Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Galaxy could disappear into the injury black hole....

In the latest "power rankings" over at MLSsoccer.com the Galaxy fall to 8th and rightly so. They haven't done much lately. And it is looking like it is going to be a rough September for them.

They note: "With Gyasi Zardes out for the season, Jelle Van Damme out 2-3 weeks, Steven Gerrard nursing a knock, Nigel de Jong flirting with Turkey (it's official, he has been transferred) and zero wins in their last five, the Galaxy don't look like a top seed in the West."

Will be interesting to see who Coach Arena sends out there for Saturday's match at home against the Columbus Crew.

Good to see Rowe back in goal.

Back four likely to be: Steres, Leonardo, Cole, Rogers
D-midfield: Larentowicz and Husidic
A-mid/forwards: Dos Santos, Magee, Boateng, Lletget

Larentowicz and Magee are a bit older and will likely be subbed out at some point in the second half. Would figure Gordon would be plugged in. Wonder which of the youngster will get minutes as the second and third subs?

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Liverpool 1-1-1 so far

Great win against Arsenal.

Laid an egg against Burnley.

Played a high intensity game against Tottenham resulting in a draw.

Which Liverpool team will show up this weekend?

In 2015-2016:
Leicester City road the magic carpet to the title. Don't see them repeating. Maybe 8th?

Arsenal finished 2nd last year. What about this year? Perhaps 4th?

Tottenham was 3rd last year and they have the ability to be 3rd again this year.

Man City came in 4th last year and this year they look to move up under Pep to 2nd place?

Man U got the 5th spot last year and with Jose and Zlatan, they may win the whole thing this year!

Liverpool was hot and cold all season and came in 8th. If the first 3 games is an indication of similar hot/cold performances, they could claw their way to 7th. On the other hand, if they play like they did against Arsenal, they could get as high as 4th. Time will tell if they can show some consistency.

Chelsea, after a dreadful start climbed up to 10th. Under new leadership, look for them to finish 5th.


Saturday, August 06, 2016

Ooofffff - Falkenberg takes it on the chin 0-5 to Jonkoping

It is not looking good for the team by the sea. Check out the video highlight package from CMORE.

With this loss, FFF falls to 16th in the table. I had projected which games they probably needed to win in order to have a shot at staying in the top league. Suffice to say, today was one of those games. Instead, they were wiped out.




Saturday, July 30, 2016

LA Galaxy & Seattle Sounders - A tale of two clubs

On Sunday, LA plays Seattle up at Seattle.

It has been a rough season for Seattle. This item highlights what has been going wrong this year.

The club has been losing matches and the coach has been fired and there are rumors of discord in the locker room.

LA has won its last 6 matches (4 MLS and 2 Open Cup) and climbing up the table in the West and in the Supporter's Shield. They have been playing good defense and the offense is been efficient. 34 goals puts them in the top 6 in the MLS but 207 shots is last in the league!

Can the Galaxy make a run to the MLS Cup with this group?

Certainly, the players seem to be playing well as a team both on offense and defense. The additions of the three aging Eurostars off season has made a difference. However, they have picked up some red cards and injuries which could cost them. In the end, a run to a championship needs both talent, chemistry among players, and some luck in avoiding the injuries. But in addition to the older talent on the club, the Galaxy's eye for younger talent has been another key to their success.

Seattle certainly looks vulnerable right now and the Galaxy should win this one but Seattle and Galaxy have had their share of tough matches over the years!

UPDATE: 1-1 tie. Didn't see the whole match but Seattle looked to be having the better of it and LA managed to snatch a tie from the jaws of defeat. Certainly, looking at the states, the Green bars were better than the Blue bars.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Kaine-Pence 2016 Pence-Kaine



What is a #nevertrump #neverhillary voter to do? The respective VP are both "no drama" and some say even "boring" but they have worked with people as governors to generally good reviews. Prefer that to the traveling road show of Clinton or Trump!

Don't know if California allows write-ins but it is a temptation. May also consider Johnson-Weld, two former governors running on the Libertarian ticket. What else can a dis-enchanted voter do?

The write-in option would be a somewhat "wasted" protest vote as it may or may not count (see items below). Voting Libertarian will "count" but unless they garner much more votes their impact on the two major parties will remain on the margins but perhaps that is worth something.

If you are curious, here are a few articles about write-in candidates. Suffice to say, it will either not be counted or lumped together with generic "other."

From https://ballotpedia.org/Ballot_access_for_presidential_candidates:

An individual can run as a write-in candidate. In 34 states, a write-in candidate must file some paperwork in advance of the election. In nine states, write-in voting for presidential candidates is not permitted. The remaining states do not require write-in candidates to file paperwork in advance of the election

From http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2004-11-01/the-ins-and-outs-of-write-ins:

In most states, registered write-in candidates like Nader and Allen at least get the joy of seeing their piddling results the next day. But in Oregon, the computerized tabulation system won't calculate any specific write-in results unless it appears the contender has enough support to win. And five states -- Hawaii, Nevada, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Carolina -- don't allow any Presidential write-ins, and never have. Louisiana, the sixth no-write-in state, got rid of them in 1975 after it adopted a system in which anyone could get on the regular ballot, regardless of party affiliation. [.....] Unregistered write-ins have to be thrown out manually. "My friends used to write me in for county attorney, and I used to think it was funny," says Kanefield, letting his chuckle stop short. "[That was] until I got into the election administration. It takes time to process those." The person who has to sort your vote for Boston Red Sox center fielder Johnny Damon from the pile will undoubtedly find it less amusing than you do.

From http://wtop.com/elections/2016/05/write-in-votes-rarely-count-for-presidential-candidates/:

In Maryland and Virginia, write-in votes for candidates who did not file their candidacies with the state get piled into a generic “other” or “write-in” category. “Even though those votes should be counted for, sometimes elections boards think it is too much trouble and you’ll have a vote here and a vote there and they’ll lump them together as ‘other,'” said Johns Hopkins University professor Ben Ginsberg. “(Your vote) will count in the sense that somewhere in that computer, the vote will be registered,” Ginsberg added, noting that the vote will not be counted for a specific candidate.



Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Problem Solved: Can't retrieve Pubmed results on Endnote when off-campus

Many people use Endnote to generate reference lists for publications and other documents. I use it when I am on-campus without any problems. The other day I was off-campus trying to use it and couldn't retrieve any literature searches from Pubmed. I could visit Pubmed directly and search. However, if I wanted to retrieve items for my Endnote reference database, it came up empty.

I called Endnote technical support and they explained it was probably due to my PROXY settings.

When I am on-campus, I can visit Pubmed and when I find an article of interest I can click through to view the item. Many journal articles now can be seen by anyone with a computer anywhere but some items can only be seen if the webpage recognizes your institution. When I am on-campus, those webpages know I'm at UCLA and that our library has a license to view the article. When I am off-campus, those websites don't see my UCLA credentials and I can't see the item unless I configure my proxy settings. A proxy setting allows me to have my on-campus credentials even when I am off-campus accessing the internet.

The tech service representative said Endnote wants to connect to PubMed directly and the proxy settings could cause a connection problem. Thus, he said, I need to disable my proxy settings when I am off-campus to use the Endnote search and retrieve functions. If you know how to set the proxy setting then you will know how to disable them.

Briefly, follow your institution's guidelines for setting the proxy. Keep a file on your desktop describing that. When you need to disable it, in my case, I just unchecked the mark for "Automatic Proxy Configuration," hit okay, hit apply, and then reboot the computer.

I was able to search and retrieve via Endnote from off-campus.

When you want to restore your proxy settings, pull up that file and check the right box and enter the right information, hit okay, hit apply, and then reboot the computer.

Monday, July 25, 2016

No Party Preference Voter


In California, one can update your registration information online.

A handful of days ago, I went in and re-registered as a "No Party Preference." Part of my #NeverTrump sentiment.

Of course, I'm also #NeverHillary so I don't know what I am going to do on the POTUS vote in November. I could skip that item. I am also looking at the Johnson-Weld ticket.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Elfsborg: Can they make a run to the Europa League?

It isn't looking too good for IF Elfsborg this season as they are sitting mid-table in 6th place with 21 points at 14/30 or 7/15 or just about half-way through the season.

Currently, the league champion goes to the Champions League of course. Finishers two and three get invites to the Europa League. Since 2008 when the Allsvenskan expanded to 16 teams, the third place team has gathered 52 to 61 points. Thus, Elfsborg needs something in that range to have a decent shot at finishing in third place.

Let's say 55 points is a target to get to 3rd place. Currently Goteborg is at 25 points after 14 matches. They are on track to about 54 points.

In the table below is a scenario that gets Elfsborg to 55 points. They need 10 wins, 4 draws, and 2 losses. Not an easy task ahead!




Thursday, July 21, 2016

Ranking the Star Trek Movies

Everybody is making lists so why can't this pajama wearing blogger who watched every film at least once! Also have seen all the TV shows though some via Netflix after the fact. At the time, I didn't quite get hooked into DS9, Voyager, or Enterprise during their live run on TV. But upon viewing on Netflix, have found each has its own strengths.

Onto the list of films .....

From best to worst FWIW IMHO .....

Star Trek II - the Wrath of Khan
Star Trek IV - the Voyage Home
Star Trek (2009)
Star Trek - First Contact
Star Trek Into Darkness
Star Trek VI - the Undiscovered Country
Star Trek III - the Search for Spock
Star Trek - the Motion Picture
Star Trek - Generations
Star Trek - Nemesis
Star Trek - Insurrection
Star Trek V - the Final Frontier

UPDATE: Here is the opinion the IGN people ....

Monday, July 18, 2016

Triple your pleasure - LA Galaxy update

LA Galaxy playing at home defeated the Houston Dynamo 1-0.

That is their third win in a row.
They have moved up to third in the West conference.
The team sits at third in the Supporter's Shield.

Saw parts of the game. The forward movement and play between dos Santos/Zardes/Keane is looking better. By stats, it looked like an even match up. By eyeball, in the parts that I saw, the Galaxy seemed to be having their way with Houston though they didn't put it into the net except for the Gerrard goal at the 66 minute mark. Seems to me they should have won by a wider margin as they weren't "clinical" on the final part of the play.

Went over to LAGConfidential to see how their guy saw the WHOLE game.

Here are some excerpts from their report in italics with my comments in regular text.

Giovani dos Santos: For my money, the enigmatic little Mexican midfielder was LA's man of the match. He didn't show up on the scoreboard, but he played with a level of intensity and commitment that surpassed any previous performance for LA. 

I'd agree he looked fit and lively.

In this match, he (Zardes) did a great job playing the role a target winger. He stays wide, works hard defensively, makes slashing runs through the midfield, but also plays the role of the hold-up player. He receives the ball with his back to goal, and and dishes it off to his teammates, maintaining possession and helping to transition from defense to the attack.

I'd agree he looked fit and lively.

Of course, I can't talk about this match without appreciating how his group of players have shored up their defense. The team is currently playing very cohesive and effective defense. Houston are one of the worst teams in the league, but LA did a very good job harassing them in the midfield and not giving them any good scoring opportunities in the penalty box. [......] While the score and the stats may not reflect it, LA seemed to be truly in control of this match.

Great to see the Galaxy pitching shutouts!

Robbie Keane, while creating plenty of chances, had an uncharacteristically poor night finishing his them. The missed penalty early in the match is the obvious example, but he also seemed to be just off on his runs, his touch, and his communication with his teammates.

I didn't see the missed PK. I did see the play when he got after Houston that resulted in the Gerrard goal. I thought is is pretty amazing that these two mid-30-somethings out-hustled the Dynamo defenders. Wonder if the Dynamo just didn't expect these old guys to get after it like that? But I'll take the LAG's word for it that over the whole game that while Keane was on the ball he was not as sharp with it at the end of the run of play as he usually is.

I don't understand why Arena is so slow to make his substitutions. This team has unprecedented depth. Mike Magee was the first sub, and he came on for Gerrard in the 80th minute. Poor Sebastian Lletget, the second and final substitution on the night, didn't get in until the 89th minute.[......]As regular readers know, I have a love/hate relationship with Gerrard. He has the ability to make things happen for the team. He can spray the ball around like nobody's business, and he'll occasionally crop up in a key position and score a game-winning goal like he did tonight. Unfortunately, at his advanced age, there are also some pretty gaping holes in his game. In about the 60th minute, it became pretty clear that he was getting fatigued.

I'd agree that the Galaxy has a strong bench and over the long season it would be good to work them into games. Of course, in this particular game, Gerrard got the goal at 66' and would potentially have been subbed out at 60. But the counter-point is that one of the subs (probably Magee) might have pounced on the loose ball just as well and have scored.

Anyway, this week is a mid-week a US Open match against Seattle. Will see how much of the "A-team" plays. MLS Cup is the main thing so would anticipate some mix and match for the line-up card.

UPDATE: Well, that was a nice surprise! Galaxy advance to semi-finals of US Open Cup with a 4-2 win over Seattle. Down 2-1, Arena sent in two offense members of the "A-team," Zardes and Dos Santos, in the 74th minute. Boom - Dos Santos got the tying goal at 77. Zardes to Husidic to Lletget to get the go ahead at 85. Zardes and Lletget did a two-man game and Lletget gathered another at 88.