Filament Friday 12/27/2013

Don't drink and drive.

Don’t drink and drive.

Well, it’s the last Filaments of 2013 and I have to say I’m proud to have finished this year on a roll – I’ve managed to post links each of the last 10 Friday’s, including today. I’m sure this would be an appropriate place to list my New Year’s resolutions, but here’s the thing – three years ago I decided there was only one resolution that I would make each year: to be the best Dylan I can be. Sounds trite, yes, but since that decision I have:

  1. Gotten a job at NASA
  2. Married the love of my life
  3. Bought an awesome house
  4. Welcomed a beautiful baby girl
  5. Lost over 40lbs.

So there you go. I will be the best me I can me, you be the best you you can be and lets meet here this time next year to toast ourselves. On to the links!

  • Masahiro Tanaka has been posted and the bidding (I assume) has begun. While many have written that, though the Cubs have money to spend, it might be difficult to convince Tanaka to play in Wrigley, Cubs’ Den has a detailed post explaining why that might not be the case. And, IMHO, they left out the biggest reason to sign with the Cubs – if Theo’s plan comes to fruition and the Cubs do get to and/or win the World Series the players on that team aren’t going to be stars, they’re going to be LEGENDS.
  • Plus thoughts here on what landing Tanaka would mean to Jeff Samardzija (seriously, that name isn’t that hard to spell. I think the back-to-back “i” and “j” is what throws people off.)
  • CSN Chicago cheerfully counts down the 13 worst moments in Chicago sports this year, a list heavily populated with the Cubs. This entry about the firing of Dale Sveum is well written and has good behind the scenes info, but one thing really stood out to me. Near the end of the article, after talking about the Rick Renteria hiring, there are these two sentences:

    “But it’s hard to believe he really knows what he’s getting into.

    This place chewed up and spit out Dusty Baker and Lou Piniella, two potential Hall of Fame managers.”

    I see this all the time in the Chicago media – “This place chewed up and spit out…” – as though it’s something that just happens. But, the people writing it are the ONES DOING THE CHEWING AND SPITTING! I’m sure it’s true of every big market team, but sometimes the media covering the Cubs has a stunning lack of awareness of how much they suck.

  • I was looking forward to Javier Baez as it was, but with this article I am officially in full-on Javier-mania mode.
  • Tis the season for Cubs’ trivia.
  • Here are all the ways I could have become a better man in 2013.
  • I generally don’t get into Rick Reilly’s stuff, but I liked this column about how he perceived Ray Lewis before and after working with him.
  • Loop pedals are awesome.
  • Some behind the scenes secrets of the hotel industry. My takeaway: be nice, wash the glasses before you drink out of them, use the minibar (but say you didn’t) and slip the person at the front desk a twenty.
  • More from Mental Floss – how they animated the AT-AT’s in Empire Strikes Back.
  • They say Chicago isn’t really that windy, but if you want to check the wind anywhere on the Earth, in real-time, this is AMAZING.
  • Crazy science stuff is crazy…and a good reminder that, no matter what we think we know, there’s always more that we don’t.
  • Though we’re past Christmas 2013 now, here is a good breakdown of how what that holiday means to different age groups.
  • I feel like I am really good at apologizing (I should be, I get enough practice), but here are some tips for those who aren’t.
  • Speaking of apologies, after the last two weeks I’m thinking I should retire from the prediction business. But, as it seems to be required on the internet these days, I predict that the Saints will play the Buccaneers this weekend and that there will be an outcome.
  • Others are not so timid…
  • Drew Brees was listed as “limited” after Wednesday’s practice and the internet lost it’s damn mind. It’s ok, he’s ok.
  • Among other possibilities, the Saints could still win the NFC South (and the #2 seed in the NFC) with a victory over Tampa Bay and an Atlanta win over Carolina. So, uh, go Falcons? Ugh, that just doesn’t feel right. I’m going to have to mull this over…
  • Despite all of the hyperbole after the loss to Carolina, the Saints, on both sides of the ball, are forces to be reckoned with.
  • And a few player notes: Kenny Vaccaro is out, this could be Roman Harper’s last game in black and gold, and Terron Armstead got fed to the wolves and came out hungry.
  • If Armstead ends up being the next Marques Colston or Jahri Evans (i.e. small school steal) then, I think, a lot of worries about the Saints offense will be eased.
  • Meanwhile, in Wizards world, after getting a lot of rest the last week the team returns to the court in Minnesota tonight, with the ‘Wolves looking for revenge for their last meeting. That was a 104-100 victory for a then 2-7 Washington squad, who, starting that night, have gone 10-6 since.
  • Since that slow start the Wizards are starting to get respect in some circles.
  • But, alas, not in others.
  • Otto Porter is starting to get started. I can’t say enough how much we, as Wizards fans, need to have patience with #Slenderman. But, if he can continue to hone his skills until his body comes along, young Mr. Porter could be a valuable asset come (gulp) playoff time.
  • Meanwhile, John Wall and Martell Webster just want to have a little fun with Trevor Ariza, especially after road victories that are becoming more and more common.
  • I have a man crush on Martell Webster; he just gets it and is such an important member of this team. It’s the kind of good move that Ernie Grunfeld will never get credit for from some.
  • In a stunning reversal of previous years, these Wizards love to pass the ball. Thanks to that, five Wizards are averaging at least 12 points: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Trevor Ariza, Nene and the thrice-mentioned Martell Webster.
  • Speaking of sharing, Iron Maiden, of all bands, really gets it when it comes to music piracy. You can’t download a concert.
  • I don’t know who this is, and I don’t care, I just want you to see this picture.

    ROCK 'N ROLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ROCK ‘N ROLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • A bunch of futuristic predictions came true in 2013. Still no jetpack or flying car though.
  • I can’t not show you the butt goal.
  • I could lose myself in these behind the scenes shots of Back to the Future franchise. Actually, I just did.
  • As this is the last Song of the Week for 2013, let’s take a moment and bid this year a fond farewell. See ya’ next year!
Dylan Steele

About Dylan Steele

A Louisiana native, Dylan Steele now lives in Halethorpe, Maryland. A web developer by day, he is also an occasional musician, frequent dog walker and sometimes hoopster. And now he blogs, too.
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