25 August 2008

The Democrats select their VP

Well, Barack Obama and the Democrats have picked their VP candidate. In a surprise to no one with a brain, it was NOT Hillary Clinton. The actual candidate was Joe Biden, the senior senator from Delaware. Biden, who ran for President in 1988 and 2008, is considered a moderate centrist Democrat who will assist in improving the party's appeal to the political center.

One of the things that I appreciate about this selection is that Biden is listed as one of the least-affluent members of the senate. Not sure where he stands in the grand scheme of things, but he's not a man of ample means by any stretch. I like that. I think that it's time we started putting more of the proletariat into the White House and stopped having to select between members of bourgeoisie. The 2004 Presidential election, given the net worths of the 4 popular party candidates for president and vice president, seemed more like it should have been for the president of the country club, not the president of the country.

What I do not like about this choice is something of a trend in Democratic presidential candidates, specifically candidates running both for election to the White House and for election to their their current position. All that does is show that these guys don't care where they get in, that they just want to have a position of authority. When I see that happen, all it does is make me realize that Douglas Adams was right. Anyone capable of getting himself elected president should under no circumstances be allowed to take the job.

18 August 2008

Fantasy Football draft

Well, we had the big Fantasy Football draft this weekend and here's how my team shook out:

Round 1, 12th pick: Braylon Edwards, WR, CLE
Round 2, 13th pick: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, CIN
Round 3, 36th pick: Jason Witten, TE, DAL
Round 4, 37th pick: Wes Welker, WR, NWE
Round 5, 60th pick: Matt Forte, RB, CHI
Round 6, 61st pick: Marc Bulger, QB, STL
Round 7, 84th pick: San Diego Defense
Round 8, 85th pick: Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR
Round 9, 108th pick: Felix Jones, RB, DAL
Round 10, 109th pick: Vincent Jackson, WR, SDG
Round 11, 132nd pick: Jake Delhomme, QB, CAR
Round 12, 133rd pick: Davone Bess, WR, MIA
Round 13, 156th pick: Anthony Fasano, TE, MIA
Round 14, 157th pick: Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NYG
Round 15, 180th pick: Kevin Jones, RB, CHI
Round 16, 181st pick: Phil Dawson, K, CLE

Now, fantasy football veterans would obviously have some questions about the reasoning behind
this draft. Simple, in most fantasy football leagues, it's all about the running backs, because most leagues award 1 point per 20 or 25 yards receiving vs. 10 rushing yards and don't award points per reception. Not in my league, it's all about the receivers.

Why? Our league awards 1 point per reception and 1 point per 10 yards receiving. Therefore, a receiver who catches 110 balls for 1200 yards and 8 scores (278 points) is more valuable than a RB who rushes for 1000 yards, 10 TDs, and catches 40 passes for 350 yards, and a score (241 points). What makes Welker a huge steal is that he also will gain rushing yardage and he returns punts and kickoffs. If he returns so much as one kick for a score (which he can do), that's like free money.

As for the Chicago RB connection, that's easy.
I anticipate them running the ball a lot this year as they still haven't figured out who their starting QB is (not that it matters because they can't pass protect worth a damn). Couple that with the fact that they don't have any WRs who can threaten with deep runs, so I see a lot of dump off passes coming their way.

We'll see how this works out. If it pans out like I hope it will, then I just screwed myself for next year's draft because everyone will follow the same strategy.

15 August 2008

The 4th quarter

With 122 down and 40 to go, the Red Sox find themselves entering the 4th quarter of the season.

Here's how it shapes up for them. Out of their remaining 40 games, they play 22 at home. Not too bad for a team that's won 73% of its home games this year.

Their opponents over their last 40 games are:
  • Toronto Blue Jays, 12 games, 6 at home, 6 in Toronto. Sox are 2-4 against the Jays this year.
  • Baltimore Orioles, 6 games, 3 at home, 3 in Baltimore. Sox are 7-5 against the O's this year.
  • New York Yankees, 6 games, 3 at home, 3 in New York. Sox are 6-6 against the Yankees this year.
  • Texas Rangers, 3 games in Texas. Sox are 7-0 against the Rangers this year.
  • Tampa Bay Rays, 6 games, 3 at home, 3 in Tampa. Sox are 6-6 against the Rays this year.
  • Cleveland Indians, 4 games at home. Sox are 2-0 against the Indians this year.
The good news for Boston is that their offense seems to have rediscovered itself recently. After the All-Star break, the bats sort of went on vacation. Then there was the small matter of the Manny Ramirez distraction, but now the team seems to have found it's groove but that might just be a result of the competition they were facing.

Interesting note about Toronto, the Red Sox will play the Jays on back-to-back weekend serieses twice over the remaining 7 weekends of the year. So, if you're a Sox fan, you'll know all about the Blue Jays come October.

13 August 2008

Some information about oil

I was doing some reading the other day and I came across some information that I found interesting. It was especially interesting given that this is a Presidential election year (in case you hadn't heard) and the subject of oil and, consequently, oil-derived prices, is in the news.

Did you know that as of July 2008...

...the United States produces just over 5M barrels of domestic crude oil per day. Of that 5M, Texas produces the most -- just under 1.1M barrels a day.

...much of the oil produced from Alaska (722K barrels/day) is sold internationally. Due to antiquated laws to protect the US shipping industry, foreign vessels are prohibited from delivering oil between US ports.

...the United States imports over 10M barrels of oil per day, of which 5.3M barrels come from OPEC countries and 2.1M barrels come from the Persian Gulf.

...the largest international supplier of foreign oil to the United States is Canada, which provides approximately 1.9M barrels per day.

...the United States consumes approximately 20.7M barrels of petroleum per day including 390 million gallons of motor fuel per day.

...the current proved fuel reserves for the US are 20,972M barrels -- approximately 1,000 days.

Here's my source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/basics/quickoil.html