Monthly Archives: October 2013

Three Things (for 10/31/13)

Haven’t done one of these for a while … which actually provides the third & final “thing” for today

1) Interesting work-related realization this morning.  One of my standard tasks this year has been preparing single-week TV ad campaigns for one of our regular clients.  A series of consistent “one-offs” basically.  The whole process, minus a little down time in the middle, takes about five days.  In reverse order, it’s basically: 1 day to make sure everybody gets the spot they need, 1 day to write the orders up & send them out, 1 day (give or take) to actually plan the buy … and 2 days to beg the current rates & availability out of the sales reps at the roughly 3 dozen stations (who all get an email request for info at the same time)  That the stations themselves – and specifically so many of their employees – are the biggest hold up in the entire process is very telling … and almost completely explains why I honestly look forward to the (still mostly hypothetical) day that portion of advertising is considerably more automated.

2) Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox, worthy winners of the 2013 World Series.   Don’t try to tell me (as some want to insist) that there’s no such thing as “clutch” players.   Both David Ortiz and Shane Victorino strongly suggest otherwise.  As good as their performances were though, it’s hard for me not to realize just how much my interest in baseball — and honestly nearly all sports — has faded over the years.  There was a time not all THAT long ago that missing any part of a World Series game was virtually unthinkable for me.  This year?  I believe I actually watched live maybe two or three at-bats.  It’s not all baseball’s fault IMO, it’s the combination of too much available coverage of sports in general, a steady diminishing of the product through various means and simply having too many other options that warrant my time and attention.

3) Until I decided to try to knock out another edition of Three Things, I really didn’t realize just how long it had been since I’d put one together.  I knew it had been a while but not quite as long as it turned out to be.  I’m pretty sure I know why that’s true: I’m a parent with a child still in school.  Between the demands on my time and the demands on my limited patience, well, writing anything is much more of an effort than at other times of the year.  I’m not going to wish his life away — I really do enjoy my kid — but the physical, emotional, intellectual and psychological toll that the simple mundane realities of even halfway involved parenting takes is something that ought to be the subject of more serious study.

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Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

One of the busier weeks in a while, with six songs in and six songs out.  That happens in spite of the top 11 songs remaining unchanged.   Still only two songs that should be included currently missing from Spotify.

Missing songs this week:
False Alarm – Smile Empty Soul, No More Hell To Pay – Stryper

New to the Spotify list this week
Spore – Queensryche (re-entry), Immortal – Eve To Adam, Mz. Hyde – Halestorm, Criminals and Kings – Stellar Kart (re-entry), Break The World – Nine Lashes, Strife – Trivium

Dropping off the Spotify list this week
We’re An American Band – Rob Zombie, Love/Hate Relationship – Trapt, That Day – Nonpoint, Berzerk – Eminem, Minus The Machine – 10 Years, Back In The Game – Airbourne

For the larger (nearly 200 songs) YouTube version there’s new music this week including something from the recently released album by the legendary Leslie West, something new from Canadian rockers Bleeker Ridge, a hot off the presses new song from Georgia-based band Downside, a catchy cut from Icons For Hire,  a track that’s probably the next hit for Seether, and more.  You can find it at this link

Also, if you’re wondering exactly how all of this gets put together – the hows & whys of it – this recent blog entry probably explains more than you ever wanted to know.

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after Week 9)

A week after the seismic shift, a few aftershocks rattle the proverbial dishes in college football.

While Alabama remained nailed firmly to the top spot, Oregon vibrated a bit for about a half before demolishing UCLA.  FSU seemed determined to match anything Alabama did on the day, Ohio State looked to be going for style points in a record setting demolition of Penn State.

Missouri crashed against the ceiling of South Carolina, Texas Tech got chipped by Oklahoma, while Miami narrowly averted disaster by an eyelash against Wake Forest.  The other noises you heard were Virginia Tech shattering against the withering onslaught of … Duke(?) and Nebraska being broken by Minnesota for the first time in over 50 years.

Closer to my heart, Georgia Tech found an ACC opponent that was actually bad enough to look a gift horse in the mouth, repeatedly.   And Tennessee got thoroughly reminded just how far they still have to go.  Moreover though I believe the Vols outings against Oregon and Alabama illustrate even more clearly the gap between actual contenders versus pretenders.  And I still don’t think there are more than three of the former versus 2-3 dozen of the latter.  But without those pretenders I couldn’t very well complete this  week’s  Top 25, so they do serve a purpose beyond their local economies.

1. Alabama  (1)
2. FSU (3)
3. Oregon (2)
4. Ohio State (4)
5. Miami (5)
6. Stanford (7)
7. Baylor (8)
8. Oklahoma (10)
9. Clemson (11)
10. Auburn (12)
11. Texas A&M (14)
12. Texas Tech (9)
13. Missouri (6)
14. Oklahoma State (15)
15. South Carolina (21)
16. Louisville (16)
17. LSU (18)
18. Fresno State (17)
19. UCLA (13)
20. Northern Illinois (19)
21. Wisconsin (23)
22. Michigan State (Un)
23. Minnesota (Un)
24. Ole Miss (25)
25. Arizona State (24)

Dropped Out This Week: Nebraska (20), Virginia Tech (22)

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Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

A new number one, a previously missing track appears and two other new entries meaning three songs fell off the top 40.  And now back to just two songs that should be included currently missing from Spotify.

Missing songs this week:
False Alarm – Smile Empty Soul, No More Hell To Pay – Stryper

New to the Spotify list this week
Remember Me – Emphatic, Heartbreaker – Motorhead, You Are Not (Lonely) – Young Guns

Dropping off the Spotify list this week
365 Days – ZZ Ward, Light Up The Sky – Thousand Foot Krutch, Spore – Queensryche

For the larger (nearly 200 songs) YouTube version there’s new music this week including the Motorhead single,  the latest from Halestorm, absolutely brand spanking new music from The Last Vegas, plus Within Tempation (featuring Tarja), Throw The Fight, The Letter Black and more.   You can find it at this link

Also, if you’re wondering exactly how all of this gets put together – the hows & whys of it – this recent blog entry probably explains more than you ever wanted to know.

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after Week 8)

Well, that was interesting.   One Saturday and suddenly college football looks like a drunken giant kicked a path through the living room, scattering Legos and Lincoln Logs everywhere.  Let’s see if I can avoid stepping on too many of them.

Alabama won big, Oregon won big.  So far so good, nothing to see here.  Ohio State was off, still good.  FSU won … uh-oh.  In and of itself that’s not earthshaking, the #4 team in my poll SHOULD win.  But like THAT?  Over the #5 team?

From there, the carnage goes into full swing.   6 of the next 7 teams in my rankings lost.  The 7th escaped with 16 seconds to play.

George O’Leary got at least fifteen seconds of fame when UCF beat Louisville, but does the loss make it more likely or less likely that Charlie Strong is in the NFL next year? (more IMO).  What do we make of Clemson after last night (one of those nights, an overstated reality check IMO).  What about LSU (an accurate reality check IMO)?  What about A&M (Johnny Football don’t play defense AND he’s not actually quite the greatest QB in college history IMO)?  What about South Carolina (probably a different game if Shaw doesn’t get hurt in the final minutes IMO, but I’ll certainly take it)?

All this talk about the losers from yesterday, maybe we have to give a little love to the winners.  Ole Miss closed the deal, but did everything they could think of to screw it up.  Auburn gets their biggest win since Mister Moneybags left the Loveliest Village.  Tennessee finally got that signature win the last couple of coaches couldn’t find.  Stanford reasserted themselves as the second best team in their conference.   Baylor might have proven there’s life after RGIII.  Missouri puts a solid shoulder to the door but still hasn’t really kicked the door in yet.

And then there’s my back yard, where one friend so aptly put it last night “even the planes returning from Nashville sound pissed off”.  Let me be blunt: an iffy ejection based on an even iffier rule did not cost Georgia the game in Nashville.  That distinction rests with ill-timed turnovers, almost comical special teams play and an overrated quarterback failing to live up to his hype when it counts.  And the defense hasn’t exactly set the woods on fire no matter who was on the field.  Down the road in Atlanta, Georgia Tech put on an option clinic against a team that had never defended the option and STILL hasn’t defended the option.  But it was, at best, a game between two completely irrelevant teams.  It’s nice and all I guess, but it doesn’t really mean a thing.

So, having stalled for about as long as I can, I guess  it’s time for this week’s  Top 25.

1. Alabama  (1)
2. Oregon (2)
3. FSU (4)
4. Ohio State (3)
5. Miami (9)
6. Missouri (15)
7. Stanford (12)
8. Baylor (13)
9. Texas Tech (14)
10. Oklahoma (17)
11. Clemson (5)
12. Auburn (Un)
13. UCLA (11)
14. Texas A&M (8)
15. Oklahoma State (18)
16. Louisville (6)
17. Fresno State (19)
18. LSU (7)
19. Northern Illnois (20)
20. Nebraska (21)
21. South Carolina (10)
22. Virginia Tech (24)
23. Wisconsin (25)
24. Arizona State (Un)
25. Ole Miss (Un)

Dropped Out This Week:  Georgia (16), Washington (22), Florida (23)

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Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

Stability at the top, volatility after that.  This week four songs in (two re-entries) & four songs out of my top 40.  Back to three songs that should be included currently missing from Spotify.

Missing songs this week:
Remember Me – Emphatic, False Alarm – Smile Empty Soul, No More Hell To Pay – Stryper

New to the Spotify list this week
Gunfight – Sick Puppies, Die For You – Red (re-entry), Stardust – Gemini Syndrome (re-entry), Spore – Queensryche

Dropping off the Spotify list this week
Fire, Fire –  Heaven’s Basement,  You Think You Know – Device, Sucker Punch – Red Line Chemistry, Lock ‘n Load – Dead Daisies

For the larger (nearly 200 songs) YouTube version there’s new music this week including the latest from Sick Puppies (polarizing political track that it is), the first new video in a couple of decades from Stryper, a fine track from Northern Ireland rockers Trucker Diablo, some Newsted and more.   You can find it at this link

Also, if you’re wondering exactly how all of this gets put together – the hows & whys of it – this recent blog entry probably explains more than you ever wanted to know.

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after Week 7)

In golf, they refer to Saturday as “moving day”  because players want to “move” themselves into contention.  This past Saturday was more like “moving out” day for several teams who found themselves on the wrong end of the first major upsets of the season.

Look no further than my back yard, where Missouri came to town and virtually ended all talks about a national championship for Georgia.  Meanwhile Oklahoma found themselves knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten in most intolerable fashion, by their Texas rivals who had looked all but dead & buried.  And then Stanford apparently decided to just have one of those games that separates pretenders from contenders, Utah capitalized on it.   At least Michigan fans already pretty much knew they were living on borrowed time so their overtime loss to Penn State might sting a little less.

With all those teams falling sharply, you might think there’d be some big gainers for the week as well but in reality only Missouri stood to gain an awful lot with the win.  Sure, LSU gets a little extra lift in the polls from the teams falling past them and Texas Tech ends up with a bigger jump than their performance would have warranted but I’m not sure anyone believes their stay in the mid-teens of the poll will last very long.

The shake up could have been even bigger, if only Ole Miss hadn’t let one slip away against Texas A&M, if Clemson hadn’t decided to avoid being Clemsoned yet again or perhaps if several of the top 10 teams hadn’t have had the weekend off.

I’d go into some lengthy discussion of my favorite also ran here but, well, how many ways can I say that Paul Johnson can’t recruit a lick and that the cupboard is awfully bare down on North Avenue.  At this point, Georgia Tech losing to a team that has any connection to the state of Utah really isn’t even news.

So now, with a reshuffled deck and a few new cards,  it’s time for this week’s  Top 25.

1.  Alabama  (1)
2.  Oregon (2)
3.  Ohio State (3)
4. FSU (5)
5. Clemson (6)
6. Louisville (7)
7. LSU (11)
8. Texas A&M (9)
9. Miami (11)
10. South Carolina (14)
11. UCLA (16)
12. Stanford (4)
13. Baylor (15)
14. Texas Tech (20)
15. Missouri (Un)
16. Georgia (8)
17. Oklahoma (10)
18. Oklahoma State (21)
19. Fresno State (22)
20. Northern Illinois (23)
21. Nebraska (24)
22. Washington (19)
23. Florida (18)
24. Virginia Tech (25)
25. Wisconsin (Un)

Dropped Out This Week:  Michigan (12), Northwestern (17)

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