OT: Things you wish someone had told you before you had kids

OT: Things you wish someone had told you before you had kids

Submitted by ClearEyesFullHart on July 7th, 2012 at 11:38 AM

The lull in Treadwell/The Opening/Tim and Trey @Lebron's camp/hoops freshmen(yeah, that Mad5 thing didn't really take) information has got me to thinking...

Man, there are a lot of things I wish someone would have told me before I had kids.(Yeah, for those of you who dont know/care, I'm the tired dad of a pair of 4 month olds).  And I guess I was hoping to gleen some advice from the greater mgocommunity as well.  (Yeah, I know the first piece of advice is going to be not to start an advice thread on an sports blog...bite me)

The first thing I'd want to tell babyless me: Good lord you lump of crap, get off your butt and go for a run.  Go lift some weights.  You cannot possibly grasp how much free time you have.  Do you really need to watch Rocky/Star Wars/LOTR every time they show it on cable?  Believe me, there'll be plenty of time for that later.  If you knew how precious opportunities for actual physical activities were going to be...

Clean out your freaking basement.  You've got junk down there that you haven't touched since you moved in.  If you dont get to it now, it will never ever happen.

8 words:  Little Tikes Snug a Bunny Cradle and Swing(AKA IRON DRAGON).  You need one of these per infant on every floor of your house.  We're talking 180degree swivel, mirror  ball, oscillating mobile, soothing music...if they had one in my size I'd be sitting in it right now.

Get yourself to an ACO Hardware.  Find the big rolls of trash bags labeled "Ironbuilt".  50/100/150 count, whichever is cheaper per unit.  Buy them all.  You dont know when you are going to make it to the store.  And you cannot run out of trash bags.  This is not an option.

While you are at it, run down to Kroger and fill your cart with 6dbl roll packs of Home Sense toilet paper.  They go on sale for $2.50  No reason you shouldn't have 5 or 6 packs stashed in each bathroom.  Again, running out is not an option.

Oh, and get the big tub of Similac.  I dont know who you think you are kidding with that half-sized $15 can...Running out just isn't an option...And dont worry about running out of those $5 coupons, they'll send out another batch next week.

Why didn't anyone tell me about these Kroger Comforts diapers?  I wasted all that money on a Sams Club membership, (and the giant packs of huggies) and you're telling me these freaking Kroger diapers hold up just as well to blowouts and cost 6 freaking dollars for 50?  I thought you guys were my friends.

Finally...Dont try to talk to your wife when there is a screaming baby in your arms/ in the room.  It just doesn't end well.  Whatever it is...it can wait.

Edit: Anyone have any experience with 529's(college savings programs)?

I was looking at Michigan Educational Trust, and while the idea of locking in today's tuition seems great, the suggested payments/current tuition just dont seem to add up.  I ended up starting Michigan Educational Savings Program accounts for them...hoping grandma/grampa might chip in too...Can you imagine what college is going to cost in 18 years?

OT - Tour de France stage 7 (Saturday)

OT - Tour de France stage 7 (Saturday)

Submitted by jmblue on July 7th, 2012 at 12:09 AM

At last, the mountains.  Kind of a shame this stage couldn't have happened a day earlier to separate the peloton a bit more, but oh well.  This one is a beauty, with a mountaintop finish:

 

That finish is nasty - one of the steepest climbs in France outside of the Alps or Pyrenees.  A close-up:

So after riding 193 km (120 miles), these guys get to cover 5.9 km (3.7 miles) of double-digit inclines.  That should be a doozy.  Will anyone attack?  One hope from after the terrible crash is that maybe it will force the climbers who lost time to really throw caution into the wind from here on out.

OT: Who are the most underrated championship athletes in all of sports?

OT: Who are the most underrated championship athletes in all of sports?

Submitted by WingsNWolverines on July 6th, 2012 at 5:41 PM

While driving home from Akron today (from spending the night up there for my grandpa's funeral) I turned on the radio and low and behold my most unfavorite radio show on 97.1 The Fan with Anthony Rothman and Dimitrius Stanley was on the air. Normally I HATE THESE TWO WITH A PASSION cause Stanley is full of himself and I could never stand Rothman but they had an interesting topic on the air and it was "most underrated chmapionship athletes in all of sports."  This was a hard one because most of the athletes I was thinking of were either overrated or right where they should be. One player however stuck out in my mind. Chris Osgood. Who was also mentioned twice on the show, believe it or not. Osgood has 3 Stanley Cups, 2 Jennings trophies, 10th in all time wins as a goaltender, 4th in all time win percentage 7th best in GAA in NHL history. This man never gets the credit he deserves and in my opinion he's one of the greatest NHL goalies to ever play the game. Who are some of yours?

 

UM Solar & the American Solar Challange

UM Solar & the American Solar Challange

Submitted by Bronco648 on July 6th, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Fortunately, here's something Michigan oriented that will help pass (some of) the time until Football season: UM's Solar Car Team and the American Solar Challenge.

The race will kick off on July 14, 2012 in Rochester New York and wrap up in St. Paul, Minnesota on July 21, 2012. The route, for the most part, will be within the B1G footprint. If you have the time, I'm sure the Team would love to see some support along the way or at the nightly camp sites:

  1. July 14: Erie, PA
  2. July 15: TBD
  3. July 16: Ann Arbor, MI
  4. July 17: TBD
  5. July 18: Nortmal, IL
  6. July 19: TBD
  7. July 20: La Crosse, WI

Here's a LINK to the Solar Car web site for a map of the actual route. In year's past, the site has hosted a CIL type substance so you can (kind of) follow along. I'll do my best to provide some daily updates (for those that are tired of "OT" posts and what current commits might (or might not) be doing.....).

Go Blue!

OT - Tour de France stage 6

OT - Tour de France stage 6

Submitted by jmblue on July 6th, 2012 at 4:05 PM

If you haven't watched yet (It's rebroadcast at  8 p.m. on NBC Sports Network, formerly known as Versus), here's the layout:

On paper, it looks like a  fairly conventional first-week stage.

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***SPOILERS***

 

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Wow, who'd have expected this?  That crash was nuts.  I don't know if I agree with Phil Liggett that this is fatal for Frank Schleck's chances - I think he can make up two minutes in two weeks - but that's it for Hesjdal and some others.  

Peter Sagan is an animal.  Has the torch been passed from Cavendish?

Work Isn't Working Today Open Thread

Work Isn't Working Today Open Thread

Submitted by RowoneEndzone on July 6th, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Well I hope I am not the only stuck at work today.  I'm waiting patiently until 5:00pm when I can blast out of this place and head to Fair Haven State Park (NY) Link  for a weekend long stag party.

The board is brutal slow today so I figured we might as well open it up here for some nonsense.

OT: Measuring World Cup 2014 Favorites

OT: Measuring World Cup 2014 Favorites

Submitted by Eye of the Tiger on July 6th, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Given the interest here in the European Championships, I figured it might be fun to make some predictions about the World Cup 2014 as an OT diary. Sure it's not about University of Michigan sports, but this is the offseason, right? Hope it's okay with everyone, and please know that this is a one-time deal...my next diary is going to be another Reading the Tea Leaves installment, and very much about Michigan football, and the American kind at that.

Back to the subject at hand, I came up with a simple methodology for determining the favorites based 6 measures: quality of attack, midfield, defending and goalkeeping, as well as depth and team cohesion/tactics. Each is rated on a 5 pt, like this:

 

5 = Elite

4 = Good

3 = Adequate

2 = Problematic

1 = Poor

 

Obviously, these are all subjective measures, and are based on a combination of “on paper talent” and “recent performances in international competition.” Things can and will change by 2014. But I’m pretty happy with the results. I looked at 8 teams, 7 of which I figure are plausible “favorites,” while the other is England, a national team that will inevitably end up being treated as a favorite, regardless of how undeserved that title might be.

First, a breakdown of teams by the 6 categories, ranking them only according to the measures outlined above:

 

1. Spain (28/30)

3 (Attack)

5 (Midfield)

5 (Defense)

5 (Goalkeeping)

5 (Depth)

5 (Cohesion/tactics)

 

2. Brazil (25/30)

4 (Attack)

3 (Midfield)

5 (Defense)

4 (Goalkeeping)

5 (Depth)

4 (Cohesion/tactics)

 

3. Germany (24/30)

4 (Attack)

4 (Midfield)

4 (Defense)

4 (Goalkeeping)

4 (Depth)

4 (Cohesion/tactics)

 

3. Italy (24/30)

4 (Attack)

4 (Midfield)

4 (Defense)

5 (Goalkeeping)

3 (Depth)

4 (Cohesion/tactics)

 

3. Uruguay (24/30)

5 (Attack)

4 (Midfield)

4 (Defense)

3 (Goalkeeping)

3 (Depth)

5 (Cohesion/tactics)

 

6. Portugal (23/25)

4 (Attack)

3 (Midfield)

5 (Defense

4 (Goalkeeping)

2 (Depth)

5 (Cohesion/tactics)

 

7. Argentina (22/25)

5 (Attack)

4 (Midfield)

3 (Defense)

3 (Goalkeeping)

3 (Depth)

4 (Cohesion/tactics)

 

8. England (18/30)

3 (Attack)

4 (Midfield)

3 (Defense)

5 (Goalkeeping)

2 (Depth)

1 (Cohesion/tactics)

 

Spain is clearly top, and deservedly so. The only weakness, really, is their attack, and it’s still not bad. Besides, with a healthy David Villa, that could get upgraded to a 4 by the time the World Cup starts. Looking at second place, it’s debatable whether Brazil should be ranked higher than Germany, and doing so is perhaps a bit unfair to the Germans. However, I felt that the German defense and goalkeeping were exposed against Italy, and really when you think about it, they weren’t quite as good as they were cracked up to be. Another case could be made for Italy leapfrogging Germany, since they beat them handily in the semi-finals of Euro 2012. This would probably boil down to the argument that I undervalued the midfield. But I think, beyond Pirlo, it’s not great, and they probably overachieved at Euro 2012.

I’m pretty happy with the other assessments. Of course English readers (are there any?) might scoff at giving the Ashley Cole-led defense a meager 3, but I think if you look at Euro 2012 objectively, you see it’s well-deserved. Even with arguably the best keeper in the world behind them and a 1980s-Italy-style turtle strategy where the defenders and at least 2 midfielders stayed back, they still managed to allow 4 goals in 3 group stage games…and against decidedly mediocre competition as well. Add to that a lack of depth, the usual lack of cohesion and a tactical approach they don’t have the defensive personnel for, and you can see how far England has fallen behind the leaders. They might come together as a team by 2014, but a quarterfinal appearance would be their ceiling at World Cup 2014, and they'd need some friendly seeding to even get there.

 

Adjusted for Playing in Brazil

All that said, it should be noted that no European team has ever won a World Cup in the Americas, while only one South American team has ever won in Europe.  Then there’s the way good home teams often do really well (1970 Brazil winning in Brazil, 1974 West Germany winning in Germany, 1998 France winning in France, etc.). That suggests the need to make some adjustments based on the fact that World Cup 2014 is in Brazil. My methodology here is to give Brazil +2 for playing at home, and other South American teams +1 for playing near home. On the flip side, I penalize European teams -1 for playing in South America, with the exception of Portugal, whose common language, cultural ties and relatively friendly colonizer/ex-colonial relationship should make them feel more at home than other European teams. So they get no bonus or penalty. The new rankings come out like this:

 

1. Spain (27/30)

1. Brazil (27/30)

3. Uruguay (25/30)

4. Germany (23/30)

4. Portugal (23/30)

4. Italy  (23/30)

4. Argentina (23/30)

8. England (17/30)

 

This leads to the uncontroversial notion of Spain and Brazil as co-favorites, but with Uruguay as the potential dark horse. Given their Copa America victory and 4th place finish at World Cup 2010, this may not be entirely surprising. Then there’s a 4-way tie for 4th place. I ranked Germany at the top of the pile because I think they have the highest ceiling, and Argentina the lowest because I remain unconvinced by basically everyone on that team not named Lionel Messi. 

Of course, who makes it to the final also has to do with bracketology and seeding. In the recent European Championships, Portugal might have made it to the final had they faced Italy instead of Spain in the semi-finals. (I'm pretty sure Germany would have lost to Spain, though.) Still, I'm going to put my proverbial cards on the table and say--if there aren't any major injuries or other unexpected calamities befalling the teams in question, my way-too-early prediction is that Spain, Brazil and Uruguay will comprise 3 of the 4 semifinalists.

The first two may be hardly controversial, but for good reason. No one has beaten or even scored on Spain in a knockout match since 2006. They've won an unprecedented 3 tournaments, and are still young enough that a 4th is entirely plausible. Brazil may not have the 1958, 1970 or 1994 team, but they won in 2002 with a side that had trouble qualifying, and this time they're at home. Uruguay gives me the same "hey these guys could really do it" feeling that Germany did in 2010 and 2012, which of course makes it unlikely they will, but a return to the semifinals does seem likely to me. 

The 4th semifinalist is up for grabs. After 3 consecutive tournament semifinal appearances, this is Germany's moment to prove it's not the Second Coming of Pre-2008 Spain, a gloriously talented team with dazzling skill but with the collective psychology of the Maginot Line. Can they do it? Or does Portugal surprise? I'll leave that one up to the (association) football gods. 

OT: Wimbledon Semis

OT: Wimbledon Semis

Submitted by goblueram on July 6th, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Roger Federer is back in the Wimbledon final after beating Novak Djokovic 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.  

The second semifinal today is the brit Andy Murray vs. Jo Wilfried Tsonga.  Obviously the crowd will be rooting strongly for their countryman Murray, but he tends to choke in these situations.  

Amazingly, Federer can regain the number 1 ranking by winning the tournament, a feat which not many thought possible at this stage in his career.  

Come on Roger!

OT: San Diego Fireworks Malfunction Last Night

OT: San Diego Fireworks Malfunction Last Night

Submitted by Michiganguy19 on July 5th, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Any MGOBLOGGERs from SD at the show last night? Wow, hilarious malfunction but the video is actually pretty awesome.

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2012/07/san-deigo-accidentally-…

Sure it was short, but memorable for anyone that was there... I bet Kyle Turley blames this on Michigan as well...