Monday, January 26, 2004

Joe Gibbs: He Rocks.

Laura just noticed that there's nothing on my weblog about Joe Gibbs being hired as the Redskins' head coach. So here goes:

Woo Hoo. Joe Gibbs Rulez. Yay, Rah, Go Team.

You're welcome, honey. :-)

Saturday, January 24, 2004

The Injury Report

I don't want Jeff's Weblog to turn into Jeff's Injury Report, after spending two weeks whining about tooth problems. But I hurt my back at work on Thursday. It was just achey on Thursday, but I could barely get out of bed Friday. I ended up visiting a chiropractor, and he said it'll take a few weeks to fix me up. It's keeping me from helping some friends move today, which is a shame; normally, I'm glad to help. And, I get ego points for being disproportionately strong for my size. That might be why this particular injury bothers me so much--a lot of my self-image is based on being strong and tough, and not being able to take off my own socks is messing with me.

Laura is busy spoiling me rotten, though. She's cooking my favorite foods, and being very good about helping me with bending and reaching. She's the most wonderful wife in the world, and I couldn't ask for a better friend.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Jeff Mountjoy: football fan?

Laura's turned me into a football fan. How the heck did that happen? Prior to Laura, I had only seen one football game; my sister and I saw a Colts/Dolphins game from her boss's season seats. That was funny--as soon as we walked in, we dropped our ticket stubs in a box for some prize drawing. Then we realized we didn't know where our seats were. But her boss told us to say hi to the guy in the seats next to his, with a big blue beard with a white horseshoe in it. We managed to find out seats by finding the guy with the blue beard. I enjoyed the game, but didn't really have the inclination to see more of them.

Then came Laura. It started slow; she sometimes gets tickets to a Colts game, in the owner's box. There really is no better way to see a game. After four or so of those, I picked up a taste for the game. Being somewhat Type A, I have a lot of questions about the rules that Laura can't answer. That's where her friend Kerry comes in. He knows all the rules, and all the details. So we've been watching Colts games (and, in the regular season, Redskins games) at the Aristocrat. Laura carries the enthusiasm, and Kerry is the repository of technical info. And it probably helps that the Colts are going to the Super Bowl. :-)

On the down side, right after their excellent season, the Colts are negotiating with the city for money, and probably a new stadium they don't need and don't have open land for. They don't NEED a new stadium, and the city can't afford to build them one, but it'd be unwise for anyone in the city government to say so after this season. I'm almost believing in a little NFL conspiracy--the Colts' best season since they've been in Indy is coincidentally before their negotiations.

Also, not sure why Irsay can't build a stadium himself. I keep seeing other teams playing in stadiums that, I'm told, the owners paid for themselves. I'm OK with the city contributing infrastructure, but not parting with around $300 million dollars of our own money for a stadium.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

possums, wine, and chocolate

We had our friends Andre and Lisa over for dinner, and we had a great evening. In the middle of it, Andre and I chased our last possum across the yard and spent a few minutes trying to coax him from under the garage so we could trap him and drive him elsewhere to release him. No luck--his tenacity outlasted our interest. I'm beginning to feel stupid, being continually outwitted by a marsupial.

One of my pet peeves is the descriptions in wine catalogs. The first time I read one, it sounded great; something like, "strong flavors of black cherry and saffron, hints of oak and tannin, warm nutty tones, with nuances of toast." It sounded good, so I tried it. It tasted like: wine. No cherries, no oak, and definitely no nuances of toast. I think they just make this stuff up. As evidence, I offer that it's generally accepted that two sommeliers tasting the same wine will give different descriptions. If they both said "nuances of toast," there's probably some basis in reality for it. If they generally don't, it's Wine Snobbery. After all, noses (the actual industry term for the top experts in perfume) give exactly the same descriptions for scents, and if they don't it's considered a problem. Wine guys will agree about whether a wine is full-bodied and dry, but the warm nutty tones are pretty darn arbitrary.

I mention this because I just discovered varietal chocolates. It's the chocoholic's answer to wine snobbery. The chocolate is processed to exact specifications, using very specific beans, and it comes accompanied by a description that sounds a lot like a sommelier's. Lisa, Andre, Laura, and I had a comparative tasting of two varietals, one from Venezuelan beans, the other from Ecuador. Both were great chocolates, and we could actually detect the difference between them. We even could recognize the "ambience of tobacco" promised in one of the descriptions. I'm still not giving sommeliers the benefit of the doubt, though.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

good investment!

I just picked up a great trivia fact, courtesy of Molly Ivins's column today. Did you know that the average return on investment for large-scale political contributions is 2000 to 1? There are occasions when it's as low as 1000 to 1, but that's rare. That means that if you give a million dollars to politicians, you're probably going to reap 2 billion dollars' benefit in the form of contracts, relaxed trade regulations, tax breaks, or regulatory relief. Wow.

I just found the original source for this--Nicholas Johnson. He's a law professor at the University of Iowa, and a former commissioner at the FCC.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Root canal

The Root Canal, my fourth. The actual root canal was no problem. After the Novocain, they clamp a little metal band around your tooth to hold the rubber sheet in place, and they put the clamp around my gums. I didn't know until the Novocain wore off, but my gums are a little like hamburger. And the tooth is still really pressure sensitive. No surprise, again--the trauma of the root canal makes it really tender. But it's not temperature sensitive at all.

One perk of a root canal is that Laura's dedicating her night to spoiling me rotten. She's making me an easily-chewable dinner and tucking me in on the couch and giving me foot rubs. I should have more root canals!

Laura had a double root canal a few years ago, and they sedated her for it. I discovered that she's really entertaining when she's coming out of the anesthesia, and I spoiled her rotten too. I got her pudding, tucked her in bed, and pampered her until she was fully recovered. Remind me in person about the Zingers story. It's much funnier if you can see me do my imitation of her. :-)

Monday, January 05, 2004

Dental "emergency"

I just came from the dentist's. I have a congenital problem with two teeth on one side--the roots of the teeth stick up into my sinus cavity, so a serious sinus infection (like I apparently had last week) will spread into the root of the tooth. The first tooth had a root canal six or seven years ago, so it doesn't have trouble. The other one is the one causing me problems. He says I need an emergency root canal. For most of the medical profession, "emergency" roughly translates as NOW. Dentists have their own scale--in this case, "emergency" means "in 48 hours." I didn't think to ask him for intense pain medication, but I don't like taking it anyway. So wish me luck; two days to the root canal. On the plus side, after this one I won't have any more trouble with these two teeth.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

New Year's

No New Year's Resolutions this year. I'm not doing any. Last year I followed through on one out of five.

I wanted to mention that Laura and I went to her friend Mike's party last night, and we had a blast. I fired my first bottle rocket in maybe a decade, and I played some seriously good ping pong with Mike's nine-year-old daughter. Ping pong is more fun if you make up your own rules, and grown-ups tend to be less flexible about that than they should be. Happy New Year to all; let's try to make it a good one!