I can't confirm that I registered, I had to pay.)
Flyers taped or reattached while opening ceremonies sketch was rehearsed: 30
People I saw use the schedule flyer to find out what performance is when: 5
Hours it took for Pizza Hut to fail to deliver since the driver could not find the correct hotel: 2 1/2
Times Bill Putt said "oil can" in opening ceremonies sketch: 12
Number of concert spots changed due to travel issues and one cancellation: 4
Guys who Carrie will never sleep with who headed towards stage as she did that line: 14
Songs in Sponge Awareness Foundation Air Supply medley: 5
People in "sex" section: 2
New Devo Spice videos (including one still in production): 3
Different beers consumed on Friday: 2
Different mixed beverages tried in Klingon party room: 6
Times person mistook a written letter on a Klingon mixed beverage for a number or vice versa in a five minute gap: 2

Number of people doing aerobics in the pool Saturday morning: 13
Number of children in the pool about the time it ended: 15
People who attended first ever afternoon showing of Dementia wrestling: 35
Wrestlers who were booed as they were introduced: 2
New items in Luke Ski's opening bit: 6
Songs in new Luke Ski video that he finished late Wednesday night: 2
Points in Q*Bert that Luke Ski's high score is less than mine: about 18,000
Songs in TV Kyle's show that were written before February: 1
People that joined Power Salad on stage during Corned Beef and Cabbage: 8
Of them those who danced instead of drinking coffee: 7
Age of Tony Goldmark, the youngest person with a main stage concert: 31
Songs Rob Paravonian did that I had heard before the weekend: 1

People I knew who I saw do karaoke on Saturday night: 8
Times I looked at a karaoke book and had to remind myself "NO!": 2
Times I heard someone I didn't know perform in karaoke Carry on Wayward Son after a clip of that song was played during opening ceremonies: 2
Adult beverages consumed on Saturday: 0 (all alcohol needs to be out of my system for 24 hours when I take my arthritis medication which I was planning to take Monday)

Times I matched Luke Ski's answer in the four Match Game style questions he answered as a panelist in the Flopcast panel: 3
Times I matched another performer's answer in the same game out of 28 total answers: 3
Songs performed in the FuMP Jukebox: 5
Songs performed in the Smackdown: 15
Smackdown songs that the performer created: 2
Smackdown songs covering another artist who was there: 2
Smackdown songs created on stage: 1
Total artist merch items purchased: 4
Artist merch item that became available on line as he got on the stage: 1
Percentage of artist merch by all artists on the table that I own (or purchased) once I download that artist's item: 100

People from Marscon who ate at Khan's: 34
People who joined group for dinner realizing a performer was in town: 1
People excited by that person who took a pic with him: 3
Difference in cost of meal in cents on two different tables serviced by two different waiters depending on beverage ordered: 1 or 5
People who participated in what has become an annual Sunday night podcast taste test panel: 11

People at Monday morning breakfast: 19
Increase of cost of Monday buffet breakfast in dollars from Sat or Sun without anything else being in it: 4
Podcast episodes played on ride home: 2
Total musical albums played on trip: 7
Temperature Fahrenheit when back at my place: 52

Friday, February 27, 2015

Breaking out the white

I recently realized the only time I wear t-shirts that are white is at Marscon. Normally I don't like white shirts as they get dirty easily but Marscon has become the exception. Here is a list of the shirts I wear exclusively (for the most part) there:

Bus shirt: As the Dementia Bus (named either the Whitehurst or the Blindwulf) was the popular way to get there in the late 00s, in 2008 we needed two of them and Sara was kind to drive the other one. Luke drew a pic of all 15 people who were on it that year and it was turned into a shirt that seems to get smaller every year but I still wear on the Thursday we head to Marscon.

The artist shirt: In 2008, probably the craziest and wildest Marscon (at least from the pictures from it; then again when a platoon of soldiers join the Saturday night party scene what else would you expect), the theme was Press Start to Continue. Luke drew every performer as a character from a video game and Bill turned that into a shirt which people could order. Every year Luke has continued that and every year, I order a shirt and Spreadshirt was kind enough to replace mine after the initial one had a printing error. This is the image from this year where the theme is Heroes, and Wizards and Fae, Oh my:


Note: Lindsay Smith drew it, Kyle Carrozza inked it and Luke Sienkowski colored it. I wear the current years and a couple past years shirts periodically during the weekend.

New this year is a white version of the shirt advertising the Marscon Dementia track.

On Saturday night dinner I wear a shirt my daughter got me with the phrase burp loading along with a status bar.

Late on Saturday, I wear the shirt with the logo of my radio show that Luke drew as me. That is the shirt I am wearing in my profile pic.

In the after con group pool gathering Sunday night, I use my white Worm Quartet "official nipple covering apparatus"

In the past I have worn my white Dementia Radio t shirt which for some reason I lost and was hoping would find when I moved but didn't and since 5 performers from a convention called Dementia 2001 will be there there might be a pic of people who were there and I need to find the white shirt from there to pack.

I even wear a few non white shirts there. Why do I wear so many in one weekend? The excitement of the weekend (and in the past the alcohol) causes me to sweat more than normal and I change shirts often for my (and others) comfort.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

I will never watch another "Super Bowl"

First of all, this is Ken Sherlock. My computer and account were not hacked.

Those who know me are aware of my knowledge of the game known as the Super Bowl. I can rattle off what team beat what other team, the 49 game MVPs as two players (Harvey Martin and Randy White) shared the honor in #12, most likely the score of the game, and something else most people don't know about it.

So why the title statement? Definition. I am aware I think ... unlike others (pause intended). In my lifetime, the Super Bowl has changed from the championship match up of the American and National football league winners to the championship of the merged National Football League in 1970 played on a Sunday afternoon to a Sunday evening multimedia extravaganza event with celebrities having an on field presence choked to the brim with sponsorship causing people who don't care about the game to mock it or provide deliberate alternate programming.

I am not interested in the National Anthem which has been forever ruined by Whitney Houston on coke sounding like she had a vibrator between her legs causing others to try to make it from doing their "special" version of the song most annoyingly Chicago Blackhawks performer Jim Cornelison who has made a career out of over singing one fucking song and grandstanding by pointing at the flag. I don't care about the momentum changing fucking halftime show and to be honest if Weird Al Yankovic was performing, I would not want it though I would probably watch a recording of it. Commercials? No, no, no, NO!

To me that is what the Super Bowl has become and I don't want that any more. I do want to see the game between the AFC champion New England Patriots and the NFC championship Seattle Seahawks to determine the league champion especially since both teams just like last year were the top teams in their conference.

Last year, I realized that I can watch the game without the pageantry, commercials, and bullshit that has lessened my enjoyment of the game. I have a DVR. After the coin toss, I can pause the game for about 25 minutes, take care of other things off line, then watch the game skipping the commercials which advertisers paid millions for the rights to display. When I have to pee, I pause and take my time. When it is halftime, I will pause the tv and spend about an hour doing something else. In the past I have played Rock Band and today I might play a set of all Seattle and Boston area bands music. The second half I will do the same thing and skip commercials.

To be honest if there is a commercial I want to see like a trailer for Avengers 2 or something else, I can watch it.

From this moment forward, I will do my best to stop using the term Super Bowl or the roman numerals. That name was not used until #3 and coined after hearing a kid playing with a super ball. I will be watching a football game tonight. It is the NFL championship game for the 2014-2015 season dubbed #49.

Fictional numbers 43-99

After my computer died, I lost the list I was creating. I restarted that project a few weeks ago and decided today is the correct day to post this as many of these numbers apply to football players. As with the other two lists, if anyone knows of someone who should be included, let me know.

43 - As with many of the higher numbers there is no real important character that wore them though I would guess extras have worn most of them in many movies. In the movie Cars, the King wore #43 but since that car was based on former driver Richard Petty who is known as the king and the car wore 43, I can't include it. Also won't include numbers worn by Barry Sanders (20), Dick Butkus (51), and Jerry Rice (80) as well as others who played inmates in Necessary Roughness as they wore the numbers they wore in the NFL.

44 - Forrest Gump, University of Alabama. His name is Forrest. Easily over the Bad News Bears player who was a Hank Aaron fan.

51 - Ricky Bobby - NASCAR - His car in the final race had that number.

53 - Greg Brady - Tigers - After talking to Don Drysdale, he could not get anyone out.

61 - Bodanski - Florida Penitentiary Guards team (1974 Longest Yard movie) Played by hall of fame linebacker Ray Nitchke and since this character wore a different number than Nitchke's 66, I will count it.

66 - Todd Flanders - Springfield youth football - He would stand next to his brother Rod who wore number 6.

68 - Peter Griffin - New England Patriots - Shipoopi

69 - Eric Cartman - South Park cows

72 - Brock Sampson - State University - Former Bodyguard of Dr. Thaddeus "Rusty" Venture

73 - Sampson - Mean Machine (1974) When I saw the movie as a kid, I did not realize two things. The person who played him also played Jaws in James Bond movies and that he did not originally say that he broke his freaky neck.

78 - Andre Kimm - Texas State - Played by Sinbad one of the few linemen movie characters who was not an extra or a sidebar.

84 - Bobby Brady - New York Jets - Worn in the dream sequence where he caught a Joe Namath TD pass.

85 - Rod Tidwell - Arizona Cardinals - Show him the money!

86 - Chuck Hicks - Piston Cup - Won the title when Lightning McQueen helped the King cross the finish line. Sorry if that was a spoiler.

87 - Phill Elliott - North Dallas Bulls - Main character in dark movie about pro football played by Nick Nolte.

92 - Big Tony - Mean Machine (2005) - Saw The Longest Yard remake once and don't really remember him but there were 6 players specified in the movie and he was one of them.

95 - Lightning McQueen - Piston Cup - Won multiple titles before racing against the best in the world.

96 - Charlie Conway - Mighty Ducks - Quack

97 - Switkowski - Mean Machine (2005) - Same as 92

99 - Ricky Vaughn - Cleveland Indians - I really wished they did not make a sequel.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Marscon non musical overview

What makes Marscon more special is the non performance events. Here is my ratings for those:

Mall of America trip B+: Unlike last year, the hotel for the convention is close to the mall and within walking distance on a warm day. Since it is the first week on March, that won't be likely but the hotel will have shuttle service. The overwhelming Pepsi signage in the building along with the fact that Diet Mountain Dew (the only Pepsi beverage I can drink) is not available anywhere in the building is the only deterrent in the trip and inspires me to take a flippie of the sign in the south food court every year.

Opening ceremonies A-: Luke usually with Earl Luckes put together the only convention opening ceremonies sketch ever worth watching. I was honored to help with the FuMPet show production from a couple of years ago.

Dementia water aerobics A-: Though I usually am in no shape (physically or otherwise) to participate in it, this event done by Kornflake who is a certified instructor is something which I am glad exists. Since there is no more fan showcase (as is was discontinued after I sang in it last year) it is starting later on Saturday and if I am not too worn out, I might participate or at least curse out Agent Luke Bauer for shutting down the fan showcase after Dr Demento gave me written permission last year to perform in every future one.

Dementia Smackdown wrestling: A: This event was moved to Saturday afternoon after the past couple of years was on late in the evening causing everyone there tired. I really enjoy watching the artists themselves get worked up watching their avatars (created by Mr Tuesday) wrestle for the title.

The Flopcast live A: Over the past couple of years, the Flopcast (featuring Kevin and Kornflake) has become my favorite podcast. I was glad to be in the area when they were recording last year and will be there though not sure how awake and functional at Sunday noon when they record.

Party rooms B: Over the years as I have gotten older the rating has dropped since I can't enjoy them as I used to especially since I now have to prepare myself so I can enjoy them as they are designed. I am hoping  the FuMP karaoke CD files can end up in the karaoke room so they could be done there.

Kahn's B+: Other than Pepsi, it is a little sad to be there as it signifies the beginning of the end of the weekend as people start to head home at the time as they must.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

prop time 2015

Like the last couple of years this is what I would bet on Super Bowl XLIX: (hopefully this time in a font that posts)

These in base $100:

Wilson MVP +350 (X Brady)
Wilson first TD +1200 (X Lafell)
Brady over 36.5 att -135   +235
Brady 2 tot TD pass +250 (x4)
Gronk over 74.5 rec yd -125 (X68)
Wilson 3 tot TD pass +500 (x2)
Wilson over 42.5 rush yd -125 (X39)
Wilson rush TD +200 (X)
Gronk over 100 red yd +190 (X68)
Wilson first Sea TD +600 (X Lynch)
Sea wins 19-24 +1400 (X)
Sea first TD of game by rush +400 (X NE pass)
NE under 24.5 pt -115 (x 28)
Sea over 24 pt -115   +215
Sea -14.5 +450 (X)
Sea -7.5 +240 (X)
7 total TD +500   +600
Sea 5 TD +750  (X3)
2 tot FG +350   (X1)
tot 51-60 +275  +375
missed FG +110  (X)
NE 4th down conversion +130  (X)
Sea 4+ players score +120     +220

These two bets would be for base $500 as opposed to base $100

Seattle win -105 (X)
over 48 tot -115  +1,075

As one can tell from the bets, I have Seattle winning by a large margin. (38-17) Why? Over the past two seasons, Seattle is 8-3 playing on natural grass while New England is 2-6 with one of the wins by three points over a team that went 1-15. Since the game will be played on natural grass, this matchup between two otherwise even teams should not end up close.

Total bet $3,515
Total collected $2,720
Net result -$795

It was ironic that the two interceptions that Seattle got took out two starting players which New England was able to exploit to score 28 points. I am still stunned by the play call on second and goal from the one yard line with plenty of time. Though a touchdown would have given Seattle the win and probable victory, I would have lost one prop bet and possibly gained another if Wilson is named MVP.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Theater sitting

For me there used to be confusion describing where I was sitting in a theater or where someone was going to be on stage since stating right and left is usually followed by asking from the performers or audience point of view.

Thanks to two songs, describing it is now simple and easy:



What songs? :





When I told my daughter we are in the 21st row on the trees side of the drugs section, she understood exactly what I meant. I also stated the water seats cost $263.50 each when I searched.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Out with a bang

Due to recent and future events, I felt like I needed to go bowling and since Wood Dale Bowl has all you can bowl on Sunday for $10 per person, I went there. I was surprised to see my nephew who bowls on his high school team there at a party.

After 5+ minutes getting into my size 10 1/2 bowling shoes (purchased in 1993 at wholesale cost after someone at the bowling distributorship where I work special ordered then returned them) due to arthritis and the bone spurs on both my heels, I took four careful steps and lofted the 1994 Omega (year made/brand of bowling ball) down the lane. The first game was spent trying to get loose and finding the spot to throw the ball even switching equipment ending with a 166.

The next two games were frustrating due to poor carry and after switching back to the ball I usually use there, I figured things out during the third game as the last 9 shots were in the pocket. Thanks to a pocket 7-10 in the 9th of the third game both of them were 198.

The fourth game continued where I left off. Though the shots were thrown far from identical, the first 7 shots were in the pocket all strikes but a 7 pin on a wall shot that did not carry fully. The eighth frame my left leg gave a bit and I pulled the shot leaving a 3-6 which I only hit the 6 on my spare ball as I favored the leg.

After pocket strikes in the ninth and the first shot of the tenth, I called to my nephew to watch me finish. On the next shot the left leg dragged behind causing the toe to contact the approach first and I wiped out. In spite of that (because I developed a straight armswing), the ball went exactly the direction it should and it was a pocket strike. I got to the point where I was sitting on the approach and my nephew and the person two lanes over came to help but there was no way I would take either hand. I crawled to the ball return and used it to help myself up. I then took my 1988 Black Hammer which I now use as a spare ball, stood at the line, and threw my last shot leaving a pocket 4 for a 244 total.




My nephew was surprised when I told him he saw my last EVER game. I explained I was his age the last time I saw my father bowl and this being the 6th time my left leg either popped or failed in the past 21 years, I have had enough. When I tell people I HATE bowling, this is why. After getting my equipment in my bag and paying for my bowling, I took out my orange towel which I have used for years and put the two bags in the dumpster in the bowling alley parking lot as everything else in it is too old to be reused.

Though I am typing this with a sore left calf, hamstring, and hip, what I am really upset about is missing the spare in the 8th.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

T - 6 weeks

I as do every year, here is my assessment of the Marscon 2015 musical performers hopefully in cronological order:

Carrie Dahlby - B+: My first thought was why two years in a row then I realized she had the second most requested parody of 2014 on the Doctor Demento Show. After hearing Almost Parent Time I was thinking I could always replace the Earl part but her husband does a great job at it since her music ability and knowledge has made him better and Earl should be there anyway.

Devo Spice - A: Though his newest tracks on the album were not as impressive as must of what he has done the past couple years, the recent work still warrants the grade.

the great Luke Ski A: Three years ago, I was suggesting having Luke not perform a main stage Marscon show as the work he did before and during the weekend took away from his show. Since then he has won two Logan Awards and has been #1 for the year on Dr Demento twice while upgrading his live show.

Mikey Mason - A: One of the newest FuMP core members whose live show takes his music up another level.

Worm Quartet - A: More than anyone he can perform songs that are 10 years old and still kick ass with it while integrating new material.

Power Salad - B+: Marscon is always better when he is there whether performing his music or joining others with an instrument or with his professional voice.

Tony Goldmark - B: Back at Marscon for the first time in 10 years. Though things between him and those he made upset in 2005 have been resolved, it will still feel a little weird.

Sponge Awareness Foundation B-: I have not seen the group perform in many years and to be honest until last year's Marscon, I was only familiar with only one of their songs. They are generally an unknown though The Flopcast, done by member Kevin Eldridge with Kornflake, is my favorite one to listen.

TV's Kyle B: I am glad he will be making the trip to Marscon to perform and hopefully he will have info about the cartoon show which he created.

Rob Paravonian B: Like with SAF, I am not that familiar with the guest of honor's music other than one specific song though looking at his music profile discovered others.

Feng Shui Ninjas B-: Their music is different than the rest of the con and though fine, my enthusiasm is not the same for as the others there.

FuMP Jukebox: B: With the fan showcase being moved to the Jukebox, it will provide others a chance to perform on the main stage.

Smackdown B: Though sad to see the weekend end, this is always a nice way to go out.