He’s 12

March 30, 2012

A 12-year-old kid added a new page to the history books of skateboarding earlier this week, pulling off the first 1080, a three-rotation aerial maneuver that has eluded the world’s best for the past half decade.

Check it out…


O Canada

March 30, 2012

I hate pennies, so I applaud this move by Canada. Can we be next please?


Puerto Rico

March 28, 2012

We had been hoping to get a warm weather vacation this winter, but it hadn’t happened yet. Danielle gets two weeks off in March, but we had a lot going on so we weren’t sure what would happen.

At the last minute we booked a quick 5 day trip to San Juan. We had a bit of a budget, but found a decent deal at a nice hotel.

Pre-kids, my wife and I did a Puerto Rico trip where we drove all around the island, finding distant relatives of my wife. This trip was about the pool and the beach.

We meant to get to the El Yunque rain forest, but didn’t make it.

We did get to Old San Juan. And we really enjoyed El Morro. I’d been there a bunch of times in my cruise ship days, but seeing it through the eyes of 9 and 5 year olds was wonderful.

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The hotel was very nice. My daughters are both fish, so we basically lived by the pool.

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The hot tub had a rule about being only for kids older than 12. Oops.

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The beach was good. San Juan is not the best beach place by Caribbean standards, but this hotel had a pretty good beach. And occasionally I get in a picture…

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It was hard to leave, but overall a nice and very relaxing vacation.

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Just Cool

March 28, 2012

People can complain about Google as an ad company trying to gather information to target ads. But this is the stuff that makes me like Google.

Technology because it is simply cool.

May never make money for Google. But damn, this is cool…


Wow

March 21, 2012

Manning to Denver, Tebow to New York, Saints to the dark and crumbling royal dungeon.

Quite a week in NFL land…


What the Hell’s Going on Down There?

March 19, 2012

In the wake of Manning going to Denver (presumably), I have to quote this big chunk of a Peter King article talking about how bad the Dolphins have been run:

In the immortal words of Vince Lombardi (sort of), “What the hell’s going on down there?!”

In Miami, I mean.

In the last 10 years this franchise has been the most luckless, clueless, hapless club. To wit:

Head coaches (seven): Dave Wannstedt, Jim Bates, Nick Saban, Cam Cameron, Tony Sparano, Todd Bowles and now Joe Philbin.

Starting quarterbacks, minimum four starts (13): Jay Fiedler, Ray Lucas, Brian Griese, A.J. Feeley, Gus Frerotte, Daunte Culpepper, Joey Harrington, Cleo Lemon(!), Trent Green, John Beck, Chad Pennington, Chad Henne and now, evidently, Matt Moore. Unless they sign Alex Smith this morning, and if so, Smith would be in line to be the 14th starting quarterback in the last 11 seasons.

Offensive coordinators (seven): Norv Turner, Chris Foerster, Scott Linehan, Mike Mularkey, Dan Henning, Brian Daboll and now Mike Sherman.

Defensive coordinators (six): Jim Bates, Richard Smith, Dom Capers, Paul Pasqualoni, Mike Nolan and now Kevin Coyle.

The most bizarre moves, and aftermaths, of the last decade of Miami Dolphins football — actually, decade plus 11 days, considering that the Dolphins traded for Ricky Williams 10 years and 11 days ago:

1. The ridiculous inability to find, develop and decide on a quarterback who could be even half as good as Dan Marino. Miami, in the last 10 years, has traded a seven for Rosenfels, a two for Feeley, a two for Culpepper, a six for Lemon, a five for Green, and used a two to draft Beck and another two to draft Henne. None is on the team anymore. None became a shadow of Marino. And Sunday, when Matt Flynn chose Seattle over Miami as the prize of a thin free agent quarterback crop, it left the Dolphins scrambling and reconsidering how aggressively to go after Alex Smith. Or hope Ryan Tannehill of Texas A&M would be there with the eighth pick in the first round on April 26. Or play with Matt Moore. Not very good options.

2. The ill-fated hiring of Nick Saban. He was supposed to turn the Dolphins around, and be the head coach for life, when Wayne Huizenga hired him early in 2005. He went 15-17, made a horrendous quarterback decision (picking Culpepper over Drew Brees in 2006) and skulked off to Alabama after denying 613 times he’d go back to college football.

3. The one you’ve all forgotten. Two days apart in early 2007, soon after Saban skulked off to Alabama (can’t use that phrase enough), Miami interviewed two coordinator prospects — among others — to succeed Saban. The Dolphins favored offensive coordinator Cam Cameron of San Diego over Minnesota defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin. Cameron got the Miami job. Tomlin got the Pittsburgh job. Cameron went 1-15 and got fired. Tomlin went 10-6, won the AFC North and is 55-25 since, with a Super Bowl win.

4. Trades that stunk. Ricky Williams came in 2002 for two first-round draft picks and gave the Dolphins two terrific seasons — and five lousy ones, and one-and-a-half suspended ones. Wes Welker was made a restricted free agent in 2007, and the Patriots stole him for second- and seventh-round draft picks. Those two picks turned into one season of center Samson Satele before he was dumped to Oakland for a sixth-rounder the next year. I’d call the Brandon Marshall trade (for two second-rounders in 2010) a debacle, but they did regain two third-rounders this year. They wasted two second-rounders on quarterbacks who barely had cups of coffee in Miami — Feeley and Culpepper.

5. Drew Brees. Saban chose Culpepper over Brees in March 2006 because Brees was rehabbing major shoulder surgery. Ten months later, Saban skulked off to Alabama, and the 1-15 Dolphins of 2007 played with Lemon, Green and Beck. Funny thing, as I wrote a couple of months ago: On the night Miami had to make the decision which way to go on Brees or Culpepper, owner Wayne Huizenga was out to dinner with a friend and said. “I want them to sign Brees. They want Culpepper.” Huizenga got a call on his cell phone and walked outside. When he came back inside the restaurant, Huizenga said his football people were insistent that Culpepper, for reasons monetary and football and health, was a better choice than Brees. “I told them, they’re the football guys, not me,” said Huizenga. But the owner repeated that if it were up to him, he’d have signed Brees. Miami is 37-59 since, with no playoff wins.

Clearly, when Huizenga brought in Bill Parcells, who imported Jeff Ireland from the Cowboys, he didn’t expect the disastrous personnel run that has ensued. (And the man who bought the Dolphins from Huizenga, Stephen Ross, didn’t expect Ireland to ask Dez Bryant the sordid question about his mother’s occupation in the run-up to the 2010 draft either.) The Ross-Ireland daily double has failed to lure Jim Harbaugh and Jeff Fisher, and has failed to land Peyton Manning or Matt Flynn either.

When I was talking to Flynn Sunday night about why he chose the Seahawks, he must have repeated three or four times how much he liked the feeling he got from the Seahawks’ coaches and front office people when he was in Seattle. He wouldn’t say anything negative about Miami; he is very fond of his former offensive coordinator in Green Bay, Philbin. But clearly Flynn felt the love more in Seattle than in Miami.

It’s absolutely amazing how much failure the Dolphins have endured in the last 10 years. And the way this year is beginning — losing out on Fisher, Manning and Flynn — I’m amazed that Ross is putting up with it without blowing a gasket.


World Trade Center up to 93 Stories

March 18, 2012

Some good pictures of the construction.