what day is it

June 26, 2008 at 1:35 am | Posted in basketball, brian | 2 Comments

i got this text from dusty:

boozer to miami for the number two pick!?  do it do it do it

i responded with:

is that a serious rumor?  would the jazz draft mayo?

(i had a hard time sending this text because i thought rumor was spelled roomer and couldn’t figure out why my phone wouldn’t recognize it.  also, mayo’s nickname is either the tramp or the great dictator.  i mean, as long as he keeps his mustache.)

dusty’s response:

it’s a fan fantasy i think, but it’s real that miami is interested in boozer.  i think the jazz would only do it if they can get beasely

(i can’t believe i forgot about beasley.  beasley on the jazz?  are you kidding me?  that would be so great.)

my respones: b on the jazz would be so awesome

(i didn’t want to take the time to spell out beasley.  if there’s one thing i hate to do, it’s manually spell out words that the predictive text doesn’t automatically recognize.)

dusty’s response:

best trade ever.

i snooped around the internet looking for confirmations and details.  here’s how the trade would supposedly go down: the jazz trade boozer, collins and the 23rd pick for mark blount and the second pick.  with the second pick the jazz would (hopefully) draft beasley.  but, knowing miller’s aversion to players with perceived “character issues,” i wouldn’t be surprised if the jazz passed on beasley to draft someone terrible like lopez or love.  but maybe i’m being too hard on the jazz’s front office.  their drafting has gotten remarkably better in the past few years — da wilderness, brewer, cj and millie.  so who knows; maybe the jazz will have an even cooler team than last years.

but, realistically, this trade isn’t going to happen.  no trades ever happen.

and in tennis news

June 24, 2008 at 11:35 pm | Posted in aaron d.w., basketball, tennis | 2 Comments

the raptors want to trade t.j. ford. they’re ready to go with jose calderon as their point guard. supposedly they were going to trade ford and rasho nesterovic for jermaine o’neal. which i think would have been a mistake. but mostly because i don’t like the pacers and i do like t.j. ford. so if they’re interested in keeping me happy, indiana and toronto made the right move in stopping the negotiations. i’m not a knicks fan or anything, and i’m certainly not a mike d’antoni fan, but i think the knicks should try to get t.j. ford. he could just run all over the place. or i think the hawks should. but they just got mike bibby. or maybe the trailblazers.  as guess as long as he doesn’t land on his neck again i’ll be glad that he’s still playing.  even if he’s playing on a team i don’t like.

deron williams and carlos boozer are on the usa olympic team.  i still think iverson should be on the team, but i’m glad they went with williams.  i think boozer might be an olympic dud, but maybe i’ll be wrong.  even if boozer is on the jazz, he still went to duke, so there’s plenty about him to not like so much.  especially since he never responded to brian’s suggestion that he take on the nickname slambidunkxtrous.

rafael nadal played his opening match of wimbledon this morning against andreas beck.  i kept thinking he was playing against john beck, but i think he wouldn’t have dropped a point against john beck.  or against jon schmidt.  if one of the sets was a piano competition, i still think nadal might win.  i don’t know if nadal has ever played the piano, but i’m sure i’d like him as a piano player.  i’m biased though.  i think i would root for nadal in anything.  and i know that i would root against jon schmidt in everything.  like if he was up against cancer (even just skin cancer) or something, i’d root for cancer.  so nadal won 6-4, 6-4, 7-6.  he didn’t face a break point all day, and was (clearly) totally dominant on his serve.  but his return game left a lot to be desired.  he was on the defense during beck’s service throughout the morning.  only 2 breaks.  anyways, they went to tiebreak in the 3rd set and nadal beat beck 7-0.  it’s just the first round, and it’s not nadal’s favorite surface, so i think he’ll get more return confidence.  his next round matchup is against a big server, so hopefully he figures that out quick.

the williams sisters won.  they both looked really good.  venus was playing really well, i thought.  and serena played in a trenchcoat.  well, she warmed up for like 2 minutes in a trenchcoat and then took it off.  i think that a williams sisters final would be awesome.  i would root for venus.  they’re doing a piece on lindsay davenport.  how she lost to venus in the 2005 final 4-6,7-6,9-7.  then some really touching music came on.  you know, kind of like the where amazing happens music, but more touching.  and it showed davenport’s baby and she said that tennis isn’t her top priority anymore.  i wonder if her baby will be a tennis player.  or a piano player.  i wonder if lindsay davenport has ever met jon schmidt.  somehow that guy is “semi-popular” outside of utah as well.  that’s something i just don’t get.  they just said her husband’s name is jonathan.  makes you wonder.

so federer showed up to wimbledon with a cardigan that has and “F” on the chest.  and it has 5 buttons.  one for every wimbledon championship.  i don’t remember how many buttons his jacket had at the french open.  but i do remember how many french open championships he has.  dis.  anyways, i like federer.  i don’t get why everyone thinks that he’s struggling so much.  so he lost to djokavic in the australian open and to nadal in the french open.  big deal.  djokavic is playing really well and nadal is the best clay-court player ever.  so coming into wimbledon everyone was talking about how this is the year because federer is on the way down.  but he hasn’t lost a grass court match since like 2004 or something.  i think 60 straight grass court matches.  not only is federer probably the best tennis player in history, he’s for sure the best grass court player in history.  so i don’t know what people are talking about.  i mean, i think nadal is going to make him work for it.  if they face off in the final, i’m hoping for another match like last year’s.  but still, it’s federer.  and he’s the one to beat.  but even if you’re roger federer, you don’t have to buy into how you’re supposed to wear something classy to wimbledon.  wimbledon dress-code is worse than the nba dress-code which is racist.  wimbledon tries to make you remember that you’re not supposed to play tennis unless you’re rich.  i guess you don’t play wimbledon unless you’re rich.  or rather, as soon as you win wimbledon you’re rich.  and then you can buy cardigans to wear.  so despite everyone worrying about roger’s focus and his abilities, he cruised to victory in the first round.  i don’t want to look up the score.  he won in an hour and 19 minutes.

oh yeah, and sharapova won.  her dog gave her the signal to eat a banana partway through the second set.

those mountains sure look pretty

June 18, 2008 at 6:24 am | Posted in brian, softball | 4 Comments

it’s the hottest day of the year so far. and we’re playing softball. i’m most worried about heat-stroke. or dehydration. the field we play at has only a broken water-fountain. what are they spending our registration fees on? obviously not any kind of park maintenance. but i guess i’ll survive. i just have to bring some water to take to the game. they’re always trying to screw you.

paranoia: i wonder if the broken drinking-fountains have anything to do with the walmart that’s right across the street? that’s were most will end up buying their fluids since you cant even get some water at the park.

our game starts at eight. for the first couple innings, we’ll be looking right into the sun. not all the time, just when we’re batting. all we can do is swing and trust that god will let our contacts be good or great. my problem: i dont believe in god. or i dont believe that god could or would do anything in this circumstance.

this game led to strained relationships

it was a sunny which gave me a headache.
the field was green except for the infield.
the cops came; they’re always hassling everyone.

my sister attended the game. before the game she visited my grandmother who lives in a retirement community. my grandma tried to give my sister all the dirt about which senior citizen is having sex with which senior citizen. how this one lady trades sex for food. how this other guy is having sex with at least three different ladies. that kind of stuff. for some reason, my sister asked my grandma not to tell her about all the old folk’s home gossip. it looks like i’m going to have to visit my grandma if i want the details.

i am slated to bat first and i am nervous. the first game of the season a had a medium-sized panic attack. i’m not sure why. like, worst case scenario: i strike out and/or drop flyballs. big deal, right? i only know 5 people at the game and none of their opinions of me are going to significantly change based on how well i play softball. also, i’m barely competitive and could care less if we ever win a game. so why do i get unbelievably self-conscious playing softball?

so i’m batting lead-off. and we’re batting first. like i mentioned earlier, this makes me nervous. i try breathing techniques and meditation. actually i didnt try that. instead i ask my brothers, who are on the team, what they think about when they’re up to bat:

sam: “i think about hitting the ball and nothing else.”
aaron: “i wonder what the other team thinks of me and what they think i’m going to do during the at bat.”

sports, in general, are like 97% muscle-memory. i made that up, but it seems true. and if it’s true, then the key to sports is not letting your brain get in the way (which may also be the key to life). both my brothers responses seem to speak to this. sam’s “nothing else” is like a negation of thought, while aaron’s focus on the other team’s thought probably works as a distraction. with both of them, they are trying to not think about the mechanics of hitting letting their muscles worry about that stuff. i also use the distraction approach. to calm my nerves while at the plate, i try and think about evolution. so life appeared on this planet a billion years ago or whatever and then through mutation and adaptation i ended up here at this softball field trying to swing this bat at this approaching ball. and that is weird.

the first pitch: the pitcher takes this strange step to his right and throws a kind of side-armed pitch with the hopes of putting the path of the ball directly in front of the sun. i take the pitch. inside, ball one.

second pitch: it’s drifting to the outside of the plate, just where i like it. i swing and put the ball into shallow left center. on my first step to first-base, i slip and fall.

game highlights

if we were the other team, i could talk about all the hits to or over the fence. our team only hits singles. but when we string some singles together, watch out. like in the first inning. single, single, pop out, single, run, single, run, pop out, ground out. we scored two runs our first at bat. and, since we batted first, we were in the lead going into the bottom of the first. 2-0.

this seems more like a play by play than a highlight section.

so highlights:

clint made this pretty awesome catch. a deep fly ball to left center. clint and josh are both racing to the ball. it’s back, back, near the fence. it’s just out of josh’s reach but clint swoops in to make a basket catch. josh, later, almost makes a great over his shoulder catch. unfortunately, he smashes into the fence a half-second after securing the ball and loses control. earlier josh was playing first-base. there’s a hard grounder up the middle. aaron, at shortstop, races to his left and scoops up the grounder, plants and rockets a throw to first. the throw is a little short and to the right. josh stretches and makes the grab. out.

headline: lee makes spectacular catch

not necessarily a barehanded catch, but he did trap the ball between his hand and the outside of his mitt to end the inning.

i think we lost 22 to 5.

check back later in the week to see pictures and video of the game.

christmas is sick

June 14, 2008 at 6:30 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

i should have been writing about this for the past two months.

i’m on a softball team.  actually, a number of (past) contributors of this blog are on a softball team.  we’re called the beekeepers.  and we’ve lost every game but our first.

monday nights game was pretty eventful.  we lost by like twenty.  aaron suffered a concussion trying to make this diving catch.  actually it wasn’t a diving catch.  here’s how it went down.  aaron’s at shortstop.  the batter bloops one into shallow left field.  aaron races after the ball, jumps to catch the ball but it’s barely out of his reach.  then he lands on his back and smashes his head into the ground.  then he just lays there unresponsive.  then he got up and walked it off.  the next play a grounder comes right for him.  he fields the ball and makes the throw to first except that the ball slips out of his hand during the throw.  probably a result of his concussion.  earlier dusty slid into home plate.  safe!  now he has a scar on his leg.  one of my at bats i hit the ball 5 feet.  i swung as hard as i could and only hit the ball five feet.  but i beat the throw for a base hit.

it was a good game.

the future of tennis

June 9, 2008 at 8:56 am | Posted in aaron d.w., tennis | 1 Comment

this morning rafael nadal and roger federer fittingly faced off in the final of the french open. (i know alliteration impresses brian, and i want him to think that i’m a decent writer.) this is the third straight year where nadal and federer played each other in the final. the year before, nadal beat federer in the semifinal. last year rafael nadal didn’t drop any sets on the way to the final before beating roger federer 3-1. then in wimbledon federer won 3-2 in one of the most incredible matches i’ve ever watched. so this year i figured would be a close one. both federer and nadal were playing the best clay court tennis of their careers. federer had only dropped 3 sets before the final and nadal had again not lost any. the match wasn’t close at all. nadal got an early lead and broke federer twice in the first set to win it 6-1. roger f. was down 2-0 in the second set and put together a good twenty minutes of tennis with some stunning winners to tie it up at 2-2. each held serve and then rafael n. went crazy, winning the next 9 games to finish the match in around 2 hours.

i figured the match would last a lot longer. i’d planned my whole morning around watching tennis and found myself with a lot of free time. luckily, there was another competition going on: robonaut vs. athlete.


robonaut is a humanoid robot designed by nasa to be able to perform extra-vehicular activities (i.e. space-walks). it has a torso shaped like a human with arms and hands and a helmet that looks like boba fett. the helmet has two eyes, so that visual relays can provide depth. the arms have a total of 14 degrees of freedom each: 2 in each wrist and 12 in each hand. this gives the robonaut a surprising amount of dexterity, which in turn enables robonaut to perform tasks that were not designed to be handled by robots. the size of the hands is roughly the same size as a suited astronauts hands, so robonaut can get to those hard-to-reach areas (much like a nice toothbrush). the torso can be placed in a number of lower “bodies” depending on the required task. the two that i’ve seen is the segway robonaut where he has a segway for legs and the centaur robonaut where he “sits” on a 4-wheeler of sorts.

athlete is a six-legged robotic lunar rover. athlete stands for All-Terrain Hex-Legged Extra-Terrestrial Explorer. the athlete is 4 meters in diameter and can stand 6 meters tall. each of the six legs has six degrees of freedom. athlete can roll along or walk, depending on the terrain, and is capable of sustaining a load of 450 kg. multiple athletes can be docked together to form what some call ultrathlete, which i can only imagine stands for Ultimate Laterally-TetheRed All-Terrain Hex-Legged Extra-Terrestrial Explorers. it can move over 10 kmh on terrain like that of the moon, 100 times faster than the mars rover, and can climb 35 degree inclines of rocks.

the competition of interest is a race up to the top of a hill in a crater in arizona, which is essentially a simulation of robot racing on the moon or on mars, which will become widely popular in the late 21st century.

the competitors arrived early. athlete on the left, robonaut in the middle, k-10 on the right with scout right behind k-10. the suited astronaut was the ref.

after a brief rain delay, k-10, robonaut and athlete are ready to go. robonaut shows off his dexterity with a little bit of a cheap move, tying athlete to an anchored stake.

with robonaut and athlete busy battling each other, k-10 heads for the hill,

and then remembers that it is not capable of climbing hills. with athlete tied to a stake, robonaut takes off up the hill.

athlete finally breaks loose and heads for the steepest part of the hill, in hopes of cutting off robonaut’s path.

athlete passes robonaut, since hill-climbing is its strong-suit. but robonaut has some more tricks up his sleeve. he hooks a tether-line to athlete and catches a ride during the last quarter of the hill.

robonaut takes advantage of its understanding of the slingshot maneuver to swing past athlete for the victory. robonaut wins and gets its picture taken with athlete.

but what robonaut didn’t know is that there was no prize. they give robonaut a box with the label “trophy” and robonaut opens it up, only to be embarrassed in front of all its friends.

looks like athlete gets the last laugh. (that was for brian again.)

they hate our freedom

June 7, 2008 at 12:21 am | Posted in aaron d.w., tennis | Leave a comment

i got on tennis.com last night to check what time today’s matches started. the two matches today are nadal-djokavic and federer-monfils. so i wanted to set my alarm and wake up early to watch. nadal is the world number two and he’s the three-time french open champion who has never lost a match at the french open. in fact, he hasn’t even dropped a set in this year’s french open. on the other hand, djokavic is the world number three who won the australian open and has won more matches in the last year than anyone else. the winner of this match will be the world number two and will be playing in the french open final. i only saw half a set by monfils and i thought he was fast and looked cool, but brian said that he’s got a great game. so i obviously wanted to get up and watch. i know the matches start early in the french open, and tennis.com said that at 10:00a eastern time the tennis channel was going to start broadcasting. i woke up at 8:00a mountain time and turned on the tv. there was nothing on. so i got online to see when the games would start only to find out that the nadal-djokavic match was already over. what a joke. not only do i have to wait for 2 hours before i can watch tennis, but one of the matches i was interested in watching was already over and i had already seen the result: nadal in 3 sets. nadal is in the final and he still hasn’t lost a set.

i had two hours to kill. so i did the only sensible thing. i read about the september 11th attacks on the world trade center and the pentagon. did you know that there were large (and lethal) amounts of asbestos in lower manhattan for a few months? there’s been over 60 people associated with the cleanup effort that have died of cancer. oh yeah, and the air had been declared safe without testing it first.

so it’s finally 10:00a and tennis is on. maybe they’ll just skip the nadal-djokavic match so i can watch monfils and federer before i have to go up to school. nope. they’re going to show the nadal-djokavic match. if only i hadn’t already seen online. that’s okay. nadal is my favorite player and i don’t like djokavic, so it’ll be worth it to see him get killed.

it’s tied 1-1 and nadal has advantage. he’s already had 4 break chances this match. and he hits this incredible backhand winner to go up. so he’s up 2-1 now. game four, nadal is serving but down 15-30 and hits another backhand winner. 30-30. another winner, this time a forehand. 40-30. passing shot for the game.

now they’re talking about nadal’s foot and knee problems. apparently he’s a size 11 1/2 but wears size 10. no wonder i always think his feet look so small. djokavic comes to the net twice in a row. first time gets a volley winner. second time nadal loops it over him. 15-15. unforced error djokavic. 15-30. “You have 10-story buildings that leave more debris than these two 100-story towers, Where the fuck is everything? A serious week-long search and we’ve found 200 [bodies] in a pile of 5,000? What’s going on? Where is everyone? Why aren’t we finding more bodies? Cause it’s all vaporized — turned to dust. We’re breathing people in that dust.” Mercedes commercial. the game must’ve finished while i was reading. it doesn’t matter, i already know nadal will win the set (and the match). djokavic won. nadal’s up 3-2 and serving.

i just read this page: a critical review of morgan reynold’s “why did the trade center’s skyscrapers collapse?”

and now nadal is up 5-4 and 40-30. set point. first serve fault. second serve unforced error by djokavic. prediction: nadal will win 6-4, 6-2, 7-6. so i have to leave now. maybe i’ll tape the monfils match. and not look online. i already saw that they were tied after 2 sets. good for monfils.

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