Friday, November 30, 2007

I feel like Bret Hart

Remember when I said that we lost at Moot Court?


We got a letter yesterday that informed us that our hosts at Seattle U made a little mistake when adding together scores. Instead of being the tenth-best team and thus not qualifying for the knockout rounds, we were actually the fourth-best team and should have advanced.

Oh, and one of the teams that's going to New York as a winner? They were the actual tenth-place finisher and shouldn't have qualified.

SU feels very bad about the mistake. The beneficiaries of the mistake aren't willing to give up their accidental bounty, and New York won't let another team enter the national competition.

Seattle says they're willing to send our team to a different moot court tournament in the spring. Never mind that most of those tournaments require you to register in mid-November, and never mind that many of them expressly forbid you from competing if you competed in a fall moot court tournament. Oh, and we'd have to do a hell of a lot more work.

Maybe we can find a tournament that takes place somewhere nice, fly there first-class, and stay in the top hotels. I here there's one in Vienna.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Apocryphal, but still fun

I don't consider Time to be all that great a news magazine, but I will give them credit for putting most of their articles (including their huge archives) online. I will also thank them for this quote.

Representative Tom Tancredo, another long-shot G.O.P. candidate, tells me that after a debate in New Hampshire, one of his staffers walked up to a guy in a shark costume and asked him if he was a Ron Paul supporter. "No. They're all nuts," replied the shark. "I'm just a guy in a shark suit."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

And he got published before me, too

My brother (who is younger than me) just got engaged. I was kinda hoping that my parents would pull a Taming of the Shrew and forbid him from marrying until he can find somebody crazy enough to marry me, but it looks like I'll have no such luck. I guess I'll have to take out my frustrations on him by planning a really lousy bachelor party. Chuck E. Cheese, perhaps?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

(Bey)On(d) Iowa (see what I did there?)

Rumors continue to swirl about Kirk Ferentz leaving Iowa to take the Michigan head coaching job. I'm sure the message boards are full of anger right now. (Well, they're always full of anger, so that's a safe bet.) Should Ferentz leave, who would I want for the job? I could always apply for it myself using my PlayStation experience a la Jon Boileau, but I'd probably prove disastrous.

Guys I'd Like To See But I Don't Think We Could Hire
USF Head Coach Jim Leavitt. A member of the Legendary Hayden Fry Coaching Tree (LHFCT), he took South Florida from a bunch of nobodies in 1-AA to a national power. He wouldn't leave USF for the Alabama job, though, so I don't think he'd leave for Iowa.

Wisconsin Head Coach Bret Bielema. Former Hawkeye standout under Fry who still has a Tiger Hawk tattoo. By all accounts he's one of the best young coaches in the country, but he's already got a great job at Wisconsin.

Guys Who Will Get Some Talk, But We Shouldn't Hire

SDSU Head Coach Chuck Long. He nearly won the Heisman for the Hawkeyes in '85 and ran a high-powered offense at Oklahoma. His tenure at San Diego State has been unremarkable. Give him a few years.

New York Jets OL Coach Mike Devlin. Another UI alumnus, but he's mighty inexperienced.

Arizona Head Coach Mike Stoops. Yes, he's a member of the LHFCT, but his program at Arizona has been crappy and his players' graduations rates have been consistently awful. If you're going to round up idiots to play for your team, they should at least be idiots that play good football.

Guys I'd Like Us To Hire
Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin. He was the offensive line coach for the Hawkeyes from the beginning of Ferentz's tenure through the Orange Bowl and helped turn those guys into monsters. Now he's re-energized a stagnant Packers offense. Definitely a short-lister.

UNI Head Coach Mark Farley. Not part of the LHFCT, but made Northern Iowa a national power in I-AA. Worth a shot if we can't get Philbin.

A Guy Who Won't Get Considered But Should
Navy Head Coach Paul Johnson. He's turned Navy into a winning program. Navy! Imagine what he could do if he could recruit the thugs, illiterates, and moral degenerates that make up the backbone of America's top football teams. And don't give me that "the wishbone won't work in the Big Ten" line. He used to be offensive coordinator at Hawaii, so he knows how to throw the ball around.

As for the vacant Washington State job, the press is throwing around all the usual Western football names: Chris Petersen, John Gregory, Scott Linehan, and possibly Mike Price.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A phrase you never want to hear from one of your professors

"Yeah, Salieri's pretty much taken up residence in the back seat of my car."

Saturday, November 24, 2007

On Missourah-KU

It isn't often you get schools talking Civil War smack to each other.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Mind Your Manners

I've been shopping for jobs in the suburban Seattle area, so I figured it would be a good idea to learn a little about the place in case I end up moving there. And what better way to do it than by watching clips of Almost Live?

Here's what I've learned so far.
Ballard = Minnesota.
There's a great quiet place to study in the U-district.
Lynnwood ladies are stylin'.
Cookies will cost me more than a dollar.
The Kingdome is gone.
Renton and Bellevue may be in the same area code, but that doesn't mean they're anything alike.
Uncle Fran will always be my friend.
I should be like Billy.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

More pictures

A few photos of Seattle U, available you-know-where.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Still no umlauts in band names

So, today is the official release date for Rock Band, one of the most highly anticipated video games since Super Mario 3. It'll cost a pretty penny, but the addition of drums and vocals should make it more accessible than Guitar Hero and thus more fun.

Here are my thoughts on the track list.

Aerosmith - Train Kept a Rollin' I'm not a big Aerosmith fan. This is mitigated by the fact that "Train" isn't an Aerosmith-penned song. I can just pretend I'm doing the Yardbirds' version. (Or the Motörhead version, for that matter.)
The Beastie Boys - Sabotage As much as I love this song, I'm not sure it's Rock Band material. It's not really a musical tour-de-force. Could be fun for first-timers.
Black Sabbath - Paranoid Another rock classic, not too difficult.
Blue Oyster Cult - Don't Fear the Reaper If you're not excited to play this one you have no soul. I'm going to find myself tempted to sing the harmony on the verses.
Bon Jovi - Wanted Dead or Alive This one should see a lot of would-be vocalists crash and burn, if only from laughter.
Boston - Foreplay/Long Time Can't go wrong with Boston.
The Clash - Should I Stay or Should I Go Not bad. I'd rather see "Rock the Casbah" in this slot, though.
Coheed and Cambria - Welcome Home I'd prefer the BTO song of the same name. Actually, I'd like to see just about any BTO song.
David Bowie - Suffragette City Watch some programmers flail away at this one here.
Deep Purple - Highway Star I'll have to recruit somebody else to recruit that scream in the intro.
Faith No More - Epic This one should be ripe for piss-poor impressions of the Faith No More singer.
Fall Out Boy - Dead on Arrival Blargh.
Foo Fighters - Learn to Fly For a second I thought this was "Learning to Fly" by Pink Floyd and I was really excited. But "Learn To Fly" isn't bad.
Garbage - I Think I'm Paranoid People listen to this?
The Hives - Main Offender I guess this is what you use when you can't get the Sex Pistols.
Hole - Celebrity Skin I've always wanted a video game where I can pretend to be Courtney Love.
Iron Maiden - Run to the Hills Frankly I would have preferred "2 Minutes to Midnight," but there can only be one response to the presence of Iron Maiden. Excellent!
Jet - Are You Gonna Be My Girl Bonus points for singing the lyrics to "Lust for Life." Extra bonus points for singing the lyrics to "Shout Shout (Knock Yourself Out)."
The Killers - When You Were Young No reaction.
KISS - Detroit Rock City I think everyone in the band needs to shout "Get up" and "Get down."
Metallica - Enter Sandman Another song which should feature lame impressions of the lead singer. "AYEEEXIT LAYEEGHT-UH! AYEENTER NAYEEGHT-UH!"
Molly Hatchet - Flirtin' With Disaster I'll have to work on my redneck cred before I take a shot at this one.
Mountain - Mississippi Queen Should be fun for the guitarist, but the singer won't have much to do.
The New Pornographers - The Electric Version Is this what the kids are listening to these days?
Nine Inch Nails - The Hand That Feeds Probably the best NIN song they could've picked.
Nirvana - In Bloom Okay, I guess. "Come As You Are" would've been better.
OK Go - Here It Goes Again Has this song been in an iPod commercial? It sounds like the kind of song they'd use.
The Outlaws - Green Grass and High Tides I hope this isn't the 21 minute version.
Pixies - Wave of Mutilation People say these guys are great, but this song sounds kinda generic to me.
The Police - Next to You I was about to say that "Can't Stand Losing You" would be better, but that's available as downloadable content.
Queens of the Stone Age - Go With the Flow Boooo-ring.
Radiohead - Creep Not bad.
The Ramones - Blitzkrieg Bop Beginners only.
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Dani California Most of RHCP's songs blend together in my mind.
R.E.M. - Orange Crush What, was "What's the Frequency Kenneth?" too expensive?
Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter Yes, I know they used "Paint it Black" in Guitar Hero 3, but I'd like to see it here instead.
Rush - Tom Sawyer Um, why don't you take the drum part on this one?
The Smashing Pumpkins - Cherub Rock Not bad. Maybe it's too cliche to expect "Bullet with Butterfly Wings."
Soundgarden - Black Hole Sun You know how when you play "More than a Feeling," everyone in the room sings along with the chorus? I think this will be the chorus sing-along in Rock Band.
Stone Temple Pilots - Vasoline Pretty blah.
The Strokes - Reptilia I guess they need a few recent songs in here to draw in the young whippersnappers.
Sweet - Ballroom Blitz Another warmup song, except for the singer - there's some seriously wild screaming in here.
Weezer - Say It Ain't So I don't really like Weezer. That said, I'm sure people will love this one.
The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again What, no keyboards?
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps Doesn't really grab me.

Of the announced downloadable songs so far, I like the aforementioned "Can't Stand Losing You," "Roxanne," "Ride the Lightning," "Fortunate Son," "Juke Box Hero" (and it's about damned time they got a song about how cool it is to be a rock star!), "War Pigs," "Brass in Pocket," and Nirvana's Nevermind album.

So... who here has a 360 and room for a lead guitarist?

UPDATE! I was wrong. You can put umlauts in your band name now.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Let us sing of legends

Most of you don't give a damn about Moot Court. Even its name implies that it's unimportant. But yesterday an act of heroism occured and I must be its chronicler.

Our school sent two teams. Each team member focused on one issue. I was our team's expert on FAAAA preemption, and Erin handled the issue for our other team.

Erin's team qualified for the first knockout round, and the judicial panel for that round was seriously hostile. They had reviewed just about every case in the area and tried their damnedest to destroy the positions of the parties. The questions often began with phrases like "Oh, come on, counsel, are you saying that..." or "You've told me three times that you've conceded this issue..."

Erin handled the situation with grace and aplomb, and stuck to her guns. At one point, she told the court that Morales required a state law to have a forbidden significant effect on the federal law to be preempted. The judge asked her, "Where in Morales does it say that?"

Without missing a beat - without looking at her notes - Erin said "Page 389, Your Honor."

She was right.

Nobody memorizes pinpoint cites. Erin didn't memorize pinpoint cites. And yet, she knew.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Missouri loves company

So you're a parent and your daughter gets in a fight with her best friend. Most parents would do their awkward best to console their kid. But you're in suburban St. Louis, and nothing is good enough for your kid. What are you to do?

Why, you create a fake Myspace profile for a cute boy. You have the cute boy send your daughter's ex-friend some messages flirting with her. You win her trust. Then you turn around and start posting bulletins about what a fat ugly bitch she is.

So how were you supposed to know she would overreact and kill herself?

And then parents smash up your foosball table and get the crummy local rag to write some crummy article about the whole sordid affair.

Oh, and there's this gem.

The Meiers do not plan to file a civil lawsuit. Here's what they want: They want the law changed, state or federal, so that what happened to Megan - at the hands of an adult - is a crime.

If making fun of people on the Internet becomes a crime, then I'll see you in San Quentin.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

What if Ron Paul won and abolished the FDA?

I think... we'd see a little something... like this.

Cancer-On! Apply directly to cancer!
Cancer-On! Apply directly to cancer!
Cancer-On! Apply directly to cancer!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

I blame cartoons

As I've probably explained to most of you by now, the films The Little Mermaid and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? came out at a very formative period in my life. Since then I've found red-haired women to have a slight edge in attractiveness over their non-redheaded counterparts. Frankly, I would've thought Christina Hendricks was hot even if she were bald, but her fiery locks (and Idaho origins) are enough for her to displace Anne Dudek as my TV Girlfriend.

(Sadly, a lot of pictures of her show her wearing totally ridiculous unflattering makeup.)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Brain damage?

On one hand, I think it's totally awesome that some guy broke out the Guitar Hero clone Frets On Fire and decided to add Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon album to the game. On the other hand, I gotta advise him to get a life.

And on the third hand, I must say I'm not sure about his decision to turn the whole album into one long track. I like me some Guitar Hero, but I'm not sure I could sit down and plug away at the same track for 43 minutes. If I failed somewhere around "Money" I'd be downright miffed that I had to play through those twenty-plus minutes again.

(Also long, but more playable: Metallica's "Call of Ktulu" and The Eagles' "Hotel California."

Sunday, November 4, 2007


I went to yesterday's Vandal football game. Photos here.

On another football note, I'm disappointed at Navy cadets' reaction to beating Notre Dame (finally). I was hoping they'd march onto the field in formation and meticulously disassemble the goalposts.

On a non-football note, I have no idea if I can meet the system requirements for my Christmas present to myself.

Friday, November 2, 2007

I demand answers

I have just visited the site of Whiskey's Steakhouse in Boston, and it would appear that some of the stories I have heard about the place from this guy and this guy are somewhat exaggerated, and that Whiskey's is actually a fairly typical steakhouse, not an Iowa-themed restaurant.

This revelation shocks me to my core. Care to explain your wicked lies?!?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

They don't build 'em like this any more

I was slightly saddened to see Tacoma's Stadium High School on Johns Hopkins' list of failed high schools.

Seriously, what's cooler than a hundred-year-old luxury hotel converted into a Victorian-style high school with turrets and everything? It's totally wasted on Tacoma.