One of those meme things

Every so often I see one of these meme things and just decide to answer the questions on it. After I’m done, I go back and look at the thing in its entirety and see what I learned about myself. (But mostly it’s a good exercise to keep writing… yes, I know I need to do more of that.)

1. What time do you wake up in the morning? Too freakin’ early in the morning (around 6:15am)
2. If you could eat lunch with one famous person, who would it be? Dan Patrick. He’s an interesting journalist who’s had the opportunity to interview famous sports figures AND famous political figures as well. I’d like to pick his brain for an hour, that’s for sure.
3. Gold or silver? Silver. It just seems to fit with my personality more.
4. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Veggietales: The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything. I think THAT speaks to the fact that I have kids… 🙂 Now, if you had asked what the last film (in general) I saw, it’d have to be Appleseed Ex Machina.
5. Favorite TV show? Burn Notice, followed closely by CSI and The Amazing Race.
6. What do you have for breakfast? Cereal, maybe toast (depends on weekday or weekend). Sometimes a bagel instead of cereal, or maybe oatmeal.
7. Who would you hate to be left in a room with? Anyone coughing, sneezing, etc. and not wearing a mask or having a box of Kleenex handy.
8. Can you touch your nose with your tongue? Nope.
9. What inspires you? Music, scenery, long drives. Anytime I have a good hour or two of nothing (which is very infrequent nowadays)
10. What’s your middle name? Andrew.
11. Beach, city, or country? Beach. I can take or leave the city or country, but there’s something about a beach that is just inspiring and relaxing at the same time.
12. Summer or winter? Summer! Winter is evil!
13. Favorite ice cream? Cold Stone Creamery mint with graham cracker mix.
14. Buttered, plain, or salted popcorn? Buttered with light salt
15. Favorite car? A ’68 Ford Mustang, cherry red, convertible. I’ve wanted one forever and ever – well, at least since high school.
16. Favorite sandwich filling? I’m partial to deli ham and swiss cheese, myself.
17. Favorite type of music? Rock, Jpop, classical, even a little country. Hip-hop or rap gets the dial changed.
18. True love? It definitely exists.
19. What characteristic do you despise? Those who are full of themselves and are know-it-alls. A little humbling can do you good.
20. Favorite flower? Don’t have one.
21. If you had a big win in the lottery, how long would you wait to tell people? Until the check clears and my lawyer (because a big win means you need some protection) has gotten all the paperwork ready for signoff, but for traffic violation charges, Get More Info here for the right legal resources. Probably a couple of weeks, because you just know that third cousin twice removed is going to be calling up… you know the one, where he came to your 8th birthday party and you haven’t seen/heard from him since.
22. Do you wear pajamas? Only in winter. Otherwise it’s t-shirts and shorts.
23. What color are your eyes? Brown.
24. How many keys on your key ring? Three. Very uncomplicated.
25. Where would you retire to? Somewhere warm, but not Florida. I have no love for hurricanes. It would be great to be able to retire to (southern) Japan, but I don’t think that’ll happen…
26. Favorite day of the week? Saturday – no work plus relaxation time or time to spend with family.
28. Red or white wine? Red, because rice wine (sake) wasn’t a choice 😉
29. What did you do for your last birthday? Went to dinner at a local Irish pub. Found the place (Molly Brannigans) in the Dana Park center in Mesa. Heartily recommended – takes me back to the local Irish pub I used to hang out at in Stamford, CT when I worked there.
30. Do you carry a donor card? Nope! Not that I’m against the idea, but I’m just afraid that doctors seeing me in an accident wouldn’t do EVERYTHING to keep me alive.

Suns playoff matchups

One thing never stops on this end – the quest for good sports-related info. 🙂

This just in, the Suns can reach a #4 seed in the playoffs if the following occurs:

  1. win their remaining two games (both at home) against Golden State and Portland
  2. the Utah Jazz win their remaining two games against Houston (home) and San Antonio (away)
  3. Houston beats the LA Clippers
  4. San Antonio beats Sacramento

The result is a four-way tie between the Suns, Jazz, Spurs, and Rockets at 55-27. According to NBA rules, a tiebreaker for multiple teams begins with the best head-to-head winning percentage among all teams tied. To determine that, you add up all the wins and losses for all four teams of the games played between themselves:

  • Jazz 7-3
  • Suns 6-5
  • Rockets 5-6
  • Spurs 4-8.

Now, if scenarios #3 and #4 don’t happen that still puts the Jazz and Suns at 55-27 (Jazz own tiebreaker by winning the season series 2-1) and the Rockets and Spurs at 54-28 (both tied season series at 2-2, but Spurs win tiebreaker by virtue of having better win % than the Rockets within the Southwest division). Hence, the Jazz still get #3 and the Suns #4, but the Spurs get #5 and the Rockets get #6.

Again, it all starts with the Suns and Jazz winning their last two games.

Now, if the Suns win out and the Jazz lose to SA, then the Suns finish at 55-27, the Spurs also finish at 55-27, and the Jazz finish at 54-28, but as a division winner, the Jazz get at least the #4 seed anyway. The Suns own the tiebreaker with SA, so they will end up as #3. That’s the only way the Suns end with a #3 seed.

Pretty much, the Suns control their own playoff seeding. And if the current standings hold pat, unless the Suns are a 4 or 5 seed, they will see New Orleans in the second round.


April Anime Update

So, I finally finished a couple of series – I think this is actually a first for me to complete a series in a TIMELY manner. 🙂 Plus, I was able to also watch two more movies in that time frame as well. Now, granted, I’ve completed these series and movies in the past two months, so it’s not like it all happened overnight, but here they are, with my ratings/recommendations:

  • Gundam G00 – 25 episodes, 5 stars, easily. And this is just Season 1!!
  • Kimi Kiss Pure Rouge – 24 episodes, 4 stars. If you like romantic comedies, this is for you.
  • Clannad – 23 episodes, 4 stars. This would have been a 5 star series had it not changed direction in the last three episodes from lighthearted comedy to drama. However, despite that change, it is definitely worth watching. Note that this does not include the movie (since I haven’t seen it yet).
  • Dragonaut – 25 episodes, 3 stars. Went from camp to riveting drama in the first two episodes and then lost me in the last episode. If you’re a Studio Gonzo fan, you’ll probably rate this as a 4 star series instead.
  • Gundam 0083 – 13 episodes, 4 stars. Yes, another blast from the past series – one that I have always wanted to finish, since I saw the first four episodes back while I was in college and never got to see another since. I rectified that on my recent trip to San Francisco, finishing the remainder of the series while waiting in PHX airport, and in transit to/from SF.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Innocence – 5 stars. Yes, I know, I’ve been remiss in seeing this one. Picks up where the original Ghost in the Shell movie left off, and it’s definitely all the better for it.
  • Appleseed Ex Machina – 5 stars. How cool is that? A new movie and new character designs and unbelievably awesome storyline. This is worth a purchase at the local Suncoast.

Also, I’m almost done with Kaiji and am halfway through Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water (classic anime from the early 90’s). I’ve barely begun True Tears (only seen the first two eps) and Idolm@ster Xenoglossia (first four eps). I keep trying to circle back around and catch up with Tokyo Underground, but I just can’t seem to find time or inclination.
Lastly, I hope that someone finishes up Deltora Quest, I’ve seen up to episode 12, but there’s 65 eps!

ASU = Haters

ASU was left out of the Big Dance tonight. This comes as a collective shock to the ASU fans across the Valley, but not the rest of the country. The collective scream is now “NCAA Tournament Selection is a joke!” along with the occasional “This is BS, man!” Why is this?
Since Wednesday, all the talk radio and internet forums have been abuzz with “ASU’s going to get an invite” talk. The most used and heard arguments went something like this:
1. ASU swept Arizona this year.
2. ASU ended the regular season at #5 in the Pac-10.
3. ASU beat Xavier, Stanford and USC.
4. ASU has 5 wins against the top 50 RPI teams.
5. ASU has an “impressive” resume.
Unfortunately, the tournament committee looks at the ENTIRE body of work – most of which is encompassed in four parts:
1. RPI
2. Strength of Schedule
3. Last 15 games
4. Wins against Top 50 RPI _and_ Top 100 RPI.
Knowing that, here’s why Oregon and Arizona are dancing and ASU is not:
1. RPI – Arizona is 38, Oregon is 58. ASU is a lowly 83.
2. SOS – Arizona is 2, Oregon is 33. ASU is an abysmal 87.
3. Last 15 games – Arizona is 7-8, Oregon is 6-9. ASU is 5-10.
4. Top 50 / Top 100 record – Arizona is 5-8/10-12, Oregon is 4-9/8-11. ASU is just 5-7/7-10.
Now, since Oregon, Arizona and ASU all play in the same conference, the only comparison that can be used is the non-conference schedules. And for the record, Arizona’s non-conference schedule was ranked #4, while ASU’s was #301.
For ASU, games against powerhouses such as Cal Poly, Florida Gulf Coast, Delaware State, Idaho, Montana State and St. Francis (PA) are what doomed them. I’m sorry, but this is NOT an “impressive resume”. While the wins against the teams in the Maui Invitational – Princeton, LSU – were worthy (even though those teams all ended up tanking this year), those six non-conference patsies are what ultimately decided ASU’s fate.
Oregon had a more balanced schedule with only Pepperdine, Portland, and Sacramento State bringing them down.
Arizona had just Adams State and UMKC as the only “gimmes” this year. ASU fans might claim NAU would count, but NAU (21-11) was one win away from an automatic NCAA berth, losing in the Big Sky championship game – not exactly a pushover.
It will be interesting to hear the hating in the morning on the local radio stations – to which I also submit the following bits of trivia:
1. ASU has been to the NCAA tournament just 10 times, and only once (2003) in the past 25 years. Arizona has been to the Big Dance 24 straight years now (27 overall) and counting.
2. ASU received a #1 seed for the NIT; if they win the 2008 NIT tournament, they can make a legitimate claim to being the #66 team in the nation – since the top 65 teams are already in the NCAA tourney.

ASU – UA rivalry numbers

All records are as of 1/17/08 –

Arizona leads the football series 44-35-1 all time. Since 1978 when both schools joined the Pac-10 conference, Arizona leads 16-13-1, which includes a monster streak of 8-0-1 between 1982 and 1990.

ASU has consistently a better football team on average if you go by bowl invitations, having been to two Rose Bowls, five Fiesta Bowls, three Holiday Bowls, and four Sun Bowls. This past season, ASU made a huge splash by ending the season 10-2 and contending for a BCS berth, only to be exposed (and slammed hard) by Texas in the Holiday Bowl. In contrast, Arizona has been to two Fiesta Bowls, one Holiday bowl, and two Sun Bowls. However, the 1993 Fiesta Bowl was a 29-0 shutout of Miami, FL, the only shutout in Fiesta Bowl history, and the 1998 Holiday Bowl was a beat-down of Nebraska, which was at that point the most-watched bowl ever on ESPN, only surpassed recently by the 2005 Alamo Bowl (Michigan/Nebraska).

In softball, Arizona holds the series lead 93-74. Arizona has appeared in the NCAA Tournament 20 consecutive times, and has a record of 124-34 (.785) in the postseason. Arizona has eight national titles (1991, ’93, ’94, ’96, ’97, ’01, ’06, ’07). ASU has two (1972, ’73).

In baseball, Arizona holds the series lead 229-188-1. Arizona has three national titles (1976, ’80, ’86). ASU has five (1965, ’67, ’69, ’77, ’81).

In women’s volleyball, Arizona holds the series lead 36-35. While neither team has a title, Arizona has been to the NCAA tourney 21 times compared to ASU’s 14. That’s up there with perennial powers Stanford (26 times), Penn State (26), UC Santa Barbara (25), UCLA (25), Nebraska (25), Hawaii (25), Pacific (24), USC (24), Texas (23), BYU (23), and Long Beach State (21).

In [b]hockey[/b] (yes, ice hockey), Arizona holds the series lead 119-31-4, including a stretch of 64-0-0 between 1983-1996. Arizona has one national title. ASU has zero.

And in men’s basketball, Arizona holds the all-time series lead 138-74, including, get this, a 22-2 domination in the last 24 games. Also, during the Lute Olson era (24 years – although you have to skip 2007-08 because of Olson’s leave of absence), ASU has exactly the same number of wins as they have had head coaches (7) – Yes, that means, Lute Olson has only lost to ASU 6 times… ASU has not won in Tucson since 1995 (12+ years). ASU has no national championships, while Arizona has one (1997). Arizona has reached the NCAA tournament 23 consecutive years – longest active streak in the nation, 2nd longest in history (North Carolina, 27 years).