Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Volume 5, Number 11: A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

News: The last few weeks have been bad. Storms hit the Southeast, causing flooding in Nashville the likes of which people there have never seen; an oil rig was lost in the Gulf of Mexico, causing ecological disaster along the Gulf Coast; severe storms and tornadoes struck Oklahoma earlier this week; there's been a rash of school attacks in China; there's the threat of a diphtheria epidemic in earthquake-stricken Haiti, and last but not least, a family of four died in Quebec when the ground beneath their house collapsed due to clay liquefaction.

Sports: A mix of good and bad here. The Tigers are off to a good start. I wanted the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals but the Cavs are now down 3 games to 2 against the Boston Celtics, while the Mavs were already eliminated in round 1 against the San Antonio Spurs. The Pistons are in next Tuesday's NBA Draft Lottery; thing is, as much as I'd love for the Pistons to get Kentucky point guard John Wall, I have opposed the Draft Lottery ever since Commissioner David Stern introduced it in 1985 and I prefer the NFL style of drafting (worst team gets the first pick, regardless of conference). The Red Wings are out of the playoffs but maybe it's just as well; they were too inconsistent this year and both the Sharks and Blackhawks are better teams. Personally, I'm rooting for the Blackhawks because their head coach (Joel Quenneville) is one of the NHL's best, and they also have the longest current Stanley Cup drought (no Cup since 1961, and remember, the Wings used to have a drought like that).

Fantasy sports: Smackdown Unlimited (baseball) is off to a surprisingly good start--4th place right now, and 1st as recently as April 29. In football, one league I'm in (Todd's Ultimate Fantasy Football, or TUFF for short) had its rookie draft last week. I thought I did OK--I got QB Jimmy Clausen to give me sorely needed depth at that position but couldn't get a running back to replace Kevin Smith (maybe next year, I can address depth at that position).

Weather: In addition to what I mentioned under News: Temperatures here in the Detroit area dropped this past weekend; it also snowed in parts of Wisconsin and northern Michigan. Did the recent volcanic activity in Iceland have anything to do with it?

TV: I'm getting tired of Operation Repo--you can only watch so many schmucks who fail to understand any part of the statement, "We wouldn't be here if you weren't making the payments." As for Kitchen Nightmares, I like it best when Gordon goes after dirty restaurants (Dillons and the Seascape in 2007 and Fiesta Sunrise in 2008 are prime examples) and there hasn't been such a severe case in this, the third season. Another thing about the new format of KN is that Gordon only stays for three days instead of seven, a result of which is that Gordon can't shut down a restaurant for a day or two (like he did a few times under the old seven-day timetable). I'm looking forward to Season 7 of Hell's Kitchen, which starts on Tuesday, June 1.

Movies: There are a whole bunch I'd like to see but nothing that makes me want to go to the theater and shell out $7+ to see it. At least not until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Volume I. So instead of waiting for movies to come out in theaters, I've resigned myself to waiting until I can see them on a cable TV network like TNT, TBS, FX, USA, Spike, whatever. So I keep checking the TV listings looking for movies from two or three years ago.

Internet: Family Feud on Facebook is fun (at least when the app works, anyway). I'd rather have a faulty Feud than an error-free FarmVille or Mob Wars.

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