Thursday, January 22, 2009

What She Said

Amy Welborn wrote a magnificent post yesterday. Also, I'm glad to see that Juan Williams is still talking sense.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Reihan Salam Is Everying I Aspire to Be

(in a blogging sense).

Check out his latest post on The American Scene (which you should be reading anyway). Wit. Good music. Ghenghis Khan. Even some rap references for my poor deluded partner.

I'm going to have to check out The Dirty Projectors. That song is amazing.

That is all. Carry on.

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Life Plan

I've decided to make a lot of money in order to take up parachuting.  You see, one needs to log at least 200 jumps before attempting this:

I'm actually fairly serious.  The wingsuit may be the most amazing thing I've ever seen.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


According to our good friend,
to equivocate; vacillate.

So now we all know what the hell the Proclaimers were singing about in the second verse:

One further note. The Proclaimers are Scottish. The accent makes sense working backwords, but I'd always figured they were from the Carribean.

Well, it looks like my learning is done for the day.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I can update the sidebar too!

Even better, my sidebar changes include deceptively quoted rap songs!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Notre Dame Football 2008: First Quarter

Going into the football season this year, I wasn't quite sure what to think. On one hand, the team was coming off one of the worst seasons in school history, finishing 3-9. On the other hand, there was no questioning the amount of talent Charlie Weis and his staff was bringing in. The question was whether that talent would mature and develop quickly enough to start winning a lot of games.

Going into the season, I thought it was instructive to break it into four quarters, with three games in each. I concluded that if Notre Dame finished each quarter 2-1, I would have been satisfied. With a bowl win, this would have given the Irish a record of 9-4. Though I hoped for a 10-2 or 9-3 season, anything more than 8-4 would have been gravy.

As most readers of this blog know, the first two quarters went roughly as planned. The final two? Not so much.

First Quarter

Notre Dame began the season with San Diego State, Michigan, and Michigan State (road). Just about everyone following ND expected the San Diego State game to be little more than a glorifed scrimmage. The Aztecs, starting their season a week sooner than the Irish, lost their opening game to Division I-AA Cal Poly. Not only that, they gave up nearly 300 yards rushing to Cal Poly and were missing almost 10 defensive lineman.

The game turned into a near disaster. San Diego State led most of the way due to a couple of Jimmy Clausen interceptions and a shocking inability to run the football. Up 13-7, San Diego State was driving deep in Irish territory and poised to go up two scores against a struggling ND offense. David Bruton then made a play that potentially saved the Irish season (and Charlie Weis' job), forcing and recovering a fumble at Notre Dame's 1 or 2 yard line. The Irish would eventually score a couple of late touchdowns to win 21-13.

Aside from the near disaster, this came will probably be best remembered as the debut of Michael Floyd in a Notre Dame uniform. Floyd had only one catch, but it was a jumping 37-yard touchdown pass where he displayed the incredible combination of athleticism, balance, and hands that will make him a household name very shortly.

After this Pyrrhic victory, the Irish faced Michigan. I wasn't sure what to think at this point. Michigan struggled to a 1-1 record to start the year, but we weren't really certain quite how bad they would turn out. Just as in the 2007 ND-Michigan game, I predicted that whoever jumped out to an early lead would have a huge edge. Unlike the 2007 game, it was the Irish who forced turnovers and dominated early. Notre Dame raced out to a 21-0 lead behind the stellar play of Golden Tate and Real American Hero Mike Anello. The Irish cruised to a 35-17 victory.

Not knowing quite how putrid Michigan truly was, I hoped that this game would serve as a turning point for the young Irish. Notre Dame headed for East Lansing at 2-0 and faced a challenge against Michigan State. Again, the Irish struggled to run the ball, but for the first time since 2006, we saw glimpses of the dynamic passing game that made Charlie Weis a hero early in his tenure at ND. Jimmy Clausen spread the field with four and five receiver sets for much of the second half, but turnovers again killed the Irish. One pick in the Spartan end zone killed an Irish scoring opportunity, and one deep in Notre Dame territory set up the Spartans with an easy drive. Notre Dame's defense put up a game fight against super-duper-workhorse Javon Ringer, but the Irish fell 23-7 in a game that was probably closer than the score let on.

First Quarter Grade: B-.

The Irish went 2-1, meeting my preseason goals. The high point was obviously the Michigan drubbing. It may sound strange, but the low point was San Diego State, not Michigan State. Even though the Irish won their opener, their sloppy play and struggles against a deeply flawed opponent made just about everyone think "Here we go again." Following the Spartan game, even though we lost, there was reason for hope. As we will soon see, that hope blossomed in the form of a beautiful passing game that nearly carried the Irish to a perfect second quarter.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


a small wood or thicket.
I suppose the undetermined size of the wood pictured precludes it from being a true spinney, but it was too good an opportunity to miss.


I updated the links on the bottom right.

I'd like to direct our loyal readers' attention to three in particular: Charlotte Was Both, Shadow Government, and Big Hollywood.

Amy Welborn has been writing Charlotte Was Both for over a year now, before which she wrote Open Book.  In my opinion she provides the best combination of Church news, analysis, and reflection.

Shadow Government is a new shared blog written recently unemployed foreign policy types. It should prove highly informative.

Finally, Andrew Breitbart kicked off Big Hollywood a couple of days ago.  His goal is to make Hollywood a place accepting of conservative views. I incline towards pessimism (both towards the feasibility and the means), but the project remains worthy and the reading should be entertaining.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Primary definition:
a thick, low post, usually of iron or steel, mounted on a wharf or the like, to which mooring lines from vessels are attached.
Used in sentence:
Big Jim may chain Rico to a bollard unless he posts more often.

C'est La Vie . . .

Degenerations: a fairly new Quebecois song. To this novice reader of French, the translation is basically good, except for the "drunken notions" part. The French is:
pour calmé tes envie de hold-uper la caissière tu lis des livres qui parle de simplicité volontaire
Which we should read as:
In order to calm you desire of holding up the bank-teller, you read books which describe voluntary simplicity.
The lack of religion in the song is interesting, if predictable. One can't very well remove Catholicism from Quebec's past though. The band, Mes Aieux, is fervently pro-abortion (also predictable), despite the lyrics:
And then you my little girl, you constantly switch partners
Whenever you make a mistake, you correct it by aborting.
But some mornings you wake weeping,
When you have dreamed of a big table surrounded by children.
One is probably meant to read these lines as a critique of the culture, rather than of the practise iteself (regrettable, maybe necessary). Still, the lyrics pack quite a punch, and I don't know if one can get the inferences the band desires unless you know their own ideology.  Of course, the cultural critique only goes so far. What is one to do with the last verse?  It continues the theme of isolation but the action it offers is more symbolic: as our ancestors did, we still can dance. Rather gloomy.

A sidenote. The full song has two minute instrumental section at the end. I wonder why the music video didn't include it with the girl dancing with some older folks in traditional costume. Too happy maybe? Or is there some socialist law about music videos not going over 3:15 in Canada?