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Recent Comments

Date Title Body
07/10/2018 - 7:54pm I don't see the ownership…

I don't see the ownership model changing substantially.  I've never, ever bought into the "autonomous Uber for everyone" model.  New ideas may enter the marketplace but they won't replace private ownership unless something drastically different happens - and self-driving cars aren't drastic enough, IMO.

The per-use model of transportation predates cars.  For-hire cabs were a thing in the horse and buggy days.  It fills an important niche, that's all.  Fractional ownership exists nowadays too and has had plenty of time to prove itself.  It fills a much smaller niche.  The concept of carpools has been around for decades, and if people wanted to work on a pre-arranged, inflexible schedule, they already would.  There's no part of the "autonomous Uber for everyone" model that hasn't already hit the marketplace.  Even the autonomous part has, in the form of trains.  I don't see the combination as a winning one.

07/10/2018 - 3:10pm Ten years into the…

Ten years into the smartphone revolution, about 75% of people in the US have one.  Five years in, it was a little less than half.  It's a device that's replaced often and if the price climbs out of three figures it's a major news story.  Cars are replaced occasionally and cost five figures and sometimes six.

I'm not sure what you mean we're five years from, but it sure as hell isn't widespread, ubiquitous use of autonomous vehicles.  We might be five years from them no longer being a complete novelty to most people.

07/10/2018 - 3:07pm The major flaw in the idea…

The major flaw in the idea of people paying on a per-use basis is: Who will own all those cars?  The other major flaw is: People would be doing that now if they wanted to.  Zipcar is a real thing.  If people wanted per-use cars, it might be the world's most valuable company by now.  Instead it has 10,000 cars around the world, which is roughly one or two days' worth of sales for any given major automaker.

07/10/2018 - 12:42pm I'd rather commute in a…

I'd rather commute in a sedan.  I like the higher-up seating of the SUV, but I just like sedans better overall.  I have a small SUV, though, because it's just me in the household.  I need the cargo space for trips to Lowe's and other stuff-hauling events.  Bigger cars just aren't that fun to drive, though.

Toyota, by the way, made like a 1-1.5% profit margin in North America last year.  The Asians don't really have a magic formula for making money off sedans.  They've been incentivizing the H-E-L-L out of them - particularly Camry in order to keep it at the top of the non-pickup heap.  Now that RAV4 has taken over that role for Toyota, I wonder how much stomach they'll have for continuing the incentives.

Truthfully, I think fuel economy rules killed the demand for sedans.  Before they existed, you had cars the size of icebergs.  The first wave of CAFE rules in the late 70s killed the land yacht, but not the need to haul stuff.  Eventually the Plymouth Voyager and Ford Explorer were invented and people loved them.  The next wave of big CAFE changes in the 00s was supposed to kill the SUV and force consumers into Nissan Versas.  Too bad people still wanted a car they could fit things in.  The automakers responded by making their SUVs fuel-conscious enough for most consumers, so now they're buying SUVs again.  Personally I like the ride height and need the space, and that's enough for me to stick with the SUV.  If I had a two-car household (well, I do, but one is a toy and that's not the point) then probably one would be a commuter-car sedan and one would be a stuff-hauler.

07/10/2018 - 11:49am I don't think the data is…

I don't think the data is worthless for decision-making at all (or even close to worthless).  I just think, as someone else said, it requires responsible consumption.  It is one data point in the many-layered process of decision-making - its lack of completeness shouldn't be confused for worthlessness.  It's a data point that suggests NFL defenses are pretty damn good at defending goal-line fades vs. other kinds of passes, and rather less prepared for run plays.  It's not a full-blown model, nor do I think it pretends to be.  But I do think a coach that has this data is better-equipped to make a decision than a coach without it, which puts it somewhere well above worthlessness.

07/10/2018 - 9:53am Man, I hate the goal-line…

Man, I hate the goal-line fade.  It works when you have Calvin Johnson.  Otherwise screw it.

But I always thought the goal-line rollout was a great play.  You force the defense to defend both run and pass.  In theory, I guess.  Maybe you really need Denard to make it work.

07/10/2018 - 9:50am Not Brian, but, not a fan of…

Not Brian, but, not a fan of the Elam Ending, for a couple reasons.

1) Why stop the clock at 3 minutes?  Why not just play to the end and then implement the seven-point rule?  I suppose in order to keep actual game length the same, but counting down to three instead of zero is silly.

2) If I'm down by one or two and time is running out, I sit on the ball and wait for the Elam Ending to start.  Why give the other team a chance to score and move my target further away?  Or, I still intentionally foul Shaq.

3) It punishes the winning team - intentionally.  Elam himself stated the whole point was to increase comebacks.

As with many problems with many sports, the fix is already in the rulebook.  Intentional fouls with no actual attempt at the ball are two shots and the ball.  We just play by the fiction that some intentional fouls are just fouls.  Maybe we should stop doing that.  The other easy fix is to say that any non-shooting foul in the bonus, at any time in the game, is one shot, ball, and fresh shot clock, make or miss, period.  I don't know why we should go for the fancy fix when the easy one is right there.

06/27/2018 - 11:47pm I like to try and think of…

I like to try and think of it in terms of players who were the same age relative to me.  If you're pushing 40, Chris Webber : kidz these days :: Bill Walton : you.

06/18/2018 - 1:36pm For Father's Day, I…

For Father's Day, I accidentally gave my parents a cruise to celebrate their 40th anniversary, which is next year.

I meant to give it to them for Christmas, but the cruise company doesn't listen to directions, and sent them a welcome card, despite assurances that all mail would be sent to the billing address, not the address of the people on the cruise.  So I had to let the cat out of the bag to reassure them that someone hadn't stolen their credit card numbers to buy a cruise.

At least the location is still a secret.  So far.  I have to call the guy and see if they can at least figure that part out.  You'd think a cruise company would be used to that kind of thing.

06/15/2018 - 1:59pm Syphilis, probably.

Syphilis, probably.

06/13/2018 - 3:00pm So as not to encourage…

So as not to encourage schools to put their players on a five-year plan to get their undergrad degree.

06/13/2018 - 1:01pm I basically like the new…

I basically like the new site, but I wish there were a little more distinction between posts.  Probably too much design emphasis on the ancillary parts of a post like join date and points, and not enough on the actual post.  And I want 300 posts on one page back - and for the choice of 100 posts to at least stick.

Otherwise, I'm basically good with the design, and I really like how the front page lets you see the most recent posts all at once instead of scrolling down to see if you missed anything.

06/13/2018 - 12:55pm I have a 2014 Escape and I…

I have a 2014 Escape and I wish it had the much better interior layout of the newer Escapes while still having its own exterior styling.  I hate most of the styling changes on the Escape refresh, but the interior is a gazillion times smarter.

06/08/2018 - 3:22pm That was me til I was seven…

That was me til I was seven.  I hated mustard and loved ketchup.  I drowned my fries in ketchup.  Now I swing the other way.  There's ketchup in my fridge still, but it's there for one reason only: to cook sloppy joes with.

06/07/2018 - 2:02pm Ketchup is terrible.

Ketchup is terrible.

06/06/2018 - 12:35pm I would've been legitimately…

I would've been legitimately kind of pissed at the Pistons if they'd hired Beilein.  I mean, I'm a Pistons fan, but seriously don't go screwing up a good thing like that.

06/06/2018 - 8:58am Actually, the Geocities…

Actually, the Geocities version was one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time.

05/30/2018 - 4:37pm Sure. Then that's every

Sure. Then that's every government ever in the history of the world.

Hard for me to disagree with that.

05/30/2018 - 4:23pm Everything sounds great, but

Everything sounds great, but a government that lies about why it's taking your money is morally bankrupt.

05/30/2018 - 4:20pm Dan Gilbert, the Ilitches,

Dan Gilbert, the Ilitches, and Matty Moroun have long reminded me of the New Testament parable of the servants and the talents.  Three servants are entrusted with the master's money.  Two invest it and one buries it for safekeeping.  No points for guessing which one comes off badly in the end.

05/29/2018 - 3:14pm I'd rather take a car with

I'd rather take a car with 18mpg but that rarely brakes

I dunno.  That seems a little scary ;)

05/29/2018 - 2:30pm Of the three cars I've owned,

Of the three cars I've owned, I've still never had better gas mileage than my old V6 station wagon.  I could get that Olds with its heavy-ass gas pedal, '80s-era aerodynamics, and bitchin' spoiler, all the way up to 30 mpg if I was in cruise control and mostly going downhill.  It happened once.

Even not getting quite that high, it happily sat at around 25-26 most of the time on the highway.  Great car.

05/29/2018 - 2:23pm Turbocharged engines, as

Turbocharged engines, as everyone has been mentioning, are quite common these days.  That's because the automakers have figured out you can use them to meet MPG requirements.  They should be easy to find even in used cars.

Unfortunately, my experience with a turbo engine is that the horsepower vs. MPG numbers are now an "or" proposition instead of "and."  That is, unlike a naturally aspirated engine, you can either have the promised horsepower or the promised MPG, but not both.

05/29/2018 - 11:02am Maybe in a backward way their

Maybe in a backward way their failure will be the spark that the program needed to start to compete at the highest level.

You mean, maybe the people wearing suits will start measuring success in wins and losses and not dollars?  Doesn't seem likely.

05/21/2018 - 2:39pm Hmm.  Spreading mulch on

Hmm.  Spreading mulch on Coach's yard.  Looks like a major countable hours violation to me.  [/freep]

05/19/2018 - 8:03am Institutions aren't on the

Institutions aren't on the hook for big payouts because someone did something they couldn't have foreseen

That tends not to be the case.  Any institution whose employees do anything - this applies to universities, companies, what have you - will get sued, because that's where the money is.  

05/16/2018 - 4:13pm Why is it an awful take?  It

Why is it an awful take?  It should register.  It would be a pretty classic case of using someone else's tribulations to get rich.  It's not all that different from stolen valor, IMO.  Both are (will probably be) rare but should still be met with the deepest contempt.

05/16/2018 - 4:07pm I have a sweet Red Wings DVD

I have a sweet Red Wings DVD pack which includes five games in full, including this one.  I've watched it a couple times.  I can never really remember exactly when it was in 2OT that Yzerman scored, clock-wise (and I don't really want to), but I do know what's coming next when the Blues skate into the Wings' zone and Gary Thorne starts his call with "Gretzky had it, lost it....."

05/16/2018 - 12:25pm There are two sides to the

There are two sides to the spotlight.  Perhaps you'd like to tell the victims their presence and newsy-sounding quotes will be needed for the next five years or as long as it takes to make you feel like you've gotten your pound of flesh out of MSU?

This isn't about whether MSU has or hasn't squirmed enough, it's about getting some measure of justice, fixing the institutional problems, and then letting everyone move on with their lives.  Repeatedly bashing the public over the head with it is going to make the public damn tired of it.

05/16/2018 - 11:44am My thoughts exactly on

My thoughts exactly on Ausmus.  I always thought he got a bit of a bad rap and got criticized for decisions that there was nothing wrong with, but, uh, this is what good managing actually looks like.  Gardy knows what he's doing.

05/10/2018 - 10:06pm Oh please.  Tell us where

Oh please.  Tell us where anyone has ever been convicted based on what other people did instead of him.

05/10/2018 - 3:59pm By the way, a great example

By the way, a great example of a guy whose life was ruined by a false allegation is Brian Banks.

05/10/2018 - 12:29pm I don't really think there's

I don't really think there's a dearth of men being shamed and accused of lying in the public discourse.  Somehow we got to the point where we had to talk about "teaching men not to rape," so around that time, stereotyping basically all men as potential rapists became A-OK.

05/10/2018 - 9:54am "The statistics

"The statistics say"???

You're judging a guy and holding yourself forth as the moral arbiter of whether or not he deserves a career because of "statistics"???  Not, you know, the case itself, but whether other people raped someone??

Fuck that opinion.

05/10/2018 - 8:34am I don't believe false

I don't believe false allegations are particularly rare, but I'm not sure it matters.  If Patricia is fired because of a single accusation that never made it to trial, I stand by the statement that it would be a sorry indicator of where society is.  I sure as heck don't know how discouraging victims from coming forward plays into what I said.

05/10/2018 - 8:15am It would be a shame if so. 

It would be a shame if so.  Do you think the "ban the box" crowd would come out to defend him?  I don't, even though "you're fired because of a potential crime that you were never even tried on let alone found guilty of" would seem to be the epitome of what they're trying to put a stop to.

If Patricia is indeed fired, it would be a really sorry indication of how far we've sunk on this issue - that a single accusation that was never even repeated is enough to destroy careers.

I think Patricia will come through just fine, but in this environment you never know.

05/08/2018 - 4:39pm Definitely a case worth

Definitely a case worth debating.  Do I agree with everything, no - but it's a real discussion instead of "you obviously don't want a championship."

I'll concede that the injury history on these guys - Jackson and Griffin, mainly - is a big problem.  Can we depend on them for a full season?  I'd like to think so, but maybe not.  And I don't think that can be downplayed until they do play 82 games together.

I do think it's unfair to say Reggie doesn't take care of the ball.  He's basically middle of the road in the turnover department, actually.  He's a lousy three-point shooter, but pretty solid on twos.

Griffin is high-volume and kind of an average three point shooter, but an outstanding passer.  You can move the offense through him much more than your average (or even way above average) PF, who basically has to end up shooting in order to be useful.  I wouldn't slap this trio with the label of bad ball movement, just for Griffin alone.

I also think it's unfair criticism to say Drummond will always be what he is.  He did just improve his FT shooting so that nobody does Hack-a-Dre anymore.  I think there's more upward trajectory left in his game, and meantime having the league's best rebounder and top-ten shot-blocker is a tremendously valuable thing.

Lastly, the Pistons were tied for sixth in the league in PPG allowed, so the defense ain't half bad.  It's the offense that needs work.  A full season (I know, no guarantee) of this big three playing together should go a long way toward fixing that.

Let's face it: You can't win in the NBA by having a poor-man's version of the best teams.  You can't out-Harden Harden or out-Steph Steph.  So you have to zig when everyone else zags.  That's how the Pistons went on their last big contending (and championship) run and that's what they're doing now.  Run the game through the bigs instead of the guards.  They need a coach who can take advantage of Griffin's point-forward abilities and squeeze a lot more production out of the locked-up potential in Johnson, Kennard, and Ellenson.  It can be done.  Nobody has a ball-mover at PF like we do or a rebounder at C like we do - the new coach just has to find a way to make those mismatches work.

05/08/2018 - 3:44pm Won't you be pissed if it

Won't you be pissed if it launches sometime in the next 22 minutes.

05/08/2018 - 8:38am Bullshit.  All you are doing

Bullshit.  All you are doing is declaring that Reggie, Blake, and Andre aren't good enough and yuo have zero reasons why.  "They aren't winning with Drummond as the focal point" is not a reason.  Elite shooting can be added as complementary pieces around those guys.  Keep Reggie Bullock and you have one shooter right away.

Nobody has any reason to believe anything you say if you think you "don't have to present a case."  I certainly don't.  Your argument about "not wanting to be championship caliber" is patently garbage.

05/07/2018 - 11:26pm How about we see what happens

How about we see what happens during a full season before we decide they can't go to the playoffs?  I'm good with a 3-1 record, now let's see them play more than four games before you go "ya but zero playoff wins."  You really aren't presenting much of a case.

05/07/2018 - 5:04pm Record with Reggie: 27-18. 

Record with Reggie: 27-18.  Record without him: 12-25.  And they were 3-1 when they all played together, with the only loss being four points to Houston.

I don't know what kind of reverse Kool-Aid you're drinking, but I don't see a reason to believe you here.  And, uh, did you pay attention to Philly's attendance numbers during their tank job?

05/07/2018 - 1:57pm Disagree.  In the short term,

Disagree.  In the short term, i.e., next year, what we have is what we have.  Longer term, I think Blake and Andre plus a healthy Reggie is a formidable trio to build around.  After this next season, Ish Smith comes off the books and the team can decide to fish or cut bait on all three of Stanley Johnson, Henry Ellenson, and Luke Kennard.  Johnson will be an RFA and the other two have club options.  One more season after that and you lose two of the biggest mistakes in recent history in Leuer and Josh Smith.

2018-2019 will be a study in painful mediocrity (and in the NBA there's barely any point in trying to become an instant contender in a year anyway), but the next GM will have some real flexibility in the summers of 2019 and 2020.

I'm good with trying to have our own big three in the three that are already on the roster, and spending a couple years shedding mistakes and trying to replace them with better complementary pieces.  Don't need to burn it to the ground.  The house is in good shape, it's just that someone put ugly-ass wallpaper all over it and neglected the landscape.

05/07/2018 - 1:47pm Hmm.  An organization that

Hmm.  An organization that doesn't make the playoffs and isn't OK with that, thus leading to changes in management and leadership.  I wonder if the Red Wings are paying attention.

05/03/2018 - 7:03pm So Florida Man moved out of

So Florida Man moved out of state and took up residence in New Jersey?

05/02/2018 - 10:53am I think that applies all

I think that applies all throughout life, honestly.  Sometimes men don't want women around and sometimes women don't want men around (and the same is true for boys and girls) and that's called human nature, and why that's become morally repugnant is beyond me.

04/30/2018 - 9:33pm But I don't see a reason why

But I don't see a reason why they can't do that.  No business is ever under a legal obligation to provide its services to another, outside of a binding contract.  The Cubs have been essentially licensing views of their games to other businesses.  Now they don't want to do that.

If the rooftop businesses had a contract that the Cubs would let them sell tickets basically to Cubs games for a certain period of time, and the Cubs are blocking their views prior to the end of that contract, there could be a case of contract breaking.  Maybe there's more to the case buried in the details somewhere, but otherwise, the idea that a business can't be allowed to monopolize its own trademarked brand (which is the essence of a Cubs game) is prima facie absurd, as is the idea that an event that sells tickets can't block out non-ticket-buying customers.

That's where the Hamilton thing comes in.  They're both events that sell tickets and the purchase of a ticket gets you a very specific and unique entertainment service.  There's no court in the land that would accept the argument that the providers of that service can't limit the view to people who paid them for it.

04/30/2018 - 8:16pm I honestly have no idea what

I honestly have no idea what you mean.  The very article states that the case involves "a claim that the Cubs have unlawfully attempted to monopolize the market for watching their games in-person."  It says nothing about bar and restaurant revenue.  How is an in-person event to which you must buy a ticket a strawman argument as a comparison to an in-person event to which you must buy a ticket?

04/30/2018 - 6:44pm I have a hard time

I have a hard time understanding why monopolizing the market on watching their own event in-person should ever be considered a tort.  That's what the entire ticket system is for.  Must all productions of Hamilton take place in an open-air facility so that the tour operators aren't "monopolizing" the market for watching the show?

04/26/2018 - 7:42pm "Bring back" and "import"

"Bring back" and "import" aren't synonyms.  The Ranger is coming back, using basically the overseas version updated for American regulations, and being built in Michigan.

04/26/2018 - 2:04pm Plus they're typically the

Plus they're typically the lowest trim levels, making them less profitable at the point of sale, too.