Showing posts from July, 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 clu…

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."


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. …

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.

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!

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
UPDATE: Star Trek Beyond
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 ....

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 …

#Never Trump - end of the line .......

There was an attempt to allow GOP delegates to vote unbound to their state results; however, the #NeverTrump side lost those votes by a wide margin. It appears the last actions could take place at the convention with gestures of dissent.

As a #NeverTrump voter, am looking at a protest vote with the Libertarian Johnson-Weld ticket...

Here Gov. Johnson makes his pitch to the #NeverTrump voters ....

And here Johnson makes his pitch to #FeelTheBern voters ....

Harsanyi - How Obama Divides America

Hard hitting stuff over at posting an op-ed from David Harsanyi.


Seemingly every political battle waged by the modern Democratic Party—gay rights, immigration, climate change, inequality—is imbued with a kind of spiritual certitude that justifies circumventing debate. If a person who opposes the Obama administration's transgender bathroom policy is just like a Klansman, why even discuss the matter? In this context, the histrionics of Democrats in Congress over guns or the media's melodramas make all the sense in the world. [.......]

If you continually claim that every problem in America is driven by hate, people may start believing you. According to a new Pew Research Center poll, Americans' perception of race relations is more negative today than it has been in 20 years. About 48 percent of those polled claim that "race relations are generally bad." And 36 percent of adults say that "too much attention" is paid to race and racial iss…

Falkenberg FF and the Allsvenskan

Can Falkenberg (FFF) stay in the Swedish top-level league, the Allsvenskan?

It is going to be a uphill battle for them but I think it is still possible.

To finish 14th and thus qualify for the relegation playoffs, they need somewhere between 24-32 points. That is the number of points the #14 place team has gotten since the current 16-team table has been in place (since 2008).

If they can beat bottom of the table clubs (11-16), draw mid-table (6-10), and lose to top-table (1-5), they can finish with 30 points which should put them in 14th or even better.

Can they do it? Go FFF! Laget vid Havet!
UPDATE: Ooooffff ..... 3-0 up on Hammarby only to surrender 3 goals and only getting a draw out of that match. Not good.

Sigi Schmid and Bruce Arena the Godfathers of American Soccer

Interesting profile of current MLS Galaxy (Arena) and Sounders (Schmid) coaches.

Seattle and Los Angeles face off on Saturday.

Allsvenskan is back in action this weekend .....

The international break is coming to an end and Swedish soccer returns.

The situation is pretty grim for Falkenberg with only 1 win 1 draw and 10 losses for a paltry 4 points. They are in 16th in a league of 16 teams. Positions 15 and 16 are automatically relegated. Position 14 leads to a one-game playoff.

There are 18 matches left in the season and to jump over two clubs isn't going to be easy given how much they have struggled so far. On the positive side, 5 of their 10 losses have been 1 goal defeats. Thus, the team isn't constantly being blown out by opponents. If they can pick up a few wins against other bottom half clubs and snatch a few draws from the mid-table teams, FFF could be back in the hunt for that #14 relegation playoff spot.

As for Elfsborg, they are sitting at #7. Defensively, they have only given up 15 goals (only two clubs have allowed fewer goals) and all five losses were by only 1 goal so they are in competitive in most matches. Hopefully, a stronger perf…

Liverpool Summer Update

So far LFC has not been very active in the summer transfer window. As of this writing, they have signed four players (Grujic, Matip, Karius, and Mane). I've only been following Liverpool the two years prior and LFC had rather frantic summer transfer activity compared to this summer. Hopefully, Klopp will be able to make judicious signings unlike the rather chaotic mix-and-match the previous two summers.

The management is looking to lock down Klopp to a longer term deal.

Usher describes it this way:
Back in October, when Rodgers departed, any suggestion that Liverpool would reach the Europa League final having knocked out Manchester United, Dortmund and Villarreal along the way would have been laughed out of town. Yet that's what they did, and although the 3-1 defeat to Sevilla in the final showed just how far they have to go, the journey that took them there at least suggests that Klopp gives them a chance of getting back to the top. There is no guarantee he will bring success…

Dodgers 2016 as of July

On one hand, things haven't gone according to plan:
The hope was that Pederson, Puig, and Grandal would show the hitting form they exhibited in early 2015. There are hints of it but still their numbers aren't great.
The hope was Turner and Gonzalez would continue to defy father time and be the core of the offense. There are hints of it but still their numbers aren't great.
The hope was that collecting a bunch of starting pitchers would be better than spending huge money on one pitcher. Unfortunately, there is almost an entire roster of starting pitchers on the DL right now. But things maybe turning a corner with the return of McCarthy and soon return of Ryu.
The front office probably didn't plan on having to use Stripling, Urias, and Bolsinger as pitchers as much as they had to. They weren't always effective but they did show promise, in particular Urias.

However, there have been some positives:
Seager looks to be the star the front office thought he might be.