Monday, October 31, 2011

Panthers Vs. Vikings

Yesterday I went to the Panther game with my old friend Granville. I hadn't been out to the stadium in a couple of years and I got two tickets way up in the sky on sale through a promotion I found via the team's Twitter feed. I was unaware that upper deck tickets are now $57 if you include the Ticketmaster ass spelunking. I got mine for $32 each which is a reasonable price. Maybe there would be fewer empty seats in the upper deck if the tickets didn't cost almost $60 each. That just seems like a lot to me.

As you can see, we are way up high


It was fun as any trip to the stadium is for an NFL game. NFL games are always fun for me. They feel like an event. Early on I did have a nice chuckle watching the defensive unit players each do their individual dance as they came out of the inflatable tunnel. Maybe it would have been less silly if the stadium was more than half full and we were able to make a bunch of noise. Nothing rocks quite like an NFL stadium when the stands are full of pumped up fans. We aren't there yet with this current roster. The Panthers will make a playoff run someday with Cam Newton at the helm and I can't wait to be there for a couple of those games.

One unique thing about this trip to Bank of Ameria Stadium was the ending. The Panthers set the kicker, Mare, up for pretty much a chip shot of a field goal that would have likely sent the game into overtime. He missed it. He is catching a lot of heat for it but if you've played golf sometimes the chip shots are the hardest. I've always had a special sympathy for kickers. First the jocks in the broadcast booths and at the studios laugh at them and don't think they are real players. Those guys are dicks. Secondly, what other player in sports essentially comes on the field only when points are on the line? Not even goalies have that much pressure so leave these fucking guys alone.

When Mare missed that kick you could feel the energy leave that stadium. Before the drive that put the team into a chance at overtime the crowd was getting kind of ugly. You could hear drunk guys getting angry and people who weren't drunk and angry began scanning the crowd, looking for the potential fights (there weren't any). Then a couple of excellent plays put the Panthers back in the game and then elation took over which was then quickly supplanted by grief and denial when that kick sailed wide left.

The same view as before but only different IMAG0871

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Las Vegas Indy Crash

One of my favorite Youtube activities is searching for good amateur footage shot at NASCAR races. This weekend's Talladega footage from the stands was as boring as the race. After coming up snake eyes with Talladega I thought I would search for amateur footage of the fatal Indy car crash. I did find a couple.

This one is long so I linked around the wreck started.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mark Twain Prize

I don't get it. Last night Will Ferrell received the 14th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Last year it was won by Tina Fey. The first twelve recipients of the prize included giants like Jonathan Winters, Richard Pryor, Bob Newhart, Lily Tomlin and George Carlin. And Bill Cosby. I just don't see where Tina Fey and Will Ferrell fit on this list. They are both in their 40s. Seems to me if you are going to give someone a hall of fame type of award you should have a lifetime of work to consider.

It's not that Ferrell and Fey aren't funny and ground breaking (at least Tina Fey is ground breaking). They may eventually put together 30 or 40 years of work that would then qualify them for the Mark Twain Award. Since they seem to give the award to living funny people I think once they give this award to Mel Brooks, The Smothers Brothers, Albert Brooks, Woody Allen, Harry Shearer, Robert Klein and Robin Williams then we can consider comedians like Ferrell and Fey.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Playing with Layers

I have been using for a while now an image manipulation program called Gimp. This son of a bitch has been using layers for a while now and I finally grabbed a book about digital photography and gave layers a whirl. I really like how you can take two layers, change one and tweak the opacity to blend them together. Very useful I have found when adjusting the sky in scenic shots. The two pictures below I darkened the sky and adjusted its contrast to bring the clouds out more.

Torch Lake before manipulation

Torch Lake

Torch Lake after manipulation


The view from Empire Bluffs before manipulation Empire Bluff View

The view from Empire Bluffs after manipulation


Thursday, October 13, 2011

I Hate when Games Bullshit

I first saw this while playing NBA Jam on the old Sega Genesis gaming system. My friends Chris and Granville played that game head to head a lot and found that if one player pulled too far ahead then his opponent could pretty much sink shots at will for a few minutes until the game equalized. When this happened you could tell because one of them would should how the game "is bullshittin!" The scoring rubber band wasn't a game killer because it kept the games close and didn't seem to come into play at the end. We had a lot of fun with that game for a while at the old apartment. We started allowing ourselves one created player per team and eventually try to see who could come up with the most offensive name for his player. Big Fucker was a favorite along with Bearded Whitemon. I won with a wonderful name that still to this day offends the uninitiated.

Recently I have been playing the most recent Tiger Woods game. Two problems with it have killed the career mode for me. First is the hole placements. For some reason the hole on some greens will be on the severe slope of a green. So, if you lag the ball up and it stops rolling a few inches from the hole, which is what you are trying to do most of the time on a longer putt, the ball then rolls back down to your feet or goes on past the hole and rolls off the green. I true difficult pin placement will put the hole right next to a ridge that will punish a bad putt. You are not supposed to punish a good putt. I have seen this problem addressed on the Game FAQs message board so I know it's not just me.

I am not sure if the hole placement is the game bullshitting or a glitch. What is bullshit is the scoring on Sunday by AI opponents. Recently while leading going into Sunday I have watched my lead evaporate to an AI player who is having his best day of the tournament on Sunday. I'm not saying this never happens but it should not be the norm. You can see what I am talking about when you look at the leaderboard of the Players Championship from May. No one had a real big day on Sunday. So, what happens in the Tiger Woods game is that with the most difficult pin placement of the tournament where I am having to really play well to just score and maintain my lead a couple of players shoot a Thursday type score and I end up in the top five. It's frustrating because in a real golf match when you go into Sunday with a lead you are generally playing to maintain your already established lead. But in Tiger Woods you're forced into taking chances and playing aggressive golf because you have to score just to catch back up. What happens when you take chances with difficult Sunday pin placements? That's right, you play bogey golf. It's bullshit.

So, pretty much all this Tiger Woods is good for is head to head play with friends. I do that like once a every few months.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Is he Serious?

I had to share this. Only on eBay would someone attempt to sell an outdated broken digital camera for $30.00.