Monday, November 26, 2007

Notre Dame Football 2007: A Postmortem

It is an understatement to say that Notre Dame's 2007 football season was a disappointment. After two consecutive BCS games, 3-9 was a huge letdown. Given Weis' 15-year history of offensive success, the team's inability to field a competitive offense was shocking. The lack of a running game was depressing. The growing pains, such as they were, were evident every single game. The defense, though improved, was still inconsistent. Everyone on the team, save Trevor Laws, let me down at one point or another. Despite looking forward to this year as a chance to start fresh, I was frustrated much more often than I was pleased. Optimism frequently gave way to despair.

Despite all this, I watched every single play of the season, from the kickoff against Georgia Tech to the kneeldown against Stanford. I watched every fumble, every sack, every shotgun snap over the quarterback's head, and every outside run that the linebackers seemed powerless to stop. Why would I subject myself to such frustration, anger, and misery? Because when Notre Dame is great again (and they will be great again), I want to wear this season as a badge of honor. I want to remember all the difficulties, all the painful losses, and all the moments I wanted to throw something.

I hope that every single player feels the same way.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

This Explains a Lot

The ever-number-crunching FunkDoctorSpock has calculated the percentage of points each class at Notre Dame scored this year:
Fr . . . 118
So . . . 13
Jr . . . 12
Sr . . . 6
5th . . . 48
Revue Party, on the other hand, totaled the number of yards each class gained:
Fr . . . 635
So . . . 579
Jr . . . 258
Sr . . . 123
5th . . . 371

Fr . . . 497 (including -165 for Clausen)
So . . . 469
Jr . . . -71 [Sharpley of course]
Sr . . . 35
5th . . . 50
I'm guessing neither is exactly typical.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Well, I Guess the Race Is Over

Side note. Norris was born in 1940 and had done his own stunts in roughly 37 billion action movies. Looks like he's doin' pretty well.

The formula to a successful country album

I love country music, and I appreciate the themes running through the songs. Having said that, the topics can become awfully repetitive. With that in mind, here is my foolproof formula to a multi-platinum country music album!

1. A song about sowing my wild oats
2. A song about settling down and raising a family

3. A song about the joys of whiskey
4. A song about the sorrows of whiskey

5. A song about America
6. A song about the south
7. A song about Texas

8. A song about a bar on Saturday night
9. A song about a bar on Tuesday afternoon
10. A song about church on Sunday (Bonus points if you combine the three!)

11. A duet with Willie Nelson/Merle Haggard/Loretta Lynn

Nashville, here I come!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Amazing Grace

"Was blind, but now I see..."

For most of my life, my vision has been perfect. I was consistently measured at 20/15 or 20/20 vision. For some strange reason, it was actually a point of pride.

Over the past two years or so, I began to notice a deterioration in my vision. Gone was the ability to read street signs at a mystifying distance.

The result was my first full eye exam at an optometrist in my life. In addition to officially diagnosing me as colorblind, she also fitted me with a pair of sweet glasses.

Friends, I was once like you. Blind and in the dark. But I've come to tell you that today I see! I see the truth! I see the light! I see every blade of grass and every leaf!

And brothers and sisters, the world is beautiful! By the grace of God, we have a beautiful world!

Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where's the Tylenol?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

More difficult: Children or law school?

After trading one for the other today, I'd say children. Jake has pinkeye, so dad's home playing Mr. Mom today. It's been really nice to have a day alone with my son, but it's also exhausting. Aside from naps, babies need attention all the time! I thought only Big Jim was that needy.

Also, huzzah for 300 posts!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

TV Roundup

Scrubs: I think it's likely that JD and Kim will get back together. However, even if they don't, I would be very disappointed if JD and Elliot lived happily ever after. They've just gone to that well one too many times. What would be different from the last time they got together and JD immediately realized that it was a colossal mistake?

Heroes: Monday's episode was far and away the best of this season. The conclusion of Hiro's story arc was really well done, the Parkman-Nathan Petrelli story line finally got moving, and the Adam Monroe twist at the end was fantastic. Additionally, when Noah Bennett (the cheerleader's dad) goes into his morally ambiguous, protect his family at all costs routine, he's one of the best characters on television.

The writers' strike: I don't have a horse in this race, and I really don't know enough about the demands to have an informed judgment on the merits of the strike. However, there's one thing I'm fairly confident regarding the strategery of the move. If the writers think they are going to bring television and movie studios to their knees by withdrawing their "talents," they have another thing coming. America will be more than happy to watch another season of "My Big Fat Obnoxious Whatever."

I'm back!

So my google account was hacked last Friday. At first, I assumed it was just a problem with gmail or something, but after I couldn't access my account for several hours, I was concerned.

I started searching around online to see if other people's accounts mysteriously stopped working. It had happened to other people, and it usually wasn't the result of hacking. In some cases, access was restored the next day.

I decided to wait and see if my access would come back, but it didn't. I became seriously worried when I was able to get to my security question to retrieve my password, and it was "???????????"

At this point, I began to freak out a bit, knowing everything that I have stored in gmail and do through gmail. Further, since Blogger is a Google product, I wasn't able to blog, leaving Big Jim all alone.

I had to go through Gmail's tedious password retrieval service. They asked for all sorts of ridiculous information I didn't have, such as my verification code when I first signed up. Luckily, my original Gmail invitor still had the original invite e-mail. Through that, I was able to eventually regain access to my account.

But the story doesn't end there! After accessing my e-mail, our mystery hacker also was able to get into my eBay account. Thankfully, his crude attempt to list six expensive digital cameras on eBay within minutes of one another was deemed suspicious by their security team. My account was frozen, and I was able to close it this morning.

Ultimately, it appears that the only consequence of this whole experience was serious aggravation. I'll be keeping a close eye on any internet accounts I have, but I may be in the clear.

The disconcerting thing about all this is that the IT guys here at Marquette don't know how it happened. I can only assume it happened on the wireless network here, but there's no way to know for sure. It's a vulnerable feeling.

Te moral of the story is that you should change all your passwords to "JG8#6r!YfcO*&675M1H"


Lines 8-21 from the Prologue of William Langland's Piers Plowman (ca. late 14th c.), translated by George Economou:
I dreamed most marvelously, as I recall,
All the world's wealth and all of its woe,
Dozing that I was, I certainly saw;
Truth and treachery, treason and guile,
Sleeping I saw them all, as I shall record.
I looked to the East toward the rising sun
And saw a tower--I took it Truth was inside.
To the West then I looked after a while
And saw a deep dale--Death, as I believe,
Dwelled in that place, along with wicked spirits.
Between them I found a fair field full of folk
Of all manner men, the common and poor,
Working and wandering as this world asks us.
I think Economou could have tried a little harder with the alliteration. From what I understand, which isn't much, one wants to have alliteration in both halves of the verse. Using that as the standard Economou fails a little too often for my taste. Still, a marvelous bit.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I Know That I, Big Jim, Do Not Have Your Superior Intellect and Education . . .

But I'm not crazy for thinking that at least one of these two fine gentlemen of the NFL Network is a fan of the Three Amigos, am I?

Browns-Seahawks highlights

Oh. Go, Browns.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Saturday, November 3, 2007


ND by 10. Our guys are just too big and too fast.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Scrubs Question

Are Kim and JD done? Not impossible, but I would consider it unlikely at this point. Still, the breakup was done in such a way so that JD was completely blameless.

Observation. JD and Eliott are both single.

Thank you Perry much.

Yea Humanity!

An article fraught with symbolism:
Scientists Find Oldest Living Animal, Then Kill It
Makes me want to go shoot some buffalo.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

My Quandry II

I honestly can't decide whom I dislike more: the radio station executives who decide to play Christmas music on November 1, or the listeners who inexplicably reward them by tuning in.

Christmas is 54 days away. That's 15% of the year!. It's all so absurd.

Score One for the Brits

I can't construe this any other way than a calculated insult. Good for them:

Of course, as my friend John asked, if Abdullah is Vader, who's the Emperor?