Tuesday, December 18, 2012

?

Why did the Jets bother to sign Tim Tebow if they have no plans to start him now that they've given up on Mark Sanchez?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Winning

With the lack of success from other seemingly-talented MSU quarterbacks, it's nice to see Kirk Cousins get a win in his first NFL start.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Monday, December 03, 2012

?

How is there nearly a full week to play bowl games after the 1st and the title game is still being played on a Monday night? Not that I think the game is going to be worth watching, but who does that when you have a Friday night available? What a waste.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Triple Crown

Every Miguel Cabrera homerun and RBI from the past season:

Saturday, December 01, 2012

!

I'm no Badger fan, but I love the way Wisconsin finished the first half of the Big Ten Championship Game. Too many teams, the Spartans definitely included, get a lead then sit back and play it safe, hoping they don't make a mistake that loses the game. Wisconsin had a chance to rip Nebraska's collective heart out, and they took it. Bravo.

Car of the Day: Lamborghini Miura

In what was definitely my most unlikely car sighting ever (the previous winner was seeing a Fiat 500 on the road before it was actually released in the US), I saw one of these driving in Moline yesterday.  I actually recognized the model from playing Forza Motorsport 4, but of course I couldn't believe it until I could actually see the Lambo badge. Picture from Wikipedia.


Not sure on the price for this one, at least $400,000.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Superman's Dead

On the way home from work I was listening to my MP3s and heard "Superman's Dead." When I got home I happened to run across a mention that the 20th anniversary of "The Death of Superman" took place this month. November 18th to be exact, in Superman #75.


 If you remember, this was a really big deal at the time. Not so much for comics, because everyone who paid attention knew Superman would return, but for the media and people who knew little or nothing about comics because they actually thought Superman was really dead.

Since I mentioned it, here's the song. It doesn't actually have anything to do with the Man of Steel.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Association’s Official Polygraph

Bloggers Note:  In baseball, we use a lot of "B-D-Ls" in the game.  Catcher Kyle H. was pretty good about it too...even when the umpire asked what it meant!  Ball. Don't. Lie.

Rome Take - November 21

I’m telling you…Rasheed Wallace is the best thing to happen to the NBA…pretty much ever. How the Association continued to flourish without this guy the last two years is a miracle to me. Why do I say that. Well, there’s this!





Yeah Aflac! After a missed free throw by Afflalo. Legendary. Then, last night there was this. Check Sheed after he was whistled for a ticky-tack reach in foul on Austin Rivers!



Ball don’t lie! That ball don’t lie! And Sheed’s right. That ball don’t lie. That thing had barely hit the iron before Sheed was bdl’ing it. Sheed doesn’t talk trash…he screams truth. Sheed is the Association’s official polygraph. And the needle bounced on that one. And I loved how he went first amendment rights on the ref, I can yell! I can yell all I want!

Sheed, you can do whatever you want! Just don’t stop doing it.


"I can yell.  I can yell all I want.  I didn't direct that to nobody."  Awesome!

Hey Diddle Diddle, Ray Rice Up The Middle

Rome Take from Monday, Nov. 26:

The greatest teams always find a way. And so do the worst. And just when it looked like the Chargers were finally going to beat a team not named the Chiefs, they dug deep, found another gear, and once again, went right into the tank. Baltimore needed to convert a 4th and 29 to stay alive. And it was at that very moment, that the Chargers made a statement. And sent a message to the rest of the league: nobody comes into our house. And loses to us!

Roll Ray Rice. 11 guys with bolts on their buckets and about 8 of them just assumed someone else would make the tackle. And no one did. And Charger fan save your nonsense about the refs gifting Rice that spot. So they gave him the last half yard: your defense gave him the first 28 and a half, so save it... You're a punch line now.

Shoot, Rice was even dropping rhymes about you. Nursery rhymes that is: "Check down. Hey diddle didle, Ray Rice up the middle." Right. And the cow jumped over the moon. And the dish ran away with the spoon. And the head coach will get whacked real soon.

Check out the video on NFL.com

Steeler Fan, Its Time To Panic

Rome Take from Monday, Nov. 26

Steeler Fan: it's time. Go ahead and panic. And start praying for Ben Roethlisberger's aorta. Because if his ribs don't get right soon, Pittsburgh is going to get run right into the offseason. And I'll give you 9 reasons why.

Reason #1: you just lost to Cleveland. Reasons 2 through 9: the eight turnovers they (puked) onto that field. Steeler Fan, remember your rap? That you'd be just fine without Big Ben, because you have four backs that can tote the rock? Well… all four of them fumbled yesterday.

And so much for the thought that Charlie Batch's experience would keep that train on the tracks. You're confusing experienced with old as dirt. Didn't dude used to back up Terry Bradshaw? Batch isn't holding down the fort, he's lighting it on fire. Look… you can turn it over 7 times and still beat the Browns. But not 8. And if you do it against Baltimore this week, you'll lose by 8 touchdowns.

When I entered Eastern Michigan University, Batch was just starting his NFL career!  Not to mention, I believe Batch received TWO extra years.  SIX years of college football.  Yes, he's old as dirt!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What's Going On?

So Maryland and Rutgers have joined the Big 10.  I guess I understand the country is going to be looking at five main conferences for football and the Big East is like a minor league team or a feeder program for the Yankees (Royals, Brewers, Pirates, etc.)  But do those teams make the Big Ten any better?  You've heard nothing but how bad the Big Ten is this year and how awful their bowl record is since Ohio State were National Champions (35-52ish?)  All you hear about is how weak the Big 10 is and how strong the SEC is.  So, how do you respond?  You get Maryland and Rutgers.  Neither team helps for football.  We already have Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, and Northwestern.  Yes, Rutgers has been better lately...but that coach left for the National Football League and his players will soon be gone.

You can make the argument that Maryland will make the conference stronger in basketball, but that was when coach Williams was roaming the sidelines under the Bush administration.

However, I don't have a solution or better recommendation.  But going more east rather than south is not making the league stronger.  If they want to make a splash, they HAVE to get Notre Dame.  I'm not suggesting they should have taken a run at Louisville or Kentucky or Tennessee, but at least it would have been south.

If the ACC gets Louisville or UCONN, the ACC becomes probably the top basketball conference.  With Duke, UNC, UConn/Louisville, Notre Dame, and Pittsburgh.  But, the Big 10 still looks good with MSU, OSU, UM, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Maryland.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

?

For Veterans Day the NFL brought some veterans to games and I'm sure had some patriotic pregame activities. However, they've spent the whole last month wearing garish pink on their uniforms to support "breast cancer awareness" or some such. Does that seem right to you? Compare that to the MSU Spartans basketball team (and UConn), who opened the season in a hangar at the U.S. Air Base in Ramstein, Germany and wore special uniforms for the occasion. Seems to me the NFL comes up a little short.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Skyfall

Saw the new Bond film, Skyfall, last night. It was fantastic. A few thoughts:

-I'd say it is the best Bond film yet, even trumping my other favorite, Casino Royale.

 -It's also the most beautifully shot movie I've seen in quite some time. Shanghai in particular stands out.

-The Bond girls are relatively unimportant to the story. That's not a problem, just a notable difference from most of the other movies.

-You'll be surprised by where the plot goes. I didn't expect many of the things that happen and was surprised by some of the choices made, but they all worked well in the end.

-Bond's classic Aston Martin DB5 makes a return.


-The movie ends with a few changes and set up for more sequels. I believe Daniel Craig is signed for two more.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Prometheus

Finally saw Prometheus tonight. Great atmosphere, fantastic visuals, incredibly dumb story. Kind of like the last Star Trek movie, except less coherent. It's more like a series of cool scenes that are only tangentially related to each other. I like Ridley Scott, but he has to find better material to work with.

?

Can I get credit for supporting Chuck Pagano even though my head is already shaved?

What's the Call?



Awesome.  Weirdest play ever.  Did you get the call right?  Did the professional umpires get the call right?  Yes.  Need help on what the issue was all about?  The interference probably saved a triple play.

Wait...what?



Hurricane Katrina?

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Everything is Spinning Out of Control

Doing some musical research this morning I found out that Audio Adrenaline is back with a new lead singer, Kevin Max Smith, formerly of DC Talk. The Newsboys have been fronted by another former DC Talk member, Michael Tait, since 2011. That is too weird.

Friday, November 02, 2012

?

Now that the Winter Classic has been cancelled, a question: Is the NHL, and I mean the league and players together, actually suicidal? After the last work stoppage the NHL was booted from ESPN, which now seems to go out of its way to ignore hockey altogether, and returned to being mostly a regional sport (Upper Midwest and Northeast) after making national gains. I'm not sure the league can afford to lose another season. Sure, people in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York, and Alaska will come back, but will anyone else care? If they can't figure it out real soon they might as well stop bargaining because there will be nothing left to save.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Dumb Quote of the Day

From Bob Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, via ESPN:
You're already hosting the premier league, and we believe we're the premier sport in the world. I think London has shown, with the way they've handled the Olympics and every other major sporting event, that it's time for you to have your own NFL franchise, based in London.
I hope Kraft was just playing to the crowd, because having an NFL franchise in London is one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard. Setting aside the discussion of whether the Brits deserve a franchise (they don't) or would support it (they wouldn't), there's one very good reason why a London team wouldn't work: logistics. Information may travel between the US and old Blighty nearly instantaneously, but it still takes a long flight to get people there. You can manage one game a year as a novelty, but doing it eight times would be a real strain. Coaches and players would hate it. The scheduling conflicts would be enormous. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I'm sure the Brits would have no idea how to do a proper tailgate.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Music to my Ears

I was talking to a girl in my 6th grade PE class today about the ball that hit the bat three times on one swing.  She said she hadn't, but another female student, without being in the conversation, exclaimed, "I saw that on 'Mike and Mike' this morning!"  I hope someday my daughters will utter those same words.  How cool would that be?

Who was that?

Check out the guy in the front row at the the 00:46-00:47 mark on the timeline.  Matt freakin' Prieskorn.

You only see him for literally a split second.  He is sitting down with a Tiger hat on with a greenish fleece.  You can't see the hat because he's looking up.  When Avila makes the actual catch, Matt is off-screen to the right on the video.  And no, those weren't his seats.  He got booted from some other seats and on escape, found an open seat in the front row.  Less than 2 minutes later, this play happens.  Unbelievable timing.

Where was I?  My dad and I were in the same section, five rows behind.  We were technically in the 6th row behind the Yankee dugout.  All we had were Standing Room Only tickets.  We didn't get inside the stadium until about 30 minutes before first pitch, which is way to late if you want a decent SRO spot.  (Side note, I went to the Verlander v Sox game on Sunday night when they tied the division for 1st place on Sept. 2.  We had SRO "seats."  We got to the stadium about one hour before first pitch and stood in the lower bowl behind the homeplate section.  So, for $17.50, I had a darn good "seat" even though I stood for 4 hours.)

I told my dad since we probably won't find a good section to stand, let's go behind the dugout and pick an open row that gives us room to move left or right when the real ticket owners show up.  I just wanted my dad to experience one pitch of JV. At about 15 minutes before 1st pitch, I suggested we move back one row because "ours" was filling up and that we might as well sit down because it looks like we'll be standing the rest of the night 500 feet away from the plate.

Less than two minutes later, a college-age looking girl in front of my dad said, "We have those seats, they won't be coming tonight, enjoy the game."  She was referring to the exact same seats we were sitting in.  What are the odds?  My dad may never see JV pitch again or another ALCS game, but he'll probably never forget that night.

Unbelievable Hit



Explain that Mr. Green.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Shiny

I should probably write something about the game before kickoff, which has been tough to do all week since my computer died. So here's MSU's shiny gimmick helmet for the game:


Analysis? Both teams suck. The Big Ten sucks. I barely care who wins. The game is on the Big Ten Network, so no one nationally will even see it, and frankly, that's where it ought to be. This might as well be EMU vs. WMU.

Skyfall

Monday, October 15, 2012

Little Ten

So the first BCS rankings have been released and not ONE team from the Big Ten is ranked.  Wow.  That's awesome.  That's incredible.  That's almost a miracle.  How can that be? Do you know how bad you have to stink?

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Monster of the Day: Frankenstein's Monster

I'm not feeling very creative tonight, so more Boris Karloff:

Monday, October 08, 2012

Let's Make it Happen

While I don't want to get ahead of myself I will. I am confident the tigers will win 1 of the next 3 game to make it to the ALCS. Having been to a playoff baseball I can tell you that it is an awesome atmosphere. So lets have a reunion and make this happen. Should they lose the game you go to it is the worst feeling ever because you just shelled out some serious coin but that's what makes winning all the sweeter. Those who have a difficult path to make this happen start working on it. Late

Monster of the Day: Vashta Nerada

Another Doctor Who monster, the Vashta Nerada:


The Vashta Nerada are basically microscopic air piranhas that appear as shadows. In the episode the picture is from a swarm of Vashta Nerada inhabit a spacesuit after consuming its occupant.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

?

Is anyone else tired of tNFL players wearing pink gear? I get that the NFL wants to appear socially aware, but making it an annual thing seems like too much.

Monster of the Day: The Mummy

Boris Karloff as the Mummy from the original movie:


If you've never seen the 1932 version of The Mummy, you'd be surprised to learn that Karloff barely appears in the film as pictured but rather mostly as a modern Egyptian.

RE: Gremlins

It must be noted that the Gremlins theme song is awesome.  Oh, and apparently Howie Mandel was the voice of Gizmo.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Monster of the Day: Tyrannosaurus Rex

From history and, of course, Jurassic Park, the T-Rex:


When the movie came out seeing the dinosaurs was pretty exciting, none more so than the T-Rex, who was every bit the villain you could have wanted. And, yes, I spelled Tyrannosaurus from memory.

Friday, October 05, 2012

?

This one is for bigger baseball fans than me: Is winning the triple crown the most difficult achievement in sports? Miguel Cabrera is the first to do it in 45 years, which sure makes is sound difficult. Most of the other candidates I saw mentioned were career numbers, which seem to be quite a bit different than a single-season accomplishment.

Monster of the Day: The Alien

The Alien, or Xenomorph, from the Alien movies:


The H.R. Giger-designed Alien is simply the best movie monster ever.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Monster of the Day: The Creature

Specifically, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, or the Gill-man:


The Gill-man is considered one of the Universal monsters (notable monsters from Universal studios) though he isn't as famous as Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, and the Wolfman.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

?

This one is for the football pundits who are (reasonably) trashing the Big Ten and (unreasonably) talking up Northwestern: Do you honestly believe the Wildcats are going to be in the B10 Championship Game come November? Or is pointing out the B10's inadequacies so easy that you just have to tack on some really stupid comment?

Monster of the Day: Skeleton Warriors

The skeleton warriors from Jason and the Argonauts:


You can see a clip here.When I was a kid we had a video of some documentary or feature about special effects and it showed a few seconds of these guys fighting. I thought they were the scariest/coolest bad guys ever.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Monster of the Day: Gremlins

I assume the Gremlins don't need as much introduction, or explanation, as the Weeping Angels.


The first Gremlins movie is a little creepy in spite of its comedic elements, the second is hilarious with a few creepy moments. I prefer the second.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Monster of the Day: Weeping Angels

As it's October, I thought I'd do a little something for my own entertainment that sort of followed a Halloween theme, so: monsters. My criteria: 1) they have to be from a movie or a television series and, 2) they have to be at least a little scary. To start, from Doctor Who, the Weeping Angels.


You can see a clip of the angels in action here. The angels are monsters with a gimmick. As long as you look at them they're nothing but statues. But as soon as you look away they come to life and either kill you or send you back in time. So, whatever you do... don't blink.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

RE: Biased?

Interesting research. Surprised? I don't know. He's right, the audience you are talking to...ARE FANS OF THAT TEAM. They expect a little homer out of you. But, there does seem to be a little more credibility when it's "down the middle." If it's too one-sided, it sounds like you asked a couple of guys from the bar across the stadium to call the game.

I can understand the NY audience base wanting it to be more down the middle. Of course, it would be nice if Bret Musburger would act more like a professional than the local guy at a high school game.

After 155 games, I've probably tuned in to 80 games for at least some portion of the Tiger games on the radio. I rarely see a game on TV. In fact, I've listened so much to the radio guys...I can't stand the Tigers own TV guys. Dan Dickerson really has a great personality. I think his strikeout and home run calls are pretty good and he takes it to the next level when the game dictates it.

For example, his strikeout call in the 2nd inning is nothing compared to a bases loaded strikeout or a strikeout in the 8th inning.

On the other hand, if you are too much of a homer, it could get you fired. I believe that is what happened to Mark Champion. He was the radio play-by-play for the Lions for many years, especially during the Barry era. (I believe he still does the radio and/or TV games for the Pistons.)

I'm not exactly sure if he was fired, but his classic "Holy-macerole" blasts for every time the Lions screwed up may have cost him his job. Mark called it as he saw it...the Lions sucked and he let you know it. The Lions brass probably didn't care for that.

Friday, September 28, 2012

?

Do you think Ed Hochuli has spent the referee strike pumping iron?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Did you know?

According to Wikipedia, Lee Corso was a roommate of Burt Reynolds at FSU.

Biased?

The WSJ has done a little research to judge just how biased hometown MLB announcers are. Mario Impemba and Rod Allen come in right about the middle.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

?

Just how bad is the Big Ten? I'm actually in agreement with the polls, there's not a Big Ten team that deserves to be in the top 15. And the teams that are usually bad (Indiana, Purdue, etc) look to be really awful. I'm as tired of the talk about SEC dominance as anyone, but we might as well just give Alabama the national title and call off the rest of the season.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012

"SMASH!"

So we had a "date night" Saturday night and took advantage of Olive Garden's "never-ending pasta bowl."  I hit that hard.  We then proceeded to the movies to see what was playing.  We checked out the Fashion Square Cinema, but didn't like the options...of times for the movies.  It was already 8:30, but nothing was really starting before 10pm that was interesting.  So we figured we could leave for the Saginaw 12 because if they didn't have anything better, we knew we had plenty of time to get back to the other theater.

Saginaw 12 had many more options, but I didn't "see" anything after TDKR.  I was somewhat surprised it was still there.  But, they also had The Avengers!  Yeah, four months later, still available.  I figured I couldn't get TDKR or Avengers, but kept my fingers crossed.  So we narrowed it down to "The Campaign" and "The Words."  We knew The Campaign would have lots of crude humor, just how much was the issue.  The Words was the dark horse.

We knew a rated R comedy must be pretty bad...but we went for The Campaign anyway to at least get some laughs.  Well, I have my limit of Ef-bombs in the first five minutes of a movie, so we walked out.  Thankfully, it was only 9:30 and TDKR was right next door!  Bam, got what I wanted.  But, they were having technically difficulties and the manager practically walked in the door as we were sitting down (thinking he was coming after us) and said the movie is cancelled, you can get your money back if you want or blah, blah, blah.  We knew that wasn't an option.

So...walk next door to The Avengers, which also was starting in less than 5 minutes!  Awesome.  I really wanted to see that again anyway.  We sat in the back (there were 8 people there actually...I think some came from TDKR), stayed until about 11pm, made out, then walked out and went home.

Perfect date night.


Other movie news:  We rented Memento this week.  I hadn't seen it in about 11 years.  It took two nights, but still puzzled.  Then I decided to watch the first 20 minutes and the last 10 minutes before I took it back and I think I have it all figured out.  The movie was 10x better after watching the first 20 and last 10.  Awesome.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

2012 Draft

Wherever the draft is held you're going to need some help to prepare. So here's a few links:

Yahoo! Draft Kit
ESPN Draft Kit
FoxSports Draft Guide

There's one other thing we need: a full complement of teams. So sign up already!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Car of the Day: Chevy Montana Sport

I saw quite a lot of these during my trip to Brazil. Volkswagen also makes a similar model.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Are You a Fan?

The following is a post I’ve been chewing on for awhile and finally took the time to throw it around.



Fan – noun: an enthusiastic devotee, follower, or admirer of a sport, pastime, celebrity, etc. (dictionary.reference.com)


What makes someone a “fan”? What allows someone to be a legitimate “fan” of a team, player, etc.? Is their an unwritten guideline?

Why am I a Detroit Tigers fan? Is it because I live in Michigan? Ok. But what if there were two professional baseball teams in Michigan? Is it the team I live closest? I live 100 miles from Detroit. What if I grew up in Michigan for 20 years and was a die-hard Tigers fan but then moved to New Mexico or Washington and lived there for 60 years. Does 60 years out-weigh 20 years? New Mexico doesn’t even have a MLB team. So do I get to remain a Tigers fan and/or am I allowed to pick any team I want since New Mexico doesn’t have one? Washington has a team. Do I now have to be a fan of the Mariners? Or, does the Mariner-nation have a waiting period that you have to prove yourself as a fan, not just because you now live in their state. Is their an induction ceremony for those that have been on the waiting list?

Is it because my dad is/was a fan of that team? Is it because I went to one of the games? Did I get a players autograph?

Is the team successful or a bottom dweller? Should that even matter? Is it because I like the name of the team or their colors? Is it because I graduated from that school/college? Does it qualify if my kids and/or parents attended there?

Is it because I know the NAMES of some of the players on the team? Am I a fan of a team because of certain players on a team? Take Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars. I was and still am a huge Dumars fan. Would I have been a fan of them if they were not Piston players? What if Thomas and Dumars would have played for another team after 1990? Would I then be a fan of the team they currently played with or would I only be a fan of the specific players, Thomas and Dumars?

See, loyalty worked until about 20 years ago, so some of that previous logic would be allowable. But in the past 15 years, there has been no such thing as loyalty in any of the big sports.

So, again, what allows me to be a “TRUE” fan of the Detroit Tigers, if there even is such a thing as a “true” fan. Are there multiple kinds? A “fan” and a “true fan?”

Buffalo Wild Wings

Rumor has it, BW's is the place to have a Fantasy Football Draft.  I've heard from a few different commissioners in the past week it's the place to be.  "They hook you up."  Draft boards, etc.  Even a $10 voucher for each person.  You have a 2 hour time block as well.  That works out to about 2 minutes to make your pick...which means I'm probably out then.

Rusty is ALL IN.  "Make it happen."  I'm sure KS would certainly like the idea.  The fat guys...ERRRRRRRR...runners like to eat, so they'd probably go for it.

But if we are doing a Baseball trip, we may not get away with two guy nights out in one weekend.  Then again, girls can take the kiddo's and shop if they want.

REACT TO ME!!!!

Out

RE: Warrior

Thanks for the recommendation.  It was even recommended by someone at church just this past Sunday.  It's the first movie I haven't feel asleep through in awhile (we typically start a movie at 11pm).  Started "Warrior" around 12am and made it all the way.  Wife liked it too.

If Nolte could keep his head on straight, he could turn in more performances like that.

Also, wish I knew more about "Moby Dick." That clearly had a parellel to the Paddy story.

Not sure if I liked this better than "Cinderella Man."  Both guys had to win to help the family survive.



On some other thoughts/spoilers from TDKR:

The chalk mark that Officer Blake was drawing in TDKR, what was it?  It is an upside-down Robin?  Was it a reference to Nightwing?  If so, and had I known that before watching the movie, I wonder if that would have changed anything for me.  Because I didn't know who Blake was going to become at the end.

Also, did Bruce Wayne and Celina Kyle kiss as their regular self and as alter-egos?  Was that to show something deeper in the relationship?

I thought the scene where Batman gets his butt kicked by Bane was interesting.  Every once in awhile the camera would show a quick shot of his henchmen standing above watching the fight.  They all had big guns...but no one was in a ready position.  There was even a look of embarrassment on their face.  Like they knew this wasn't going to end well for Batman and it was going to be hard to watch, but had to watch because no one had ever been able to take him down.  None of the henchmen looked worried that Bane might get into trouble and they better be ready to shoot.  It was like they were watching a trainwreck.  They didn't want to see it happen, but yet couldn't turn away.  You could argue they looked like they felt sorry for him.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

REUNION?

Is everybody up for a baseball trip reunion. I'm thinking around the Labor Day time frame. Ironically the season will probably be on the line as the White Sox are in town for a weekend series. Since you are coming the farthest Stack are you in and what days are your option. They are still in town on Labor day with the Indians. Let's take out your Man Cards boys and pull this thing together. Arod just bought a Suburban so we already know who's driving. Late

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Warrior

I watched Warrior last night and it was a terrific movie. I saw that it had received some pretty positive reviews so I put it in my Netflix queue, but honestly I wasn't that interested. It ended up leapfrogging some other movies because of availability but I let it sit around for a few days before I watched it. Then I was blown away. It isn't a lame MMA movie, it's a fantastic drama. It definitely invites comparisons to Rocky, but I enjoyed this much more. The plot doesn't break any new ground, but the film is so well acted and executed that you won't notice. Tom Hardy (Bane), Joel Edgerton, and Nick Nolte do an excellent job. Definitely worth checking out if you have a free evening in need of a movie.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sunday, July 22, 2012

300

Miguel Cabrera hit his 300th career homerun is today's win over the White Sox.

My Thoughts

Just got back from seeing "TDKR."  Here are a few of my thoughts:

- Very "intense", which I believe is how Stack described "The Avengers."  So, using his one word description about both movies kept me excited.

- Agree, Joker was better villian.

- It also seemed to have more of a "League of Shadows" theme compared to "The Dark Knight."

- This was my first IMAX experience for a motion picture.  I guess I wasn't very impressed.  Maybe I expected more for $17.50.  Maybe other screens are bigger/better, but all I can picture in my mind is the IMAX screen at Cedar Point.  That seemed more impressive.  Side note, nobody at the AMC theater in Anaheim took our tickets, so we could have literally walked in and seen the movie for free.  It was a sold out show...we didn't even get to sit together!

- I also plan to see movie again, probably in a few weeks, more than likely not in IMAX.

- I wish I hadn't checked updates of the movie as often or read some of the character info/names on the IMDB.  Knowing one of the characters names or history kind of spoiled a big twist for me.  Or, maybe I shouldn't have researched Bane and found out some of his background which lead to part of that spoiler.  Oh well.

- Movie was quite loud, which certainly made it difficult to understand all of Bane's dialog.  Other parts were difficult as well with Batman's deeper voice.

- Great movie, still not sure if I like it better than TDK.  However, much more intense than all movie.

- Lots of clapping at the theather.  During the beginning with all the "special" sneak preview trailers, at the beginning of the movie, and at the end.  Not used to that in the Thumb.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Thoughts on The Dark Knight Rises

Some non-spoilery thoughts on The Dark Knight Rises:

-The film is intense. It's a long film (164 min), but it doesn't let up the whole time. It's also pretty dark, fairly similar in tone to The Dark Knight.

-The music is probably more intense than the film itself. Hans Zimmer is the man.

-There were more nods to the comic than I would have expected. Also more twists than I would have expected.

-No post-credit sequence, if you're wondering.

-Bane works well as the villain, though he's not as good as the Joker.

-Anne Hathaway was very good as Catwoman.

-I thought Office Blake, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, would feel like a tacked-on character, but he's important to the story and fits in seamlessly.

-Batman's new vehicle, the Bat, is awesome.

-I can't imagine this will make as much money as Avengers. It's a great movie, but it's pretty heavy. I will definitely see it again in IMAX though, and I may end up seeing it again before the weekend is over.

100 mph On Pitch 116

Justin Verlander had his fastball working deep into the game last night as he was still throwing 100 mph in the eighth inning. One of these fastballs broke Gordon Beckham's bat. On a check-swing. Video here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Live from Comic Con...almost

I'm heading to SD in a few hours for the zoo.  Dang, could have dressed up like a freak and gone to Comic Con instead.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I am Iron Man

Read this story and this one and tell me Robert Downey Jr. doesn't absolutely love being Tony Stark. If there's any doubt about him coming back for more after Iron Man 3 Marvel needs to make absolutely sure it happens.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel announced some movie plans yesterday at SDCC, here's the short version if you haven't seen any info yet:

 -The Thor sequel is officially titled Thor: The Dark World and will arrive 11/8/13.

-The Captain America sequel is titled Captain America: The Winter Soldier and it hits 4/4/14.

-New characters will appear in Guardians of the Galaxy, scheduled for 8/1/14. Concept art:


-There will also be a movie based on the character Ant-Man, no release date yet.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mark VIII

The new armor from Iron Man 3 has been unveiled as San Diego Comic Con, you can see it at Marvel.com. My thoughts? It's really gold.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Touch This Light

Verlander...

...discusses his All-Star game performance, but not Kate Upton, in the Detroit News.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

And Pitcher

Sowell also discusses the greatest pitcher of all-time here.

Monday, July 09, 2012

All-Time Greatest Hitter

Thomas Sowell has narrowed the list to five.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

?

I heard something about a man in maroon running around CC with a torch. Anyone care to comment?

Saturday, July 07, 2012

.506

The Tigers are above .500 again after beating the Royals.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Quote of the Day

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
-Declaration of Independence

Sunday, July 01, 2012

NFL Attendance

Here's an interesting article from the WSJ about the NFL trying to combat declining attendance at games. That attendance is declining is no surprise to me. Though most of my experience is with college games, many of the issues are the same: Tickets cost too much, concession prices are ridiculous, you can't see as well as on TV, and other fans are obnoxious. On top of that NFL games can't deliver the atmosphere that a major college game has. Why does anyone go at all?

Hot Wheels Double Loop Dare

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ain't Cheating, Ain't Trying

"Losers are morons who don't have the balls to cheat."

Monday, June 18, 2012

What are the odds?

Interesting story on the umpires in the no-hitters and perfect games lately from Buster Onley's blog.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

"Livestock rained down on shocked drivers..."

I was going to write that this story is equal parts tragic and funny, but since no one was killed I'm going with 7/10 funny, 2/10 bizarre, and just 1/10 tragic. The story is a truck in Australia carrying a trailer full of sheep tipped over on an overpass, sending the sheep plummeting into traffic on the expressway below.



A few quotes from the story:
"Yeah, raining sheep doesn't happen every day."

"It was like an action movie..." I don't know what kind of action movies they have down under, but they must be very different from ours.

"We have three other cars that are extensively damaged from livestock falling through their windscreens."

"The sheep not so lucky."

And we haven't even gotten to the jokes about counting sheep. 

(Via Autoblog)

Friday, June 01, 2012

Fantasy Football '12

Fantasy football has returned for 2012 and you can sign up at Yahoo now. The league ID number is 9642 and you should all know the password.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

!

 Well, I just found two reasons to buy Forza Motorsport 4 for the Xbox 360: the 1988 Pontiac Fiero GT and the Top Gear test track.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Thoughts on The Avengers

A few non-spoilery thoughts on the movie:

-I've never seen an adaptation that avoided missing opportunities the way Avengers did. If I had made a list before watching the movie of things I wanted to see I would have been able to cross nearly everything off the list. I think the only thing left out was Cap yelling "Avengers assemble!"

-While not everyone gets equal time, none of the characters gets shortchanged on screen time, not even Agent Coulson. As you might expect, Tony Stark and Loki get the most to do.

-As in Thor, Tom Hiddleston as Loki is fantastic.

-There are two post-credit sequences, one after the main credits and another at the very end. The first one is the traditional Marvel movie teaser, the second is a humorous reference to a line from Stark earlier in the film. If you're pressed for time, or by impatient theater workers, you could probably miss the second.

-The movie manages quite a bit of humor without forcing it. There's a scene between Hulk and Thor during the final battle that is sure to make anyone laugh.

-I've seen some reviewers compare the final battle to the last Transformers movie. While they both involve lots of action with visually complex characters in an urban landscape they feel very different when you are watching them. Transformers feels like a visual assault that's supposed to generate a reaction with brute force, Avengers gives you a fight where you can actually follow the action. There's a shot that moves from one here to another that's quite impressive.

Car of the Day: Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport


Over $2,000,000.

Friday, May 04, 2012

In case you're wondering...

...Avengers is awesome.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Stanton-ed

Pity the Michigan State quarterback in the NFL draft. Kirk Cousins was selected in the fourth round today by the Washington Redskins. Being selected by Washington is bad enough, but the 'Skins had already selected Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick. So KC1 has ended up in a scenario where he either plays the bad guy by outperforming the top draft pick, who is much loved by the media, or he's left with little opportunity to prove he can play the game at an NFL-level. I think calling it being "Stanton-ed" adequately sums up the situation.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Don't take Calvin Johnson...

...in the fantasy draft, he's going to be on the cover of Madden '13.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Car of the Day: Lamborghini Urus

Approximately $200,000.

When do you take a RB?

At the WSJ (via Right Field), there's a short article about when to take a running back in the NFL draft. An excerpt:
In recent years, drafting a running back in the first round hasn't been a worthwhile investment at all. Since 2002, 28 backs have been selected in the first round. Less than a third have ever made a Pro Bowl; on average, they gain a so-so 730 yards per season.
There's more data at the link. I looked into it a little more myself and using other measures the data holds up. For example, here are the leading rushers in the NFL last season. Of the top ten only four (7-10) were taken in the first round. Only two of those were picked earlier than #20 (Marshawn Lynch and Ryan Mathews). The sweet spot for taking a running back? Early second round.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Car of the Day: 2011 Ford Evos Concept

The style of the Evos is clearly seen in the new Fusion and, according to this report in the WSJ, will also serve as a guide for the new Mustang.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Cheerleader

This guy deserves to be mocked mercilessly. Of course, if you're dealing with a man trying out to be a Denver Broncos cheerleader, there's not really much else to say is there?

Monday, April 09, 2012

Car of the Day: Piss'd Off Pete


Picture from Blastolene. You can read more about Pete here.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Car of the Day: 2013 SRT Viper GTS


Chrysler unveiled the new Viper today which will arrive in the fall. Key facts: 640 HP, 600 lbs. of torque, top speed of 206 mph, and "the highest naturally aspirated torque engine... in the world."

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

New Nike Lions Uniform


Any complaints? There look to be some changes on the technical side, but no major adjustments to the design, except for the Pro Combat-style gloves. Gallery here.

Car of the Day: 2009 Corvette Stingray Concept


Via Jalopnik

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Nike?

So, in reading this article at Yahoo about a judge granting a restraining order to stop Reebok from selling Tebow jerseys before Nike takes over I learned that, well, Nike is taking over as the official NFL uniform provider. Did anyone else know this?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hmmmm...Too much Testosterone???

Check out the link and watch the video on the webpage. It's a video of Baylor's Brittney Griner dunking on Florida in the WOMEN'S tournament. Key word - "Women's"

What you want to watch is not the highlight of the dunk, but the post-game, on-court interview with the Baylor Women's coach with Griner standing next to her, who gets interviewed last.

After watching the video, you will be asking a question. I think you'll know what I'm talking about.

SNL: "Lin-Sanity"

RE: ? (that probably doesn't narrow it down)

From Stack: "Is it just me, or is the NCAA tourney 50% commercials this year?"

I noticed college basketball has decided to get into the "timeout" era where every other sport (basically footall) has a graphic that shows how many timeouts a team has. Because in basketball, especially the tournament, one would easily think each team has 20...per half. But it's only FIVE total. I know, that's impossible. Here's the deal. They have scheduled media timeouts at the 16:00, 12:00, 8:00, and 4:00 marks from what I've noticed or can tell. I'm 100% sure on the 16:00 and 12:00. I may have seen a TO at the 10:00 yesterday, but you get the point.

I always love it when they just come back from a media TO and one of the teams goes on a mini-run in about a 2-minute period. So, one team calls TO to stay in the game. They come back from commercials and play for two more minutes and...another media TO. It feels like three separate 4-minute commercial breaks. Four minutes of action, 12 minutes of cars/beer/insurance. So, yeah, it does feel like the NCAA tourney is 50% commercials this year.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Car of the Day: 2011 Mazda RX-8


Starting at $26,795.

Snakebit

You know who has really bad luck? Drew Stanton. First, an injury in a bowl game cost him a large part of a season as starting QB at MSU. Then he gets drafted by the Lions. Next, he's injured and loses a season. He recovers, but the Lions draft Matthew Stafford. Stafford has spent a large part of his career injured, but the Lions seemed unwilling to give Stanton a shot, even going so far as to get Daunte Culpepper out of retirement. So Stanton finally leaves the Lions and goes to the Jets with a chance to become the backup behind an inconsistent Mark Sanchez. And then the Jets trade for Tim Tebow. Stanton wasn't thrilled with being a #3 QB again and wanted to be traded. Well, he's been traded, but to the Indianapolis Colts, who will take a QB (probably Andrew Luck, irony?) in the draft. On the bright side, as Trevor Vittatoe (who?) is currently the only other QB on the roster, Stanton pretty much has the backup role to himself.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

?

Which is stranger: Brett Favre playing for another team than the Packers or Peyton Manning playing for the Broncos?

Friday, March 16, 2012

?

Is it just me, or is the NCAA tourney 50% commercials this year?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

2012 Cass City Monkies Tourney Pick 'Em

Picks have to be made by Thursday, so if anyone still wants to join use this link. You should all know the password.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Bounties

From ESPN:
New Orleans Saints players and at least one assistant coach maintained a bounty pool of up to $50,000 the last three seasons to reward game-ending injuries inflicted on opposing players, including Brett Favre and Kurt Warner, the NFL said Friday. "Knockouts" were worth $1,500 and "cart-offs" $1,000, with payments doubled or tripled for the playoffs.

I'm not sure which is more disgusting, the fact that the Saints (and likely other teams) were doing this or the excuses I've read people making for the practice. Football is a physical game, no doubt. If you have a chance to make a clean, hard hit on a star player, go for it. But paying for intentional injuries isn't about physicality sportsmanship and ethical play. If you're not this guy:


You shouldn't be worried about collecting bounties. I hope the NFL throws the book at everyone involved.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Car of the Day: 2012 Holden Ute SS V-Series Redline Edition


$62,028 plus import fees to get it to the US from Australia.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Hats Off to the Bull

2012 Tourney Pick 'Em

If you missed the email, the 2012 Cass City Monkies Tourney Pick 'Em group at Yahoo is now available. The group ID is 672 (that's right, under 1000) and you all know the password.

Car of the Day: 2012 Dodge Challenger R/T


Starting at $29,995.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

In The Jungle

You know you're big time if you're in "The Jungle" and Draymond Green "visited" yesterday on the Jim Rome Show. He's definately the difference in MSU's season. What an impact he makes now that he's 40 lbs lighter than other years.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Car of the Day: Morgan AeroMax



Cost: £110,000 (~$173,300), 100 produced.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Super Bowl Thoughts

Whatever you do, don't have a child within a weekend of the Super Bowl. Forever your child's birthday party will be tied into a Super Bowl party...which means you are hosting EVERYONE (and I mean EVERYONE) at your house. I believe the final tally was 15-4 from each family. 19. 19! Just family! No friends or extras. 19! (That 19 does NOT include our family of three, so mark it up to 22 in the house.)

Solution? Well, you're stuck with the kid, so here's a few tips. Don't do anything to your TV to make it more appealing to want to stay at the B-day party longer to watch the game. Get out your old 19" black and white box and make people suffer. The flood gates will open! Or, just don't upgrade your 26" standard definition TV. ANYONE'S house will always seem a better idea. And, if you are in good with the wifey, maybe you can have an excuse to leave too. (Editor's note: None of those above ideas were attemped or worked.)

My only hope is the next baby is deep enough into February that when we do a combined family b-day party, the middle date will be two weeks after the Super Bowl. Or a large snow storm.

1. Didn't start watching until 13:00 left in 2nd quarter.

2. Saw most of the commercials, but distracted at times so I didn't get real into them. Didn't closely see "It's Halftime America" but saw enough to want to strap on a helmet and hit somebody.

3. Thought the Patriots and Brady played very well. Giants were just a really good team (under the radar?) that under-achieved all year. They were 7-6 at one point. First SB winner ever to be 9-7 in regular season.

4. Has a player ever felt more quilty scoring a TD in the SB? I really hoped they would lose when that happened. He had no clue what to do. Like they didn't even think it would happen (that the Pats would just let them score).

5. Play of the game was the 12-Men-On-The-Field penalty. I'll put 12 guys on the field all day long if it only cost me 5 yards but the other team 00:15 (crucial) seconds. That rule will definately get looked into. I've noticed other penalties like that over the years. Eventually even one less second on the clock for the losing team is worth a lot more than a 5 yard penalty, especially if a FG will not win the game.

6. It'd still rather be 3-2 (or 3-3, 3-4, 3-5) in the Super Bowl than 3-0 if I'm Tom Brady. He still took a weaker team to the SB...and nearly won. Again, he/they played very well.

7. What did more for the other quarterbacks legacy? Tom Brady losing and now being 3-2 in SB's or Eli winning another SB? I believe Eli winning was bigger than Brady losing again.

8. Who feels even better after the Super Bowl? Joe Montana

I thought I had more. Can't think of anything else right now.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

?

You know how I said UM vs MSU in basketball didn't excite me much? Turns out when I actually watch the game that's not true at all. Victory for MSU!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Paying College Athletes

I just thought of something the other day that may be a stretch, but could it hold water for a short while?: The big conversation is about paying NCAA athletes and that the NCAA makes a ton of money off their athletes yet "all they get is a full ride scholarship."

What about this: Without the NCAA, what exposure would these athletes be getting? They are on TV every single weekend and talked about in every form of print media. Look at all the other levels of college sports. Division II, Division III, NAIA, Junior College, etc. What exposure do those levels get compared to the D-1 athletes? Nothing even close. Which in turn makes a big difference in their chances of making big money as a pro, let alone even getting recognition to have a shot at the next level.

Would some of these players be getting $100 million contracts if the NCAA wasn't as big as it is? What's easier for a pro scout? Seeing Andrew Luck every Saturday night on TV, or traveling 1000's of miles looking at a mid-major prospect?

Car of the Day Series

Great series you have going. Any possibility (without adding too much extra work) to throwing on a price tag to some of these sleds? I'm way out of touch on the expense of these 2000 lb. bullets.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

?

Would anyone be interested in getting league t-shirts for the 2012 fantasy football season? The idea occurred to me after poking around TeeFury.com, which sells limited run geek-oriented t-shirts. That doesn't actually help here, it was just an inspiration. Anyway, there's another website, Custom Ink, that let's you design your own t-shirts. Here's a quick example:


Or one more:


Something like that would run about $13 (shipped) for 12 shirts. I'm sure there are other places that offer similar services, this is just the first I found and it allowed me to find a ballpark price. Anyone interested?

UPDATE: One more, with custom art:

Car of the Day: Alfa Romeo Zagato TZ3 Stradale

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ouch

I'm going to have to throw a flag on Spartan AD Mark Hollis for unsportsmanlike conduct, illegal blow to the wallet after the announcement of season ticket price increases. Of course the University would claim the price of most season tickets aren't increasing, they're just adding a mandatory contribution to the Spartan Fund. I don't think my bank account will appreciate the distinction as my tickets are increasing 30%. Or maybe decreasing 100% if I abandon them completely, which seems more and more likely.

I also have to observe that it is pretty galling to read (in the email announcement to season ticket holders): "To reach our ultimate goals, it will take a championship effort from all of our stakeholders: our coaches, administration, alumni and fans." I don't seem to remember anyone apologizing for a less-than championship effort previously, not that this season was technically a "championship effort" either. I certainly resent the insinuation that anyone who doesn't pony up the cash is less than a true Spartan.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

9 Years, $214 Million

Prince Fielder is exchanging bratwurst for Little Caesar's Pizza, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. You can buy a lot of pizza for $214 million.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

FF Top Scorers '11

Here are the top scorers from the fantasy football league. This will be updated weekly. * denotes current record holder for the year. All-time is based on '04 on, which I have records for. The scoring was changed for the '05 season to include points for receptions, and then in '07 to reduce points per yard for the QB. The highest team score in '04 was The Living Legend (Bader) with 206.95 pts. The highest team score from '05-'06 was Battletoads (Stack, '06) with 232.40 pts. See the '05 data here, the '06 data here, the '07 data here, the '08 data here, the '09 data here, and the '10 data here.

Week 1
Top Player: Tom Brady, 48.15 pts
Top Team: Show me ya TD's, 126.25 pts

Week 2
Top Player: Tom Brady, 39.45 pts
Top Team: Life is Good, 151.80 pts

Week 3
Top Player: Wes Welker, 38.80 pts
Top Team: Thunderstruck, 160.65 pts

Week 4
Top Player: Aaron Rodgers, 58.00 pts*
Top Team: Thunderstruck, 142.30 pts

Week 5
Top Player: Ben Roethlisberger, 39.40 pts
Top Team: Thunderstruck, 141.55 pts

Week 6
Top Player: Aaron Rodgers, 33.00 pts
Top Team: Cantthinkof one, 117.35 pts

Week 7
Top Player: Drew Brees, 46.25 pts
Top Team: Show me ya TD's, 151.05 pts

Week 8
Top Player: Cam Newton, 33.80 pts
Top Team: Thunderstruck, 142.05 pts

Week 9
Top Player: Aaron Rodgers, 41.55 pts
Top Team: Third and Long, 147.75 pts

Week 10
Top Player: Aaron Rodgers, 38.60 pts
Top Team: Show me ya TD's, 131.25 pts

Week 11
Top Player: Matthew Stafford, 42.95 pts
Top Team: Life is Good, 135.95 pts

Week 12
Top Player: Drew Brees, 48.95 pts
Top Team: Game Changers, 127.60 pts

Week 13
Top Player: Aaron Rodgers, 43.65 pts
Top Team: Third and Long, 169.40 pts*

Playoffs
Week 14
Top Player: Tony Romo, 40.05 pts
Top Team: Cantthinkof one, 152.65 pts

Week 15
Top Player: Drew Brees, 49.00 pts
Top Team: Cantthinkof one, 144.05 pts

Week 16
Top Player: Aaron Rodgers, 45.95 pts
Top Team: VICKtorious, 132.15 pts

Car of the Day: Lexus LF-LC


(Via Supercars.net.)