Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Random thoughts while listening to Hymn 43

1) So it'd been a while since I busted out the old Jethro Tull collection, and tonight was the night. After a couple of hours spent battling Bellman equations and confusing notation for the bulk of the day (and for the most part I was victorious), I've decided to have a Jack & Coke (out of bourbon), throw on some Locomotive Breath, and write the most rockin', rollin', badass post so far this week. Though I realize this is also the first post of the week, I have no intention of mentioning that to you, so you will never know the difference.

2) Okay, I'm probably the only one who is going to remotely care about stuff like this, but I'm about ready to murder my Macro professor. Seriously, when you denote your utility function with the letter u and have it be time senstitive, why on earth do you then have the disturbance term, also a dynamic variable, be denoted with a lowercase u? I mean, seriously, are there not enough letters in the alphabet for you? What's wrong with the traditional e? Or maybe epsilon? Or some other character that is traditionally associated with the disturbance parameter? You know, instead of repeating a letter that forces me to chase algebraic ghosts for the better part of a mental breakdown before I finally have to email you and find out that yes, in fact, I had the correct answer an hour ago, but you were too busy being pregnant and flicking the mole on your throat that looks a tracheotomy scar to bother putting together a decent problem set that is well thought out. And, to add insult to injury, you decide to use Beta in the next problem as a grouping term instead of it's usual role, and replace the usual role with one plus rho quantity inverse, which I have to write out about thirty times. I hope you get sent to prison and discover that the word "fist" is not just a noun.

3) I'd like to thank The Bloodhound Gang for inspiration of that last idle threat.

4) I'm proud of myself. As of today, I have officially finished the switch from primarily using a credit card to using a check card. Now my finances are entirely up to date rather than on about a three week lag. Which is good, because I've been broke for a while trying to accomplish this.

5) Intermission: I am being groped.

6) Okay, now that that's over, back to the column. Okay, I actually have nothing to say, and I probably won't for a little while, unfortunately, as I have 8 days to study my ass off for my Macro midterm, followed by a brief reprise of spring break, which will be spent studying for the two midterms I have right after I get back from break, including 2 midterms in a 36 hour period (FUN!). So, as I will actually spend the next few weeks learning, I may be too burnt out to post (which is odd, as I'm already to that point and I haven't even started studying yet...).

7) Random word of the day: Felch.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Follow up

Here's part II.


Also glad about this, for two reason. First, the whole separation of church and state as alluded to in the article. Second, and more importantly, is the success that abstinence only programs have had. There is no doubt that abstinence-only programs of sex education prevent kids from having their first sexual experience... for about six months. The average age of the first sexual experience of an abstinence-only program graduate is only a measely half year older than those who receive traditional education (which usually push abstinence, but still wants the students to be knowledgeable). The problem, of course, is that when the abstinence-only kids do start having sex, they are 2-4 times more likely to engage in unprotected sex and risky sexual behavior (the 2-4 depends on which study you read, which define "risky behavior" differently and use different sampling methodologies). So good riddince from the fiscal budget.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Politics, Sacrelidge, & Steroids

1) So a funny thing happened in lecture yesterday, and I think it may have partially been my fault. In lecture, when my professor is talking about marcoeconomics to 200 hundred students (well, 200 registered students, only about half show up), some Lyndon LaRouche psychotic followers started to disturb class for no apparent reason, interupting the professor, making "dynamic" arguments that really had no bearing on what the professor was talking about, and in general just being disruptive. It got to the point that the students were actually either laughing or telling them to shut up, even as they continued to talk about how Baltimore was a "dead city" and how acknowledging that products made in China by "slave labor" were in fact cheaper than those made in America made you an enemy of the constitution, even suggesting the professor would have been fighting for the British in the revolutionary war. Now, the funny thing about this is twofold. First, the jackasses were entirely off base; the arguments were not pertinent to the discussion, and it was blatantly obvious these jackass wilderbeasts who were trying to pass themselves off as women were just given a series of brainwashings and combative talking points to make and they were just trying to shoehorn these points into the lecture whenever possible. Second, and this is my favorite part, I believe it is my fault they ended up in the class.

Okay, lets backtrack. Before the class began, as I was walking into the building, a girl approach me and asked if the other classroom was in fact a political science class, to which I responded I had no idea. I walked to my lecture hall, and she seemed to follow and asked what class I was going to. I responded, "intro to macro". Now, I can be certain she was one of the girls who caused the problem, as I tend to forget ugly faces as quickly as I can (as a matter of necessity), but my logical deduction seems to suggest that I may have, in fact, provided them with an alternative to the class they sought, and brought the distraction into the lecture hall with me like a terrible trailing fart. Fortunately, I haven't told anyone this, so none should be the wiser. Regardless, I saw the professor later in the day, and he was still fuming, threatening to call the police if a similar incident were to happen on Wednesday.

2) Speaking of Baltimore as being a "dead city", I was there Sunday night and was visiting the Friendly Neighborhood ColOmbian (Re-Districted), and a good time was had by all. We spent the night pounding drink after drink, until the time came to retire for the night, though not before one of us vomitted on a church on the way home. Needless to say, the night was a spectacular success. The next day, not so much.

3) Go away.

4) Thanks to The Goon for point out number 33. Actually, the whole list is funny.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Tee hee

I am so freaking excited for baseball season!
I'll say again:
I am so freaking excited for baseball season!
I'll say again:
I am so freaking excited for baseball season!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Three days? That's Tomorra!

So I wanted to write a post today, but instead I spent the last seven and a half hours grading midterms and am a cup of coffee and hearing an N*SYNCH song away from going on a 3 state murder rampage (note: DC is still not technically a state, so the spree will include 4 governed areas). So what's my point? Well, I don't really have one, other than the fact that I am exhausted and have no point. I mean, I want to put something up, but I am devoid of all reasoning ability and coherence, and I'm not sure if any of this is making sense [and there is no freaking way I am proof-reading this, either]. But I did want to put something to entertain my readers, but I'm not sure... Aw, hell, just read this.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Predicting the AL East

After some serious thought, I wanted to put up my projected order of finish for the AL east this year. A lot has happened to this division in the offseason, and each team seems to have a different complexion than last. So first, a quick alphabetical rundown of the changes:

Baltimore - With Sosa and Palmeiro gone, they look to be less exciting, and with Lee Mazzilli coming in to teach their pitchers, they could be nasty. Then again, they've lost a bunch of bats, and Tejada and Lopez could very well mail in the season (both asked to be traded this offseason). Personally, I will enjoy them crashing and burning.

Boston - New infield, CF, bullpen, and #2 pitcher. On paper, Boston looks to be the most stochastic team in the AL east, marred by dozens of question marks and upsides. However, I think they have enough fallback plans that they can at least make a very competitive run at the division. Again, the season will depend to varying degrees on Schilling, Foulke, Lowell, Loretta, and Nixon regaining some modicum of past performance at the plate, as well as seeing how the pitching shakes out (Beckett's health, Paplebon's development, the 3-5 starters, and the Bullpen's Riske, Seanez, Tavarez, Timlin, Delcarmen, Lester, Vermylea, Hansen, Arroyo, etc shaking out into a solid bullpen). A lot of ifs here, but also a lot of potential.

New York - They added Damon, another aging bat, to what looks like a monster lineup for 2002. Their pitching is anchored by two aging starters, both of whom have peripherals that have been trending down, and a closer that I only hope will start showing signs of his age and overuse. They tacked on a bunch of arms to the bullpen. Expect to see the Yankees have lots of runs, lots of runs given up, and lots of injuries. They are an old ballclub with a terrible defense, and an offense that is ugly to face if they all stay healthy.

Tampa Bay - This team will prefer the hitting half of the innings.

Toronto - I'm not sold on Burnett or that lefty from Baltimore, but they definitely improved the offense.

Boston- 94 wins - Foulke comes back, Schilling not so much
Toronto- 92 wins - a little luck, a lot of pop, and a healthy Halliday
Yanks- 85 wins - Unfortunately for them, their lineup gets ravaged by injuries and their pitching does not
Devil Rays- 82 wins - They get above .500 for the first time in their history, and would have won 100 games if you could play 5 outfielders at once
Orioles- 4 wins - I just hate baltimore

Monday, February 13, 2006


1) Okay, so that post earlier in the day was suppossed to be longer, and I was going to throw up the individual bullet points in multiple order. Of course, nature called, I answered, and somehow the rest of the post went into oblivion. My bad. As such, since I don't feel like doing a long post right now, here are some things to keep you entertained:

Shaky Bullpen? Crisp worse than Damon? Um, Donny, I usually like your columns, but I gotta play the bullshit card here.

Um, yes.

Not his best, but still high-larry-us

2) The one nice part about having a professor that doesn't care about checking my quizzes before I adminster them is that I can come up with wise-ass answers to my own multiple choice questions. For example, a question about the who bears the tax burden on a hamburgers, one of the answers is cows. For a question on the rise in GDP? One of the choices is $pi. Who is the new chief of the Federal Reserve? Ronald McDonald.

My God, I really am a dork...


1) Ah, February, quite possibly the most boring month of the year. The NFL season has finished up, the MLB is still as pitchers and catchers get ready to report, and I am weighted down by about 600 hours of work that needs to get done on a bunch of boring crap that nobody wants to hear about. Well, at least there is snow on the ground everywhere else but here...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Wait, would an "Anti-Christ" joke be too easy here?

Okay, dick, enough is enough (from this page):

"New Yankee Johnny Damon seems to be forging a friendship with Alex Rodriguez, apologizing before last opening day for criticizing him in his autobiography. -- New York Times"

And as if that weren't bad enough, check out this gem:

"Johnny Damon told the YES network how much Manny Ramirez wants out of Boston. "I think the Yankees would be a perfect fit for him...as well as David Ortiz," Damon said. -- New York Daily News"

Of course, maybe we can stick it to the Yanks with this beauty:

"The Red Sox are preparing to make a serious offer to one Roger Clemens, according to the Boston Herald.Sources told the paper that the Sox’ pitch will include a slick video presentation that features a number of Red Sox fans imploring the Rocket to finish his career where it began. Boston is viewed as the least likely of four possible destinations for Clemens, the others being Houston, Texas and New York with the Yankees. Feb. 7 - 3:26 pm et "

I love the Red Sox, and the thought of Schilling, Clemens, Beckett leading the rotation makes me need a new set of underwear, even if I still hate Clemens more than Pol Pot. Geez, what a weird news days...

Monday, February 06, 2006

Do I really need to come up with a clever title today?

1) FIRE! I'm telling you, their kid is going to have no musical talent and possibly be the anti-christ.

2) Congrats to the Steelers, yada yada yada, I don't really care. I don't have any affinity for either team, and the game itself was pretty boring. Ultimately, the entire season this year seemed somewhat anti-climactic to me, and ironically it felt that way from start to finish. Sure, it was disappointing to watch the Pats not win out in the playoffs this year, but the entire season just seemed like a cluster-fuck that was followed up by the worst officiated playoffs ever that didn't involve a French skating judge. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting this was some consipracy put on by the league or anything like that, because I think the ineptness was pretty much universal. Regardless, I think it's a shame that just about every game (including the superbowl) seemed to be tainted at least a little bit. So, congrats to the Steelers, and shame on Tagliabue for not getting real referees for any game this playoff.

3) Although I don't believe in a conspiracy, I do believe referees are told to look out for specific things after a particularly egregious error in a big situation. As such, after the Ashley Lelie/Asante Samuel pass intereference call, is it any suprise that there was a bullshit offensive interference call in the superbowl? This way the league can say, "hey, we call pass interference on the offense, too!" Again, not a conspiracy, but a borderline call in a big situation that usually is not called makes me think the refs were specifically looking for it there because they were told to before the game.

4) Damn British.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

See, I knew it!

As if on que, SI.com posts this article today backing up my assertion about Jeter's crappy defense. I love it.

Oh, and while we're trashing yanks, this is fun, too. Basically, Chad is suggesting Slappy roots for teams from the Jack Nicholson bundle of teams.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Predictions and civility

1) So, who am I rooting for in the superbowl? Well, I'm dating a Bengals fan, and I'm from New England, so I gotta go with the team led by the BC Baldie. I would make a prediction, rather than a rooting interest, except I didn't see one game played by the Seahawks this year, so I have no freaking clue what is going to happen.

2) A student actually told me that I made economics fun for him, so I think I'm doing something right, and that makes me feel really good about myself. If only he knew how much of the stuff I am telling them is just plain wrong...

3) It was asked for and it shall be recieved: a quick comparison of Yanks vs. Sox lineup. So Here goes:


"Wait, I'm up?"


The Hired Gun
Slappy McBluelips
Hideous Matsui
Roid Rage
Jorge of Nimh
Robinson Cano
The Artist Formerly Known As Bernie Williams

It should be noted that, with the exception of Slappy, the Yanks don't have anything close to a plus defender (and for the love of god, please don't tell me Jeter is a good shortstop. He won those GGs because he plays in NY and makes spectacular looking plays that anyone with a tiny bit of range would have made routinely. His range factor, UZR, and zone rating are at best middle of the pack in the AL. That isn't gold glove defense). Meanwhile, Lowell, Loretta, Varitek, Gonzalez, and possibly Crisp (though probably only average here) all are plus defenders. On with the comparisons:

Crisp vs. Damon
Damon, with the exception of two Grover Cleveland years (that is, non-consecutive ones), is a singles hitter whose game is predicated on speed and is on the wrongside of thirty. Crisp has a bit more pop, but a bit less patience. Both had the exact same OPS+ last year.
2005 - Wash
Beyond - Crisp

Loretta vs. Jeter
Loretta is a prototypical #2 hitter trying to come back from an off year. Of course, Jeter has been acknowledged as having some skill with the stick. And yes, that was a gay joke.
2005 - Dipshits
Beyond - Dipshits

Tizzle vs. Slappy
A-Rod is one of the best hitters in the game, hitting tons of home runs, good average, gets on base well, and is a good base stealer. Ortiz is a God.
2005 - Sox
Beyond - Sox

Manny vs. Dart-board face
Matsui is a scary hitter to face, though seems to disappear whenever a pitcher is willing to throw a brushback at him (see Pedro, playoffs, 2004). Manny is the best right-handed hitter in the game.
2005 - Sox
Beyond - Sox/wash

Varitek vs. Creepy Mustache Dude
Varitek is a switch hitter with good power, but is a catcher on the wrong side of 32 (the age that most catchers start falling off the cliff). Sheffield molests collies.
2005 - Dipshits
Beyond - Uh, their both old?

Nixon vs. Giambi
Nixon has been on and off the past two seasons, but is a very solid bat when healthy. Giambi has been on and off the past two seasons, but is a very solid bat when healthy. (Admit it, you thought there was going to be a steroid joke in there. Well, there won't be one, so leave it alone. We don't know what to expect of Giambi, but if he is on and can return to some of his previous form, then he can inject a lot of power to that lineup, almost as if he were, oh, I don't know, something like a testosterone derivatives and the lineup was a big, fat, hairy ass in a bathroom stall).
2005 - No freaking clue what to expect, so lets call it a wash, with Dipshits getting a higher ceiling
Beyond - Um, no idea

Lowell vs. Ratboy
Two more guys that are on the backside of their careers, had atrocious years at the plate in 2005 compared to their career numbers, and both are hoping to hop back. The difference is that Posada is an old catcher, a position that historically has Logan's Run type implications for a career (similar to RBs in football, the decline is sudden and usually irreversable), whereas Lowell is 3B that is going from a pitcher's park to a hitter's one. Both could suck, both could rebound, but I think it is more likely Lowell return to form than Tankass.
2005 - Probably Sox
Beyond - Your guess is as good as mine

Youks vs. Cano
Power or OBP, take your pick.
2005 - Wash
Beyond - Wash

Alex Gonzalez vs. Bernie Williams
AG is a crappy bat that has some pop. Bernie is an aging talent. Although I bet Bernie can still pull above a 300 OBP.
2005 - Dipshits
Beyond - ?

So, actually, things look about even. The Sox are counting on more guys to come back from bad years (Trot, Loretta, Lowell), while the Yanks hope their older guys don't physically rot at the plate. The Sox have a higher peak (Ortiz to Manny is probably the scariest duo in the league), whereas the Dipshits have their talent a bit more spread out (that is a tough top 2/3rds of the order any way you slice it). The Yanks probably have a better ceiling, but they have more older players (read: injury risk) and less off the bench. All things being equal, the edge in the lineup goes to the Cock-Gobblers, but the Sox have a better defense (though the outfield could be an adventure) and the better pitching staff, especially if Schilling and Foulke come back from their injuries effectively. It should be a fun year.