Showing posts from November, 2017

Star Trek Discovery - Episodes 8-9 random comments from a Cadet level fan

And so ends the first part of season 1. The show comes back from hiatus in January.

I think they are developing the characters nicely and you can imagine them being a crew for future exploration post-war. However, the plot lines do point to the fact that each may have some serious problems adjusting to life post-war:

Lorca - heroic leadership but also crazed from blowing up his previous crew and being tortured by the Klingons and pushing the rules with the Disco crew. He could be relieved of duty at anytime by the admiralty of Star Fleet.
Ash - heroic soldier but crazed by being tortured by the Klingons and of course the lingering suspicion that he is actually a genetically/surgically altered Klingon.
Stamets - heroic scientist but crazed by having Tardigrade DNA injected into him and having had too many trips into the multiverse with the magical mushroom spores.
Burnham - heroic efforts all around but of course there is still the matter of the life sentence for mutiny.

About the only…

LA Galaxy and LAFC

The LA Galaxy came off their worst season in recent memory. The post-mortem seems to be that it was a combination of injuries and poor construction of the team and toxic locker room culture. The big question mark for LAG's braintrust is who stays and who goes? And is the rebuild going to be to blow up the whole thing or just make a few changes?

Meanwhile, LAFC has a blank slate to work from.

LAFC is slowly adding some talent to their squad.

Carlos Vela was their first big name signing from the Mexico national team and La Liga. He was obtained via the Designated Player (DP) mechanism.

Omar Gaber is coming on loan from Swiss Super League and is arriving using Targeted Allocation Money (TAM).

LAFC will get some players via the expansion draft and other draft procedures.

In the past, one had very low expectation of how competitive an expansion team can be. However, with the success of Atlanta United last year, it is possible to make the right picks and field a highly competitive team.

QPR takes it on the chin .....

Having pulled off upsets against Wolverhampton and Sheffield United, QPR has dropped three in a row.

Thrashed by Nottingham Forest 4-0, edged out by Aston Villa 2-1, and defeated 2-0 by Derby County.

It is disappointing after two good wins against the #1 and #3 clubs in the Championship.

On the other hand, the defeats came against the #4, #6 and #7 team. Thus, in the abstract, it isn't a surprise since QPR realistically is a top of the bottom half of the table club. Nonetheless, as a fan, you feel bad for the club and wonder what they need to be more competitive and not always play from behind. Of course, the reality is that the club is a community club with more resources than some but much less than others.

Come on you R's!

the Curse of Sevilla 3-3

3-0 at the half and LFC could have had more.
Second half 3-0 and Sevilla grabs a draw.
This is what it means to be a Liverpool fan the last few years. An offense that makes you stand up and cheer. A defense that makes you want to hide under the table.

3-0 shutout of Southampton and onto Sevilla

Liverpool fans are singing happy days are here again with another easy win! 
With Salah, Mane, Firmino, and Coutinho running and passing Southampton had no chance and so LFC is on a roll. 
Big test this Tuesday on the road at Sevilla, a team that has been beat Liverpool in the Europa League final in 2016 and snatched a draw in 2017 in the first half of Champions League Group play. 
LFC would benefit psychologically with a solid win to prove to themselves they can beat a team they haven't beaten recently.
Who do you put on the line-up card knowing Chelsea is coming up on the weekend - an even bigger test?
The front three fills in itself: Salah, Mane, Firmino.
The midfield three: Coutinho is the only definite starter.
Who do you pick to take the other two spots?
Milner, Can, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana?

I'd go with Milner and Can to provide some rotation with instructions to be defensive minded jumping into the offensive flow cautiously.

As for the back fo…

Go LFC! The Mane and Salah show!

After the wipe at at Tottenham, LFC fans were in despair. However, since then, LFC beat Huddersfield Town 3-0, Maribor 3-0, and West Ham 4-1. All of this without Coutinho. It is good preparation for the club as eventually he will make that move to Barcelona and they will have to get by without him. However, these three wins were not exactly A-list competition. LFC and FSG ownership will need to think about how they will fill the hole they will have when Coutinho departs.

But for now, the fans are excited about the return of Sadio Mane. The win in the West Ham match showed what the duo of Mane and Salah can do!


Following LFC is pretty straightforward since there is so much coverage of the Premier League in ESPNFC and in any sports section of UK newspapers online.

One of my favorite sources for news and comment on the commute is the Liverpool Echo's "Blood Red" podcast. They recently interviewed Raphael Honigstein who has written a book about Jurgen Klopp with the ti…

Swedish Soccer Season Has Concluded

In the top league, Allsvenskan, Malmo FF has repeated as champions and have a run of 4 in the last 5 years. They now have won 23 times in their history. Malmo goes to 2018-2019 Champions League qualification rounds.

AIK and Djurgardens finish two and three and gain entry into 2018-2019 Europa League qualification rounds.

At the bottom end, AFC United (Eskiltuna) and Hamstad BK were relegated.

Jonkopings Sodra IF will face Trelleborgs (third place in Superettan) in a two-legged play-off with the winner going to Allsvenskan and loser going to Superettan.

IF Brommapojkarna won Superettan and Dalkurd finished second thus, these two teams are promoted up to Allsvenskan.

As for the teams I follow, Falkenberg finished fourth in Superettan which is pretty good considering their poor start. Elfsborg finished eighth in Allsvenskan. They never seemed to get on track this year.

Star Trek Discovery Episode 7 - Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

Well, that was fun!

The "below decks" flavor of the party was a departure from the usual and was a good touch for character development. Eventually, as the story unfolded, it became obvious we were in a time-loop story, a staple of science fiction TV shows. I immediately recalled the ST-TNG episode Cause and Effect.

As with any time-loop story, the challenge is how additional information can somehow be passed along to the next iteration. And in this case, Stamet's being the human interface with the spore network allowed him to retain information from cycle-to-cycle. Eventually, he realizes he can't stop Mudd on his own. Thus, he begins to recruit other crew-members figuring out ways to convince them. In so doing, we get to see some character development. Humor has been relatively light in the show but on this occasion, we do get some and it flows naturally from the characters.

First episode so far where there wasn't a glaring nitpick for me to grab onto. All in a…

LA Galaxy - where I get insight from them

Sometimes I am able to watch the matches in part or in full on television and can form some opinions based on my untrained soccer watching eyes.

I read the match reports on the sports web pages whether I see the games on TV. One regular stop is LA Times Kevin Baxter who covers soccer providing both match reports and the inside stories to the team. In addition to writing for the LA Times, he also appears regularly on the Corner of the Galaxy podcast with host Josh Guesman who also has access to insiders with the LA Galaxy organization.

In a recent podcast, they discuss that the Galaxy scouting unit isn't a robust as one would have thought in particular missing players from Latin America while focusing on European players.

Baxter suspects that the LA Galaxy ownership group is losing money on a year-to-year operational basis. In the past, they have accepted this as part of building the brand and the asset value of the club. However, Baxter thinks the owners now believe the team needs…

QPR 1 Sheffield United 0

Queens Park Rangers defeat another top part of the table club Tuesday night!

Have to feel badly for goalkeeper Jamal Blackman who got injured on the play that resulted in the goal.

Gifted a one goal lead, the Hoops held on for the win. Can't tell too much from the match report on BBC. From that report, it sound like both clubs had some additional near misses. The stats say Sheffield dominated possession but QPR got more shots but it is hard to know from that stat how high the quality of the shot attempt was.

In any case, two wins for the Rangers and they climb to the middle part of the table1

MLB World Series 2017 - Game 7

Been following the Dodgers since I was a kid.

I was alive when they won it all in 1963 (I was born the summer of 63). I was too young to know when they won in 1965.

The Dodgers had some very good teams in the 1970s but they came up on the short end against the A's (1974) and the Yankees (1977 and 1978).

I remember 1978 game 2 when Bob Welch struck out Reggie Jackson to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the series. But the Dodgers would drop the next four.

The baseball script writers would turn the tables in 1981 when the Dodgers were down 2-0 and went on to win the next four against the Yankees to win the series.

1988. Arguably the most memorable home run in baseball history was hit by Kirk Gibson to win Game 1. The Dodgers would finish off the heavily favored A's in five behind Hershiser and a cast of role players on the field and on the mound.

The Kirk Gibson home run video clip has run since then on one hand invoking great memories but on the other hand a reminder of how hard …