31 March 2006

Opening Day

So Opening Day in upon is upon us. Well, its upon us on Sunday. Woo! It couldn't come soon enough. Thats all I have to say.

March definitely needs to move out and be replaced by April. This last week wasn't too much fun ... ah well.

I'd post my iPod top 10, but it really hasn't changed that much. I think I need to reset my playcount and see what happens. Of course, I'd be convinced that such a move would bring me back luck. Sometimes I feel trapped by my weird OCD habits that convince me that what song I listen to in the morning, what cereal I eat, whether my dishes are washed, what my desktop is, what bus I take, etc etc have a direct effect on my life. Like somehow TGIF will change her mind based on whether I eat my lunch in the right order. Its probably a bad thing, and this weekend I need to make it my goal to stop doing it. Except then I start getting really nervous and anxious. Yes, my friends, I might be going mad. Next thing you know I'll be talking to invisible people and thinking I'm a tree. That's that.

And on that note, I think I'm going to eat some food.

29 March 2006

My picks for '06

Ok, some of you have seen this, but here is an abbreviated look at my MLB picks for 2006

East - New York
Central - Cleveland
West - Oakland
Wild Card - Boston
Most Improved Team - Seattle (2nd in West)
Most Disappointing Team - Texas (Last in West)

East - Philadelphia
Central - Chicago
West - Los Angeles
Wild Card - St. Louis
Most Improved Team - Colorado (2nd in West)
Most Disappointing Team - Houston (5th in Central)

Oakland over Boston
Cleveland over New York
Chicago over Los Angeles
Philadelphia over St. Louis

Cleveland over Oakland
Philadelphia over Chicago

Cleveland over Philadelphia

AL MVP - Victor Martinez (CLE - C)
NL MVP - Albert Pujols (STL - 1B)
AL Cy Young - Josh Beckett (BOS)
NL Cy Young - Carlos Zambrano (CHC)

28 March 2006


It's been a quiet Tuesday here in the ol' MC lab. Last night I stayed out too late with TGIF as we watched people breakdance at the War Room. Apparently Seattle is a hotbed of excellent breakdancing according to TGIF. Go figure.

New review for your entertainment: Belle & Sebastian - The Life Pursuit.

27 March 2006

Snow showerings and rampant spending

This weekend seems especially short to me. Ah well. Saturday I spent too much money on CD, purchasing the Mclusky retrospective Mcluskyism, the first volume of Magnetic Fields 69 Love Songs (to finish off the collection), the new Editors disc The Back Room and for $2.99, Out Hud's Let Us Never Speak of It Again. I also picked up a copy of the Coup's Party Music for TGIF. That's what I get for going to a record store after drinking at a beer tasting event. Ah well.

Sunday was spent hiking after taking the wrong road the first time. TGIF and I trekked up to Lake 22 east of Granite Falls. It was a good time although it was raining when we left the car and snow at the top of the trail.

Here is the trailhead:

Here is the top:

(Yes, that is TGIF)

So there you have it. And now its less than a week until MLB opening day. Yeah!

24 March 2006

Old New Review

I've totally forgotten to link to this review that came out about a week ago:

Maximo Park - Missing Songs.


The Island of Lost Albums

Yes, really, one of these days I will start The Island of Lost Albums. Sorry.

Current iPod Top 10

10 Nature Anthem - Grandaddy
9 Gold Lion - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
8 Heartbeats - the Knife
7 Soul Meets Body - Death Cab for Cutie
6 This Modern Love - Bloc Party
5 Heartbeats - Jose Gonzalez
4 Steady, As She Goes - the Raconteurs
3 Goin' Against Your Mind - Built to Spill
2 My Friend Dario - Vitalic
1 When You Wasn't Famous - the Streets

23 March 2006

Slacker Thursday

Well, I took the morning off to get the VW it's 5,000 miles servicing. Woo!
TGIF and I wandered around strip malls in Edmonds for the hour it was being examined by the dealership. We went to a pawn shop, an Arby's and a sporting goods store. Yes, indeed. I am excited to have a copy of "The Hunt for Red October" on DVD now thanks to the pawn shop. And a cool Seattle Mariners' Trident cap. Now thats fun.

And that's it for my Thursday. Week is almost done. And I'm sleepy.

22 March 2006

Note to self: Stop being dumb

No, my friends, its not what you think.

I spent the last 2 days in Corvallis. For those of you who have been there or lived there, you know the feeling of "I never want to go back there again. Ever." Thats the feeling I have. At least I got a big paper submitted for a fancy volume on the origin of granites. Woo! Corvallis seemed especially small this time and especially uninteresting.

Also, a note on the whole "no self serve gas in Oregon". I hate that. I hate it so much I drove on fumes into Washington (Vancouver, specifically) only to run out of gas as I crossed the border. Yes, I am so stubborn about the gas pumping thing I let myself run out of fuel on I-205. Luckily, my 2005 VW Golf came with free roadside assistance, so I just had to wait 1 hour at Exit 27 waiting for a one-armed man to come and put 1 gallon of fuel into my car. So, a usual 4 hour drive took a mere 5:45. Oh well.

Congrats to Japan for winning the WBC. And congrats to Peter Gammons of ESPN who was the only writer on the venerable sports network to pick Japan to win the WBC back when the tournament started. On the whole, I think the WBC was a success. It was a lot of fun to watch and see the so-called powerhouses like the DR and USA get wiped out by the likes of Korea and Cuba.

Less than two weeks until opening day. Now that's exciting!

17 March 2006

US: Stick a fork in them

Well, the US bowed out of the WBC last night. I watched the last few innings and man, the US just didn't look too good.
However, one sequence I have to point out. In the top of the ninth, with the US down 2-1 to Mexico, the following happened:
The inning opened with Jorge De La Rosa facing Ken Griffey. de la Rosa struck out Griffey (impressive considering that de la Rosa is a borderline pitcher for the Brewers) and then walked Chipper Jones. Mexico then pulled de la Rosa in favor of the (much better) Washington RP Luis Ayala to face A-Rod ... who he proceeded to walk. So, the US has 2 on with only 1 out. Mexico then pulls Ayala in favor of David Cortes (an OK RP for the Rockies). They pan to the ondeck circle and Vernon Wells is up next. Yeach. At that point, you wonder "who else can they send up there?" So, new pitcher that have never faced Wells, and what does Wells do? FIRST PITCH SWING, that's what. Groundout - double play - game over. Done & done. Why oh why do you swing at the first pitch (that was down & in anyway)? Geesh.

TGIF & I went and saw Walk the Line (for me, it was the second time) and I liked it more this time around. Just an all-around great movie.

OK, here is my weekly iPod top 10

10 Nature Anthem - Grandaddy
9 Gold Lion - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
8 Heartbeats - The Knife
7 Soul Meets Body - Death Cab for Cutie
6 This Modern Love - Bloc Party
5 Heartbeats - Jose Gonzalez
4 Steady, As She Goes - the Raconteurs
4 Goin' Against Your Mind - Built to Spill
2 My Friend Dario - Vitalic
1 When You Wasn't Famous - the Streets

16 March 2006

WBC so far

Ok, so my WBC prediction just ain't gonna pan out with Venezuela and Japan gone. Oh well.
So I am officially on the Korea bandwagon. 100% officially. Go Korea!

edit 3/17/06 - Oops, I thought Japan was eliminated, but I was wrong -- it was the USA that was canned. Ah ha ha!

Last night, TGIF & I watched the original Wes Craven version of The Hills Have Eyes, which wasn't bad but it wasn't great either. I'm sure at the time it was a shocking, amoral film, but today it seems pretty tame. It is amusing, however, that the smartest member of the family in peril was clearly the dog. I imagine the remake will be very gory and probably very bad too. (And not a mention of nuclear fallout in the original either). Hopefully we'll get to my other current Netflix film True Romance. Ah yes.

15 March 2006

Drafts, Events and All

So, the Magma League draft went swimmingly. Except that I hate all my players. No, just kidding. But again, I pick the young/unproven players over old/proven players. Damn me and my obsession with upside. A few picks I'm excited about are: Ryan Howard (1B - PHI), Mike Jacobs (1B - FLA), Ryan Zimmerman (3B - WAS), Noah Lowry (SP - SF), Curtis Granderson (OF - DET). Picks I'm afraid I'll regret: J.J. Hardy (SS - MIL), Aaron Harang (SP - CIN), Craig Hansen (RP - BOS). We'll see.

I'm going to try to start a new column soon called "Albums That Time Forgot" as I've always wanted to that sort of column. The first album will be The Afghan Whigs' Gentlemen. Look for that in the relatively near future. Maybe.

13 March 2006

Nice Job, MLB

So, in watching the WBC I've decided I wanted a Korea baseball cap. Why? Well, they're oddly retro-cool with the solid, white, block-letter "K".

Then why oh why does it not appear as an option on the WBC Merchandise Site unlike every other team?

Damn you MLB!


Well, give it to MLB, they got me hooked on the damn World Baseball Classic. Of course, getting someone like me hooked on baseball is probably about as easy as getting a Phish fan hooked on weed, but hey, whatever. I watched parts of three games yesterday. The US-Japan game was good except for the botched call and the fact that I found myself rooting for Japan. Does that make me an "American Hater" as Big Lou might put it? I clapped when A-Rod struck out in the second. Ah well. The Puerto Rico-Dominican Republic game was a bit of a surprise, and who would think that the DR could be eliminated as early as today when they play Cuba? Finally, the Mexico-Korea game was a great pitching duel. Did anyone notice that after 4 games, the Korean pitching staff has a cumulative ERA of 1.00?! Yes, 1.00. And they have a third basemen named "Bum Ho". I'm jumping on the Korea bandwagon today against the US.

A new review for your enjoyment: Rachael Cantu - Run All Night.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to crawl under a rock and get rid of this cold.

10 March 2006

(On edge) Edit - Less edge now

March puts me on edge. Maybe its all those Ides. I shouldn't be on edge - I have nothing to be worried about anyway. Huh. Maybe I need to stop drinking coffee or something.

Anyway, I listened to too much Boston sports talk radio on WEEI this morning waiting for the "spill delay" Sox spring training game to begin (the Phillies bus was delayed by a spill on the highway). I really don't like sports talk radio - its almost as bad as conservative talk radio, just a lot of yelling and circular arguments by men who like to hear themselves talk. At least the game is back on.

Magma League draft is coming up. I'm excited.

And if you want to kill some time thinking about baseball, check out Baseball Reference. It has info on almost every player, team and year of baseball. Excellent stuff. Almost as excellent as the Baseball Card Blog.

This week's iPod Top 10

10 Nature Anthem - Grandaddy
9 Heartbeats - The Knife
8 Soul Meets Body - Death Cab for Cutie
7 My Friend Dario - Vitalic
6 Steady, As She Goes - the Raconteurs
5 Goin' Against Your Mind - Built to Spill
4 This Modern Love - Bloc Party
3 Heartbeats - Jose Gonzalez
2 Rock & Roll Queen - the Subways
1 When You Wasn't Famous - the Streets

Oh yes, and a new TIG review: Jose Gonzalez - Veneer.

09 March 2006

BP 2006

I've been slowly digesting some of the BP2006 PECOTA predictions for the upcoming seasons. For those of you unfamiliar with PECOTA, check out the Baseball Prospectus website for more info.

A few issues I have with the PECOTA method:
- It doesn't deal well with players with injuries in the last three years. For example, using the PECOTA, Curt Schilling is predicted to have these stats for 2006: 6-7, 6 SVs, 35G/13GS, 99.7 IP, 17.5 VORP. To my knowledge, Schill is not going back to the bullpen EVER, so it seems unlikely that he'll only start 13 games and rack up 6 saves. Similar things occur with other previously injured players like Kerry Wood or Nomar.
- It favors minor leaguers with good track records. Best example here is that Dustin Pedroia, the Red Sox 2B/SS prospect has a projected VORP of 33.6. As a comparision, Brian Roberts is projected at 35.6. Now, as much as I love Pedroia, I'd be surprised to see him in the majors until late/injury, so it seems like an unrealistic VORP at that.

Beyond that, its kind of fun to look at the predictions.

So interesting notes so far:
- Ryan Zimmerman (3B - WAS) will outperform Scott Rolen (3B - STL)
- Ryan Howard (1B -PHI) will be almost as valuable as Derrek Lee (1B - CHC) - 46.6 vs 51 VORP
- Jason Bay (OF - PIT) will be as valuable as Manny Ramirez (OF - BOS) - 48.6 vs 49.7 VORP

Some World Baseball Classic notes:
- Canada beating the US was great ... and right now the Red Sox are winning the WBC with big numbers from Big Papi (2 HR), Varitek (GS) and Adam Stern (HR, 4 RBI). The US will make it out of the first round, but just barely.
- In retrospect, the Dominican looks reeeal good, especially their bullpen. Oh well, so much for predicting stuff.
- My over/under for defections by the Cuban team is 2. We'll see.

And tomorrow is Friday. Woo!

08 March 2006

E6, 13 Coins, 24Mg and BP2006

Just posted on Three Imaginary Girls is my review for Electric Six's Senor Smoke, which isn't too good of an album, but is one of my favorite reviews I've written.

Last night TGIF had her big birthday bash at the 13 Coins in Seatac. Yes, we celebrated her 28th across from Seatac Airport in a lounge mostly populated by people over 45 years old. With a lounge singer. Who played the trumpet. It was brilliant. And man, he could do a spot-on Willie Nelson for "Always on My Mind" and nailed TGIF's favorite Paul Simon song. Now, why is it that there aren't more lounges like this anymore? You can hear yourself think in there, the drinks are relatively cheap, the mood is great and its not full of crazed drunken youth. Wait? Does this mean we're old. As one of TGIF's friend's pointed out "she's celebrated her 80th birthday here - look, we're in a lounge and she's drinking scotch on the rocks". Ah yes. Got to love it.

Magnesium works again on the machine! Huzzah!

I got my copy of Baseball Prospectus 2006. Huzzah!

07 March 2006

Not much today

TGIF b-day today. Last night we had crazy Moroccan food that involved no utensils. Good stuff. If you're in Seattle, be sure to try out Marrakesh on 2nd and Bell.

Right now I'm listening to the terrible MLB announcers for the WBC - Dom. Rep. vs. Venezuela. DR is up 2-0 and how was the first run scored? Big Papi HR. Ah yes.

Thats it. Enjoy your Tuesday.

06 March 2006

Pile of little things

Ok, here goes

- Thanks to Bloodfist for providing a copy of the new Built to Spill song "Going Against Your Mind". I'd have to say, I like it lots. A little more aggressive than previous Built to Spill stuff, maybe a little more like songs from There's Nothing Wrong with Love. And what can you say for a band that has a 8:47-long song for the first single? Well, its not like they haven't done it before. Overall: 4/5.

- TGIF and I watched the Oscars last night. I thought John Stewart did an great job - especially when it was obviously his material and not the terrible Oscar writers - but do you expect to see him there again? At least I can now say that I've met an Oscar host, eh? Otherwise, pretty long and uninteresting with bad lighting and camera work. However, I was glad that "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" won Best Song. It was all worth it to see Ludacris in a suit, eh? And did anyone notice that Terrence Howard has become Cuba Gooding Jr.?

- New album purchased this weekend: Disenchanted Hearts Unite by Tullycraft. Good, fun stuff. Think indie rock Beach Boys. Sort of. And based in Seattle!

- Baseball is back on internet radio! Excited! Excited!

- My World Baseball Classic Prediction:
Pool A winners: Korea & Japan (already finished - not a prediction)
Pool B winners: United States & Canada
Pool C winners: Cuba & Panama
Pool D winners: Dominican Rep. & Venezuela

Round 2, Pool 1: Korea, Japan, US & Canada - Winners: Japan & US
Round 3, Pool 2: Cuba, Panama, Dom. Rep., Venezuela - Winners: Venezuela & Cuba

Semi: US vs Japan - Japan
Semi: Venezuela vs. Cuba - Venezuela

Finals: Venezuela 4 - Japan 2

*edit 3/8/06* - in retrospect, watching Big Papi crank 2 HR vs Venezuela makes me think that maybe the Dominican will do better than I predict. Ah well


03 March 2006

Southern Fried Everything

So last night TGIF and I made ourselves a pile of mashed potatoes, kale (which, unfortunately, was not to TGIF's liking), butter rolls and southern fried chicken. Now, having recently returned from a trip to vegetarianism, I forgot how tasty it is even after watching it bath in a pool of hot oil. What's my point here? I need to fry more things. Or at least try it. Ok, well, maybe not.

However, it still doesn't want to make me move to the south I'm afraid.

As usual, here is my iPod Top 10 for the week:

10 Johnny Mathis' Feet - American Music Club
9 Nature Anthem - Grandaddy
8 Dirt Off Your Shoulder/Bittersweet Symphony - Jay Z vs. the Verve
7 Heartbeats - Jose Gonzalez
6 Soul Meets Body - Death Cab for Cutie
5 Steady, As She Goes - the Raconteurs
4 Heartbeats - The Knife
3 This Modern Love - Bloc Party
2 Rock & Roll Queen - the Subways
1 When You Wasn't Famous - the Streets

02 March 2006

Three teams so fast

Ok, well, I've drafted three teams so far for my non-main league (i.e., my "casual" yahoo! leagues). And, for the people who care, I thought I'd post my three post draft rosters. Fun stuff. Not sure why, but it is.

Pos. Monorail on Fire Seattle Metros Washington Bigfoot
C K. Johjima (SEA) J. Estrada (AZ) A. Pierzynski (CHW)
1B D. Ortiz (BOS) A. Pujols (STL) R. Sexson (SEA)
2B J. Cantu (TB) R. Weeks (MIL) C. Figgins (LAA)
3B E. Chavez (OAK) E. Chavez (OAK) C. Jones (ATL)
SS N. Garciaparra (LA) J. Lugo (TB) E. Renteria (ATL)
OF G. Sizemore (CLE) G. Sizemore (CLE) V. Guerrero (LAA)
OF B. Wilkerson (TEX) A. Jones (ATL) C. Floyd (NYM)
OF C. Crisp (BOS) C. Tracy (AZ) C. Crisp (BOS)
DH G. Jenkins (MIL) R. Sexson (SEA) M. Sweeney (KC)
BCH P. Fielder (MIL) G. Atkins (COL) P. Fielder (MIL)
BCH J. Gibbons (BAL) C. Shelton (DET) W. Taveras (HOU)
BCH K. Greene (SD) J. Gibbons (BAL) C. Monroe (DET)

SP J. Beckett (BOS) J. Beckett (BOS) J. Peavy (SD)
SP R. Oswalt (HOU) T. Hudson (ATL) D. Willis (FLA)
SP N. Lowry (SF) Z. Duke (PIT) D. Davis (MIL)
SP G. Chacin (TOR) M. Cain (SF) A. Burnett (TOR)
RP F. Rodriguez (LAA) F. Rodriguez (LAA) B. Ryan (TOR)
RP D. Turnbow (MIL) M. Gonzalez (PIT) C. Reitsma (ATL)
P C. Reitsma (ATL) A. Heilman (NYM) M. Gonzalez (PIT)
P M. Cain (SF)
BCH D. Cabrera (BAL) D. Cabrera (BAL) E. Santana (LAA)
BCH Ol. Perez (PIT) B. Arroyo (BOS) S. Shields (LAA)
(sorry for the formatting - I'll fix it if I have time)

Monorail on Fire are in a 10-team, 5x5 head to head league and was picked in a live draft.
Seattle Metros are in a 12-team 5x5 head to head winners league and was picked in an pre-ranked (by me) autodraft
Washington Bigfoot are in a 12-team 5x5 roto league and was picked autodraft using the yahoo! rankings

Comments? Feelings?

I'll wait to post my thoughts ...

Open the floodgates

As of late, I've been uneasy. I've been trying to pinpoint why, and I think I've decided that I think too much. This should come as no shock to people who know me. So, for the time being, I'm going to try to revert back to my mantra of not thinking more than a week in advance. I did it for awhile, and it seemed to work. It's just a challenge for me because I tend to be Mr. Planny McPlan. So, thats my goal. Enjoy the moment and damn the torpedoes. No more planning, no more theories.

That is, of course, other than planning for baseball drafts.

(Wow, I almost typed "It's Friday!" It is, rather, Thursday, but seeing TGIF makes me think I've reached the weekend.)

Now, I just need to look up how to make southern fried chicken. Ah yes.

01 March 2006


For those of you who are interested, I've been trying to revise my homepage. However, in doing so I've begun to wonder: what purpose does a home page serve anymore? Does anyone look at personal homepages? Has the blog overtaken the homepage in terms of an easily updated nexus of information for the world to see? Ah well. What it does allow is for me to make a little home for links to all my TIG reviews, including the new one for Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan.

In the baseball front, Manny Ramirez reported to the Red Sox spring training complex in Ft. Myers, Florida today, just as he said he would. Now, I hope that all the talking heads in Boston would shut up about what a distraction Manny is and remember his monster numbers he puts up, year in, year out. However, did anyone else notice that Manny might be going all Ricky Williams on us?

Long week. Almost made it. Tonight will be a good, quiet evening full of Evil Willow. I've now made it through Seasons 1-6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since November and I've notice a few things. (1) I didn't appreciate Riley and Tara enough the first time through; (2) I still hate Dawn; (3) Season 5 just ain't that good, mostly because the actress who plays Glory just is terrible. Ah well.