Friday, September 28, 2007

...the plot that you passed

Another round of the Monthly Mix is now available and ready for distribution. Enjoy.

1. Lake Michigan - Rogue Wave
2. Down The Line - Jose Gonzalez
3. Mind's Eye - Josh Ritter
4. Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe - Okkervil River
5. St. Andrews - Bedouin Soundclash
6. Daughter - Loudon Wainwright III
7. Radio Nowhere - Bruce Springsteen
8. How Low - Jose Gonzalez
9. Oh Mary Don't You Weep - Mike Farris
10. Fool for a Lonesome Train - Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals
11. Skinny Love - Bon Iver
12. Better People - Xavier Rudd
13. Steeple Full Of Swallows - The Gourds
14. Hard Sun (Main) - Eddie Vedder
15. Killing for Love - Jose Gonzalez
16. A Hand To Take Hold Of The Scene - Okkervil River
17. Boy With A Coin - Iron & Wine
18. Right Moves - Josh Ritter
19. Wet And Rusting - Menomena
20. Walls Fall Down - Bedouin Soundclash
21. Trouble - Over The Rhine

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hope Solo Speaks Out Against Ryan

"It was the wrong decision, and I think anybody that knows anything about the game knows that," she said. "There's no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves. And the fact of the matter is it's not 2004 anymore. ... It's 2007, and I think you have to live in the present. And you can't live by big names. You can't live in the past. It doesn't matter what somebody did in an Olympic gold medal game in the Olympics three years ago. Now is what matters, and that's what I think."

Not sure how I feel about this. On one hand I don't think players should openly criticize the team or coach like this to the media. I think they should give the event some distance and maybe at least wait until the tournament is over. On the other hand...can you blame her? What do you think?

Brazil 4, US 0: Let the questions begin

The US WNT was crushed by Brazil this morning 4-0. The chorus of questions that the coach must be facing regarding his decision to change goalies will never end. His substitutions late in the game to put more defensive players in when down 3-0 will add to the fire. The fact that we put our fastest defender in at the 60th+ minute against a team that was killing our left wing will bury this guy. But... be fair:
  • The referee made a horrendous call and ejected a US player for no reason in the first half, changing the face of the game
  • The US team just didn't play as good as everyone thinks they are. They were unable to possess the ball all tournament. Their attack was one dimensional. Their defending was not solid. All around, the US team was just beat by Brazil.
In the end, I believe the coach made some mistakes, and they were big ones. However, the loss should be placed at the feet of the entire team. They played poorly.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dance with the one...

...that brought you. Personally, I don't think you should ever make coaching decisions because a trite phrase happens to ring true for a particular situation. However, I would really hesitate as a coach to trade out my starting goalie and put in a new goalie as I head into the semifinals of the biggest soccer tournament in the world against a team that comes from Brazil.

In fact, I was in a tournament last weekend and our opponent subbed in a new goalie during sudden death overtime. I instructed my team to shoot at will, because in my mind, the other coach just switched in a player who was not mentally involved in the pace or rhythm of the game. Less then one minute in, we took a shot from 35 yards out that slipped under the goalie and hit the side netting. Unfortunately, it was the outside of the side netting and the shot was off target. But it certainly made me feel like the decision to switch in that goalie was questionable. In the end, my team lost and that keeper stopped a key penalty kick against maybe I am just plain wrong about this one.

Headed into the game tomorrow, the US national team coach pulled the trigger and switched out his starting goalie. That guy has cojones and has just set himself up to be heralded as a master tactician or a lowly goat.

US WNT Set to Take on Brazil

I'll be waking up tomorrow, face paint on and ready for the 7 AM CST kickoff. We play Brazil in the Semifinals of the Women's World Cup. Set your alarms.

Hand of God Rematch

The World Cup teams of Argentina and England from 1986 are meeting in a rematch of the 86 Quarterfinals on October 14th. The 1986 game is famous for the first 6 minutes of the 2nd half, when Diego Maradona used his left fist to finish the first of 2 goals in Argentina's 2-1 victory over England.

Maradona will take the field one more time and I have a feeling he will have a huge target on his back. I have trouble believing this is true...but it appears to be based on fact. Let us all pray to the network television gods: Please let ESPN or FSC carry this game.

News related to the event here.
Tickets for the game here!
Check out the website for the event here.
Check our a video of the famous Hand of God here.

Stuffed Tiger

Some days it would be nice to stick a stuffed tiger outside the door and just stay home...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Gordon Peterson (Indio) - Hard Sun

Here is the original version of Big Hard Sun by Indio (Gordon Peterson). I think I like the original version better than the cover by Vedder. Check it out, it's really good.

Eddie Vedder - Hard Sun (Into the Wild)

At this point I am a skeptic regarding new Pearl Jam or Eddie Vedder albums. A lot of things have changed since the days of Ten and long nights alone screaming out the lyrics to Alive with a bottle of wine in my bedroom. Even though I am a skeptic, I'll still check the albums out when possible I grabbed the main track off of the album soundtrack Into the Wild. I'm not sure what the rest of this album sounds like but this song is pretty damn good. The video makes me want to grab a backpack and go find myself again...

And the trailer for the film makes me want to have a midlife crisis and hit the road.

Inter Milan vs Fenerbahçe - Side Volley

This is from the Inter Milan vs Fenerbahçe game on 9/19. This is one sick shot. Oh, and watch to the end so that you can see the Turkish player break a defender's ankle with a step over in slow motion.

One of the women on our co-ed team scored a goal that looked similar to this during our game this past weekend. In fact, she scored 2 volleys in the first half alone.

Let the Season Begin

Our co-ed soccer season kicked off yesterday with a 10-0 least I think it was 10-0. I sort of lost count in the first half. The thing is, the team we were playing is actually expected to be one of the better teams in the league this year so it was kind of surprising that we dominated the game in that fashion. I had a decent game, setting up 2 goals and scoring 1.

The first half was played in the rain and the second half was played in a 90 degree steam bath. It's September and it is 90 degrees (sigh).

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Menomena - Wet And Rusting

" It's hard to take risks with a pessimist...
The hope can be painful, I’ll try to be faithful"
- Menomena, Wet and Rusting

I think I like this song. I mean...I like the piano, the high pitched versus are catchy and stick in my head, and the drums are pretty cool when they kick in, and their is an interesting "spacey" atmosphere in the tune. So yeah, it's just pretty damn cool at the moment. Don't get me wrong though, it is slightly "out there" at the same time. The video has some interesting moments as well. I like the "I want to be remembered" segment about 2 minutes in.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Special One Walks Out

"Look, we're not entertaining? I don't care; we win."
- Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has left Chelsea. The Special One has stepped away from one of the greatest club teams in international soccer. Wow. Let's hope he comes back somewhere soon so that we can enjoy his various quips and touches of wisdom.

Here are some gems:
  • Please don't call me arrogant, but I'm European champion and I think I'm a special one.
  • If I wanted to have an easy job...I would have stayed at Porto - beautiful blue chair, the UEFA Champions League trophy, God, and after God, me.
  • Pressure? What pressure? Pressure is poor people in the world trying to feed their families. Working from dawn till dust just to feed their young. There is no pressure in football
  • Young players are a little bit like melons. Only when you open and taste the melon are you 100 percent sure that the melon is good.Sometimes you have beautiful melons but they don't taste very good and some other melons are a bit ugly and when you open them, the taste is fantastic.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Love of the Iceberg

Oh bring me the love that can sweeten a sword
A boat that can love the rocks or the shore
The love of the iceberg reaching out for a wreck
Can you love me like the crosses love the nape of the neck?
- Josh Ritter, To the Dogs or Whoever

At the end of October we are headed to San Francisco for a wedding of a friend of ours. My wife, being the amazing woman she is, realized that one of my favorite artists was performing out there at the same time. To be clear, it took her one minute to look and realize this during my 15 minute rant that Josh Ritter was not coming any where near Lafayette, La. That said, we booked our flight one day earlier and are headed to see Josh Ritter at Bimbo's 365 Club in San Francisco on October 24th.
I was "introduced" to Josh Ritter via my friend Cool Hand Luke and consider myself in his debt for this recommendation. Luke's brother posted the video below on his blog a while back and that's probably what got me thinking that I really wanted to see Josh live. I have a sense from watching this that I'll be in debt for the inspiration from that post as well. I can't help but watch this video and use the word "joyful" to describe his performance.

So yeah, pretty excited about the trip to San Francisco. You can stream Josh Ritter's new album at his website. Check out the lyrics page if you have time - his lyrics are pretty amazing.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Clint Dempsey Scores Against Wigan

Clint Dempsey is putting his stamp on Fulham's season - he scored another goal this past weekend. It's kind of a trash goal, but the best forwards are usually the ones with the knack to be in the right place at the right time.

Mets vs Braves - The Magic Bat

I stopped watching baseball years ago...but this was worth 11 seconds of my time tonight. Watch the bat in this clip.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tournament Weekend

I have evidently been remiss and not posted enough about the soccer tournament my team played in this past weekend. My apologies. We played in the local Lafayette tournament, which would normally be considered a home venue. However, we were registered for a division above our normal level, so for this weekend we were testing out new ground in enemy territory. It went very well. We beat 3 premier teams in 2 days, two of which finished in the final four of the state. Make no mistake, this means we are playing at the highest level of soccer in the state, and beating the best teams. On top of that, we did all of this without our goalie for 75% of the tournament and without our real defense or full team for 50% of the tournament. I am really proud of the team.

We played in the final this afternoon. By the end of the game we had 3 injured players on the bench and only 1 sub. We came back from a 1-0 deficit to tie the game 1-1. After regulation we played two 10 minute golden goal overtime periods. At the end of the first overtime period we missed a PK to take home the cup - it slipped through our grasp. At the end of the second overtime period, we headed to PK's to decide the winner.

We lost in the end...and most people will say that we made a huge statement just by making the final and taking the game through to penalty kicks. However, I think the biggest statement is found in the fact that my team feels like we left some unfinished business on the field today. We were more than equal to the task.

To make up for my lack of game updates, I posted some game photos taken by a fan on the sideline during this past weekend.

Friday, September 14, 2007


I was in the Starbuck's drive-thru this morning on the way to the dry cleaner and in the parking lot was a car that was owned by a local business called "Wellness Express." Apparently, the term "wellness" is really catchy these days. I get about 2 emails a day about it. In general, I find the term annoying and was 90% confident that it was not actually a word. Turns out I was wrong.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Future is Later

"Wind Power is crazy looking." I love it. This is awesome - very funny. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Rain Slideshow

There are a few more photos (all very similar to what you have seen already) in the rain photo set. I uploaded them to Flickr in case you are interested. Enjoy.

Rogue Wave - Lake Michigan

Monthly Mix veterans Rogue Wave are guaranteed a spot on the upcoming release. Check out this awesome song from their new album.


I tell people that my brother is a big connoisseur of tequila but I don't think I can ever really accurately convey the extent. In general, he is a connoisseur of many different things and seems to have a great sense for collection, display and design. This is definitely fine tuned by his involvement in the museum field.

This photo was taken in his dining room.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


This is another rainy day photo taken last Friday.

US WNT ties North Korea, 2-2

We woke up this morning to watch the US Women's National Team open up thier World Cup bid against North Korea. I am not an avid fan of women's soccer even though every time I watch it I walk away impressed. Today was no exception. The US team is ranked number 1 in the world and the North Koreans are number 5 . The game ended in a 2-2 draw with both teams coming back from 1 goal deficits at some point in the game. It was an exciting match. Both keepers made mistakes due to heavy rain and play was a little more sloppy than I would have expected. Most likely though, the sloppy play was also weather related.

Our next game is against Sweden on Friday morning at 4 AM CST. Set your alarm.

To clarify: We did not wake up at 4 AM this morning. We taped it and watched it at 6 AM. So we are semi-hardcore fans...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Mind Map

I downloaded some open source mind map software today in order to brainstorm a new product approach for the group that I work for. I had a long day. Playing with the software and just doing some free form brainstorming was a huge bright spot.

Check out the software if you want. It's pretty cool - FreeMind.

Here is my output - zoomed out in order to give you perspective...and conveniently shielding my ideas from public scrutiny.

On second's a generic sample from their website.

Brazil 4, USA 2

The US MNT lost to Brazil today 4-2. It was a good game to watch and I think you need to be impressed with the character of the US team to come back from a 2-1 deficit against the number 1 team in the world. However, I don't think you walk away from this game pleased. We gave up a cheap set play goal by having no one marking the back side, we gave away a stupid penalty kick, and we scored an own goal.

I'm glad Bob Bradley said it after the game as well. No matter how "even" we played with Brazil for periods of that game (and there were periods where we were taking it to them), 4 goals against, with 3 of them being cheap is not something to be pleased with.

Bob Bradley: "We don’t leave today pleased about the result. We’re playing in the U.S, the game is 2-2 and we had a little bit of momentum, so at that point you feel like that game could be ours, or that game could end 2-2. There are things that we can improve on, but we feel that little by little we are making these improvements."

I think Michael Bradley was my US Man of the Match up until he pulled a man down in the box. I thought he had a pretty strong game in the central midfield overall.

Friday, September 07, 2007


Denílson Debut

"He’s pretty. So he’s very lucky: he’s both a footballer and pretty. I’m this ugly and still the women are all over me."
- Denílson

Last week, in the echoing silence of Beckham's injury that has removed him from the league for 6 weeks, the Brazilian 2002 World Cup Champion Denílson made his debut for FC Dallas. Press coverage of this event was lacking...even though he is just as great a player as Beckham. Denílson probably hit the nail on the head as to why (see the quote above).

As luck would have it, I was at Pizza Hut Park for his debut because the youth team that I coach was playing in a tournament in Dallas.

Unfortunately, FC Dallas was already down 4-0 when Denílson stepped onto the field. It was the worst home game loss in the history of FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park. Denílson though, was fun to watch. There were moments when he was on the ball and you could just tell that his creativity and level of thinking was at a level that overshadowed other players. I think that his addition to the league will be exciting to follow. This was also the first time I was able to see Tojas play for FC Dallasl. He's a real dynamic player and was one of the few bright spots for thier team in the game. Cool "mullay" as well - see an action shot of it below.

DC United, on the other hand, are looking awesome. Their possession and ball movement in that game were in a class above FC Dallas. Pizza Hut Park is a great venue - possibly better than Toronto's stadium. It is actually sunk below ground level so you walk in and the field opens up below you. Very cool. A few more game photos are below. Click here to go to the Flickr slideshow.

An Inflated Sense of Worth

I don't want to rip on the US Men's National Team too much - I am a huge fan. But I would imagine that even the players on the team are cringing at the marketing job that has been done to promote the US vs Brazil game this Sunday (I really wish I was going to this one).

Check out the billing: "Clash of Champions"

Make no mistake. Brazil is ranked the number 1 team in the world. We are not in the top 10 and are on a 3 game losing streak. Don't get me wrong. I'll be painting my face in red, white and blue and believe that there is a chance that we will pull out a victory - that's why the game is played. But still...the billing for the event is a little pretentious.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Picking a Name

I have decided that I am curious about Second Life. I am not sure how far my curiosity will take me. Tonight I ended up on the registration page and got stuck on the very first question. You need to create a first name (between 2 and 31 characters) and pick from a long list of available last names. I am not sure why you have to pick a last name...

Why am I curious about this? I am interested in the way that it will create new patterns of communication and interaction. I am curious to see how the economic model works. I think that the possibility of a 3D Virtual World that allows for unlimited types of creative interaction between individuals, communities, businesses, non-profits, educational entities, people with disabilities etc... is fascinating. On the flip side, I don't have a desire to spend too much more time on my computer so all of the canned arguments that people will make about this being a bad idea for me to allocate any spare time to are completely known and potentially valid.

So I am still stuck on picking my name. Maybe I'll sleep on it. I wonder what the average think time on the Name question is for people who sign up for Second Life.

Here is an interesting video that appears to be a pretty good introduction.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Player: Coach, am I punished? Is that why I am not starting?
Coach: You're not starting because you haven't been making enough practices. You need to come to practice more often.
Player: Ok. That's good. So I didn't do anything bad? I'm not in trouble?
Coach: Missing practice is bad.

José González - Down The Line

I'm a big fan of José González. He has a new album coming out this month and the song below is guaranteed to be on my next mix. I really like the one line that repeats at the end: "Don't let the darkness eat you up." This video and his other video just released (Killing for Love) are both based on Jim Woodring's "Manhog Behind the Face," which I will confess to knowing nothing about. However, it appears to be somewhat available on-line. The comic looks strange but I really like this video. Warning: The Killing for Love has brief manhog nudity.

What I like about José is the intricate guitar work combined with his voice. It sounds like the songs on the new album will be a bit more "awake" than his last album so I am really looking forward to it.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Maps and Sovereign Nations

Two pieces of humor for your Tuesday morning as you stumble your way back from the long weekend. I saw these two video clips back to back on Real Time with Bill Maher this past weekend. He was drawing a comparison between the South Carolina candidate for Miss Teen USA and George Bush. I am thinking that you will find this funny regardless of your political leanings...although you will probably also feel bad for this poor girl who is now famous for all of the wrong reasons.


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Game 3 Results

We picked up our game again today and were ahead 1-0 until the last 30 seconds. Unfortunately we gave up a silly goal in the final seconds and tied TN 1-1. Overall, two ties and one loss in our first set of competitive games of the season is nothing to be ashamed of. The guys had a good time and our play steadily improved. Now its time for the drive home.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Game 2 Results

We picked up our play in the second game today and ended up with a 1-1 tie. One mental lapse in the first half led to an unmarked man in our box on a cross, which cost us the win. Otherwise, I don't think the other team had more than 1 or 2 real opportunities. Overall though, we played much better than the first game so that is a good thing.

Our odds of breaking our bracket are slim - we needed to win that second game. We are looking to get a wildcard spot in order to reach the quarters. In order for this to happen, we need 5 other games in 5 other brackets to end in our favor. That's a tall order but not impossible. On top of that, we need to win 3-0. Again, on paper, not impossible.

We play at 10:30 vs a team from Tennessee. Cross your fingers and toes.

Game 1 Results

Things didn't go so well this morning. We had a number of really good opportunities that would have put us in the lead but we failed to convert. The other team was more effective, finishing 3 times making the final 3-0. The score sounds worse than it was. In fact, we played better soccer than that team...and the one positive thing I took away from that game was that we can play at this level. The difference is that we cannot squander opportunities and expect to get results. I think our next game will be against a better team than the first we better finish our chances - we play at 6 PM.