March Madness: The Sweet Sixteen

March Madness resumes tonight with the first four of the Sweet Sixteen games. the other four are tomorrow night.

My picks: Syracuse (-7) over Butler, West Virginia (-4) over Washington, Xavier (+5) over K-State, and in the ultimate of David v. Goliath games, Kentucky (-9) over Cinderella Cornell (this line looks ridiculously short. Kentucky should be at least a 12 point fav in this game. Trap line? We'll find out.)

This is an Open Thread.

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    Well you may ask: what the heck is (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 03:59:58 PM EST
    a "trap line"?  Answer:  link

    I don't want to understand these things (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 08:16:15 PM EST
    It makes it hard to do morning meditation and practice keeping it simple :)

    Oh no. I went to instruction in Zen meditation (none / 0) (#30)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 08:34:16 PM EST
    [w/o koan], bought sandalwood incense [supposed to burn for about 15 minutes], bought a ceramic insense burner [in the Bizen style], cleaned out a spare bedroom.  But have I yet meditated?  NO!

    I have a whole bedside drawer (none / 0) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 08:43:11 PM EST
    of incense :)  I really like sage smudges though or sweetgrass better.....neither of which is traditional in any sort of practice of Buddhism, but I was exposed to them when I did a Crow Indian sweat once.  They burned sweetgrass in the sweat lodge and it literally seeped into my hair and skin.  It smelled divine.  Sage smells so clean and purifying and it also smells of my childhood East of Colorado Springs.  When you walk on the prairie you almost always disturb the sage and the smell comes up from the ground and envelopes you.

    Sure you have, with your driftwood/pot thingey (none / 0) (#46)
    by Ellie on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 09:27:19 AM EST
    If you want to get technical about the language, looking at your arrangement is more contemplation than meditation, but same path/road, different lane.

    Zen is very formal and challenging; takes a lot of discipline, commitment and practice. Meh. Do what works.


    It makes me smile--especially when (none / 0) (#48)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 12:57:14 PM EST
    the sun is on the prototypical Kyoto rice bowl, which is kind of salmon colored with a black/gray swatch.  

    Did Frum miss Bush - Kerry '04? (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 04:26:45 PM EST
    "nobody ever won an election by spitting at his political opponents"

    I hope he is more (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 04:55:43 PM EST
    correct about his assessment of his party than he has been on nearly everything else I have ever heard him say.

    Mortgage modification program (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 04:53:07 PM EST
    to get new rules.

    The mortgage modification program has not been a success, as much as the administration has tried to tinker with it. It relied too heavily on the lenders showing initiative, and now they are going the route of forcing them to take initiative in modifying loans.

    I think they ought to stop messing around and either go all the way with a HOLC type program, or stop interfering altogether and let the market take its toll. All that is happening now is that the inevitable gets delayed a little while.

    He's home hurray! (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 07:54:38 PM EST
    I went and got him at the airport and he immediately wanted to go to the lawyer and had made an appointment for an hour after he got off the plane scheduled.  And I'm glad I went to an attorney, he read the complaint and the fact that our fence was damaged when theirs went up and the fact that there is actually no evidence that it was my dog.....he says this is no problem and he is retired judge.  He said it is a B.S. charge and he had the hearing continued so my husband can document the damage to our fence.  The we went and got Josh from school and had steaks (they had steaks and I had chicken pasta).  I can say that as a family, wrapping up an Afghanistan deployment is so much different than wrapping up an Iraq deployment, all that betrayal and the lies aren't hanging in the air and neither is the knowledge that we are essentially just plain screwed in all directions as far as all efforts being put forth.

    Very happy for you and your family. (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 08:25:24 PM EST
    Although I would have anticipated the lawyer thing could wait a bit!

    You would think huh? (none / 0) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 08:35:45 PM EST
    He called me from Atlanta, told me exactly what time to show up at the Dothan airport and exactly what door to park by so that he could load up his four giant military equipment bags as easily as possible and hopefully mesh easily with the appointment.  He has been playing video games with Josh now for the past two hours.  He works hard and he plays hard.  He does look very good though.  The swelling is gone from his hands.  He said he did have a mild flair up in only his left hand two days ago that lasted 24 hours, but his RA seems to be seriously considering a remission.

    You need to move to the mountains ASAP. (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 08:36:56 PM EST
    Hooray for MT and family!!! (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by desertswine on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 08:48:51 PM EST
    So very happy for you all (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 09:17:03 PM EST
    What a great take-charge guy you have. I'm sure you know you are very lucky!

    you are ALL very lucky (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 09:22:12 PM EST
    I should amend!

    Oh, MT, I'm so happy for you (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by caseyOR on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 01:21:25 AM EST
    and your family. It sounds like Mr. MT made in home in reasonably good shape.

    And excellent news on the legal front, also. Altogether, it sounds like a banner day for the MT family.


    He looks pretty good (none / 0) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 08:00:45 AM EST
    He said it was very different deploying this time.  You go in with very good equipment and people are very professional in all actions now, standards matter, working with people is of the utmost importance.  He's much calmer but does want to stay out of crowds for awhile.  He did say that Bagram takes fire at least once a week, insurgents manage to lob something in at about that rate.  They can't target anything specific, they're just tossing stuff in...but occassionally they do succeed killing and hurting people even on Bagram.

    Hooray! Sounds like a banner (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 06:58:12 AM EST
    day in the MT household, but am amazed at the seamless transition to regular life; maybe that's the ability to have regular contact when he's deployed, so that in some ways, it's more like returning home from a business trip than returning home from a war zone.  Although, I guess it is his business, so maybe that's the answer, lol.

    One problem (the dog/fence situation) deferred and looks like it will resolve in your favor, Dad and Josh sharing red meat and video games: sounds about perfect.

    Happy for all of you - enjoy!


    And I get a new dryer today :) (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 08:02:50 AM EST
    One that has the steam feature on it.  I have become some sort of bizarre person that gets extremely excited about getting an appliance that gets rid of a ton of ironing.

    People snicker a little at me (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 11:11:46 AM EST
    when I wax rhapsodic about my new, front-loading washer, but it uses much less water - which is good when you are on a well - and, the clothes are not as wet when they come out, so they spend less time in the dryer.  My husband complains that the cycle is too long on the washer - almost an hour for a "normal" load (the heavy-duty, these-clothes-are-REALLY-dirty cycle is over 2 hours!), but I tell him that the clothes don't take as long to dry so it's about the same.

    Got a new stove right before Thanksgiving - glass cooktop - I love how it looks, but I feel like I spend more time keeping the cooktop clean (I have gotten kind of obsessive about it, I admit).  And now I know why there's a "speed-boil" burner: it takes longer for heating elements that have glass between them and the pot/pan to heat the water/food/whatever than the old electric coil burners; have had to make adjustments there.

    Next up: a new vacuum cleaner...I really don't want to spend $500 on a Dyson, but people I know who have them, love it.  We'll see.  With two labs that shed like a you-know-what, and three cats, I need a good vacuum!

    My life is just so exciting...


    We ended up buying a set (none / 0) (#53)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 07:05:50 PM EST
    A front loading washer as well that has the Allergiene cycle because of my horrible mold allergies.  I'm so glad to have my spouse home because Best Buy is really looking for a way to make a buck right now.  I can't blame them, but my job as a consumer is to get the best price for self too in the market place.  We got a good sale price but they wouldn't honor it in the store, you had to order online.  Then we were supposed to have free shipping except the online buy kept trying to charge us for shipping and they had to use some manager's override code to honor that.  As a purchaser though, I'm sort of in the catbird seat with the inventories everyone is sitting on.

    Not a basketball fan. Should I stay (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 08:31:49 PM EST
    home and veg or go to another concert by the Sitar and Tabla players I heard last Friday?  I'm going.  

    Go! (none / 0) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 08:36:57 PM EST
    My mantra: you only live once. (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 08:37:55 PM EST
    Also signed up for Indian music ensemble, through UC extension.  Sitar player is in charge.

    Zakaria (none / 0) (#1)
    by CST on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 03:47:32 PM EST
    on HCR.  Pretty much speaks for me, except at the very end when he talks about going centrist instead of going left.

    I really like Zakaria - he's a total nerd and manages to have real perspective and opinions on issues without coming across as a mouth piece for one party or another.  In other words, he's an actual journalist.

    FZ (none / 0) (#5)
    by brodie on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 04:16:43 PM EST
    generally is okay as a commenter, and I've seen worse on CNN of course.  

    But I usually don't find myself jumping up to applaud one of his commentaries.  A lot of, On the one hand, on the other hand mushy centrism, as with this comment on HCR.

    Though I agree with him about the perils of containing costs as this thing plays out.

    However, we get the usual MSM nonsense about the need to work with Republicans and meet them halfway.  Then in the next breath he admits the Repubs have not wanted to work sincerely so far, and have acted as united obstructionists.  

    Doesn't make sense until we read that he wants an outcome where legislation ends up compromising with conservatives in order to end up in the middle of the road, where he claims most people are on HCR.  That's all a little too Gergen-esque for me.


    true (none / 0) (#6)
    by CST on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 04:20:50 PM EST
    the thing about the "on the one hand, on the other hand" stuff is - life's kind of like that - unpredictable and in shades of grey.

    But I don't see all of that as being mushy centrism - until the end of course when he talks about the blah blah bipartisan blah blah.  I agree the ending killed it, it was really the first part about the pros and cons of this particular bill that I liked, rather than his advice about how to move forward.

    I don't usually see much of his stuff on domestic affairs, but I like his foreign affairs take.  I think this is the first time I've read something where he really gets into domestic stuff.


    And I just picked K-State (none / 0) (#3)
    by MKS on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 04:04:36 PM EST
    for the whole enchilada....

    My favorite (none / 0) (#8)
    by CoralGables on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 04:29:04 PM EST
    is long gone when the Wofford Terriers went down in their opener. That leaves me leaning towards The Big Red, The Gaels, or Northern Iowa to take it all.

    We're a Mountaineers cubicle here (none / 0) (#9)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 04:30:46 PM EST
    Go West Virginia!

    The parties at Skytop were always the best (none / 0) (#10)
    by vicndabx on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 04:44:19 PM EST
    Especially the ones I DJ'd :-)

    Go SU!

    Did a key W-VA 3 pt shooting guard break his foot? (none / 0) (#14)
    by Manuel on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 04:57:59 PM EST
    That could be bad news for W-VA since WA likes to run and goes 11 deep.

    Autistic teen picks first two rounds... (none / 0) (#15)
    by desertswine on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 05:35:42 PM EST

    One in 13,460,000, according to BookofOdds.com.

    Speaking of betting lines (none / 0) (#16)
    by cpa1 on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 05:52:15 PM EST
    I hear it's a -20 that Karl Rove took those shots at an empty Eric Cantor's office.  Funny that he is not releasing the alleged emails he received.

    THE EARLY DAZE, part 9 (none / 0) (#18)
    by Dadler on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 06:14:48 PM EST
    Go, Dawgs! (none / 0) (#22)
    by caseyOR on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 07:59:20 PM EST
    As a general rule, I never want the Washington Huskies to win anything. But. . . they are the last faint hope for the Pac-10 this year. So, hang in there, Huskies. Do the Pac-10 proud.

    U-Dub... (none / 0) (#45)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 08:37:28 AM EST
    ...has no reason to hang their heads.  A good run in the tourney with lots to build on for next year.  

    I'm enjoying all the competative games this year.  I can't remember the last time so many of them going right down to the wire.  Exciting stuff!


    Bart station killing we discussed has a resolution (none / 0) (#23)
    by andrys on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 08:13:47 PM EST
    The full story is at http://www.ktvu.com/news/22959315/detail.html

      We'd discussed this in some detail at the time and I thought some from then might be interested in how it all turned out.

    suck bet (none / 0) (#37)
    by jharp on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 09:06:37 PM EST
    "this line looks ridiculously short. Kentucky should be at least a 12 point fav in this game"

    It might be what I call the proverbial "suck bet".

    Oh no. Will miss another night of March (none / 0) (#49)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 01:01:50 PM EST
    Madness.  Hope Richard Goode, pianist, plays well.

    Plays Well? (none / 0) (#50)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 01:27:49 PM EST
    From my point of view, even if Mr Goode does not play well, it will be a transcendental experience.

    What is the program?


    Here: (none / 0) (#51)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 01:41:35 PM EST
    BACH  Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828
    HAYDN  Piano Sonata in B Minor, Hob XV1: 32
    BRAHMS  Four Pieces for Piano, Op. 119
    SCHUBERT  Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, D. 960

    OMG (none / 0) (#52)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 02:04:51 PM EST
    Some of the greatest music ever written imo. YOu will be in heaven.

    I have heard him play the Schubert sonata, it doesn't get better for me. One of the last work of Schubert... death in the air.. not morbid but rather a chorus of angels singing..

    I have also heard him play the haydn sonata, it too is one of the great pieces in the literature.

    Brahms, also doesn't get better, and the bach partita is tops... allemande particularly sublime, imo..