Super Bowl XLIV: New Orleans 31 Indianapolis 17

http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2010020700/2009/POST22/saints@colts
A couple of days ago, I made a Super Bowl prediction.
The Indianapolis Colts are a machine. Vanilla, straightforward. Implacable. They are all business (although in his commercials, Peyton does let his hair down) and telegraph what they do. Its just damned hard to STOP it.
They also adjust well. The Jets had them on the ropes, and the Colts adjustments turned a Jets lead into a near-rout by the Colts
The New Orleans Saints are gunslingers. Gamblers. Party-loving. Risk taking, try it and see if it works approach. Its a risky strategy that has proven dividends. They also seem lucky, charmed, as witness the Vikings game. Luck is a big factor in football.
This, however, is the Super Bowl. As boring as it might be, I think the Colts Machine will survive whatever the Saints throw at them, and pull ahead by the end of the 3rd Quarter and win.
Prediction: Another win for the AFC. Indianapolis 31 New Orleans 17

Well, the Colts WERE a machine. The Saints WERE risky–the 4th and goal attempt toward the end of the 2nd Quarter. The onside kick to start the second half!
And well, I did get the score right. However, I had the teams wrong. Even if the Colts were better on paper, the Saints won the game. A very entertaining game, even if after the first quarter I thought it might be a rout for the Colts.
Congratulations to the new America’s Team. Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints.

RIP, William Tenn

The list of F/SF deaths gets tiresome, especially with the recent loss of Kage Baker.
Today, William Tenn (real name Philip Klass) passed away.
William Tenn was on only as a short story novels, his novels were less successful. Tenn’s work was wickedly satirical in a way only matched in the SF field by C.L. Kornbluth.
My favorite Tenn stories:
The Brooklyn Project: Researchers send a probe back in time, insisting all the while that time and history cannot be changed, even as things get weirder and weirder in the present…
Eastward Ho!: After a nuclear war, Native American nations turn the tables on the United States.
The Liberation of Earth: Two different alien races come to Earth…and the Earth becomes a proxy space for their war.
Null-P: George Abnego, the most ordinary man in the US, becomes an unexpected symbol in a post-World War III age.
It Ends With a Flicker: Two different alternate histories seek to end the disaster that threatens humanity by changing the historical event that made it happen. Only…
And there are many others. Tenn had a gift for stories with a sting in the tail.
Now, I am tempted to pick up the NESFA Press volumes of his collected stories.

What am I reading now?

Via SF Signal and other places.
1. What Book Are You Reading Now?
2. Why did you choose it?
3. What’s the best thing about it?
4. What’s the worst thing about it?
1. Into the Looking Glass, John Ringo
2. I wanted to try Ringo again after a negative previous experience.
3. Competent protagonists that drive the narrative forward
4. The liberal-bashing politics is getting old, fast.

Super Bowl XLIV Prediction

Since I’ve done so well this far with predictions, I might as well go for broke and make a Super Bowl Prediction.
These are two high scoring teams with very different philosophies.
The Indianapolis Colts are a machine. Vanilla, straightforward. Implacable. They are all business (although in his commercials, Peyton does let his hair down) and telegraph what they do. Its just damned hard to STOP it.
They also adjust well. The Jets had them on the ropes, and the Colts adjustments turned a Jets lead into a near-rout by the Colts
The New Orleans Saints are gunslingers. Gamblers. Party-loving. Risk taking, try it and see if it works approach. Its a risky strategy that has proven dividends. They also seem lucky, charmed, as witness the Vikings game. Luck is a big factor in football.
This, however, is the Super Bowl. As boring as it might be, I think the Colts Machine will survive whatever the Saints throw at them, and pull ahead by the end of the 3rd Quarter and win.
Prediction: Another win for the AFC. Indianapolis 31 New Orleans 17

The Senate has jumped the Shark

Enough is enough.
Making the majority Democrats get a supermajority of 60 votes to pass meaningful bills is bad. (Whatever happened to the Republican mantra “up or down vote”)? Sand in the gears at every turn (let’s make them read the bills word by word for no other reason but to slow down the process) is bad. Anonymous holds on nominees for positions for months(!) because a Republican or two has blocked them is even worse
This is the worst:
Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, is blocking Senate action on executive branch nominations, a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said this afternoon in an e-mail.
In response to a question from the Press-Register, Reid spokeswoman Regan Lachapelle confirmed that Shelby has placed a “blanket hold” on most pending nominations.

http://blog.al.com/live/2010/02/senate_leader_shelby_blocking.html
Shelby has been tight-lipped about the holds, offering only an unnamed spokesperson to reporters today to explain them. Aides to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid broke the news of the blanket hold this afternoon. Reid aides told CongressDaily the hold extends to “all executive nominations on the Senate calendar.”
One Republican Senator. And why is he doing this? Surely there is a noble reason why Shelby would want to do this?
Reports say that it is so that he can ensure a couple of…(wait for it) key earmarks for Alabama.
The Senate, as an institution, has jumped the shark.