Archive for the ‘Random Idiocy’ Category

Notice of Privacy Practices has finally arrived

June 22, 2010

After months of waiting, a Notice of Privacy Practices from Verizon finally came in the mail today. I’m as excited as an engineer leaving a social situation.


Unbelievably injured player fine because scan says so

June 10, 2010

One thing I’ve had some trouble accepting is how the severity of injuries is determined nowadays. More and more it seems players get seriously hurt and then go in for a scan of some kind to determine just how hurt they are. Seems simple enough, but I find there to be a disconnect. The player can be writhing in pain on the ground for 20 minutes, unable to help himself off the field/court, tears streaming down his face, maybe some bleeding for effect, and when the player is interviewed he reveals he’s never been in so much pain in his life and labels it a “near-death experience”.

Then…the scan results come back and nothing is torn/broken/sprained/strained, so he’s fine, should be able to play in the next game.

Nowhere in this process, it seems, is there a determination from the player’s point of view that the injury simply causes too much pain for him to play. As long as the computer image reveals no serious issue, it is determined for him that he’s fine. And, what’s worse is that with the media, the results of such scans are made public immediately it seems putting tons of pressure on the player to convince himself that he’s fine. Maybe it has evolved this way due to technological advances that can very accurately assess injuries. But I still find it interesting that the player’s take on the whole thing doesn’t even come up anymore.

The only time I’ll ever pay attention to cricket…

April 28, 2010

Sure, cricket is a weird sport that nobody understands. I’m not sure that cricket players themselves even know all the bizarre rules. And sure, it’s pretty much the opposite of NFL football in the gametime excitement department. But for Afghans who don’t have much and who continue to deal with an ongoing, exhausting war – this story about their rising in the cricket world to qualify for cricket’s World Cup is, as the author puts it, “stunning”.

This will mark the first time I will ever follow a cricket tournament of any kind. I will follow this tournament even though the only way I’ll know if Afghanistan has beaten India in Game 1 is if someone clearly states “Afghanistan won”.  And I will follow this tournament even though the game, which is scheduled for May 1st, may not end until May 4th. Go Afghanistan!

Animal cliche

April 2, 2010

The other morning I saw a squirrel running across my backyard with a nut in its mouth. So cliche. I was about to challenge it to try something more original when my wife wanted to know who I was talking to.

Don’t forget to pack the cheese

March 9, 2010

Read this story about a GM plant worker from Janesville. Sad, but great ending to the story.

How about a punch in the face?

January 16, 2010

Today because I was antsy before the 3:30pm playoff game, I tuned in to some inconsequential college basketball game between two teams I didn’t care about whatsoever. One of them was Oklahoma and I don’t remember the other. Well I’ve commented on this before, but I’m growing concerned about what I see as the inappropriate affect demonstrated by athletes in all sports celebrating a nice play. It used to be that a nice basket, or a TD, or a homerun or a goal was celebrated by a small acknowledgment by others that you’d done nicely. Originally, it may have been a simple head nod from a teammate – as if to say “that was nice, but it is your job too, so I’m not going to go overboard here”.

Eventually, that gave way to the high five and some more overt demonstration of joy. I think of 60’s or 70’s basketball players with socked jacked up to their knees and shorts that were little more than glorified jock-straps. I think of their high fives after a nice play – maybe an awkward jump into the air of jubilation. That’s about it. Still, back then positive plays were generally met with smiles, happiness, joy.

Fast forward to the last decade or so and something has shifted. It’s rare for an athlete now to make a great play and show a form of joy or happiness afterward. What you see instead is a painful fist bump or an even more painful chest bump coupled with the inevitable face of anger. Lots of aggressive pointing, screaming. No smiles, no happiness, just a portrait of anger despite the positive play.

As I was watching the game today, after a particularly nice basket by one guy, his teammate ran full speed and offered a chest bump – a collision that the guy who scored will feel tomorrow – and then they both made angry, defiant faces at one another. What were they so angry about? His basket was in fact a critical basket in the game.

So anyway, this has made me start to wonder, what will be next in this line of inappropriate affect celebrations? There has been a progression (regression?) from minimal acknowledgment to muted joy to outright joy to apparent anger. What’s next then?  How about a punch right in the face? Guy scores a fade away 3 pointer to win the game, or makes a one handed TD grab – how about sprinting over and taking a swing at him? Then maybe spit on him. Seems possible. Seems it would convey the apparent anger that some of these guys want to convey in a far more direct an efficient way.

Funny flip-side to this whole thing is that when these same athletes screw up seriously hurting the chances for their team what do they do? Smile of course.

I’ll take a used 2010 model please

December 15, 2009

The other day I was searching for cars for my Dad and I realized this: he could buy a used 2010 model car, in 2009.

Old Man Injuries link

December 3, 2009

56, others who’ve requested a link to Brother Steve’s Old Man Injuries article over at the Weekly Standard. Here it is.

The post-game handshake

November 21, 2009

After a team wins a big game, the coach of the winning team (be it college, pro, whatever) goes into the handshake situation, obviously, feeling pretty good. Because they’ve just won, they have that 80’s movie feel-good feeling going on (probably complete with the weird 80’s movie feel-good music playing in their head) and they want to revel in it. Well I am often annoyed by how this winning coach goes about the handshake with the losing coach. (And for the record, this happens between winning/losing players too.) Consumed by his own state of victory-euphoria, he gets it in his head that the losing coach will be touched in that moment by his words of condolence and admiration for the “effort your team put forth” or some such attempted statement of deep, deep understanding. It is a situation where the winning coach wants to talk for hours about the game and how “hard fought” it was or how it is a great example of “how tough our division is” because he is in a great mood. But with what seems like a sudden infusion of engineer-like social skills, the winning coach doesn’t recognize that the last thing the losing coach wants to do is talk about the loss. He just wants to get the hell off the field, get home and crack open a beer…or depending on the magnitude of the loss, possibly a Schlitz Malt Liquor Ice. The losing coach can often be seen very obviously pulling away from the interaction while the winner would love to chat. I find the situation somewhat analogous to the person at the office who arrives late and hasn’t had a chance to grab his coffee running into the person who has already put away cup #2.

Swine flu celebrity

November 10, 2009

Since coming down with H1N1 a few weeks ago, something unexpected has happened: I’ve become a swine flu celebrity. Due to the rampant news coverage and the fear the media has put into the minds of all when it comes to H1N1, I have the full attention of absolutely everyone when the subject comes up. I am the total authority – over the CDC website, over doctors, news programs, even over celebrity MDs Dr. Oz and Dr. Gupta. I lived it.

When I walk into a room, those in the room will awkwardly steer the conversation to the topic of illness or specifically swine flu. Then, the collective attention turns to me. “Andy, are you feeling OK finally?” they might ask. It is a strangely powerful feeling – I feel like I could say or do anything. The temptation to make up symptoms, embellish the suffering or otherwise just be the purveyor of misinformation sometimes becomes as strong as the temptation to yell in church during the middle of a sermon.

You know how people look at you without diverting their glance whatsoever – totally focused attention hanging on your every word? How people almost can’t listen to you enough? Well that is what it’s like. I tell stories of what it was like to have swine flu. I tell them about what my doctor said and how some of what he said was slightly different than what the CDC’s website says (this draws significant interest). I tell them about how Tamiflu made me feel WORSE than swine flu itself – justifiably spreading the fear of Tamiflu. When I speak people look at me like how they might look at a car wreck – they don’t seem to want to look at me/have any close contact with me whatsoever, but at the same time, they can’t look a way. I can’t remember holding court as often as I have since coming down with swine flu.

So, I was enjoying this newfound celebrity until the other day when I was talking to a friendly coworker who was a bit older. I had what I now consider to be a rookie celebrity moment because I pushed my assumed license to say anything too far. I was trying to describe what the swine flu headaches were like and my talk became a bit too free-flowing. I said that really, the headaches were most like “a delayed hangover headache, you know the kind that catches up with you at some point the next afternoon”. Younger friends seemed to find this description useful, but when I saw her reaction, I knew right away I had created a lead balloon moment. I forgot that I worked in an environment where counselors evaluate substance abuse (among other things) on a daily basis and that sometimes even the mention of drinking a beer in one’s past can draw looks (nice work environment, I know). So our conversation died at that point and I felt a bit like a real celebrity who just found out that it was the National Enquirer he just opened up to, not a “fan”. It’s interesting that my swine flu stories have been in less demand these last few days.