Friday, August 31, 2007

A Year Of Shotgun Prose ...

A Year Of Shotgun Prose ...

Holy Moley Andy!

I have managed to post steadily for an entire year ... over 200 posts ... a lot of photos and scans and recently even videos ... some good stuff ... some stuff that makes me cringe later ... numerous comments ...

Who knows how long this will last?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

In commemoration of the 1977 Soccer Bowl ...


Ten greatest Sounders wins I have witnessed in person ... (Oxymoron Project ongoing)

In commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the Seattle Sounders loss to the Pele & Company version of the (New York) Cosmos in the 1977 Soccer Bowl (8.28.77 in Portland, OR)- a loss by the way - I am listing the ten greatest Sounders wins I have witnessed in person ...

Maybe I will list the toughest losses I have attended - which will have to include the 1977 Soccer Bowl itself - someday ...

"Ten Best Wins" I have witnessed in person as a Seattle Sounders Supporter as of the 30th Anniversary of the 1977 Soccer Bowl (Let's all hope more great wins can work their way onto this list.):

1) 10-01-05 vs. Richmond 1-1 (4-3 PK’s) USL1 Championship Game – Qwest Field
2) 08-05-03 vs. San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 US Open Cup Round of 16 – Husky Field
*) 08-07-07 vs. Colorado Rapids 5-0 US Open Cup Quarterfinals - Qwest Field
3) 07-18-07 vs. CD Chivas USA 3-1 US Open Cup Round of 16 – Qwest Field
4) 08-25-77 vs. Los Angeles Aztecs 1-0 NASL Playoffs – Kingdome
5) 08-10-77 @ Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 NASL Playoffs – Empire Stadium
6) 09-10-00 vs. Bay Area Seals 2-1 A League Playoffs – Memorial Stadium
*) 08-01-07 vs. Portland Timbers 2-0 Cascadia Cup/USL1 Regular Season - Qwest Field
7) 07-28-02 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps 4-1 A League Regular Season – Seahawks Stadium
8) 07-10-77 vs. New York Cosmos 1-0 NASL Regular Season – Kingdome
9) 05-20-82 vs. Manchester United 3-0 International Friendly – Kingdome
10) 07-24-76 vs. Philadelphia Atoms 3-2 NASL Regular Season – Kingdome
11) 08-01-79 vs. Edmonton Drillers 9-0 NASL Regular Season – Kingdome
12) 07-23-94 vs. Colorado Foxes 2-0 APSL Regular Season – Tacoma Dome
13) 09-06-06 vs. Atlanta Silverbacks 2-1 USL1 Regular Season – Qwest Field
14) 05-05-07 vs. Portland Timbers 1-0 USL1 Regular Season – Qwest Field


Notations ...
1) Championship, then out dancing, (officially a tie according to FIFA guidelines)
2) Major win over good MLS side with Landon Donovan after the OT game in 02
*) Only the drama of the first MLS win and a league final can beat a 5-0 result
3) Solid win over MLS side in a meaningful game
4) Sent team to Soccer Bowl, mom then camped out for tix
5) Road trip to Vancouver was very, very cool
6) Playoff wins are always cool
*) a retroactive Cup Final
7) Opening sporting event of "Seahawks Stadium" with a big crowd and my dad
8) Pele, but beating them in August would have been cooler ...
9) beating Manchester United, even in a friendly, is always cool
10) My 9th birthday
11) The could have scored more
12) Reborn Sounders first home league match right after the World Cup
13) Fantastic finish, but other results kept them from the playoffs after all
14) Lorrie’s first soccer game, a good crowd, and a win over Portland

I could have added a few others (and the list ran over ten as it is) but playoffs and cup matches had to take spots above league or friendly matches. Also, I was not able to attend the 96 final and some other key matches over the years and that is reflected by omissions of what could be obvious big wins to other long-time supporters.

* Plus, I made this list in April in anticipation of the 30th Anniversary and ended up with some "*" results thrown in ... 2K7 has already had some memorable results ... and the FC Dallas US Open Cup semifinal looms in a week ... and maybe even another league championship home game ...

(Also, with the decade gap where we had the Stars and Storm and later even Seadogs ... those are their own lists as there were some noteworthy ones in their own right and will appear on the future ridiculous soccer lists postings ...)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Seattle Storm 2007 Playoffs Game 1



Seattle Storm WNBA Playoffs 2007 Game 1
Seattle Storm 84 Phoenix Mercury 101
8-24-07 Key Arena - Seattle, WA

On June 1, 2000 Tim and I went to the "Inaugural Game" of the Seattle Storm. The Houston Comets were still in their initial championship rampage and haded the Storm a lesson in what it means to be an expansion team.



With the Sonics and Storm possibly relocating to a place near Muskogee any home playoff game this season could in fact be their final game at Key Arena. Tim and I decided, or at least I decided and he made arrangements to go, that we should go to this game on general principle. Now, I have continued to go to Storm games and events over the years, including the first playoff game in 2002, but I still feel like I need to point this out. I enjoy going to these games. I like the atmosphere. The style of hoops is more to my tastes than hoops in the MNBA the last several years.



video



Unfortunately, the Mercury were clearly the better team on this night. The frustration on the part of the Storm was evident with the amount of talking Sue Bird was doing to the refs in the third quarter and the body language differences of the two teams as the game progressed.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Within Temptation CD Review




Within Temptation CD Review

Within Temptation
The Heart of Everything
Roadrunner Records

Back in late May I went to see Lacuna Coil in concert. It was a multi-band line up including the band Within Temptation. I had heard a song or two of theirs in passing, but never really had paid them much attention. Then, Within Temptation completely blew me away in concert. They played a set that had new songs that I remembered specifically after the fact and looked forward to getting on record. The last time that had occurred to me seeing a band I had never heard before was Alice in Chains in 1989 …

So, I marked my calendar and went and purchased “The Heart of Everything”. It sort of felt like back in the day, waiting for “Powerslave” to come out or something like that. Given that I learned the hard way last year that there are no record stores in Bellevue, I did wait until the evening to go and get it instead of wasting a lunch hour frustrated and storming around downtown Bellevue cursing the demise of Tower Records.


The songs I specifically remember from the show like “What Have You Done”, “Our Solemn Hour”, and “Stand My Ground” are in fact the backbone of the release. But, this is a solid release.

Sharon den Adel is a fantastic vocalist with great stage presence and I look forward to seeing Within Temptation again.


********


In This Moment
Beautiful Tragedy
Century Media Records

Oddly enough, In This Moment was replaced by Within Temptation during the Lacuna Coil tour’s stretch through my part of the country. However, I did get the opportunity to see them perform on the 2nd Stage at Ozzfest just a few weeks later. I distinctly remember their set as I waited in line to meet 3 Inches of Blood. Later, the Ozzfest Sampler had the song “Beautiful Tragedy” on it and I checked out “Prayers” on You Tube.


It would be easy to dismiss In This Moment as Atreyu with a hot blond female lead singer, but that would not be fair. “Beautiful Tragedy” is a fairly mature and consistent work for a first record. Their second will tell the longevity tale, but I will enjoy this one for now.


********


3 Inches of Blood
Fire Up the Blades
Roadrunner Records

Back in 1986 Metal Church released ‘The Dark”. “The Dark” is still one of my favorite metal records of all time and stands up nicely against many of the more well known records of that era. “Watch The Children Pray” is a classic. Unfortunately, Metal Church went through singer changes and frankly never lived up to “The Dark”. Vocalist David Wayne passed a few years ago.

At Ozzfest this summer 3 Inches of Blood was very good and I mentioned to band members in the autograph line that they reminded me of Metal Church and they seemed to like that particular comparison.

I have been waiting for the true follow up to “The Dark” for 20 years now and “Fire Up The Blades” might just be that record.

Free Theatre ....







None of these photos were taken during the performances ... they are all of the scene and setting so as to not violate the request of the production companies involved in regards to photographing their productions ...






www.woodeno.org

www.greenstage.org

It was four weeks of Thursday evening free Shakespeare in the park … (free theatre, but it always feels right to donate) ...

Wooden O Theatre Productions gave us The Merry Wives of Windsor & The Merchant of Venice on July 19 and 26 …

Greenstage gave us Richard III & The Two Gentlemen of Verona on August 2 and 9 …

I got a chance to go to all four productions and enjoyed them all immensely.

The two production companies took different approaches to their Shakespeare; with Wooden O actually bringing sets and setting the plays in what seemed like the 1920s and Greenstage using virtually no sets and classical dress … both are valid and interesting ways to bring Shakespeare to life …

There were some real highlights in the various productions; especially in The Two Gentlemen of Verona where “Dueling Banjos” found its way into the production … overall, worth the four Thursdays …

There are only five rows in the Lynndale Park Amphitheatre ... bring your own chair or lean against a tree or sit in the dirt if you don’t get there early, or even if you do and don’t want to sit on a backless bench ...

There is something really cool about live theatre with the sounds of softball, kids playing, trains, planes, and ferry boat horns all around …

HOWEVER … don't bring little, little kids or dogs ... especially when there is a dog in the production ... still, people do it anyways ... and it never works, EVER ...

Oh, the glorious donut

Oh, the glorious donut

Picture two young men, both in relationships, jogging on a lovely Seattle afternoon with an older attorney that they both work for. The pace is good. The conversation is light. They are in a very affluent and tree lined neighborhood. A girl jogs by. She’s … fit and healthy and wearing very snug pink shorts … the two younger men rubberneck in a less than subtle way and watch her pass by, not really slowing, but still altering their cadence just a smidge … the older attorney does not approve of the two young men simply being young men and scolds them mildly for their indiscretion … they both laugh it off, claiming that it really doesn’t matter if they look or where they get their appetites, as long as they eat at home … the attorney ponders this for a moment or two, likely relishing the opportunity to argue when he makes the following statement …

“How many times can you walk past the bakery before you go in and get yourself a maple bar?”

They had no answer.

However, they did in fact have a new catch phrase or code word to alert the other to an attractive woman in their vicinity; the “maple bar” …

Homer Simpson, police officers everywhere, and an attorney I used to work for but will not name here have immortalized my impressions of the donut …

So, when Tim and I were walking back to his car after a Sounders game? Yep, a warm Krispy Kreme when the red light is on ...

So, when I am cruising down the Mukilteo Speedway? Yep, a twist at Henry's ...

And, when I find myself downtown? Yep, Top Pot is open til seven ...

Of all the vices I could have ...

We all wanted a van ...

We all wanted a van ...

Growing up in the late 70s we all wanted a van … and by van I do not mean a family vehicle with all sort of seatbelts and bench seats … no … we wanted a really cool traveling love machine on wheels like the cool guys on television and in the movies had … these vans were brightly painted and screamed cool …

It wasn't just Han Solo that ruined my generation … (Han was much cooler before Lucas destroyed Star Wars by no longer having him fire first, making Yoda a quitter, and directing the actress out of Natalie Portman)

It was the van ... we wanted to be like the guy in the movie “The Van” … and believe me, this was a horrible film, watch-able only for how bad it really was …

Granted, we were something like 10 or 11 and had only a vague inkling as to why we wanted a traveling love machine on wheels … but want we did … and when we got cable and Showtime and “The Van” would be on really late we would sneak out to the living room or find a way to watch it at a friend’s house …

Again, we didn't completely understand why, but we really wanted to find out ….

The other day I nearly got T-Boned by a late 70’s van that once upon a time was one of these traveling love machines on wheels … it was black with colored stripes of bright orange and yellow along the top … it was also beaten, battered, rusty, and burning oil … the guy driving it was treating it like a junker instead of the classic it sort of almost was …

Now, I drive a van … one of those family ones with multiple seatbelts …

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dear New Sonics Ownership Group (Part 3) ...

Dear New Sonics Ownership Group (Part 3) ...

http://shotgunprose.blogspot.com/2006/10/dear-new-sonics-ownership-group.html

http://shotgunprose.blogspot.com/2007/01/dear-new-sonics-ownership-group-part.html


"We didn't buy the team to keep it in Seattle." Aubrey McClendon, a member of the Oklahoma-based Sonics ownership group.

Notice that no one is saying that it wasn’t actually said.

Notice that no one is saying he was talking about something else.

Notice that no one is laughing.

There is no way to say that a comment like that was taken out of context.

There is no way to back track and say that someone misspoke.

There is no way to get back credibility once something like that is said.

I have wanted to be optimistic at times during this ongoing game between the city and the new ownership group for the Sonics.

I have wanted to be optimistic and be proven wrong when my first and gut reaction was to say that the Sonics are a lame duck franchise.

I have wanted to be optimistic and believe that the sports fans and government would find a way to make it happen.

Here’s the thing … I am right back at square one on this thing, just like the day last summer when I heard the Sonics were sold to an out of town group the same day I realized the Lynnwood Hooters had closed its doors. At the time I joked that the Hooters closing was more irritating since it took away my place to watch wrestling pay per views … the truth is that the Sonics leaving bites. Part of me just figured that since this region has survived old Mariners ownership and the Behring era of the Seahawks that something would get done at the last minute and that this was going to be much ado about nothing.

The NBA has a number of problems that are well documented in the public sphere. David Stern is a bit busy right now and frankly has seemed a bit ticked at Seattle anyways. I have had ongoing discussions with sports fan friends about the state of the NBA and what it will take to get it back to being as worth watching as college hoops. The Sonics have been a big part of my sports fan life since I was very, very young. Even though the tickets are ridiculously priced for regular season games that players themselves say don’t matter I still feel an urge to go to games.

For instance, I want to go to the Sonics' home opener this November to see Kevin Durant's first game ... it is hard to get excited to go buy my tickets now ....

I generally don't like public subsidies for pro sports ... because here is the thing ... teams can afford it ... too many have built stadiums privately for that to not be true ... they just don’t want to and because other cities will or have built arenas hoping to lure a team like Seattle away it seems to be necessary.

A major city needs major venues for the arts, entertainment, conventions, and sports. I have gone on the record in print about my feelings for publicly financed sports arenas. However, it doesn’t matter if it should be a certain way when it becomes necessary for it to be another. It has become necessary for the civic leaders of this region to get over their personal philosophical feelings and do what is necessary. We don’t have to like it. There are things that are “more important”. A new arena needs to happen anyway. it absolutely stinks that no matter what happens the Sonics ownership group profits. It doesn't matter if they sell the team, get an arena here in Seattle, or relocate to Oklahoma City; they get their way no matter what. Seattle just needs to get over the fact and realize that all the cards are currently held by untruthful businessmen from Oklahoma.

However, Seattle is now a serious “can’t do” city. The Seattle City Council is an embarrassment in too many ways to count here, but it is clear that they almost want to see the team leave just to prove a point. Good and effective civic leadership used to be a trademark of this region, it no longer is so. Mandatory food waste recycling and publicity stunts by the mayor in regards to loud night clubs is far more important at city hall these days.

The KJR jocks seemed to believe in some manner that there was a chance but even they are breaking their ankles jumping off the arena possibility bandwagon ... the Muckelshoot option? I hear that it is dead before arrival in the Tim Donaghy era ...

Sherman Alexie said it best to the Nick Licata's of the world in The Stranger last fall ... I won't repeat it here ... just go google it and read his rant ... I don’t feel like dropping an F Bomb here today …

I also want to be wrong.

6 word novels for the Bumbershoot Hemingway contest ...

6 word novels for the Bumbershoot Hemingway 6 Word Novel Contest ...

Hemingway wrote a novel in six words. These are my entries ....

1) Dancing. The reason he met her.

2) First Anniversary. Broken ankle. Bad omen.

3) Star injured. Playoffs near. Ankles break.

4) Bad dancer. Enthusiastic. She likes. Success.

5) Vegas. Digitial Era. Not everything stays.

6) May December romance. February child support.

7) Bag left on bus. Panic. Leftovers.

8) Sad. Lonely. Friday Night. Reality television.

9) Bus ride. Nap. Missed stop. Fired.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Friday, August 10, 2007

"If the playoffs were today ..."


"If the playoffs were today ..."

It has been four long, arduous, tedious, painful years for Seattle Mariner fans to be able to utter the sentence above in August ...

Feels nice ... and it is true ... if the playoffs were today the M's would be the Wild Card ...

Fasting at the Taste of Edmonds is hard work ...

Fasting at the Taste of Edmonds is hard work ...

The more you can't have something, the more you want it ... in some form or another this is a sentiment that is very common and generally accepted prima facie as true ... maybe so ... in the instance I am describing here the answer is a resounding "yes!"

See ... several years ago I had to have a rather unpleasant doctor appointment that required me to essentially fast; drinking nothing but clear fluids for five days ... allow me to reiterate ... nothing but clear fluids for five days ...

I had to go to work like normal, just not eat. That meant I could watch my coworkers snack while I drank bottle after bottle of Gatorade. Yes, they taunted me with chips, burgers, etc ... yes, I am talking to you Tommie, Richard, and Mike ...

I had to take care of the kids like normal, just not eat.

I had to take the kids to the Taste of Edmonds (a miniature Bite of Seattle down near the water in Edmonds that is actually far more manageable to attend than the Bite ever is), just not eat. So, I walked around a festival of food four days into a five day fast knowing that I could not have anything. The smells were overwhelming. I can vividly remember staring at things like elephant ears and just wanting to leave, but deciding to gut it out so the kids could have their treats ...

(Taste of Edmonds side note: I don't think that this was the year I got to see Frankie Goes to Hollywood aka the singer who owns the name with a band with no members that were in the band in the 80s ... which is an entirely different rant for another time but sort of like my Guns 'n Roses rant of many months ago ...)

I craved things like chicken pot pie, plain rice, and foods I don't even like .....

I have been meaning to fast again for a while. Not because of Lent or as a political statement, but because there is a value in it when done properly. And then the other day I saw a big billboard for the 2K7 Taste this weekend and suddenly found myself very, very hungry ... Not long after the 5 day fast I had to do a 2 day fast for a follow up appointment and strangely enough that one seemed worse and more difficult ... the voluntary fast can wait.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Jefferson's Ozzfest 2K7 silent movies ...

(To go with the review and photos ...)

http://shotgunprose.blogspot.com/2007/07/ozzfest-2k7-part-two-notes-and-review.html

http://shotgunprose.blogspot.com/2007/07/ozzfest-2k7-part-one-some-pics.html

(For the historical record ...)

http://www.paulsbasement.org/articles/OzzFest

Ozzy enters

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3 Inches of Blood

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Ron and Nile

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Behemoth

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Jefferson's Seattle Sounders Silent Movies #1 ...

Seattle Sounders 3 CD Chivas USA 1
US Open Cup Round of 16
7-18-07

Match Report:
http://shotgunprose.blogspot.com/2007/07/seattle-sounders-3-vs-cd-chivas-usa-1.html

Seattle Sounders vs. CD Chivas USA

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Seattle Sounders vs. CD Chivas USA 2

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Seattle Sounders vs. CD Chivas USA 3

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Seattle Sounders vs. CD Chivas USA 4

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Seattle Sounders vs. CD Chivas USA 5

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Seattle Sounders 5 Colorado Rapids 0
US Open Cup Quarterfinals
8-7-07

Match Report:
http://shotgunprose.blogspot.com/2007/08/suite-life-like-living-room-that-opens.html

Sounders 5 Rapids 0 #1

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Sounders 5 Rapids 0 #4

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Sounders 5 Rapids 0 #2

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Sounders 5 Rapids 0 #3

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Frank Miller Has Jumped the Shark ...

Frank Miller Has Jumped the Shark ...

This is difficult for me to write, but Frank Miller should stop making comics ...

According to a definition I found on the web on Wikipedia (of all things) "Jumping the Shark is a metaphor for the tipping point at which a TV series passes its peak or introduces plot twists which are inconsistent with what has preceded them. Once a show has jumped the shark, the viewer senses a noticeable decline in quality or feels the show has undergone too many changes to retain its original charm. The term derives from an episode of Happy Days in which Fonzie jumped over a shark while on water skis."

"Jumping the Shark" applies to more than just television. It is clear that many rock bands, comic book series, and writers (among others) also can "Jump the Shark".

Frank Miller is one of my all-time favorite comic book creators. I have read his stuff since the early 80s on his first run of Daredevil. I read Ronin. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is deserving of its place in comic lore. I looked forward to the Sin City and Martha Washington series'. I tried to understand Hard Boiled and still haven't yet. 300 is brilliant. There are many others. I only collect a few comics, but if it is Frank Miller's work I get it.

But, the most recent work he has done has lost its shine.

The final Martha Washington series in 1997 sucked ... so did the final Sin City series Hell & Back (Sin City is always better when condensed to four or five issues, not when stretched out to an unnecessary nine) ... the stories seemed forced and drawn out ...

The Dark Knight Strikes Again also felt drawn out and awful, even after re-reads later ... a large single graphic novel would have been better ... maybe ...

All Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder is just plain awful and painful to read. The dialogue is inane and forced like he is stubbornly doing it on purpose now just because he can and knows people will buy it with his name on it ... this is the same Frank Miller that wrote Batman: Year One ... where did he go?

One saving grace? The one shot Martha Washington Dies was quite good this summer. Why? Mostly because it was a one shot and concise ...

I am not one who tends to lament the old days of an artist. I enjoy new work from old bands and writers and think it is silly to always point out that an artist was always better in their early days as it is simply not always true. I remember Buck Dharma of BOC challenging a rock radio jock a few years back about their new work not even being given a chance by rock radio when a listen of the CD confirmed Buck was right. However, when an artist jumps the shark like Frank Miller clearly has in comics in the late 90s during the last Martha Washington and Sin City series', it is time for them to move on.

Go make movies Frank.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Suite Life ... Like a Living Room That Opens to Heaven ...

Seattle Sounders 5 - Colorado Rapids 0
August 7, 2007
Seattle, WA - Qwest Field
US OPEN CUP QUARTERFINALS




1 - Blurry but true ... 5-0 middle of 2nd half ...



2 - Colorado got tired of waiting for the terminally tardy Sounders to start ...



3 - Oh look, the Sounders joined them! 7:00 start did not happen as the game finally got underway at 7:23, most likely due to the walk up crowd of 6600ish being typically Seattle and last minute ...



4 - Suites are like a living room that opens up to the stadium ...



5 - After one of the first half goals ... I did a terrible job of getting pictures this time as I was really enjoying chatting with Tim, the Polish photographer, and the Chilean fan in the suite as we tried to explain "stoppage time" to the soccer newcomer ... I will now root for Lechia Gdansk and Colo Colo whenever it is possible ... sort of like I tend to root for Flamengo after the Pedro Sauer Brazilian Jiu Jitsu seminar I took in 2005 ...




6 - Random game image ... try and find the ex-Sounders on the Rapids like Hercules Gomez or the ex-Rapids on the Sounders like Danny Jackson ... go ahead, I'll wait ...



7 - More Random game stuff ... the game got a bit chippy, which given that it is a game with consequences and one team was handing the other its @$$ that is hardly surprising ... not surprising that someone got sent off, just glad it was a Rapids player ... Oh, and the lines are yellow now? I think that is new for Qwest ...



8 - Former national team goalkeeper Zach Thornton did not make a case for a recall ...



9 - Tim rubbing it in online to Rapids fans around the world ... both of them ...




10 - No stoppage time in the second half? Really? Remember, "stoppage time" is discretionary and not arbitrary, see #5 above ...

About tonight's game:

Clearly, the differences between USL1 and MLS are not that great which really highlights that the USL1 is more like a "mid-major" than a "minor league" ... The USL1 cannot claim to be "major league" because they are "Division 2", but they really aren't "minor league" either ...

My notes just weren't very good so I will just toss most of them ...

The game was a lot of fun and frankly the Rapids just aren't that good and were sloppy with their basic passing and trapping on too many occassions ... When one team has not won a league match in months and the other hasn't lost a match of any kind in a dozen games things like this can happen ...

The Rapids and Sounders had met in the Open Cup before … 1-0 to Colorado in Denver … in 1999 - now the series is tied 1-1 ...

It was very cool to get to chat with Jimmy Mac briefly after the game about the differences between the NASL circa 1977 and the state of pro soccer today ...

Sounders Coach Brian Schmetzer was an assistant coach for Rapids Coach Fernando Clavijo 1995-1997 for the short lived indoor soccer Seattle Seadogs that played at Key Arena and won the CISL title in 1997 … and Clavijo's teammate in San Diego in the mid-80s as members of the San Diego Sockers meaning that the last two open cup matches have seen the opposing coach be a former teammate (Preki as coach of Chivas USA and former Tacoma Stars teammate) ...

I had actually seen the Sounders play the Rapids in a friendly, with the Rapids winning 4-0 in Marysville in 1998 … Adrian Paz from Colorado gave Jacob (then 1 1/2) his Rapids tee shirt after the game in a very cool gesture … the 1998 game was on Father's Day and coincided with the USA losing earlier that day in the World Cup to I believe Iran …

Since the Sounders won, they host the semi final against FC Dallas according to usopencup.com … on Sept 4 … meaning all 5 Open Cup matches will have been played at home venues - be they Starfire or Qwest ...

Monday, August 06, 2007

Dog Shears ...


Dog Shears ...

So ... I ended up with a full beard this summer (long story for another time) ... it drove me nuts (rubbed my face all the time like my Dad and Coach Paul did coaching little league when the signal was to rub the beard for a curve ball and I was catcher and we both got yelled at because Brian's arm was falling off from throwing too many curve balls that kept getting past me so the coaches had to stand with their hands behind their backs the last couple innings and we permanently changed the signal after that) ... but I don't exactly own a beard trimmer (could borrow my dad's but he is out of town) and saw no real reason to buy one to permanently remove one (another piece of clutter in the bathroom) ... the logical solution? ... Dasher's shears ... the kids enjoyed watching that one ...

Friday, August 03, 2007

Harry Potter Book 7




Harry Potter Book 7

If I was 12 years old, I would have been impossible this summer ....

When book 4 came out several years ago Nana bought it and I thought I should read one ... I read all 4 in two weeks .... and became one of those people waiting ... waiting ... waiting for answers ... I now have those answers and I am sad and happy at the same time because I will never wonder again about what happened and will have to satisfy myself with trying to figure out the why ... it will be good to read these books again many years from now and see if there are new things I discover or things I forgot I knew ...

So .... as has sort of become the custom of this blog ... here are my random thoughts and timeline diary style notes on the experience that was the night Harry Potter Book 7 came out and my son and I went to Barnes & Noble to wait in line for its release ...

3pm ... Nana waits in line over an hour to get us a good number ... it works ... thanks mom ...

9pm ... at almost exactly at 900PM we enter Barnes & Noble in Lynnwood, meaning the East Coast is getting the book right now ... sometimes there is an advantage to living in the future ...

915PM - the kids' music teacher walks by ... I draw a blank on her name, she looks at me like I am vaguely familiar, I let it go but point it out to Ringo, he's curious, but not curious enough to go look ...

- Scott calls ... tells me he will come join us ... even though he and J are not getting the book ...

- There are activities in the store to keep us all occupied - they are kind of fun; I make a Snitch, Ringo makes a pendant - we keep the ticket and wrist things for souvenirs, along with the pictures ...

- The trivia questions around the store make me feel inadequate as a fan, even though I have read the books and am usually very good at this sort of thing ... it has been many years since the earlier books though, in my own defense --- we get enough correct to "pass" I guess ...

930PM - it looks like we will just try to read, since I won't spot Ringo the cash to buy other books; he makes it 23 pages, I flip through a few magazines, we're done with that for the evening by ten ...

1120PM - we run into an old King's Elementary friend and family, nice to see them and they join us for the rest of the evening in line ...

1140 - we are finally lining up ... and they take the wraps off of books .... (see photos)

- I come to the conclusion that if you wear costumes, you either need to try very, very hard or don't bother AT ALL ... you can easily tell the difference ... it is interesting that some chose Slytherin costumes with the attitude to match ...

- We are numbered in the 51-100 range, which is very good, and even though they announce the way lining up is to be done over and over again on the PA and things are reasonably well marked, many still have no idea what they are doing, sort of like on the highways ...

1200AM - Book 7 is now for sale in the Pacific time zone ...

1216AM - we are out of store, pic taken with the book, and are in the van and on the road home ...

1225AM - We are pulling into driveway at home ... I know at this moment that I will read instead of going to sleep ... so ... I read until 150AM and do glance at the last page even though I should not have and learned one simple thing ... DRAT! ... I finish up around page 111 and would have stayed up all night if circumstances were different ...

FYI and FTR ... I owe my daughter a make up night for this, even though she got to hang with Nana and see a movie ...

1157PM ... Finished! HAH! 759 pages and done within the 24 hours the book went on sale ... even though I slept, took the dog to a vet check up, went to Kinko's, jogged, played checkers and croquette, and ate ... 23:5* minutes from purchase to finished ...

... already loaned out by Tuesday ...

I must admit in the interim it has been fun to tell people, "I read it Saturday," in a very matter of fact, yet likely to be taken as smug, manner ...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Cascadia Cup 2007 Final ...

Cascadia Cup 2007 Final ...

Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers
08.01.2007 Seattle, WA - Qwest Field











The match had the potential to be the Cascadia Cup Final, but only if the Sounders won … then it would not be the Cascadia Cup Final, even though if the other games turned out certain ways a loss or tie by the Sounders might still have been enough. The win simplifies things very nicely. So, since the Sounders won, the match becomes known as the 2007 Cascadia Cup Final retroactively, which is nice.

I made a lot of notes about this game - the minute by minute kind – but those notes really don’t translate well as I have looked over them. So, instead of doing my play by play I will summarize and use some of the observations.

The Sounders were simply the better team on the night. Seattle created better chances, looked steadier on the back line, played with a better sense of urgency even when ahead, and deserved to win. When you don’t settle back into a defensive shell until roughly the 86th minute when up 2-0 I can respect that. Even then, the Sounders countered and tried for an exclamation point third goal.



Random observations:
- A kid was wearing a Beckham LA Galaxy jersey, a guy was wearing a #23 Levesque San Jose Earthquakes jersey, and two guys were wearing Sunderland jerseys of all things … along with the usual assortment of Barcelona, Real, Brazil, and other big name team colors on display … but the Chivas jerseys were conspicuous by their absolute absence.
- I can’t believe I got a shot of the 2nd goal as it happened.
- Kenji’s throw ins bring back the memory of the “Jason Dunn with the throw in!” excited PA announcer in 94 in the Tacoma Dome that made me and my brother laugh … a nice weapon to have though.
- How exactly did Kevin Sakuda get to 100 straight starts? Impressive …
- Portland waited until after the 80th minute to make their final two subs, even though the 2nd goal was in the 68th minute.
- Watching your team with the ball in stoppage time and making the other team chase while nursing a lead is one of my favorite things in all of sports.
- I won a 25$ gift cert to FX … and I really don’t watch The Simpson’s.
- It was good to see Danny Jackson get back in a game, even though I saw Taylor Graham with an ice pack on his ankle on the screen.
- They really need to stop announcing “The official time is now being kept on the field” when it is ALWAYS that the official time is being kept on the field. People know what stoppage time is.

Upon further review, both goals were even more impressive on video.



On the ECS vs. TA rivalry:

I have never much understood the reasons for the rivalry being so bitter until last night. Yes, I have seen a few of the TA members come over and stir up trouble, but that seems more like a couple of bad apples. I cannot stand the use of “scum” as in “Portscum” or “Scum South” in that they both just seem forced and childish. HOWEVER … after sitting near the TA for a good portion of the match I have to admit I gained a new insight into some of the issues. Sure, they travel a large group and are really, really loud. In fact, the TA was louder than the ECS for most of the match as I sat near both groups for stretches of the game. Sure, they get the sort of acknowledgement from their team before the game that every team should give their traveling supporters. But … the constant F bombs in the songs and the shrill heckling when losing is really a negative reflection on the whole group. (When I have sat in Husky Stadium watching the Cougs lose to the Dawgs in the Apple Cup I continued to cheer for the Cougs when they make good plays and to try and come back, but the trash talking stops when the game is decided and Wazzu is losing and I am in Husky Stadium.) There is a time to stand and cheer and trash talk, it just isn’t late in a game your team has been soundly handled in while the clock ticks down. When your team is losing you don’t have to be silent, but you do have to be smarter than to refer to the forward on the other team that cut through your defense as something other than $#!+ …

Jefferson's White House Translations (Part one of a potential series) ...

Jefferson's White House Translations (Part one of a potential series) ...

The White House Says:

"Congress is out of control"

or

"the investigation is a witch hunt" ...

Translation:

"We no longer control Congress and can't seem to bluff our way out of everything and stall like crazy with impunity any more and now Congress is trying to hold us accountable since it really does appear the 06 elections were about us after all since everyone knows we are as corrupt and paranoid as the Nixon White House was."

The artist you have personal issues with ...


The artist you have personal issues with ...
(Tom Cruise, Charlton Heston, Bono et al ... and the Dave Sim conundrum)

There is a great Catch-22 for anyone in the arts (film, literature, comics, comedy, photography, painting, etc ...) in that if they use their "celebrity" to say something they are labeled as opportunist (or worse) and if they do not then they are labeled as vacuous and shallow.

Although I generally think that it is a good thing for those with something to say to say it, how they say it becomes very important ...

--- case in point #1: Tom Cruise. Tom has strong feelings for his church and is willing to very publicly go on the record. Since he is Tom Cruise, people print or broadcast pretty much anything he says. Since he has not always used tact or restraint in order to get his point across he is now very often the object of ridicule or disdain, as well as of box office boycotts. People who would otherwise enjoy his films choose not to go because of his personal stances and behavior. Although I like the casting of Robert Downey, Jr. I still think Cruise would have made an excellent Tony Stark.

--- case in point #2 Charlton Heston. "My President is Charlton Heston" read the bumper sticker in front of me the other night, a clear indication of the support Heston has as a 2nd Amendment advocate and NRA President. I have issues with the NRA. But, Charlton Heston has been willing to go on SNL and do skit comedy about his stances, making him much more of a sympathetic figure for me in regards to his stances. He is nonetheless, still a lightning rod due to those stances. I am sad for his health.

--- case in point #3 Bono. Somehow Bono has managed to avoid much of the ridicule (he gets some)... but perhaps by being willing to meet with people he disagrees with and by actually being informed as well as by being the face for several issues he has developed a fair amount of credibility other celebs would kill for ... U2 is still a band that has remained relevant musically.

--- case in point #4 Dave Sim. The creator, writer, and artist for Cerebus
has alienated a fair amount of the comic industry with his public stances on socio-political issues; primarily for his opposition to feminism. Tangent and other writings have made it so that some people find admitting they like Cerebus akin to supporting Sim's politics; which is simply not the case.

Too often it is believed that if someone admits to supporting some one's work then they are supporting what that person believes in. In some instances that might very well be true. But, for the most part, especially in the arts, I do not believe it is so. Going to Tom Cruise's next film does not make me a Scientology sympathizer any more than reading Cerebus makes me a misogynist (I also do not believe that Dave's anti-feminist stance means he hates women. In fact, I think his views on feminism are strictly societal impact issues.).

When someone supports a company doing something bad; yes the support contributes. When one supports a politician that is corrupt or doing other bad things; yes the support contributes. But I do not believe that supporting an artist with different thoughts and beliefs is the same thing. Sometimes, those things we don't agree with or don't want to hear are necessary for the kind of open public dialogue essential to society. Sometimes those things we don't want to hear are necessary in order to make us truly evaluate what we really believe.

Here's the deal; I like Dave Sim the guy. I liked him the time I met him here in Seattle in the early 90's. I like that he takes the time to actually write back and sent me character pencils. I don't agree with his socio-political outlook. I liked and read Cerebus from issue 16 through issue 300, enjoy reading Following Cerebus, and will read the "Secret Dave Sim Project" when it comes out ... It is not necessary for me to agree with him to enjoy his work. There, I said it.