Showing posts from June, 2016

California High Speed Rail - Will the Project Be Cancelled?

I did not vote for the initial bond measure to launch the California High Speed Rail. From what I read at that time the critics thought the supporters of the measure (1) under-estimated the cost and (2) over-estimated the ridership.

This item over at Bloomberg seems to indicate that the supporters had an inkling of the problems but nonetheless decided to sell the project with estimates that were very dubious.

Sold to the public in 2008 as a visionary plan to whisk riders along at 220 miles an hour, making the trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles in a little over two and a half hours, the project promised to attract most of the necessary billions from private investors, to operate without ongoing subsidies and to charge fares low enough to make it competitive with cheap flights. With those assurances, 53.7 percent of voters said yes to a $9.95 billion bond referendum to get the project started. But the assurances were at best wishful thinking, at worst an elaborate con.

Soccer weekly post

Its been international soccer on the TV with Euro 2016 coverage at ESPN and Fox with Copa America.

In the end, the US didn't measure up to Argentina. For the 3rd place match they came out with more purposefulness and gave it a go but fell 1-0. The USMNT had some great chances but couldn't cash them in. From what I hear, analysts appear to think the back four is looking more solid, Guzan looks to succeed Howard in goal, Zardes/Wood/Dempsey (and if Altidore could stay healthy) provide them with some movement and scoring chops, but there are concerns about the midfield. Midfielders Jones and Bradley appear to be the key players but might not have enough abilities to take the US to the next level. Nagbe and Pulisic are promising and the hope is they will develop further and in the next few years be major forces on the squad.

Meanwhile, in the final between Argentina and Chile, it was a chippy 0-0 in regular time and then the extra time yielded no goals leaving everything to rest o…

Bret Stephens of Wall Street Journal and his concerns about Trump

Stephens was interviewed by Hugh Hewitt recently and offered his thoughts.


Stephens: I will never vote for Donald Trump. I have a very, very hard time voting for Mrs. Clinton. I have been, I have been writing about Hillary Clinton, I just actually looked this up, since 1998 when she was busy standing by when Suha Arafat was launching anti-Semitic tirades against Israel and the Jews. And Hillary Clinton’s record in office is dreadful. Her ideas are dreadful. They will make us less safe. So, but there is no way I’m going to vote for a guy who is just totally uninformed, un-presidential as Donald Trump is. 
Who knows better than you what it means to have a commander-in-chief who lived his entire life, who lived throughout the entire Cold War, and doesn’t know what the nuclear triad is? It’s absolutely astonishing. And so it’s terrific to have Joe Dunford and you know, perhaps John Bolton and other people in positions of trust. But you have to have a president who bother…

Argentina v. USA - who will be in the XI for the US?

The starting XI at the beginning of the Copa America was:
Guzan in goal
Brooks/Cameron at center-back
Johnson/Yedlin at full-back
Jones/Bradley/Bedoya at midfield
Wood/Dempsey/Zardes at forward/attacking midfield.

Unfortunately, due to red card Jones is out and due to yellow card accumulation Wood and Bedoya are out.

So who should be plugged in?

Beckerman and Zusi have been frequently used as substitutes so I can see them in for Jones and Bedoya. But how do you replace Wood's pace and nose for the ball and overall ability to create havoc at the attacking end?

In listening to TV commentators, I think they I heard a someone (probably Lalas on Fox) say that Zardes will take up Wood's role and that Besler will join the defense and push Johnson up into the midfield. The other option is to have Zardes in Wood's role and have Nagbe/Bradley/Beckerman/Zusi for a 4-man midfield.

We shall see!


UPDATE: Well, what can you say after the 4-0 defeat at the hands of Argentina? The…

USA v. Argentina - Tuesday 6PM PDT

#31 vs. #1. Am guessing the odds makers have the USA as huge underdogs. In this case, against the #1 ranked team in the world with the most famous player in the world, Lionel Messi, it isn't false humility to say the USA are the underdogs. Huge. Underdogs.

Team USA's most dramatic moments on the world stage have come against .... Ghana in 2014...

Algeria in 2010 ....

The hard headed sports analysts in me says that in all likelihood, Argentina will dominate possession and eventually get a couple of goals and win comfortably 2-0 or something like that.

But if the USA can keep it close such that one magical moment could do it ..... well who will join the ranks of Landon Donovan and John Brooks for scoring a late in the game goal that sends fans into the stratosphere in celebration ..... ?

Will be interesting to see if Fox Sports will come up with an exciting and stirring teaser for the match! Go Team USA!!

US Open Cup, Copa America, and Euro 2016

Friday,Italy v. Sweden.

UPDATE: Ugh. Italy wins it 1-0 on a late goal.

Tuesday night at the Stub Hub, LA Galaxy vs. La Maquina FC in a 4th round US Open Cup. Anticipating that the Galaxy "B-team" will be on the field tonight in what should be an easy win.

UPDATE: Last time I try to predict an "easy win!" LAG got a 1-0 lead but then a foolish red-card (aren't they all?) put them in danger. Indeed the score was tied 1-1 where it remained for regular time. In extra time, LAG picked up a "gift" of a goal when many players on both sides did not play to the whistle.

k — LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) June 15, 2016 After that, LAG got two more goals for a final tally of 4-1 but more drama than the scoreline indicated.

Saturday night, Galaxy return to MLS action on the road up in Toronto. Hopefully, team USA will still be in the Copa America. I'm guessing Zardes (the one Galaxy player on the USMNT) would not be available for the LAG even …

USMNT in Copa America & Sweden in the Euro 2016

With no MLS or Allsvenskan matches, it is time to follow the national teams in their competitions.

Its pretty simple for Team USA: don't lose to Paraguay. 

A draw is okay because USA finishes with 4 points in group A and the only way they can get eliminated is a big upset by Costa Rica over Columbia. It would be a big upset because Columbia is really good. It would also have to be a big upset in that Costa Rica has to erase their -4 goal differential with a seven goal victory over Columbia.

A win by the USMNT gets them to six points and into the knockout stage.

Paraguay is at the win or go home point. The only way they get to the knockout is to win.

I haven't seen any of the USMNT games but have heard post game comments. The general feeling I get was that the early goals in both matches were key. Colombia got the early goal and US had to chase the game and don't have the skills to break down a solid defense. USA got the early goal against Costa Rica so they had to chase whic…

FWIW - Voting on Judges for LA County?

Unless you personally know the judges running for their offices there isn't many ways to know much about them. So for what it is worth, here is what I have found from four sources. Each has its own perspectives and criteria.

Los Angeles County Bar Association
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County Democratic Party
Los Angeles County Republican Party

Here is an article from KCET about how the LA County Bar Association conducts its survey of judicial candidates. Here is another item from KCET about the attempt to balance having the govenor appointing judges and the public voting on judges.

LA Galaxy a bit of a muddle

LA was defeated at Montreal on the stoppage time free kick. The goal was a howler as Rowe probably would stop that thing 9 times out of 10. The other part that irks fans is that the free kick was set up by a ill-timed foul. Net result a 3-2 defeat snatched from the jaws of a draw.

Tonight, LA take the field at home against a struggling SKC.

MLS does not take the entire international break off though after tonight's match, LA doesn't play again until June 18.

The feeling I get following the club and seeing parts of several games is that they run hot and cold. They can get out and score in bunches as reflected by their 27 goals so far that makes them the highest scoring club currently. On the other hand, when the game is close, their defense has let them down thus yielding draws that should be wins and losses that should be draws (both came in 2nd half stoppage time!). Thus, with the most goals scored and the highest goal differential, the club languishes in 5th place in the …

Recurrent Small Bowel Obstruction and 24 Inches of Plastic Tubing

image source: 
24 inches of plastic tubing. Doesn't seem like much but it is one of the major pieces of technology in the non-surgical management of small bowel obstruction. The ER nurse knew my medical history so she knew I knew what was about to happen thus her explanation was relatively brief. In 2004, twelve years earlier, the descriptions and assurances were quite extensive as it was the first time I underwent the procedure. But on this afternoon, it was all done in short order. She coated the tubing with anesthetic gel and skillfully placed the nasal gastric tube.
24 hours earlier ........
April 22 Friday
I was at work having a mostly normal day. But inside, in my small intestines, things were not normal. Around 5PM, I began to experience abdominal pain. It was a familiar sensation. Over the years, sometimes the pain would go away after a few hours as the obstruction would resolve on its ow…