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September 09, 2008

Screw This, I'm Outta Here « Blogging »

I'm fed up with Spam.

I'm moving to some new digs, over at

I will slowly close down all the comments here, as the spammers find 'em.
At some point, I may move my archives over there.

...or maybe not.

A new day is dawning, y'all.

I hesitated, because every time I've moved, I've lost readers.

Well, I think I'm only down to 3-5 now, anyway. If I can't get you few to make the transition, I'm better off not worrying about blogging anymore.

See you on the new site! And there, I promise: no comments lost to manual spam killing!!

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Posted by Nathan at 10:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 08, 2008

Amusing « Politics As Usual »

This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever read. The writer has zero grounding in anything approaching reality. It's a collection of unsupported assertions designed to explain away the fact that the Democrats' platform is not supported by even a plurality of citizens, and is slowly losing support.

Thank you for your time.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Re: Unforced Errors « Politics As Usual »

Something occurred to me today at work. I wasn't 100% clear in my post about the Democrats unforced error.

See, I don't think the flags getting left behind say anything about Democratic Party patriotism, or Obama's ability to lead.

But while I won't go so far as to say "perception is reality", I will insist that perception matters.

Like it or not, Democrats have a perception problem.

There is a perception that Democrats don't love America for what it is, they love it for what it could be. There is a perception that when America is attacked by terrorists or criticized by Europeans, Democrats (and/or liberals) respond by wondering what we did wrong, rather than thinking maybe we're resented because we're right and a great nation. There is a perception that Democrats think Europe and socialism are just swell, and they want to make the US exactly like Belgium and/or Sweden.

Republicans take advantage of this perception to make Democrats appear less patriotic.

Democrats often make things easier on Republicans who want to do that. Such as refusing to wear a flag lapel pin after 9/11 (or even now) because it might be perceived as too jingoistic. They come up with terms like "flyover country." They make disparaging cracks about non-urban dwellers who "cling" to guns and religion.

Democrats forget two things:
1) Due to the balance between population and geography built into our Constitution (brilliantly, by the way), Montana and Wyoming have just as many Senators as California and New York.
2) There isn't quite enough population in the urban areas like San Francisco, Seattle/Portland, Chicago, New York, and D.C. to get elected President. So Democrats condescend to and disparage the people they need to win elections. They claim to be the party of the "little guy", the worker, the lower income...but only as long as they vote and are not heard.

How else do you explain liberal and/or Democrat disdain (if not hatred) for Wal-Mart? That's the middle-class store of choice.

So the flag thing was an error, plain and simple. Call it an error of not making a smart decision in dealing with unused flags. I think it far more likely that it was an error of someone not paying attention to details, or fulfilling their responsibility.

Because all spin aside, they flags were "in and around" trash dumpsters, and they sat there for one week and one day before anyone even picked them up. There's no possible way that can be considered theft, or dishonest.

Now, is it right that this hurts public perception of Democrats? [shrug]
As was pointed out, one under-emphasized aspect of a political campaign is it demonstrates the organizational and performance skills of your administration.

Like it or not, the American flag (and these were good-quality, cloth flags here) is seen as an extremely important symbol of the United States to a huge number of its citizens. Being careless of it would be like someone tearing up all your family pictures, and then saying, "Eh, it's nothing! I didn't hurt your family! Those pictures don't represent your family in any way, it's just pixels on paper! What, are you some yokel who thinks photographs capture your soul or something?!?!? What a rube!"

But in any case, like it or not (again), perception does matter. This was a blunder. Democrats are attempting to minimize the damage with spin, but I don't think it was very effective. And it was not a blunder that was caused by trying to do anything to Republicans, or prevent Republicans from gaining ground or anything. It was a complete mistake.

Now, for balance, I'll point out something I don't like much:
Misrepresenting truth.

Go read that. I saw the original transcript, and Obama isn't trying to shift the battle to a basketball court. He was asked a question by someone in the audience, and I thought that in that sort of context, his answer was very good, very human, and not arrogant at all.

Look, people, there's enough stupid stuff going on, like Obama and his campaign ignoring Sarah Palin's successes as governor of the largest single geographical space in the US to label her as just being a mayor of a small town. She actually accomplished quite a bit as Alaska's governor, whereas Obama has spent most of his Senate career to date campaigning for President. When he hasn't been campaigning, he's been avoiding taking any stand that could hurt him politically (and that goes back to his Illinois congressional days).

So do we really need to distort what Obama said about basketball? No.

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Posted by Nathan at 05:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 07, 2008

Chiefs 0-1: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly « Kansas City Chiefs »

The Good:
Brandon Albert started and played well, nailing down the left side pretty well.
Glenn Dorsey created pressure up the middle.
Brandon Flowers played like a vet, not like a rookie in his first start. He's playing like a top-10 pick.
If you're scoring at home, that's 3 rookies in their first NFL game that played like veterans.
McBride got some pressure from the right side, nearly getting a sack.
The Chiefs converted 8/16 (50%) 3rd downs.
Brodie Croyle didn't turn the ball over, and displayed good decision-making, good touch, and good strength on his throws.

The Bad:
All sorts of pressure came from the right side as McIntosh struggled in pass coverage.
Bowe had at least four drops at key moments that could have turned the game for us.
Brodie went out of the game with a shoulder injury.
Neither the running game or the passing game could get any momentum.

The Ugly:
LJ had just over 3 yards/carry; part of this is that the Pats weren't scared of our WRs, knowing they could rotate coverage to Bowe and Gonzalez and not worry about our #2/3 WRs. And it worked, until Darling finally made a big catch near the end of the game.
We lost on the road despite winning the turnover battle, the time of possession battle, and having the Patriots run 3 plays from inside their own 1-yard line.

Reasons for optimism:
Even without Brady, the Patriots have lots of weapons, with 3 pro-bowlers on their line, Wes Walker, Randy Moss, a decent stable of RBs, and a good defense. Yet we still almost beat them on their field, despite the number of rookies and 2nd year players getting significant playing time.
This may well be the best defense we face all season, or at least the one that matches up best against us. Our offense should do better next week.

Reasons for pessimism:
We caught a break when Brady went out of the game, but still couldn't win.
We took 4 shots at the end zone from the 5 yard line, and couldn't gain a single yard.
We had the Patriots on 3rd and 11 just one foot from their own goal line, and let them get a 51-yard pass play that kept a TD drive alive.

Key takeaways: Our young players got lots of experience in this game, and it will pay off this season in improved performance. We stopped Tom Brady on his first two drives before he went out with an injury, and that isn't easy to do. We came within 5 yards of beating the Patriots on their home turf. This team will end up 10-6 or 11-5...but with 3 losses in their first 5 games.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 06, 2008

HUGE Unforced Error by the Democrats (UPDATED) « Politics As Usual »

Democratic convention flags found in trash:

If this catches on, it will undermine all the work Obama and Democrat politicians have done to try and convince people they love America.

In the comments, Mr Lady points to one possible explanation. Plausible, but not definitive, as I explain in my reaction.

But if you go back to the original link, and follow the links there, you find this:

The person claims the majority of the bags with flags in them were near the trash, on a dock, and would have been thrown away. The person thinks it was probably an oversight by the Democrats rather than any nefarious plot against the flag. But the person doesnt believe anyone was coming to get them: The flags were there for a week and a day and no one came looking for them.

Caution, someone may try to claim these pictures are of the flags. Nope. It's the flags in the picture I posted.

Now, I'm sure it is an oversight, not a planned dis of the nation's symbol.

However, as I say in the comments, my military experience makes me take such symbols very seriously, and there is no more important symbol of the United States than the flag. Seriously.

It probably doesn't matter as much to enough of the rest of the US to make a difference, though.

Again, it will be interesting to see how it plays out...and if it even gets mentioned by Newsweek, CNN, the NYTimes; and if so, what spin gets put on it by them.

My business is making assessments of what is really going on behind foreign govt smokescreens. And in this case, if the Republicans stole the flags, I expect to see theft charges made. Failure to make any charges will be a strong (though not definitive) indication that the flags were going to be thrown out.

Final Update:
From the Hot Air post's comments:

Remember were not just electing one person or two, were choosing an administration. The people that Obama associates with will be giving positions of authority and power over us in the new administration. We have to judge not just Obamas actions, we also have to judge the actions of those around him.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:23 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

September 04, 2008

And Another Thing! « Politics As Usual »

The truth is slowly becoming clear to all:

All Republicans have to do is win the conservative vote to win the Presidential election.

Republicans no longer have to court Democrats to get enough.

We are now pretty much at least a 51% conservative (not Republican, mind you) nation. Maybe higher.

That's what all the churn about Palin is about. McCain got the conservatives on his side, and will win the Presidency now (barring a major miscue that allows the Democrat-supporting media to de-legitimize* either or both Republican nominees, a la Dan Quayle).

Read More "And Another Thing!" »

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Posted by Nathan at 10:50 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
More Palin Reactions « Politics As Usual »

Someone mentioned Hillary Clinton's, "No way. No How. No McCain."

That reminded me of how horribly wooden Clinton is. I know some say she gave a good speech the other night, but in my opinion, she is a horrible speaker. Atrocious.

That line, for example, sounded like a high school drama class attempt to act. By a freshman.

And, not her fault, but her voice really stinks. It tends to rasp and grate, so you can tell she got a voice coach. But now, when she pitches her voice to carry (like she did in that line), she drones.

Bob Dole was a bad speaker with a bad voice, too. George W. Bush is a bad speaker with a pretty decent voice. The point is, you have to just speak and let the microphone do the work. Clinton can't, or won't (because of how bad her voice sounds when she speaks normally). It sucks that we demand certain aspects from our elected officials that don't have a direct relationship to governance, but Hillary Clinton lacks this key aspect. She'll never be POTUS.

Palin, on the other hand, is a good (not great) natural speaker. She has a nice voice, and she let the microphone work for her.

Here's another good roundup of Palin driving left-leaning pundits nuts.

Two related things have also struck me:
1) Lefties are deriding every Republican speech and ad as attacks and smears and negative.
2) A very, very few lefties are saying they are disgusted with their side's sudden vicious, hypocritical, and apparently sexist attacks on Palin.

Well, as has been said many times, this is nothing new.
It goes back to McCain's military service meaning nothing, but Kerry's making him a better choice for the job than Bush, after Clinton's lack of service meant nothing when Clinton was running against the elder Bush and Dole. It goes back to ignoring Senator Byrd's history as a racist (among many others), yet never relinquishing attacks against Strom Thurmond and Trent Lott as racist (among many others). It goes back to denouncing Rice, Powell, Steele, and Thomas (among many others) as not really being black, simply because they are Republican (-leaning). It goes back to abandoning the self-descriptive of "progressive" for the world "liberal" when people figured out what progressive meant, then abandoning "liberal" when people figured out it meant the same thing as "progressive" (trying to fool people with words). It goes back to playing the same word games over abortion, too.

Simply put, Democrats want power. They don't care how they get it, really. They will use all sorts of concealing terms and word games to hide who they are and what they stand for, they promise all sorts of magic dreams to single issue voters to build support, they make extravagant promises of government assistance and pork to buy votes, all so that they can enact an (elitist) agenda they know that the majority of the US will not, and would not ever, agree to. To be fair, they truly believe that once enacted, a majority of Americans will be pleased with the result...but they have no qualms about using any verbal or political tactic to get the votes to enact it over the current objections of the majority.

So attacking Palin because she is an effective conservative spokesman is par for the course.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
My Thoughts on Sarah Palin « Politics As Usual »

Man, there's just too much to link in order to make my points.

So let me just say this:

Republicans are not as sexist as left-leaning pundits think we are. Palin is popular because she has conservative credentials. It has very little to do with her gender (although some feminist-leaning Republicans are certainly into that aspect). She would have been a great pick, regardless of her gender.

See, I don't know about Democrats, but Republicans I know actually pay pretty close attention to politics. Democrats, in trying to be Big Tent (so as to get more votes, I think), have lots and lots and lots and lots of single-issue voters who don't pay attention to the needs of other single-issue voters. Blacks and Hispanics hate each other politically. We just saw the rift between feminists and blacks play out between Obama and Clinton, right? Abortion on demand is just a silly concept to the gay rights groups. If Democrats have a unifying theme, it is that they represent the assumptions and condescension (although often not the actual needs) of urban, upper-middle class whites.

Here's a good example of the Democrat prejudice at work. He absolutely doesn't get Republicans. That's not really a bad thing for us, of course. We get lots and lots and lots of mileage from left-leaning pundits not understanding how we think and why we vote. Which results in lots of Cargo Cult-like aping of conservative stances like the "Strong and Tough" pretense a few years back, and the Kerry War Hero bid that directly lost the last election.

See, conservatives (and to be honest, there is only an indirect connection between conservative voters and Republican politicians) have a unifying political concept that underlies everything we vote for:

Individualism. We believe in individual responsibility, individual accomplishments, individual failures, getting to enjoy the fruits of your individual successes and paying the price for your individual failures. That means we tend to reject identity politics that looks only at group identifiers like gender or skin color. As a result, even though we do/say things that left-leaning pundits/voters can only understand as racism, we are actually far less racist than Democrats. We see people as people. We reject Obama as being an inexperienced smooth-talker, regardless of his race. We reject Hillary Clinton as a shrill scold, regardless of her gender. We believe things like, if one person can succeed from bad circumstances, anyone can. We believe in teaching to fish, not giving a lifetime of fishes. We do not believe, like Democrats apparently do, that identity is destiny.

Another thing that Palin's performance and reception shows me is that Democrats are in big trouble, politically. Conservativism is growing in power and acceptance. Please note, conservativism, not the Republican Party. Like I said, there is only an indirect connection between the two.

In fact, there wasn't a single conservative in the field for the Republicans this election cycle. The closest was Fred Thompson, who wasn't really a conservative, but adopted the mantle of Champion of Conservative Values, with the intent to use his acting/speaking ability to articulate our political views.
Heck, as much as I like and support him, George W. Bush isn't really a conservative. He is a conservative on foreign policy issues, but doesn't get much credit for it because he can't articulate why he makes the decisions he does.

In any case, Sarah Palin represents a true "pro-life, pro-personal gun ownership, spending cuts, increased energy production, personal-responsibility, self-growth, truly representing your constituents" political philosophy. She's going to be very successful in the Republican party because of it, and it will drive Democrats nuts.

Just like it says here and here.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 26, 2008

Embracing the Suck, Again « Stuff Important to Me »

Okay, I think we're back to pretty good again. I'm getting a little bit more mature, and I definitely understand her much more, and understand where she's coming from much more, and that makes it much easier for me to ignore the b.s. and savor the good stuff/times.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Still More Thoughts Related to the Gender Wars « Social Issues »

The quite-possibly insulting aspect of all this to males is that women have the assumption that the only way a man won't be willing is if he already has someone better looking and/or younger...and even if he does, he probably is still open for some action on the side.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:22 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)
More Thoughts « Social Issues »

Part of the reason women don't work on pick-up lines is because (I think) most women have the assumption going in that men will find them attractive...or at least be willing. The trick for women, then, is how to just signal that one male that she is open to an advance.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

August 25, 2008

A Thought, Regarding the Gender Wars « Social Issues »

Isn't it interesting that (for the most part), women don't ever work on pick-up lines, they work on pick-up (dance) moves?

There's more on this idea, coming soon...

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Posted by Nathan at 04:27 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

August 18, 2008

I'm Getting Dang Excited About the Upcoming NFL Season « Kansas City Chiefs »

1) We decide to test our passing against Chicago. We are successful, converting several 3rd-and-longs with our 1st team, and doing a great job in pass protection, even with Albert out with an injury.
2) We decide to test our running against Arizona. We are successful, with one series we got 9, 18, 15, and 4 yds on consecutive running plays.
3) We faced perhaps the best receiving tandem in the league with Fitz and Boldin. How many catches did Boldin get? Oh, yeah: ZERO. Fitz got his catches...but none looked easy; he was not allowed much YAC on any one of 'em (if I recall correctly). He was covered on each of his catches, just not smothered. NFL-level QBs and NFL-level WRs against NFL-level CBs pretty much always look like that. Our guys didn't look overmatched, and Fitz didn't look like a pro-bowler...just like a dang good WR going against a pretty good CB...and that was even against our 5th round rookie, Carr. More experience (by mid-season, say), and we win half those battles we lost.
4) Turk McBride has stepped it up. He looked good. Dorsey got double-teamed from his very first NFL snap. McBride is causing problems from the LDE position, and if he keeps it up, will require double teams. Tyler has drawn double-teams when Dorsey wasn't in during practice...if he improves with game-time experience (as I expect), he'll wreak havoc if not double-teamed...all this should mean good things for Hali once the season starts and he has a whole game to work against a LT.
5) LJ is running like a beast, and we've got a full stable of RBs to make sure he doesn't get overworked
6) Bowe is Bowe. TG is TG. They both make plays on their own, meaning: they don't need a Pro-Bowl QB putting the ball in exactly the right spot to make the catch; either of them can go up and get the ball, take it away from a would-be interceptor. And now Franklin is emerging as a playmaker
7) Our starting O-line isn't giving Croyle tons of time, but they are giving him enough time.
8) Brodie? ZERO picks to date.

...and we've still got two more preseason games for our rookies to improve, and to tweak the roster to make sure we have the best people.

This is going to be a good year, folks, we're going to surprise people.

I said "11-5, barring a significant player (LJ, Bowe, Croyle, DJ, Albert) missing significant time". It was a reckless prediction, but watching a 2nd pre-season game makes me feel we will be in the 10-6 to 11-5 range. If everything breaks right and we have no injuries, we'll be 11-5. We'll be 10-6 if there are no significant injuries but we don't get the right breaks in a close game.

Folks, we *do* need some luck to have a great season. But 8-8 is aiming too low for this group.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:48 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

August 17, 2008

Instalanche! « Blogging »

I finally got an Instalanche.

Unfortunately, not on this site.

I had to go "incognito" (sort of) and post on Car Lust to get this, but it did finally happen.


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Posted by Nathan at 05:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Melting or Not? « Media Distortions »

Article 1

Article 2

The juxtaposition of these two articles is puzzling, to say the least. I guess I'd believe the one where government budgets will be affected, rather than the one where individual budgets will penalized.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 15, 2008

Olympics Thought « Puns »

There was a Russian gymnast competing named Semenova.

Let's take another look at that, shall we?

Semen + ova.

Why didn't they just call her Zygote?

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Posted by Nathan at 04:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
A Thought on the Beijing Olympics 2008 « China/Taiwan »

Nothing against China or Beijing or the PRC, but why did they call the stadium "The Bird's Nest"?

...cuz it looks like a chamber pot, to me.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 14, 2008

Interesting Times for Chiefs' Fans « Kansas City Chiefs »

Last year, we had a youth movement started.
We were careful to sign FAs of less than 28 years of age, only (except for DE).
We got the best LT on the market we could get without over-paying, and that LT wasn't all that good; just average.
From the very beginning of the season, we had an undrafted rookie nickel back. We had an undrafted rookie as our backup MLB. We tried to give our 2nd year QB the starting job.

Our offense was horrible from the start. We couldn't get the offense going most of the time. It would disappear for an entire half of the game. Our #1 WR was injured almost from the very first play of the season. Huard throws tons of INTs. LJ struggles to find room to run, gets hit behind the line constantly.

But by midseason, we were 4-4, and had battled back from an 0-2 start. LJ was starting to get 100-yd games. Huard was getting beat up behind a porous line. Bowe stepped up and took over the #1 WR position, but was still raw/inexperienced enough to get shut down in games. Defenses stacked the box, knowing that they could smother LJ if it was a run, but the same play call would allow them to get pressure on Huard before he could deliver the ball if it was a pass. Huard got dinged up, bruised and battered. No WR stepped up to be a good #2 if Bowe and TG were covered. Our new, young DL players hadn't caught on yet. Our MLB was often out of posiiton. Our #1 CB had to give a huge cushion to avoid getting burnt deep, and had pretty much lost his ability to stop the run.

But we were still 4-4, and had beat San Diego in San Diego.

Then LJ got hurt. Then Priest re-injured his neck. Then Huard couldn't move the ball anymore (and could barely walk, he was hit so much). Kolby Smith couldn't stay healthy and on the field. Gilbert Harris showed he wasn't an NFL starter. Jackie Battle showed he wasn't ready. Jeff Webb was inconsistent. Donnie Edwards couldn't stay healthy and on the field. Boone wore down. Croyle got hammered behind the same porous line.

We ended up 4-12.


1) We still ended up in the top half on defense, including leading the league in forcing 3-and-outs
2) We significantly increased our quality depth at TE, RB, and WR
3) No matter how many mistakes Flowers might make, he represents a significant upgrade over Ty "Oops" Law
4) We likely increased our quality depth at CB and S...our starting NB has been pushed down the depth chart by increased talent on the roster
5) Tyler and McBride are showing significant improvement at DE and DT
6) LJ is not just back to health, he enacted a healthier eating/exercise plan that has made him stronger and faster than at any time in the last 18 months
7) We have a new OC who has clearly developed an effective O-plan, one that uses our strengths and will protect the QB

Our only downgrade on defense is losing Jared Allen. But the addition of Dorsey and the improvement of McBride and Tyler should end up in about equal pressure from the defense. I wouldn't be surprised if we end up getting the same number of sacks and FF as last year from the D-line as a group (about 25, I think, with 15.5 from JA and 7.5 from Hali last year, and a scattering from everyone else; 25 should be easy to get, with 11 from Hali, 3 from McBride, 3 from Tyler, 3 from Dorsey, and 5 from everyone else not being impossible). Demorrio Williams and DJ should increase the overall number of sacks from the LB, too (I think we had only about 10 total from them last year).

The only downgrade on offense is...well, we didn't downgrade anywhere on offense.
I think Albert will be at least as good as McIntosh was last year on the left. And the right should be better than Welbourn/Perry/Turley was last year...there's almost no way they could be as bad. Niswanger has already shown he's an upgrade over Weigmann, and Waters is playing better than last year.
Bowe won't be any worse, and likely has turned it up a notch. Webb is more consistent than last year, and has proven he deserves the #2 slot as a starter...but DvD and Price may have demonstrated to the coaches they have even more game than Webb. Franklin may even make an impact as a quality slot receiver (something we lacked last year).
Cottam will give us more options out of the 2 TE set.
We have QB roll-outs built in to help make things easier on the O-line.
We have what seems to be NFL-starter quality backups 4 deep at the RB position.
Page has already won several games for us at FS, but reports are he's playing even better this year. And while Pollard was inconsistant last year at SS, he has reportedly improved this off-season. And Morgan is faster and better in coverage than Pollard, yet a better tackler than Page, so will see significant playing time.

We have enough quality depth at most positions that our coaches will be able to set up substitution situations to minimize rookie mistakes.

One extra TD/game last year would have won an additional 4 games for us. And it would have put other games in reach, so that the other team couldn't go into a mode to protect a lead...meaning one extra TD/game would have meant a win against Green Bay, and maybe Jacksonville and Tennessee. Ifs and wishes, sure, but that's 11-5.

I predict that:
1) Our defense will not slide. We will be above average. We may still be around 13th/14th in yardage/scoring, but may slightly improve to just get in the top 10. We will not lead the league in forcing 3-and-outs again, but will be among the leaders for that, and for turnovers.
2) Our offense will get that one extra TD/game.
LJ and Cottam and Charles and improved-Croyle and DvD/Franklin/Price/improved-Webb pretty much guarantee that.

I'm going out on a limb and saying that: if we stay relatively healthy, we will go 11-5 this year.
But staying healthy isn't easy in the NFL. One injury to a key player that results in extensive missed time, and we go 8-8. Two, and we are 6-10.

It's going to be a fun year!

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Posted by Nathan at 04:51 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

August 10, 2008

More Guitar Stuff

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Posted by Nathan at 04:19 PM | Comments (567) | TrackBack (0)

August 08, 2008

Some More Guitar Work « Music/Guitar »

The other half of the previous?
To be honest, I'm putting these here because I want to watch them, I don't have time now, and I can't guarantee I can find them again easily.
So here is the second:

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Posted by Nathan at 07:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Some Guitar Work « Music/Guitar »

Political stuff coming up soon.

First, some Tommy Shaw:

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Posted by Nathan at 07:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Just What Kind of Blogger Am I, Anyway? « Blogging »

To tell the truth, I hate blogging about politics.

I am very passionate about my political beliefs, but Ive gotten to the point that I hate blogging about it. I recognize that when I put what I believe down on trons (cant say down on paper, right?) that I am alienating anyone who doesnt agree with me. Some of my favorite people are either slightly or strongly in opposition to my political views.

Aside from all that, I seem to get the most attention from the rest of the blogosphere when I write about other things than politics.

So why do I do it?

Well, sometimes I feel like Im being unfair to my regular readers when I dont post. As hard as it is to fathom, some people actually like to read what Ive written. If I dont post, people start worrying about me and stuff. And theres nothing worse than not getting your free ice cream, right?

But there are a few things that appear to be coming together. The Chiefs are looking like they will be very, very interesting this year, if not very good (although Im convinced they may surprise some people). So Ill have quite a bit to write about there.

My involvement with Car Lust Blog also has me thinking (and therefore, writing) more and more about cars.

I have lots and lots of guitar stuff to write aboutIve been considering starting a regular Guitar Lust feature (modeled after the Car Lust), and have started assembling lots of pictures for that. I was daunted by the idea of running out of guitars to talk about, and that too many were just: Well, Ive never played one and probably never will, but its *pretty*. But you know what? Screw it. Im going to start doing one Guitar Lust each week.

So this fall I think should be a fruitful time for this blog.

Hopefully, Ill be able to avoid the politics that polarize.

right after I post another political post, of course.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:40 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

August 07, 2008

Chiefs Win! « Kansas City Chiefs »

Okay, just a preseason game.

Here's a highlight reel.

My take:
What I really liked:
- On the roll-out pass to Cottam, Brodie had a *great* fake toss.
- On LJ's TD run, Brodie had *another* awesome fake toss...and then still handed it off to LJ. That changed the pursuit of the D, and meant LJ had less guys to beat to get in the end zone. That was a great call by Gailey.
- We won the game despite being -1 in the TO column. AND that was against one of the better defenses in the NFL. AND it was on the road.
- Brodie Croyle was 60% on his passing (the minimum you want from a pro-bowler) and had 8 yds/attempt. A pro-bowler is always above 6 yds/attempt, and usually above 7 yds/attempt.
- Brodie used both legs and arm and decision-making skills on the first drive to convert *four* third downs. Five if you count his execution of the fake toss-handoff to LJ for the score. That's big-league performance. Against a top defense, on the road. Can't say that enough.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 30, 2008

Rally Driving « Car Issues »

Check out this video:

It just didn't look to me like he was taking the most efficient route some of the time.

I fully understand the traction issues. Growing up and learning to drive in Montana, if I wasn't driving on ice, I was usually driving on gravel or dirt. I used to "drift" (I called it "powersliding" through gravel roads in my 1968 Pontiac Tempest. I had a friend who opened my eyes to the excitement of "drifting" (again, he didn't call it that) between construction warning barrels on an ice-covered road in a 70s Datsun 210 (Bumblebee? I think). I couldn't come close to what he did on ice, but I did end up with an instinctual feel for recovering from a fishtail.

The roads I powerslid on were much narrower than the Pike's Peak track, but I feel like I did a better job of aligning myself for the next acceleration.

Then again, I was doing it between 30 and 60mph, I would admit probably mostly on the 30mph end (although I really wan't paying attention to the speedometer, to be honest...maybe I was doing it more at 20 mph, or 50. No way to know, now), and this guy is doing it more 60-80mph, right? And I didn't have anything close to his hp, acceleration, or car twitchiness. Maybe that makes a bigger difference than I would think.

I've played a few rallying video games. I'm not that good, not that bad. I don't persist because you have to drive by your visual cues, and when I'm dirt running (I've never raced...), I drive by feel as much as by sight.

I cannot describe the feel of knowing you are losing traction (can't say adhesion on dirt/gravel) and knowing you can of course brake slightly, but also sensing that if you just lightly accelerate, you'll pull the car back in line...

I've done it in both rear-wheel drive AND front-wheel drive cars (the preceding paragraph being a front-wheel drive experience), but separated by about 15 years in between, so I couldn't begin to guess what the commonality and difference is between the drives. Early on, I did end up doing a 180 in the front-wheel drive once because I didn't come out of the turn right; I'm guessing because
I was using RWD reactions? In any case, I learned and it never happened again.

I wondered at the time if I could have been a good Rally racer, but already had a career and was probably too old to boot (past 35), so it never got to be more than a passing thought.

Let's make this interminable missive more massive:
My dirt-running experiences are about 2% of the reason I've hesitated to really pull the trigger on any one of a number of Poor Man's BMWs. If I can have so much fun in a '68 Tempest or '94 Corolla on dirt, am I really going to have as much fun in a Maxima SE or Mazda3 on pavement? You don't encounter police on back country dirt roads, but you do on paved roads; I'm probably never going to get the full acceleration/traction fun on blacktop.


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Posted by Nathan at 07:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)