Dizzying weather

So, tonight we had a big storm. Lightning, wind, rain, hail, tornadoes… the whole kit-n-kaboodle. We had to go to the first floor laundry room and our cat didn’t like it (we ended up putting her into one of the non-running dryers so she could “hide”). It wasn’t really bad here, but Iowa City got hit pretty hard. The weather didn’t really bother me… it was the stupid weathermen on the local TV station.

Really, it was just one in particular (sorry, no picture). Whoever put him in charge of running the computer that shows the weather really needs to reconsider. I just about got sick watching him click all over the map, then zoom in, re-center, zoom in some more, zoom out, re-center, draw some things on the screen, zoom all the way out, etc. He also couldn’t hold the mouse still to save his life. It was like watching a crack addict play Mahjong on the computer. And it was readily apparent that the program that he was using wasn’t very user friendly since he kept having to move the mouse off screen to change tools. Have we heard of keyboard shortcuts?? Must not have taught you that when they taught you how to only be 25% accurate. I wish I got paid to only be about 25% accurate.

Pardon me while I go take a dramamine…

Fights, brawls, stupidity

Ok, this has to be one of the strangest days in sports history. First, the Pistons’ fans and Pacers get into it in a heated game. Then, to top it all off, a brawl broke out at the Clemson and South Carolina game. What is with these people?

In the first fight, it’s hard to blame anyone but Detroit’s fans. Yeah, I know Ron Artest will get blamed for the whole thing because nobody likes the guy, but look at what actually transpired. Ron Artest fouls Ben Wallace hard. Wallace shoves Artest. Artest walks away! Artest has had a few flagrant fouls in the past, so you know that the Pistons were trying to entice him into a fight. Then, Artest backs all the way up to the scorers table and lays down (I don’t get that, but he did it) and while laying down, a fan throws a cup at him and hits him. Artest takes off after the fan and the rest is history, so to speak. No, I don’t condone what Artest did, but I can understand. If you’re going to throw stuff at people, be prepared to defend your actions. Just because you’re a fan (and a stupid one, at that) does not shield you from consequences. I don’t agree with the commissioner’s indefinate suspensions of O’Neal and Jackson. They went in to get their teammate out of trouble and got cheapshotted over and over from drunk fans. Maybe he’s just waiting to watch the footage, but I’d bet they get as big of a suspension as Artest.

The second fight has a two-fold blame. The initial fight is completely the fault of the players. Have some respect for the people you are playing against! The brawl that ensued across the entire field is the fault of the security at the game. It was kind of amusing to see armed sherrifs and police officers trying to break up the brawl by jumping on guys twice their size who were wearing pads and swinging their helmets. Is there something wrong with this picture? I know this may sound fanatical, but if that were me, I’d pull my gun, fire a few shots in the air, and get the football players’ attention. Perhaps that wouldn’t have worked, but perhaps it would have woken them up.

What’s wrong? Who’s fault is it? I don’t know if it’s a question that’s easily answered. In the first case, alcohol had a major factor; this was seen earlier this year when fans got into it with the L.A. Dodgers and Texas Rangers. Are we suddenly coming to the realization that alcohol impairs judgement and that judgement is a good thing to have when dealing with people you don’t like (opposing players)? I don’t know if banning alcohol at games is the way to go. I mean, it might mean that people would go to a game to actually watch it rather than get drunk and create trouble. Who woulda thunk it?

In the second case, I think you need to train people to head things like that off before they get out of hand. Coaches need to let players know that if they go out on the field for something like that, they will be benched, no matter if you’re Joe Nobody or Joe Namath. Security also needs to know that if things get out of hand, they can give the refs a hand. I don’t have a definitive answer and I’m probably leaving things out, but from my vantage point that’s how I see it.

REVISED: Rant

Ok, I have a little rant. Why is it that people think that they can just put bug reports anywhere they want? Take, for instance, one of the jewels in the comments of this post. I could see not knowing where to put bug reports if I hadn’t linked to the Coaster bugzilla page, but come on people! I think I’m going to pull a Murray and not acknowledge these problems until I get a real bug report. I can’t be responsible for posts in places I don’t check. Do you really expect me to check 1500 different websites for bug reports?

If you find a bug in Coaster please file a bug report at our bugzilla page. Thanks!

P.S. Sorry for the earlier rant.

More baseball rants

A new record was set in baseball last week. You may have missed it since an arrogant big hitter didn’t set it. The record was set by Ichiro Suzuki. He didn’t stand and gawk at his accomplishment while taking his sweet time rounding the bases; he hustled to first base, stood there, tipped his batting helmet to the crowd, went over to the former record holder’s daughter and grandchildren and shook their hands. It was very classy, but I guess class doesn’t go far with people today. They want a steroid laden star that can wear armor and show off trotting around the bases.

It doesn’t make sense to me that a 30-40 year old record (73 home runs) gets more attention than an 84 year old record (262 hits). It doesn’t make sense to me that 73 is a greater number than 262. Baseball is a game of skill where players like Maddux, Ichiro, and Clemens use their knowledge of the game, superior accuracy, and speed to confound other players. It’s turning into a game where oversized ogres step up to the plate and swing as hard as they can so they can take a stroll around the bases. You hardly see any suicide squeeze plays anymore: the bunt is almost non-existant. Instead, we get a new term (“walk off” home run) and lower batting averages. The last time anyone made a run at a .400 batting average was the late 90’s with Larry Walker and Tony Gwynn. Pitching has gotten better, yes, but accuracy declines when players concentrate on getting the ball over the fence rather than getting the ball in play.

The state of baseball…

Ok, I’m a baseball nut. Something about the strategy involved in playing the game just gets my blood running. It may be boring to some, but it’s chock full of excitement for me. Recently, a player hit 700 homeruns (quite a feat) and I’d like to address some issues I have with baseball.

I can’t stand one thing: Barry Bonds.

Ok, admittedly, it’s not really Barry Bonds… it’s how baseball has pandered to the Barry Bondses and Mark McGwyers (and yes, Sammy Sosas) to make it easier to hit “the long ball.” And yes, most of this (if not all) was done under Bud Selig. I think I despise him more than Barry Bonds. The three things that were done that have ruined the game for me are as follows:

1) The strike zone has become smaller: I can see how some people would like this… it makes it so the pitchers have to have more skill, and admittedly pitchers like Maddux and Clemens have done quite well with the new strike zone size. The problem I have with this is the strike zone has moved directly into players’ wheelhouses. Aaron and Ruth had to deal with pitches that were called strikes at their shoulders and knees (roughly). The number of homeruns they hit would have drastically increased if pitchers only threw into their wheelhouses.

2) Pitchers can no longer throw inside: This pisses me off more than number one. I was watching a game where Kerry Wood threw ONE pitch inside and got ejected. I remember watching baseball back in the 80’s and people feared going to the plate against people like Nolan Ryan because they weren’t afraid of hitting batters. If you can’t stand up there and take one for the team, you need to be playing in a softball league in Wichita, Kansas.

3) Batters wearing armor (Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, etc.): If you have an injury that’s bad enough to warrant you wearing protective gear at the plate, SIT OUT!! I don’t remember Aaron, Ruth, Gehrig, Cobb, Mantle, Marris, or any other baseball going up to the plate looking like a football player (American football, for the international readers). And these were guys that had pitchers throwing AT THEIR HEADS regularly.

That’s all I have for now. Maybe I’ll come up with some more after my brother reads this :).