21 January 2013

Red Rock

'T was a fine day, a fine day indeed.  I had no choice but to venture out to Calico Basin/Red Spring to take in the beauty.  Wasn't out there long, but I toured the basin meadow and took a short hike up to the top of the ridge for some scenic views.



















10 November 2011

Penn State - Idiocracy

So JoePa (as well as the university president) is fired over the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State. And the students riot. I'm really at a loss for words. Read the article that I linked to and you'll find descriptions of unruly students dancing on the tops of vehicles and describing the Board of Trustees as an "embarrassment" for making the decision to fire Mr. Paterno. It's football people. I know Joe Paterno is a legend, but we're talking about serious allegations, one of which is that Mr. Sandusky had sex with a pubescent boy, as witnessed by a graduate assistant and reported to both Mr. Paterno and the athletic director of the university. Nothing was ever reported to the police. Whether the allegations turn out to be true or not, the response exhibited by the students is just stupid in my opinion. Honestly it seems like they thought that such injustice was sufficient reason to riot, so riot they did. The kicker is the quote about the Board of Trustees being an embarrassment. What the hell is tipping over a news van, destroying private property and acting afool over the termination of a football coach by young adults who are supposed to be somewhat responsible and of sound mind? These kids are idiots.

09 November 2011

The Goods

See those lovely things off to the right there? What you are beholding are 16 tickets to every Runnin' Rebel home game for the 2011-12 season. I was literally glowing after I picked them up. Seriously, people said that to me, "You're glowing." Needless to say, I'm very excited about this.

I've talked about getting season tickets each of the previous two seasons, but never actually followed through, due to financial difficulties well under my control. Well this year it's over. I finally did it. A nice little bargain too. $130 for the package (the quoted price is actually $105 but they get you for another $25 on "processing" and "order" charges, whatever the hell those are supposed to be). At least they didn't try to throw in a parking charge.

Anyway, first game is this Friday the 11th at 7pm. That would be Veterans Day, which means I'm off from work. This would be an incredibly awesome opportunity to begin tailgating at 3pm in front of The Mack (and still may be, minus some of the fun because of what I'm about to tell you next) but unfortunately I'm unable to drink alcohol while on these anti-biotics. I guess it's really not an iron-clad restriction, but I don't know if it's worth the risk. Don't want to end up all drowsy with a sick stomach and miss the game. Probably for the best, as I will actually remember the game and the minutiae of the action if I remain sober. I will certainly miss that rum slushie at half-time though. Damn.

07 November 2011

The Return

Dadgum, it's been a while. I'm really not too good at keeping up with this thing. Which, really, isn't all that surprising. Without any external accountability or prodding I'm wont to never do anything with any level of consistency or reliability. I deem that as a character flaw (or at least I believe that others find it to be so), a lack of discipline and resolve. It's something I really should work on. Hmmm, wonder how that will turn out. It reminds me of that line in the movie "Tin Cup" (one of my all-time favorites, by the way):

Roy: And then the unfinished symphony of Roy McAvoy.
Molly: What's unfinished?
Roy: I have a short follow-through. It has an unfinished look...
Molly: Why?
Roy: Well, some say it's the easiest way to play in the winds of west Texas...some say it's because I never finish anything in my life.

So, that be that. I'm battling a sinus infection and pink eye at the moment. Been sick for over a week, since last Sunday actually. The pink eye just kicked in last Friday. Levofloxacin and tobramycin are doing the fighting now though. I haven't been on an anti-biotic in quite sometime, but this one ain't bad. Some of them upset the stomach something fierce, but I haven't really noticed any side-effects with this one. I haven't had pink eye since the third grade probably, haha. Hopefully this will be the only illness this year...got to take better care of myself to ensure that happens.

College basketball season is now underway, and the Dave Rice era has begun for the Runnin' Rebels of UNLV. Ed and I attended the Rebels exhibition game versus Washburn last Tuesday night. Boy, what a lackluster performance that was. I was genuinely nervous in the second half as the game stayed neck and neck. The Runnin' Rebs finally pulled it together with about 10 minutes to go and stretched out the lead with some crowd pleasing throw-downs, ultimately winning the contest 58-50. The team looks promising though. We've got a lot of talent and as always, a lot of heart. The home opener is on Veterans Day against Grand Canyon. Go Rebles!

And with that, I'll let it be. Until next time.

23 February 2011

UNLV vs. UNM

Wow! What a game that was.

I'm texting some folks with the game on, not really following, because we are up by 15, on the road, and I'm thinking this game is in the bag. 15 minutes to go in the 2nd half and the sounds from the television begin to sneak into my awareness.

"New Mexico making a little run? Ah, no biggie. It won't last, Rebels will keep it stretched out by 8 points." Back to the BlackBerry.

Then it continues.

"Uh oh. Wait, what the hell is going on here? No! You're letting it slip Rebels...or the Lobos are ripping that shit from your grip!" Better start watching every second.

Before I can remember we are tied. Time is running out and then the real nail-biting began. Are we actually going to lose this game! Thankfully we survived the surge and forced it into OT.

I can't say enough about Quintrell Thomas. He's just looking better and better each and every game. The offensive production inside is just fantastic. And the rebounds! My God, he was snatching those things out of the sky like nobody's business.

Tre'Von was strokin' it! Can't remember the last time he was keeping my attention like that. Must have been back to last season at least.

The team as a unit was looking good too. Finally it felt right. They looked comfortable, anticipatory, with it. I think we are coming out of the longest mid-season slump ever. What a perfect time to heat up. That was such a big road win. And stacked on top of the CSU road win, I think we've got a real solid foundation for some serious confidence going into the last two games and the MWC tourney.

Keep it up fellas! REBELS!

22 February 2011

Absence

It's been a while since I've posted. I'm sure any of you that check in on this have missed me and have been wondering where I've been. I've been around.

Battling the end-stage of a cold right now. I fell ill last Monday and had to take Wednesday off. Pushed through to Friday taking only ibuprofen when somebody reminded me that Nyquil is a good thing to take when trying to kick a cold. Thank God for that stuff. I think I'm hooked. And it's definitely helped with the cold as well. I haven't been sick in at least a couple of years and I forgot how terrible it is. Hopefully I'll stay healthy for another long cycle, because this has sucked.

Anyway, the cold doesn't account for the > 1 month absence from the blogosphere (not that I've had a continuous or large presence here prior).

It's been a busy month. College basketball season is heating up and I've been busy following the Runnin' Rebels. They're looking okay. Likely to receive an at-large bid to the NCCA tournament, barring any miraculously shocking loss through this last part of the schedule. Now I don't like to knock my Rebels, but I'm not living in denial either. I've seen it happen before so I don't count it out. Let's hope they don't disappoint. We've been in a slump most of the season and now would be a great time to heat up. We just saw evidence of this in the 2nd half performance against Colorado State last Saturday. If this team can shoot just 40% consistently we will have a shot at getting into the tourney and making it to the second round. We've got 20 wins and we've been in a slump! Imagine if we had been able to knock shots down in those really big games like Louisville and BYU and SDSU. It's a quality team that we've had this year, but the performance hasn't always been there.

On a side note, the HBO documentary of the Tarkanian era of the UNLV men's basketball program premiered at the Palms a few days ago. It will be showing in the theater beginning March 12 and I'm looking forward to seeing it. Here's a blog post by Katz in the Las Vegas Sun about it.

In other news, baseball season is just around the corner. My mom won a pair of season tickets to the Las Vegas 51's so I'm anticipating spending quite a bit of time at Cashman Field this spring/summer. Dollar beer night anybody? I think so. Haven't been following any news on the Dodgers, but Manny is gone (yay!) and so is Russell Martin (boo!). There were some other roster changes as well, but nothing that I followed too closely. Just hoping for a good season. They Boys in Blue will be here in March to play the Cubs for Big League Weekend at Cashman and Chuch and I are planning on attending.

In non-sports news, not much else is new. Work is, well....work. The world seems to be coming to an end. Revolutions in the mid-east, pirates capturing ships, commodity price inflation, global economic crisis, etc.

That's it for now. I'll likely be posting about the Rebels again very soon. Until then.

09 January 2011

Pastime

I just started reading "The Final Solution" by Michael Chabon this afternoon, with my Webster's dictionary at side (provided compliments of the Clark County School District and the Honors English program of my freshman year of high school) which I use profusely when reading nowadays, as I seem to have forgotten many of the words I claim to have once known.

pastille: an aromatic or medicated lozenge

This is the word I was looking up. I note the definition on my legal pad of vocabulary words to learn/re-learn (likely a futile attempt) and then happen to glance at the next entry.

pastime: diversion; something that serves to make time pass agreeably

An interesting way to frame the description of the passage of time. There's a certain implication there. That the passing of time (I guess put more appropriately, our experience of it) is inherently painful or unpleasing. It often feels like that, when you're not doing something to distract yourself from the awful reality of the situation. I like the line from Mr. Curtis Mayfield's song "It's Alright" (covered excellently by Seal, the rendition I've been listening to lately):

"When you wake up in the morning feeling sad, like so many of us do"

That line makes me feel a bit better. There's a comfort in knowing that you are not alone in the experience. I guess the wisdom to be gleaned from this is quite simply just to live. Distract yourself as much as possible, every second that you can. Idle minds/bodies are sad ones.

07 January 2011

Mr. P.J. O'Rourke

The only thing I've ever read by P.J. O'Rourke is "On The Wealth of Nations". I don't think I even finished, but I liked his style, his wit...his logic.

While reading The Week (you should really check it out if you've never read it, great little news magazine), I saw a quote from his new book "Don't Vote, It Just Encourages The Bastards". Here it is:

I have a twelve-year-old daughter, Muffin. All I hear is, “It’s not fair! It’s not fair! It’s not fair!” I say to her, “Honey, you’re cute. That’s not fair. You’re smart. That’s not fair. You were born in the United States of America. That’s not fair. Darling, you had better get down on your knees and pray to God that things don’t start getting fair for you.”

Love it.

05 January 2011

SDSU vs. TCU

Just caught the second half of San Diego State vs Texas Christian. San Diego has got a lot of talent. And I'm glad that the Mountain West Conference has three top 25 teams. But at the end of this game San Diego was acting too arrogant. I know that they're number six, they know they're number six, but seriously, have some class. They're winning by double digits with less than 10 seconds to go and they go for a huge nasty block and then saunter up the court with the ball while the clock ticks down. Then TCU jets up from behind, steals the ball and gets another bucket before time expires. I'm glad TCU did that. Billy White and co. can swagger all they want right now, but someone is going to beat their ass, and I can't wait for it to happen, because these guys need a reality check. I'm not feeling them at all.

Today is the day

The time has come. UNLV faces off against conference foe BYU tonight at 7pm. Are you ready?

Here is some love from ESPN for the Mountain West Conference.

Over 17,000 tickets have been sold thus far. The house will be rocking tonight.

04 January 2011

Uh oh, I smell trouble...

"Despite Fredette's accolades, BYU has never beaten UNLV in Las Vegas with him on the roster."

Story.

02 January 2011

I Threw It On The Ground!

This is great! Why haven't I heard of it until now? Thanks Hendrik Hertzberg.

31 December 2010

BYU Jeremiad

BYU beats Buffalo (?) by only 8 points, with Fredette scoring 34 of the Cougars 90 points. Why is this team ranked 16? Yes, it was a road game for the Cougars, but shouldn't a top 20 team be destroying marginal opponents on the road? It's Buffalo! Look at their schedule! They play nobody, yet BYU and Fredette continue to receive the praises of all. Wait until January 5th folks. The Runnin' Rebels will show you what a winning basketball team should look like.

04 March 2010

Healthcare

A letter to the editor of The New York Times:

"To the Editor:

After reading Robert B. Reich’s article, I cannot help but ask what may seem a naïve question. He writes, “America’s five largest health insurers made a total profit of $12.2 billion last year.” When is this country going to realize that health care should not be a for-profit industry but a basic human right in a civilized society? Where did those $12.2 billion go, or rather, where did they not go?

As long as we are unable, as a country, to face this question, everything else in the health care debate seems irrelevant and a paltry response to our problems. Colette Windish

Mobile, Ala., Feb. 24, 2010"

I don't think $12.2 billion is going to do anything miraculous in this country. We spend trillions per year on problems and they still aren't solved; $12 billion isn't going to fix anything. But that's beside the point. The ultimate result is this: Remove the profit motive from the health insurance industry, and you remove the availability of health insurance to those who can afford it now. I thought the goal of health care reform was to get more people insured, not less.

For some reason it seems that most talk about health care reform frames the problem in the following manner: in order to get more people insured, we have to make health insurance less expensive. I'm not so sure this is the best way to think about the problem.

05 February 2010

Twitterfication

As Internet culture has grown, we’ve come to romanticize certain kinds of unmediated, old-fashioned “human” interactions. But this fantasy ignores how much of normal social interaction is fleeting, bite-size, instant, tweetlike. Humans have always talked to each other via a kind of analog Twitter. These new technologies just get us there with maximum efficiency. Meeting a new person is thrilling, in a primal way—your attention focuses completely, if only for a nanosecond, to see if the creature in front of you has the power to change your life for better or worse.

Read more: Is ChatRoulette the Future of the Internet or Its Distant Past? -- New York Magazine http://nymag.com/news/media/63663/index1.html#ixzz0eicpG7tp
Very insightful. Many people these days complain about how Twitter and Facebook and the likes are making human interaction less...well, "human". I've not really agreed with this idea, and the idea presented above is why. Just because the interaction isn't face-to-face doesn't make it any less "real". Read the article, it's very interesting.

28 January 2010

Yes!!!

Somebody finally dealt a blow to BYU! We knew it would happen. 15 game win streak was pushing it...but I guess when you're playing marginal squads it's easy to rack up 15 in a row. #10!?! Seriously! I've been griping about BYU's position in the polls since they made an appearance. They've beaten nobody big. Nobody worthy. So how they've come to ride the wave to the #10 position is beyond my understanding.

But that's all over now. Thanks to the Lobos. What's that you say? Oh yes, you're correct, UNLV did beat the Lobos....on the road. So by the logic I see displayed in the polls that got BYU to #10, that means UNLV should slide in to the top, say, 20? Heck, how about top 10? Because we beat the team that beat the #10 team, so we must be THE BOMB! Right? Wrong.

BYU never belonged in the top 25. And if they aren't dropped on 2/1/10, we can totally disregard anything the polls have to say about college basketball. I don't know why the polls even bother me, I know that they mean absolutely nothing. I guess it's because so many others think they DO mean something. Have you ever tried to contest the thinking of an idiot? That's what it's like talking college basketball with somebody who thinks the polls mean something.

Anyway, I'm glad they finally got served a loss. Can't wait until 2/6/10 when they roll to the Mack. IT IS ON!

16 January 2010

Pointless Ruminations

Cassie and Steve are getting hitched today. Raul is down in Hawaii to be a part of the wedding party. I was supposed to be there, but things didn't work out with the money situation and getting the time off work. Hope they're having a great time.

Waldo and I are stuck in Vegas, but it's not so terrible because the Rebels play today at 7pm, and we will be present. A quick bite at In-N-Out, then pre-gaming in the infamous Black 3 until tip-off. Jesse, nota bene. At last Wednesday's game I was surprised with a delicious rum slush (double of course) from Eduardo when he returned from a trip to the restroom. It was exquisitely timed...either just before the end of the 1st or just after the start of the 2nd, but precisely when the buzz was starting to fade. Along with the Rebels excellent performance in the 2nd half, this kept our spirits high until it was time for the traditional post game tailgate while waiting for traffic to clear out. It was a fine evening, you would have enjoyed it.

Well, 3:30pm is the time, In-N-Out is the place, so I must go now. Adieu.

12 January 2010

01 January 2010

Hello 2010

Welcome to the new year.

A little upset right now. My paycheck was supposed to direct deposit to my account Thursday night, just like it always does, but it didn't. What's up man? Seriously? This is not a good sign for the start of the year. Why can't things just work?