Sunday, September 16, 2007

Something I Forgot

There was one more thing I wanted to mention to you all. Especially since I know a good many of you are all dorks. While surfing around, looking at various things I stumbled upon this. If you like Risk, Risk 2210, etc, check it out. The AI isn't great, its a little on the conservative side, but its kinda fun.

It also seems to allow for online play, although I haven't really investigated that portion yet. But... if anybody were interested, hint hint.

Sunday's Thoughts

So for the first time in quite I while I took most of a day off. More than that, there was nothing I had to do and nowhere I had to be. I had the whole day stretched out before me. It was a thing of beauty, a thing to be cherished.

I watched the rain come in. The first real rains of the fall have hit the coast today. There have been showers over the last month or so, and there will be dry days ahead. But today was the first honest rain of the changing season.

I also watched Accepted. I know it is by no means a great piece of American cinema. That said, it really sucked me in. A much better movie then I expected. And Maria Thayer may well be the most attractive person ever born in Boring Oregon. How a town like that turned out a woman like that is completely beyond me.

I also just watched the then of The Shadow. Well, I wasn't really watching, the TV was just on that channel while I worked on the Sunday crossword. At some point I started to think Penelope Ann Miller was quite fetching as well. Then I started to wonder if it was just because Sam has been out of town for almost a week now.

Just one last thing before I go, well two things really. Two movies to be specific. As opposed to the two mentioned above, these two should be actively sought out and watched if you haven't seen them yet.

1) Wordplay - A must if you enjoy crosswords and/or wordplay. A very well filmed documentary about crosswords and the people that do them and make them (including John Stewart).

2) The Aristocrats - Warning: this movie is quite raw. Foul in fact. But hysterical. If you can handle dirty language and subject matter, its well worth it.

All right, I am out folks. Sorry no comments on the Ducks this week, but there isn't a whole lot to say.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Saturday Wrap Up

My oh my what a day!

Despite giving up a good deal of the day to football, I did get quite a but done around the house. I know the house updates aren't the most thrilling, but the outside is starting to undergo some significant changes. I stripped the old cedar shake off of the garage and the lower half of the house (well half way around the lower half of the house). By the end of the day Monday we should have it all re-sided. Check back later this week for pictures :)

On to football!!

I am not sure there is a whole lot I can say about the Duck game that hasn't already been said, or that won't be said by some news outlet with 100,000 times the readership I have. Still, since I like hearing the sound of my own voice (or keyboard, as it were) I will mention a few key points.

- I think Chip Kelly has the offense on the right track. They may have left as many as 24 points off the board today, but I am not seeing the red zone futility of last year.

- I don't know if it was just Dixon maturing, or if Kelly has worked with him, but DD is throwing a very nice long ball at the moment.

- The Oregon defense is still a big question mark in my opinion. Yes, this week they looked much much better, but there still seems to be trouble stopping the run. Looked much better against the pass. r

- Special teams are looking better each week. I don't know if it was noticed by many, but early in the 1st half, Oregon even tried to steal a kick off back with a high pooch to the sideline. If it hadn't bounced out of bounds it would have been real close to Oregon ball again.

- Its a lot of fun to see the Ducks on ESPN's Top 10 twice in a single night (both with #1 and #10)

There has been a good bit of a shake up in the rest of the Top 25 this week too. I would look for Oregon to enter the Top 25 polls this week. I would say somewhere between 21 and 25, most likely at 24.

Next up Fresno State. They aren't the giant killers they used to be, but it will be a tough game nonetheless.

Friday, September 7, 2007

As Requested

Rip Tatermen (does he need a new handle with the new last name?) has asked my thoughts headed into the Oregon Michigan game. And since I am sitting here on a Friday night with nothing better to do, I figured "Why not?"

Perhaps in the future I will try and get posts of this nature up on Wed. or Thu. night so you all actually have a chance to read and comment. Anyway, on the real post:

I don't think anyone really knows what to expect out of Michigan tomorrow. My best guess is that they will come out looking for redemption. They are a veteran group with a lot of talent. That said, I haven't seen anything suggesting that they have learned to stop a spread attack with a dual threat QB. If they were going to find a defensive scheme that works against the spread, you would think they would have done so over the summer.

So, based on what we saw of Oregon last week, and what I think its fair to expect of Michigan, I get the feeling this is going to be an old fashioned shootout. Neither team looks strong on the defensive side of the ball, and I think both can put up a lot of points. It could come down to who has the ball last (cliche, I know, but this one really looks like that). I am hoping that Michigan's general lack of misdirection will help the Oregon defense, but I don't think it will help that much.

Players that will have big games:

1) Dixon (has to be good for Oregon to have a chance)
2) Stewart (Michigan's lateral speed on defense will limit JJ's effectiveness, but the power of Stewart will be huge)
3) Chung, Ward, Thurmond III (If the DB's are strong enough, we may be able to slow the run)

1) Mike Hart

I don't think Henne or Manningham have big days. If they do, Oregon is in a world of hurt.

Final Prediction:

Lots of points, if Oregon can force a turnover or two, they can get pull off the win. 45-42 Oregon.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Oregon vs. Houston Report (and More)

I have shiny new wireless router, I am relaxed out in bed, I have a Mountain Dew near at hand, and Clapton on my headphones. Its time to get my blog on.

So I am just recently back home after a trip to the wonderful land of Eugene. I don't get back down there often enough, but that should change for at least the next few months (even if it is just for the football games). Paul, as usual, was gracious enough to play host and make sure I had a fantastic time. I am linking his blog there in the hopes that he actually posts something. Do it you drunk, lazy jack-ass!

Seriously though I had a great time. I got into Eugene around 9:30 and was greeted at my car with a big ol' hug. Of course, I was so excited to see him I locked my keys in my car. I didn't even realize it until Saturday morning when I was looking for my sunglasses. Paul, Jess, Josh and I got some dinner at the Steelhead and then went to the Starlight Lounge (sans Jess) for some honest drinking. If you happen to be in Eugene, and you are looking for a low key place that pours absurdly strong cocktails, give it a shot. It's about a block from where Cafe' Paradisio used to sit (now Jameson's Meat Market (aka Bar)). Saturday morning we woke up and rolled out for some tailgating. We found 2 of the 3 we were looking for and still made it to our seats for the pre-game video. Sadly, I think we missed the weather forecast. I will talk a bit about the game below. Spent the rest of the weekend just hanging around, crashing birthday parties, etc.

So, the game. The first half was every bit as lackluster as you have probably heard. The defense made some clutch plays, but the offense couldn't capitalize. That left the defense on the field for way too long and really started to expose some of its holes. I knew coming in the front seven was questionable. I am honestly quite nervous about facing any solid rushing team. And most of the good teams Oregon plays this year are running schools. The inability to stop the run, or sustain an effective pass rush left the secondary flapping in the wind. They had to sit in too many soft zones to deal with all the time the Houston QB had to through. Like so many Alliotti run defenses, they could look great on first and second down, but Houston converted way too many third downs. I am hoping (and it is more like a slim glimmer than any real hope) that facing a more traditional running attack may help. Houston runs a pretty unique version of the spread and I think that may have been amplifying Oregon's problems. I guess we will see how they fair against Michigan.

I am not sure that Oregon's defense even got better in the second half. I think it was more that the offense kept them off the field a little better. When they were able to get their breath they showed a little stronger. The offense was clearly better in the second half. Dixon (for the most part) made better decisions this year than last. He still tries to the force the ball into too many small windows. And he still has trouble getting back across the field in his reads. On one play in particular, he took the snap, saw the blind (and weak) side corner blitz and made a good move to buy time and dump it off to J. Johnson for a solid game. But had he made that same escape, set up and looked back across the field he would have seen J. Williams 1 on 1 with the weak side safety. Easily could have been a TD. You can't call it a mistake, but it could have been a more successful play. He did make some very good decisions to tuck and run. And despite what the people near me thought, I like him getting what he can and getting out of bounds... with his frame, he needs to limit the contact he takes.

Alright, if anyone who couldn't see the game has any questions, feel free to ask. Thats about all I have to say. Here is a look at where we are on the house though. Things should pick up and start moving quick again here pretty soon.