Thursday, April 28, 2011

NFL Draft

It's NFL Draft time again, and time for my annual predictions.  I'm really late getting them out this year, with the draft scheduled to start in 2 hours, but with the lockout in progress, I've lost some interest and haven't followed the proceedings with the usual fervor.  So here goes:

The Carolina Panthers have the top pick, and I really don't think QB is their top priority right now, having drafted one high in the 2nd round last year.  Granted, that QB was Jimmy Clausen - a QB the Seahawks were reportedly interested in but that I think is pretty worthless and hence breathed a huge sigh of relief when somebody saved the Seahawks from making that mistake.  But the prevailing opinion seems to be that they'll take Cam Newton.  That, to me, is a huge gamble.  He could be the next Steve McNair, or he could be the next Jamarcus Russell.  Since the Panthers frequently are near the top of the draft, it's because they don't do a good job of it, so I'll jump on the bandwagon and say they roll the dice on Newton.

As for the Seahawks, it's so hard to guess who will still be available that late in the draft, and I really hope it's Jake Locker, but the consensus seems to be that he won't last that long.  Neither will the #2 guy on my wish list - Mike Pouncey.  Some people are suggesting Jimmy Smith - the troubled CB from Colorado who is physically gifted enough to be a top 10 pick.  After reading the following report though, I have to think there's no way he ends up in Seattle.

Jimmy Smith failed three drug tests (KFFL) NFL teams are well aware that Colorado CB Jimmy Smith has failed three drug tests while at college, and he told at least one team that one of the three was for misusing codeine. Smith also told teams of his two alcohol-related violations, the pair of abortions that were paid for by parents of women he impregnated and an arrest for third-degree assault in a restaurant. "Two abortions, aggravated assault, two minors in possession, three failed drug tests ... that's a little excessive," said a league personnel man.
What does that leave?  I think Colin Kapernick or Ryan Mallett are possibilities, but both reaches in the first round.  I think they will be trying to trade down, but who knows if that will be successful.  So, assuming they don't trade the pick, I'm going to look into my crystal ball and say that a shocking thing occurs and Da'Quan Bowers falls into the Seahawks lap and they snatch him up.
Officially on my wish list are Marcus Cannon, OG from TCU, and Leonard Hankerson, WR from Miami whom I have already nicknamed Hanky.  It would be a shame to let that nickname go to waste.  I'm also pretty fond of Stephen Paea, DT from Oregon State and Sione Fua, DT from Stanford and hope that we can get one of them for a bargain.  I also like Owen Marecic, FB/OLB from Stanford.  Maybe we can pick him up as an undrafted free agent. 
Anyhow, since I'm a little low on draft predictions this year, I'll throw in this, to which the only thing I can say is what the hell?
At first I thought perhaps this was the new crushed nuts flavored Doritos, but some further explanation here says different.  I don't want to spoil it for you, but apparently the Kanji on the bag translates to, "revived by an electric nut grind."  Oh those crazy Japanese. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

iBrother Is Watching

As if I needed any more reasons not to buy any Apple products, I found an article today that apparently in the latest version of their OS, they have embedded code in your iPhone that tracks wherever you go with the GPS and forwards it back to Apple to sell to the highest bidder.  Apple continually shows contempt for it's customers, but I have no doubt that fanboys will immediately chime in to defend them regardless.  At least Steve Jobs hasn't been as blunt about giving the finger to his customers as Facebook VP Elliot Schrage who said, "If you don't want Facebook to share your personal information, don't share your personal information with Facebook."  But he's slowly but surely closing the gap.

And while Apple is evasive in regards to what they do with this data, what is clear is that law enforcement is using it to keep tabs on you.  Now I'm a law abiding citizen - I don't even jaywalk - so I should have nothing to fear by this, or so you would think.  But it raises the question for me of who else is tracking people, and are law enforcement agencies only using this data in an ethical manner.  This is a little too Orwellian for my tastes.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I'm Done

After procrastinating for way too long, I finished up my damn taxes today.  This was the first year I've ever had to itemize and it took me considerably longer to file than in previous years, but I learned a lot.  There are a lot of deductions and paperwork involved with purchasing a home, though it was much less painful than the nightmare of getting a loan. 

Filling out schedule D for capital gains and losses is a little confusing, particularly when I had some securities that I've held for a long time that was not easy to determine the cost basis for.  I'm very happy that I had TurboTax to do most of the work for me.  Being able to download 1099s directly from financial intuitions is a fantastic feature and saved a lot of data entry.

I saved a mountain of receipts, bills and miscellaneous documents for medical expenses last year, foolishly thinking that I could claim that as a deduction.  It was all for naught as I learned that medical expenses have to amount to more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income which turns out to be more than the maximum out of pocket expenses covered by my insurance provider.  So now I guess I've got a whole lot of shredding to do. 

I was happy to learn that in Washington I'm eligible to deduct part of my vehicle registration.  Sadly, after a little more research I learned that I can only deduct the RTA tax portion which amounts to $5.  Hardly worth the time it took to find that out.   

All in all, I'm relieved to be done though.  And I just received an email that my return has been accepted by the IRS already - according to the time stamps on the emails 12 minutes after e-filing.  And the confirmation email tells me I can expect my refund on 4/22, so the party is at my place next Friday! 

Finally, I couldn't have made it through this without the help of Faith No More.  The gentle serenade of these minstrels soothed my jangled nerves and kept me sane and relaxed throughout the process.  Yes, I've still on my Faith No More bender that I believe is going on 2 weeks now.  Here is a delightful sample for your enjoyment.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Where Are They Now

I got in the elevator this morning, much like I do every weekday morning, but what differentiated today's ride was that on the way up to lucky 13, the elevator made a stop on 8 where a gentleman who bore a striking resemblance to Rick Astley got on.  For a moment I thought I was about to be the victim of a live Rick Roll, however my fellow passenger departed the elevator without ever uttering, "never gonna give you up."  I was relieved at this but it did get me thinking that since I don't know what Rick is up to these days, it's entirely possible that he would accept some money to perform personal Rick Rolls.  As a one hit wonder I don't imagine he became wealthy enough to never have to work again, unless he invested very well, but that seems unlikely.  Regardless, as a result of this encounter I now find myself a bit paranoid when getting in the elevator.  It might be the stairs for me for a while.

Thursday, April 07, 2011


The 0-6 Boston Red Sox are off to their worst start since 1945 after being swept by Texas and Cleveland.  It couldn't happen to a nicer team and just kind of makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  And things aren't going to get much easier with them going home to face the Yankees, Tampa Bay, and Toronto.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they'll be 0-15 after this home stand and mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. 

Sadly, things aren't looking a whole lot better for the beloved Mariners.  After an impressive 2-0 start, winning a series for the first time since, if I remember right, sometime in 2009, they haven't won since.  Hopefully they'll have better luck against Cleveland than the hapless Red Sox did.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Beat the Bridge

Dear Friends and Family,

I have just registered for the 29th Annual Nordstrom Beat the Bridge to Beat Diabetes. This event draws people together in a healthy activity for a worthy cause: raising money to help find better treatments and a cure for type 1 diabetes.

Beat the Bridge takes place on 05/15/2011, and I'm writing to ask for your support. Now more than ever, EACH of us can make a real difference in the lives of people with type 1 diabetes. Please support me in this important goal by visiting my personal page and making a tax-deductible contribution. Donating online is quick and easy; however, if you would prefer, you can mail your contribution to the address listed below. Make your gift payable to JDRF, and please put my name in the Memo field.

Your gift will help make a difference in the lives of people with type 1 diabetes.

I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress. In the meantime, if you want to learn more about the advances your support is helping to make possible, please visit the JDRF website at

Scott Crawford

To donate online, click on my Personal Page.

To send a donation:
JDRF Northwest Chapter
1215 Fourth Ave., Ste. 1400
Seattle, WA 98161

About JDRF:
JDRF is the worldwide leader in funding research to find better treatments and a cure for type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that strikes children and adults suddenly and lasts a lifetime. JDRF sets the global agenda for type 1 diabetes research and is the largest charitable funder of and advocate for diabetes science worldwide. To date, JDRF has funded more than $1.4 billion in diabetes research, including nearly $101 million in FY2009.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
1215 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1400
Seattle, Washington 98161
(800) 925-5533 or (206) 838-5153

Quote of the Day

"Notwithstanding the tragic loss of life in the Gulf of Mexico, we achieved an exemplary statistical safety record we recorded the best year in safety performance in our company’s history.”  -  from a Transocean regulatory filing regarding paying safety bonuses to its executives.

Wow.  Really, I don't know what to say other than wow.  That takes a lot of nerve. Transocean, if you remember, is the owner of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that was being operated by BP that exploded last year, killing 11 workers and spilling millions of gallons of oil.  Truly exemplary safety right there. 

I don't know where to find the actual regulatory filing, and at a reported 74 pages I'm not sure I want to read it anyway, but you can find more information about it here and here.  If there's any justice in the world, this will destroy their business and render those receiving bonuses unhirable in the future. 

This ranks right up there with Abercrombie & Fitch selling padded push up bikinis for 7 year olds in terms of questionable corporate ethics.  Really unbelievable....