Friday, January 01, 2010

Current Raiders flee from Leach's corner as Texas Tech saga heats up - Dr. Saturday - NCAAF Blog - Yahoo! Sports

What a difference a day makes.  Up through last night, I had not been able to find any significant or detailed complaints against Mike Leach by player or coach, outside of James.  The worm has begun to turn today, and though it will take some time for this to sort itself out, it at the least raises some questions over the Leach situation.  ‘Course, this is the same coach he was when he was given an extension just eight months ago.   The complaint of James’ media member father seems to have been a lonely one until the firing was done, and now that Leach is out, it reminds me of the way carrion fowl know when a critter is dead, and then begin to pick at the carcass.  Why was the University so completely unconcerned with the habits of the man whose contract was famously extended only months ago?  If this was on the radar, it ought to have been dealt with according to a process that gave both the coach and those who had complaints about his behavior and tactics a process to follow in reviewing the facts of the case before action was taken – whether that action was new guidelines and policies, suspension for a period, termination or no action at all.  The way it comes off now, at least to me, is that the school reluctantly signed Leach to an extension at a point where his market value was very high.  Unhappy that he’d talked to other programs to establish market value and gather information about other programs, the administration in the Tech athletics department singled Leach out, with no process to gain a fair review or inclusive hearing.  Oh, and then there was that one factor that reeks like a road kill skunk after a week in the West Texas sun:  Leach was due an $800,000 bonus if he were to be the head coach at Tech on Thursday, 12/31/09.  This was a clause, by the way, inserted at the insistence of the school, still concerned about the potential for big offers from bigger programs.  Leach was suspended because one player and his father complained.  Dozens of players and coaches and former players backed Leach and indicated James was a grouser, averse to hard work, whiny and a sea lawyer to boot.  Leach has an 83-43 record, a 5-4 bowl record, the second-highest winning percentage in school history (record set in the 1940’s).  Graduation rates are up and have remained consistent under Leach.  Why was it such an emergency that the Coach be given the summary boot, right NOW, without any process for addressing what he believed to be an unfair situation without any due process?  Was that $800k he would earn by remaining with the team for  another week?

Mike Leach might need to be disciplined.  He might need to be fired.  But for a school to extend a contract, offer a large bonus to keep the man from listening to other offers in a year he was in high demand, by offering him nearly a million dollars just to give a major incentive to Leach not to listen to suitors.  it smacks of bad faith to me.  And the taste left behind by terminating him the afternoon before his bonus was to be paid, when he had complied with the terms – against his own best interests as the school first suspended him without a process available to him to appeal without going to court.  I can’t help but feel that the big shots at the top of the Tech Admin and Sports admin were looking for an excuse .  If it turns out Leach is the sort of ass being asserted, i don’t care that they bagged him.  But why no rumors before this?  Why just one player and his former NFL dad?  Why does he have a reputation that has been regarded as quirky but good among players, coaches, recruits, media,. etc. for years?  MB

Current Raiders flee from Leach's corner as Texas Tech saga heats up - Dr. Saturday - NCAAF Blog - Yahoo! Sports

Beauty at the Dawning of the New Year in Seattle, 2010


What does all this attention mean, after all these years?

Fondling in Bed Joke

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No rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide fraction in past 160 years, new research finds

I would love to have this explained to me in accessible, non-condescending terms that my small brain can digest.  It looks like this is saying that the earth’s ability to absorb the same percentage of produced Co2 has remained unchanged over the past century and a half.  Is this a meaningful number if total Co2 produced has risen significantly?  That is, if oceans and plants are consuming 55% of the carbon dioxide produced, and have been for at least the past century and a half,  then that either means that the total amount produced is rising due to human activity and though the percentage absorbed is constant, the rising volume means rising total levels.  Is this then going to produce anomalies in the models used to predict climate change – anomalies tending toward overstating warming?  Looking forward to your comments!

No rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide fraction in past 160 years, new research finds

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Nekkid but not Nice

This is one of the funnier stories I’ve read.  Sad, for a number of reasons – 19 year old thief, toying with the emotions of the lonely dude, etc.) but funny in a way.  The couple had been communicating virtually after meeting on MySpace.  When the in-person meeting finally arrived, the woman appears to have given the man the impression she was way into him.  Enough to get him in the shower, then step out saying she had a surprise for him.  And she did.  When he finally got suspicious (he says a minute later, I wonder if it was maybe when the hot water ran out, given how much the woman stole), he emerged to find his wallet, cell phone, laptop and then car missing.  I’ll be getting the arrest report here if I can…

photoAshley Dawson KOMO TV

Police: Woman seduced date out of clothes, then robbed him

Monday, December 28, 2009

Pierce Co. deputy wounded in shooting dies - KING 5 TV

Pierce County Deputy Kent Mundell was removed from life support this evening just after 5:00 PM. His wife was at his side and his passing was said to be quick and quiet. The family members of the man who murdered Deputy Mundell and wounded Deputy Housner responded admirably according to this report, saving a wounded Hausner by pulling him into another room and barricading the door, while the murderer's daughter struggled with him trying to get his gun away from him. Deputy Mundell is the sixth Peace Officer shot and killed in the line of duty in the past two months in King County and Pierce County. Were I a more forgiving sort I might say something else, but I cannot do other than wish that they find themselves in the deepest, most Dantesque level of hell.

The memorial service will be Tuesday, January 5 at the Tacoma Dome, at a time which is as of yet TBA.

Pierce Co. deputy wounded in shooting dies | KING 5 TV | Seattle News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | Local News

Hasselbeck is NOT What’s Wrong with the Seahawks

Four interceptions and that silly attempt to pitch back to Justin Forsett last week were really ugly plays.  Really ugly.  But do they tell us much about the competence of Matt Hasselbeck?  Perhaps, but I am far more convinced that they speak of a Pro Bowl caliber signal-caller that feels he’s got to do far too much himself for this team to have a chance.  He speaks of his failures, takes responsibility for the team’s shortcomings, acts like part real leader, part Custer at the last stand. I admire the hell out of Matt, and his toughness, integrity and esprit-de-corps. 

This is a Quarterback who has been beset by every hardship that can come to a signal-caller.  Poor blocking for the running game puts pressure on the play action passing game.  The passing game is battered beyond recognition by the poor play of some of the receivers, the injuries to almost all the other receivers, the team’s inability to get in a rhythm, not just between QB and receiver, but in protection schemes, reading the defense and running the proper route, blocking which has had so many hurries, hits and sacks that it is no wonder Matt has been a different guy the last two years. 

I put much of this squarely at the feet of Tim Ruskill, and the line he allowed to decline from the best in the NFL to one of the worst.  It started with the loss of Hutchinson, to be sure, but it continued with young guys that flopped and an apparent disinterest in offensive lineman.  The defense has had to play far too many minutes, from behind, and it has shown that no squad can overcome both key injuries and eons on the field between three-and-outs by the offense.

Sunday’s loss looked like a team that had given up, and a team that has been challenged, threatened and in the end, has not responded.  Telling your team the league thinks they’re ‘soft’ is a far different thing than building an expectation of tough, physical play.  I’m beginning to think Mora is more the guy who blabbed (jokingly according to him) to a Seattle radio station that he’d leave the Falcons even in a playoff run to get the Huskies job, than the guy who took over a Dan Reeves built team and took it on a good one-season roll.  It is likely not fair to form a judgment on the head coach in one season,  though I have no such qualms about the opinion formed over five years with the previous GM. 

There will be some good draft picks to work with, and some money that can be freed up this offseason.  Let’s hope the new GM starts fast, gives Coach Mora the tools, and that Coach Mora makes deft use of them – something I am just not sure he can do.  I really hope so, and I do think it is unfair to him to give him just a season to change systems, personnel, schemes, etc, especially as the GM is let go.  Next year, with some impact players and a season under the new offensive and defensive systems, and perhaps a Head Coach and staff that are settling in, we will see some real improvement. 

Warner won’t be the zillion yard thrower he still is for much longer, most likely, but then, neither will Matt.  Let’s not waste the franchise quarterback’s last good to excellent years.   It ain’t that easy to find and develop the next one.  Just ask around. 

I Think I Like the M’s Trade of Morrow for League

I’ve not even seen Brandon League pitch once that I can recall, but he seems a great fit for the Mariners team as it is shaping up for next year.  He gets a ton of ground balls – something he’ll be rewarded for by both a great defensive club and a pitcher-friendly Safeco Field.  With the addition of Cliff Lee, it appears that the bullpen won’t have to eat so many innings, but League should be able to do a nice job setting up for Aardsma as well.  Add in the Blue Jays Minor League Player of the  year, and the trade makes good sense.  I believe Brandon Morrow will become  successful pitcher, but this trade gives the Mariners a couple of pieces of the puzzle, and Morrow a fresh start – which I really think he deserves.  I have lots of criticisms of Bavasi  and his handling of players, but Morrow was rushed into the closer role before ready, then had to learn his third and fourth pitches, build confidence in them in the majors, where you can’t ‘practice’ them.  I hope he flourishes in Toronto, and that Seattle gets tons of later inning grounders for double-plays from League.  And in some future time, maybe the Blue Jays’ minor league player of the year may give the M’s a bat and outfielder they sorely need. 

Why Men Shouldn’t Write Advice Columns

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17 Year Old Pleads Guilty in Ballard

In July a man described as ‘skinny’, dressed in head-to-toe black clothing and wearing sunglasses entered a convenience store and gas station along 15th Avenue Northeast in Ballard.  He wasn’t there for an energy drink, but to rob the store, and before he left he would shoot and kill a twenty-eight year old man working at the store.

The store employee had been in the stock room at the back of the small store, and when he heard the door open he came out to attend the counter and register.  The suspect crouched down and drew a handgun.  When the clerk saw the suspect he attempted to detain him by grabbing his coat.  The suspect fired twice, hitting the store clerk with both shots, wounds which would prove to be fatal.  The store employee hung on and pressed the attacker onto a counter, but the shooter was able to break free.  He ran from the store and down a side street.  An alert person at the gas pump called 911, summoning police and an ambulance.  The following video is from the store’s surveillance camera.  Be warned that while the video feed does not show the shooting, it shows the moment just prior to it.

When police arrived, they found the victim in grave condition with gunshot wounds to the thigh and torso.  Despite paramedics efforts he died en route to the hospital. 

Police received another call the next day from a concerned resident who had found bloody clothes which had been discarded a block north of the murder scene.  When police came to collect the evidence, an officer noticed a teenaged boy observing the police activity.  The officer approached the young man and spoke with him for a few minutes.  The boy said he’d heard gunshots the previous evening.  The officer took the boy’s name, address and phone contact information and sent him on his way.  A day later SWAT team members surrounded a home two blocks east of the location where the bloodied clothes had been discarded.  The suspect, seventeen year old Elijah Hall, was taken into custody the next day when the crime lab matched his prints to some prints found in the store (and I would speculate that since the kid lived in the area near the store and could argue that his prints were present from shopping at the store, it is likely that his prints were pressed in the victim’s blood on the glass counter.


Gas station murder suspect ‘armed and dangerous’ » My Ballard

Sunshine on Discovery Bay

Sunshine on Discovery Bay
As always, the photos we use are either my own, or in the public domain. Please let me know if there are any errors and I'll correct them immediately.