Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Random Packer Wrap Up Thoughts

Some of my season ending Packers thoughts, shotgun style:

+ This may seem counter intuitive, but it is time to start rebuilding the secondary. Depth is a concern, Charles Woodson is at his peak, and Al Harris is a question mark at his age.

+ Donald Driver must be relegated to a number three receiver. The drop off in his performance this year has been significant. He is no longer Mr. YAC, he drops a lot of balls, and he is prone to fumble.

+ Unless Ted Thompson re-evaluates and modifies his approach to building an offensive line, the Packers' future, Aaron Rodgers, will continually be at risk of having his career shortened by either devastating injury or death by a thousand sacks. They were lucky this year Tauscher needed a job and Clifton got healthy.

+ They cannot go into next season with Kapinos as their punter. Mason is more of a question mark at kicker as I'm positive they were tinkering with his mechanics during training camp and the pre-season.

+ The pundits will laud Rodgers (deservingly so) and name the Packers a Super Bowl contender in the pre-season publications next year. But they will remain as unpredictable as they have been ever since the Thompson/McCarthy era began.

+ Donald Lee is no longer deserving of a spot on this roster, but it is doubtful they will bring in someone better at TE 2.

+ They cannot afford to have Jordy Nelson returning kicks any longer. Jordy is a very good receiver, but he is not a good returner.

+ Until they make Lambeau a terrifying place to play again, it is hard to consider them a Super Bowl favorite. They are closer, but still not quite there.

+ Get used to pulling your hair out about Dom Capers. On the whole, his defenses will make you happy. But when it counts, they'll let you down. Or, I should say, his game plans will let you down.

+ This was a nice bounce back year, but every fan should have a lot of questions about next year because this was not a convincing show that "The Pack is Back."

La Leche League Promotes Co-Sleeping

Milwaukee is having an endemic of co-sleeping deaths. The numbers of babies that are dying is tragic. Alcohol is one factor. I'd like to point out what I think is another. La Leche League, a leading promoter of breast feeding, is a supporter of co-sleeping:

Many mothers have found that cosleeping has many benefits for their families.

According to Dr James McKenna,

"Studies have shown that co-sleeping with a breastfeeding infant promotes bonding, regulates the mother and baby's sleep patterns, plays a role in helping the mother to become more responsive to her baby's cues, and gives both the mother and baby needed rest. The co-sleeping environment also assists mothers in the continuation of breastfeeding on demand, an important step in maintaining the mother's milk supply. "

Contrary to popular opinion, cosleeping actually helps babies become independent. Meredith Small, anthropologist and author of Our Babies Ourselves, says,

"For millions of years, the normal sleeping position of human infants has been on their backs nestled next to mother. Only in western cultures do we force babies to sleep alone, thinking they are more safe and independent placed in a crib with no contact. But history, and how most babies sleep in other cultures, suggests that the West is out of step with what is best physically and emotionally for our children."

I was more than a bit independent minded about the topic of breast feeding as we had our first, but I know that our small town hospital had plenty of La Leche League literature lying around, so I imagine they are influential in urban Milwaukee as well. They offer safety tips, but those are clearly being ignored. Perhaps Milwaukee should be cause enough for La Leche to rethink their position on co-sleeping.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Ford to Usher in the Era of the Lowest Common Denominator?

The New York Times exalts a global Ford. I'm not so sure.

In that regard, the Focus is Ford’s first big bet that it can effectively sell a single, largely uniform car — with variations to come later — in several global markets.

It is very idealistic of Mr. Mulally to think that, at their core, all humans want the same things. And to a certain extent, that is true. But his Boeing experience of one world airplane ignores something. The world of automotive travel is not standardized in the same ways that air travel is. Different regions of the world have evolved different automotive needs. While Ford (and all of the "Big Three") needed to capitalize on their global economies of scale, Ford is at risk of producing vehicles that are mearly considered okay in all markets, hardly a formula for success.

Random Packers Thoughts

With the playoffs here, I'd like to just kind of dump some Packer thoughts I've been rolling over in my mind.

+ I've heard a lot of "It will be interesting to see how Aaron Rodgers does in his first playoff start." Well, let's remember a few things. He isn't a rookie or a second year player. He's a veteran who just happens to be a second year starter. He's been in the playoffs before and should understand the intangibles that go with it. Additionally, he's had a few small flaws, but one thing he's not been is a quarterback who self destructs. This is a non-story.

+ One sub-story of this week has been that the Cardinals were upset that the Packers kept the throttle down into the third quarter. To that, I say this to the Cardinals: Nobody forced you to roll over in a REGULAR SEASON GAME. On top of that, the Packers should have learned from the pre-season that they're subs are not appreciably better than those of the Cardinals, so getting the lead over 30 before pulling starter was not unreasonable for a team that wanted to win.

+ This team reminds me of the 2007 team in that I still can't believe they are this good. I can see this team tanking in the first round or going all the way to the Super Bowl. I guess that's just the way of the NFL for all but a couple of teams these days.

+ The defense will continue to be vulnerable to teams with explosive passing attacks, which is nearly everyone in the playoffs. But they are also one of the very few teams that overcome having their secondary lit up.

+ We will see just how unimportant a good running game is this week. The Cardinals are the perfect lab test. Their running game is so-so, and will not likely gain traction against the Packer run defense.

+ I think the Packers need to vanquish the Vikings to be seriously considered a Super Bowl contender. Unfortunately, as it looks as of this writing, that match up will not even be possible until the NFC Championship game.

+ The Packers really need to take advantage of this opportunity. Health and luck make the difference between an average team and a Super Bowl team in today's NFL. They've had both for the second time in three years.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Uff Da

Man there is a lot of work to be done here, starting with the disaster that is Haloscan.

Remember When Presidential Vacations Were Criticized?

I do. The media doesn't:
President Barack Obama returned Monday to the White House he never really escaped.

Obama and his family took an overnight flight from Hawaii, capping an 11-day holiday vacation sure to be remembered more for the botched attempt to blow up a Christmas Day flight than the hours spent on golf courses or at luaus. The failed terror attack refocused the president's trip from R&R on the island of Oahu to a river of memos from homeland security aides.

Guess what? No president escapes the White House. Ever. There is no vacation when you are president. There is just time spent away from the White House and foreign dignataries. But when the Democrat media needed something to bash Bush with, they overlooked it. And now that their chosen one Obama is in the Oval Office, that fact is a cause for pity stories.