Last spring, I signed my 6-year-old daughter up for lacrosse. I had no idea if she would like it, but, given that it involves possibly hitting someone with a stick (which is how I sold her on the idea), she was intrigued. It’s co-ed at this age, and it’s kids ages 5 to 8, which means that the 8-year-old boys pretty much dominate the scrimmages. Nevertheless, she liked it, and it was a fun way to spend 9-10 a.m. on a Saturday morning.
Yesterday, I got the email that fall lacrosse was starting in a week, so I figured I would sign her up again. A few clicks later, I was out $70, and she was registered for another 8 weeks of running around vaguely in the direction of a ball without actually doing anything (or, as I like to think of it, "Being Zac Diles.")
That’s when I saw this:
Thank you for signing up for the Fall 2014 session of Scoopers Lacrosse. We are excited that your child has decided to try out or continue with the sport of lacrosse this season. [. . .] The session runs every Sunday from 1-2 p.m. from October 5th- November 9th.
Wait…what?!? Who schedules anything – especially something as relatively unimportant as lacrosse for little kids – from 1-2 p.m. on Sundays in October and November?
More importantly, what do I do? I’ve already paid, and I've already told her that we would sign up, so there’s no chance I just cancel the whole endeavor. I could use Sunday Ticket and watch most of the game on my phone, but that would kind of make me an ass.
At the same time, she's never going to have a good jump shot or anything remotely considered "height," so getting her into something like lacrosse or field hockey or (I suppose) softball is about the only way I might get out of paying for 100% of college for her.
So the question ultimately becomes, Texans now or possible scholarship 11 years from now? I'm not looking forward to answering that one.
Korean For "Idiot."
OK, not even counting the vaguely insulting conceit of the ad, there are at least two things about this that make no sense:
First, that has to be the world’s most simplistic, yet oddly specific, English-to-Korean dictionary ever made. It not only has pictures, but it has the same picture on consecutive pages, and the only words being translated on the two pages are "back pain." Even if that is just a pamphlet specifically for common maladies that a person might encounter while on a flight, it seems like a terrible use of space by the person who did the layout.
Second, he asks if she has anything for pain, and she responds, "I have Bayer aspirin." He seems completely baffled by the idea that aspirin could be used for pain, and he assumes that she thinks he’s having a heart attack, despite (a) pointing to the words "back pain" in two languages, (b) showing her two pictures of back pain, and (c) touching his own back in the same manner as the back-pain picture in the book. How can someone know that aspirin has a secondary use in helping prevent heart attacks in certain people, which has only been known since the 1970s, but be unaware of aspirin’s pain-relieving properties, which have been known since at least 1899?
Lowest rushing total of Arian Foster’s career, minimum of one carry, prior to Sunday (2009 against St. Louis, on two carries).
Arian Foster’s rushing total on Sunday, on 8 carries.
Catches by Arian Foster on Sunday, tying his November 2011 game against Jacksonville for his second-highest single-game total.
Arian Foster's highest single-game total for receptions, which happened twice (at Indy in November 2010 and against Tennessee in November 2010).
Totally random thing I learned this week: Barry Manilow wrote jingles for State Farm ("like a good neighbor..."), McDonald's ("you deserve a break today..."), and Band-Aids ("I am stuck on Band Aid brand, cuz Band Aid's stuck on me...").
Meaning that the guy who sang the song "I Write The Songs (That Make The Whole World Sing)" did not actually write that song, but did write a number of earworm-inducing jingles that sort of do make the whole world sing.
Longest of Randy Bullock's field goals on Sunday, a career long for him.
Texans’ franchise-long FG, by Neil Rackers (at Denver in 2010) and Kris Brown (2007 against Miami).
This Isn't 'Nam, Smokey.
This has been bugging me since the Washington game, but why does a defensive player not get credit for a sack when there is intentional grounding? The end result of the play is exactly the same; from a standpoint of how it impacts the next play, there is little difference between dropping RG3 on his head or having him throw it away before you drop him on his head (aside, I suppose, from the fact that he's less likely to shatter in the latter situation).
Plus, it's not like the rules require a successful tackle before you can have a sack. Hitting the QB and forcing a fumble is a sack, as is forcing the QB to run out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage. Likewise, if the QB is in the grasp and the play is blown dead, the defender gets a sack. Yet, if a QB in the grasp throws the ball illegally, in a manner that does not change the outcome of the play, no sack is awarded?
Am I just saying this because I think J.J. Watt should have had another sack against Washington? Possibly. (Actually, yes.) But that doesn't mean I'm wrong.
Players since the AFL-NFL merger with an offensive TD and defensive TD in the same season (Mike Vrabel, 2005).
Forced fumbles needed by J.J. Watt to tie Mario Williams for most all-time by a Texans' player (11).
Fumble recoveries needed by J.J. Watt to tie DeMeco Ryans for most all-time by a Texans' defensive player (8).
Defensive players in the NFL who are better than J.J. Watt.
Public Service Announcement.
There is never time when you should call a fair catch inside your own 10-yard line. Never. Let the ball bounce, hope it carries into the end zone, and sleep well at night knowing that you didn't learn the basics of special-teams play from Joe Marciano.
Catches needed by Andre Johnson to become only the tenth player in NFL history with 1,000 receptions.
Receiving yards needed by Andre Johnson to become only the tenth player in NFL history with 14,000 receiving yards (assuming Reggie Wayne gets 27 receiving yards in the meantime and becomes #9).
Random Archer Quote.
Hey, proposition: first person to untie me—guy or gal—I will let him or her give me a handy. Come on, let’s share the milk of human kindness!
Why do we refer to a "pair" of pants (or glasses), but a shirt is singular?
7; 7.5; 9.
Sacks needed by Whitney Mercilus, Brooks Reed, and Brian Cushing, respectively, to pass Connor Barwin (19) for fourth all-time in team history.
Blackbird Disintegrating In The Dead Of Niiiiight.
No, seriously: you're welcome.
BBQU PhD Program: Anas Platyrhyncos.
I have few hard-and-fast rules in life. If I were to list my top 5, however, one of them would definitely be, "When duck is a menu option, you order the f*$@ing duck." Confit, l'orange, wrapped in bacon...however you want to cook it, I'll eat your duck. I'll eat it up.
As a person who considers slow-cooking dead animals as something of a religion, however, it should come as no surprise that smoked duck is, far and away, my favorite way to eat this flying deliciousness.
Before you go shooting Donald in the face and throwing him on the Weber Smoky Mountain, though, there are a few things you need to know. First, duck is not like chicken, so we aren't going to treat it like chicken. We are going to treat it much more like steak, and we will be better people for doing so.
Second, duck is fatty, which is both good (flavor) and bad (more difficult to cook properly). So much of what we do here is designed to render out as much of the fat as possible, while still allowing it to flavor the meat. The two most important parts of facilitating the rendering are: (1) cut the duck in half length-wise and (2) using a sharp knife, poke holes in the skin/fat (being careful not to poke the meat).
For your rub, you're going to need:
- 2 tbsp. kosher salt
- 2 tbsp. black pepper
- 1 tbsp. granulated garlic
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tbsp. dried rosemary
Mix those ingredients together in a glass bowl. Take your duck halves and apply the rub liberally all over the bird, inside and out, working as much as you can into the little skin slits you made earlier. (Because, remember, spices have fat-soluble flavors.) Allow those halves to rest while you make your fire.
Get your smoker going around 225. I prefer a mild wood for this, preferably pecan when I can find it. Apple and cherry work well, too. Definitely avoid mesquite, and even be somewhat careful with hickory. Regardless of the wood -- but especially with hickory -- that fire needs to be burning clean.
Put the duck halves, skin-side up on the smoker. You'll want to put some kind of drip pan underneath, because there will be a lot of fat dripping. Let the duck cook until the internal temperature in the breast is 140ish. Now, ramp up the heat to 325+ and flip the halves. You're going to crisp the skin, render the remaining subcutaneous fat, and put a bow on the deliciousness right here. Let the duck cook like this until the temp in the breast hits 160.
Remove from the smoker, cover loosely with foil, and allow the duck to rest at least 10 minutes before eating.
BBQU PhD Program: Professor Vega Discusses Beer Pairings.
Ah, duck. If you read Hair of the Dog last week, you already know that I love duck, and am starting to experiment with it.
True story: My dad is a huge duck fan, and asked me to let him know how it came out. After dinner on Sunday night, I texted him that "the duck was amazing." Only, I misspelled duck to… well… you get the idea. That dad offered up a high five is an unsubstantiated rumor.
As I thought about what type of beer to pair with the duck, there were two thoughts that came to mind: amber and IPA. While I thought that the sweetness of an amber might balance the pepperiness in the duck (my recipe had a bit of pepper), I felt that duck called for something a bit more crisp. On the other hand, I was a bit concerned about how the hops of the IPA would play with the bold flavor of duck.
As such, I decided to go with the only other style I had in the fridge, an American Pale Ale. It worked perfectly.
The pale ale is a British style ale that dates back to the 1700s. It was the predecessor to the IPA – which has a fascinating history, though that is the story for another day – and has quickly become a popular style among American craft breweries.
The American pale ale (APA) differs from its British counterpart in that it will generally have a bolder hop profile and a crisper finish. The malt base is very similar and quite basic – mostly 2 row with a fairly light crystal mixed in (maybe up to 60 lovibond) – but again, the hop profile will be more pronounced. Generally one of the "C" American hops will be used (cascade or centennial being the most prominent) giving it a nice grapefruit and piney aroma. The bitterness will often be higher than what you find in a British IPA, though will fall well short of the American IPA.
Side note: I HATE using IBUs. They are a misleading calculation that almost never tells you anything about the actual beer, so don’t ask about them.
The most common and well known APA is Sierra Nevada, though two lesser known, but widely available are Dale’s Pale Ale (Oskar Blues Brewery) and Sweetwater 420 (Sweetwater Brewery). Dale’s Pale Ale really pushes the boundary of the pale ale/IPA line with a powerful hop aroma that likely comes from heavy dry hopping (it is also my favorite canned beer). 420, on the other hand, is more balanced and uses a different yeast strain (a London strain, I believe) to accentuate the maltiness.
The APA goes wonderfully with the duck because it has enough flavor and boldness to stand up to the duck without fading into the background, but it is restrained enough to really allow the duck to stand out. The bright, citruisy tones of the American hops blend wonderfully with the gaminess of duck (think of orange sauce with duck) making it a brilliant pairing.
Marijuana Pepsi Sawyer Inexplicable Decision Of The Week.
TXT MSGS of the Week.
Shake, with a tremendous idea:
They should start tracking assists on return TDs, because Kareem really deserves one on the JJ pick 6.
Mrs. MDC, upon noticing that the Texans were only up six near the end of the game:
I hate it when I realize, "Math, y'all." F&$K!
Evan, converting to Wattstafarianism:
I don't believe in God, but I believe in JJ Watt.
 More of an ass, I mean.
 "Discussion-Arousing, Frequently Unanswered Questions"