Filament Friday 08/01/2014

Holy cow, sooooo much sports stuff this week…

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Filament Friday 07/25/2014

I had a nice “Glory Days” moment this week, playing third base in my work softball league and going 3-4 with 5 RBI. I made all of the plays that I should make with the glove and almost pulled off a couple that I shouldn’t have.

But the real fun came in the final frame. Batting at the top of the inning, our team was down by one run, 7-6. A lead-off hit. Then a double. Then another hit. And another. Tie game with the bases loaded and I was coming to the plate. There were no outs and it was all I could do to stop thinking, “Don’t make the first one.” The pitcher lobbed the ball, I swung and watched the ball sailing over the centerfielder’s head. Too many seconds later, I was standing on third base and we had a 10-7 lead. We tacked on 4 more for a 14-7 lead before heading to the bottom of the inning.

Two quick outs, then a couple of hits and suddenly the opposing team was looking a little more lively. Their next batter swung – a pop-up…right to me. I hate pop-ups, I have a horrible time judging the ball on it’s way up and I’ve let too many fall just over my head in my lifetime. But I had a bead on this one, settling underneath and pushing down the doubt that I had misread the trajectory of the ball and that little voice saying, “It’s the last out, don’t drop it.” A little Soriano-esque hop, then the ball hit my glove and stuck right in the pocket. Game over.
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A Few Thoughts on the Tony Dungy Thing

There was a big bruhaha this week over comments Tony Dungy made, that he would not have drafted Michael Sam because of all of the “distractions” that would go with drafting the first openly gay player in major sports history. Sam took the high road, while Dungy attempted to clarify his remarks by saying that Sam deserves a chance to play, but that he (Dungy) would have assessed any distractions of any type before drafting any player. I’m sorry, but this is hogwash and, given Tony Dungy’s reputation, incredibly disappointing. Continue reading

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Filament Friday 07/18/2014

Looking forward to the return of Cubs games, the wife and bug being back in town and some beautiful weather for Artscape in Baltimore this weekend. And, as always, clicking around on the internet.
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Filament Friday 07/11/2014

You may have noticed that the Filaments were not posted last week – I actually had them pretty much ready to go, but a combination of driving and sitting on the beach prevented me from actually pushing the publish button. My bad. However, I’m pushing it twice today, so be sure to go back and check out last week’s 4th of July edition – and bring your headphones, I linked to lots of music.
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Filament Friday 07/04/2014

Happy two days after Independence Day!
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Filament Friday 06/27/2014

The best man was in town this week and we took the opportunity to meet up for lunch at Ben’s Chili Bowl, which has literally been on my to-do list for years. For those who don’t know, Ben’s is an iconic Washington D.C. landmark and eatery, specializing in hot dogs and, well, chili. Many will tell you it’s the greatest chili ever.

It's hard to miss.

It’s hard to miss.

As someone who makes damn good chili, I say those people are wrong. Don’t get it twisted – the food at Ben’s Chili Bowl is delicious. But, if you’re expecting competition-level chili, you’ll probably leave a little disappointed. The flavor is very good, but nothing extraordinary, while the appearance and texture is somewhat reminiscent of Hormel.

It, uh, tastes better than it looks.

It, uh, tastes better than it looks.

In fact, that’s what I’d call it, gourmet Hormel. With some cheese and condiments you can eat a bowl of it and be satisfied, but I can’t imagine rushing home to figure out the recipe.

So why is Ben’s so iconic and why do I still say it’s delicious? Well, in my opinion, the hidden secret of Ben’s is that you don’t go there for the chili – you go there for the chili dogs. I had the Ben’s Original (Bill Cosby’s favorite), which is a quarter pound beef/pork smoked sausage topped with spicy mustard, onions and the most absolutely perfect chili-dog chili ever. The sausage was cooked to perfection, with a little char on the skin and bursting with juices. Bite into it and you get a world of flavors and sensations, with the bite and crisp of the onions contrasting with the moist steamed bun and the meaty chili bringing it all together. In my forty years on this earth, it was the best dog I’ve ever encountered.

Not pictured: the food coma that followed.

Not pictured: the food coma that followed.

So there you go, Ben’s Chili Bowl makes the best bad chili around. In a world of haute cuisine served out of food trucks and a foodie in every kitchen, Ben’s is making the chili of the people: simple, delicious and crying out to be put on top of something. Next time I’m getting the chili cheese fries.
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Filament Friday 06/20/2014

Space X is launching a rocket this evening, you can watch it right here, or use this direct link. Meanwhile, as I keep saying, NASA’s demise is greatly exaggerated and they will be launching the first test flight of the Orion later this year.

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Filament Friday 06/13/2014

Hey, I think this is the second – no, third! – time the Filaments fell on Friday the 13th!

You can find more stuff like that here…
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Filament Friday 06/06/2014

This week saw the media going into full spazz over the story that some Wisconsin teens stabbed a friend nineteen times in some bizarre homage to everyone’s favorite fake internet bad guy, #Slenderman. Predictably, the talking heads were shocked – SHOCKED! – that somebody would make up something on the internet and even more boggled that someone would use it as an excuse for their own horrible actions. So, like Ozzy Osborne, Judas Priest, Super Mario and Teletubbies before him, #Slenderman is now BAD and something for PARENTS TO WATCH OUT FOR and OMG WON’T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN.

Well, dammit, #Slenderman means something else around here. It means smooth handles, hard defense and rebounds. It means ball movement and an improving jump shot. It means work ethic, patience and future possibilities. #Slenderman means Otto Porter and a couple of mouth breathing, twisted little bastards aren’t going to change that. YOU CAN’T HAVE MY MEME!

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