Afternoon Update -November 18th, 2016

Good Morning! Once again a reminder: This is a weekday blog, meaning no (regular) updates on the weekends. I’m also completing a first week of this – not happy with the amount of time invested, but many of the hot topics have required a little research. Anyway…

Morning Update

  • TV Updates: ALMOST watched them all…

    I will be updating the formatting next week – links to the IMDB sites for all of the shows to make it easier to find information from, a school letter-based grading system that should make it easier to gauge my commentary, and hopefully a way to engage you, the reader, for involvement.

    • Sunday:
      • Yes “The Walking Dead”
      • Yes “Talking Dead”
    • Monday:
      • Yes “Supergirl”
      • Yes “Gotham”
      • Yes “Lucifer”
      • Yes “Conviction”
      • Yes “Timeless”
    • Tuesday:
      • Yes “The Flash”
      • Yes “This Is Us”
      • OH “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
    • Wednesday:
      • Yes “Arrow”
      • Yes “Survivor”
      • Yes “Designated Survivor”
      • Yes “American Horror Story”
    • Thursday:
      • Yes “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”
        • Next week appears to be an off-week for all episodes except The Flash – which makes sense as Election Week aired new episodes for every other DC show.
        • I like that Steel’s getting a supersuit – as silly as it sounds, with a few exceptions (mainly from or connected to Krypton), it seems that all of the supersuits in the DC TV universe not only lend to the look, it adds abilities as well. (I suppose the “Super” suits for Supergirl and Superman are indestructible, so “technically” they’re adding an ability – though, by the same argument, so would most clothing in keeping us from being cold and butt-naked in most normal working conditions.)
        • Heat Wave, aka Rory, is becoming too human – I like that they’re making his character more relatable, but in doing so it’s taking the fun out of his character.
        • When is Ray going to bring back his A.T.O.M. suit? I realize it was destroyed a few episodes before, but he’s getting annoying in his search for self – an area we had explored a little before he made the suit.
      • OH “The Blacklist”
      • No “Pitch”
      • This is a shared show with Amanda that we didn’t get to watch last night – so commentary will be next week.
    • Saturday:
      • OH “Doctor Who”
    • KEY:
      • No/Yes – (Not)Watched – notes below
      • NA – Not Aired
      • OH – On Hold – show has hit mid-season finale or is taking a break that week.
      • FS – Finished Season
    • Unlisted: Big Brother (Summer show), Sleepy Hollow (Returns January 4th)
  • Football/Sports Update (Tuesday/Friday):
    • Applebee’s Football Picks: Each week during the season the Applebee’s where I am from has a weekly $10 gift certificate for everyone who picks 5 winning teams of that week. They can pick any team they choose, though all 5 of their picks have to win to win the certificate. My picks for this week are:
      1. Tennessee Titans over Indianapolis Colts: The odds for this one are high in favor of Tenn, as are the main gauges I check statistically for the team.
      2. Detroit Lions over Jacksonville Jaguars: The odds are heavily in favor of Jacksonville (If I am reading things correctly); however, statistically Detroit has more of the important numbers, such as points allowed in a game, points per game, and third down conversion in their favor.
      3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers over Kansas City Chiefs: The odds are in favor of the Bucs this week, and although their statistically down in points allowed, all of the rest of the statistics favor the Bucs. (Sorry, friendship’s not going to help here.)
      4. Buffalo Bills over Cincinnati Bengals: Everything with the odds and statistics favor the Bills. The only thing the Browns have going for them is that it’s a home game.
      5. Dallas Cowboys over Baltimore Ravens: The odds are in the Ravens favor; however, statistically the Cowboys seem to have the better offense, while there’s not enough of a defensive difference between the two to stick with those odds. I’d prefer a clear leader, but usually my last picks, when going by statistics, are the most difficult – so we’ll see.
    • Favorite Teams picks: Unless there’s good reason, I rarely choose my favorite teams in any of these contests – I don’t want to throw bad karma their way by picking them. (Yes, as silly as it sounds, sometimes I believe in luck!) My favorites are the Chicago Bears, a team I grew up with and enjoy watching/cussing out, and the Green Bay Packers, another team I enjoy watching and have current local ties to. (I am also an odd duck, since these are rival teams, and their fans like to razz me for it. When they play each other, Bears over the Packers.) To bea fair, I also pay attention to the other NFC East teams, in particular the Minnesota Vikings (a rival to both of my favs, though a favorite of many of my friends – #3 in ranks of who I want to win) and the Detroit Lions (with no friend ties, this team could go 0-16 like they did a few years back and it wouldn’t bother me much – I just don’t want them to beat my teams.)
      • New York Giants over Chicago Bears: The odds appear to be in favor of the Bears (it’s the first time using an odds site, so help me), but the statistics favor the Giants. That, plus we’re missing Alshon Jeffries and Cutler’s still QB. (You want the Bears to win more? Replace Cutler with a QB that’s consistent and GOOD!) Chicago, Please Prove Me Wrong!
      • Arizona Cardinals over Minnesota Vikings: This has nothing to do with dislike – a three-game losing streak,The odds are in Arizona’s favor, AND statistically worse in all but one category (Arizona’s defense allows a couple more points per game), the only thing the Vikings really have going for it, not looking at the eligible players, IS the fact that they’re playing in their new stadium. It’d be nice if they won for my friends – though that’d work against my teams.
      • Green Bay Packers over Washington Redskins: The odds, as well as the statistics, favor the Pack, even though it’s a road game and they’ve been on a losing streak of their own this season. If they can keep the points down they should win – an obvious statement, except that “Points Allowed” is one of the few stats I pay attention to where Washington leads. Go Pack Go – Quit letting my Amanda down!
    • Applebee’s NASCAR Pick: Like the above, during the racing season the Applebee’s in my hometown has a weekly $10 gift certificate for those who pick the winning driver. This will likely be the last week this season, as it is the Championship race (Captain Obvious, hard at work this week!) Unfortunately, I’m not sure if they’ll ask for the winner of the race or of the championship – but I will go with the oddsmaker in each: Martin Truex Jr. for the race, Joey Logano for the championship. (The things I do for free food… LOL)
    • Tuesdays are usually results, while Fridays are usually picks.
  • Hot Topics:
    • Metallica’s new album Hardwired… to Self-Destruct is out today – if I was working I’d try to get it; it’ll have to wait until after I get a few things taken care of first.

      One thing that’s disappointing, however, is the plethora of new videos – of which the majority of them suck.

      The songs are a small part of the problem: while tasty new Metallica morsels are always good, these just don’t seem as fresh as their previous stuff. It’s like they want to revisit And Justice For All…, similar to what they did with Death Magnetic – while it’s a good album, the reason why the albums between the 80’s and 90’s stand out IS how different each one was – while you had Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets as well as Load and ReLoad sounding somewhat similar to each other, they usually defined a distinct era of Metallica. There’s little to distinguish this new album so far from Death or Justice.

      The biggest complaint’s not of the album – it’s of the videos, and their decision to release one for each song, which isn’t working here. So far only a few of the videos I have seen – the aforementioned Murder One, A Gorrilaz-style tribute to Lemmy, Spit Out the Bone, Confusion and Here Comes Revenge, another animated one that kept my interest until the end. The rest I end up going and doing something else by the end of the first chorus – the idea either retreads, annoys or otherwise bores me.

      The disappointing thing is that Metallica could have pulled off their own version of “The Wall,” a classic in the sense that:

      1. Each song works individually on its own (or, if necessary, in pairs)
      2. While the videos explored different styles, each conformed to similar specifics making all of the videos cohesive, and
      3. Like a TV Show or movie, there is a cohesive overarching story.

      While they weren’t going for that, the idea of releasing a video for every song on an album puts it in comparison to that. Each of the videos where the band is featured – most of the songs not mentioned minus ManUnkind – lack the visual energy and excitement of previous albums, and do more to drive me away than interest me. (They do make good background filler, however, as the songs themselves aren’t too bad.)

      Of course, this could just be me longing for the old days when every Metallica video mattered – where even the worst videos and worst songs still were a “Hell Yeah” when they came on – or the fact that I’m getting old, they’re getting old, and I feel like nitpicking…

    • Dear Mr. Pompeo,

      As has come to my attention in a recent Ars Technica article, the way you want to deal with Edward Snowden is to kill him – or, to quote the article quoting you,

      He should be brought back from Russia and given due process, and I think that the proper outcome would be that he would be given a death sentence for having put friends of mine, friends of yours, in the military today, at enormous risk because of the information he stole and then released to foreign powers.

      We both agree on one thing: He should be given due process and be put on trial because he did break the law. Going on trial is not about whether the law is right or wrong; it’s about what he did do (something he has not denied doing, by the way,) in much the same way that a self-defense victim might have to stand trial for having to hurt/kill someone to save their own life. It’s clearly stated that everyone deserves the right to a fair trial, and Snowden’s no exception.

      Where we disagree, however, is the end result. You want to punish him with a severe penalty to make an example of him over the way the law and agency is handled – something that is severely wrong in several areas, and that, like any other whistleblower, is unfair. Most people with his intelligence would know the dangers of trying to take the proper chain of command to fix things – and your comments prove more legitimacy in what he did because of it. Why run if you really have nothing to fear? Likewise, how else do you force change when the government you work for is doing wrong and has no desire to change? Attitudes like yours are what justify people urging President Obama to pardon him: The knowledge that he will never get the fair trial he deserves.

      I’m sure you get hundreds of death and endangerment threats on a daily basis – and if you were to do a background check on me, you’d find that my chubby butt would have a hard time killing a chicken tied to a tree while standing two feet away. (If that was confusing, this won’t be: I pose no threat to you physically.) I will warn you now, however: Your attitude on this matter is dangerous and wrong – and is more of a threat to America’s freedom than anything Snowden has done. Seeking anything other than a fair trial will drive away most of the best people you could find in your field, and will only encourage others to take risks in protest of your actions. Penalizing him for a flaw in the legal system, in the government and the way things are operated – is completely and horribly wrong.

      Let the legal system do their job right, if he ever gets caught. Don’t give the people reason to fight you.

    Two articles coming (hopefully) this weekend, and some new furnishings for this pad as well. Have a great weekend! Unless something new comes, See you on Monday!

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