31 August 2012

One at Bat

Crazy story...dude gets drilled in the noggin in the very first MLB pitch he faces.  ...And it ends his career. 
Watch the Sportcenter clip for the full story and interview.  And then go sign the online petition to get this guy one more at bat.
...although, I'd hate to be the pitcher that faced him if he does get that chance.  You would really look like a jerk if one got away from you and came at him head-high. 

30 August 2012

Celtic in the Champions League

The draw for the group stages of the Champions League was earlier today.  Celtic FC, after an impressive 4-0 aggregate playoff victory over Helsingborgs, are taking part for the first time since 2008.  They were drawn into a group with Barcelona, Benfica and Spartak Moscow.  A tough draw for sure, but to be fair, since Celtic were seeded in Pot 4, there wasn't any way that they would get a much easier draw.
In his press conference after the draw, manager and former caption Neil Lennon had this exchange:

Reporter: "Would the aim be to finish third in the group?" (The top 2 places advance, the third place goes into the Europa Cup and the fourth place goes home.)

Lennon: "No.  It's to win it.  It maybe unrealistic but why would you want to finish third?  Anything can happen in the group stages, especially if you start well."

I love that.  With the Olympics providing lots of recent examples, reporters ask the most asinine questions. And I love when someone has the wherewithal to tell them exactly what they are thinking.  And that attitude of, well we're not as good as those teams so let's just plan on scraping along at the bottom, is such crap.  No successful athlete, coach or individual thinks like that.
I'm eager to cheer on Celtic as they compete against the best of Europe!

29 August 2012

Field Position

Specifically, the importance of it.
With a new season of college football about to be initiated this weekend, here is another infographic for y'all.  This one from the Notre Dame football blog and it has charted the average field position for all games over the last ten seasons.  A great visualization of data that clearly shows what is preached to all levels of football players.  Win the battle of field position and you are most of the way there.  50% or better avg field position and the Irish win 73% of the time.   Full details here.  I do wish that they had deciles marked out instead of just quartiles.  That win percentage once the AFP is above ~60% is pretty staggering.
Don't forget to tune in and cheer the Irish on this weekend as they make their trip to Dublin, Ireland to play the Naval Academy.  It's gonna be amazing!

27 August 2012

Physics Map

I came across this tumblr last week called I Love Charts.  Which I do.  There are some great ones on there and some not so great ones.  This morning there was this post of a map that lays out the science of physics by discipline (light, force, mechanical, energy, etc) and historical figures (Bernoulli, Copernicus, Einstein, etc).  I am not much of a science brain so most of this is Greek to me, but it is pretty cool to see all visually organized.  And the map was made in 1939, a powerful time in nuclear physics, so it is neat to see where the map ends. 

24 August 2012

15 Year Old Cancer Researcher

Jack Andraka is a 15 year old in Maryland who works in a cancer research facility.  Recently he discovered a new way to test from pancreatic, lung and ovarian cancer that is a fraction of cost of the current methods, while being light years faster and more sensitive.  The BBC has a 3 minute video on him and his achievements. 
I love his matter of factness.  I love that he got 1 offer to come do research out of 200 letters he sent.  I love that he harnesses the incredible power of the internet.

22 August 2012

Caine's Arcade

Find 10 minutes and watch this video about Caine and his cardboard arcade.  It is so worth it and your heart will thank you...
More follow-up is needed but it looks like he has a scholarship fund now and Jack Black brought his family to play at the arcade.

20 August 2012

A Job Well-Done...

and a cheeseburger just medium-well.
Half beef, half turkey with diced onion, egg & Worcestershire in the burger. Topped with pepper jack cheese & some chimmichurri sauce leftover from Friday when we grilled steaks.  It couldn't touch the sauce at El Nandu and there was too much EVOO in it, but the flavor was pretty delightful.
Top notch overall.

17 August 2012

Tot Ziens, RvP

I loved watching Robin Van Persie last season as he dropped in goals with machine-like consistency but ballet-like grace. And I always enjoy cheering on his home country's national team, even though the Dutch frustrate the heck out of me.  So when the rumor mill started up about him not re-signing with Arsenal, I was bummed.  But as the summer wore on, and his stance became clear, I began to care less and less.  Arsenal has made some good signings and I don't feel like this parting has the sting of last summer's when Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri skipped town on the last train out.  So even though RvP will be playing for a league rival (and personal bane) Manchester United, I don't really care. Plus, I firmly believe the motto that no one is bigger than the club.
You have to respect Arsenal's business model and financial discipline in a soccer industry that seems to only care about the next trillionaire foriegner to buy a team and flood the transfer market with a monsoon of cash (hello, Paris St. Germain!). 
Anyways, I liked this article "Good Riddance, RvP" and also this article about where he will fit into the crowded striker group at Man U"
Fingers crossed for a great season from the Gunners! If you are interested in taking a peak at them, their season opener vs Sunderland is on ESPN and ESPN3 this Saturday @ 9:00 CST. 

15 August 2012

All Family Reads: Summer '12

Reading occupies a significant place in my family and there is never a get-together, whether it's the entire extended Regan clan or just a couple people meeting, that does not include some sharing of something they've read recently.  Books, blogs, articles, magazines, audiobooks - I think if you measures our total capacity for the written word it would be pretty impressive.  
I was thinking of that earlier this summer when I remembered something that they had done in Chicago when I lived there.  A book would be chosen a couple times a year and it would be named the "All Chicago Reads" selection.  You could get it at the library (they would have a billion copies) and then there were discussion groups, movie watchings, events of all sorts around that title. I thought it might be fun to do the same within our family, so we all (minus caboose who couldn't make it) met up at Barnes & Nobles, spread out and were tasked with bringing back a book to present to the group and be voted on.  Some people as you can see below couldn't narrow it down to just one.  After the presentations, which were very fun, the dust settled and the winner was..."Eighty Dollar Champion", MY pick!!  So that was very fun until about four days later when homebase led the way in reading it and administered a solid veto on the book.  So it was on to the runner-up, Noah's choice of "Gregor the Overlander."  It is the first book in a series written by Suzanne Collins before she wrote the Hunger Games series.  Everyone has given it positive reviews so far and I just picked up a copy at the library yesterday.
Be thinking of some fun things we could do with it when we all get together for Labor Day!

List of submissions
Noah - "Gregor the Overlander" by Collins
Kate - "Life in a Medieval Village" by Gies and "I am A Man"  by Chief Standing Bear
Eron - "The Hour between Dog and Wolf" by Coates, "The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat" by Claiborne and "Yes Chef" by Samuelson. (also had Dick Van Dyke's bio and "Star Climber" by Oppel before self-striking them from the selection)
Brighid - "Masterpiece" by Broach
Emily - "Paper Towns" by John Green
Jake - "Eighty Dollar Champion" by Letts and "Ready Player One" by Cline
Rose -  "Grendel" by John Gardner

14 August 2012

Richest Authors

Forbes released its annual list of richest authors and as I read through the Guardian's article about it, the figure that jumped out at me was not a dollar amount but 14.  That is the number of titles that James Patterson published last year.  That is crazy!!  They earned him almost a billion dollars.
Also of note is the predicted dominance of female authors in next year's list.  

13 August 2012

Miranda Lambert @ Iowa State Fair (#0541)

Other than the pouring rain while we made our way into the fair and got to the grandstand, the show was a total success. Thank goodness for extra jackets and an umbrella.
RaeLynn opened. She had been on The Voice and was actually pretty good! Miranda rocked it in a silver sparkly skirt and tall boots. She and her friends had enjoyed the fair that day too, which I thought was cool. She came out for her encore ("Trailer for Rent") in an airbrushed t-shirt that said "Lonestar" and she said she'd enjoyed a corndog and a turkey leg. The Pistol Annies joined her on stage for 3 or 4 numbers and they were fantastic. I bought their CD as soon as I got home. Along with pretty much every song I wanted to hear, she threw in a couple covers, Rock & Roll Hootchie Koo (ok), a Loretta Lynn song (good), and "Wake Up Call" by Maroon 5 that she did with RaeLynn (terrific).
A nice fireworks show after the encore and sharing a footlong corndog on the way out capped off the night perfectly.

10 August 2012

Sunset @ Saylorville

Visitors Center at Saylorville.
So nice out.  Breezy & cool.
Official sunset was 8:23pm.

First photo was at 8:09

Second photo was at 8:20

Went all the way down to the water's edge and last photo was at 8:30

07 August 2012

Jim Godfrey: Design Wiz

I think I saw the link to this designer's work on ilovetypography's twitter.  They were linking to his "34 Sins of Typography" poster, which is pretty sweet.  Beautifully letterpressed and very cool design, on top of great tips to remember.  But even more visually stimulating is his "Typographic Matchmaking" poster.  Lots of great pairings of types, creative & unique designs showing iconic pairings of all kinds.  I am seriously considering dropping the $65 as an early birthday or Christmas present to myself.  It would look mighty fine on the wall of my office I think...And maybe motivate me to get into Illustrator and work more often.

06 August 2012

100 meter dash Infographic: NY Times

Pretty cool display of information at the NY Times today after Usain Bolt silenced critics yesterday in the 100 meter dash.  The infographic shows all the medal winners in the Olympic 100 meters ever.

03 August 2012

HMN '12

Almost forgot to post about this!
We had some of the best weather we've had in year for HMN last weekend.  Just enough breezy to enjoy but not too much to mess with the grilling.  Enough clouds to break up the sun, but not enough to be dreary.  I got a couple games of bags in, chalking up a win and a loss.  (This served as a reminder to get a new set of bags to go with my own boards)
The big excitement for caboose and I was being put in charge of the tshirts this year.  I got us started with a rough draft and we worked on tweaking it from there.  They were a slight deviation from the style of past years and I think that is a good thing.  Lots of good comments when we unveiled them.
For the first time is several years, I didn't spend the night since I had to drive to Iowa City the next day, but I still was able to enjoy a LOT of meat before I left ~11:30.  My favorite this year was a new addition, Tim's Malaysian steak kebabs.  I loved all the flavors on the marinade; coconut milk, ginger, Thai peppers.  SO good.  I made shrimp on the grill in a lemon-garlic sauce with some kick from crushed red pepper.  Good, but not as good as the grilled shrimp I made a year ago.  58 pounds of meat was served this year and taking home the trophy was a dish of Bang-Bang shrimp.
Already looking forward to next year...the tenth anniversary!  Can't wait to see what is done to commemorate it!  flickr set here.

'11, '10, '09, '08, '07

01 August 2012

Restaurant Review: Keller's Deli

I used Yelp to help me think of a place for lunch today and ended up at Keller's Deli.  It is only a few blocks from my new location and I am giving it very high marks.  I ordered the curry chicken salad sandwich meal, and, first off, I would not get the meal again because I was stuffed after the sandwich and just took the chips back to the office with me.  The drink was nice though since they have Diet & Cherry Coke as well as the ingredients for an Arnold Palmer, which is what I went with on this hot day.  The bread is fresh baked daily and I had the flax/sesame seed which was tasty.  The sandwich alone was on special and would've been $5.95.  Very reasonable.  And to top if off they have a punch card system!
I'll defintely be going back, especially once it gets colder since I hear that their soups are very nice. 
I'm also eager to start packing and bringing my lunch again.  Saving some $$, eating health, getting to leave earlier, etc. 

So Long Summer

Back to school already?!?!  And just like that my days of lazing around are over.  Well, to be honest, teachers don't have to go back for another couple weeks and students don't come back until the 22nd, but here I am back in work clothes for the first time in a couple months.  I was going through my notes & files yesterday and looked at a "to do" list I had made with ideas of things to get done over the summer.  I had not crossed a single thing off!  So I just deleted that list.  I definitely did a poor job of getting my bike out more.  I didn't cook much, just a few things here and there.  Live music was a big zero this summer since I skipped 80/35 and was out of town for Girltalk and K.Flay.  But I did get a few fun trips in, to San Diego, Dallas, Omaha, Iowa City and Chicago.  I watched a lot of soccer during the Euro2012 tournament.  And I did a lot of laying out in my back yard and reading.  And there is some great live music coming up that I'm excited about (Miranda Lambert, Flobots, Hoodie Allen, Gaelic Storm, etc).
And summer really isn't OVER, I just have to enjoy it after work and on weekends now.  I do get to enjoy a fabulous new workspace (top floor, corner office with windows!), working downtown connected to the skywalk again and enjoy covered parking (even though I don't care for parking in a ramp).  Things are a little slow so far but once teachers come back, I'll hopefully be out in the schools again and staying busy.