This site functions as an archive of Conner's Blog, which was a blog from 2006-2014 located at http://connermccall.com. Images and links are likely to be broken.

Target Field and Proposition 8

I spent yesterday trying to wrestle an interesting post idea out of thin air. On the way I did come up with a neat idea that will be unveiled on Friday, but nothing to use today. So instead I'll just show off some photos I took over the weekend. First two shots of the Target Field Construction area.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Target Field Construction Site Taken 11/15/2008"]Target Field Construction Site Taken 11/15/2008[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Another Shot of the Construction Site"]Another Shot of the Construction Site[/caption]

The yellow stone looks pretty neat, and it's really come a long way the last few months.

Next I'll leave you with two photos of the Proposition 8 protest march that was going on in downtown Minneapolis on Saturday. I only caught the tail end.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Protest March against Proposition 8"]Protest March against Proposition 8[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Protest March against Prop 8 in Downtown Minneapolis"]Protest March against Prop 8 in Downtown Minneapolis[/caption]

Friend me on Flickr to enjoy more photos. All photos are Licensed under the Attribution-NonCommercial Creative Commons License.

Let's Fix the All-Star Games

I saw a post on another blog linking to the voting page for the NBA All-Star Game. I could not tell you the last time I voted for an All-Star game in any of the major sports let alone watched one from start to finish. Here are a few ideas to get fans engaged. Hey, this might even get non-fans to watch the game.

Start Voting Later

Generally voting for the All-Star game starts too early. The NBA All-Star voting has already started and they have not played 10 games. Voting should start at the halfway point from the beginning of the season to the All-Star Break. For the NBA this would be right around the 20 game mark, for the MLB the 40 game mark, and in the NFL it wouldn't start until week 11 or 12 because the playoffs need to be factored in.

Let Players and Coaches Vote

The All-Star games are supposed to be a popularity contest. Unfortunately, this keeps some of the best talent in the games out of the league’s talent showcase. Instead of having coaches choose just 1 or 2 players, let every player and every coach on each team cast a ballot. These ballots should be weighed more than fan’s ballots. Players are better judges of talent then fans, allowing them a say would allow fans to see the best players and give name recognition to deserving players that otherwise may be overlooked.

Change Up the Opponents

Get rid of East/West, North America/World, AL/NL, and AFC/NFC. Do something unique every year. U.S.A. vs. the World, Teams who made the playoffs vs. those that did not, players from high payroll teams vs. players from low payroll teams, animal mascots vs. others, the possibilities are endless.

Let the Fans Coach

How many more people would watch if they could vote for coaching decisions? This would the most fun for football but other sports could join in the fun. How cool would it be if you could vote for Manny Ramirez attempting a suicide squeeze in the 7th inning. We have the technology for instant responses from an online audience, this would not be that hard to implement.

Shorten the Games/Change the Rules

Why do the All-Star games have to follow the regular season game format? The Pro-Bowl should have 8-minute quarters and start every drive with a 1st and 5. The MLB All-Star game should start each inning with one out already on the scoreboard. The NBA should eliminate traveling or add a four-point line. No one tunes into an All-Star game to cheer for a team, they tune in to be entertained, make it entertaining.

Vote for the Score

Why isn’t a 450-foot home run worth more than one run? Let the fans in attendance vote within 30 seconds of a play happening for the score a play deserves. LeBron James makes a miraculous shot from behind the backboard; he gets 5 points. Adrian Peterson walks into the end zone in behind his O-Line; reward him with 4 points.

I know none of these will ever happen; the leagues worry too much about tradition and playing it safe. Still, with attendance and television ratings lagging, would it hurt to make the one meaningless game people watch fun?

To the Person selling the d40x on Criagslist

Dear Sir or Madam,

First I want to let you know that I appreciate your persistence. You take the time every week to re post nearly the same ad. You even changed it this week to try and make it sound like a wonderful deal. Unfortunately you don't quite have the price set correctly.

You advertise a used mint condition Nikon D40x that will be sold without a lense. Your asking price is $375. I'm sure this price seems reasonable to you, but for anyone who is shopping for a DSLR camera it makes no sense to pay nearly $400 for this camera used.

Why? You may be asking, well a quick browsing of the current offerings of your competitors, retailers, shows that the D40x is no longer being manufactured by NIkon. It has been replaced by the D60. The D60 is a newer camera, produces pictures of the same resolution, and can currently be purchased for around $600-$650. This is a new camera and also comes with a lens. As you own the camera I'm sure you are aware that the D40x like the D60 and the D40 require an AF lens to auto focus. The low end lens for this camera is currently retailing for around $150. This means anyone who purchases your camera will need spend $525 to use a used camera.

Now I understand the need to make your money back, but since I continue to see your camera appear on my RSS feed, you may need to consider lowering your asking price. Not by much, sell it for $300 and I bet you sell it within a week. Remember it's a digital camera and the price will only continue to fall, sell it soon or risk having to drop the price even further.

Sincerely

Conner

Thoughts and Links 11/14 Edition

Randy Wittman Needs to Go

I'm giving up, Randy Wittman is not going to be a successful head coach. I wanted to give him a chance, he came into an impossible situation, but after a 1-6 start, I am convinced he cannot produce a winning team.

Now don't get me wrong this team shouldn't be 6-1 but they should at least be 5-2 or 4-3. The only loss that is excusable on a talent level is the loss to the Mavericks. We can blame all the other losses on a poor start or an inability to finish games. We need to point a finger, unfortunately for Wittman it is pointed at him. Last night's game made this clear to me. Al Jefferson was shut out during the fourth quarter and the overtime. Don Nelson came up with a strategy that kept the ball out of Jefferson’s hands. It is up to the head coach to figure out how to adjust to the other team’s adjustments and Wittman appears unable to do this.

Another example from last night’s game is the fact that the Wolves tried to play an up-tempo game. I knew from the moment they started trying to run the court things would go badly. Golden State was the master of running up and down on teams last year, and even without Baron Davis, they are still good at it. The Wolves are not masters of the up-tempo style but they do have one of the best low post scorers in the game. Anyone with an ounce of common sense would have slowed the game down and pounded the ball into Al Jefferson. Instead, the Wolves ran up and down the court, ended the first quarter tied and racked up seven fouls. I actually went to bed at that point knowing they were going to lose.

I'm not sure who the Wolves should hire, maybe Fred Hoiberg would like to take the reins. We need a coach who is a teacher with a defense first mindset. The Wolves have plenty of offensive talent, where they are lacking is the defensive end. The team has regressed defensively and we can safely say Randy Wittman is not the answer there. We also need a coach who can make adjustments during games. Tony Parker's night and last night are both perfect examples that Wittman is unable to make those adjustments. We need a new coach, and while we are at it let get a new GM.

A Reminder That Things Could Be Worse

Yesterday was a bad day, it was cold and wet and to top things off I got a flat tire. Usually I try to maintain a positive attitude, but I let it get to me. Thankfully I was going to rearrange my room due to my bed blocking the heat vent, it wasn't exactly fun, but the work sucked the negative energy right out of me.

So why am I writing about this, I wanted to put something in writing that I could look back on next time I get in a funk like this to remind myself that things could always get worse. So here is a list of things that could have gone wrong, and a reminder that things are not that bad.

Love or Mayo | Can Everyone Please Settle Down

I've seen a lot of people panicking over O.J. Mayo's game last night. Suddenly Kevin Love is a nobody and Kevin McHale made another trading mistake. Can we all please calm down?

First let's look at the situation. The Sun's are not a good defensive team. In the last few weeks they have given up 23 points to Ramone Sessions. 23 points to Ben Gordon, and 23 points to both Danny Granger and T.J Ford. None of these players other than possibly the exception of Ben Gordon are high scoring players. If Mayo had scored 33 points against the Celtics I could see a legitimate reason for worry, but I think I could score a point or two against the Suns.

Second, last nights box score looks good, but if you compare season stats Love actually looks better. Mayo is averaging over 39 minutes per game. During those 39 minutes he is averaging 21 points, 1.4 steals, 5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.9 turnovers, and shooting 45 percent from the floor. Kevin Love is playing about half as much as Mayo, at around 25 minutes per game. Also, he came off the bench for the first five games. Love is averaging 10.2 points, 1 block, 1.5 assists, 1.2 turnovers, 6.7 rebounds, and and shooting 43 percent from the floor. Here is a quick table for comparison.

Minutes Points Rebounds Assists Turnovers
O.J. Mayo 39 21 5 2.4 2.9
Per 48 25.85 6.15 2.95 3.57
Kevin Love 25 10.2 6.7 1.5 1.2
Per 48 19.58 12.86 2.88 2.3
Difference -6.27 6.71 -0.07 -1.27

As you can see Love is barely being outscored by Mayo, his rebound total is much better, and his assist to turnover ratio of 1.2 is better than Mayo's at .83.

Now I'm sure someone somewhere will say that if Jefferson just had Mayo alongside him, the Wolves would be on their way to a championship. Just remember that we already have a guard who can score 30 points per game in Rashad McCants, and I know I don't want to see him on the floor for 39 minutes per game.

So let's all just take a deep breath and remember there is a lot more to basketball than just putting the ball through the hoop.

Coleman Bans Media Member from Press Conference

A Chili Recipe

I made chili for the first time last night, and it was delicious. I didn't follow a specific recipe but I did base it from what I recalled was in one of my friend's parent's recipes.

Base

These are the basic ingredients, I added 1lb of ground beef and a can of mushrooms. Of course you can add whatever you think would go well in chili. Just be sure to drain everything you add unless you like watery chili.

To create the base I chop the tomatoes and put them in a large pot, adding in about 1/4 - 1/5 of the juice in the can. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for at least two hours, the longer the better. In fact you can even put it in a crock pot in the morning and enjoy when you get home from work.

It's very easy and will provide you with a ton of chili. I will be able to eat chili for a week off of this recipe. The best part is that it cost less than $20 for all the ingredients and it's a very customizable meal. Post your additions in the comments.

New Technology Blog

I'm happy to announce the launch of Circle Square Technology. This is my new technology blog. It's new so there isn't a lot of content, but I hope some of my readers will visit and enjoy my take on a variety of technology topics. I will no longer be writing about technology on this site and will copy the current technology posts over shortly.

If you are wondering about the name, it is a tribute to my family cattle brand. It is a circle-square and is registered in Montana.