2015-2016 Fantasy Football Team version 3.0 – Week 2

I have just put waiver claims in so this may change but I moved a couple of players around and this is my current Week 2 roster:

Week 2, Changed Sept. 15 version 3.0

Notable, I moved C.J. Spiller into the starting rotation. He was injured last week. I also reluctantly moved Tyler Lockett out of the starting line-up even though he had a good week one in Seattle’s loss (checking, yup, it still happened that way). I put San Diego’s Stevie Johnson in his place who scored 20 but was on my bench last week

UPDATE 9/16 a.m. – STARTINg (After Waiver claims Approved overnight)

QB – Sam Bradford (PHI)
RB – C.J. Spiller (NO)
TE – Jimmy Graham (SEA)
RB – Matt Forte (CHI)
WR – Stevie Johnson (SD)

K – Steven Hauschka (SEA)
DEF – Seattle

BN / WR – Brandon Coleman (NO)
BN / QB – Andy Dalton (CIN)
BN / WR – Tyler Lockett (SEA)
ADDED v w BN / WR – Donte Moncrief (IND)
ADDED v w BN / RB – Terrance West (RB)



BN / WR – Torrey Smith (SF)
BN / WR – Allen Robinson (JAX)


QB – Sam Bradford (PHI)
RB – C.J. Spiller (NO)
TE – Jimmy Graham (SEA)
RB – Matt Forte (CHI)
WR – Stevie Johnson (SD)

K – Steven Hauschka (SEA)
DEF – Seattle

ADDED f a / BN / WR – Brandon Coleman
BN / QB – Andy Dalton (CIN)
BN / WR – Allen Robinson (JAX)
BN / WR – Torrey Smith (SF)
B2 / WR – Tyler Lockett (SEA)


2015-2016 Fantasy Football Team

My work has a Yahoo Fantasy Football League. We drafted on Sept. 2 and I auto Drafted, with some do not draft and preferences indicated. My draft got B-. How does an autodraft get graded B-?


QB – Sam Bradford (PHI)
BN/QB – Andy Dalton (CIN)
WR – Allen Robinson (JAX)
BN/WR – Torrey Smith (SF)
BN/WR – Stevie Johnson (SD)
RB – Matt Forte (CHI)
TE – Jimmy Graham (SEA)
RB – C.J. Spiller (out / injured when drafted
BN/RB – Jonas Gray (NE)

K – Steven Hauschka (SEA)
BN/K – Nick Folk (NYJ)

DEF – Seattle


Changed for Season Day 1, Sept. 10

(Even though I have no Patriots or Steelers players)



QB – Sam Bradford (PHI)
WR – Allen Robinson (JAX)
TE – Jimmy Graham (SEA)
RB – Matt Forte (CHI)
ADDED / WR – Tyler Lockett (SEA) – added player

K – Steven Hauschka (SEA)
DEF – Seattle

ADDED / BN / WR – Brandon Coleman – added player
BN / QB – Andy Dalton (CIN)
BN/RB – C.J. Spiller (NO) – put on bench
BN / WR – Torrey Smith (SF)
BN / WR – Stevie Johnson (SD)

DROPPED / RB – Jonas Gray (MIA) – has been put on practice squad…
DROPPED / K – Nick Folk (NYJ)





Scott Walker and Harley Davidson HQ in Wisconsin

Scott Walker is not doing well in Republican presidential polls. That surprises me as he actually governs seriously – if nastily and without a soul. This Republican primary race seems mostly to be about who can speak the loudest and foulest rather than actual ideas.

Same as it ever was….

Democrats. Blowhards. Blow. Hard. … too in the primary but actual functioning ideas seem to take center stage. Practical ideas that seek to improve the country. 88% of them are over-promising pandering but at least it sounds like they care about, oh, citizens.

Walker, current Wisconsin governor become a GOP rockstar by fighting unions. not only fighting but closing them down, – BUSTIN’ ‘EM!!!! – and making them very ineffective in the state.

The 5-second elevator summary is that, labeling it as a cost-savings measure, Walker was able to pass rules eliminating collective bargaining for work conditions and benefits and also strip the union’s right for mandatory union fees for members. As a red meat bonus to GOPers, Walker and GOP assembly members did so over strenuous Democrat objections that included Democratic state senators leaving the state.

When the measure passed the Assembly (not the Senate chamber) it happened quickly. As the conservative site, The Blaze put it:

Debate had gone on for 60 hours and 15 Democrats were still waiting to speak when the vote started around 1 a.m. Friday. Speaker Pro Tem Bill Kramer, R-Waukesha, opened the roll and closed it within seconds.

Democrats looked around, bewildered. Only 13 of the 38 Democratic members managed to vote in time.

It’s not just the state that’s cold, right?

So I’ve had this story about Walker and Harley-Davidson saved for awhile. Walker thinks Harley’s are a big deal; he owns one, he rides one and after cheese, it’s the state’s most famous export.

But as this Reuter’s article, “Harley and awkward ride for ‘union-busting’ Republican Walker” points out, Harley-Davidsons are proudly, union-made.


Walker, it turns out, is boring and can’t compete in the GOP circus. It seems Scott Walker can’t be president – he would never be for a more perfect union.

While My Dad Gently Weeps

[and mom, too]

So that was attempt two.

Jack, 6, has now ended his guitar lessons for the second time. Here’s some of the story why.

“You’re boring.”
“You don’t teach me anything.”
“I hate the guitar.”
“ I like Mr. Tracy, I don’t like you.”
“Chords are way easier than tabs.”
“It’s too hard.”
“I dooooooooon’t liiiiiiiike Smoke On the Waaaaaater.”

Many angry moments, 99.99% of them coming from 6-year-old Jack. He loves his classes with his teacher Tracy, a guy with a Mohawk who has a surfer dude vibe and is, in fact a really nice guy. But no matter how sweetly or calmly or reasonably we talked to him, he would refuse to practice. (“Tracy wants you to practice.” “He wants to teach someone who’s trying.”)

I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this but the more you try to reason with your kid the more upset you become because, goddamnit, who can’t see reason? That’s logical, right? Yup. Correct, and it should be no surprise that kids are not always the most logical of animals. Still, it should work and it’s good to try, right? Sure.

When we said the lessons had to end unless he could practice (because we couldn’t just stand there trying to get him to do his lesson all evening) he got angry, as well.

Ultimately he was being verbally abusive to us. So much so, I went to a couple of lessons because I had no frame of reference to help him with his lessons, and Carrie was taking the brunt of it all. So now instead of him just calling her names, I got called names, too.

He’s really good at insults. Advanced. It was a power battle of wills just for a 10-minute lesson, and we were being made miserable having to deal with it. And, of course, the whole point is for him to have fun and enjoy. And he wasn’t.

His last practice was Sunday when he actually did a double lesson to make up for refusing to do one Saturday.

Monday we talked to his music teacher asking if it made sense for us to stop lessons as he wouldn’t practice. Tracy said he’d talk to him about it. Tuesday we had his actual lesson and Tracy weaved in the importance of practice more than usual, and even taught him a new song, Happy Birthday because Jack said he wanted to play it on my birthday, next week. Sadly, that’s pretty unlikely to happen right now though a Jack-guitar, Eddie-flute duet was something I was looking forward to.

At the end of Jack’s lesson, his teacher showed him a practice schedule and went through it, 1) Name the strings 2) Go through chords at least 2 times, both up and down 3) Play Smoke On the Water 4) Misc., anything he wanted.

Wednesday, he refused to do his lesson.

With Eddie and Carrie at his flute lesson (he did great, apparently) I was home by myself for awhile cooking dinner and trying to stop Jasper, 2yo, getting into everything. Jasper lost his mind and wouldn’t stop crying – very loudly – because he got into (What, really? Yeah, I know.) candy and I took it away.

I could not pull enough emotional strength from the reserve to sit down and talk with Jack at all about his lesson. I did say he would do his lesson in the morning, instead and, recognizing that I was at my emotional end, I said he could just play so I could just cook dinner (a dinner, which was delicious if a little too spicy for the kids; easily fixed next time.). Yeah, I folded a little but it was survival.

Thursday dawned with promise. I woke up early and, after he got dressed, Jack sat down fairly quickly with guitar in hand and with negligible complaint, he named the strings, and he got through the chords. He made his own checkmarks and seemed to be, pretty much, having fun. And then he wasn’t. He didn’t want to play Deep Purple’s opus. He hit some invisible wall. It was at this point he moaned, the line above, “I dooooooooon’t liiiiiiiike Smoke On the Waaaaaater.”

Tried that reasoning thing again, but guess what, ain’t no one gonna beg:

“Mr. Tracy wants you to play it because it has the building blocks to better songs.”
“Go ahead and play Happy Birthday instead then.”
“You have to start again. You haven’t played a note in 5 minutes.”

Through the brief conversation the day before, and as many times as I could repeat it Thursday morning we talked about us having to stop practice AND lessons. It was clear.

Because: Because he was being nasty mean to us and we weren’t having fun, either.
Because: Because he was not practicing
Because: Because we can’t do this every night
Because: Because you can’t just do parts of the practice
Because: Because we didn’t want to waste everyone’s time and money.
Because: Because it was taking time and energy away from other things – and brothers – we also needed to do of equal importance.
Because: Because sometimes the squeaky wheel doesn’t get the oil.

I’m blinking back tears a little as I write this because it seems like such a failure as a parent not to be able to get your kid to enjoy something as awesome as a guitar. Though we had two Steinway pianos at home, my parents never pushed learning musical instruments on me, at all. At all. And, for whatever reason I never asked, even though I love and loved music.

This background adds to the sense of failure because I know, now, that I regret not being able to play anything and I don’t want Jack to have that regret. He’s 6, it’s not the end of everything but as I watched him put his guitar back in its case for the final time, heard him mumble, “Now, I don’t have to practice” …. [almost lost it there]

… and didn’t make a big deal but just put it away and let him have breakfast, I felt extremely sad, that we’d done something we tell the kids is never good – we’d given up.

This one doesn’t have a happy ending … … … … … … … … … yet. I can tell myself we’re doing great even trying to get him to learn the guitar at such a young age. Someone said that at the Meet the Teacher night, Thursday evening. I can tell myself a lot of things, but the sting of failure has inflamed things to a point where none of it helps. A few more days are going to have to pass, before I can reason … with myself.

Still, “Chords are way easier than tabs.” … Jack didn’t know that a couple of months ago.

Watching the Last Unicorn today

Watched the Last Unicorn today. The 1982 animated version where LU is set up as very princessy and feminine. This characterization is not what I remember when reading the book when I was 8. I still have the book… somewhere. I think it would not have stayed with me as long as it had of that was the case. But Peter Beagle wrote this screenplay, too.

And a few times, when the unicorn seemed in the most trouble, Carrie and I looked over and Jasper was in full-blown sad mode with his bottom lip in full protuberance, his hands clasped and nervously working on each other and one tear rolling down his cheek from his left eye. 

Cancer – Feeling Helpless

Cancer has an amazing capacity to destroy, deform and debilitate. Feeling helpless in helping friends and family who have it or have very close loved ones who have cancer brings those same qualities. You can fight cancer – and win – but it’s hard to fight feeling helpless.

One way to fight that feeling is to recognize that:

1) you are doing what you can

2) you are doing as much as the person will allow you to do. what that means is, some people aren’t comfortable at all with receiving help and it’s very hard for them. Traditionally this is viewed as a strength – he / she fought with dignity and did it their way. That is the easier route when it comes to cancer. Letting people in, letting you see their hurt, requires a strong bond and requires everyone seeing and dealing with atypical aspects of life and death, which alway seem to loom close even when death really hasn’t got a chance.

3) even the smallest thing being done, flowers, a hug, a short letter, matters as long as it’s sincere. There isn’t enough sincerity in the world. Any action along these lines is a positive in an ocean of problems created one drop at a time running off the person’s body. Cancer water torture.

Even doing something, you will still feel helpless to some extent. You won’t be a cure, but you can make a lot of the painful symptoms disappear.

Directly, I know six people who have cancer or who are dealing with a family member with cancer. Well, since one is my wife I would also have to include my children and my and her whole family. Cancer, even in remission is always more of a reality after it’s arrived than just the “theoretical” idea that people get cancer. That reality is a much bigger part of life that easily blocks out all other things a lot of the time. That’s a separate fight, shared by the family, friends and the person with cancer.

Self-Experiment – Add Google Analytics and more

I’m in the content Marketing field. I’ve always heard that to learn in-the-trenches, and view things as clients do, you should play with your own site. More than play, of course, you should train for the game and do it right.

I have started a Google Analytics account and tied it to templestark.com. I headed down the path of starting to link Webmaster Tools, as well, but there were a few changes to the tracking code I didn’t want to tackle quite yet.

I have been talking notes / screenshots along the way but am currently waiting a few hours to have data populate the analytics…


Eddie, 9, said he had a teacher at summer school.

“She said her name was Miss. Isis. I asked her if that was like ISIS, the murderists…”

I laughed at “murderists,” then said she’s probably heard that before.

“Kiran asked her first.”

Carrie said later maybe he could make up for that question by finding out about the Goddess Isis.

For instance she was the daughter of Geb and Nut. Nut? Ha ha. Have to love the short names, too. Osiris was her brother.

She was also a member of the Ennead, which also now tasks people with personality types with their Enneagram Test.

Knock Knock Joke From a 2-year-old

Eddie and Jack have been bombarding us with Knock Knock jokes. Blame – Iiiiii mean credit – classmates and “Boys Life” Magazine.

Jasper has caught on to the, um, “hilarity” and offered his own yesterday. Usually, he says Knock Knock and when you say “Who’s there” he repeats “Who’s there,” except “who der?” and way cuter. This time it went like this:

JASPER: Knot knot
ME: Who’s there?
JASPER: Heck yeeeah, Japper.

Where to Start for Mac Game Controllers

I’m just getting into Steam,. I purchased Tomb Raider through Steam and tried out a couple of games. The very first game I tried via Steam was the Trine 2 Demo. I could do nothing but move left and right. After playing Limbo (downloaded via iTunes) I’m wondering whether that was intentional but it certainly didn’t appear to be that way.

Still, there’s nothing absolutely clear about whether controllers are best, needed or whether any would work. With Tomb Raider, again there’s nothing solid in the game or on Steam that indicates what would be best or what would work.

Yeah, I’m no gamer. These games are part of my delayed satisfaction lifestyle, where I play many games about a decade after everyone else. And the other clue would be that, yeah, I don’t have a game controller, yet.

Today, I took the first step toward finding out more about how to use a game controller for my Fairly new MacBook Pro. I searched “Mac Game Controller” and this article, “How to use a game controller with your Mac” popped up at Macworld.com

At first the article seemed too specific, as it talked about using a Playstation 4 controller. But it gets good below the Bluetooth screenshot, starting, “Speaking of which, a word about compatibility.”

The article talks about the randomness of games that do or do not recognize joysticks and controllers. The solution to helping bridge this problem is Chibata Creations Joystick Mapper – joystickmapper.com.

“With it you assign functions to the controller’s joystick or buttons. These generally come in the form of mouse movements or keystrokes. For example, you might assign the Mac’s W key to the forward motion of the left joystick and the Fire function to the controller’s O button.”

At $5 it’s worth a try even if it doesn’t work. But this highly esteemed site is saying it does. So, bonus. Another solution, at $25 is Controller Mate.

Of course, the next logical question is, are there more-native Mac controllers that do not require all this extra diddling around.

PS, search for Mac demos via Steam is to search for “demo” then narrow it down to Mac OS X. The ones with Demo in the title definitely have downloadable demos and many of the ones that show up do as well – but not all.

A Headline Perfectly Designed for Kids

No, not that one.

This one: “This beetle’s butt is basically a machine gun

And the article, at the Washington Post backs up the bluster. The lede:

Ever heard of the bombardier beetle? It’s aptly named: When threatened, the beetle doesn’t just excrete deadly chemicals. It actually mixes them up in an internal chamber, then fires the reaction off as a near-boiling, high-speed spray from its rear end. Now researchers have figured out how the beetles manage to aim and fire these noxious rounds at enemies.

Bonus, there’s a University of Arizona connection. They research the serious stuff.

Content Marketing Doesn’t Work for All Businesses

I left this comment on a piece about shorter news articles online in the comments, in reference to another which said the author was speaking as a content marketer, not a journalist. The author of the piece, is former journalist Kevin Delaney, now editor-in-chief of Quartz.

Content Marketers recommend longer pieces, as well. But most content marketing is meant for businesses to have a bigger and broader and better and more informational footprint for search engines to grab onto. Delaney here speaks more toward the consumption of news, which is different. As even the limited – so far – comments so far indicate though, his approach is too black and white.

I did like Delaney’s idea of beats being outmoded and journalists should follow their “obsessions” though hopefully he didn’t mean as fanbois or fangyrls. I’ve never read the site (until today when I glanced few a few articles) but someone who has read it says the shorter approach often leaves gaps and too many questions unanswered.

So there’s obviously a correct middle ground no one’s perfected, yet. Unless you’re just talking about “what appeals to the most people.” However, that’s never a good road to go down unless $$$ is your dole objective.

Just looking at the homepage by the way, I can scan just as easily on news.Google.com or news.yahoo.com or news.bing.com and then click on links from there I’m interested in. Except the range of choices is much less. And where’s the original reporting. The blurbs just point to other, um, longer articles on the subject.

I’ll read more over the next few days to see if that initial “what’s the point” impression chnages.”

International Jazz Day 2015 – Pictures of the 2 Year Old

Here we have Jasper, now 2 years and 2 months and 15 days old.

This is the best way I know how to celebrate international Jazz Day. We also call him, Jazz though he calls himself Jappers.




— all photos taken February 2015, three on the same day celebrating his birthday.

Leslie Gore – Forgotten Power

In the early 1960s, Lesley Gore released a song called, You Don’t Own Me. This song is hard to listen to often because even the title is just painful to think about.

It’s painful to think that this song, with this song had a place in society. It’s painful to think that more than 50 years later it still rings true int today’s society. She nails this plaintive plea (mp3 here, but not a straight link) that really gets across that people then and now really do live this life and struggle to push through the cocoon. It also becomes a confident voice where you can tell the voice in the song will eventually find the strength to turn her back and walk away.

In fact, if you look at the list of songs on that mp3 link above, you see a complex approach to society and relationships: Bobby’s GirlI Will Follow Him …. My Boyfriend’s BackThen He Kissed MeTo Know Him is To Love Him. And then in 2005 she announced she was gay. So, there’s that.

It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to? Yeah, even that one had a counter-intuitive spin. Turns out though that’s the song she’s most famous for, it’s really one of her weakest songs, sung when she was 16. She came to embrace You Don’t Own Me more, as a personal mantra, though she also said she envisioned a guy singing it to his girl as easily as the other way around. She died yesterday, February 16th, aged 68.

You don’t own me, I’m not just one of your many toys
You don’t own me, don’t say I can’t go with other boys
And don’t tell me what to do
And don’t tell me what to say
And please, when I go out with you
Don’t put me on display, ’cause
You don’t own me, don’t try to change me in any way
You don’t own me, don’t tie me down ’cause I’d never stay
Oh, I don’t tell you what to say
I don’t tell you what to do
So just let me be myself
That’s all I ask of you
I’m young and I love to be young
I’m free and I love to be free
To live my life the way I want
To say and do whatever I please

A-a-a-nd don’t tell me what to do
Oh-h-h-h don’t tell me what to say
And please, when I go out with you
Don’t put me on display
I don’t tell you what to say
Oh-h-h-h don’t tell you what to do
So just let me be myself
That’s all I ask of you
I’m young and I love to be young
I’m free and I love to be free
To life my life the way I want

She wasn’t a success overnight, it took a week.

Arizona Hikes With the Best Scenery

This article “10 Fitness Hikes With Tremendous Views” from AZ Central | Arizona Republic showcases some of the best hikes in Arizona, primarily for the views not for the exercise or difficulty.

This might translate into kid-friendliness.

Top 10 Books


Defining your own top 10 is a lifetime exercise.

Are you listing them because you enjoy them, because you learned from them, because you think you should read them again, because you’re nostalgic for them, because you admire the author, because you think they’ll impress others? All but the last are good, valid reasons for putting a list together.

My list is a combination of 85% enjoyment and 15% nostalgia. I read for enjoyment, for escape for stretching my brain on its imagination side. As a result, there are few non-fiction books or biographies because pure enjoyment is rarely there. I enjoy the learning and the discovery but both are included in more entertaining ways in my list. In the order I thought of them.

The entire DragonLance series (particularly the Time of the Twins, War of the Twins and Test of the Twins trilogy) – Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
Othello – William Shakespeare
Butcher’s Moon – Richard Stark
The Last Unicorn – Peter Beagle
The Rainbow Goblins – Ul De Rico
Xanth series – Piers Anthony (particularly the first 6)
Smoke Signals – Sherman Alexie
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (collection of stories) – Arthur Conan Doyle
The Illustrated Man – Ray Bradbury (this was the cover I had on the one I read when I was a pre-teen, used then)

Now having Bradbury last was just a complete oversight. He’s my favorite author. He’s very minimalistic in creating deep and complex landscapes, scenes and characters. This approach really let’s you, the reader, fill in a lot of gaps.

Butcher’s moon is a book, I believe I still have. I remember it very well, even though it was a throwaway read after I found it somewhere in a bookstore as a teenager.

The Rainbow Goblins saturates your mind (and belly?) with color, visually and I remember it when I was a kid and have now been able to read it to my kids.

The Last Unicorn is also a book from my childhood (I was a VERY early reader and read a lot) that has stayed with me. I believe my mom owned this and I picked it up one day and it was very sad. I believe my mom probably still has it. I was disappointed to know that the film version is not that great.

9: The Peacemaker

Enneagram Test

— your own interpretation goes … here —

Cider Tipples On Twitter

A couple of weeks ago, I tweeted:

I grew up in England. When I was legally able to drink, I turned to cider first. In earlier teen years, I had tippled other weird liquors from my parents cabinet and tried the occasional Heineken from my dad’s alcohol stash. But cider was what I’d drink in the pubs, which I visited more for the snooker than to pull birds or a pint.

Woodpecker and Blackthorn were the ones I drank; I think primarily because my dad had those, as well.

And then I came to America and pretty much forgot about them. And I was stuck for two years not “legally” being able to drink. I did not drink much of anything; then moved mostly toward Jack and coke and cocktails at the club – always willing to try something new or recommendations.

And in the last three years or so beer and particularly craft beers and developing my tastes has come to the forefront.

But obviously the idea of a good cider never dies. I guess I need to call it hard cider, but by this time, you know what I’m talking about. I’ve seen it more in the stores and one day I wanted something lighter than beer but not juice. So I picked up a Strongbow. In a can it’s just not as good. I had a (smaller American) pint of Strongbow at the George and Dragon pub in Phoenix a few years ago but that wasn’t as good as I remembered either.

So the other day I Tweeted out that I had found a cider contender. Redd had less sweet, more dry. Crispin and Angry Orchard just were too sickly sweet (for my tastes, obviously).

Micah Silke tweeted back that he had found a dry cider in Oregon while on honeymoon, called Citizen. Quite fortuitously the company that makes Citizen joined in on the conversation. Carlton Cyderworks first favorited and then RTed our brief conversation and then when I asked about availability in Arizona, joined in, saying, unfortunately no at the moment. but it was available in the Seattle area. I have family there so – score, there’s a chance.

I followed @carltoncyderworks. And then something quite wonderful happened. Twitter started recommending all these other cider companies. Sweet. Or rather, hopefully, not-sweet.

So I can and will put them in a Twitter list. i noticed they were almost exclusively in the Northwest (I later found Santa Sidra cider from New Mexico (so I should be able to find that in AZ, right? No according to the site :| ). Other than the easy availability of apples, I wondered why that was the case?

But these are the ones I followed and if you have any recommendations and experience with these, I’d love to hear them. (Include whether you prefer sweet or dry, if you can):

Tieton Cider Works – @tietoncider (bonus, their Twitter image has bottlecaps, which i collect).
Red Tank cider – @redtankcider
Cider Monger – @cidermonger (not a brand but cider news.)
Cider Riot! – @CiderRiot
2 Towns Ciderhouse – @2townscider
Anthem Cider – @anthemcider
Schilling Cider – @schillingcider
Whitewood Cider – @wwcider
Portland Cider Co. – @portlandcider
Rev Nat’s Hard Cider – @revnatscider
Alpenfire Cider – @alpenfirecider
Bull Run Cider – @bullrunciderllc
Bushwhacker Cider – @bushwhckr
Snowdrift Cider Co. – @snowdriftcider
Fox-Tail Cider – @foxtailcider

I made a Ciders Twitter list – Ciders – to keep track