Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Fantasy Champs!

My team pulled out a huge win to take the eNFL championship. Steven Jackson, Rian Lindell and the Chargers D overcame mediocre performances from Matt Hasselbeck, Marion Barber and Torry Holt.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Iran Loses Lawsuit

In more ridiculous legal news, Iran has been ordered to pay damages for the Khobar Towers bombing. Does anyone really expect them to pay?

Exxon Valdez

Why is this still going on? No wonder the courts are backlogged if they keep doing the same cases for 17 years.

Fantasy Football Semi-finals

By a minor miracle, one of my teams squeaked out a win. The game was tied after Sunday's afternoon games and I was going to lose the tie-breaker. However, due to a recount, I was awarded an extra point and the victory. I believe that crucial point was the fumble recovery by the Chargers on that blocked punt. I was in the championship game last year in this league, so I hope second time's the charm.
My other team got smoked.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Three Books

Bruce Catton - American Heritage New History of The Civil War
This book is one of the seminal volumes in Civil War history. Not because of its depth or groundbreaking analysis but because of the large number of historians that list it as one of their first exposures to the Civil War. This book provides a great overall history of the war but it is the maps that get all the attention. The maps are drawn 3D maps with tiny soldiers, cannons and cavalry running around, fighting and otherwise depicting the actual troop actions. They give a nice feel for the events over traditional military maps, especially for younger readers.

James McPherson - Battle Cry of Freedom
This book won the Pulizter Prize so it must be good. It is a much more comprehensive
narrative than Catton. Frankly, I skipped most of the first 6 chapters since they covered the political events of the prior decades leading up to the war. I was mainly interested in the military side of things. MacPherson covers everything in just enough detail to get a good feel for the war.

Tom Clancy - Debt of Honor
I hadn't read a Tom Clancy book for ages before picking this one up at the library. I don't think I will be picking up another for a while. This book is predictable and boring. The premise is that the Japanese, after getting in a trade dispute with the US, decide they need to be more "indepenent." So they attack US naval forces and invade Saipan and Guam. The industrialists that are controlling the government also have plans to ally with China and India to grab more land. But there is no suspense, no surprises. Jack Ryan is the hero who can do no wrong (and his wife is even more annoyingly perfect). In the end, the US uses its superior technology to knock out key Japanese capabilities and forces them to retreat. Maybe it is because I read "The Hunt for Red October" and "Red Storm Rising" at the height of the Cold War and they seemed real and plausible and that made those books fun and exciting. But Debt of
Honor just seems silly.

Niihau Incident

As somewhat of a military history buff, I am constantly learning new things as I read books and websites. I recently came across this account of the Niihau Incident. I had no prior knowledge of this story but found it to be one of the most interesting I have ever read. If you live in California, you know all about the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII, but think that it might not have happened if it wasn't for a single wayward pilot. Some might argue that Japanese-Americans would have been imprisoned anyway, and that could be true. But keep in mind that German Italian Americans were never put in camps. Perhaps racism is to blame but like in any war, irrational decisions are made.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Grand Canyon Sky Walk

I have to go see this. Having been to both rims of the Grand Canyon, this would be another incredible experience.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Fantasy Football Playoffs

The season started very grim, but two of my four teams pulled out playoff spots. Both had to win their final regular season game (week 13 of the NFL season) to sneak in and both pulled it out.
One of my teams is not very strong but it has some talent that could win a game or two.
My other playoff team is much more powerful. That team is lead by Drew Brees, the #1 fantasy QB this year. I have two solid WRs in TJ Houshmandzadeh and Steve Smith. The injury to Shaun Alexander had me shuffling Jamal Lewis, Maurice Jones-Drew and Dominic Rhodes at RB all year; now that the MVP is back, I should make some noise. One guy predicted me wining in all, I hope this is not a jinx.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Lost Family

I have recently caught up on this heart rendering story of the missing family of four in Oregon. It is hard to believe that someone can still get lost in the snow these days. They had a modern car, cell phones and who knows what else (given that the father was a well-known gadget journalist you think he might have a GPS), yet still got lost along major roads.
One interesting tidbit about the resuce of the mother and children is that the helicopter that spotted them was charted by the family of the missing people. The authorities, who are presumably experts in finding lost people, had all kinds of men and machines out searching, but can't find them.
Hopefully they can find the remaining person soon.