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593561 Posts in 19598 Topics by 3412 Members - Latest Member: Meprousa December 03, 2016, 10:16:25 PM
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51  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Should the Beach Boys play the Trump inauguration? on: November 26, 2016, 07:45:38 AM
Bye bye? Are you leaving? That's sad. I'm going to miss you. We were having such a nice chat, it's sad to see it end. I was going to explain that there's a difference between not caring whether the Beach Boys performed a gig (which is obviously what my statement of not caring referred to) and not caring about the topic in general to the point of commenting (which obviously, by my commenting, wasn't the case). I was also going to ask your opinions on potential Sec. of Education nominee Betsy DeVos because I can tell that, like me, you care deeply about literacy in America. Maybe you will reconsider leaving.
52  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Should the Beach Boys play the Trump inauguration? on: November 26, 2016, 07:37:34 AM
LOL. Now you're living up to my expectations.

I didn't vote in this poll? That's because I don't care. There wasn't a choice for "I don't care."
53  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: So what did we all EAT today? + recipes. on: November 26, 2016, 07:32:34 AM
The highlight for me is coming out of it, though: my brother was pheasant hunting in South Dakota and gave me a smoked pheasant. I plan to make a sort of hunter's stew using it. I'd never tried pheasant before, smoked or otherwise, but it's quite good.

This is in the works: smoked pheasant and some beef, with onions, celery, carrots, parsnips, beets, mushrooms, tomatoes, a few diced, dried sour cherries, and garlic, with half chicken and half vegetable stock (I had a couple cups of each in the freezer from previously made batches), with rosemary and thyme and a splash of red wine.
54  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Should the Beach Boys play the Trump inauguration? on: November 26, 2016, 06:59:13 AM
Who should we have elected... Crooked Hillary ?  Smokin
Worst President Ever = Jimmy Carter the peanut farmer !!

Yes--nice to see you remembered the Donald's catch phrases, though! If nothing else, he makes up childish names people could recall...perfect president for 4th graders--and not even close, respectively. (See: Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, and even Richard Nixon) But you're working on moving this to the Sandbox with stuff like that.
55  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: NBA 2017 Topic on: November 26, 2016, 06:40:35 AM
Finally, a late comeback and a win. Thibs went to third-string PG (and local kid) Tyus Jones when Phoenix went small, and left him in there for 19 minutes, where Jones played alongside Ricky Rubio, alongside Kris Dunn, and then alongside Zach LaVine. Jones finished with a +22 plus-minus, with 6 pts on 3-6 shooting, 3 ast, 2 reb, 2 steals, and 0 turnovers.

While he lacks the physical gifts of Dunn and the freakish vision of Rubio, Jones is a more complete kind of point guard. He may be smaller and slower than both, but Jones is a better shooter than either of the men ahead of him on the depth chart--and he's no slouch in terms of court vision, either. Very smart player, even back in high school for Apple Valley. He's quick, if not explosive or fast, and he's got an uncanny sense of how to get where he needs to go and get off the shots he needs to get off. His defense, as I've said before, is pretty bad, but he's improving based on effort and position (as his physical abilities won't ever do him favors on that end).

Jones is why I fear our top two guys as the primary rotation: can you really just cede one of five positions on the offensive end of the court every minute of every game? Even with the likes of KAT, Wig, and LaVine, that's a lot to ask. Four on five is not easy.

Tonight, at Golden State. I'll enjoy last night's win while it lasts.  Grin
56  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Should the Beach Boys play the Trump inauguration? on: November 26, 2016, 06:34:40 AM
Good god, so many of us would have a deep existential crisis on our hands if the "Beach Boys" played Trump's inauguration.

Really? Then I think a lot of people here need professional help, or at least some relaxation with loved ones, with nature, with music. It really doesn't matter in the slightest whether this hypothetical show occurs. Just because I think he's by far the worst candidate ever elected, that has nothing to do with the sound of the band's music, even if some of the band almost certainly likes him. If something helps or hurts their reputation, that also has no effect on the sound of their music. They've been popular and unpopular dozens of times before. In the long run, this would be irrelevant. (Hell, in the short run, this would be irrelevant.)
57  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: NBA 2017 Topic on: November 25, 2016, 02:04:43 PM
Right there with you.
58  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: NBA 2017 Topic on: November 25, 2016, 10:06:17 AM
Steve Kerr was a guest on (former Obama strategist) David Axelrod's podcast, The Axe Files, with the episode posted on Nov. 23. Axelrod is a basketball fan--he has also had Joakim Noah and Bill Walton on, for example--and Kerr has quite an interesting political history, with his father having been killed in Lebanon when he was the president of the American University there.  I've only heard about 25 minutes so far (of the hour long show), but it's really interesting stuff for basketball and politics fans alike. (Don't worry, at least so far there is nothing too partisan, and there tends to be a lot of courtesy and moderation on this show in general.)

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ep.-99-steve-kerr/id1043593599?i=1000378197072&mt=2
59  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: NBA 2017 Topic on: November 25, 2016, 07:33:23 AM
There are reports of rumors ("reports of rumors," this is what sports journalism is...) that Thibs is getting impatient and may trade one of the promising young Wolves for a veteran who can help win games now.

http://nba.nbcsports.com/2016/11/24/rumor-tom-thibodeau-expected-to-trade-young-timberwolves-player-for-established-veteran/

While I'd never say never without knowing specifics--and again, this is all based on speculation at best--I'd be really, really hesitant to move KAT, Wiggins, or LaVine for an older player. I mean, some of the guys mentioned? Taj Gibson? Luol Deng? Fine players, both, but Deng is well into his downside, no doubt a great locker room guy and moderately productive player, but for a future all-star? And Gibson, he's a productive, solid role player. Again, this for a future all-star?

I really, really want this Wolves team to make the playoffs this year. But if it starts looking like they won't, life goes on. Take a few losses for the bigger picture. Move some peripheral guys in an attempt to help things out, maybe Shabazz Muhammad, Gorgui Dieng (if he's trade-eligible...his extension might have messed that up for now), Tyus Jones, Ricky Rubio, even. But you don't start dealing away some of the most talented players we've ever had on the roster before they even reach their primes just because they aren't improving as quickly as your imagination has them improving.

I'm hoping this is just the stupid internet talking.
60  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: NBA 2017 Topic on: November 25, 2016, 07:29:26 AM
I'm getting old.  Undecided
61  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Politics: 2016 Lame Duck and 2017 Trump Administration on: November 25, 2016, 05:45:57 AM
Well, it sure is refreshing watching the swamp drain--no more business as usual! Obama's Commerce Secretary, Hyatt Hotels heiress and major financial backer of Obama, will be on her way out, of course. And in her place, we'll get Wilbur Ross, major Trump campaign donor and billionaire known as the "king of bankruptcy"; and his deputy secretary will be Republican megadonor Todd Ricketts, whose father founded TD Ameritrade. Yes, the swamp is empty now. Things are being done differently! (Especially if by "differently" we mean swap out your megadonor heirs and heiresses for my megadonor heir and heiresses.)
62  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Pet Peeves on: November 25, 2016, 05:40:36 AM
Guilty pleasures, particularly in music. What the heck is a guilty pleasure? Surely either you like something or you don't!

I agree completely. So you like something unfashionable, something gauche, something too common? So what!? Stand up for yourselves, people.
63  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: So what did we all EAT today? + recipes. on: November 25, 2016, 05:38:50 AM
I was at my parents' for Thanksgiving, as is typical for my family. My contribution ended up as sauteed sliced carrots, tossed at the last minute with a previously made pomegranate syrup (infused with ginger, cloves, and cardamom), cranberries, pecans, and thyme. I thought it was pretty good.

Otherwise? Turkey, mashed potatoes, a very basic (bread, onion, celery, etc.) stuffing, a corn/corn bread dish, a cranberry-raspberry relish, gravy, raw vegetable trays (pickles, green and black olives, carrots, grape tomatoes), and a pumpkin dessert. All was fine.

The highlight for me is coming out of it, though: my brother was pheasant hunting in South Dakota and gave me a smoked pheasant. I plan to make a sort of hunter's stew using it. I'd never tried pheasant before, smoked or otherwise, but it's quite good.
64  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: NBA 2017 Topic on: November 24, 2016, 06:13:55 PM
I agree with you 100%. I think anything below 5 rpg for a SF is very, very questionable. The main exception would be if he's more or less a 3-point shooter (exclusively). Like say it's Brad Lohaus or someone, Steve Novak, these types of players. (I realize these guys were mostly PFs, but the point is the same, as I mean guys whose job on offense is literally just to stay outside the 3-pt line.). In a lot of ways, Wiggins seems like a Tracy McGrady type. Well, from mostly SG, McGrady averaged almost 6 rpg for his career (and more than 7 rpg two different seasons). Paul Pierce was shorter than Wiggins and averaged about 6 rpg for his career, and more than 7 rpg about half a dozen times. Scottie Pippen, 6.4. Clyde Drexler, 6.1. Adrian Dantley (6-5) averaged 5.7.

If you're not a shooting specialist, and you're 6-8, and you're absurdly athletic, you need to be getting 5+ rpg, and ideally more like 8. Even if you're thin.

You could say that Towns and Dieng grab up almost 20 rpg, so that makes it harder for the smaller guys, but Rubio seems to find a way to get 4 rpg from the PG spot...
65  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Politics: 2016 Lame Duck and 2017 Trump Administration on: November 24, 2016, 05:33:56 AM
A handful of new, uninspiring cabinet picks.
  • Gov. Haley for the UN Ambassador (actually the best pick so far of the cabinet, probably...shudder)
  • Betsy DeVos, who inherited her money and has been a GOP fundraiser/operative, primarily in funneling money out of public schools toward "school choice," for Sec. of Education. Ugh.
  • Dr. Carson for Sec of HUD. LOL. I can't imagine what in Carson's background qualifies him. (I don't think Haley has any particular relevant experience either, but at least she seems less ... hmm, what's the word? Stupid.
66  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: NBA 2017 Topic on: November 24, 2016, 05:02:29 AM
The Wolves lost to New Orleans. Badly. I know Jrue Holiday is back, but even so.

Andrew Wiggins is a huge part of the problem. After an amazing start to the season--nearly 26 ppg, shooting great percentages including an unsustainable 54% from 3--he has had three poor games in a row. In those three games since Philly (all losses), Wiggins has shot 9-48 FG, 0-11 3pt. He has averaged about 11 ppg. He has pulled down fewer than 3 rpg. He has doled out 0.7 apg. And he has turned it over 3x/game, which is pretty poor for a non-guard. He is still getting to the FT line and doing OK there, going 16-20.

This has to get better or we'll keep losing.
67  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: So what did we all do today? on: November 24, 2016, 05:01:41 AM
I think the "why" of food traditions is unanswerable, or at least not satisfyingly answerable, in the same way the "why" of any other cultural artifact would be. Clothing, holidays, musics, dances, etc., none of them matter on some level. If you're simply asking "couldn't life just go on without them?" the answer is always yes, obviously it could.

But culture is an organically developed artifice that brings people together (and separates them from other people brought together by their cultures). That's why it is important to people, I think. On an existential level, we have no reason to exist. We are going to die. Life is terrifying. We are ultimately temporary and alone. Culture--including food tradition--hides that beneath layers of artifice that tie us to our families, and our neighbors, and their families, multiplying into communities, regions, and even nations.

People smell some food or other cooking in the next room and they are transported to their deceased grandparents' homes and those memories. They think of their childhoods, or of significant moments in their lives. They think of the celebrations that certain foods signify to them and they imagine meaning there. Of course there is no literal meaning there, of course they aren't actually any closer to their deceased grandparents, but sometimes literal reality is irrelevant to experience.

A person could replace a traditional Thanksgiving feast of turkey, potatoes, stuffing/dressing, green beans, brussels sprouts, pumpkin pie (or whatever your regional variation may be) and eat nutritiously acceptable meals. They could also stop going to beautiful cathedrals and worship in garages. They could stop wasting time listening to music or looking at art. They could dress in simple, practical clothes. But all of those things and many other cultural signifiers are just important on a non-practical level. The evidence that they are important is their omnipresence across the world throughout history. We can say everyone throughout history, everywhere, was acting silly and in the wrong, or we can show some humility and recognize that whether it makes practical sense or not, it's just reality.

For some better explanations, I recommend googling some studies on the subject. People are unlikely to give coherent explanations of why aspects of their own culture matter, as they are drowning within those cultures and probably don't look at it objectively. ("I don't know, we just do...")

(I'm not vouching for any of these, they just popped up with a quick googling.)

http://www.aabri.com/manuscripts/141797.pdf
http://www.sirc.org/publik/foxfood.pdf
https://books.google.com/books?id=I6lsDQAAQBAJ&pg=PA1&lpg=PA1&dq=food+traditions+study&source=bl&ots=lV2rcL7NKe&sig=6DGP2k4WMdRHqfJgoA-pGyk5Yag&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwicptCOucHQAhWhgVQKHfY3CKE4ChDoAQgzMAY#v=onepage&q=food%20traditions%20study&f=false
68  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: NBA 2017 Topic on: November 23, 2016, 11:54:27 AM
That's a great question and I really don't know the answer. I certainly don't off the top of my head recall the bigs in particular being that swing guy back when I was growing up and watching basketball ('80s onward). But it's possible I just don't recall. I think of it as sort of a secondary break: if the guard(s) and/or wing(s) who get down court fastest don't have an obvious scoring opportunity toward the rim, they fade and reverse through the trailing big. But I don't know whether it came from a specific guy, team, offense, etc. I might ask around on that.
69  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: NBA 2017 Topic on: November 23, 2016, 10:37:56 AM
Yeah, they have begun abandoning the triangle each of the seasons Jackson has been in control there now. They always start with it, then move away. Even when Rambis got the job to reintroduce it, they went away sometimes. It's just not a really viable offense anymore unless you have really good players. That's multiple: playerS. Not just multiple stars, but good role players. Seriously, when you think of the history of the NBA, no team has done well in the triangle without two superstars and multiple good role players. The offense itself, like most every offense, is only as good as its players ... and sometimes, if it's limiting, is worse than its players. (Examples of it not working: the Mavericks under Jim Cleamons, I think it was. Atrocious. Wolves when Rambis tried to use it. Nuggets didn't emphasize it but tried to use it a little under Brian Shaw.) Literally, the only times it has worked were with Jordan-Pippen plus either Grant/Armstrong/Paxson or Kukoc/Rodman/Harper; or Kobe/Shaq with an assortment of really good role players.

If Melo's ego could stand him being made second option, man, they could be deadly with pick and roll. They'd also need another really good shooter to help space, but that's not so hard to find. Even a fringe guy like Brady Heslip or someone can be had out of the D-League to do that.
70  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: NBA 2017 Topic on: November 23, 2016, 09:58:20 AM
Especially with Melo, that cognitive dissonance has got to be tough. Old dog, new tricks. The guy has been supremely successful as a go-to, iso-focused scorer. Even when he's at his best (in international competition), his role is to shoot when the ball gets to him--even if he's not the #1 option. He's just not built for a triangle or motion style of offense. He could work really well in a pick-and-roll with Rose, but that leaves Porzingis as the weak side spot-up shooter. Obviously he's overqualified for that role!

I do like Hornacek as a coach, however. Frankly, I suspect Jackson would be better off leaving the job, considering his insistence on maintaining (even parts of) the triangle and his tendency to cozy up to media and drop bombs every now and again. He's just seeming like a meddler as a front-office guy. Doesn't he have an opt-out after this season? I think it would be best for everyone if he took it, though I know he recently said he didn't want to opt out (whenever it is). And as painful as it would be, I'd also let Rose walk or sign him and do a sign-and-trade. And I'd probably try to deal Melo. I'd rebuilt around Zinger. I know after about three rebuilds in the past five years, Knicks fans don't want to hear that, but it makes sense.
71  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: NBA 2017 Topic on: November 23, 2016, 09:33:48 AM
I'm hoping the Wolves are into a rhythm by then. So far, they're dominant for roughly 1/2 to 3/4 of every game, but they've been--with one or two exceptions--absolutely horrible the other part of each game. They have blown something like five or six 12+ point, second-half leads already. They're phenomenal in the first quarter, even the first half, but usually awful in the third quarter. The talent is absolutely there, but they just have to work through situations and learn from them. It's tough once you've identified players or teams as up-and-coming, because knowing they're going to improve isn't the same as actually improving. You just have to go through it...
72  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: So what did we all do today? on: November 23, 2016, 08:06:52 AM
You're missing the entire point. Maybe it's a language thing. I won't bother to restate.
73  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: NBA 2017 Topic on: November 23, 2016, 07:47:50 AM
"What was he thinking?" That's a question you can ask about Nick Young at virtually any given moment. And you'll never come up with the correct answer. (It's insane to think back of the Wizards team that had him, Gilbert Arenas, JaVale McGee, Jarvaris Crittenden ... talk about a lot of lunatics on one roster.)

The winning without Rose might be a stretch. While Jennings has played pretty well, remember that you've then got to replace his (huge) role as the only big-minutes guard off the bench. So what, is Ron Baker ready for that? Obviously that dropoff would be huge. And Holiday, he's awfully old to be considered an up-and-comer. I think he's performing at the level he is because he's a mature pro, but he's topped out. And let's be serious, he's not playing all that well for a top wing off the bench. Roughly 6 ppg on 43% shooting (though a nice 44$ 3pt), nothing else to speak of. A PER of about 11. I think--and I say this as a longtime fan of the middling-or-worse Wolves--that you may be mistaking basic competence with real productivity when it comes to Holiday. I did the same thing for years, whether with Robbie Hummel, Dante Cunningham, or any number of other bottom-of-roster guys forced into rotation roles. It's amazing what a person can talk himself into. (Hell, I championed Darko Milicic.)
74  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: NBA 2017 Topic on: November 23, 2016, 07:04:32 AM
Jrue Holiday is such a good player ... when he plays. It's been that way for years now, fantastic on the court, but he's so often off of it. At least this time it wasn't an injury, which is promising. It really means a lot to the Pels that he's playing again.

As for the Knicks being a 50-win team? Ooof, I think you're an optimist. I think 40 is closer to the ceiling. 40, 42, right around there. The fact is there will be stretches without Noah. Probably stretches without Rose. Without Melo, without Jennings. These guys always miss games; there's no reason to think they won't this season. What is good to see is how well Hernangomez and Kuzminskas are coming along, because they really needed (and still do need) that depth. It'd be nice to see more backcourt depth, but maybe that will come. Justin Holiday as a backup wing is underwhelming, especially when your starter is Courtney Lee (hardly an all-star). Ron Baker, Sasha Vujacic...
75  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Satanic Panic: the Devil in Rock 'n' Roll on: November 23, 2016, 05:59:52 AM
It always cracked me up how country, jazz, and opera were also chock-full of stories of extramarital sex, alcohol abuse, and violence, yet by the '80s none of those were of interest to the self-appointed prosecutors of their deity's musical laws. Just the loud stuff with the long-haired fellows playing little squiggly notes on the oddly shaped guitars.
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