Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Curmudgeon in the Wry 592

Wednesday, March 22, 2017--- 1035 Words---Average Reading Time: 3 Minutes, 2 Seconds. (A pointless waste of time---time frittered away)
Back by the demand of virtually no one.
Once you put it down, it is quite easy not to pick it up again.
Seeking only to enlighten and amuse.
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Continuing to call them as I see them.
Virtually free of original ideas. 
Warning: Contains unsound bites from the apple of life.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
If you want this in a different language…move to a country that speaks it!
Gluten Free.
Viewer Indiscretion Is Advised.
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Rave: Robert Montgomery.
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Reading: “One Strange Date” by Laurence Shames.
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On the Hi Fi:  Sonny Stitt and Milt Jackson—“In the Beginning.”
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Under Rated: Audrey Totter.
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Quote: From Charles Barkley on the back cover of George Karl's new book: ''George Karl has always been one of my favorite coaches. Why? In Game Seven of the 1993 Western Conference finals, I scored 44 points against his team. ...That's why.''
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Jump Ball: No professional athlete is as good as he claims to be.
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Rant: How can ESPN continue to insult the intelligence of college basketball fans with that magpie, Seth Greenberg? He ended his college coaching career unable to escape mediocrity at Virginia Tech with just one NCAA bid in nine years.
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On Demand Stupidity: Why is it that the moment actor achieves any success they become an expert on politics and life?
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As Time Goes By: Sometimes a turned down marriage proposal can be looked at later as a wonderful unanswered prayer.
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Enough Already: The overuse of “checks all the boxes” is driving me crazy…just as did “at the end of the day.”
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It’s Academic: We have more ways to communicate now than we have things to communicate.
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Twofer: Philip Noel-Baker from England is the only person who's ever won an Olympic medal and received a Nobel Prize.  He won silver in the 1500 meters at the 1920 Olympics, then went into politics and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1959.
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Reality Check: Most things that they claim are being done for safety reasons have little to do with safety…and a lot to do with incompetence.
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Quote: Brad Dickson of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald, on the Royals’ Triple Play Dog featuring a hot dog wrapped in a burger patty wrapped in bacon: “It’d be healthier to throw this away and eat a baseball.”
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Show of Hands: When President Trump refers to hard working Americans, he is not talking about government workers, is he?
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Hmmm: Have you ever noticed that when you need a solution for a big problem you always tend to look up?
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Factoid: Prison is the only place where the government pays for health care, education, clothing, housing and utilities.
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Rule of Defactualization: “Information deteriorates upward through bureaucracies.”—Unknown.
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Ever Notice: When you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and somebody always answers.
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Too Much: Continuing to sell the person who has already said yes can lead to a "no."
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Humor Me: When you attempt to show that a machine will not work, it will.
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Quote: “When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.” – Anon.
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Great Expectations: Anything is possible if you do not know what you are talking about.
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Off Course: The Big Ten basketball tournament was held in Washington, D.C., the ACC tournament in Brooklyn, N.Y. This is what happens when our schools de-emphasize the teaching of geography.
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Sunshine State: Nobody moved to Florida to work harder.
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Priorities: I wonder how many people would want to come to the USA if they could not collect welfare.
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Didjaknow: The reason karate belts go white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown, red, black is because fighters used to only be able to afford one belt . . . so they would keep dying it darker and darker as they progressed.
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Pop Quiz: What is the difference between a rostrum, dais, lectern and podium? Remember, neatness counts.
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Nobody Asked, But: It is said that one of the most pleasurable things you can do is to forgive an enemy. I am not ready for that kind of pleasure.
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Quote: “Coaching is easy; winning is hard.”—Elgin Baylor.
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You Don’t Have To Be A Ph.D.: You cannot force chemistry.
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Ahead of the Curve: Surrounding yourself with people smarter than you, makes you the most intelligent guy in the room.
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Both Sides Now: Oregon is the only state to feature a double-sided flag. The flag is two-sided in navy blue and gold with an optional gold fringe. On the front is the escutcheon from the state seal and on the reverse is a gold figure of a beaver, the state animal.
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Quote: "The U.S. Constitution does not guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself."--Benjamin Franklin.
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Play Ball: Is it true that MLB will announce another “modification” to speed up games? It’s rumored that the seventh inning stretch will be conducted before games---at the same time The National Anthem is played.
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Beyond the Arc: The Celtics’ Chris Ford hit the initial three-pointer in NBA history. October, 1979 in the Boston Garden.
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Spring Forward: Last NFL season was the first time all four teams in the NFC West division were actually located in the west.  Since the Rams moved back to Los Angeles from St. Louis, the four teams were in L.A., San Francisco, Seattle, and Phoenix.
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Quote: “A bachelor is a selfish, undeserving guy who has cheated some woman out of a divorce.”--Don Quinn.
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Irony Alert:  No one knows for sure when the fire hydrant was invented . . . because the patent was lost in a fire at the U.S. patent office in 1836.
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Final Thought: The way they figured out how to get those food carts to go down the aisle on an airplane a whole lot quicker was by charging for everything on them.
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If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can’t, thank the teacher’s union.
If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran.
And, for everything else you have, thank God.
That is all.
As you were.



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Welcome to Bracketville 2017

Another March…another chance to call them as I see them. Judging from performances in the Marches of long ago, I do not excel in seeing two and a half weeks into the future.
No matter---often wrong, never in doubt continues to be my mantra, in March as in life.
After the field was announced, I did my “eyeball-bracket-picks” for practice.
Now after isolating myself (not difficult for a reclusive curmudgeon) with the data for a couple of days I have torn down that bracket and rebuilt it with my 63 guesses of the moment.
In a few cases I allowed myself to become confused by the facts.
From the Round of 64, I eighty-sixed my Creighton, Seton Hall, Butler, Northwestern and Florida
 Gulf Coast crushes.
Iowa State, Xavier, Baylor, Oklahoma State and Florida were swapped out as I sent Purdue, FSU, SMU, Louisville and UVA to my Sweet Sixteen.
 Listening to and reading the oracles of college basketball expertise, I have heard cogent and persuasive rationales for upset picks in all first round games except the one-seed and two-seed matchups.
I cannot recall when I saw as many games that could go either way, with just a couple of blessings from the basketball gods.
If they win tonight, NC Central will make Kansas earn it…KU will know they have been in a game. NCCU is very well coached.
Nevada averages 80 points per game and is #7 in free throws attempted.
Creighton’s loss of its point guard enhances Rhode Island’s chances.
Michigan/Oklahoma State will be a helluva game. Michigan does not foul or turn it over---OSU scores over 85 ppg, shoots at 40% from three, appears at the foul line all night and sinks 78.7% of those shots.
Arkansas is a one-point favorite, so anything goes. Seton Hall is the 7th best rebounding margin team, but doesn’t score like Arkansas.
Middle Tennessee out-performs Minnesota in almost every metric. Minnesota gets to the line a lot, but is average at converting and ranks a lowly 81st in offense efficiency.
Butler and Winthrop have similar metrics---Winthrop has big advantage at foul line and scoring. Neither team turns it over or fouls…should be a well-paced game.
Since the game is in Orlando, I give the edge Florida. East Tennessee and the Gators are closely matched in the stat department. ESTU shoots 49.1% (#10) and 38.3% (#44) from three.
Even though UNC-Wilmington grades out above UVA in turnover margin (surprised me), foul line performance, scoring (48.2%, 85.2 ppg); I go with UVA. The Pack Line Defense is impossible to prep for, and is a shock the first time. UVA has the element of surprise.
Since you never know which Baylor team will show up, I switched to SMU. If they can focus for six games, Baylor has the horses to make the finals.
Saint Mary’s could slow Arizona down enough for an upset ambush.
I wanted to pick Florida Gulf Coast, but couldn’t pull the trigger when push came to shove (to mix a couple of metaphors).
I tried to convince myself to go with Princeton, but stayed with Notre Dame. The Irish will get a tough workout.
I would not be surprised to see either Kansas, UCLA, Gonzaga, Arizona, Louisville or (begrudgingly) UNC cut down the nets.
This year’s most efficient offenses: Oklahoma State, UCLA, Villanova, UNC, Michigan and Duke.
At least two double-digit seeds reached the Sweet Sixteen in 16 of the past 20 years…at least one in 29 of past 32 years.
Pop Quiz: Is freshman talent better than senior experience?
Offense has slightly outweighed defense for the last 15 champions according to KenPom. 11th for offense—15th for defense.
In the past ten years, only UNC is the only champ (2009) to finish in the Top-100 in tempo.
Two more things: We will see the same commercials over and over and over. Then over and over.

Charles Barkley will attempt to come up with 25 different ways to say, “They need to rebound better.”