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Archive for July, 2007

Superliga 2007: LA Galaxy 6 FC Dallas 5

Superliga 2007Being the intelligent, cultured football fan that I am, I can enjoy a 0-0 draw. Some of the most exciting matches are often 1-0 or 2-1 affairs. That said, seeing 11 goals in tonight’s Superliga match between MLS sides LA Galaxy and FC Dallas was something special.

By minute 19, LA had a 4-0 lead. Dallas waited 24 minutes to respond, then 35 more before the fireworks really started after their second goal. When Donovan scored to extend the lead to 5-3 in the 84th minute, he did the cliche throat-slash and mouthed very clearly “Game Over”. Um, not quite.

The game was an important one: the winner moved onto the semifinals of Superliga and is still eligible for the $1M kitty. The semifinalists will be decided after tomorrow night’s two matches.

You can check out the tournament highlights, including the 11 goals, at http://www.superliga2007.com/

Here is the scoring summary:

Scoring:
LA — Alan Gordon 1 (Landon Donovan ) 3
LA — Chris Klein 1 (Landon Donovan ) 12
LA — Alan Gordon 2 (Kevin Harmse ) 15
LA — Kevin Harmse 1 (Alan Gordon ) 18
DAL — Arturo Alvarez 1 (Drew Moor ) 43
DAL — Juan Toja 1 (Dominic Oduro ) 78
DAL — Arturo Alvarez 2 (Juan Toja ) 82
LA — Landon Donovan 1 (unassisted) 84
DAL — Carlos Ruiz 1 (Drew Moor ) 91+
LA — Carlos Pavon 1 (Landon Donovan ) 95+
DAL — Abe Thompson 1 (Dax McCarty ) 96+

The Simpsons Movie

Here is the first of what I hope will be many posts written by a guest blogger. Today’s blogger is Simpsons’ fanatic, new father, Glenelg and Mt St Mary’s alum, all-around good guy Andy Buening.

My wife and I have had this date marked on the calendar for three months. The marketing for this film has been less than I would have expected, virtually nonexistent. Nevertheless, we knew we had to be at the theater early. Little did we know it would not matter how early we got there, thank you fandango, the movie was sold out. Alas, you will have to wait ’til next week to read my review of Who’s Your Caddy?. Since The Simpsons Movie was playing on multiple screens, whatever time you got to the theater the film was playing within a half an hour of your arrival.

Read the rest of this entry »

ahelms.com Updates

Faithful visitors to the site may have noticed the appearance and then disappearance of posts that displayed tasty recipes. Donna and I were trying to figure out the best way to organize a catalog of recipes on the site. We decided to go with a new blog, http://recipes.ahelms.com. You can also get to it via the blogroll on the first sidebar.

I also opened the site for others to create new http://<your_blog>.ahelms.com blogs.  Use the ‘New Blog’ link on the bottom of the far-right sidebar in the Meta section if you’re so inclined.

Finally, the kitties have been amusing us with their crazy personalities so we caught some of their silliness and posted it on the slickr page.

Superliga 2007

Superliga LogoI wasn’t sold on this new made-for-TV, $1 million tournament between MLS and Mexican teams but after watching a couple of the games I am hooked. Landon Donovan alone was worth the price of admission; his performance last night in the Beckham-less LA Galaxy’s 2-1 win over Pachuca was phenomenal. Reminded me of World Cup 2002 against Mexico. He was all over the place, scoring a goal, creating a goal and tracking back on defense. I’m thinking LA and the US management should hire a hypnotist and before every game convince Donovan that his opponent is Mexico.In the other match last night, 10-man FC Dallas tied Chivas 1-1. I watched the game at x15 speed on the DVR so I can’t provide any analysis other than to say that Arturo Alvarez’ goal was superb and Drew Moor was deservedly sent off for retaliating against a dirty play. He’s got to be smarter than that…hands to the neck/face area are automatic tarjeta roja.

Tonight DC United outplayed Morelia but also ended up tying 1-1. Blame the Washington Nationals. There is a giant lip where sod was laid to cover the infield dirt and it caused a ridiculous bounce which in turn caused Emilio to shin his shot over an open goal. Fred and Emilio also missed glorious chances in the 2nd half. Christian Gomez put in a Donovan-vs-Mexico-esque performance. Marc Burch was also very effective serving long diagonal balls from his left back position. Morelia had a player sent off–Landin–in the 2nd half for retaliating against Bobby Boswell who gave Paline a massive kick. Paline responded with a wussy shove to the back. According to Steve Goff, Boswell claims his kick was a retaliation to the old squeeze of the cajones. Houston and Club America are playing some good football in the 1st half. Four games, four teams playing inspired. This tournament is a winner. Check it out on Telefutura or mlsnet.com. The games continue this weekend. Here is the schedule.

David Beckham, Cal Ripken Jr, Michael Vick

My friend Andy’s brother, Father Matt Buening, was interviewed by Baltimore radio station WBAL about a four-day pilgrimage he is leading which will include a stop in Cooperstown for Cal Ripken Jr’s induction into the Hall of Fame. If you grew up near Baltimore in the 1980s and 1990s you pretty much have to love Ripken. He is the reason I always wanted to play short stop and why I still do when I play softball. Even before the consecutive games streak, we loved Ripken for his passion for his profession and his work ethic. He had several stellar offensive years, especially MVP years 1983 and 1991, but I admired him for his defensive attributes. At 6’4″ and not the fleetest feet, he relied on his knowledge and intellect to play exceptional defense.

Like Ripken, David Beckham is a team-first, hard-working, world class athlete. His debut for the LA Galaxy tonight was a Hollywood spectacle, but it should not take away from the wonderful attributes Beckham exhibits and consistently espouses. If you know anything about Beckham you know he is passionate about his family and football. His approach to the game is true and his determinedness is inspirational. After signing with the LA Galaxy, Beckham’s manager at Real Madrid said he would never play for Madrid again. Just a few months later the Beckham-led los galácticos were celebrating their first La Liga title since 2002/2003 and Capello said he wished Beckham could stay for another two or three years. After the 2002 World Cup Beckham resigned his England captaincy. England hired a new manager, Steve McLaren, and one of McLaren’s first acts was to call Beckham and tell him that he was a “casualty” of the coaching change. Twelve months later Beckham was back in the squad, leading England to a tie with Brazil and then wins in Euro qualifiers. The list goes on and on. What is so admirable about Beckham is that he has remained humble and has never even hinted an “I told you so”. He takes nothing for granted.

Beckham’s move to LA has been sharing the headlines with Michael Vick’s federal indictment related to his involvement in a dogfighting ring. This after Vick was detained in an airport earlier this off-season for allegedly trying to smuggle marijuana in the bottom of a water bottle. Last year, in the midst of his 2004-signed 10-year $130 million contract, Vick got negative press for going to a free STD clinic under the assumed name Ron Mexico. Perhaps worst of all, he has recently resorted to referring to himself in the third-person. I am hoping that Vick’s story takes a redemptive turn. He would do well to follow the examples of athletes like Beckham, Ripken, or other NFL players like Donovan McNabb and Peyton Manning.

MLS All-Stars 2 Celtic FC 0: Find us a challenge

In four all-star matches against some of the world’s best club teams the MLS all-stars have hardly been challenged. Last night’s 2-0 drubbing of Celtic FC should have come as no surprise. Prior victims are Chelsea (1-0), Fulham (4-1) and Chivas de Guadalajara (3-1). The game is getting boring. Sure it’s fun to watch our league’s best players ping the ball around while some of “Europe’s best” can only run around like a dog chasing its tail. But it gets old. Yeah, it’s fun to prove over and over that the top players in our league can compete with the top players from Scotland, England, and Mexico. Enough is enough. Unless an international team like Brazil, Italy, or Argentina is available (maybe France on a good day) , I say cancel the game. These affairs are too one-sided.

New slickr page – flickr widget

I replaced the flickr page with an AJAX powered wordpress plugin called slickr. It describes itself like this:

Slickr Gallery is a very fast, light, bandwidth-friendly AJAX photo gallery plugin for WordPress. It allows you to pull your Flickr-hosted photos into a gallery section of your blog, as well as easily add Flickr-hosted images to your posts and pages. It is especially useful for people with many Flickr albums/photos. All code is valid xhtml.

The plugin that links to my flickr account displays the three sets that I can maintain as a non-paying member of flickr in three different ways:

  1. You can click on a set name and then individually select photos to view and scroll through (my favorite option) .
  2. You can view a flickr slideshow in a pop-up window (2nd favorite).
  3. You can go directly to my flickr page (boring).

The limited sets is a real bummer, but you can’t blame flickr for trying to drive people to pay for its service. I plan on keeping the sets fluid, mixing it up a bit so it stays fresh and relevant.

Dane Cook: Vicious Circle

Vicious CircleThere’s no denying that Dane Cook is one funny dude. Before the act even started he got my respect for standing on a circular stage in the middle of his 18,000-strong Boston audience with just a microphone and his wit to entertain. For the most part of two hours he had me laughing and/or shaking my head in disbelief. What I enjoyed most were his moments of original goofiness like when he said “What drives me bananasandwhich” or when he used the word snarky and then immediately defended it as a viable word and told his audience to google it.

As funny and clever as Cook is, this is not a show to watch with your parents or in-laws or anyone uncomfortable with vile language and overtly sexual conversation. If you caught him on SNL, you know he has the ability to tone it down and still deliver (one of his joke’s was the inspiration of my brother-in-law’s fantasy football team named the Cashew Slingers).

How to Eat Fried Worms

How to Eat Fried WormsI remember really enjoying the book How to Eat Fried Worms when I was in 3rd or 4th grade. It was funny and not in a stupid way that super mature kids like me would find obnoxious. From what I recall the movie did not follow the book too closely, but like the book, the movie was good, light-hearted fun. I know the hilarious bit with DDR was not in the book for sure.

The movie also provided race to imdb entertainment due to the appearances of the recognizable, but unplaceable Kimberly Williams (from Father of the Bride) and Hallie Kate Eisenberg, the Pepsi girl from awhile back.

Lawrence Wallack: Retelling the American Story

Lawrence Wallack is dean of the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University and so called “father of media advocacy”. He wrote an interesting article called Retelling the American Story.

The theme of the article reminds me of an article incorrectly attributed to George Carlin that was forwarded to me awhile back called The Paradox of Our Time. The article was actually written by Dr Moorhead, former pastor of Overlake Christian Church in Redmond, Washington. You have probably seen it. Here is one part:

“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.”

From Wallack’s article:

“Yet despite such incredible advances, we still face collective challenges that won’t yield just to technology. The economy has rarely been better, but we have 45 million people without health insurance, the gap between rich and poor as a measure of inequality is growing and is alarmingly wide, global warming has gone from theory to reality, and we’re in a perpetual struggle to find adequate funding for education. No amount of computing power will figure these things out for us.

These are the social and human inequalities that flow from how we organize our society, and that, in turn, is based on the values that guide our collective decisions.”

The article goes on to talk about telling stories to communicate deeper meaning, specifically two kinds of competing stories: Yoyo (you’re on your own) stories and Witt (we’re in this together) stories. Read the rest of this entry »

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