Sunday, December 11, 2011

I Am The Best Prognosticator In Football History

I had a feeling that I'd predicted Tampa to suck this year so I went and looked it up. Yep, there it is, 11-5. Oh, fuck. The Panthers and Bengals are nowhere near the bottom of the league and the Colts have been an out-and-out disaster. I was a year early on my 49ers love. My caveat for not having them that high this year is that I figured a first year coach would lose games they shouldn't really lose. And also I continued to think Kevin Kolb could actually play in the NFL up until the first week of this season. At least I called it on Aaron Rodgers as MVP, right? I'm a fucking genius.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Actual Income Rate

Okay, I'll admit up front that I am stumbling for a thesis as much as anything else but I wanted to put this in writing to perhaps spur my own further investigation into what is being caused and why it is being cause but it starts like this:

It occurred to me today, while I was sitting at my desk at the office of the company I work for, that my actual rate of income is quite a bit lower than what is stated on my paycheck. My current hourly rate for labor is stated at $19.05/hour. But this is based on hours that I am "clocked in" to work, i.e., this is only for the time that the company defines as active work. My rate of remuneration does not count, as a matter of profitable course and insofar as the law requires, the time that is actually dedicated in my life to working for the company. All of the time I spend traveling to and from work, as well as the off-the-clock lunch hour, are in a practical sense actually time dedicated to my job but the company is not expected, perhaps on any level, to recompense me (a low leverage worker) for this time in spite of the rather significant impact it has on my quality of life.

The Actual Income Rate for my job is below $7/hour. How do I arrive at that figure? Take the entire amount of time that is dedicated to work, i.e. the total amount of hours spend out of the home in favor of the job, and accept this as the actual time dedicated to the job. For me, considering mode of transportation and distance to work as well as one hour per day for lunch, the total comes out to about 13.5 hours per day. Factoring in scheduled over time, the total ends up at about 70 hours/week that I am out of the house for work. The effective income also must be adjusted to account for the money that is not ever going to be possessed by the worker: taxes, employee contributions to healthcare accounts, et al. Due to my income level and place of residence, I am taking home approximately 70% of the stated income that my employer pays me. The figure that I came up with, extrapolating from what information I am given on my pay stub, I am bringing home $7.26/hour. This is not a very high wage and is not enough to pay for my debts and monthly obligations (student loans, telephone, rent, utilites, and the like). This is still not accounting for the cost of actually getting too and from work. I added up car insurance, gasoline, public transit and wear and tear on my vehicle and arrived at a figure of $3600 in travel costs that I am paying prorated per year to get to and from work. This is more than 10% of my take home pay.

What is the point I am getting at here? I am not sure. It seems to me that this is an opening to a larger discussion or several larger discussions. It has been an object of some speculation in popular culture that people are less happy on average now than they have ever been before. As much as something like that can be calculated and weighed against a decided historical lack of such data being collected and in the face of an inherent unreliability of such data (it stretches credulity to the point of asking if this collection of information can even be presented as "data") it begs the question, "Why are people unhappier now?" I think my personal example is applicable to the large amount of Americans in the same income bracket as me (the average wage of a full-time employee in the United States is listed as slightly higher than my own income but is within a range of 10%) and would explain why it is that the economic power one might expect to exert when their wage is expressed does not match up with the actual buying power that wage gives a person. So that could begin a discussion on why are actual wages in this country lower than what a typical worker might need just to tread water in the economy.

There is also, interestingly enough, a rather large disconnect between what a worker is keeping and what their relative cost is to an employer. I have somewhat reliable information that the overhead cost on my employer's payments to my health insurance account, payroll taxes, retirement fund contributions, and other insurance coverage (life insurance for one, perhaps for two if there is a separate policy on me that would pay out to my employer in case of death) comes out to between $16,000-$20,000/year. That seems absurd on the face of it but this is the way the game is rigged in the actuary's office whether or not it is practically true. So the total cost for my services to my employer might be as $60,000 even though I am only seeing around $26,000 of that. This is a glaringly inefficient relationship. Such an expression would be even worse in regards to an employer's cost and the relative income for a temporary employee but a lot of companies favor that type of arrangement at least for cost reliability if or if not any actual savings are realized by such a service. The potential gap of about 56% of my cost being unavailable either to me or to my employer seems far in excess of what I am personally standing to gain from any public services and such that should be explained by said deficit.

So what? That is where I'm at right now. Does this actually say anything about what my particular worth is as an employee? My mind does somersaults to figure out not only what the total profit figure is for the company in a given year (this given year, 2011) but what part of that is even possible to pool back into employee compensation while keeping the company positioned to extend it's business infrastructure and continue as a profitable business. I have no idea. I know I am personally insulted by the compensation of sales management level employees because of their low quality of work and there seemingly low investment in the past and continued success of the company. What I need for my own selfish ends is perhaps an advocate. A lawyer, perhaps? There is quite a bit of money and some obvious waste in the company that certainly could be working to suppress my wages but I know I am also on the higher end of compensation in my department and that leads me to believe that there is a more systematic structure at work to keep wages low. But that doesn't in and of itself make the argument that my work is any more valuable than what it is currently "appreciated" to be. On a side note, "You are a valued employee" and other similar lines of corporate propaganda to make workers feel a part of a family always make me feel particularly uncomfortable. I am valued at a dollar level and the fact that the dollar level I am receiving is orders of magnitude lower than other employees isn't exactly inspirational!

So that's where I am. This all means something but it's a big ball of string and it may be beyond me to unspool it.

Sunday, October 09, 2011


I am a horrible blogger. But I'm better as a blogger than I am at other writing because, as little as I do it, I'm still more proficient as a blogger than as any other type of writer. But if there is one thing I'm good at, it's watching TV. I can watch the hell out of some TV. Especially if it's football on TV. The emerging theme of this season in college football (and to some extent the NFL) is that football in the state of Florida is no longer even able to pretend that it's the best. This is an untenable situation for my football viewing habits. I can't stand to have football in Florida be so bad for much longer and continue watching.

Well, there are some things I like in college football and there are some guys on the fringe/all the way outside of the Heisman race (as evidenced by the poll at that I want to try my best to hype up. First, my new favorite name:

Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
One of the ways I look for what games I want to watch is to peruse the stat leaders and look for players that are way up in certain categories. This guy plays for Illinois and their record is good but it's still Illinois and they're still coached by Zooker. It's a tough situation but what a great fucking name, am I right? He's got decent size and had a good 40 time on his Rivals page out of high school so Mercilus might have a future in the league. I'll be watching the Ohio State game next week to try and get an honest idea about the guy. Obviously he isn't a Heisman candidate but he's getting lots of sacks and TFLs so he should be up for a little bit of hardware in December.

Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU
Everybody who watches college football knows this guy by now but every week he makes some huge play or another and he looks like the annual defense/anti-Heisman favorite (it's usually the same guy but sometimes there's a defensive player that gets throwaway votes that is separate from the small school "rebel" candidate). He's probably more like a smaller Jairus Byrd than anyone else in the NFL but he'll end up in the first two rounds because of his production. Also, Jairus Byrd is really good so that isn't meant as an insult. He's only a sophomore and LSU is really good so you don't need much from me to hype him up. But he probably deserves legit Heisman consideration and he won't get it.

Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
I'm cheating a little bit here, also, because Lamar is a hype-machine just waiting for some wins. If the Canes had pulled out wins against Virginia Tech and Kansas State (they really should have, btw) Miller would be in the national discussion for the Heisman. He's a redshirt sophomore so he will probably be gone next year. Miami could have some trouble replacing him. I'm sticking with my Clinton Portis comparison for him. I really kind of hate Storm Johnson for fucking up the Hurricanes RB depth like he did. I'm expecting a 2,000 yard season from Storm next year.

Seantrel Henderson, T, Miami
Now is the time for front running. Art Kehoe and a healthy Seantrel should be enough for 9-10 wins next year in Coral Gables. Seantrel had one dumb penalty yesterday but was otherwise a fucking monster every play he was on the field. He reminds me of Orlando Pace a lot. He needs to lose some weight, though. Seantrel will be a top 5 draft pick if he stays healthy from here til he leaves school.

Robert Woods, WR, USC
He's pretty good. I've seen him play and I think he's a good pro prospect. So many underperforming Trojans in the league lately have made me weary of hyping any of them but Woods looks like a future Pro Bowler to me.

Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple/ Case Keenum, QB Houston
He's still out there. My feelings have faded but other people still haven't watched him play at all. His numbers will make people notice at the end of the year. This goes for both of these guys. Both will be gone after this season. Keenum will finally be forced to leave, Pierce will jump a year too early. Neither one will be much of a star in the NFL unless absolutely everything aligns perfectly. I'm not banking on it for either of them anymore.

OK, this is all pretty underwhelming but I wanted to start the process of following Mercilus. It's just too good of a name.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

NO EQUIVOCATIONS: Ridiculous NFL Preview

Look, this is not the NFL post that anybody wants to read. It is a dull procedural that would do well in primetime on CBS. However, it is not in primetime on CBS because it is a blog post.

TV Theme Songs - Law And Order

Are you ready for a year of low scores and terrible games? I don't have any reason to think this year will be like that but one should always prepare for the worst. You come here to read about college football, mostly, and to sell dick pills. But I write about all kinds of stuff here: being bored, being depressed, being football, being sure that Victor Ortiz will beat Money Mayweather. This NFL column is just one facet of who I am.

First off, let's get the table out of the way. I don't know how to craft a fancy table but I can do this:
American Football Conference - 2011  
AFC East Team W L Div
New England Patriots 12 4 6_0
New York Jets 9 7 3_3
Miami Dolphins 8 8 2_4
Buffalo Bills 6 10 1_5

AFC North Team W L Div
Cleveland Browns 13 3 5_1
Pittsburgh Steelers 11 5 5_1
Baltimore Ravens 10 6 2_4
Cincinnati Bengals 0 16 0_6

AFC South Team W L Div
Houston Texans 9 7 5_1
Indianapolis Colts 9 7 4_2
Tennessee Titans 6 10 3_3
Jacksonville Jaguars 2 14 0_6

AFC West Team W L Div
San Diego Chargers 10 6 5_1
Oakland Raiders 10 6 4_2
Kansas City Chiefs 7 9 3_3
Denver Broncos 3 13 0_6

National Football Conference
NFC East Team W L Div
Philadelphia Eagles 11 5 3_3
Washington Redskins 6 10 3_3
Dallas Cowboys 5 11 3_3
New York Giants 4 12 3_3

NFC North Team W L Div
Green Bay Packers 14 2 5_1
Detroit Lions 9 7 3_3
Chicago Bears 8 8 3_3
Minnesota Vikings 4 12 1_5

NFC South Team W L Div
New Orleans Saints 13 3 4_2
Atlanta Falcons 12 4 4_2
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11 5 4_2
Carolina Panthers 1 15 0_6

NFC West Team W L Div
Arizona Cardinals 13 3 6_0
San Francisco 49ers 9 7 3_3
St. Louis Rams 6 10 2_4
Seattle Seahawks 6 10 1_5

Now, the first thing that will probably stand out here is that everything I've got in the table above is complete nonsense. I will be thrilled for Panthers fans if their team can go 1-15 and only be the second worst team in the league. The entire NFC East is at .500 in their division. Cleveland is the top seed in the AFC! Wonders never cease. This is all silly. I get fascinated by particular teams and then get to the end and realize it's probably not going to happen. Last year I had the 49ers at 13-3. So the Browns can look forward to that.
I didn't do the kind of research or “projecting” to have any room to say the things that follow but I will predict the awards:

MVP: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
DPOY: Nnamdi Asomugha
ROY: Julio Jones
Rushing leader: Darren McFadden
Peyton Manning will come back after the Colts bye-week.
Ricky Williams will out-gain Ray Rice on the year.
Green Bay will repeat as champs by beating San Diego in the Super Bowl.
Millions will take the Browns to the Super Bowl but the team still won't make it.

I hate you all, good night!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

NCAA 2011 FOOTBALL: Eve of Destruction

Okay, so this post is a little bit of a disaster. I had planned to roll out my big brand new plan for the season: predict only once at the beginning of the year every single game outcome and then stick to it. Nothing changes week-to-week. So what's the problem? I don't know how to edit the documents I used to use on my new computer. So it's taking way too long to put the schedule into a format that I can write over. If any of you Chinese or Russian purveyors of dick pills that read and comment on my site could help me out with excel or word documents with the entire FBS schedule on them, I would be forever grateful. I don't want helmets, TV schedules, highlighted bullshit, FCS schedules or any other bullshit. Just something I can use right out of the box. Maybe I'll work on this problem tomorrow myself but I think I know better. Anyway, I've cast my die and will now sort it out as we go. I should have done this all last week. So, enough with the set up, on to the terrible stuff.

National Champion:
University of Miami Hurricanes
Reasons this doesn't count: I'm a homer and I'm just predicting this the same way I do every year. There is the obvious specter of probation shadowing this team. They are weak at QB and they play Ohio State without Ray-Ray Armstrong. Seantrel Henderson is out for at least the first half of the season.
Reasons it could happen: Lamar Miller. Al Golden. The universe will bend itself around my head. It's the secret!

Backup plan (besides Navy):
Wisconsin Badgers
I don't really have a good reason for this but when I plotted out my wins and losses for the year, Wisky came up undefeated. They are the only team (other than Navy & Miami) that did. Do I believe it? Nope. It's possible but I think I had Auburn pegged as a 7-6 team last year. Basically, this is the dart that hit closest to the center for me. Russell Wilson is involved so expect Wisconsin to not fare particularly well.

Heisman Winner:
Lamar Miller, RB, Miami - Yeah right. Well, they should run him a bunch this week so we'll get some idea. If he gets 15-20 carries against Maryland, forget it. He won't see the ball enough to take home the hardware and Miami won't win enough games for it to matter. I want him to be up in the big names section of the year-in-reviews next January. He's huge and as fast as Willis McGahee used to be.

Other Dudes I'm Watching:
Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford - Yeah, no shit. The Cardinal should be about as good as last year so they might actually contend for the national championship. Which is crazy. The Pac 12 isn't great, I don't suppose, so that should help and come in handy for this kid. He's really good.

Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State - Marshall Faulk was a huge deal in college and he never won it. San Diego State is even more of an afterthought now than it was then. The coach is gone. I'd be surprised, all things considered, if this guy isn't in the top 5 in the country in YPG. He's fun to watch but this is a West Coast only affair so he probably won't get any notice whatsoever until the end of the year when someone looks up and says, "Holy shit! There's a sophomore in San Diego that's rushed for almost 3 billion yards and scored 400 TDs this year! I discovered him!" That person will be Dan Wetzel. Fuck that guy.

Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame - Somebody has to be a candidate at a position that has no chance to win, somebody from Notre Dame has to be a candidate, and all the DL talent infused in South Bend will help this guy more than anybody. He needs a TD or two early on to really get notice but he might get the throwaway invite to New York at the end of the year just because he'll have like 180 tackles on the year even if he doesn't get turnovers or sacks. I'm not saying he won't get turnovers and sacks, just that it isn't necessarily what will get him to New York. Being the sparkplug for an inevitably over-rated Notre Dame team will get it. Also, Michael Floyd is there but he will do something dumb and miss at least 3 games. He's also a WR and they don't have a shot unless they return kicks or play CB.

Landry Jo... Just stop it. I will absolutely not support a cog like this as a candidate. That double goes for the chunky lesbian who takes snaps for Boise State. Don't buy the hype on that kid, he isn't an all-time great.

Michael Dyer, RB, Auburn - He's a bad mo'fo but there's no chance in hell another War Eagle wins it this year. No way. I'm also not sure he will get enough carries just because it seems like spread RBs don't get enough carries.

LaMichael James, RB, Oregon - All that shit I said for Dyer goes for LaMichael James, too. He's awesome. He'll be a decent pro RB. He won't get as many yards or TDs this year as he had last year.

Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama - Might get suspended at some point because it seems really likely that his family has some close ties to at least one booster. Alabama goes out of their way to not let anyone be bigger than the team. Richardson will be the best NFL back since Adrian Peterson, though, so there's a shot he gets some burn. He's on a legit title contender.

Matt Barkley, QB, USC - He's pretty good. He's very well publicized.

Justin Blackmon isn't going to win shit. Get ready for a dumb suspension. Alshon Jeffery is the best WR in the country anyway. Fuck the Big 12 and any stats compiled in that league. There has got to be a B1G candidate out there but I can't say Dennard Robinson. It just wouldn't make sense. I'll get back to you on that one.

Surprise Teams:
I like SMU as the off-brand team of the year. TCU and Boise can't be the bottom feeding kings forever. I like Louisville to win the Big East. USF could also take the most borderline of BCS conferences. Both Louisville and USF are loaded with kids from Florida. Houston should bounce back but I'm not sure they'll be much of a surprise even if they win 10 games. I like Georgia to come back to life this year. I don't think they have any chance to win the SEC but they could be a 10 win team. Also, they have my top Heisman contending freshman. I've got San Jose State winning 8 games. That surprised me. I'd bet it would surprise other people as well.

That's all for now. I'll be back. I might post my notated schedule tomorrow but don't count on it.

Here is the season in a nutshell (no, not really but this is spectacular even though it was filmed on a burning VHS camcorder):

Saturday, June 04, 2011

The Not So Great Depression

Is it possible for one to just will themself to be cured of depression? Would it help if said depression had never been diagnosed due to a confluence of factors including never having spoken a word to a doctor about the subject? I'm pretty sure I would get medication for depression if I went to a doctor about it but I'm not going to do that. I'm going to sit home alone playing video games and jacking off non-stop while considering words I'd like to write and sell for profit and dream about a better life with a better home and a car with all the bells and whistles like a valid registration and insurance. When my lady is home we watch TV and I feel like I should be writing. When she's not I watch TV and feel like I should be writing. I've considered taking up smoking but I don't like tobacco. I've got this idea in my head now that being depressed and being fat are converging and feeding each other. Depression is the yeast and fat is the, um, fatty substance that feeds the yeast? So I've decided that if I work out a few times a week and lose some weight I'll get back to the svelte figger I had back about 5 years ago when I was running 3 or 6 miles 3 times a week. And doing capoeira. And then I'll be happier. And then the words will flow. Does this idea make sense? I am not a doctor. I am not even a writer though I sometimes purport to be. In other instances I'm a painter. Mostly I'm just a fat slovenly Walter Mitty-type drowning in a sea of brokenness and brokeness. Sports! The grainy sneezed on nature of this clip seems fitting to me so I'll stop looking for a decent quality version of it:

Monday, May 02, 2011

Michelle Obama Has It Right

I haven't posted in a while but I am smitten with the new NBA Fit campaign featuring Michelle Obama. I'm a big fan of getting kids to be more active. The last thing this country needs is more fat lazy fucks like myself. You tell 'em Lady O!

I pulled this great screengrab from the video. Get Fit, everybody!