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Archive for August, 2007

LA 1 Pachuca 1 (Pachuca wins on penalties) Superliga 2007: El Gran Final

Pachuca ruined what could’ve been an awesome night for Chris Klein.   Chris Klein is the kind of blue-collar, thoroughbred player that is a moderately effective MLS player, but rarely fun to watch.  Just a few years ago he teetered on the edge of the national team due to his tireless work-rate, and decent size, speed and skills.  A couple of knee injuries rendered him too slow to compete at the international level and just a few months ago he seemed to be playing out his days on the team that Ellinger ruined, Real Salt Lake.  Enter impatient, train-wreck of a GM Alexi Lalas.  Lalas foolishly gave up two promising players in Nathan Sturgis and Robbie Findley for the aging Klein.  So Klein packs his bags and leaves the horrible team from the land of the Mormons to go to the horrible team that plays in the land of Posh and Becks, TomKat, and the glitz and glitter of LA.   After a few abysmal performances in the Galaxy’s midfield, LA manager Frank Yallop slotted Klein into the right back slot as a stop-gap measure following Chris Albright’s injury early in the season.

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A Required Trip to the Baltimore Museum of Art

Today’s post is my 16-year-old brother Jared’s second contribution. His first, View from the Upper Deck, was a hit–at least he tells me his friends enjoyed it. Today’s target of his acerbic wit and sarcasm-laced hating is my beloved Baltimore’s Museum of Art.

Today I had the pleasure of being forced to the Baltimore Museum of Art because of a summer English assignment I was given because 9 months of work is not difficult enough. Driving to the museum I enjoyed the sights of Baltimore City; cracked sidewalks, buildings that I’m pretty sure were built with graffiti already on it, and windows that may have been clean in a past life, all showered by the unmistakable Baltimore smell of; no, not Old Bay Seasoning – crime.

Walking into the museum I felt ‘that sense of purpose and power and rightness that I always knew on these occasions.’ Actually, that description is how Lord Voldermort felt when he was gliding through Godric’s Hollow en route to murdering the Potters, but I think that the Dark Lord and I had similar tasks. You might say that me walking in and getting directions to the Cone Collection was like He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named killing James Potter. Me discovering the Matisse section could be comparable to Tom Riddle killing Lily Potter. And me trying to find a Matisse painting that “stopped” me, a painting that I could write a 300 word essay about, similar to You-Know-Who trying to kill Harry and having the house blow up. Yes, my mind was blown by Matisse’s art – the colors, the girls, the light! But again my similarity to Voldermort is uncanny; when my mind blew apart, a fragment of my soul blew off and attached itself to Matisse’s Young Woman at the Window, Sunset, and I believe that I am forever bound to that painting.
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God’s Grace In the Midst of Marital Bliss

My wife Donna wrote the following.

Grace, it is an amazing thing.  This is a story of God’s amazing Grace and how He is constantly trying to redeem the world (even me).

Below is a letter to my husband based on a really stupid fight and overreaction.  I said some mean and hurtful things before this started and neither of us was talking to the other when I left the house to go for my evening run.

I left the house really angry with you last night when I went to run.  I wasn’t so much angry with you for eating my dinner, but how I perceived you brushing it off like I should just get over it because it was an accident.  This might have been a legitimate reaction, but for whatever reason, last night I felt it was really self-serving of you.  I kind of took it as how you approach all things, act and apologize later.  I don’t like that attitude and I didn’t want to forgive your apology.
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ahelms.com update – new plugins

I added two plugins to the site today.  On the right-most sidebar I removed the add to technorati button and replaced it with the AddMySite plugin, which gives visitors the option to add the site to their favorite RSS reader/aggregator.

I also added the Social Bookmarks plugin which adds the option for visitors to bookmark particular posts to their favorite social bookmarking site.  Now it is easier for visitors to bookmark and share the quality posts the the recent influx of quality guest bloggers have submitted.

Information Overload:622 Feeds a Day?

Robert Scoble is one of the most famous bloggers in the world. There is a cool video of him on google’s official blog that details how he reviews 622 feeds regularly. Like me, his preferred RSS reader is Google Reader. Check it out.

I was really shocked when Scoble said he only checks the feeds once or twice a day. I only subscribe to about 20 feeds and I check the Reader compulsively to keep up, probably once every half hour. In addition to the personal blogs of friends that I subscribe to, I pull in feeds from:

I also use the aggregated feeds of Google News and Techmeme. So there is a lot to keep up with and I am adding more every day. For instance, I just added the NYT Goal blog today after my wife sent me a link to Jozy Altidore’s latest blog.

LA 2 DC 0 – Superliga Semifinal

Being a big DC fan, I was really disappointed in tonight’s 2-0 loss in the Superliga semifinals. My disappointment was tempered by Telefutura’s coverage of the match. In a supreme display of machismo, Telefutura shamelessly, gratuitously cut away from game action to show all of the beautiful and quasi-beautiful LA women who attended the match. This angle is way better than ESPN’s Beckham cam, but not the best for those of us interested in the match.

After the match, the sideline reporter attempted to interview Beckham in English and then Beckham kind of said something in Spanish.

Here is the transcript:

Telefutura: Hi David, nice to see you again. With the sale of the house, you are not, your first goal in the MLS in the Superliga with the free kick.

Beckham: Yeah, um, it was, um, it was nice to get the result. Tonight, you know, it was not just about my goal or Landon’s goal…the team performance was exceptional. We worked hard as a team. We played hard as a team. We won as a team. So tonight is more pleasing with the performance.

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (the movie)

Today’s movie review is written by my Harry Potter loving wife, Donna. To give you a taste of her fandom, she received HP7 the Saturday it was released at 5pm and finished it less than 12 hours later, around 4:30 am Sunday morning. Book 5 was released one month after we were married. For the few days following the book’s release, I thought Donna married the wrong guy with a big scar on his forehead. She re-read books 1-6 in a week before book 7 was released. She re-read books 1-5 before book 6 was released. Her review does not contain any blatant spoilers for books 6 and 7, but it does speak vaguely about their outcomes.

This past weekend I finally went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I am a huge fan of all of the Harry Potter books, but have yet to be inspired by any of the previous four Harry Potter movies. I had heard very good reviews about the 5th movie and went in with a very positive attitude. As in the previous 4 movies, I walked away very disappointed. Read the rest of this entry »

Sometimes I wish I was Chinese

After reading the hilarious NYT op-ed called Memo to the Dept. of Magical Copyright Enforcement that provided excerpts from various “Harry Potter” counterfeits that have been circulating in China in the last few years, I began to think of what other comedy and opportunities I’m missing out on by not being able to read and write the appropriate Chinese language and dialect. My favorite of the eight counterfeits listed in the op-ed is called Harry Potter and the Waterproof Pearl. Here is an excerpt:

Harry Potter and the Waterproof PearlWith the help of Gandalf and Peter, Harry Potter and the Little Warriors find the sea city in the desert. They go through a keyhole into a mysterious land, where they get gold armor and kill the head of the monsters. On their triumphant return, Hermione disappears. Dumbledore tells Harry that Hermione has been kidnapped by a monster. With help from his friends, Harry obtains the waterproof pearl. To rescue Hermione, Harry barges into the Dragon Palace alone to have a showdown with the Dragon King.

I think I could write a pretty good Harry Potter story by borrowing JK Rowling’s characters and pairing them with famous characters of past literature or plopping them into classic kids’ books.

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DC United 1 LA Galaxy 0: Debut of David Beckham

Goalscorer Luciano EmilioSoccer Insider Steve Goff has begun referring to ESPN and BSPN, replacing Entertainment with Beckham. Anybody who watched last night’s match between DC United and the LA Galaxy knows why. The vast majority of the telecast was spent discussing David Beckham and his impact on MLS and soccer in the United States.

There was a Beckham cam that BSPN went to much too often, especially when he was either on the bench or warming up for the first 71 minutes of the match. DC defender Bobby Boswell had much more to say. Boswell on BSPN

“They’ve got to figure that out, because it’s not any fun, man. It’s not fun for the guys playing, it’s not fun for the people watching. I watched Chelsea when they played L.A.; I don’t care about him taking his shoe off. I am absolutely baffled how Eric Wynalda–guys that have played the game–are just riding this thing like they don’t give a damn. It just baffles me. It’s a shame, man. That’s not going to do soccer any good in this country, to have stuff like that. Read the rest of this entry »

Shared Responsibility, Human Bridges

In my July 12 post about Lawrence Wallack’s article Retelling the American Story, I wrote about the terms WITT (we’re in this together) and YOYO (you’re on your own).  In order for the collective decisions of the US to be guided by WITT values, Wallack says we “need more stories that articulate the values of shared responsibility, obligation to the local and global community, civic participation, and an appropriate helping-hand for government”.  I came across one such story this morning and shared it on my shared items page, but wanted to call more attention to it because of its positive message and tie-in to the earlier post.

Minneapolis shows why it’s rated No. 1 in volunteerism

Woven throughout the reflections offered over the past week during church services, rallies, and by onlookers on the riverbanks, has been the metaphor of rebuilding “human bridges.””We need bridges between people,” says Kathy Hintz, explaining why she came out for a prayer vigil held Sunday night. “We have to trust each other because other people made these cars and these bridges. It’s pretty amazing that anything works as well as it does. And if you can’t trust each other, you can’t have a community.”

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