The Daily Belmore

opinions, links, and more…

The Serial Killer We Can All Love

If you haven’t seen Dexter, you’re missing out. Most of you are probably wondering what Dexter even is, due to the fact that it is on Showtime which I think seven people across the nation actually pay for. For those that don’t know, Dexter is a show about a serial killer, Dexter Morgan (played by Michael C. Hall of Six Feet Under fame). What makes the show watchable is that he only murders alleged criminals, those that have eluded the police in one way or another (and during the day he works as a blood-pattern specialist for the Miami Metro PD). I was pleasantly surprised by not only the quirky way in which the subject matter is presented, but also Hall’s performance; he’s not just a poor sap who’s family owns a funeral home after all.

I’m currently powering through the first season thanks to Netflix, but if you’re lucky enough to have Showtime, don’t miss the season premiere tonight at 9 pm!

September 30, 2007 Posted by | Television | , , , , | Leave a comment

Belmore Rankings: Week 6

After some data entering, number crunching, and formula adjustments, I give you my own patented college football rankings after five weeks of play. I’ll explain the flaws after the top 5:

  1. LSU (5-0, BSOS Rank: #39)
  2. Kentucky (5-0, BSOS Rank: #61)
  3. USC (4-0, BSOS Rank: #63)
  4. Oregon (4-1, BSOS Rank: #27)
  5. Nebraska (4-1, BSOS Rank: #30)

Now, there are still some obvious problems. Yes, I know numerous ranked teams lost yesterday, but that doesn’t equate to Kentucky being the number 2 team in the land. And Oregon just lost to California (who is #8 in my system), so why isn’t Cal higher? Formulas are a tricky thing. I’ll keep working on it this week and see if I can get a better one in place next week. The tweaks I made this week are still an improvement; remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Now for the teams playing the toughest schedules:

  1. Akron (2-3, BR: #55)
  2. Auburn (3-2, BR: #14)
  3. Washington (2-3, BR: #57)
  4. Stanford (1-3, BR: #92)
  5. Minnesota (1-4, BR: #96)

And the weakest schedules:

  1. Kansas (4-0, BR: #70)
  2. Purdue (5-0, BR: #68)
  3. Hawaii (5-0, BR: #61)
  4. Connecticut (5-0, BR: #51)
  5. Cincinnati (5-0, BR: #45)

None of those five teams have played anyone that currently has a winning record.

There might be a few more college football related posts today, but after that I’ll get back to some topics that have a more widespread interest.

September 30, 2007 Posted by | Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

And I Thought UW’s Special Teams Were Bad

UCLA scored 42 unanswered (including 4 touchdowns in the last 10 minutes of the game) to rally from a 14-0 deficit to beat OSU. How did they do it? Special Teams miscues from OSU:

Oregon State returner Gerard Lawson fumbled three consecutive kickoff returns in the fourth quarter, losing two to set up Bruins touchdowns.

At least we haven’t shot ourselves in the foot that much. *knock on wood*

September 29, 2007 Posted by | Sports | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Notten This Life

Natalie has a blog!  Check it out here.  She’s one of my best friends, and plans to keep her blog updated every weekday with the best information on entertainment (whether the Hollywood type or her own personal fun).

Just don’t forget to come back here to your roots.  I update on weekends!

September 29, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remember When Your Favorite Band Wasn’t So Huge?

I do. I saw Brand New twice in 2002, and both times they played at a dinky little space called the Meow Meow (which is no longer called the Meow Meow, and might not even exist anymore) in the industrial district in Portland. The first time was in August, and I had only heard their CD a few times before going to the show. The next time was on a freezing night in November, and there was no real lighting (unlike the first time) and this time they opened for The Movielife instead of headlining. Guess which band is still around?

Brand New is coming through Seattle once again, and playing at the Showbox SoDo on October 29th and 30th. They are playing with Thrice (which is a hell of a double whammy), and tickets are available from Ticketmaster ($23.50 advance / $28 at the door). I’ll be at the show on Tuesday if you wanna kick it.

And if you want to know what it felt like to see them play five years ago for about 150 rabid fans in an attic in Portland, watch the video below. Ahh, memories…

September 27, 2007 Posted by | Music, Video | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

More Football For You

Yeah, I know, I know, ‘Paul, shut up with the football already.” And I will, soon enough. But I wanted to share this article from the Seattle P.I. today (thanks for the link, Natalie) talking about UW’s special teams problems:

When kicking off and punting, the problem has started with junior transfer Jared Ballman, who handles both duties.

“I’ve been pretty inconsistent,” Ballman said. “On kickoffs, I’m not consistently hitting it in the right place.”

He said the Huskies work on punting for one period every day in practice and spend another period on field goals and kickoffs. He said that is plenty of time for him.

“It’s basically put on me on kickoffs. I need to work on that,” he said. “I don’t know actually (what’s wrong) about why I haven’t. I do it in practice, but when it comes to the game, I guess I just try too hard. It’s near the spot it’s supposed to be, but it’s not exactly.”

Um…what? You’re trying to tell me that because our kickoff man is hitting it to the wrong spot, the other 10 guys on the field turn dumb and completely forget how to cover the return? No, that’s a load of crap. I know that the spot the ball goes to does make a difference, but we’re making every return man look like DeSean Jackson. That’s pathetic. We know we have a bad kicker, so work with that. Don’t let him try to take the blame, that’s just wrong.

September 26, 2007 Posted by | Sports | , , , , | Leave a comment

Just Blame Willingham

I do love me some Pat Forde:

Word has reached The Dash that Britney Spears’ lawyers will argue in her child-custody case that Brit’s reported mental crackup is attributable to poor recruiting by Ty Willingham.

The rest of the column is also worth a read, including some valid points about OK State’s coach Mike Gundy’s unfortunate outburst:

One of Gundy’s big complaints was negative treatment of a “kid” who is not being paid to play the game. But coaches never object to the tens of thousands of fans fawning over that kid, the tutors arranged to help him maintain minimum eligibility standards, the training table meals he eats, the tricked-up locker room he changes in — or the positive press most players receive most of the time. Hero worship is expected and encouraged; criticism is child abuse. It’s quite the double standard.

Check it out at ESPN.com.

September 25, 2007 Posted by | Sports | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Go To The Mattresses

The city of Seattle is suing the Sonics.  Suck on that one, Bennett.

September 25, 2007 Posted by | Sports | , , , , | Leave a comment

Managing Your (small) iPod

Do you have an iPod Nano? A Shuffle? an iPhone? Or even a fancy iPod Touch? If so, you are limited in the amount of storage available to you on your iPod. Sure, any new iPod sold today will give you a large amount of storage; but the chance that it will be able to hold your entire library are slim to none (at least if you have been using iTunes for a few months prior to loading it up).

I too am faced with this dillemma. I used to have a 40 GB iPod (fourth generation) but after the hard drive failed a few years into ownership, I had to revert back to a 2 GB Nano I had lying around. It was mainly used while I ran, but now it was thrust into primary position as my music player of choice. But how, might you ask, did I work around the obvious constraint of only having 5% of the storage space I was dependent on?

Smart playlists. Plain and simple. Implement them to be smart (no pun intended) and efficient, and you will have a much easier time. I currently have my Nano sync to four different playlists; Most Often Played, Most Recently Added, Random, and Podcasts. Each one has multiple rules attached, and each are very important. Follow along:

Here are the rules for Most Often Played:

  • Kind – does not contain – video
  • Playlist – is not – * Most Recently Added
  • Last Played – is not in the last – 1 – days
  • Play Count – is less than – 10
  • Last Played – is in the last – 6 – weeks
  • Limit to – x MB – selected by – most often played

Why these rules? Well, my Nano does not play video, so let’s eliminate those to save space (this is a rule I have in all of my smart playlists). Also, we don’t want it popping up here if it is in another smart playlist that I sync to. And in order to avoid repeats, let’s not have it sync up if I listened to it in the last 24 hours. I threw the play count rule in there so that this list would change periodically, and I would not get tired of the same songs over and over again (if you have more than 2 GB of space, you should change this at your leisure). And if I haven’t listened to it recently, it must not really be a top song, so get it off the list

Here are the rules for Most Recently Added:

  • Kind – does not contain – video
  • Last Played – is not in the last – 1 – days
  • Date Added – is in the last – 6 – months
  • Podcast – is false
  • Play Count – is less than – 10
  • Limit to – x MB – selected by – Random

What do we have here? Aside from the obvious, this playlist needs to contain recently added songs, so I used 6 months as a good time period. And as Podcasts have their own playlist, let’s keep them off of this one. Other than that, it’s pretty similar to the last playlist. Selecting this playlist by random will keep it from being to predictable (which is something I was yearning to avoid).

Here are the rules for Random:

  • Playlist – does not contain – * Most Often Played
  • Playlist – does not contain – * Most Recently Added
  • Kind – does not contain – video
  • Last Played – is not in the last – 1 – days
  • Play count – is less than – 10
  • Limit to – x MB – selected by – Random

Again, this is very similar to the other playlists. Keep it from being a duplicate song (although this does not actually put two of the same song on your iPod, it will keep it from maximizing space; if you are using smart playlists to sync any iPod, make sure to throw rules like this in to ensure that all of the iPod space is used up), and then make it a random selection.

And now on to my golden gem; the Podcast playlist. Leo Laporte has had several calls regarding this, so I thought I would show you how I manage them:

  • Podcast – is true
  • Play Count – is – 0
  • Kind – does not contain – video
  • Kind – does not contain – movie

What do I use this for? Well, being subscribed to a lot of podcasts, I like to listen to them in succession while at work, without having to select a new one each time. So I set up this playlist like so, then have the playlist sort by Release Date, and voila! It plays from oldest to newest, without any interaction from me so that I can work without interruption.

I base the size of the playlists off of the podcasts playlist like so: [size of smart playlist] = [(size of iPod – size of Podcast playlist) / 3]. For the non math people out there, that means you subtract the size of your podcast playlist from the total (usable) size of your iPod, then divide that number by three to get the size each of your other playlists should be.

I don’t mean this to be any sort of rules, just a good idea of how to use iTunes to benefit you and your subpar iPod (don’t be ashamed…I’ve hated only having 2 GB for over six months now…not all of us can afford new iPods every time one dies!). Now go experiment and see what works for you! And if you have any questions, feel free to let me know!

September 24, 2007 Posted by | Music, Technology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Better Said Than I

Sorry for all the football posts, but this sums up all of my feelings on the game last night:

Dawgs Find a Way To Do Everything Wrong

September 23, 2007 Posted by | Sports | , , | Leave a comment