27 September 2006

First Jupiter image from New Horizons

A few weeks ago, the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on New Horizons took its first pictures of Jupiter. The spacecraft was close to solar opposition, so the moons in front of Jupiter, Europa and Io, were leaving large shadows on the planet's swirling clouds. This picture was released yesterday:

LORRI doesn't have color capability, but Ralph will be sending back color pictures of the gas giant during the rendezvous/gravity assist in January and February. One thing I like about this picture is that it's the first image of Jupiter that I've ever seen that doesn't show the Great Red Spot.

26 September 2006

Week 3: Redemption

My Eagles are back. I stand by my prediction that they'll be 6-1 going into the Jacksonville game on 10/29.

Fantasy-wise, I was running on all cylinders. I went 4-0, and Barb clocked her first win of the sason, against my dear brother, who's now on a losing streak.

Week 3
AnyGivenSunday2006: Philadelphia Phreak (1-2) doubled Natronics 120-55
UIUCAAL: Philadelphia Phalanx (2-1) edged Underperformer 85-83
WFL: The Senators (2-1) Maclaned the Diehards 95-67
WFL: Barbie's Bruins (1-2) clawed the Beavers 77.1-76.6

farleysfootball: Philadelphia Fear (1-2) shelled the Partyterps 55-36
farleysfootball: Luckydawgs buried the Bookworms (0-3) 48-36

Barb had the misfortune of going against Matt Hasselbeck this week, otherwise she might've pulled out the victory. Still, a respectable showing for the Bushmans.

Online cooking tutorials

While I'm a big fan of my friends Phil and Derek's cooking site, Burnt Fat, I have been known to look elsewhere for inspiration. Today I bring you two examples, from the sublime to the somewhat horrifying.

Sublime: Jeff's Famous Pizza exhaustively shows you how to make a true Neopolitan-style pizza in your own oven. It may require a little engineering on your part, but Jeff talks you through it.

Horrifying: Dishwasher-Poached Salmon. Need I say more?

21 September 2006

19 September 2006

Week 2: Near Armageddon

I'm not even going to discuss the egg that my Eagles laid on Sunday. I'll just focus on the fact that they're tied with the Cowboys and Giants for the division lead at 1-1. Also, looking to the future, they play the 49ers, Packers, Cowboys, Saints, and Tampa Bay before the Jacksonville game on 10/29. They could easily be 6-1 going into the (thankfully) home game against the Jags.

It was again a horrible fantasy week, with Barb and me going 1-5 between us:

Week 2
AnyGivenSunday2006: Kona Blade Runners carved Philadelphia Phreak (0-2) 89-71
UIUCAAL: ChampCandyCorn carmelized Philadelphia Phalanx (1-1) 110-85
WFL: The Senators (1-1) dammed the Beavers 103-101
WFL: Sniveling Idiots stupefied Barbie's Bruins (0-2) 110-102

farleysfootball: LuckyDawgs gnawed Philadelphia Fear (0-2) 51-37
farleysfootball: Mark Brunell Sucks intercepted the Bookworms (0-2) 48-35

Gotta go make some roster moves and try to stem the bleeding. Next week, 6-0!

14 September 2006

Barb sounds off

Barb, on her return to the Olney voting booths Tuesday, was interviewed by the Olney Gazette. She commented on the fiasco that was the Montgomery County elections:

Barbara Bushman of Olney, another returnee, said, "It didn't help to get angry, but I was confused as to how this could happen. How could you can have voting and no ballots for people to vote with?"

Bushman said the morning’s problems made her late for work — and she didn’t even get a chance to vote.

"I feel better now," Bushman said after voting Tuesday night. "But now I'm thinking, how could this be a valid election when people couldn’t cast their vote?"
That this sort of boobery could happen just goes to show you that the only difference between a wealthy county and a poor one is that the idiots are rich.

My favorite quote from this morning's WaPo:

Andrea LaRue, a lawyer volunteering on behalf of U.S. Senate candidate Ben Cardin, steps up to the counter with a question for [Montgomery County Election Board President Nancy] Dacek.

"Do you have a chain-of-custody plan for the provisional ballots?" LaRue asks.

"A who?" Dacek replies.

You can't make this stuff up.

12 September 2006

Fantasy Week 1: At Least the Eagles Won

One of the things about being a rabid football fan and a fantasy football enthusiast is maintaining perspective. I'm an Eagles fan. That's the most important thing. (Obviously, in the grand scheme of things, that isn't really all that important either, of course.) So the Eagles won and the Cowboys, Giants, and Redskins lost. It was a good weekend.

Of course for every yin, there's a yang. Between us, Barbie and I went 1-5 in our fantasy leagues. Here's the roundup:

Week 1
AnyGivenSunday2006: SupremeSilverSharpie overwrote Philadelphia Phreak (0-1) 99-86
UIUCAAL: Philadelphia Phalanx (1-0) brandted Captain Fantastic 76-60
WFL: Sniveling Idiots dumbed down The Senators (0-1) 79-76
WFL: The Conservatives taxed Barbie's Bruins (0-1) 94-90

farleysfootball: Todd Collins Sucks passed the Philadelphia Fear (0-1) 58-41
farleysfootball: Lucky Legges punted the Bookworms (0-1) 40-37

A poor record, but not discouraging, as all games were close save the The Fear, who had the misfortune of going against Donovan McNabb and field goal machine Jeff Wilkins. The Fear scored the fourth-highest total in the 14-team league, but they played the highest-scorer of the week. Que sera sera.

Onward and upward!

07 September 2006

NFL Season Predictions

Tonight it all begins. Let's break out the crystal ball...

South: Panthers 12-4
West: Seattle 12-4
East: Eagles 11-5
North: Lions 10-6
Wildcard 1: Giants 10-6
Wildcard 2: Cardinals 10-6

Playoff Round 1:
Eagles def. Cardinals
Giants def. Lions

Playoff Round 2:
Eagles def. Seattle
Panthers def. Giants

NFC Championship: Eagles def. Panthers

South: Colts 13-3
West: Broncos 11-5
North: Bengals 11-5
East: Dolphins 10-6
Wildcard 1: Ravens 10-6
Wildcard 2: Patriots 10-6

Playoff Round 1:
Ravens def. Dolphins
Bengals def. Patriots

Playoff Round 2:
Colts def. Ravens
Bengals def. Broncos

AFC Championship: Bengals def. Colts

Super Bowl XLI: Eagles def. Bengals

Of course, I'm biased.

How will the Eagles win eleven games, you ask? I'm glad you did:

Sep 10 Eagles (1-0) def. Houston
Sep 17 - Eagles (2-0) def. NY Giants
Sep 24 - Eagles (3-0) def. San Francisco
Oct 2 - Eagles (4-0) def. Green Bay
Oct 8 - Dallas def. Eagles (4-1)
Oct 15 - Eagles (5-1) def. New Orleans
Oct 22 - Tampa Bay def. Eagles (5-2)
Oct 29 - Eagles (6-2) def. Jacksonville
Nov 7 - Open
Nov 12 - Eagles (7-2) def. Washington
Nov 19 - Eagles (8-2) def. Tennessee
Nov 26 - Indianapolis def Eagles (8-3)
Dec 4 - Carolina def. Eagles (8-4)
Dec 10 - Eagles (9-4) def. Washington
Dec 17 - NY Giants def. Eagles (9-5)
Dec 25 - Eagles (10-5) def. Dallas
Dec 31 - Eagles (11-5) def. Atlanta

That'll do it.

Dear Mr. Fantasy...it's opening day.

It's my favorite time of the year...football season, and with football season comes fantasy football season. I've got four teams battling it out this season with my various friends, relatives, and associates. Here's a season preview and some brief analyses. Starters are denoted with asterisks, and bye weeks are listed.

League: Any Given Sunday 2006
Team: Philadelphia Phreak
QB1 Matt Hasselbeck* 5
QB2 Jon Kitna 8
WR1 Roy Williams* 8
WR2 Joe Horn* 7
WR3 Derrick Mason* 7
WR4 Drew Bennett* 7
RB1 Stephen Jackson* 7
RB2 Carnell Williams* 4
RB3 DeAngelo Williams 9
RB4 Jerious Norwood 5
TE1 Vernon Davis* 7
TE2 Leonard Pope 9
PK1 Neil Rackers* 9
DEF Philadelphia* 9

This league has a lot of starters (10) and a very shallow bench (4). Usually the ratio is more like 8:7. While I've got very good to great talent at all of the skill positions, due to the league's structure my depth isn't great, and on Week 7, I may have to start players on bye weeks because I can't afford to replace them all.

League: Farleysfootball
Team: Philadelphia Fear
QB1 Jon Kitna* 8
QB2 Steve McNair 7
WR1 Larry Fitzgerald* 9
WR2 Chris Chambers* 8
WR3 Keenan McCardell 3
WR4 Reggie Brown 9
RB1 Brian Westbrook* 9
RB2 Reggie Bush 7
RB3 Frank Gore 7
TE1 Tony Gonzalez* 3
PK1 Mike Nugent* 9
DP1 Lance Briggs* 7
DP2 Brian Dawkins* 9
DP3 Sheldon Brown 9
DP4 Karlos Dansby 9

I'm not all that happy with this lineup, but it's got potential. I've never played in a league with mandated defensive players, so this'll be a learning experience as well. My guess is they don't matter much, but we'll see.

Team: Philadelphia Phalanx
QB1 Drew Brees* 7
QB2 Steve McNair 7
QB3 Jon Kitna 8
WR1 Torry Holt* 7
WR2 Chris Chambers* 8
WR3 Andre Johnson 5
WR4 Matt Jones 6
RB1 Edgerrin James* 9
RB2 Ronnie Brown* 8
RB3 Reuben Droughns 6
RB4 Fred Taylor 6
TE1 Todd Heap* 7
TE2 Chris Cooley 8
PK1 Lawrence Tynes* 3
DT1 Philadelphia* 9

I love this squad. Solid to rock-star at all skill positions. I should be able to do some real damage here.

League: Woodbine Football League
Team: The Senators
QB1 Donovan McNabb* 9
QB2 Steve McNair 7
WR1 Chad Johnson* 5
WR2 Chris Chambers* 8
WR3 Derrick Mason* 7
WR4 Hank Baskett 9
WR5 Isaac Bruce 7
WR6 Greg Jennings 6
RB1 Carnell Williams* 4
RB2 Mike Bell* 4
RB3 Deuce McCallister 7
RB4 Fred Taylor 6
RB5 Jerious Norwood 5
PK1 Lawrence Tynes* 3
DT1 Minnesota * 6

Running back depth could be a concern for this team, but QB and WR are in great shape. If you've not noticed, I'm high on Chris Chambers and Steve McNair this season. I originally had Drew Brees and Warrick Dunn, but since Brees and McNair had the same bye, a change was needed. The wife had Eli Manning and Donovan McNabb and needed some help at RB, so I gave her Brees and Dunn for McNabb and Deuce McCallister. We'll see how well that works out.

Barb's in two of the same league's that I'm in. She did pretty well in the drafts, also. I'll be updating her performance here as well:

League: Farleysfootball
Team: The Bookworms
QB1 Kurt Warner* 9
QB2 David Carr 5
WR1 Terrell Owens* 9
WR2 Roy Williams* 8
WR3 Donte' Stallworth 9
WR4 Eddie Kennison 3
RB1 Lamont Jordan* 3
RB2 DeShaun Foster 9
RB3 Fred Taylor 6
TE1 Ben Watson* 6
TE2 Courtney Anderson 3
PK1 Rob Bironas* 7
DP1 Ronde Barber* 4
DP2 Adrian Wilson* 9
DP3 Deltha O'Neal 5

Personally, I'd like to see T.O.'s hammy bench him for the season and to watch Donte' ascend to the #1 spot in Philly. That'd be good for everyone. Barb got bit by the injury bug early with Dominick Davis bowing out, but since we only start one RB in this league, she was able to replace him easily enough with Fred Taylor.

League: Woodbine Football League
Team: Barbie's Bruins
QB1 Eli Manning* 4
QB2 Drew Brees* 7
WR1 Marvin Harrison* 6
WR2 Antonio Gates* 3
WR3 Jeremy Shockey* 4
WR4 Amani Toomer 4
WR5 Keenan McCardell 3
WR6 Donte' Stallworth 9
RB1 Shaun Alexander* 5
RB1 Warrick Dunn* 5
RB3 Samkon Gado 6
RB4 Derek Blaylock 9
RB5 Michael Pittman 4
PK1 Neil Rackers* 9
DT1 Miami* 8

Najeh Davenport being cut made her pick of Samkon much better, and Donte' as her sixth WR could prove to be a huge steal. I can't say I approve of all of the Giants, but then again I may be biased.

Let the games begin.

06 September 2006

Check out Robbie's Rudebox

Well, it's official. Robbie Williams's 7th studio album, Rudebox, will be released (outside the US, of course) on October 23rd. It will feature 17 tracks including the titular hip-hop tune, which is singularly mediocre. Most of the other tracks (including collaborations with the Pet Shop Boys and Bill Orbit) look promising, though. I've preordered the Special Edition, of course, despite not knowing what makes it so special. I suspect the standard bonus DVD, but who knows?

Since I've got to order from England anyway, I'm having them throw in the Sin Sin Sin DVD-EP I tried to buy in Italy/Greece/Turkey and this little gem I've heard so much about.

Robbie Williams - Me And My Monkey

The aforementioned Me and My Monkey video, for the claymation aficionados among you. The color's all screwy, unfortunately.

05 September 2006

Robbie Williams - A Place To Crash

The lastest video from Robbie's Intensive Care album is a quality claymation effort by Steve Edge, who made the great Me and My Monkey video awhile back. Enjoy.