Wednesday, November 21, 2007

So, Magic?

I haven't looked at anything Magic related for a while, but feeling the need to game. Thought I would explore what's going on today and read a few articles and watch a few episodes of "The Magic Show" by Evan Erwin. Then I happened to see a little link on the other side of the screen that said GP: Krakow top eight. Awesome! They'll have the latest decks. Llorwyn was supposed to be killer for Green, lets see how its doing!


7 base Blue decks, 1 Green/Red deck.

Think I'll go do my Spanish homework...

Wendy Blog

Wendy has updated her blog with some fantastic pictures and dialogue. You can even see the horrible haircut I mentioned in one of my earlier posts. It still hasn't grown out.

Check it out here.

Make sure to look at the pictures of a place I refer to as "The Lesbian Bar." Fresco's like that and pictures like the one in "The Naked Wendy Bar" are one of the many reasons I love it here. These aren't run down seedy joints filled with men in raincoats and shifty, beady eyes. No, these are places where people go to have a drink and relax just like any other bar in Madrid. The fact that there are two naked women on a bed isn't considered porn like it would be in America. It's just Art and people don't care. Nudity isn't the huge stress inducing (Remember Janet Jackson at the Superbowl? Holy overblown!) deal like it is in the states.

It's a nude woman. So?

I like that.

Wait, check that.

I love that!

UFC Fantasy League

Fans of MMA now have the same game as other Fantasy Sports Leagues.

The UFC Fantasy League allows you to use a web based interface to pick who will win in upcoming events, how they win and in what round.

This past weekend I received 121 points for my picks. This gives me a ranking of 109 out of 14,612 participants.

Pretty happy with that.

I Hate Lobbyists.

I hate the fact that Lobbyists pretty much own America these days. There is a great deal of change that needs to happen in America that never will because of the power of the nation's richest industries.

Today, I hate the corn lobby.

For one thing, we don't use sugar in America anymore, we use "High Fructose Corn Syrup" and tax the shit out of cane sugar. Do you know how bad for you High Fructose Corn Syrup is? And its in EVERYTHING. It is in the soda you drink, your Oreos, your pop tarts and your cereal. It is in anything that should contain "Sugar." Its bad for you and the only reason Americans have to eat it is because of the powerful corn lobby.

"Because of a system of price supports and sugar quotas imposed since May 1982, importing sugar into the United States is prohibitively expensive. High-fructose corn syrup, derived from corn, is more economical since the American price of sugar is artificially far higher than the global price of sugar and the price of corn is artificially low due to both government subsidies and dumping on the market as farmers produce more corn annually. The food industry turned to HFCS as a substitute, with both Coke and Pepsi itching to HFCS in 1984."

The other reason I hate the corn lobby is Ethanol. Five billion of your tax dollars at work to promote a fuel that requires almost a gallon of oil to make a gallon of Corn Fuel. Hey, you know what crop makes a better fuel than corn? That's right - cane sugar ethanol is much more effective than Corn Ethanol.

Now watch this enlightening video.

And, before anyone thinks otherwise, let me just say I'm a liberal democrat.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

UFC 78 Predictions

Michael Bisping vs Rashad Evans

Both fighters have fifteen wins and no losses coming into this fight.

The odds makers are giving Rashad the nod by a wide margin. I don't blame them. While not being a particularly entertaining fighter, Rashad always finds a way to win. My former coach, Tom Murphy, from Rail City MMA who fought Rashad on the Ultimate Fighter says that Rashad is a great tactician. He always comes into the ring with a plan unique for each opponent.

Bispings strength is his striking and his avoidance. He's tough to submit or ground and pound. A negative for Bisping is his size. He is a small light heavyweight. He could easily diet down to 185. Rashad on the other had used to be a heavyweight and dropped a weight class.

Rashad's wrestling is far superior to Bispings. He also has a rock hard chin. I've seen him take blows to the head that would kill a lesser man and he didn't even stagger. I've never seen Rashad rocked. On the other hand, I've seen Rashad knock over guys even when he was a heavyweight. Rashad has serious knockout power.

Rashad is bigger, stronger, hits harder, has a better chin and far superior wrestling. The only way Bisping can win this fight is that this is definitely the year of upset. Its happened too many times this year to ignore. On paper though, Rashad has this one in the bag and I see a brutal second round stoppage in the future for Bisping.

However, If I was going to bet any money on this entire card, I would bet it on Bisping. The guy is 15-0 and a huge underdog! Never count out a guy who is 15-0 who has knocked out or submit ed 14 of his opponents. Only one of his fights has ever gone to the judges. Every other one of his fights was stopped.

Thiago Silva Vs. Houston Alexander

Houston Alexander is on a tear. In the UFC, he's knocked out both of his opponents in the first round and made it look easy. The man is a monster. A beast. He's facing a guy who also likes to stand and bang. Houston's first loss in the UFC will probably come from a grappler. If you want to stand and bang with Houston Alexander, you're going to wake up five minutes later, wonder where you are and who that guy Joe Rogan is interviewing. And why you're bleeding.

Joe Doerksen Vs. Ed Herman

Ed Herman's got skillz and determination. Anxious to prove himself after only making ripples in the UFC so far, he's luckily being fed a guy with a mediocre record, Herman will roll right through him. (I'll admit, I don't know much about Doerkson but I don't think a guy with a 39-10 record is going to have what it takes to stop Herman on Saturday night.)

Ryo Chonan Vs. Karo Parisyan

Chonan has fought some of the best guys on the planet so maybe you can excuse his 14-7 record. He does hold a win over Anderson Silva so he has to have some combat prowess but will it be enough to stop "The Heat?"

No way in Hell.

Already impressive, the last time Karo fought he looked like a new man. He looked almost as impressive as GSP does in every one of his fights. He was in shape, pushed the pace from the first second to the last, his stand up was improved and he destroyed a very good fighter like he was nothing. Karo is clearly sick of being a gatekeeper to promising welterweights and wants to advance up the ranks. If he comes in to this fight the way he came into his last fight, I imagine we'll be seeing Karo get a title shot soon.

Add to the fact this is another "Pride" fighter coming into the UFC and you have a recipe for disaster. Pride fighters have had a rough year and it's going to continue with Chonan getting thrown around like a pit bull with a baby.

Frank Edgar Vs. Spencer Fisher

This one is a toss-up. Fisher has the will and the experience to beat anyone. However, his strength is in his stand up and Edgar is a ground and pounder. If Spencer can escape Edgar's take-downs, he'll win the fight. If he can't, Edgar will will a split decision.

Jason Reinhardt Vs. Joe Lauzon

Reinhardt sports an impressive 18-0 record but I never count Joe out of anything. I won $700 off his startling first round KO of Jens Pulver.

I like Joe's style, his aggressiveness and I respect his skills.

Reinhardt has three negatives going for him.

1) He's never fought anyone of note.
2) He's a tiny 155 pounder., usually weighing in at 135 lbs.
3) He's 38 years old. Nearly dead.

Lauzon by Ref Stoppage.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

So. What are you up to? - Joshie

Joshie sends me an email asking that and I decided I would post the answer here as well.
I've been meaning to finish my Spanish school dialogue but it needs more work. I wrote 4 pages yesterday but it just doesn't have the funny. I think tomorrow I'll do a UFC predictions for this weekend, and then the next day try and finish the Spanish diaries.
What have I been up to?
I do Spanish 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. Homework takes about an hour. Then I do flashcards for an hour if I can summon the willpower. I'm in a great new school that I'll tell you about later. Will be there until I come home for Christmas.
Wendy has a new project that keeps her busy all day and on a tight schedule.
In the early evening we run - three times a week. A few times a week Wendy makes us a gourmet meal (she is a fantastic cook) or we fend for ourselves. After that we watch television or read or talk about how much we hate American politics and discuss things we've read online or in "Time." Currently we're watching Ultimate Fighter season 6, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Heroes, Dexter and Buffy season 4.
Not playing any games right now. Canceled my subscription to WoW and haven't played a game of online Magic in probably two months. It's class, homework, run, read or view the tele.
On the weekends we either take a trip to a beautiful Spanish town, go to the Retiro, work, visit all our favorite restaurants for tiny meals at each one (tapas essentially) or lie in bed and watch TV for a day.
Goals right now are study more, work out more, and transcribe 91 notes from my recorder that taunt me every day.
What are you up to?
Tell me in the comments.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Excuse me while I go insane.

Life with Wendy is never boring. This weekend we took the train (I now hate every single person that works in Atocha train station) to Segovia and I was blown away by the town. The cathedral that took over 150 years to build, the walls of the city, the parks and pathways, the castle and the Knight Templar's church that once held a piece of the true cross. My voice recorder had thirty-seven notes waiting to be transcribed before we even left, and now it's stuffed with ninety-one. So much to write about concerning that town. I'm now determined to take my folks there. My mom would weep at the cathedral.

Today I started classes at a new school.

Last Wednesday was my last class at International House, and then Mario "Superman" Washington took me, Wendy, Daniel and Amelie out to dinner. Tonight, Collette is in town and we're going out to dinner at a restaurant that has beds instead of tables.

So much to write about, all while trying to learn irregular stem changing verbs.

Good long post coming sometime this week.