Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Insanity of ROM

I acquired my ROM Quick Gym on 9/12/2009. This was the weekend USC beat Ohio State and UCLA defeated Tennessee. I remember it well. Me and Aaron listened to both games as we drove down to Laguna Hills and back again. Aaron and I were not able to move the machine into my apartment that Saturday evening. The 500 or so pounds of this device were just too much for us. I got it done on Sunday 9/13/2009. It took 4 illegal assistants plus me to get that thing up the stairs to my apartment living room. I was absolutely busted after hauling that thing up the stairs.

I did not workout on the machine for the first time until the Monday 9/14/2009. So here I sit on Tuesday evening September 30, 2009. I have been working out with the ROM for about 16 days. The results have been shocking. I am not prepared to go public with the actual mathematical figures yet. I will though. It has been kicking my ass, and I have been loving it. I have been able to get into a regime where I use it most mornings, usually within 30 minutes of wake up. This is a pretty hardcore way to wake up in the morning.

Let me just give you a few observation points:
  • I purchased this machine because of arthritis in my knees. My arthritis had reached the point where I was climbing out of bed each morning like I was climbing out of a wrecked car. I suffered pain throughout the day: Pain in my back, pain in hips, pain in my legs.
  • In my first few ROM workouts, the lower body exercise was very tricky and painful. My right knee screamed at me. 1 minute was all I could muster. I tried to do 4 reps of 1 minute each. The first few times I worked out, 3 minutes was all I could muster. I had to lower the resistance to considerably less than my ideal weight to be able to move those pedals without agony. About 190 was all I could take.
  • I am already at the point where I can do 3 minutes on the lower body exercise in just 1 shot. At the same time, I have moved the resistance up to my ideal weight (231). Because I have not completed the 4 minutes in a single span, I try to do two reps of 3 minutes on lower body. No matter what, I do 6 minutes of lower body exercise on lower body days.
  • I am now walking down the stairs relatively normally, without grasping the side rails. Sometimes I still grasp the side rails, but this is a psychological thing. I don't absolutely have to have them any more.
  • If I workout in the morning, I can pretty well guarantee myself a pain-free day. If I don't workout in the morning, I will suffer pain throughout the day. This much is certain. This is one of the most counter-intuitive and shocking facts about the ROM workout. Most workouts leave you sore and beat to death. ROM will make you a bit tired and sore, but not beat to death. Rather the contrary. You are invigorated.
  • A good deal of my upper body mass has been returning. At the moment I am gaining weight, not loosing it. The ROM manual warned me that this would happen. You gain muscle first. You loose fat later. This is the standard pattern with the ROM. My arms, chest, back, & legs are all muscling up again. My cellular memory is being activated.
  • The ROM literature makes some fairly outrageous claims. They claim that 4 minutes of ROM workout is equal to 20-45 minutes of aerobic exercise + 20-45 minutes of resistance training + 20 minutes of conventional stretching. Although I bought the machine, I scoffed at this sales pitch. I thought these statements an outlandish lie. Frankly, I am beginning to accept these claims. I can see no other way I might be making this kind of progress this rapidly.
  • There is no doubt that you are doing heavy resistance work over an extended period of time (4 minutes). Nobody benches 225 for 4 minutes, not even at the NFL combine. Doing a ROM workout is a little like benching and rowing 225 for 4 minutes straight. There is no doubt that you must do this through an extreme range of motion. There is no doubt you are putting an overload on your heart and lungs at the same time that you are tearing up your muscles and stretching those joints and tendons.
  • Probably one of the strangest aspects of this journey has been the metabolic effects through the day. If I don't workout in the morning, I have a tough time waking up. I will be listless all morning. If I don't workout by noon, my metabolic energy will collapse by the afternoon. This is as bad or worse than the sort of mild narcoleptic fatigue I suffered before the Armodafinil. If I do workout by noon, I will have no problems with energy through the day. This exercise does ignite the metabolism.
  • The ROM has altered my food choices and my food cravings. I want protein in copious quantities these days. I really don't like potatoes or rice as much as I did. I find myself shunning a burrito and preferring steak and eggs. If I can get those in a burrito, fine. If not, I want my steak and eggs. Forget the burrito. Things like chips and ice cream have lost much of their luster. Protein drinks have suddenly become very seductive again. They make me feel great.
  • The ROM has messed with my sleep a bit. At the moment, the time is 10:56, and I can barely finish this entry. I need to hit the sack. I did my workout less than 3 hours ago. I am pretty sleepy. My body wants to shutdown and build. I can tell. I once did the lower body workout at approximately 10:00pm. I did about 6 minutes plus 2 of upper body. I couldn't sleep until 4 in the morning. My metabolism went off the chart.
Most of the things I have written here seem insane upon review. 4 minutes of workout per day cannot have these kinds of effects. Doing 8 minutes cannot have these kinds of effects. You can't fix arthritic knees in 16 days while gaining weight when you are already overweight in the first place. Diet change usually requires conscience effort. Still, all the things I have written to you are true. This is my experience so far.

Recently, I saw a few videos regarding the ROM done by a personality. Said personality managed to con the ROMFab folks into lending him a ROM for a month or two, in exchange for the promotion. Watching him workout is underwhelming to say the very least. He seems more concerned with his music choices than his workout pace. He seems to be able to converse with the cameraman, which is a sign he is not working very hard.

Still, the dude had a doctor check his body composition before and after. He lost a total of 3 pounds in 1 month. However, he lost 13 pounds of fat and added 10 pounds of lean during that time. This altered his composition and appearance significantly. I asked Dr. Tom Long about this, and he confirmed that this information was accurate. If a half-assed effort can yield 13 pound compositions swings in 1 month, what will serious effort yield?

This makes me very hopeful. I am certainly beating the living shit out of this dude in terms of workout intensity. My first month should be better than his. I will certainly be happy with a 13 pound swing. I would prefer 20.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Falcons should feel confident of victory this weekend

The Atlanta Falcons have absolutely everything they need to roundly defeat the New England Patriots in Foxborough this weekend (game 3) of the 2009 NFL season. They have outstanding offense, they have a franchise QB in Matt Ryan, a franchise TE in Anthony Gonzales, and a powerful franchise RB in Michael Turner. They have an opportunistic ball-hawking defense that already has 9 take-aways against strong offensive teams. They are much better than their #22 ranking. They have outstanding special teams play, led by Jason Elam, owner of the NFL's longest field goal. They have youth. They have experience. They have all-pros. They have role-players. They have everything you need to put together a powerful contending football team. In short, the Falcons are a damn good squad. They are one of the more complete teams in the league.

The Falcons should be favored to win. We should not view the game as an upset when they do win. There is no reason to favor the Patriots by 4 outside of dynastanalingus. Dynastanalingus is a grave psycho-social malady that afflicts sports writers and handicappers world-wide. This disease is marked by a compulsive need to lick the assholes of whosoever is considered the reigning dynasty of the moment... even if said team has not won a Super Bowl in 5 years, and never ever enjoyed an undefeated season. Dynastanalingus is one of the most powerful causes of errant missed predictions, pseudo-upsets, and dismayed surprise. It also causes those afflicted to deny that dynasty is over, long after they have jumped the shark.

We could also sight the fact that ESPN is headquartered in Bristol, Connecticut. Need we remind the world that they covered a decade or more of meaningless BoSox games when the BoSox were absolutely terrible? Need I remind you that they turned the Yankees vs BoSox into the ultimate rivalry? Need I remind you of the hoopla they raised when the BoSox finally won the series. Much of the esteem for the Patriots stems from the pure bias of ESPN-ites who are from that sector of the country.

Keep your heads up Falcons. Fight. Win. The only thing that can stop you is you. The Patriots are rebuilding. If you execute your gameplan, you will prevail. There will be a street-fight, but you should be confident of victory.

Just think, you can spoil Monday morning for all the radio personalities who are desperate and Jonesing for a good moment to lick Belichick's asshole clean. This is especially true for those who think that a Wes Welker is a belt on a 3 piece suit, and his return guarantees the Patriots victory.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dump your Titans stock as quick as you can

So I was just watching the NFL network a few moments ago, and here we have Mike Martz and Charles Davis playing Buy, Sell or Hold with Fran├žois. Both of them were buying Titan stock. I was shocked. Their reasoning? This is a Jeff Fisher team. That is all.

No, no, no, no fuck no. That is totally insufficient and inadequate reasoning. Let me give you some Donald Duck in Mathematicsland courtesy of Matt Millen and Penn State. The Titans are 0-2. The Colts are 2-0. The Titans must travel to Giants Stadium New Jersey to take on Mark (dirty) Sanchise the freakin' franchise of the Jets. This is a loss for the Titans. For sure. No bullshit.

Folks, the Jets punched the Texans in the face. The beat 'em up, took their lunch money and made them cry. The Texans were shutout. The Texans scored 34 against the Titans. This does not bode well. The Titans were eliminated from the playoffs last season by a mean and nasty Baltimore defense they could not figure out. That defense was the product of Rex Ryan. A defense very much like that is headed straight for them. The bottom line is this is loss for the Titans. It may be hard-fought, but it will be a loss. The Titans open 0-3.

Some say the transitive law of equality does not function in NFL football games. I would agree, but I expect it to work well in this case.

The Colts are headed for a shoot-out with the Cardinals in the Desert. This game is going to be amazing. The Colts may or may not be favored to win against the Cardinals. I personally would favor the Cardinals by the slimmest of margins. I may be allowing my biases to show there. Pick'em. This may be the most entertaining game of the year. The Colts are going to have luxury of dropping this one and maintaining a 2 game lead on the Titans. Should they prevail, they will have a 3 game lead on the Titans.

They will have two matches against the Titans. The first is in Week 5 where they will journey to Nashville. Expect the Colts to split the series at the least. This will maintain a 2 to 3 game lead through 5 weeks of play. Nasty math for the Titans. They are digging themselves a mighty hole which is probably going to be too deep to dig out of. Don't expect the Colts to tank the way the Broncos did last year. There will be no meltdown in Indianapolis.

Monday, September 21, 2009

ROMfab 4 Minute Workout Cross Trainer Hunger Pangs

A while ago, I blogged about my discovery of the ROMfab 4 Minute Cross Trainer. I first heard of it from an advertisement published in the back of Discovery Magazine. It was one of the many exotic devices advertised in the last few pages. The stunning price caught my attention.

To recap, I visited the factory (less than 15 miles from my apartment) and I was blown away by the intensity of the workout. I quickly realized that the lower body workout constituted the more valuable half of this machine. This is the most powerful rehab exercise I have ever done for my knees. Given my arthritic knees, this machine is worth it's weight in gold. Tis a pitty that men coming back from serious knee surgery (like Shawne Merrimen and Tom Brady) don't use this machine. It would have helped Payton Manning quite a bit last season.

From that moment until two weeks ago, I was on a non-stop quest to acquire one of these ROM machines. It was not easy. The $15k to $16k price tag of a new A-Machine made it prohibitive. There is a cheaper clone machine, but it is not cheap either. ROMfab answered the cheaper clone with an even cheaper clone, but this has recently risen in price also. In short, I was watching, looking for a used unit I could grab for cheap.

Well, my opportunity came. I found an owner desperate to sell in Laguna Hills. I scored at a paltry $6000. That is a stunning figure for most people. Most men of middle-class means would never consider purchasing a $6,000 exercise machine for the home. They more stunned when they realize that I got it at $9000 to $10,000 off the list price. I may be the only dude living in a Canoga Park Apartment who owns one of these things.

So what are the results of my first two weeks with the machine? Pretty damn good. I will start tracking my weight and body composition soon, but not right away. The prime directive is to be able to do 4 straight minutes on the lower body exercise setting the resistance for my ideal body weight (231 according to my doctor). Right now I can only do approximately 2:15 on the lower body. Dr. Bachner would be shocked that I can do that much. I am already blasting the full 4 minutes on the upper body exercise, and scoring 127-128, at my ideal body weight. Dr. Tom Long tells me this is a very good score.

As far as results are concerned, I can tell you that my mobility has improved. I don't have to grab both guidance bars when walking down the stairs. I don't have to edge my way down the stairs, avoiding weight on my right knee. I am waking up in the morning with considerable energy. Much more than before. If I crush a workout during lunch, I experience no narcoleptic fades in the afternoon.

The strange thing is that it seems more like a body building workout than an aerobic workout. My muscles are recovering some of their mass. The hunger pangs that strike after the workout are almost unreal. The hunger pangs that occur through the day are also unreal. Tonight, I demolished an 18 inch 3 pound Carne Asada burrito from my favorite shack around the corner. This was not my intention. I was going to cut it in half, and have the other half for breakfast tomorrow. I have never been able to finish one of these 3 pounders in a single sitting, nor have I ever wanted to try. I couldn't stop. I destroyed the whole thing in a single sitting. I was stuffed, but I knew deep inside that I needed the building blocks. I am rebuilding... just like the Patriots and the Rams.

The Rams should make Trent Green their offensive coordinator

The Rams have scored a total of 7 points this year. That's one touchdown in 8 quarters of play. We weren't exactly playing the 1985 Bears and the 1976 Steelers either. Compare and contrast our total of 7 points with the 92 points scored by the New Orleans Saints in these first two games. The Spirit of the Greatest Show on Turf and Air Coryell now resides under the roof at the Superdome.

So what are we going to do about it? Are we just going to keep plugging, or are we going to make a change?

This morning, one morning show was discussing the problems some certain team was having offensively. It wasn't the Rams. I think it might have been the Redskins. Immediately, one of the voices recommended hiring Trent Green as the new offensive coordinator. "He's too smart to be doing color commentary on Sundays. Trent has to become a coach at some point." The other voice agreed with him.

I mulled that over for about 10 seconds. I agree. Trent is too smart to be doing color commentary. If we don't hire him, somebody else will. When we have the most desperate problems offensively, we should be the one to make this move. If Trent is agreeable, we need to hire him. He has been in our camp several times. He knew our system in the Greatest Show on Turf days. He was the NFL's top rated quarterback in 2000, when Warner went down with an injury. We dealt him to KC for a 1st round draft pick, which in retrospect, looks like a big mistake. Trent is from the St. Louis area. Let's bring him back.

This move would also signify the moment when we abandon our attempt to get the West Coast Offense rolling in St. Louis. Let's face the facts guys. It has been three years. Things have been getting steadily worse. We aren't running the scheme, and what we are doing isn't working at all. When we already enjoyed the most high-performance offense the world has ever known (at least until New Orleans) I don't see why we want to step down to a complicated ball-control passing scheme.

Bring Trent in. Ask him to run the offense he wants to run. Let's see what he does. I bet it will look much more like Mike Martz and Don Coryell than Bill Walsh and Mike Holmgren.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dave's Preliminary NFL Top 5 Power Ranking before Monday Night Week 2

  1. Saints
  2. Ravens
  3. Giants
  4. Falcons
  5. Vikings

There you have it ladies and germs. If the Super Bowl were held today, Dave says it would be Ravens vs. Saints for all the marbles.

Reluctantly, I must include the Vikings on that list. I have no confidence in the Vikings. I do not believe they are headed anywhere in the post season. If the Colts have a powerful showing on Monday night, and down the Dolphins hard, they will replace the Vikings, and probably bump the Falcons down a notch.

Several undefeated teams did not make it into my top 5 list. The Jets are just on the other side of my confidence horizon. They to have to open up on offense to gain a slot here. Their play calling is far too conservative. The Broncos also failed to make this list. This is far more explainable, but it probably requires no explanation. Josh McDaniels shit the bed when he first laid down on the job. I have no confidence at all in the Broncos. Their 2-0 start is the ultimate fluke in route to a 2-9 start.

Thoughts about the early games on week two

Three "Shocking" upsets

No doubt the writers will be focusing on three 'upset' victories we see on the early slate.
  • Jets 16 Patriots 9
  • Bengals 31 Packers 24
  • Texans 34 Titans 31
For my money, this first game is no upset. I expected the Jets to take down the rebuilding Patriots. I have been the sole truth teller regarded the rebuilding status of the Patriots. I am surprised the Patriots kept the game this close. If the Jet offense had just played with a bit more confidence, they could have blown this game wide open.

On the other hand, the Bengals perpetrated a hellacious upset. The Pack got caught with their pants down. The Bengals balled their asses off. The Bengals just took down a team that could make it to the Super Bowl. While my heart hurts for the Pack, I am excited to see the long-suffering Bengals show some signs of life. The green shoots are up! The green shoots are up!

The Texans might be the owners of an even more shocking upset. They played with tremendous effort and courage as they came back from 21-7 deficit to win this game. Andre Johnson french fried the Titans secondary. The just couldn't stop him at all. The Titans have to deal with the fact that they had the game well in hand twice and blew it twice. The Titans now go to 0-2, and they are looking every inch the part of last year's fluke team. Depending on what the Colts do tomorrow, they could be in some early trouble here.

Three Games that went as expected, or better

From my perspective three games went extremely well. As expected or better.
  • Cardinals 31 Jaguars 17
  • Saints 48 Eagles 22
  • Vikings 27 Lions 13
I do not believe the Jags are bad team. I think they are a very good team. I think they took a couple of Philadelphia Left-Hooks from an angry-as-hell Super Bowl contender that got ambushed last week. They took a pretty good sized ass-whipping from the Cardinals who controlled the game from start to finish. The Jags never got a whiff of this football game.

A number of wags were picking the Eagles last night on the NFL Network. I don't know what you were thinking. This one went as expected. You could see this a mile away. With no McNabb and no Vick, there was no way in fucking hell the Eagle offense could keep up with the greatest offense in the NFL. It is time for us to recognize that the Spirit of the Greatest Show on Turf and Air Coryell now resides in New Orleans. The Saints are playing downright beautiful offense. It is a joy to watch those guys do their thing. They hung 48 on a collapsing Eagle defense. It was humiliation for the Eagles. These Saints are a special football team. If they keep doing this, they are going to the Super Bowl. Only the Cards can score with them.

While I can enjoy Peter King's prediction that that the Lions would break the loosing streak this week, I suspected this was pretty far-fetched. The Viking fans must have been dropping bricks in their shorts when the Lions scampered out to a 10-0 lead. They are getting better. Unfortunately, the Vikings rallied to score 27. Still, the Lions are improving. They are going to be ready to win a few soon.

Three Games the Surprised me
  • Raiders 13 Chiefs 10
  • Falcons 28 Panthers 20
  • Redskins 9 Rams 7
How about them Raiders? The autumn wind is a pirate... The Chiefs are a rapidly improving football team and the Raiders had to come back to win, but this is the second consecutive week where the Raiders played tough football and were more than good enough to win. Maybe they are going to win this year?

I did not expect the Panthers to factor in the game. I expected the Falcons to dominate the hell out of this football game. I thought it would be very ugly and one-sided. This game was far more competitive and tighter than I ever would have expected. It had the second highest fan rating of any game on the board, meaning that we will see it on Replay this week. Still, the Falcons did what they were expected to do and they prevailed.

Now for my Rams. I have good news and I have bad news. The bad news is that we lost 9-7. Our offense continues to suck. We have scored a total of 7 points this season. However, our offensive line is improving. The good news is that Bulger did not die. He got hit a lot and savagely pressured at times. He was only sacked once, but this fact does not tell it like it was. Still, our line is improving. Although the Redskins brought the heat, our guys did more to hold them off than I expected. The announcers complained that the Redskins had some serious offensive issues. I think my Rams defense had something to do with that. Our special teams continue to be good.

The ultimate upshot is that we took on a Redskin team that is better and more talented than the Seahawks who blew us 28-0 last week, and we made it a lot closer this time up. We are improving. The Redskin faithful were booing during the last 1:30 of regulation as the skins took the victory formation. That fact is interesting... If we only had some offense...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A few thoughts on what could be the eve of the apocalyse

Tommorow the Rams play the Redskins. For the second straight year, we have to play them in Washington. This absolutely confounds me. The Skins are not in our division. We should not play them 2 years in a row. Second, if we traveled to Washington last year, they must come see us this year. Somebody had better pimp-slap the fuck out of the schedule maker. He needs a boot up his ass. Said gentleman is AFU.

Last year we upset the hell out of them in Washington D.C. and that is no mere figure of speech. Donnie Avery made one hell of clutch catch, and Josh Brown belted a long 50+ field goal which should have been a chipshot. It wasn't a chipshot because Richie Incognito felt the need to taunt the officials before the game winning field goal. I never saw anything that stupid in my life. Troy Aikman warned us this would happen a good 2 minutes before it did happen.

No team has upgraded it's defensive line as much as the Redskins. They have yet to show a lot of bennies for the upgrade. Most of us--including me--believe that is just a matter of time. Tomorrow could be the day that the Redskins see some low-hanging fruit. Albert Haynesworth, Anthony Montgomery, Andre Carter and Lorenzo Alexander expect to score some sacks tomorrow. Let us not forget #1 draft pick Brian Orakpo, a virtual Lawrence Taylor type, and our former middle linebacker the Fletch.

This would be the ideal moment for the Rams line to find their sea-legs, pump some testosterone out of their balls, and knock the skins loose in every direction. That outcome is very doubtful. Everyone is hyping the 1-on-1 match between Haynesworth and Jason Brown. They have met many times before. They are not strangers. I am more concerned about Orakpo blitzing and Feltch hitting us with a delay blitz while spying. I think those moves will produce sacks. I regret saying this.

The Rams OL versus the Skins DL will determine the outcome of this football game. Most people view the Skins as the prohibitive favorites because of this fact. This is one of those ideal moments when the Rams line can change the nation's perception of them. They will have to fight their asses off all game long to do it.

The alternative is that Bulger will get injured again, perhaps for the season. We have already established that he is a Chinadoll. What happens when Orakpo and Haynesworth arrive simultaneously from different directions and crush Bulger?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Gamer is already one of my favorite movies

Bladerunner was a critical and box office failure when it first arrived in 1982. It is now regarded as one of the most seminal Science Fiction movies in history. It just got a 25th anniversary release on Blu-ray, and there was much rejoicing. If you think Bladerunner is cliche--kiddies--it is only because 8,000 directors have attempted to ape Riddley Scott's masterpiece. Believe me, in 1982, we had never seen the likes of Bladerunner. It was mind boggling.

Gamer will be such a sleeper also. This is a fine piece of science fiction. People will complain that the structure is too closely parallel to that of Death Race. This is true, but only in passing. The spirit of Gamer is the spirit of Bladerunner.

A simple way to view this movie is that it is Death Race done right. Death Race was bit too much of bubble gum pop movie. I love it, but it is fairly empty. Death Race 2000 is a snarky fuck counter-cultural satire. It almost has Sci-Fi meat on its bones, but it owes more to Andy Warhol than Issac Asimov. Gamer is like these movies, but far better. It has real scifi meat. Death Race 2000 and Death Race (2008) are both favorites of mine, but I would resist calling them real SciFi movies.

No friends, Gamer is different. Gamer is a serious minded, dystopian, dark, gritty, ugly, bleak vision of the future. At the core, this movie does what all great science fiction does. It tells us the story of Christmas yet to come if the foreshadows of all these things are left unaltered in the present. It is scary because it is so damn plausible. It arrested my attention because the foreshadows of everything they show us in this film are firmly rooted in the present. It is a precautionary tale. There is a real warning here. Bladerunner was terrifying (and probably still is) for exactly the same reasons.

There was far less of the dire spirit of Christmas yet to come in Death Race and Death Race 2000.

So what is the substance of this movie? Gamer presents a bleak future in which humanity uses the next couple turns of Moore's law to generate super-graphic super-realistic fantasy chambers for the rich and privileged. We use this technology to fulfill our most base instinctive drives for stimulation, combat and sexual pleasure. For the underclass and the criminals it is a different story. They are used as toys to be operated via VR consoles by those rich enough to afford the best of everything.

If you are a dangerous criminal, like Kable, you turn into a first-person shoot toy for young rich kids like Simon. If you are the former wife of a dangerous criminal like Angie (Amber Vallentta) you are turned into the personal Barby for wanna-be transexual males like Gorge. They use you to find out what it would be like to be a real woman--a really desirable woman--screwing around with any and all men on the social scene.

A game like Slayers has about 100 parallels in todays FPS market. A game like society is already well under development in Second Life. There are already many kids like Simon & Gorge who make virtual reality porn halls for themselves in their bed rooms. There are already plenty of members of the underclass who serve as the sexual proxies of the rich and famous.

Like many good SciFi movies, much of this content is presented in a shocking, matter-of-fact way. I wondered if they were just trying to gratuitously titillate with some of the pornographic imagery presented. No, they are not. This is a portrait of what we are doing with all that horsepower Moore's law has provided. It is portrait of Christmas present and Christmas yet to come. It is a bit horrifying to have this slapped back in your face.

So why are the critics bashing this movie? Why do they not see what I see in this film. You need to understand two points about science fiction and critics:

  1. True Science Fiction has the smallest audience of any school of art. The overwhelming majority of all the people who have ever passed through this veil of tears have been illiterate and innumerate. When a piece of work requires physics, chemistry and computer science to comprehend, you automatically leave 95% to 97% of the human race out of the audience. They are neither smart enough nor knowledgeable enough to understand what you are doing. This includes movie critics. Movie critics come from the English departments. They understand iambic pentameter sonets and bullshit like that. They don't understand Moore's law.
  2. Critics come from the English departments and the art schools. As such, they tend to cleave to the precepts of sex revolution. A movie like Gamer focuses on the seamy, ribald, disgusting aspects of the human sex drive. It warns us that unlimited indulgence in this pleasure leads to chaos and disorder. True hedonists don't like these kinds of messages. They don't want anything to interfere with their fun, or drag them down. It is not popular to warn people that there is a dark side to their preferred pleasure. Certainly Gorge is not treated as an object of sympathy or compassion, as the Politically Correct would prefer. It is no wonder that the critics down-graded this film.

Congratulations to director Mark Neveldine. You have constructed the finest piece of science fiction in several years. My hats off to you. I will buy this the second it comes out on Blu-Ray.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Oye...! My Rams...

The 28-0 shutout Seattle pitched against us was entirely the fault of our offense. Anytime you see the punter come on the field when it is 4th and short on the enemy 35 yard line, that shows the coaches have no confidence in the offense at all.

The defense did a solid job. The shutdown and cutoff a number of scoring opportunities that would have made this loss dramatically worse. My hats off to O.A. for that terrific interception that shutdown a sure-fire touchdown drive. It also made Matt Hasselback very cautious for the rest of the game. My hats off to James Laurinaitis who played a hell of game. Nice fumble strip! You cut off another scoring opportunity for the Seahawks.

The special teams did their job well. They even made a few stand-up and shout plays. That was a tremendous pin around the goal line in the first half. Loved it. We have a tremendous punter, and we have a tremendous kicker. Josh should not have missed that field goal, and we should not have been shutout, but this was a bad day for a good man.

Folks, our offense sucks. There is still no sign of solid pass-protection. There is still no sign of good run blocking. Bulger has no confidence at at all. Our new and expensive all-pro center executed a really nasty long snap which cost us. Donnie Avery had big problems holding on to the football. We committed a lot of stupid penalties. Donnie also erased a great run by Steven Jackson with a flagrant hold. Incognito scored another knock-out punch and a 15 yard personal foul with it. I'll admit, he had one hell of a straight right lunge-punch. He knocked that Seahawk defender right on his ass. Still, Richie will get a powerful FedEx envelope delivered to his locker soon. Merton Hanks will be giving some of Incognito's money to charity.

The classic Safety man John Lynch (who had the color analysis on this game) defended Incognito as "a very good player, who just did a selfish thing." I am almost sure I don't know what the hell he is talking about, and I've been a Ram fan for 30 years. I think Incognito is the biggest case of Roid Rage I have ever seen. Just test him and see.

Furthermore, there is no sign of the West Coast offense in St. Louis. Last time I checked, the West Coast was about throwing the football to your main back rather than handing it to him in the I-Formation. It is also about spreading the ball around to 8 different receivers, in all corners of a 30-40 yard zone. I saw no sign of this yesterday.

Basically, the defense couldn't stay off the field because the offense could not stay on the field. With unlimited time and opportunities, Seattle eventually put together 4 touchdown drives. Don't get too excited Seahawks. You were 4 for 20 in scoring position yesterday. You are still rebuilding.

The one small sign of hope is that Jason Smith did start, and Jason Smith made no overt mistakes in this game. He acquitted himself well in this game.

I don't know, perhaps I am a foolish hommer. Perhaps I have no empirically justifiable reason for saying this... In the set position, the Rams' offensive line did look like a collection of good, hard, strong men. They look good, they just don't play good. Still, somehow, somewhere in the back of my mind, I got the feeling that this unit just might mature into something great as the long season wears on. I sure hope so. We cannot win (ever) without a great O-line.

This is going to be a long, hard year of learning for our O-line.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

At the risk of sounding redundant: All the Patriots who ain't there anymore

So, yesterday the NFL decided to run the tape of Super Bowl 36 again as a Super Bowl classic. Naturally, as a Ram fan, I am seriously annoyed by this. There is a temptation to watch the great Rams of the past, men who are no longer with us, all lined up and doing their their thing.

However, it was a day that will live in infamy. It was the second largest upset of all time in Super Bowl history according to Las Vegas. It wrecked my team's turn to become a recognized dynasty. Rather, we just remained a recognized offense. This was a terrible thing. Fuck you all on the east coast. May you eat shit and die. Yep, I am bitter as hell about it.

So, this was about the 23rd time the NFL has replayed the tape of Super Bowl 36. Frankly, it wasn't that great of game. Scoring was limited. Fouls were many. Errors were plentiful. Outside of the Super Bowl significance, the game wasn't that good. The Patriot defense did play lights-out football. Aside from the 'thrill' of a last second field goal upset, the game just wasn't that well played.

So why show this film for the 23rd time if you are the NFL Network? I want to resist the paranoid conclusion that Rich Eisen reads my blog, and wants to torment me for officially busting one of the NFL's chosen hype lines of 2009. I believe they showed the film because it was 9/11 and Super Bowl 36 was the official Super Bowl of 9/11.

I would like to take this opportunity to officially crack-down on one of the NFL's chosen hype line: The Patriots are going to be a force in 2009. Nope. You are just absolutely and completely wrong about that. I have stunning & devastating photographic evidence to present in this case. These are absolute empirical facts that cannot be denied, refuted or contradicted. When I finish making my case, you too will agree that there is absolutely objective reason to believe that the Patriot dynasty is officially over. You will also agree that those who advocate the Patriot's case are entirely fucked up.

A moment ago, I mentioned all of the Rams who no longer with us. I knew the Patriots were loosing blood before watching this game film again last night, but I didn't realize just how much blood they have lost until I saw the opening moments where they covered the opening lineups.

I want to show you the photos of all the key Patriot players who are no longer with the team. Just look at these photos and meditate for one moment. You will realize that the Madison Avenue hype line is absolute and complete bullshit. I am talking about 100% pure unadulterated bullshit. The Patriots are rebuilding. Do you hear me Rich, Marshall, Jamie?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Who are the NFL's most vulnerable teams?

As I mentioned in my last post, the actuarial statistics teach us that 5 or 6 football teams that were in the playoff tournament last year, will not be in the tournament this year. One of the nice preseason predictions we like to make consists of just who these teams are.

I realize that this is a bit out of order, since I have not done my AFC predictions just yet, but I thought I would list mine now.

  1. The New England Patriots: As I mentioned in my last blog, the 3-time undefeated defending NFL Super Bowl champs... errr... sorry... that team that didn't make the playoffs last season won't make the playoffs this year either. The team that has not won a Super Bowl in 5 years lost way too many crucial pieces of the Super Bowl Puzzle this spring in retirements and trades. This is going to be a breakdown year. The Patriots are officially rebuilding now.
  2. The Panthers: In a strange fluke, the Panthers were extremely strong last year. I guess it was because of their fairly overwhelming running attack. I doubt they will be so strong this year. They are also facing much more powerful opposition inside their own division. Look for New Orleans and Atlanta to sink their ship. This is the most obvious call on the board.
  3. The Eagles: One theory says the Eagles are going to the Super Bowl and they are going to win. Bullshit. The team that went to the NFC championship last year had the #3 ranked defense in the NFL. If they had not had a single shoot-out game with Dallas on Monday night, they would have been #1. With Jim Johnson dead and Dawkins in Denver, forget about that defense in 2009. They will be ranked no higher than #15 defensively at best. Expect lots and lots of soap opera and melodrama between the Menage a Trios of McNab, Vick, and Reid.
  4. The Vikings: The team that won the Central, barely won the central last season. This was due primarily to the tremendous weakness of their division. They got whacked immediately by Philly. No division is more upgraded than the NFC Central. No team has more Melodrama going on that the Viks. Believe me, they are in for an ass whacking and they will be home for the playoffs. I'm not talking about home field advantage either.
  5. The Steelers: The Steelers did in fact have the worst offensive line of any team ever to win a Super Bowl. I absolutely concur with Jamie Dukes about that. I got bad news for you about that subject. They lost a couple of those guys in free-agency moves. Marvel Smith in SF, for instance. This is not good for Ben's health. You have my condolences, but I favor the Ravens this season. I think the Steelers can still make the playoffs as a wildcard.
  6. The Titans: Albert Haynesworth's departure is a terrible thing. I believe Kerry Colins experienced a fluke year of sorts last season. I do expect a reduced level of competitiveness from these guys this season. Worse, I think the Colts got better through the draft. The coaching changes are interesting, but not as much so as we originally thought. I expect the Colts to win the division. I would be surprised if the Titans don't make it in, but they will have to take the Wildcard route.

On question of the Patriots in 2009

Some wags out there are declaring that Miami is vulnerable. They say 5 or 6 teams that made the playoffs each last season don't make it to the playoffs in the next season. This has been the statistical fact for the past 10-12 years. Welcome to free agency. See the effect of broken continuity. So according to the wags, Miami is supposed to be one of those 5 or 6 teams watching the playoffs on HDTV in 2009.

Why? Because Tom Brady is healthy again, that's why! You can just pencil the Patriots in for another Lombardi trophy in 2009 now. It's a done deal. This means Miami is finished

You better reevaluate that statement. It never ceases to amaze me that the media continues to treat the Patriots as if they are the reigning 3-pete Super Bowl champions, fresh off another Super Bowl victory. Folks, they lost the fucking Super Bowl in 2007. Stop counting that as an undefeated Super Bowl championship year. They did not make the playoffs in 2008. They watched the Steelers win the Super Bowl on HDTV. Now shove that fact up your ass and smoke it.

It is amazing to me that the East Coast media has been talking shit about the Patriots going undefeated and winning Super Bowl again ever since the Comish handed the Lombardi Trophy to the New York Giants. Have you forgotten that Patriots have not won a Super Bowl since 2004? It has been 5 years since their last title.

Why the fuck do you keep doing that? Can you not see the plain fact that you are entirely fucked up on this subject? The facts are loud and clear and plain. Are you using a lot of brain damaging drugs? Is this the result of an acid trip to Woodstock on the Yellow Submarine with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi?

It is more likely that the NFL has a marketing department. This marketing department does marketing. They market around the so-called Superstars of NFL football. Tom Brady is allegedly one of the greatest of these fellows. Therefore, a strong corporate policy has been set in stone by the marketing department. The return of Brady is one of the Hype lines of the 2009 season. Ergo, you do not speak out against the hype line. Do not speak factually about the Patriots

I am not part of the Corporation. I am not bound by access rules or rules of engagement. I can say what I think. I want to set the record straight.

  1. TOM BRADY IS NOT HEALTH. Your assertions fail. He still has a wounded knee in rehab. He is nowhere near his form 2007.
  2. Teddy Bruschi has retired.
  3. Rodney Harrison has retired
  4. Richard Seymore has been shipped to the Raiders.
  5. Mike Vrable has been shipped to the Kansas City Chiefs.
  6. Junior Seau is gone.
  7. Ellis Hobbs was shipped to the Eagles.
Dude, I can go on. The fact of the matter is that the Patriot defense is non-opperational and non-mission capable in 2009. Do you want proof? How about the fact that David Carr led the Giants to a 21-0 lead in the first 9 minutes of play against the Patriots 1st string defense. This was just a day or so ago. It was a massacre in the 1st quarter.

Yeah, yeah, yeah! I know the Patriots came back to win that game. That only means that the Patriot scrubs beat the Giant scrubes. The Giant starters (except Eli) handed your asses to you on a platter and the platter was bent.

Miami repeats as division champions with style. The Jets come in #2 and make the playoffs. New England is at home for the second straight year watching somebody else win the Super Bowl.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

So we are a Busch league organization after all!

Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. St. Louis Missouri. It's all about the beer in St. Louis this season. My Rams are beer league team, that much is certain now. I would call us a Busch league team, but this would be a tremendous insult to Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. They are the only winning team in St. Louis on Sundays these days.

So for those of you who don't know, today is cut day. NFL teams must be at a 53 man roster by the end of the day. My Rams just cut our first best hope for a good Left Guard this season. Phil Trautwein, Left OT of the Florida Gators for the past four seasons was just given his walking papers. I don't think we game him a chance. I am pissed as fuck about it also. I am beyond livid.

Okay folks, I am going level with you. I have avoided directly attacking Jacob Bell in print, because I prefer not to grill my Rams personally by name. I am going to break that rule right now.

When I first saw Jacob Bell on the field, I saw an underweight, under powered, runt of a guard clinging for dear life to his own ass during the average blocking play. I never saw him win one battle at the line of scrimmage... all season long. Somewhere around game 1 of the season, I expressed my surprise and dismay that Jacob Bell was starting at Left Guard. I said this was an indicator of how low our offensive line had fallen. A fellow Ram fan here in Los Angeles 'corrected' me, informing me that Jacob Bell was actually a high-priced free agent guard from the Titans. He was being both sarcastic and facetious at the same time. He too believed Bell was 20 horse power 2 stroke engine where we needed an 8 piston 8 liter 350 hp engine with 730 fp of torque.

I find it very difficult to speak on this subject. It is very painful. It shows my Rams are stupid. I find that fact intensely humiliating. It is hard to write and speak about it.

Not since the days when Al Davis infamously signed Gerald Perry--a crappy Left Tackle from the Rams--has such catastrophic error been committed with a free agent lineman. Gerald Perry got Hostetler killed many times as a Raider. Bell is not helping us either.

Still Mr. Devaney has to try to save some face. He is going to continue penciling Bell into the roster and push for him as a starter. I would have cut him.

I suspect Trautwein was not given much chance because he is a guy would have pressured a failed high price free-agent for the starting job. Devaney didn't want this kind of embarrassment.

That's about as much as I can write right now. I am very tired, pissed off and frustrated by all this. Our offensive line is going to suck again this year. 7-9 seems unlikely now.

Aaron Rodgers is the bastard son of Jeff Hostetler

Just thought I would let you know. Like father like son

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sports Illustrated's Predictions for the coming 2009 NFL Season

So, I subscribed to Sports Illustrated for the first time in my life just recently. To be honest with you, the only reason I subscribed is because the offered me both the John Madden DVD (I would have much preferred a Blu-Ray) and they gave me Madden Football 10 for the PS3. I could not resist that temptation at $49. That is cheaper than you can buy the game on line. Forget about the SI issues and the John Madden video. WOW!

So here comes my first issue, and it is the NFL Preview! Perfect! That was very nice timing indeed. Of course, I found this in my mailbox as I arrived home from work. I needed to take a fat crap at the end of the day, and SI always used to make the very best toilet literature. What splendid timing! So I took my seat on the throne and enjoyed my first NFL Preview issue in probably 20 or 22 years.

I must admit that I was a bit contemptuous as I opened these pages. I was not expecting anything edifying. SI is notorious for big pictures and thin analysis. They go more for a human story than for anything approaching solid football analysis.

Surprise! What a rush of nostalgia! I felt it all coming back to me. I grew up with Sports Illustrated. I think we all did. I used to sit in the school library reading back issues and present issues of Sports Illustrated when I was supposed to be doing my reading assignments. I did this in Junior High and High School. They didn't give me much meat about the 3-4 defense vs. the 4-3 defense. They certainly never understood what Walsh was doing during the 1981 season. Still, I loved them passionately as a kid. It was a my one life-line to Football during the off season. We had no NFL Network. ESPN didn't come along until 1983 in my hood. We could not buy NFL films. I didn't have any VHS tapes with the sport I could enjoy.

Just as the romance was starting to flame up again, and I was about to experience the sweet surrender... BAMB! SLAM! DAMN! The divisional predictions went and fucked it all to hell. What a devastating collapse...

Folks I am not going to candy-coat this for you. What I found there were nothing short of the biggest crack-pot predictions of the season so far. We only saw eye-to-eye on one set of predictions: The NFC East. Everything else is fucked up.

Take the AFC South for instance: Texans #1, Colts #2, Titans #3. There are those who truly believe that the Titans experienced the ultimate fluke season last year. Without Haynesworth, many believe they will collapse. I am not exactly one of them. I think the Colts will regain their post atop the division. The Titans will be in the playoffs. I would not pick the Texans to surpass the Colts. You must not have seen any pre-season games. The Colts starters look yoked and ready for war. SI needs to work harder on drug testing and compliance within their walls. It takes about 10,000 pounds of collective brain damage to put this prediction in print.

Take the NFC West: Seahawks #1, Cardinals #2, 49ers #3, Rams #4. Oh bouy! Now I know you are smoking Sherms. Folks, I see absolutely no reason to believe the Seahawks are improving. I see almost every reason to believe they are on the decent phase of rebuilding. If you think they are going to defeat an improved Cardinal team, I think you are experiancing a prolonged phase of grossly disoriented schizophrenia, psychosis and death. This is what happens when you roll tobacco and weed in a fatty, then dip it in PCP and embalming fluid before smoking it down. This is how you reach your goal of 10,000 pounds of collective brain damage at SI.

There are other crass jokes besides these. Still, this is the SI I remember. Peter King is often wrong. He is better at coverage than prediction.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My NFC Predictions for 2009

NFC West

The Cardinals defend with ease. The Cardinals should be 12-4 against the opponents they have. We'll see how they actually do. I'll give them 11-5. The Seahawks make a small bit of noise, but fail to make the playoffs at 9-7. The 9-7 final will be a consequence of weak competition. The 49ers and Rams bring up the rear. If the Cards go 11-5, they will have the unfortunate 4th seed.

NFC East

The Giants defend their division title with 12-4 score. They should have the #2 seed. The Cowboys make some noise, and take the first Wildcard slot with an 11-5. The Skins and the Eagles finish out of the playoffs. Yep, that's right the Eagles finish out of the playoffs. With Jim Johnson dead and Dawkins in Denver, the formerly #3 ranked defense is non-mission capable this year. The Eagles will score about 30 per game and over 500 points for the year, but they will allow a lot of points. Expect lots of problems and drama in the Eagle locker room.

NFC North

Packers take it by a landslide. They should be 13-3 and have #1 seed in the tournament. Their defense--the only thing holding them back in 2008--is going to be downright vicious this year. They will take the #3 defensive ranking the Eagles will vacate this year. Everybody else finishes out of the playoffs. Chicago and Minnesota out of the playoffs? Yep.

NFC South

Saints hold off the Falcons in the toughest head-on collision in the league. Saints go 11-5. Falcons go 11-5. The Saint take it on the tie breaker. The Saints get the #3 seed in the tourney based on strength of schedule. The Falcons get the unfortunate #6 seed.


The Giants are a bit vulnerable. With no clear cut #1 receiver for Eli to throw to, they could experience a break down in the passing game. With Spagnuolo in St. Louis, they could experience a few defensive breakdowns along the way. Based on their stellar defensive line I am going to give them the #2 seed, however, it could well be the Saints.

For me--personally--there are only two issues in the NFC.
  1. Can the Cardinals bust the Super Bowl looser's jinx and get back into the Super Bowl. Further, can they win. No team has done this since the undefeated Miami Dolphins of 1972. Only two teams in history have won the Super Bowl immediately after loosing the Super Bowl. One was the Cowboys of 1971. The other was the aforementioned Dolphins. I really, really, really want to see them do this. This Cardinal football team is far too talented and brilliant to finish without a Lombardi Trophy.
  2. Can the Rams get off the carpet? I suspect the defense will take to Spagnuolo's system like baby ducks taking to the water. It appears to me that they believe in Spagnuolo and have bought into his system. The is absolutely crucial. I don't think they ever believed in Jim Haslett's gambling schemes. The problem is the offense. I don't think we have upped our offensive line enough yet, and I think we are virtually without a quarterback.

September Madness has begun

And we are not talking about Football either. Yep, right on schedule. I told you this was going to happen. Expect this bastard to break down 1,500 points over the next 15 days.

Why? If you bought in March, you have magical returns on the table, but you must harvest. You must sell to realize those gains. September is the last possible moment when you can sell, and book profits for Fiscal 2009 if you are a major-league investment fund manager. Let's not play coy about it either: These investment managers are the ones who determine the course of the market.

Take my uncle, for instance. He took a $1,000 gamble on Citigroup when they were down to $0.97 per share in March. They hit $5.05 a couple of days ago. He had $5,200+ awaiting him if he sold at that moment. I sure hope he did. They are down to $4.65 right now. He would have realized a magical 520% plus return in just 6 months of waiting if he sold a couple days ago. He can then wait for it to drop to 2.50 or 3.00 and then increase his holdings. You wait for the next 5.05 and dump again. This is how the game is played. It's just like getting a couple of first downs before the touch down.

A similar story is in progress for all investment funds. They will sell. Massive sell-offs will produce massive downward spirals in price. It doesn't matter to the investment fund manager. He can still book new profits. He will do it.