Tournament Update

The first two days were great for me! In my pool I’m in first place. I went 26-6 and still have 15 of my 16 teams that I picked to make the Sweet 16. The only one I missed was Duke. And I’m totally fine with that. Because as we all know:

F**k Duke.

Today I am 1-0, so it’s going well too! Phil is doing alright. But he’s probably not up yet, and if he is he is nursing a hangover at a blackjack table so he doesn’t care either way.

He is missing tonights poker game at my place though. New chips coming out tonight! I’ve got a good feeling tonight is my night!

Everything’s coming up Eric!!

March Madness

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!  I’m so excited!  The tournament starts today!  Happy tournament day to all of you who have the day off and get to watch the games!  And also to those of you stuck at work who will be sneaking a peak at your bracket in between your job.  Well I couldn’t figure out a way to put my bracket online so I’m simply going to post the Final Four for Phil and me.

Phil and I are doing a bracket challenge on ESPN with 10 of our friends.  I never win.  I always pick too many upsets.  I try to be too clever.  It never works out.  I tried to reign it in a bit, but I still went too far.  So I’m sure I’m already out of the pool and the games are still about 2 hours away.

So without further ado:

Phil’s final four: Florida, Arizona, Michigan State and Louisville.  Ohhh, lookie lookie.  Look who listened to EVERY SINGLE PERSON on ESPN and picked the same three that every one of them did, and #1 Arizona.  Way to go out on a limb Phil.  Good job.  You know not all of those will make it.  If they do, feel free to mock me.  But it’s not going to happen.

Now, I will gladly toot my own horn.  I picked the final four correctly once.  Ah, 2002 was a glorious year.  Maryland won the whole damn thing.  I will say this though.  That was in a stretch where I picked Maryland to win like three straight titles.  Was it luck in 2002, or did my skill finally come together?  I choose the latter.  Of course, as I write this, I realize my peak was 12 years ago.  How sad.

My final four is Florida, Virginia, Louisville, and Creighton.  I love having an oddball school in the final four.  I picked Davidson the year the went to the elite eight.  Butler a couple years ago.  So Creighton will either make it, or lose their first game.  So that’s exciting.

Unfortunately, we have the same championship game and champion.  Florida over Louisville.  So I have to have a lead in our bracket going into that game.

Good luck to all of you!  Terrible luck to Phil!

And of course.. LET’S GO TAR HEELS!

Glitter

No, not the bullsh*t Mariah Carey movie. Actual glitter. Whoever invented glitter can eat a d**k. My daughter comes home from preschool everyday with art projects that are covered in glitter. And therefore our house is covered in glitter. I love her art, but pick up a paint brush!!! So to glitter and its inventor, I say f**k you.

Also in the unimportant play in games tonight, I’ll take Albany and NC State.

I was going to open up a bracket challenge to anyone who wanted to challenge Phil and me, but Phil said no one would do it. He’s probably right. He’s also a huge debbie downer. Thanks Phil! Why don’t you go find a parade and rain on it.

So instead I’ll just throw up my bracket on Thursday morning before the games start. Maybe tomorrow night. I’ve gotta tinker a bit.

Tomorrow night I’m watching the very important Cal Poly game. My buddy Ryan went to CP so I’m rooting for them. Even though they beat my wifes school, UC Irvine, in the Big West tournament. Go Mustangs!!

Today in history

As I said yesterday, I was a history major in college. If I couldn’t be a pro basketball player (never actually an option. Although I did shoot a half court shot at a Kings game. I caught back rim. Then I got to shoot a 3 which I buried. Obviously.) I wanted to teach high school history. There are a number of reasons it didn’t work out. One of the biggest is that I want to teach history correctly.  I don’t think I would be very welcome in schools or districts.  I wouldn’t follow lesson plans or text books.

The way history is taught in schools is wrong. Not only is it planned poorly but it is factually inaccurate. I know what you’re thinking. “Eric, I’ve taken history classes all my life, and I turned out just fine.” Ya, you’re fine. You’re not great. Everything you were taught was wrong. Okay not everything. But lots of stuff. Which brings us to today’s lesson.

Today is the anniversary of the very first phone call between Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson on 3/10/1876. Now, there are two types of people in this world. Those that believe Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, and those who are right.

In 1857, an Italian immigrant named Antonio Meucci started making notes on what would become his idea for the telephone.  I bet you’re wondering, who the hell is Antonio Meucci?  Well, keep reading.  Meucci applied for his first patent on his “Sound Telegraph” in 1971.  Bell’s patent wasn’t filed until 1876 when Meucci’s had expired.  Antonio took his drawings to the American District Telegraph Company for testing.  But after two years of waiting, he went to get his paperwork back.  But guess what?  They had conveniently lost all his drawings and paperwork.  I seem to recall in previous reading or research that Bell had worked for American District, but cannot seem to find that for this post.  But if my memory is correct, the conventional wisdom would be that Bell is the one who stole the drawings, or had knowledge of the theft.  Maybe it’s too easy to make the connection.  Maybe I’m a conspiracy theorist.  Call me what you want.  Trust me, I’ve been called worse.

Meucci was not a wealthy man.  He did not have the financial wherewithal for a legal battle.  In fact, he was bankrupt by 1861.  All cases were eventually dropped upon his death in 1889.  In 2002, the House of Representatives passed HRes 269, which states that “if Meucci had been able to pay the $10 fee to maintain the caveat after 1874, no patent could have been issued to Bell.”

If you’re ever in New York, there is the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum on Staten Island that has a bunch of information on the subject.  Also, there was an episode of Mysteries at the Museum dedicated to this debate.

I like to think that Meucci did in fact invent the telephone. However there are people much smarter than I am who believe Bell was in fact first. I don’t pretend to know all the answers, but I do know there’s more to the story than I was taught in school. In my studies, I have found this to be the case more often than not. And that was the point of this post. Not necessarily to change your mind, but to open your mind. There are reasons I have major problems with school. Both high school and college.  Especially college.  This is one of many. So hopefully this will make you think for yourself, and go read a book.

Today in history

So this was going to be a feature I wanted to do regularly.  And I have a great post for tomorrow.  As a history major in college, it has always been super interesting to me.  As my 17 year old niece constantly tells me, it’s only interesting to me.  She hates history.  She constantly asks questions about her homework, and when I go on and on about my answers, you can see her eyes glaze over and you can almost hear the music playing in her head.  But history is great, and I really wanted to teach it correctly.  You know, like how Christopher Columbus was actually a horrible person and not only was he not the first person to discover the new world, but he should be vilified not celebrated.

Anyway, this is a quick one because it’s really only interesting if you’re a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, like me.  Today is Founders Day!  March 9, 1856!  Happy Founders Day!

Daylight Savings Time

F**k you, daylight savings time.  I’m sleepy.

Arizona really does it up right.  You know, except for that whole, basic human rights thing.  And I’m sure a bunch of other s**t.  I’m to tired to look up all the crazy crap that Arizona does.  But as far as daylight savings time, weather and Brandon McCarthy… Arizona is aces.

How dare you, daylight savings time.  How dare you be during the last days of Sacramento Beer Week.  Or vice versa.  I’m not sure, I’m all thrown off.  All I know is Phil went downtown to do a pub crawl, and I got a pity invite.  He only mentioned it to me after I sent him a text earlier on Saturday night.  Luckily for him I had been drinking since noon.  I have a kegerator, and my folks came over today so I was in no shape to drive.  You butthole, Phil.

I tried to tell Phil to go earlier in the week when his favorite beer was on tap.  That is Pliny the Elder.   There was also Pliny the Younger on tap in a few places.  They sold out in record time.  I’ve never had either.  It’s impossible to find either in stores.  He tells me I won’t like them.  I’m a Moosehead kinda guy.  My buddy’s wife says that’s  girly beer because it’s crisp and refreshing, but how is that possible?!  It’s Canadian!  It’s a wilderness, rugged, lumberjack kinda beer!  Anyway.

And of course, rather than go to bed on time, I stayed up late watching Catching Fire.  But I’ll get to that later.  Why don’t you just sleep in the extra hour you ask?  Did you forget about the two daughters?!  They still wake up at the same time!  They don’t enjoy the extra hour yet.  I have about 10 years before that happens I think.  That will be a glorious time.  But seriously, Phil…have kids.  They rule.

UNC vs. Duke

I am a full time dad.  When my first daughter was born, I quit my job to stay home full time.  It was a tough decision.  While I hated my job, I had just been promoted, and things were looking up.  But how often do people get the opportunity to stay home full time?  I am blessed to be able to be a full time dad.  When I did work, I would always take vacation days for the first two days of the NCAA mens basketball tournament.  I’d BBQ, drink too much (in fact, there’s a day a few years ago I’m not sure Phil remembers) and start early.  Living on the west coast, games start around 9.  And that’s when you start drinking.  Of course that was before children.  I don’t drink that early anymore.  I’m not THAT bad a father.  It’s my favorite time of year.  It’s basically my Christmas.  And it’s coming up.  I couldn’t be more excited.

This upcoming week is championship week.  All the conferences have their tournaments.  Next Sunday is selection Sunday.  If I can figure out how to post my bracket I will.  It will be better than Phils.  It always is.  What’s that, Phil?  You recall winning the pool last year?  You remember wrong.  That didn’t happen.

Anyway, tonight is the second game between North Carolina and Duke.  I bet you’re wondering why I care.  I went to Sacramento State.  Far away from both schools.  Well, when I was 10, my favorite player was Kenny Smith.  He went to North Carolina.  Ever since, my favorite school has been UNC.  The first game was close.  North Carolina pulled out the win at home 74-66.  This one is at Duke.  I’m nervous.  But still….

LET’S GO TAR HEELS!!!