davehogg: (Default)
I said I was going to focus on the European horses ... and then picked an American horse.

The wrong one.

Prussian led into the stretch, but ran out of gas and finished about 10th. Nownownow was last at the top of the stretch and blew by everyone to win, just ahead of Achill Island. The three European horses finished 2nd, 4th and 5th.

I've now picked three races in 2007 on my blogs and haven't even mentioned the winning horse in a post yet. :P

So now we have the Dirt Mile. Quick horse-racing question: how far is the Dirt Mile race?

Answer, of course: One mile and 70 yards.

This is a dumb race. A really good horse would be in the Sprint (three-quarters of a mile) or the Classic (mile-and-a-quarter), not this one.

I shall now mention all nine horses, just in case.

Discreet Cat was fantastic last fall, but has been terrible in two starts this year.

Lewis Michael's name is not backward. He's been the most consistent horse lately, finishing first or second in five of six races in 2007.

Wanderin Boy is coming off a terrible race, but was very good in the summer and has two wins and a second in three mud races.

High Finance has four legs.

Gottcha Gold has won his last two races, both at Monmouth.

Park Avenue Ball hasn't won a race of a mile or longer since August 2006.

Corinthian is coming off two straight bad races, but the handicappers seem to love him.

Xchanger finished eighth in the Preakness by 25 lengths. Did I mention that the best horses aren't running in this race.

OK, I mentioned everyone. Now to get serious.

Wanderin Boy has early speed and loves the mud. He seems like a pretty easy pick.

davehogg: (Default)
All that about which horses can handle the mud ... and I didn't even mention the horse that was 3-for-4 lifetime on wet tracks. Maryfield won with a huge rally, so now she's 4-for-5. That said, I'm actually happy with my pick - Miss Macy Sue made a big run around the turn, got blocked and had to slow up, and still finished a fast-closing third.

The owner of Maryfield was the caterer on the set of Seabiscuit. One of the jockeys that starred in the movie talked him into buying a horse for $10,000. He later bought Maryfield for $50,000. Today's win puts her career earnings at just under $900,000.

By the way, Jeannine Edwards' eyes don't even look real in HD.

Next up is the Juvenile Turf. There's no way to handicap this. These are 2-year-olds, some of which have never raced on grass before, much less a swamp like this one. Prussian and The Leopard are the best American horses when it comes to breeding, but European horses run more on soft grass, so I'm going to focus on the three Euros - Strike The Deal, Achill Island and Domestic Fund.

Strike The Deal is the fastest of the three, but he finished ninth in his only race beyond three-quarters of a mile, and today is a mile.

They are loading. Prussian.
davehogg: (Default)
I haven't made a horse-racing pick since the Kentucky Derby - my handicapping program overloaded MS Access, and I've never gotten around to rebuilding it.

I was going to make a comeback with the newly expanded 11-race Breeder's Cup - three races today and eight tomorrow - but this is going to be even worse than the BC usually is for handicapping. They are at Monmouth Raceway in New Jersey, and they've gotten three days of rain. The track looks like a swamp, which changes all the handicapping.

The three races today are the three new ones - the Filly & Mare Sprint, the Dirt Mile and the Juvenile Turf.

Filly & Mare Sprint: La Traviata is a 3-year-old that didn't race until June of this year. That's a late start, but she's 3-for-3 in her career, and has won all three races by huge amounts. She's never raced on a muddy track, though, and his trainer just got suspended for using performance-enhancing substances.

(On a horse - not on himself)

Dream Rush has won four straight, including Grade I stakes in her last two races, but like La Traviata, she's never raced on a muddy track.

Oprah Winney is the only horse in the field to ever win on a track this bad, and she has a win at Monmouth.

Given all that, I'm picking ... Miss Macy Sue. She appears to be the fastest of the early-speed horses, and that can be a huge advantage on a muddy track. The horse in front isn't getting mud kicked in her eyes.

OK, the F&M Sprint is going to start in a couple minutes, so I'll post this and do the next two in another post.
davehogg: (Default)
NBC's Brian Williams, talking about the relief efforts in San Diego, centered around Qualcomm Stadium:

"They're so proud of the way they are taking care of their own, and the lessons learned from Katrina. The fact that they have ROVING CLOWNS at the complex for the kids, that the Marines are there with cots and water and piles of food..."

(emphasis added)

Excuse me?? They have clowns at the evacuation center??

Free-range clowns?!?

Haven't these kids suffered enough? The poor things have been sent out of their homes, and now they have to deal with clowns on the loose? What, didn't they have any rabid leopards to let loose among the kids?

This is horrible.
davehogg: (Default)

Quitting Time

Going Home

Football in Baseball's Shadow
Football in Baseball's Shadow


Oct. 21st, 2007 05:44 pm
davehogg: (Default)
The Oldest Operating Hotel in Michigan
Milner Hotel

Movie Night
Movie Night at Emerson

Ticket Takers

Ticket Takers

385 Yards To Go! (Detroit Marathon)

Last 385 Yards


Oct. 21st, 2007 01:42 pm
davehogg: (Default)
Tampa Bay receivers Mark Jones and Michael Clayton have suffered two of the nastiest leg injuries I've ever seen in one quarter.

Both players got a leg bent backward while being tackled, and were taken off the field on a cart. Clayton's might not be too bad, but you could see Jones' left kneecap dislocate as he was being hit.

Mean Cat

Oct. 19th, 2007 01:08 pm
davehogg: (Default)
I bought two cat beds the other day. Moonlight has been having issues on cold days, and he likes to sleep in warm things, so I got two of the pyramid-shaped beds.

Two? Yes. I thought that if I bought one, Spark would dominate it, leaving Moonlight, literally, in the cold. Angie and I were agreed that Kai wouldn't go near them.

So, of course, one of the beds has gone untouched, and Kai has taken the other one over. Britt refused to believe that Kai would even fit in the bed...

Kai in bed

The best part is that, when Kai isn't sleeping *in* the bed, he sleeps across the front of the bed so that neither Spark nor Moonlight can get into it. Moonlight tried to mark the bed by putting one of Britt's wristbands in it, but Kai wasn't impressed.
davehogg: (Default)
Top 3 stories on the 7pm EDT world news roundup on the BBC World Service:

1) The assassination attempt on Benazir Bhutto that killed over 100 people and injured over 300 more in Karachi.

2) The announcement by the government in Burma that a committee would be formed to draw up a new democratic constitution.

3) The EU's attempts to finish the treaty that will replace the constitution that didn't get ratified.

My comments:

1) My first thought, obviously, was "Benigno Aquino". Opposition leader returns from exile and there is an immediate assassination attempt. Country's ruler is shocked and appalled.

The difference is that Aquino was killed by a professional hit - no one else was hurt - while Bhutto survived an apparent suicide bombing.

It's going to be interesting to see how the aftermaths compare.

2) This committee will replace the National Convention, which was formed on January 9, 1993 to create a new democratic constitution. In 14 years, they didn't even manage a first draft, so I wouldn't hold my breath on this one.

Even if they do come up with a constitution, it won't mean anything. Burma had democratic elections in 1990. Aung San Suu Kyi won an overwhelming victory, but the military junta refused to give up power and threw Suu Kyi in prison.

The United Nations calls the country Myanmar, a name put in place by the current military rulers, but the United States and United Kingdom still officially call the country Burma. So does Suu Kyi, which is good enough for me.

3) One of the final sticking points on the EU "constitution" was "a disagreement over how to spell the word 'Euro' in Bulgarian."

Luckily, shortly after that newscast, Bulgaria won the right to spell it "Evro" (in Cyrillic) and the treaty was signed. Thank god.


Oct. 17th, 2007 11:25 pm
davehogg: (Default)

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Originally uploaded by Dave Hogg.

The site where I do the monthly mosaics is doing a special gizmo for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Seems like a pretty good cause to me.

davehogg: (Default)
The Nuggets brought almost their entire roster for tonight's exhibition game against the Pistons.

Well, other than Carmelo Anthony.

And Allen Iverson.

And Kenyon Martin.

And Nene.

And Eduardo Najera.

And Anthony Carter.

Stacey Augmon is starting for Denver. The first time I saw Stacey Augmon play at the Palace was UNLV-MSU on Dec. 15, 1990.
davehogg: (Default)
One of the reasons the Bush Administration didn't want Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to visit Ground Zero was that he publicly claims the Holocaust didn't happen.

Which, of course, explains why the Bush Administration is now trying to sweep another genocide under the rug.

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs is going to hold a hearing today on H. Res 106, which deals with the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks between 1915-1923.

The massacre itself isn't in question - it has been recognized by presidents from Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush.

On this day, we pause in remembrance of one of the most horrible tragedies of the 20th century, the annihilation of as many as 1,500,000 Armenians through forced exile and murder at the end of the Ottoman Empire.
- President George W. Bush, Apr. 24, 2004.

The American ambassador to the Ottoman Empire referred to what was happening as "a campaign of race extermination" as early as 1915. The Nuremberg War Tribunal used it as an example of "crimes against humanity" in their indictment of Nazi war criminals.

So what is the problem?

Turkey is offended that H. Res 106 calls on the President to recognize that what happened was, indeed, genocide. The House isn't asking President Bush to do something new - the U.N. has called it the Armenian Genocide since 1946 (the word didn't exist before the 1940s), and both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton called it "genocide" as well.

genocide: The systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group.
- American Heritage Dictionary

But President Bush says that the resolution would "do great harm" to our relationship with Turkey. Secretary of State Rice agreed:

We recognize the feelings of those who want to express their concern and their disdain for what happened many years ago. But the passage of this resolution at this time would, indeed, be very problematic for everything that we're trying to do in the Middle East because we are very dependent on a good Turkish strategic ally to help with our efforts.
- Rice, 10/10/2007

What is really happening is that Turkey is threatening to invade Kurdish Iraq - the government has asked Parliament for permission for a "large-scale incursion" - and the Bush Administration desperately wants to stop them. That makes them more willing to listen to the threats issued by members of the Turkish government about the Armenian Genocide resolution.

This says a lot of about the "Coalition of the Willing". One of our "key allies" is about to go renegade, and the Bush Administration is willing to throw history out the window in an attempt to stop them.
davehogg: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] aiela and I are watching The Daily Show and Jon Stewart started the show with a monologue about how President Bush mentioned in a speech on Sept. 13 that there are 36 countries on the ground in Iraq, and how there are really only 25, and how they are counting Iceland, which only had one person, who has now left, and how the only other countries with any sizable presence are Australia, the UK, South Korea and Georgia, but how the United States still makes up a massive percentage of the actual troop count ...

I love Jon Stewart ... but it was really weird hearing him spending almost an entire segment on the exact same thing I blogged about almost four weeks ago!


So "36 countries" actually means the Iraqis, the Americans, and exactly three other countries with 1,000 or more soldiers - Australia, the United Kingdom and South Korea. The Koreans are expected to be gone by the end of the year, but Georgia is planning on going from around 800 soldiers to about 2,000, so it will still be three.

Put another way, the "international effort" is 93% American.

I'm not even vaguely trying to imply that Jon Stewart reads my blog. I'm more confused as to why he is doing a story on this now.
davehogg: (Default)
Don't work for a week, then go Royal Oak-Ann Arbor-Royal Oak-Auburn Hills-Royal Oak today. I'll end up driving 120 (freeway!) miles, writing about 2,000 words and making $350.

It's very, very strange to see someone other than Ben Wallace wearing #3 for the Pistons.

Tayshaun Prince is letting his hair grow out.

Miami brought a full-strength lineup for this pre-season game, other than Shaquille O'Neal. And Dwyane Wade. And Alonzo Mourning. And Penny Hardaway. Penny Hardaway is still alive?

(Before anyone asks, it was Tim Hardaway that made the anti-gay remarks, not Penny.)

((Tim and Penny Hardaway are not related. Penny does have a younger brother, but he is only 18 inches tall and is named Lil' Penny.))

The Heat have used 10 players thus far - Marcus (Lamb to the) Slaughter, Dorell (Orville) Wright, Michael (Rhymes With UNIVAC) Doleac, Jeremy (I'm Not Jason)  Richardson, Jason Williams (White Chocolate, not the Red Wing, the motorcyclist or the limo killer), Chris (Brady) Quinn, Devin Green (who isn't), Earl (Red) Barron, Daequan (Short-Order) Cook and Alexander (All The Jokes Are Too Easy) Johnson.

The Pistons have rookies named Arron Afflalo and Cheick Samb. I'm going to have trouble with those two names - I just misspelled both of them while writing this paragraph on how hard they are to spell.

I have nothing else to say that it is either true or relevant. And I just managed to misspell "ture" *and* "relevent". :P
davehogg: (Default)

Armed and Sleepy
Originally uploaded by Dave Hogg.

Spark and his bandolier doze off while waiting for Brittany to come home from the dance.


Oct. 5th, 2007 02:22 pm
davehogg: (Default)
If you had told me in March that Dierks Bentley/Miranda Lambert/Eric Church would end up being the third-best country concert that Angie and I would see in 2007, I would have thought you were insane. But Alison Krauss was fantastic, even without the sentimental aspects, and last night topped everything.

Five years from now, we're going to tell people that we say Taylor Swift as the opening act at a concert, and they will think we're making up. At 17, she's already really good on stage. She's funny, she's energetic and she seems to genuinely enjoy the crowd. She got an enormous ovation at the end of her set - especially for an opening act - and it was fun to watch how much cheering crowds still get to her. Her last line, after the cheering finally died down, was "That's the moment that I always dream about. Thank you!"

(By the way, it was very amusing to see Angie singing loudly along with Taylor on "Tim McGraw". When that song came out, A hated it, because she didn't think a 15-year-old kid should be using a star's name just to get some publicity. But she's been completely won over.)

Rodney Atkins was also great, especially since we walked out of his show at the Armada Fair in August. At the time, we weren't entirely sure if that had just been an overwhelmed sound system, or they were trying to hide his failings at a live show, but we were happy to realize it was definitely the former.

If you like Brad Paisley, even a little, pay the money to see him live. He does all his big hits, throws in some Johnny Cash and Alabama for the traditionalists, and has a video/light/stage setup that must be the pride and joy of everyone at Apple. There's even a instrumental in the middle of the show that includes a "Speed Racer" cartoon that Paisley animated himself.

The other thing that's impressive about seeing him live is that you realize that he's a exceptional guitar player. There are a lot of country stars who strum along, but he's legitimately good.

Oh, and to answer the important questions:

1) Yes, he performed "Whiskey Lullaby".
2) Yes, he did it as a duet.
3) No, unlike previous tours, he did not perform it with one of his tour mates (see also: Underwood, Carrie) - it would be a bit odd for 17-year-old Taylor to sing a song about suicide by bottle.
4) No, I'm not going to ruin the surprise.
davehogg: (Default)
Any suggestions on how we should proceed?

Hello Dave and Angela.

I'm glad Moonlight is back to his normal self since you changed him back to
the Purina Proplan Select Chicken and Rice diet.  His labs show that his ALT
(liver enzyme) is three times the normal value.  This enzyme, when elevated,
generally indicated damage to the liver at the cellular level which can
happen with trauma, toxins, infections, and tumors.  His Albumin, a protein
that is synthesized in the liver, is also mildly low (which supports the
fact that the liver isn't working at 100%).  A bile acids test (takes 3
hours and runs about $160) can confirm poor function and if highly elevated
gives us direction as far as medication and diet changes to make to avoid
things like high ammonia in the blood (from the liver not working well)
which in turn can cause seizures.

As I mentioned on the phone, with Moonlight's symptoms having resolved,
perhaps some of this elevation was due to something he ate or some sort of
trauma.  In that case, the values may return to normal on their own, or at
least, not keep going up.  With a value of 3x normal, I would prefer to take
a responsive action.  We can:

1) put him on a prescription diet for the liver (called l/d),
2) put him on
one or more supplements that we know help support the liver (Denosyl to
support liver function and Marin to actually help to detoxify the liver
itself... in the human supplement areas these would be called 'Sam-E' and
'Milk Thistle' respectively).  We can dispense these supplements in kitty
formulation from our office.

If we do either or both of these items, I would recheck his liver values
(can be done via a mini panel @ $29) in 30-60 days.  If we do not do either
of these items, I would still recheck his ALT in 30 days to determine if it
is stable, returning to normal, or rising further.  As liver values rise,
symptoms eventually return. These can be vomitting, anorexia, diarrhea, and
or seizures.

Elite Eight

Oct. 2nd, 2007 01:12 am
davehogg: (Default)
I'm trying to decide which teams I'll be cheering for in the baseball playoffs.

Colorado Rockies: Pros - Great city ... Fantastic finish to just make the playoffs ... Todd Helton is finally in the postseason ... Always fun to cheer for [personal profile] saxikath's teams. Cons - Denver spawned the two most evil franchises in hockey - the Avs and the Devils ... Uniforms are black and purple, which is way too trendy.

New York Mets: *snicker*

Philadelphia Phillies: Pros - Philadelphia fans have suffered a lot over the years ... Phillies were kind enough to trade Placido Polanco to the Tigers for a machete killer ... Phillies do not wear yellow-and-blue uniforms like the Eagles ... Charlie Manuel mumbles in an endearing way. Cons - Jimmy Rollins got to 20-20-20-20 on the last day of the season, kind of ruining the whole "Curtis Granderson was only the third guy in major-league history to do it" story ... The fans booed Santa Claus ... I hold the entire city responsible for those Eagles uniforms.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Pros - My brother lives in Phoenix ... Beat the Yankees in a recent World Series ... Certainly won't have a lot of bandwagon fans against the Cubs. Cons - They are the only team in the National League playoffs to have won a World Series since World War I, so it would seem a little greedy to win another one already ... Phoenix just won the WNBA title, so it would seem a little greedy to win another one already ... They are boring -quick, name an Arizona Diamondback!

Chicago Cubs: Pros - Lovable losers, long-suffering fans, blah blah blah. Cons - Red Sox fans wanted to win, and were happy when they did. Cubs fans would lose their entire identity if they actually won ... If they win, the Cubs, White Sox and Red Sox will have all won World Series more recently than the Yankees, which is a biblical sign of the End Times.

The Angels Angels of Anaheim California: Pros - No longer owned by Disney ... Vladimir Guerrero is a silly name ... Kept the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man from winning a World Series. Cons - I'm really over the name thing. Pick one. Any of them ... Recently owned by Disney ... Already won in the 21st Century.

Boston Red Sox: Pros - Provided the greatest moment in sports history in 2004 ... Always fun to cheer for [personal profile] saxikath's teams ... David Ortiz. Cons - Once they won a World Series, they sort of became Yankees Lite ... Another World Series and a fourth Super Bowl for the Patriots? Isn't that a bit selfish?

Cleveland Indians: Pros - Playing the Yankees in the first round ... Cleveland fans have the suffering of Philadelphia, without ever booing Santa Claus ... Eric Wedge is a great guy ... Won the Central Division, meaning I wouldn't have to cover postseason baseball this year. Cons - Won the Central Division, meaning I wouldn't get to cover postseason baseball this year ... Detroiters are prohibited by law from cheering for teams from Cleveland ... I hold the city responsible for my fear of flying.

New York Yankees: No. Not if they were playing a team of demonspawn managed by Bill O'Reilly.

This is easier than I thought - there's no way I can cheer for most of these teams. If the Padres had won tonight, I'd probably go for the Phillies. Or maybe the Diamondbacks, if I could remember any of their players.

But it's the Rockies.

davehogg: (Default)
Wow. What a wild game and what a bizarre finish.

Trevor Hoffman looked like he was throwing batting practice in the bottom of the 13th, but the Rockies almost blew it with some horrible baserunning. First, Troy Tulowitzki almost gets thrown out at second on what should have been an easy double, then Matt Holliday tries to score on a ball that wasn't nearly deep enough, and nearly kills himself in the process.

By the way, the umpire made the right call. Even if Holliday didn't touch the plate, and I'm not 100% sure he didn't get the corner before hitting the catcher's leg, it was interference. Despite how it is called almost all the time, the catcher isn't actually allowed to block home plate when he doesn't have the ball. Barrett didn't have the ball, and he impeded Holliday from touching the plate, so he should have been called safe.

NOTE: The catcher, without the ball in his possession, has no right to block the pathway of the runner attempting to score. The base line belongs to the runner and the catcher should be there only when he is fielding a ball or when he already has the ball in his hand.
- Official Rules of Major League Baseball
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