Cliff Gardner

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Back and better than ever!

I'm going to be coaching for Pacific University again while serving as the Assistant Director of Forensics for the rest of the season! Yay! This is great for about 400 reasons and I'm super excited about it. However, this does create a little wrinkle in that I had already committed to judging at some tournaments for Willamette. For example, this weekend at Western Washington, I'll be judging all the debate rounds for Willamette and all speech rounds for Pacific. The madness continues:

Traveling with: Willamette.

Staying with: Pacific.

Breakfast: Pacific.

Dinner: Willamette.

Don't even get me started on which team I'll be hanging out with in between rounds. I'll hopefully have enough ballots that I won't have much time for those somewhat awkard exchanges. In somewhat related news, I'm just about finished with my last bit of grad school stuff so I should know where I'm going soon. OH, and the Blazers are going to kick the crap out of the Bobcats tonight. Just FYI.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tune in on Sunday!

This is the best show I've ever seen. The Tool Academy on VH1 is amazing. If I were to make a list of things that really, really bother me, I'm not sure what the exact order would be, but I can say with confidence that the following things would be included:

--Cross-eyed children
--Super-macho, chest-thumping guys
--Girls who date super-macho, chest-thumping guys
--The Los Angeles Lakers

This show combines two of those things. The Tool Academy exists entirely to make fun of jerk guys and their idiot girlfriends who put up with them. The dudes are exactly who you would expect--emotional 6th graders and total losers who are completely unaware of how, well, toolish they are. Their girlfriends are arguably even more entertaining since every guy on this show has done or said about 15 things in the first two episodes that would have been automatic, global-killers for their "relationships" if the girls had any self-esteem whatsoever. I love it. LOVE IT. Try it.

Friday, January 09, 2009

First Class

I'm just finishing up an east-coast visit to see Jessica--we fly back to Portland tomorrow, yay! On my way out here, though, I was flying from Portlant to Atlanta, then Atlanta to Boston. I got to the PDX airport at 6 pm--I was on the red-eye--only to find out that my flight from Atlanta to Boston the next day was cancelled, so they put me on another series of flights for the next day. That meant that I had to spend the night at the Portland airport since I couldn't get there the next morning in time to make my flight because the trains don't run that early. It was largely uneventful since I took one of those 5-hour energy drinks which didn't make me "wired" as much as it prevented me from closing my eyes for 12 hours. I de-linted my sweater and read Team of Rivals all night. Fun times.

Anyway, the next day, they put me in first class to Atlanta to make up for bumping me the day before, which was ok. I wasn't that impressed, honestly. The food was better and the bathrooms were nicer, and mostly what struck me the most was that the rules just don't apply to you in first class--I stood up whenever I wanted to and didn't buckle my seatbelt EVER. The movies were free too, which was good. I watched the new Batman movie again and I'll say this--Heath Ledger is TERRIFYING when you haven't slept in 36 hours.

The only other thing worth mentioning was who was in the seat next to me--a woman with an 9-month-old-baby whom she nursed 7 times in the 5 hour flight. She also pierced the baby's ears, which I'm not a fan of. If you're still nursing, I think it's probably too early to subject your child an unnecessary piercing. Anyway, the second I saw Jess in Boston I told her that I accidentally cheated on her, again. Between this, the strip club that I, hand-to-God, ACCIDENTALLY walked into the other day, and the beaches of Ochakiv, that's three seperate occasions that I've seen boobs in the last six months that weren't hers. I still feel slighly guilty.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Playoff thoughts

We lost, bummer. Still, good showing by LaMarcus. There are four teams that should get into the playoffs without much effort--the Lakers, Hornets, Rockets and Spurs. Since it will take 50+ wins to get in again this year, I think there are five team that will be fighting for those last four spots--Dallas, Utah, Denver, Phoenix and Portland. BTW, if any of those teams didn't get in, I would lean back in my chair and go, "WOW, holy crap, ____ didn't get in? We really need to re-work the seeding system in the NBA!" 

Anyway, I think Denver gets in because they've been playing really well since they got Chauncey Billups, a tough, experienced, pass-first PG who makes everyone, and more importantly Carmelo Anthony, better. Utah probably gets in, too, because when healthy, Williams is one of the best point guards alive, the Delta Center is really tough to win in, and Jerry Sloan is a HOF coach. Phoenix probably guts out 50 wins, too, since they're playing really well now that they've got another scorer in Richardson. 

That leaves us and Dallas. Now, the Mavs are good. They can go to Dirk when the offense stalls and Terry can attack the rim and shoot with the best in the league. Plus, Rick Carlisle is an underrated coach who knows how to match up against the other team better than anyone in the league, which makes them a tough team to beat, as they showed in the Rose Garden last week. Still, they've got no depth beyond Dirk and Terry, and Jason Kidd got slower while I was typing this. 

The Blazers have a pretty good schedule for the rest of the way--slightly more games at home, and slightly more games against bad teams than everyone else in the West. We played a really tough opening schedule to start the year and we'll be rewarded for it down the stretch. We're a playoff team right now, especially once we get Roy back, and we've just got to excecute down the stretch.