September 30, 2007

Predictions for the Postseason

One-Game Playoff, NL Wildcard - Colorado Rockies v. San Diego Padres

The Rockies have been on fire to close out the season and I expect little to change when they beat the Padres to lock-up the National League Wildcard spot for their first playoff berth since the 1995 Rockies.

ALDS - New York Yankees v. Cleveland Indians

The Indians went 0-6 against the Yankees during the regular season and despite some massive improvement in the pitching staff over the last month, I find it a little hard to believe that they will beat the Yankees in this series. Regardless, I still believe. Indians in 4.

ALDS - Boston Red Sox v. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Disneyworldland, California

The Red Sox slipped in the last month - will that follow them into the postseason? I think it might. Despite some poor performances to close out the month, namely that 16-2 blowout at Texas, I think Angels' bats will shine and ultimately take the series from the Red Sox in 5 games.

NLDS - New York Mets Philadelphia Phillies v. Colorado Rockies

The Phillies are in the playoffs by the grace of a Mets collapse of historic proportions and going 17-12 in the last month. Philadelphia went 3-4 against the Rockies this year. Rockies went 20-8 in the last month and will be going into the postseason on a hot streak. Tough call, I think. Rockies in 5.

NLDS - Chicago Cubs v. Arizona Diamondbacks

I think this is the 1st year the Cubs have been in the postseason since Steve Bartman. The NL Central sucked this year and the Subs - er - Cubs are only in by the grace of being a mediocre team in a crap division. The curse stands. D'backs in 3.

Those are my calls. Leave comments on what you think.


September 25, 2007

Ahmadinejad, Mahmood - (n., proper) - Current President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

As I've been perusing the news channels this AM, there's been a clear want for substantial coverage on Ahmadinejad's speech at Columbia University yesterday. Take for example the following banner on MSNBC's Scarborough (blech, to that end) Country: Ahmadinejad gets "schooled" at Columbia.

Nothing really substantive other than all the usual talk machines acting as propagandists against Ahmadinejad and for Bush's drumming up support for another war in his Messianic bid to bring about the end times. Whether we like it or not, Ahmadinejad was able to answer the questions posed to him very well, with maybe the exception of there be no homosexuals in Iran and that his government doesn't torture them and moreover calling homosexuality a fad in Western culture... wait a tic, how can he and Bush be enemies?

Anyhow, Ahmadinejad's performance yesterday proved his ability at being diplomatic, I daresay better than a certain 43rd President, and that he is scarily witty, still hates Israel, and talks willingly of cooperating with the United States, placing the US in the none-too-unfamiliar position of looking like the bad guy. While Bush tries to divert the collective attention of the country away from this, certain media sources have noted Ahmadinejad's playing a hand which almost forces the American hand.

What next?


September 20, 2007

The value of a dollar

The US dollar's value internationally has continued its long downward slide, with the dollar hitting a new low versus the Euro and the Canadian dollar reaching parity ($1US=$1CA) with the dollar. Scroll to the bottom of the Kitco site and you will find currency charts indicating the relative value of a dollar.

What does this mean? Imports will gradually become more expensive and American exports should gradually decline in price - if you assume that the dollar falls evenly against all currencies. This helps certain locales, much like my hometown of Rouses Point, as it enables Canadian consumers to come to the US and spend Canadian dollars at no discount against American dollars. I remember a time when there were sign posting specials to Canadian customers - the Canadian dollar would be accepted at a 35% discount instead of the 39% market rate.

Of course, the Chinese government has still not allowed the yuan to float freely against the dollar; the yuan remains roughly equal to 13 cents. But who needs fair trade when you're hamstrung by a giant country with a dictatorial streak and nuclear weapons?

That's what I thought.


September 19, 2007

Reports of my demise were unsubstantiated...

Wow, that was an extended absence from the blogosphere, but I'm back and ready to roll.

Georgia is home to 24 of the fastest growing counties in the United States, mostly counties in the northern half of the state.

From Georgia Public Radio:

Blue Ridge Mountains Growing Fast
September 19, 2007 - 3:15 PM
By Ashley Horn - Rome, GA

Georgia has 24 of the nation’s fastest growing counties, the majority in North Georgia near the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Fannin County in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains has grown the most. This is mainly because of so-called "half-backs," or Northerners who moved south to Florida and are purchasing a second home half way back.

Kristen Gunia is Fannin County Director of Development. Gunia, who is from the North, said that living in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a geographical compromise between North and South.

“We are a fairly moderate climate all year round, in the 60’s and 70’s. We do have some snow but very little and so its kind of an ideal midpoint location where they can get out of the heat but not have to go back to the snows and some of those things either,” Gunia said.

Most owners don’t live in Fannin county full time, so there is plenty of time for the economy to adjust to the growth, said Gunia.

I wonder how the halfbacks are feeling after the heat of this past August...

I've added a link to the UGA Hillel blog.

Not much else for the time being.