28.9.07

Our Cup Runneth Over


The lovely and talented Susan Isaacs sent me this link the other day, accusing me of holding out on her.

For the record, I've only ever been to Higgins and Paley's Place, and the latter only because an ex-girlfriend who had a lot of money treated me. I'm such a deadbeat.

Anyway, Pok Pok and Le Pigeon are on my radar, but I'm pretty happy with my regular haunts: NY NY on Barbur Boulevard, Tani's for sushi in Woodstock and Delta Cafe for Southern fare (also in Woodstock). I don't know nothin' about all this fancy schmancy crap.

But, yeah...Portland's a cultural mecca. What can I say?

The Schnoz Report - Week 4



Each week The Schnoz Report will get you ready for the upcoming slate of games in the NFL, providing angles (both acute and obtuse, but never right) that you won't get anywhere else.

As always, if you hate sports, especially football, then reading this post will only make you bitter and angry. Why don't you go read about the lab technician who bit a 3-year old boy.

First Thing's First

What we learned last week:

1. No one liked the Eagles throwback uniforms. I mean NO ONE. Public opinion was so one-sided on this, i actually feel embarassed to say that i didn't mind them. Would i wear a replica jersey to a party this weekend? No, because i don't party on the weekends. I mean, the jerseys were weird. Freakishly weird. But i still think they look better than some of the crap other teams wear. Like this or this for example.

2. The Ravens Defense does not know how to hold a second half lead. Maybe they're getting old? They've given up 18 points in the first half of their first 3 games. After the halftime show? They've given up a total of 45 points.

3. My dad is a die-hard cowboys fan. I grew up in New England. As a result, I follow the Cowboys and the Patriots more closely than i do any other teams in the NFL. I only bring this up because it looks like they are the two teams that will be meeting in the Super Bowl this year. There's a lot of football left in the season, of course, but as we head in to Week 4 they have established themselves as the favorites. (They meet in Week 6 in Dallas, so stay tuned.)

4. Am i the only one who has this feeling that as long as Vince Young is the quarterback of the Titans, they are going to contend for a playoff spot? When you watch him you get a sense of calm, like he's never out of control, even when a play is breaking down. I think he's the reason that Jeff Fisher just re-signed with Tennessee. Vince can be what Steve McNair was for that franchise, only better.

5. If it seems like fantasy wide receivers are doing much better than fantasy running backs this year, it's because they are. NFL teams have thrown for 135 TD passes through 3 weeks, and have rushed for only 69 TDs. While some of those TD passes were thrown to running backs, it shows you that there's been a trend to score in the air this year. 2 out of every 3 TDs is a pass.

Angle(s) of the Week

The networks are playing up the revenge factor this week. Schaub plays against Atlanta, Jamal Lewis goes against Baltimore, and Culpepper will face the Dolphins, to name a few.

I think this angle gets a little bit overplayed.

Sure, these athletes might be thinking about their old friends in the other locker room throughout the week, but once the ball is kicked off, does it really matter what color jersey is on the other side of the line of scrimmage?

These guys have to play hard every down or they'll get killed. I don't think it really matters to them a whole lot if it's a team they used to play for. Maybe before and after the game it's something they think about, but during the game, I don't think it's even an issue.

This has Nothing to Do with Football

What is the origin of the expression “he’s going to eat us out of house and home”? Can someone please explain to me what this means?

I understand that if someone quite literally did not stop eating, that eventually the cost of the food alone would cause you to miss mortgage payments and lose your house to the bank, leaving you with no house. I’m with you to this point.

But the home too?

Can someone actually eat so much that it will break up the bonds of the family unit? Might the very fibers of love that hold our families together be torn asunder by a hunger that can not be satiated?

I’m gonna say no. And I’m gonna ask you to never use this cliche ever again.

Fantasy is the New Reality

Every week I give you 3 fantasy players that I think will outperform their peers (using my ESPN League's scoring system). Here's how last week worked out:

Clinton Portis > Larry Johnson - CORRECT! (15>4)
Marques Colston > Reggie Wayne - WRONG! (6<8)
DEN def > BAL def - WRONG! (7<9)

I'm 2-7 on the year. Clearly I suck at this and this feature needs to be discontinued. Foolishly, we press on:

LaMont Jordan > Willie Parker
Joey Galloway > Marvin Harrison
OAK def > S.D. def

No Ticket, No Problem

If your wife thinks the Sunday Ticket is the anti-christ, here's what you'll be watching on sunday.

CBS - CBS has the doubleheader this week. They have 4 early games, but 2 of them (BAL@CLE, HOU@ATL) are not in HD. Shame. Almost the entire country will be watching Denver @ Indy in the late game slot, except for yours truly, who will be stuck with Pittsburgh @ Arizona.

FOX - FOX has one game on Sunday. If you live in the South (TB@CAR) or on the West coast (SEA@SF), you'll get that game in the late time slot. The rest of us will get our FOX game early, with most of the country enjoying Joe Buck and Troy Aikman calling the Rams @ the Cowboys.

If you'd like to take a peak at the NFL coverage map with your own retinas, be my guest.

Household Chore to Ignore

Each week I'll be helping you find something around the house that you should feel guilty about not doing because you're watching football.

This week let's take a break and think about how hard you work during that 40-hour work week. Sure, there's stuff to be done around the house, but you've just finished another 5 days of providing for your family. You deserve a break.

Besides, it's probably best that I stop pointing out the things that need to be done around my house for a week or two because my wife apparently reads this and doesn't appreciate the reminders.

Upset Specials

Each week I'll pick an underdog that i think can win its game outright.

Last Week's pick: MIA over NYJ. (MIA 28, NYJ 31)
Record for the Year: 2-1

The Dolphins tried to help me out with a late comeback last week, but they fell just short. In happier news, we left Manhattan at 2:30pm last Sunday and made it home in 3 hours with no traffic. Erica slept the whole way and i toggled between ESPN Radio and FOX Radio on the XM contraption to catch NFL scores. Good times.

Mascot Wars

Let's break down some of the great match ups between mascots this week:

Broncos @ Colts - When it's a horse on horse battle, all bets are off. The dictionary tells me that a bronco is a "wild horse" while a colt is a "young horse". I think the wild horses will probably be too out of control, leaving the victory to the young horses by default. Broncos 6, Colts 27.

Eagles @ Giants - Have you ever seen an eagle? They're huge. The thing is, so are giants. The Eagles can swoop around and peck at the heads of the giants, but eventually the giants will catch the eagles and bite their heads off. Have you ever seen a huge eagle with no head? It's a disgusting sight. Giants 30, Eagles 20.

Conspiracy Theory of the Week

This week's conspiracy theory has to do with the nighttime sky. I'm just not buying it.

You're trying to tell me that those little white dots we call "stars" are giant balls of gas millions of miles away from us? What do you take me for, an idiot?

I'm not really sure how they do it. It wouldn't surprise me if there were hundreds of projectors all over the earth shooting up these images into the sky.

Shooting stars? They just have someone really fast run around with the projector.

And the moon? Am i really supposed to believe that it doesn't generate it's own light? That thing is so bright sometimes that i need to wear sunglasses. No way it's just reflecting the sun's light.

Look, the nighttime sky is beautiful, regardless of whether it really is what they tell us it is. I'm just not gonna blindly swallow some line of crap about if a star burned out we wouldn't know about it for seven years because it's so far away. That's garbage. Those projectors burn out all the time and the just replace the bulbs.

Let's start using our brains folks.

If Betting were Legal

Last Week: 7-9 (for the third straight week)
Year to Date: 21-27

Erica had 10 wins last week. I owe her a 30-minute back rub. Who's idea was this anyway?

My picks for Week 4 (your spreads may vary):

GB(-1.5), DAL(-13.5), NYJ(-3.5), DET(+3.5), OAK(+3.5), ATL(+3.5), BAL(-4.5), TB(+3.5), SEA(-1.5), ARI(+5.5), KC(+11.5), IND(-9.5), PHI(-2.5), NE(-7.5)

Final Word

Today is The Schnoz's birthday. I'm 31. It's good to be a prime number again.

My wife is celebrating by giving me the night off to do some writing for the book I'm working on. (Thanks love!)

Later tonight I'll get to open the present(s) the fam got for me, and I'll enjoy the rest of the weekend hanging out with my family. Might even have some friends over for pizza, beer, and a stogie on saturday night, so that will be fun too.

Another year gone by full of more blessings than i deserve. For that i am truly grateful. Have a great weekend everyone.

-The Schnoz

26.9.07

1234

I'm sure you're all familiar with this song by now, being as it was on an iPod commercial and all. This hasn't been my most-listened-to song on this album (I love "I Feel It All").

But this video is great. If you've just seen the commercial version, you're missing the best parts.

The actual warehouse acoustics? Utterly brilliant. A song about teenage heartbreak so wonderfully rendered? Heavenly.

And here's Leslie Feist absolutely owning David Letterman.



David Letterman: "That was so good, Paul, I almost feel like not phoning it in tomorrow."

Paul Shaffer: "Sure, sure...hahahaha!"

25.9.07

I'm a HUGE fan.

The grocery store where I spend a lot of my working hours...the hours that actually pay the bills...is a decently posh place. It's not a top shelf grocery store, but it's up there. Before the current company moved in, it had been one of those nice places where the wine selection seems to stretch for kilometers (rich people don't use miles). The owner decided the insurance money was worth more than the store, so he burned it down. Here's an actual picture courtesy of KGW.

He didn't factor in the fire station directly next door, but that was alright because the firemen only heard that a grocery store in the area was on fire and went directly to the closest Fred Meyer's, passing the actual burning store on the way.

He also didn't factor in the security cameras he'd had installed himself, which still would've been okay because he wasn't immediately identifiable on those security tapes. Well, he wouldn't have been immediately identifiable if he hadn't shown up at the insurance office wearing the same shirt he did the night of the fire.

Anyway, the new owners would never burn the place down, I'm sure.

The point is, it's a nice place, and we get our fair share of local celebrity visitors. Christine Sinclair is a regular shopper, and she stopped by today. If you're not familiar with Sinclair, she's probably the greatest female soccer player in NCAA history.

Local news personalities stop by.

The biggest celebrity to come in is probably Jimmy Buffett. I wasn't there, but he allegedly ordered all of the bags of ice we had in the store at the time. I ask you: what could be more cliche than Jimmy Buffett buying all of a store's ice?

I'm 90% sure Monica Lewinsky could take Jimmy's crown. She went to school just down the road and I served her coffee at the Starbucks across the street 3 years ago, but I don't have proof, dammit!

(In an aside, I really wish the best for Monica. Apparently, she's reviled on both sides of the political aisle, and that would be awful.)

Besides Christine Sinclair, I had another local celebrity run-in today.

Two ladies come up to the checkout stand.

"I'm sure you get this all the time, but you look just like James Spader," says one of the women.

Now, I don't get this all the time, but I do get it way more than any other celebrity, and I'm always extremely flattered. James Spader may not be the best looking actor in Hollywood, but he's pretty cool even if he always plays a sexual deviant.

The woman buying the groceries pays with a check. When people pay with checks, we need to check their ID if they're not regulars, and I tell her so. She hands me the check, and I look it over as she digs through her purse for her driver's license.

"Wait," I say, double-taking on the name at the top, "You're Dwight Jaynes' wife?"

Dwight Jaynes is a local sportswriter, and since I love sports and grew up here, I'm well aware of who I'm speaking to.

"Yes!" she says, "Do I still need to show ID?"

"No," I respond, "I love Dwight's writing!"

Here's the thing: I don't love Dwight Jaynes. My friend Steve and I often email links to his columns back and forth with the caption, "Stupid Dwight Jaynes". Dwight Jaynes is the contrarian sportswriter every city has to have. He's like the Jay Mariotti or Woody Paige of Portland...a curmudgeon who gets the folks riled up.

Dwight Jaynes is a very talented writer, to be sure, but he's the only writer I've ever sent an angry email to. When Portland won the NBA draft lottery, Dwight's column told the Blazer hopeful not to get too excited, that it wasn't as great as everyone hoped.

The fact he was right doesn't make things any easier.

"Really?" she said. "That's great."

She was such a nice lady, people, and the whole James Spader comment still had me in a good mood.

But I'm not a person who controls my tongue very well, and I hated being dishonest in this situation.

"I mean, he can be very infuriating, but he's a great writer."

And Dwight Jaynes' wife took it all in stride, because she's a woman of immense grace. I tried to find common ground.

"I'm sure you feel the same way at times," I said, only half-joking and desperately trying to smooth over the fact I'd just told her husband made me really mad.

"I don't know what you're talking about," she said, joking back.

Ultimately, I felt she understood what I was saying, and probably understood every facet of the conversation, and was nice enough to let the cashier at the grocery store off the hook for being such a loudmouth.

I called Steve immediately after they left. I told him I was a Dwight Jaynes convert, because wasn't he right about the Blazers getting the first pick?

I'm a HUGE fan.

The grocery store where I spend a lot of my working hours...the hours that actually pay the bills...is a decently posh place. It's not a top shelf grocery store, but it's up there. Before the current company moved in, it had been one of those nice places where the wine selection seems to stretch for kilometers (rich people don't use miles). The owner decided the insurance money was worth more than the store, so he burned it down.

He didn't factor in the fire station directly next door, but that was alright because the firemen only heard that a grocery store in the area was on fire and went directly to the closest Fred Meyer's, passing the actual burning store on the way.

He also didn't factor in the security cameras he'd had installed himself, which still would've been okay because he wasn't immediately identifiable on those security tapes. Well, he wouldn't have been immediately identifiable if he hadn't shown up at the insurance office wearing the same shirt he did the night of the fire.

Anyway, the new owners would never burn the place down, I'm sure.

The point is, it's a nice place, and we get our fair share of local celebrity visitors. Christine Sinclair is a regular shopper, and she stopped by today. If you're not familiar with Sinclair, she's probably the greatest female soccer player in NCAA history.

Local news personalities stop by.

The biggest celebrity to come in is probably Jimmy Buffett. I wasn't there, but he allegedly ordered all of the bags of ice we had in the store at the time. I ask you: what could be more cliche than Jimmy Buffett buying all of a store's ice?

I'm 90% sure Monica Lewinsky could take Jimmy's crown. She went to school just down the road and I served her coffee at the Starbucks across the street 3 years ago, but I don't have proof, dammit!

(In an aside, I really wish the best for Monica. Apparently, she's reviled on both sides of the political aisle, and that would be awful.)

Besides Christine Sinclair, I had another local celebrity run-in today.

Two ladies come up to the checkout stand.

"I'm sure you get this all the time, but you look just like James Spader," says one of the women.

Now, I don't get this all the time, but I do get it way more than any other celebrity, and I'm always extremely flattered. James Spader may not be the best looking actor in Hollywood, but he's pretty cool even if he always plays a sexual deviant.

The woman buying the groceries pays with a check. When people pay with checks, we need to check their ID if they're not regulars, and I tell her so. She hands me the check, and I look it over as she digs through her purse for her driver's license.

"Wait," I say, double-taking on the name at the top, "You're Dwight Jaynes' wife?"

Dwight Jaynes is a local sportswriter, and since I love sports and grew up here, I'm well aware of who I'm speaking to.

"Yes!" she says, "Do I still need to show ID?"

"No," I respond, "I love Dwight's writing!"

Here's the thing: I don't love Dwight Jaynes. My friend Steve and I often email links to his columns back and forth with the caption, "Stupid Dwight Jaynes". Dwight Jaynes is the contrarian sportswriter every city has to have. He's like the Jay Mariotti or Woody Paige of Portland...a curmudgeon who gets the folks riled up.

Dwight Jaynes is a very talented writer, to be sure, but he's the only writer I've ever sent an angry email to. When Portland won the NBA draft lottery, Dwight's column told the Blazer hopeful not to get too excited, that it wasn't as great as everyone hoped.

The fact he was right doesn't make things any easier.

"Really?" she said. "That's great."

She was such a nice lady, people, and the whole James Spader comment still had me in a good mood.

But I'm not a person who controls my tongue very well, and I hated being dishonest in this situation.

"I mean, he can be very infuriating, but he's a great writer."

And Dwight Jaynes' wife took it all in stride, because she's a woman of immense grace. I tried to find common ground.

"I'm sure you feel the same way at times," I said, only half-joking and desperately trying to smooth over the fact I'd just told her husband made me really mad.

"I don't know what you're talking about," she said, joking back.

Ultimately, I felt she understood what I was saying, and probably understood every facet of the conversation, and was nice enough to let the cashier at the grocery store off the hook for being such a loudmouth.

I called Steve immediately after they left. I told him I was a Dwight Jaynes convert, because wasn't he right about the Blazers getting the first pick?

24.9.07

Another hungry mouth to feed.......


Tricia and I went to the pound Saturday and adopted a dog. We named him Bob Vance, Vance Refridgeration, but we just call him Bob Vance, or sometimes Bob. The folks at the pound said he is part Schnauzer part Labrador, but I have my doubts on the latter. I think they just put Lab on every mutt because people like Labs. Anyway, here is his picture.

And FYI, the pound is terrible. We spent two hours there trying to decide which dog to take, both of us wanting to bring them all home (and I'm not even dog person).

21.9.07

And now, A Moment of Silence for the Apostrophe '

I know, I'm a grammar snob. I know that far worse errors are being overlooked in the halls of education. Like, bringing guns to class. And I know we all do things in our private penmanship we aren't proud of (or, "of which we are not proud.") But when bad grammar usage makes it into corporate signage, spread on every sale rack in the Target chain whose ads aim for today's hip clientele and tomorrows tastemakers ... or at least the masses of consumers, then I really have to speak out. And it's always the same crime. The apostrophe.

(The Blogger people came in and removed the photo I posted: A Target sign reading, "22.99 Mossimo TROUSER'S". Wow big brother is watching!)

Thi's really annoy's me. 'since when doe's an anything ending in an S have an apostrophe? I's thi's happening becau'se we're outsourcing our sign's to Ch'i'n'a?

Here's (here is) when to use the punctuation in question.
  • To indicate the contraction of two words.
    here is = here's
    . We will = we'll. You are = you're
  • Or possession:
    Susan's pet peeve
    . The pet peeve that Susan possesses.
    Jesus' blood.
    The blood that belongs to Jesus.
  • DO NOT USE on Plurals. Pants. Trousers. Idiots who make signs
So unless you're Arabic, al'ham d'Allah, leave those doggies alone!

And now a moment of silence to remember why we are here. Forget crime, poverty and Justin Timberlake. We're here to make grammar waymobetta.

Don't Miss Alex Dupree and Seth Woods


Last summer around this time we held a concert at Mindy's house and hosted Alex Dupree and Seth Woods. The show was awesome.

They're back in Portland, and will be playing Sunday, September 23rd at the unfortunately named house venue, Brotel California. Brotel California is located near the University of Portland at 6416 N Amherst, and the show commences at 6pm. It's not just Alex and Seth, though. It looks like they'll be joined by fellow Austin band Zookeeper, His Name Shall Breathe and Oh Captain My Captain.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to make it because of work, but I'm hoping to meet up with these guys afterward. I can't recommend Alex's music enough, and I strongly suggest you make the trip.

The Schnoz Report - Week 3



Each week The Schnoz Report will get you ready for the upcoming slate of games in the NFL, providing angles (both acute and obtuse, but never right) that you won't get anywhere else.

As always, if you hate sports, especially football, then reading this post will only make you bitter and angry. Why don't you go read about the 900-lb man who had to be forklifted out of his house.

First Thing's First

What we learned last week:

1. Hell hath no fury like a Patriots team scorned. They're obviously pissed off (can i say that here?) that their past achievements have been called into question, and Belichick will fuel that fire all season long. With talent to back up the chip on their shoulder, this division race could be over by Week 11.

2. Houston, Detroit, and Green Bay are all 2-0 and playing relatively well. I think Houston is the most fascinating story of the bunch, as the legacy of David Carr looks worse and worse every time Matt Schaub drives the Texans down the field. Maybe it was Carr, and not the O-Line that was the problem for the last few years.

3. I watched most of the Steelers-Bills game on Sunday and I have to tell you that the 29-3 final score doesn't even begin to tell you how badly the Bills looked from start to finish. Maybe the Steelers ARE that good, but Losman and company just looked inept out there.

4. I also watched the 4th quarter of the Ravens-Jets game on sunday and I've got to say that Kellen Clemens is far and away the best Oregon QB playing in the NFL right now (If you're keeping score at home, Joey Harrington is 3rd behind A.J. Feeley). I know Clemens was terrible for the first 45 minutes against that tough Ravens D, but in the final period he was throwing darts to receivers who probably weren't used to seeing a ball coming at them that fast. If Justin McCariens could have caught either of the two TD passes he dropped in the waning moments of the game, we might be hearing more about Clemens this week. Pennington's leash just got a whole lot shorter.

5. I miss ESPN's NFL Primetime on Sunday Nights. It was a solid hour packed with nothing but highlights and scores on all the afternoon games. The NBC show just doesn't get it that we don't want to hear all that insight and commentary on Sunday evening. Save that stuff for the rest of the week. For the love of Rush Limbaugh, just show us who won and what happened.

Angle(s) of the Week

There are currently 10 teams in the NFL at 2-0, 5 of them in the AFC and 5 in the NFC.

Factoring in the Titans/Colts game, which will hand one undefeated team its first loss, I can easily see the AFC emerging from Week 2 with 4 teams at 3-0. The Patriots, Steelers, and Broncos are all favored to win their games, which they all play at home.

Not the same story in the NFC, where it's possible that all 5 undefeated teams could suffer their first loss this week. The Lions are playing a winless (but hungry) Eagles team in Philly, the 49ers go into Pittsburgh where the Steelers have looked great, the Packers host a Chargers team that was embarrassed on Sunday night, the Cowboys go into Chicago to face the Bears in prime time, and the Redskins welcome in a desperate 0-2 Giants team.

This has Nothing to Do with Football

Have you ever taken the Jeopardy questions and answers and reversed them?

If you're not familiar with the show, they give the answer first, and contestants need to guess the question. Thing is, if you try flipping them around back to what you normally encounter (question followed by answer), you can see how little sense it all makes.

Here’s some recent examples from a show, flipped for your enjoyment. Imagine asking these questions to a friend and getting these responses: (again, these are actually from the show)

Q: “What is a Camel?”
A: “in some Asian countries, the chess piece we call a bishop shares it’s name with this desert animal.”

Q: “What is a liver?”
A: “This organ of the basking shark may yield up to 200 gallons of oil.”

Q: “What is Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price?”
A: “MSRP is short for this.”

Try it next time you watch the show, it's a lot of fun (in an "I am a huge nerd" kind of way).

Fantasy is the New Reality

Every week I give you 3 fantasy players that I think will outperform their peers (using my ESPN League's scoring system). Here's how last week worked out:

Willie Parker > LaDanian Tomlinson - CORRECT! (18>5)
Anthony Gonzalez > Plaxico Burress - WRONG! (4<9)>
NE def - WRONG!(2<14)>

I'm 1-5 on the year so far, but we press on:

Clinton Portis > Larry Johnson
Marques Colston > Reggie Wayne
DEN def > BAL def

No Ticket, No Problem

If you couldn't convince your spouse that the Sunday Ticket was a better investment than that diamond tennis bracelet, here's what you'll be watching on sunday.

CBS - CBS only has one game this week, and the coverage is very regional. Depending on where you live, you'll either get an early game or a late game. (check the map for more info)

FOX - FOX has the doubleheader this week. Early game coverage is regional, while almost the entire country will be watching the New York Giants at the Washington Redskins in the late game slot.

If you'd like to take a peak at the NFL coverage map with your own retinas, be my guest.

Household Chore to Ignore

Each week I'll be helping you find something around the house that you should feel guilty about not doing because you're watching football.

This week let's think for a second about all of those weeds in your mulch that need to be pulled. Ok, second's up. Back to the game.

Upset Specials

Each week I'll pick an underdog that i think can win its game outright.

Last Week's pick: GB over NYG. (GB 35, NYG 13)
Record for the Year: 2-0

For the second straight week in a row, i am going to go with the team visiting the Meadowlands. The Dolphins might be 3.5 point underdogs headed north, but it's going to be 80 degrees up there on Sunday. (i only know this because I'll actually be there myself...in New York City, that is...not at the Meadowlands). Until the Jets get their QB situation figured out, I don't trust them as far as i can throw Eric Mangini.

My other upset special this week is me. Erica and I will be spending the night in NYC visiting friends over the weekend, which should be a blast. The potential is there, however, for me to get extremely ticked off if there are any traffic issues as we leave the city on Sunday. The last time we drove home from Manhattan, it took us an hour and a half just to get to the New Jersey Turnpike. If this happens again, my face will be the upset special of the week. Let's hope it works out...if not you'll be hearing about it next week.

Mascot Wars
Let's break down some of the great match ups between mascots this week:

Vikings @ Chiefs - This battle actually happened about 400 years ago. A bunch of Vikings went really off course and careened into the Americas where they settled for the winter. One day there was a squabble between the Viking Tribe and the Native American Tribe over a pig that had been killed for dinner. The battle over the pigskin lasted 60 minutes, and in the end the winner was the team with the most kills of the other side. Chiefs 22, Vikings 17.

49ers @ Steelers - One team finds gold, the other forges steel. Which team will be found true under the refining fire of an NFL game? Honestly, I have no idea what that even means. But i think it's generally tougher to forge things than it is to sift through pebbles to find gold. Based on that I'm predicting a final score of Niners 49, Steelers 50.

Conspiracy Theory of the Week

This week's conspiracy theory of the week has to do with the most ridiculous piece of metal in all of history.

The weathervane.

Think about it. Do we really need to stick a wrought-iron rooster on top of a house to tell us where the wind is blowing?

What genius was sitting around one day and said, ‘you know, it would sure be a lot easier to tell which direction the wind was coming from if we had a tin chicken on the roof of the barn!’?

Besides, why is it so important that we know which direction the wind is blowing anyway? Unless your steering a sailboat or you're a professional paper airplane flyer, I don’t see why it even matters.

Personally, if I'm ever in a situation where i desperately need to know the direction of the wind and I'm on a farm, I'm looking at the actual chickens to see which way their feathers are blowing before I'm looking at some piece of scrap metal bolted to the house.

The whole thing is utter nonsense.

If Betting were Legal

Last Week: 7-9
Year to Date: 14-18

Fortunately Erica had another bad week: 6-10. I haven't had to make good on my 30-minute back rub bet yet.

My picks for Week 3 (your spreads may vary):

ARI(+7.5) over BAL, MIA(+3.5) over NYJ, SF(+9.5) over PIT, STL(+3.5) over TB, DET(+6.5) over PHI, MIN(+2.5) over KC, GB(+3.5) over SD, BUF(+15.5) over NE, IND(-5.5) over HOU, DEN(-3.5) over JAX, OAK(-3.5) over CLE, SEA(-3.5) over CIN, CAR(-4.5) over ATL, WAS(-7.5) over NYG, DAL(+3.5) over CHI, and NO(-4.5) over TEN.

Final Word

I'd like to make the official announcement here that the Schnoz Report will be changing formats starting next week. For the past 3 weeks i have been typing out this column completely in the nude. This has become a bit of an issue for me, especially since I've been working on it mostly over my lunch breaks at work.

Starting with Week 4, I'll be switching over to wearing clothes while writing the Schnoz Report. This should not affect you, the reader, at all, as i will continue to bring my 'A' game to the table on a weekly basis. It should, however, keep me out of jail in the future.

Thank you for your continued to support.

-The Schnoz

20.9.07

More Nigerians want your money

I got an email from a friend of mine today.

HELLO
HOW ARE YOU DOING? I WANT YOU TO KEEP THIS CONFIDENTIAL BETWEEN BOTH OF US, I KNOW THAT I CAN PUT MY TRUST IN YOU ON THIS. PLEASE DO NOT LET ME DOWN. RIGHT NOW I AM IN AFRICA, NIGERIA. I CAME HERE ON A TRIP TO SEE A FRIEND AND WHEN I GOT HERE I LOST MY WALLET CONTAINING THE ADRESS OF MY FRIEND AND HIS CONTACT PHONE NUMBER, ALONG WITH MY ATM CARD AND OTHER
VALUABLES.

SO RIGHT NOW I DO NOT EVEN HAVE ANY MONEY ON ME . I AM STAYING IN A HOTEL NOW , AND THE MANAGER IS ALREADY RANTING OVER HIS MONEY AND AS TIME GOES BY THE BILLS ARE INCREASING. I WOULD WANT YOU TO LOAN ME $2000. I PROMISE TO PAY YOU BACK AS SOON AS I GET BACK... I WOULD WANT YOU TO HELP SEND THE MONEY VIA WESTERN UNION . GET BACK AT ME ASAP. HOPE TO READ FROM YOU...

My friend is newly married and works for a military defense company in Southern California. So imagine my surprise to hear she's stuck in a hotel in "Africa, Nigeria." (No not Nigeria, Africa) with no money and keyboard stuck on CAPS LOCK. It seemed serious. So I emailed her right back.

Sure, dolls. You’re just the girl to go to Nigeria. Did your military defense firm send you on a covert mission? I knew you had it in you, you devil-woman! You look so straight-laced. But $2,000? Aren't hotel fares in Africa, Nigeria only like two kwaanzaa a night? You must have been ordering a lot of oryx barbecue, or you charged your safari to your room.

Anyway, since you just got married a couple months ago, and I still owe you a wedding gift (Emily Post says I have a year to buy it!) Why don't I help you out. But why stop at $2,000? Why don't I make it an even two million? Are you free later today? I was thinking I could come over and rob the Second bank of Nairobi. You can be my wing man ....

Hope to "READ FROM YOU" as you would say.

Really honestly who falls for these things? Well, my friend's great uncle did. He called her, frantic, and asking where he could send the funds. So what may seem obvious to you isn't to others.

Which reminds me. I'm stuck in this starbucks in America, Santa Monica, and the barrista is yelling at me to pay for my caramel frappuccino. Please send me coffee dollars. HOPE TO READ FROM YOU. YOUR FRIEND.

Enjoying Fall Food



I am sitting in the library looking out at a tree whose leaves have started to yellow. It's not officially fall yet, but this tree doesn't pay attention to calendars. The knobby branches look like an old woman's rheumatoid knuckles - bumpy and gnarled - and remind me that fall and winter exact a toll. In Seattle it's rain and rain and more rain.

So, rather than getting depressed about it, or doing the same old same old, I am learning to appreciate the things that fall and winter bring, thanks to my husband.

Last night, some friends, none of them Christian, brought over bags of fall food: matsutake mushrooms (that I couldn't stop smelling: dirt and pine and cinnamon in waves at the end), onions, napa cabbage, italian plums we made into upside-down cake, and plum wine made three years ago by Shawn that tasted like a fine, sweet port. I say none of them are Christian because I've never known any Christian who revels in and enjoys the bounty of the earth like these friends. So I laughed and stomped my feet with the pure joy of good friends and delicious food that we made together at the table (Japanese hotpot - nabeyaki - ever seen Lost in Translation?).

All of this to say, I'm so thankful to have a reason to look forward to the fall and winter after a sad excuse for a summer. We prepared and ate dinner for four hours! And I want to keep doing it. Even if the snow and cold is coming I want to celebrate the tasty harvest before it's too late.

19.9.07

There certainly aren't blueberries where they are now...


I caught an piece on NPR's "Talk of the Nation" today about a collection at the Holocaust Museum of photos of Nazi workers at Auschwitz. It's a pretty fascinating collection, because all of the pictures depict everyday life for the guards, commandants and female auxillaries. There's a picture of an SS officer lighting candles for Christmas, for instance, or teaching a dog how to shake.

You can view the photo album here.
In one photo you can see the ladies of Auschwitz out on a lovely summer day, eating bowls of blueberries handed to them by their supervisor. In the last shot, the lasses show their empty bowls, and one girl has a look of sadness, as if to say, "Oh, no! No more blueberries for me!" Poor, poor Nazi girl.

The woman being interviewed on NPR said the same day those girls ate blueberries, a trainload of Jews had arrived, and only around 30 survived the first day.

It's an depiction of, as Neal Conan put it, "the banality of evil". We may picture the Nazis at Auschwitz as red-eyed menaces, but they were ultimately humans like us. Only they needed an accordion player everywhere they went.

18.9.07

"This is what I mean when I talk about America..."

Here's a great dialogue between David Kuo and Hanna Rosin, who wrote the book "God's Harvard". They touch a lot on faith and politics.

Getting Hit with Reality


Mindy loves celebrity gossip, and I'll shamefully admit dabbling a little here and there. For instance, I love "The Soup" on E!. It's funny, and Joel McHale is a lovable and reasonable host.

But it's just so awful. It really is. Some celebrities are attention-seekers, sure, but it doesn't mean we should be enabling them. We take away their privacy, we revel in their downfalls, and, for the most part, we ignore the awful things happening in the world so we can watch "The Simple Life 4".

So, I was talking to Don Miller about this last night after we stumbled across an episode of "The Hills" and I was explaining to him how Lauren is a huge celebrity, and how her life since she was 18 has been caught on camera, and how it's unclear if she's an actress or if this is her actual life or if it's just an awful combination.

And he was irritated along with me, to be sure, but then he said:

"Well, isn't sports the same crap except for men?"

We're both big sports fans, but I had to respond, "Yes. Yes, it is."

14.9.07

Fantasy Football leads to sacriledge.


I thought I'd share with you this week's trash talk between my friend John and I.

When we were at the Terminal Gravity Brewery, I told John he should change his fantasy team name to John's The Baptists. He didn't like the name all that much, so I told him if he changed his name during the week we were matched up, I wouldn't play my kicker. That week is this week.

Here's a list of our trash talk so far...feel free to come up with others and let me know on the comment boards.

Me: "Time to come in out of the wilderness...and get your ass handed to you."

John: "I am going to dip you under water and keep my foot on your neck until you stop moving."

Me: "I want John's The Baptists' heads on a platter!"

Me on gameday: "You will be baptized by fire in the River Jordan." I'm not sold on that one.

Too much?

John's was the best so far, though. Olindo Mare, if you go off on Sunday, I'm going to be super-sad.

Slate discusses Portland


Slate.com just posted a piece on why Portland has become a mecca for indie rockers.

At a bar last night, I overheard a conversation wondering if Portland had passed its prime.

I thought about it for a while...and yeah, it has. It's been a slow burn up to this point, but we're there.

And hearing Anthony Keidis is moving to town? That doesn't help matters.

I blame Chuck Palahniuk's "Fugitives and Refugees", which was a very good book, but also put to words what no one else could articulate, and the downfall began shortly after.

The Schnoz Report - Week 2



Each week The Schnoz Report will get you ready for the upcoming slate of games in the NFL, providing angles (both acute and obtuse, but never right) that you won't get anywhere else.

As always, if you hate sports, especially football, then reading this post will only make you angry. Why don't you go read about how the difference between a 'dry burp' and a 'belch' can affect your breathalyser test.

First Thing's First

What we learned last week:

1. The Steelers, Seahawks, Colts, and Patriots should each win their divisions by 3 games or more.

2. Mario Williams is on pace to score 16 TDs this year, Reggie Bush is on pace to score 0. (Though I'm guessing that will correct itself before too long).

3. Kicking and Special Teams make all the difference. Just ask the Broncos, Packers, Eagles, and Redskins. (and did you see Ed Reed's punt return for a TD on Monday Night? The man is a game changer no matter where you stick him.)

4. Joey Harrington did nothing to prove himself in his first start as a Falcon. The Jacksonville defense should prove themselves to be every bit as tough as the Viking defense was in Week 1, so unless Joey steps up his game, it will be another lopsided score.

5. The Patriots got caught cheating. Shame on them. Will it keep them from winning 12 games this year? Absolutely not. They are still every bit as good as you thought they were. I did think that Belicheck should have gotten suspended for a couple games, but losing the draft pick and a half a million dollars will sting them just as hard.

Angle(s) of the Week

Houston, Carolina, Detroit, and Minnesota. Barring a tie (the thought of which makes me want to throw up in the back of my mouth), 2 of these 4 teams WILL be 2-0 after Week 2. Looking for the team that sneaks into the playoffs despite being off of most folks' radars in the pre-season? Chances are it will be one of these four.

This has Nothing to Do with Football

Has the “You just passed So-and-So’s Restaurant” road sign ever worked on anyone? Has anyone ever driven by a restaurant, made the semi-conscious decision that they were not going to stop and go in, then suddenly a half-mile later see one of these signs and think, “You know what, I DO want to go in there. What was I thinking?”.

Here’s a hint. If I didn’t bother to go in to your establishment when I was actually there, there's absolutely no chance that I'm going to be thinking about going in when I'm not there anymore.

Whenever I go past one of these signs I like to agree with it. It’s kinda fun.

"You just passed Regina’s House of Ammo!"

"Yes, that’s right. I did. And thanks for reminding me once again that there’s a place I’ll never step foot in under any circumstances. Have a great day, stupid useless sign!"

Fantasy is the New Reality

Last week I gave you 3 fantasy players that I thought would outperform their peers (using my ESPN League's scoring system). Here's how that worked out:

Willis McGahee > Shaun Alexander - WRONG (Willis had 10, Shaun had 17)
Big Ben > Tom Brady - WRONG, BUT CLOSE! (Ben had 22 points and Tom had 23)
Bernard Berrian > Terrell Owens WRONG, TERRIBLY WRONG! (Bernard had 8, T.O. had 20)

OK, that went over about as well as Britney's VMA performance. But would you be impressed to know that my 4 fantasy teams went 4-0 this week? No? Well, let's give this another shot in Week 2:

Willie Parker > LaDanian Tomlinson
Anthony Gonzalez > Plaxico Burress
SEA def > NE def

No Ticket, No Problem

If you couldn't convince your spouse that the Sunday Ticket was money well spent, here's what you'll be watching on sunday.

CBS - CBS is showing the Colts at the Titans to most of the country for the early game, while the late game slot will feature the Jets @ Ravens in the East, the Raiders @ the Broncos in the West, and the Chiefs @ the Bears everywhere else.

FOX - FOX is only showing one game this week, and depending on where you live, you'll either see it in the early slot or late slot. While the coverage is rationed off regionally, the largest number of tv sets will see the Dallas at Miami game which has a 4:15pm EST start time.

If you'd like to take a peak at the NFL coverage map with your own eyes, be my guest.

Household Chore to Ignore

Each week I'll be helping you find something around the house that you should feel guilty about not doing because you're watching football.

This week let's focus on the garage. It's a freaking mess. Half-empty paint cans, shoes you haven't worn in 2 years, bags of grass seed that you keep saying you're going to use to overseed your lawn with, some golf clubs your dad handed down to you from the Eisenhower Administration, and flat basketballs are among the many items that you really should do something about.

How about today? Ummm...how about "I don't think so."

That couch is WAY too comfortable.

Upset Specials

Each week I'll pick an underdog that i think can win its game outright.

Last Week's pick: TEN over JAX. (TEN 13, JAX 10)
Record for the Year: 1-0

This week I've had my eye on the Packers, who are underdogs by a point or two against the Giants. Though the Packers win last week was an ugly one, the Giants loss was even worse. Whether it's a banged up Eli Manning or an aerodynamically challenged Jared Lorenzen leading the G-Men, I'm taking the Pack to upset the Giants in the Meadowlands.

My other upset special this week is for any Packers fan making the trip to the East Coast to watch the Packers/Giants game. If you're expecting to find the "Meadowlands" amid a meadow of any sort, you will be sorely disappointed. Located off of Exit 16W of the New Jersey Turnpike, the field is basically located in a swamp, and should be called the Swamplands. It's not quite Lambeau Field, but hey, if it's a clear day you'll have a nice view of Manhattan accompanied by the smell of sewage!

Mascot Wars
Let's break down some of the great match ups between mascots this week:

Cowboys @ Dolphins - When it comes to the Broncos or Colts, the Cowboys match up really well with their opposition. Just give them some chaps, a bit of rope, and a lip full of Skoal and they'll yeehaw their way to an easy victory. But matched up against a marine mammal? That's a whole different animal. Look for the Cowboys to try and score early and often with aggressive play calling that attempts to ride the backs of the Dolphins. If the Dolphins can keep moving up and down the field, they should be able to squeak out a 21-20 victory.

Jets @ Ravens - Look for the Ravens to pull out to a quick lead while the Jets spend 45 minutes taxiing on the runway, and then another 45 minutes when some clown in seat 23D decides he wants to get off the plane and they need to pull everyone's luggage out. But late in the fourth quarter, when the Jets finally take to the air down 24-0, it will only take a few minutes for them to make up the deficit and finish in front. Final Score: Jets 747, Ravens 24.

Conspiracy Theory of the Week

NFL Referee Ed Hochuli is a beast of a man. Or is he a man of a beast?

This week's Conspiracy Theory ponders the question of whether or not Ed Hochuli is human at all. Look at those forearms, those biceps, that neck! All that brawn and he's still able to make snap decisions based on complicated rulings?

I think if we did an autopsy on Ed Hochuli's heart, it would have to be the size of a gallon of milk. How else could he get enough blood flowing in that body to supply oxygen to those muscles and to his brain?

And on top of all this I'm supposed to believe that this guy is a lawyer for the other 6 months out of the year? Yeah, right. Maybe if there's a court somewhere that hears cases of the people vs. the beasts of the earth.

Referee, Lawyer, Weightlifter, Poet Laureate, Spendid Lover, and a Beast.

Ed Hochuli, beast of the people and man of the beasts.

If Betting were Legal

Last Week: an awful start 7-9
Year to Date: 7-9

My wife Erica didn't fare much better, finishing 5-11 for the week and saving my fingers from having to work the knots out of her shoulders.

My picks for Week 2 (your spreads may vary):

CIN(-6.5) over CLE, TEN(+7.5) over IND, StL(-3.5) over SF, GB(+1.5) over NYG, NO(-3.5) over TB, ATL(+10.5) over JAX, BUF(+9.5) over PIT, HOU(+6.5) over CAR, DAL(-3.5) over MIA, SEA(-3.5) over ARI, DET(-3.5) over MIN, OAK(+10.5) over DEN, CHI(-11.5) over KC, NYJ(+10) over BAL, SD(+4.5) over NE, PHI(-7.5) over WAS.

Final Word

For the second week in a row I won't be able to watch the early games as we already have plans. Last week it was to see a concert. This week, I'm happy to be attending a a memorial service for the late Ron Nowak, my wife's uncle who passed away last year.

We're celebrating Ron's birthday on Sunday, which will be cool because Ron was so full of life, even when Parkinson's Disease had robbed him of his motor skills and the ability to easily communicate with others. So in honor of Ron, have a great weekend with the folks you love and enjoy the games!

-The Schnoz

13.9.07

Chin Up Blazers Fans!

Look, I know it seems bleak. No matter what the coach, owner and GM say in the press conference, the words 'micro-fracture surgery' are probably not the ones you want uttered after your franchise-player's name. But this might turn out okay. No, not immediately, right now it sucks, but if you use the little tool I like to call foresight, you might see how this could end up okay for Portland.

Brandon Roy was rookie of the year. This is great, and he'll continue to get better, but not exponentially, and he's still not going to carry a team by himself. LaMarcus Aldridge is good, but not ever going to be dominant. Their most experienced players are Raef LaFrentz and Joel Pryzbilla-- essentially 12 fouls at a total of 14 feet tall (also you have a total of 5 players that are 4-5 tweeners). You have three point guards who will be decent but not impact players in Blake, Jack and Rodriguez and two unpolished, unbalanced swingmen in Outlaw and Martell Webster. The whole season was hanging off of Greg Oden's limblike appendages and now he's out of the line-up. What does this all add up to?

MORE LOTTERY BALLS!!!!

Look at the bright side, this is the closest any team has come to the whole 'David Robinson injured-Spurs draft Tim Duncan- then win the 'chip the following year' thing.* The Blazers will be in the tank all season and then pick in the top three next year, possibly snagging the likes of O.J. Mayo** (fits right in with the jailblazers theme they're trying to shed, but still, a Mayo/Oden combo is dynamic), Derrick Rose** (supposedly the next Dwyane Wade) or Michael Beasley** (of whom it is said that he is a freak of nature and the next Carmelo Anthony). No matter how you slice it, the Blazers will be bringing in two top-tier talents at once for the 08-09 season.

I know this scenario isn't ideal. I know that Oden, in his first year, won't be as good as Robinson, and that another Tim Duncan robot is not coming out of Wake Forest this year. I'm also well aware that having a year of seasoning Oden would have been nice, and they'd still have a chance of landing in the lottery. But the truth is that Oden has been a major impact player at every level and he'll be fine. After some adjustment, he'll figure out how he can be effective, and as long as there are guards that can get him the ball where he needs it (and Portland does have that), he'll figure out how to average 20 and 12.

Now, you're still getting Oden but possibly adding another top-prospect (as long as they don't draft another Martell Webster) to the roster, and all you had to do was suffer through one meaningless season that was likely destined to mean nothing anyways. To put it this way; Oden is still your hope, now he'll just have more help.

I'm not going to get into the whole 'Oden-Durant' thing that Bill Simmons ranted about earlier today. Yes, Durant looked great in Vegas and will probably be the rookie of the year. And no matter how messed up Oden's walk looks, the truth is that only time will tell if the Blazers did the right thing.

For now, you have another year to hold on to that hope.

*I do not actually think the Blazers will win the title in '08-'09
**I'm not saying these guys are guarentees or even that they'd be a good fit for the Blazers. What I'm saying is they're the top-three rated prospects at this present juncture on NBAdraft.net

Hate To Say I Told You So


After a week of 80-90 degree sunny days in Portland, it's raining.

What an absurdly cliche metaphor.

First, I want to point out how much I love Greg Oden. The guy is, by all accounts, one of the nicest folks ever to don a Blazers uniform (and there have been some great ones in the past). He's a physical freak. He's endearingly goofy and sweet-natured. He could still become a great big man. Since the draft, he's been hailed the savior of Portland, and has borne the moniker well despite the pressure.

But dammit, people, I told you. I told everyone who'd listen. Kevin Durant was the guy we needed. At points, I was even 50-50, but I had a feeling something wasn't quite right with the Oden pick.

I had to listen to Greg's supporters ad nauseum at the store where I work. "You always take the big man," the morons told me, over and over, because they haven't paid attention to basketball since the Drexler days. "What about Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing and Tim Duncan and Shaq?" they said.

"But Durant's 6'10" and he shoots threes like Reggie Miller," I told them. They all acted like I was an idiot. "What about injuries?" I told them...not Oden's wrist issues, because wrists heal quickly...but the guy is 19, he's 7'0" and he just looked like he might break down. There were concerns at pre-draft camps about the Sky Father's knee. "You can't draft with hypotheticals in mind," they told me...actually they didn't because that would've been too articulate.

When David Stern announced the first pick, I knew it would be the big man, and I was only slightly disappointed. I wanted Durant, but Oden was a great consolation prize. A few friends (including Don and my friends John and Steve) went in on season tickets, even if they were nosebleeds.

And now Greg Oden is out for the season with a microfracture in his knee.

"It's not over," I'm telling myself. Sky Father will take a year off. He'll be back next season and he'll still be a physical freak, and now he'll be healthy. That's what I'm hoping for myself, for the City of Portland, for Kevin Pritchard, and most of all, Greg Oden himself. That injury couldn't have happened to a better guy.

But I'm worried, and I remember how Michael Jordan is considered an ass, and he won 6 championships. I'm remembering Kevin Durant is only 3 hours north (at least for now). Kevin Durant's not an ass, but he's a killer on the court. He'd cut out the heart of a frat boy pickup team in order to win.

My friend John, who advocated Durant, too, has a new saying, "Always draft the cold-blooded assassin." Maybe we can repeat that ad nauseum next season.

12.9.07

Cheat Sheet

The hot story in the sports world today is the news that the Patriots were caught stealing (and taping) defensive signals from their rivals, the New York Jets. If you haven't seen the screen cap that blog 100% Injury rate has, check it out for yourself and decide.

As i was driving in to work this morning, it got me thinking that we've seen a lot of cheating going on in the past year or so. The strange thing is, while some of these actions are considered completely acceptable, the rest are deemed as unholy acts against the almighty sovereign world of sports.

In the event that you're thinking about cheating in the near future, i thought I'd put together a quick list of what is OK and what's NOT OK for you to do as you bend and break the rules for personal gain.

OK: Stealing signs from the catcher using your runner on second base.
NOT OK: Stealing signs from the defensive coordinator using video cameras on the opposing team's sideline.

OK: Taking steroids when you're trying to take down opposing quarterbacks (see Merriman, Shawne)
NOT OK: Taking steroids when you're trying to take down the most hallowed record in sports.

OK: A fielder decoying a base runner by pretending to make a play on a ball he can't reach.
NOT OK: A base runner decoying a fielder by screaming "MINE!" as he runs by.

OK: Pretending that you were fouled during an NBA game.
NOT OK: Pretending that you are being an honest referee during an NBA game.

Let me know if you think of any that I missed.

11.9.07

Don't mess with the Oregon Duck.


I know it's a few days away, but here's something to get you Oregon fans psyched for the Fresno State game this Saturday. It's the Oregon Duck pummeling Houston's mascot. The Duck was suspended for one game, but it was worth it for a beatdown on par with Nolan Ryan.

The Ankeny/Playboy Link


David James Poissant contributed a story to the first issue of "The Ankeny Briefcase", which was edited by myself, Ariele and the folks at Relief Journal.

Well, now he's hit it big. With Playboy. In the college issue. You can view it here (the page itself is okay, but the address is likely NSFW). For the love of all things holy, don't click anywhere else!

Jake Lyell Photography


A gentleman named Jake Lyell sent us a link to his blog last month, and I just got around to it. The entry details, with amazing pictures, the story of his recent trip to Peru. We would run it as an article on Burnside, but we don't really know how to get that many photos in one place. Please check it out...you won't regret it.

Sky Father Down!!!


Well, so much for not commenting on sports.

The City of Portland collectively gasped today.

Where have we heard this before?

10.9.07

100 Best Television Shows of All Time. By Time.


Is Time's list as ambitious an undertaking as it seems? How many great shows have there truly been.

I went through the list and there's not a one I disagree with. Sure, "Friends" sucked most of the time, "24" is a ridiculous account of counterterrorism and borderline propaganda, and "Real World" hasn't been good since (insert your sophomore year of college here), but all of those shows have been HUGE cultural icons.

One notable exception was "Curb Your Enthusiasm", which Aaron Donley writes about this week. It seemed like a travesty leaving it off, but the rest of the list leaves little room. Plus, as great as "Curb" is, it doesn't touch "MST3k", "Seinfeld", "SNL", "The Office" or "Arrested Development".

Sorry about all that football talk...


We are aware many of our readers could care less about the sports world, and we certainly wouldn't want to alienate you with four consecutive posts about football.

So...uh...let's find something else to talk about.

First, thanks a lot to RelevantMagazine.com for linking to us from their Daily Slices. If you're new to the site, there's plenty to check out. Here have been some of our recent highlights:

The Emergent Church/Al Qaeda Connection
The Romney Factor
High Maintenance: Chad Gibb's Story of Life as a Janitor

There's plenty, plenty more, but I don't feel like sitting here all day linking to old articles. I've got things to do.

Now get out there and enjoy the last vestiges of summer.

9.9.07

The Ballplayer (continued from page 712)

Despite the wondrous doors athletics has opened for you, you snub professional sports glory and attend medical school in Boston.

You finish first in your class, and go on to become a world famous heart surgeon, operating on world leaders and other famous people with hearts.

Later in life you make history become the first person to perform open heart surgery on yourself. The surgery is unsuccessful however, as you forgot to compensate that left is right while looking in a mirror. Video of your death soon hits YouTube, and passes Avril Lavigne as the most watched clip of all-time.

THE END

8.9.07

That was a lot easier than I thought...


I figured Oregon would either eke out a win or receive a massive stomping.

I didn't think we'd hand the Wolverines their biggest paddlin' since 1968.

While Dennis Dixon's inspiring performance was the highlight of our day, my friends and I also loved the best commercial we've seen in some time. By the time Steven Jackson reaches for the endzone, we were nearly on our feet. I'm guessing this is the work of Weiden+Kennedy, the Portland ad agency.

Turn the volume off, maybe put this thing full screen and enjoy.

It's Go Time, Pops!


Before last season, the Oregon-Michigan football game four years ago was the best I'd ever seen. It was held in Autzen, and it was a massive upset. Not on the level of Appalachian State-Michigan, but it still had that feeling. Lloyd Carr, who's coaches regularly in the mega-stadiums in Ann Arbor and Columbus, called it the loudest stadium he'd ever been in. The Michigan Daily newspaper, after the game, said this: "Autzen's 59,000 strong make the Big House sound like a pathetic whimper. It's louder than 'The Swamp' at Florida, 'The Shoe' in Columbus, and 'Death Valley' at Louisiana State. Autzen Stadium is where great teams go to die."

The rematch is 2 1/2 hours away, and a lot is on the line, including Lloyd Carr's job.

After last weeks massive upset, Michigan is wounded, and if the book Character Sketches taught me anything, it's that you don't mess with a wounded wolverine. Not even if you're a grizzly bear. Because you will get tore up.

On the menu today: Otto's kielbasa, andouillie and bratwurst. Otto's is recognized as one of the top ten sausage makers in the country. Bridgeport IPA. Fire on the Mountain hot wings, though they're starting to test my patience. Various other meats.

GO DUCKS!

6.9.07

The Schnoz Report - Week 1



As i mentioned in the debut yesterday, each week The Schnoz Report will get you ready for the upcoming slate of games in the NFL, providing angles (both acute and obtuse) that you won't get anywhere else.

As always, if you hate sports, especially football, then reading this post will only make you angry. Why don't you go read about the grandmother who gave gin to a 9-yr old.

First Thing's First

The Colts absolutely drubbed the Saints last night. (years ago my friends and I agreed that a "drubbing" was any basketball game won by more than 20 points and any football game won by more than 4 touchdowns) What can we take from this? 3 things:

1. Despite reports of their demise, the Colts will be a force in the playoffs this year. Their defense might have regressed a notch or two, but with Peyton running that offense, they're not going anywhere.

2. It's hard to win on the road in the NFL. Always has been, always will be.

3. Keith Olbermann's halftime spiel has nowhere to go but up. Debuting his "Worst Person in the NFL" segment by highlighting himself came across as self-aggrandizing and pointless. You can watch it here.

Angle of the Week

First thing i noticed about the Week 1 slate is that almost half of the games (6 of 16) are between division rivals. The biggest of these inter-division tussles is Baltimore @ Cincinnati on Monday night. In what is arguably the toughest division in the league, this early September game will probably play a big part in determining who earns the AFC North crown come late December.

Having all of these inter-division games in Week 1 highlights what we love about the NFL: With only 16 games in the regular season, every week is important. Every game means something.

This has Nothing to Do with Football

OK, let me get this straight. Dentists make money when people come to them with teeth problems. So the better condition everyone’s teeth are in, the less work dentists will have, thus the less money they will have. Are you with me so far?

Why is it then, that when 4 out of 5 dentists are urging us to use a certain toothpaste, we think that this is a positive message about the product?

I'll tell you how these things play out. You have 5 dentists in a room, all combing through the reports from various toothpaste studies. Realizing that their livelihood is at stake, 80% of them decide that the toothpaste made of sugar and sand is the one they want people to use. Next thing you know, it's on a commercial and consumers are buying it up like lemmings.

If 4 out of 5 TV Repairmen recommended you buy Zenith TVs, would you listen? All I’m asking is that we start thinking a little harder about these things.

Fantasy is the New Reality

I love it when "experts" tell you which fantasy players to start or bench based on the match ups that week. Does anyone go back and check their predictions? Nope. Am i going to do that for you? Absolutely not.

But what I will do is pick 3 fantasy players who i think will score more points than 3 other fantasy players of equal or greater value. Check back every week to see how that's working out for me. (I'll use the ESPN scoring system my league uses). Here's the Week 1 predictions:

Willis McGahee > Shaun Alexander
Big Ben > Tom Brady
Bernard Berrian > Terrell Owens

No Ticket, No Problem

If you don't have the Sunday Ticket, here's what you'll be watching on sunday.

Early games - CBS is showing the NE@NYJ game as it's primary game, but has regional coverage for its 5 other AFC games. FOX will show PHI@GB to most of the country.

Late game - FOX has the honors of the doubleheader on Week 1 and will be showing the best match up of the week, Chicago @ San Diego, to most of the nation. Sorry Reno, Nevada, but you're watching Detroit @ Oakland.

If you'd like to take a peak at the NFL coverage map yourself, be my guest.

Household Chore to Ignore

Each week I'll be helping you find something around the house that you should be doing instead of watching football. This week I'm suggesting that you ignore any painting that you have to do. Maybe think about getting some painting done during the second quarter of the late game, but only for a second, and then go back to watching football.

Upset Specials

I think 3 underdogs have a real chance to go in and steal wins in Week 1. Atlanta, Tennessee, and Kansas City all have a shot to pull off the deed. I'm going to pick Vince Young and the Titans to shock the suit right off of Jack Del Rio and pull off the upset special.

In addition, look for 1.9 million wives to be upset with their husbands for not budging from the couch for 6 hours on Sunday.

Mascot Wars
Let's break down some of the great match ups between mascots this week:

Buccaneers @ Seahawks - Shouldn't this game be played on the freshly swabbed deck of a pirate ship in the Puget Sound? The swashbuckling pirates from Tampa Bay will be wielding sharp knives and muskets, but it won't be enough to take down the Seahawks, who can move in 3 dimensions thanks to that whole "flying" thing. Look for the birds to pillage the bounty of jon gruden's team and win 31 gold pieces to 7 gold pieces.

Panthers @ Rams - Two of nature's fiercest warriors do battle in the harsh elements of the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri. The panther is quick, but one stab wound from those curly ram horns could prove fatal. The panthers will draw first blood, but it will be the Rams feasting on Panther flesh when all is said and done. (I believe this game will be simulcast on Discovery HD, but check your local listings.)

Conspiracy Theory of the Week

We're starting off where the Cowboys finished off last year. Remember when Tony Romo fumbled that snap and ended the Cowboys season? I'm telling you right now that ball was coated with wax.

Maybe it was carnauba wax, maybe it was turtle wax, it might have been candle wax, but there was definitely something fishy with that ball. Look at the picture. That thing's got more shine to it than the forehead of your average 15-yr old zit faced kid.

Somewhere on the internets there is a Zapruder film of some greasy Seahawks employee rubbing olive oil all over that ball, and when it comes out you will all have to acknowledge my brilliance.

If Betting were Legal

My picks for Week 1 (your spreads may vary):

KC(+3.5) over HOU, BUF(+3.5) over DEN, WAS(-3.5) over MIA, PHI(-3.5) over GB, PIT(-4.5) over CLE, NE(-6.5) over NYJ, ATL(+3.5) over MIN, TEN(+6.5) over JAC, STL(-1.5) over CAR, SD(-6.5) over CHI, SEA(-6.5) over TB, OAK(-2.5) over DET, DAL(-5.5) over NYG, BAL(+2.5) over CIN, and SF(-3.5) over ARI.

Starting next week I'll let you know how i did against the spread, as well as how my wife did, even though I know you don't care.

That's all for the Schnoz Report for Week 1. Enjoy the games and remember to get outside for some fresh air every few hours.

-The Schnoz

The Schnoz Report - NFL 2007



Welcome to The Schnoz Report. If you're more excited about the 2007 NFL season starting up than you are about George W. using the 'A' word, then you've come to the right place. Each week The Schnoz Report will get you ready for the upcoming slate of games in the NFL, providing angles (both acute and obtuse) that you won't get anywhere else.

Coming tomorrow, we'll kick things off with our Week 1 Report. For now, let's take a look at the 2007 season as a whole...

I hate sports, especially football

If the above statement is true for you, then the rest of this post will only make you angry. Here, go read about the woman in China who got fired for contradicting her boss or go take a look at how messed up Denzel's teeth used to be.

fantasy football team names

Naming and drafting your fantasy football team is the only good thing about the NFL preseason. My plan this year was to be in one league that i could devote all my attention to. How many leagues did I end up in? Four. I just can't say no, kinda like when I'm offered a piece of vermont sharp cheddar cheese. mmmmm....cheese. but back to fantasy, here are my four team names this year:

The Encroachment
- this is a league I'm in with a guy I play softball with. I don't know anyone else in the league, so I kept the team name pretty sterile. On a side note, "encroachment on the defense" is one of my favorite penalties.

Jack Bauer Kidney Punch
- this league is with some teenagers from my church. When creating a team name, I like to use TV characters from shows i watch and couple them with something painful. Runners-up for this team name were George Costanza Brain Freeze and Dwight Schrute Paper Cut.

I Was in the Pool! - This marks the fourth year in a row that I've gone with a Seinfeld reference for one of my fantasy teams. It's my way of paying homage to the best sitcom of all time. Incidentally, this is the only league i have money riding on ($20) and it is the league that i am in with my church's pastors. shhhhh...

John Clayton Breaks Wind - This is my team name in the Burnside Writers League. It is where Burnside editor Jordan Green will get his lunch handed to him by the school lunchlady, Mrs. YourTeamGotBeatdownAgain. I have to say, I thought my team name was decent until Dan Gibson named his team "I Bit Dakota Fanning", which is probably the best fantasy team name I've ever gone up against. Poor John Clayton and his flatulence, how can he compete with those teethmarks on Dakota Fanning's forearm?

Do you bet on games?

I do, sortof. I am in a picks pool where you pick every game of every week against the spread. It's $50 to get in for the year, which works out to less than $3 a week. For me it's about entertainment, not padding my income. Some folks would rather spend $3 on a pack of Marlboro Reds or a bookmark at a christian bookstore. Me, I'd rather put a little something on the football games I'm watching. But like everything else in life folks, moderation is key.

Speaking of betting, each week I am going to have my lovely wife Erica pick games against the spread as well, and we'll see who does better. (i know that Bill Simmons has already done this). We've made a deal where any week that she ties or beats me, i owe her a 30-minute backrub. (on top of the ones i already give her because i am a great husband). If i have more right than her, nothing happens. It's a sweet deal for her, but really this is all a part of my clever plan to get her to watch football with me...she has never cared about a single down in football before in her life.

NFC Predictions

I like the Saints, Eagles, Rams, and Bears to win their divisions. I'll give the Wild Cards to the Cowboys and Falcons. I think the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles will meet in the NFC Championship game, with the Saints marching on (shame on me for that obvious pun) to the Super Bowl. The worst team in the NFC this year will be the Giants, who will finish 4-12 and see Tom Coughlin get fired after a terrible Week 12 home loss to the Vikings.

AFC Predictions

I like the Patriots, Chargers, Colts, and Steelers to finish atop their divisions, with the Ravens and Bengals sneaking in as the wild cards. I'm predicting that the Patriots will beat that Chargers in Foxboro in the AFC Championship game and that it will be a New England/New Orleans Super Bowl. As for the dregs of the AFC, I think Cleveland and Kansas City will both end up with 3 wins and a shot at the first pick in the draft.

In Closing

The Super Bowl is being played in Arizona this year. Have you heard that the entire natural grass playing surface can be rolled out of the stadium into the parking lot? No really, it can. That just blows my mind. But back to the Super Bowl, I think the New England Patriots will beat the New Orleans Saints to win their 4th Super Bowl in the past 7 years. I know it's not a bold prediction, but it's all I've got.

If you'd rather I got a little riskier with my picks, then forget you read that last paragraph and know this: the Philadelphia Eagles will claw their way to a Super Bowl win defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XLII by a score of 27-6.

Feedback

Got a Super Bowl Prediction? Got a great name for your Fantasy Team? Got a piece of vermont sharp cheddar cheese you'd like to share? Let me know in the comments section.

Sorry sports haters, I will be back tomorrow with a look at Week 1.

-The Schnoz