Metaphortastic

When it is right, you know it?

I’ve long believed in that, awaiting the validation of truth. Have and keep, not have and have ripped away, burned, exploded or otherwise lost.

The only way to know is to walk forward, open, in anticipation of the uncertain road ahead.

My canvas is white and not smeared with failure.

I do not know, I only hope.

I will fail again, only to procure a new surface to draw upon.

 

Eek

After scratching my way to last-day-of-live-scoring day victory last week against Bangle-Doof, I’m being out-sprinted by trusty FaceWaster V (His hand-picked pitching staff now maturing to fruition). Only to have his J.Hader lose twice and likely blow a save before the week is out! Do the gods smile on me by smiting my foes? I tend to think the almighty has nothing better to do that ponder FMLB rosters with me, and help me take revenge on my lesser, alternate selves.

I’ve made bood moves across rosters: I gave them all some of the best performers of the year, amd chose them in a waiver order from lowest standing to highest. It is s model I’ve used in FF leagues. Notice how my roster has been full of duds? FaceWaster is a notoriously tough pitching opponent, but recent injury and turnover may be a weakness: Sure, J. Verlander gave Wastey a great start, but Z. Greinke ate shit (with no L) and L. Lynn has yet to play… and the aforementioned Hader is not even worth 1 whole point (.8) as of three appearances. I like my odds with M. Clevenger still in my pocket and G. Cole putting up a start tonight. Both he and Verlander tango with the league lead in strikeouts. It could be another down to the wire finish.

So far my offensive strategy I gambled on last week got me pretty frustrated and I cut loose my Rockies left infield (N. Arenado to WAIVERS) and shuffled some players around. One of my original draft picks came back to the starting lineup in A. Benantendi. So far that has been good, with one limited exception in José Ramírez’s unamusing 5K start to the week. Sigh he’s got +4 fantasy points before he’s back at fucking: ZERO. WTH dude? See how I didn’t abbreviate your name…? I’ve called out your full name like mom used to in order to inform you that YOU ARE IN BIG TROUBLE, MISTER! Shape it up or you’re just so grounded!

It’s a close game as of this moment on Friday evening. Let’s see if after two starters tonight I can close that gap… More numbers coming in the rest of the week, and I’m looking forward to all of it!

 

Nuevo

I have a new idea when it comes to FMLB: stick with a roster and don’t fucking tweak it. There is no picking the “hot hand” in the weekly format… just stabs at failure.

I’m stacking the roster with free agent and injury list discards. No benches rule in effect for weeks, so lots of potential good players were up for grabs. This is my current roster, obviously hoping for some guys to bloom late:

J.T Realmuto C
Freddie Freeman 1B
Jose Altuve 2B
Nolan Arenado 3B
Trevor Story SS
Cody Bellinger OF1
George Springer OF2
Aaron Judge OF3
Bryce Harper OF4
Francisco Lindor U1
Rafael Devers U2
Gerrit Cole SP1
Max Scherzer SP2
Walker Buehler SP3
Kirby Yates RP1
Aroldis Chapman RP2

Red are my original surviving draft picks. A lot of these were drafted, went to waivers, then came back. I’m willing to bet that these guys produce in good quantity but I have no true confidence at this point. I’m 9-6 and struggling to stay relevant headed towards the postseason. Pitching has all but devastated me, and some of my draft picks have been downright pathetic. This season has been a learning experience.

Now I just need to hold the line until the playoffs. Making it is not up for debate, but success is far from certain. There are HUGE differences in this format vs the NFL. in the NFL you have 1 game a week. Picking the hot hand is crucial. In MLB, the hot hand is far more mercurial and ellusive. Not as much fun to pick a guy who goes cold for 7 straight games…

So I’ll no doubt be either griping or rejoicing at my new conceptualization of how to do FMLB.

Face Wasted

I’m pulling ahead of FaceWaster, but not after tomorrow… he has his starting pitchers going and that will be the real test. I need to establish enough of a lead to overcome his Verlander, Shcerzer and Greinke. Shcerzer is on paternity leave until Saturday, so no double start possible. I get a double start out of Minor but we will see if he has any mojo left after that 9 inning miracle. Personally, Scherzer is due for a meltdown and Greinke hasn’t been terrible (or fantastic) for months. I don’t know how the future will unfold, but my viability will be clearer as of tomorrow.

I’ts a marginal lead at that. I need some more magic. I did hand my opponent Pittsburgh’s Bell and he promptly raked in 3 HR for my opponent, He’s at moer than 44 FPs on Thursday blog… on fucking Thursday. There’s still a lot of baseball to be played, and all I can hope for is a random alligator attack. I find myself looking closely at voodoo curses and other forms of divine intervention.

 

Still a lomg way to go in this round, but I imagine I’ll be screaming illogically at some point tomorrow afternoon.

 

 

Yesterday’s Flapjacks

I keep finding things I regret in my scoring:

.3 per put out is way too much. This makes 1B the most valuable position player in the game

1.25 per batter DPT is too much. Nerfed.

-.6 per K for batters is not harsh enough. Strikeouts are a sin against the Baseball gods.

.75 per IP is not enough. Pitchers don’t compare with position players. Also 1 per APP is not juicy enough either.

These are just some examples. I want balance damnit! No position should be preferable. Just like in my FFL leagues; rosters are based on previewed talent assessments not scoring advantages.

But why batter defensive plays? I do believe they should be rewarded because its incremental accomplishments that plug on both aspects of position player stats. It’s boring to only care when they’re at the plate. However, I needed my numbers to still promote balance despite the events piling up for certain players. So, I diminished some and buffed others.

Batting & Fielding

Runs 0.75

Singles 1.25

Doubles 2.5

Triples 4.5

Home Runs 5

Runs Batted In 1

Stolen Bases 2

Caught Stealing -1.5

Walks 0.5

Strikeouts -1

Put Outs 0.08

Assists 0.12

Errors -3

Outfield Assists 4.25

Double Plays Turned 0.8

Pitching Scoring Categories

Pitching Appearances 2

Outs Recorded ( 1/3 IP) 1

Wins 8

Losses -5

Saves 8

Hits -0.35

Earned Runs -1

Home Runs -2

Walks -0.15

Strikeouts 1

Balks -2

Grounded Into Double Plays 1.5

Holds 4

Pickoffs 4

Blown Saves -6

Still stayed true to my beliefs and edged true offensive achievement over big piles of defensive stats. Now increments break ties and keep my scoreboard popping with green no matter who is on the field. I feel like this configuration sticks in my happy zone.

Welcome to Whammy Slammy Susan III!!

First week saw my landslide victory over hopeless Bangle-Doof. Poor bastard lost by 103. My scoring was an overall nerf compared to WSS2 scoring. I like that.

The standings are a three way tie for first with DerpyDerpDerp leading in points. I climbed up from third to second. This week I get FaceWaster V, which has been bad news for me. His pitchers come through when I’m in the reticle. We shall see if he stays lucky.

In other news, I’m doing alright. Dad has been ailing lately. I remain aloof thinking that I have no clue what to expect but aware trajedeybmay be very near. “A,” who I will henceforth refer to as Critter, and I are doing very well. It’s more than three weeks in and things are still clicking. Discovery is happening and we are enjoying our time together. She’s curious about me which I find totally intoxicating.

The sex is unbelievable. I’ve never been more in tune with anyone before. We are dialing in on our comforts, and finding the ways we fit well together. I do light her up, and feel so very appreciated for the way we are together. She does EVERYTHING Blog. Dang yo.

My dreams have been confusing and I know there is some lingering part of me that remains unreconciled post Cheyenne. I don’t know what to do with that. Maybe it’s safe to be a friend now that I’m in a sexual relationship, but maybe because of my past attraction to her that’s not a good idea. I don’t like the way it all happened, but there has only been uneasy silence when it comes to the beat and not the appetizers. I broke it and now I’m trying to super glue it back together. It’s probably a waste of time, but I never like hurting people and just walking away.

I think about the future. Critter and I are thinking about the road ahead. So many more steps to make before logic agrees with emotion. She’s an investment I’m glad to make though. She tolerates my nonsense like a pro. Keeper status earned.

Have a great week Blogomites!

Splatty Susan

I’m about to “secure” a third straight defeat in my FMLB league. More than 100 point margin in this: a fantastic humiliation taking my league rank from first to third. Sigh.

Wholesale roster changes commencing. The injury bug has DECIMATED my team. No other roster has been hampered by injury. None. If anyone has a goat they wouldn’t mind letting me “borrow” so I can make an offering to Jobu please let me know. And for the record: I DID NOT STEAL JOBU’S RUM!!

Alas, a new week begins and another chance to get right. Hopefully.

In the rest of my world I went through some dad drama. He seems like he’s doing the best he can to make his slow decline unabashedly miserable for my mom. I’m not present enough to help ease the burden but I do need to earn a living. I’m torn in this capacity as son and man. I can’t propel independence without betraying my foundation. I resent my dad and his hedonistic way of living out his final days. He doesn’t care who he hurts as long as he gets to feel good all the way to the end. It’s grotesque and selfish.

In my secret life, “A” and I are thriving. I’ve troubled her with my symptoms lately and I feel bad about that, but I’m also a human so it seems unavoidable. She has her own life to sort through. Bullying ex. Distant family. She calls me by my first name.

I sympathize with our current plights but see a stable future out there somewhere, and not too far from here as well. I get scared but remind myself of the steps it took me to get where I am. Nothing worth having is achieved without struggle.

I’ve been having strange dreams that border on nightmares. I’ve also been having astoundingly good sex for the first time in many years. There’s a stability here in this dynamic that I’ve been missing. I’m glad to have it. Ow that shit in my family and beyond has hit the fan. So many variables. My antipsychotic is not cutting it at my current dose. I need to talk to my doctor again. Self care.

I’m going to bite my pillow for a while. Bye.

7-3

I looks like pathetic, floundering Bangle-Doof at 1-7 is going to pull off the upset. I’m dismayed.

    A. McCutchen tore his ACL on my first game day. Total column points of .25
    M. Brantley went to DH most of the time which nets no fielding stats.
    M. Osuna imploded and blew a save
    A. Chapman imploded and blew a save
    B. Snell also forgot he had arms on his first start of the week (but rebounded in the second).
    I had one pitching win in 4 starts

The margin is close to 40 as today’s final scoring window draws to a close. I see very few chances for redemption but it’s not out of the question. My win streak comes to an end most likely against crap crappy crap town USA. Booooo. BOOOOOOOO!

I will be making some thoughtful waiver moves. L. Giolito payed out nearly 40 by himself this game week which I was happy about. J. Bell was also a great pick up. I’ll be thinking long and hard about how to defeat FaceWaster V.

Slammed

Derpy is being crushed into the mud as I have a more that 100 point lead with two days to play. This is the sort of thing I needed: a resounding blow to an irritatingly lucky team. The record of five straight Derpy wins will be smashed if this score holds up.

Big performers: C. Bellinger came on strong from his previous two week lull. J. Abreu was a good utility sub that paid off. My catcher Y. Grandal is absolutely raking right now. I mean, for a catcher, he’s killing it. Home runs every day for most of the roster, multiple times per day. T. Story and F. Lindor have also been putting up power numbers at SS. I’m getting a taste of what this roster can do when most of the guys are hot. It’s quite nice.

Still a way to go yet before a final. I still have 2 starting pitchers going Sunday for the second time this game week (Z. Greinke & G. Cole). The projector buddy thinks 450+ is within reason. However, I don’t trust that stupid fucking thing. It’s rarely correct, and auto adjusts itself as reality sets in. What’s the point of a projection if it is wrong until actual data comes along so it can make itself right? That’s just nonsense.

I’m going to keep wearing the same socks and won’t wash my left hand until the score goes final Sunday night. With any luck, the baseball gods will smile upon their humble supplicant. Or smite me. Both are possible.

FMLB Week 9 + Bonus Brain Barf

Now that victory has been assured in week 8, I prepare for a third showdown with the Derpmeister. Undefeated on the year and in command of a fantastic lineup, It is hard to project a victory having been beaten soundly twice before. A. Rizzo has been raking but so too have his M. Muncy and W. Merrifield. The latter has cooled off a bit, but the lineup is stacked. K. Yates in the bullpen and E. Diaz has been coming in of late. His main starter is S. Strasburg but A. Nola and N. Syndergaard aren’t exactly shlebs either.

I seem perilously close to disaster again. I’ve had to scratch C. Paddak altogether since I don’t know if his neck stiffness will inflame and cause him to go down mid-week or before that now pushed Wednesday start. If I Start G. Cole he gets two starts beside Z. Greinke. So… my gamble is that even if he eats shit and gives up 6 ER like he did last time, he’ll have another chance to eat shit again in five days and seal my doom. Yes yes, pessimistic. I wouldn’t be starting him if I didn’t believe in the baseball gods. They see my plight, being resoundingly stomped by a ownerless team. Please baseball gods, don’t let your disciple suffer in this way! Give me a shot at first place and allow me to usurp DerpyDerpDerp!! I can’t snatch the Iron Throne for myself mind you, I need at least three to tie, but one against the leader is always extra juicy.

In other news of a personal nature, I’m feeling quite good lately. My emphasis on good mental health practices as a career and personal preference has caused a new sort of person to flutter past my sparkling lantern of electric death. I’m very glad do have positive influences on my interest like C provides. I’ve always looked to familiarize myself better with people that nourish my progress and allow me to be who I am without fear of judgement. I find myself being more introspective too, as I have noted in past posts. I often times impale myself needlessly on self-generated issues, however, this time I managed to liberate myself and carry on despite being perforated. I realized a few days ago how great my life is and that I’m glad I have friends that live nearby again. My work has really brought so many new and healthy living role models to emulate.

My introspective tools are working, as evidenced by the successes I have in expression; out here and in other places. I’m actively processing my feelings without suppression.  There’s a lot of room to grow into friendship with C which I am very excited about. So many days of laughing and being productive personally and externally. She likes to get shit done, and I think that’s fantastic! Admiration, you can has.

So today has a slate of early games, after a slate of early games the day before. My bold FMLB projection: numbers down across the board for position players. I’d guess about 20% less. Sending them out for day games after day games is probably a factor. Most guys who play a day game Sunday will take the field for the night game the following day. But since it’s Memorial Day, they will bleed for their country and play on short rest. THAT’S THE WAY WE DO THINGS IN AMERICA SPORTS BALL TEAM!

Final Score

It’s officially a wining streak!!!! Woo!

So my gamble with B. Bixton didn’t pay off. Thankfully, J. Verlander imploded and gave up 4 runs and an HR. I’m glad that goat I sacrificed paid off in a resounding W for team Slammy Jammy.

That’s a combined 6-2 record but only 3-2 in Whammy Slammy Susan 2. I’m in second place behind UNDEFEATED DerpyDerpDerp. The audacity of it all.

My moves this week include booting G. Cole from the lineup for Z. Greinke and replacing B. Buxton with A. McCutchen. The lady has been mashing lately, and hopefully that continues before he turns to dust.

I’m leery of my pitching prospects. G. Cole has been a big let down. He flat out sucks. Greinke will get two starts and he’s been pretty solid. I originally drafted him but cut him early on after a bad start. He would have been better to start than most all of my other drafted pitchers over the course of the season so far.

A respectable record. 6-2 is not pony fart city. This is a good lineup, with the occasional boneheaded move in the waiver wire. I’m working on my skills.

Whammy Crammy Crunch

The final day of scoring and for the fucking THIRD WEEK IN A ROW it’s going too come down to the final day to determine a winner. I was fortunate that R. Osuna notched a W after blowing the save in the top half of the ninth. Mercy of the sports gods shown down on my nation.

Now though, it’s a 30 point margin which, experience has taught me, can be gobbled in an instant. Daily game scores can vary wildly depending on circumstance. We both have our aces going today as well, which facing Verlander is always an upsetting prospect. He’s pitching at home too and Paddak is on the road…

Well, I’ll be monitoring the fading heartbeat of my once proud dynasty as it struggles to fend off FaceWaster V. Best pitching staff of all the teams by far, and mine one of the worst. It would take an unlikely series of events to bend the thing my way, but I’m hopeful that my tenuous lead will be enough of a cushion if my own players do well.

Results will be flooding in all morning/early afternoon. I do love the Sunday day-game schedule. It’s always nice to know my fate before 10:00 pm PST. I don’t much like waking up to finding I have been crushed into oblivion or JUST BARELY defeated in the championship by 1.5 FPs. Sigh, I’m not ever going to let that one go. So close.

If I win today, I’m in a good position to make a run at the leaderboard. The real issue remains: can anyone outscore DerpyDerpDerp? What a fucking juggernaut! It’s over 400 again this week….

 

Update: ARG!! Paddak scratched with a stiff neck… Fuck didilly uck. Now that 30 point bubble is gone with Verlander on the opposing mound. This will be a foot-race to the finish line with position players as the deciding factor. Yikes. Just a tad more suspenseful than I was hoping for…

Another Close Slammitch

One more day of scoring and FaceWaster V is running side by side. Currently I lead by 14 but that is still very much at play.

I find nights start off slow, and then big plays either pop or don’t through the sort of cushy prine-time zone of potential. Mid inning rhythm. I feel like I have still a huge amount to learn still about this. I’m out of the daily game and starting to concern myself with the immediacy of managing a season long team. I keep making terrible waiver moves. B. Buxton was an utter bust. G. Cole imploded. What the fuck happened to my strikeouts?

Paddak has been a bright spot AAAANNNND he gets a second start tomorrow. He could only help my cause and was a a primary reason for my success so far this week.

Still much to be decided, and the gap is narrowing…

Slammy Susan Update

Hoping to be saved from the pit of irrelevance, I had all my eggs riding on this week’s matchup with last place Bangle-Doof. As the innings fade here on the final evening of scoring, things are looking solidly W. I was saved by a somewhat less effective C. Sale on a second start as the Astros knocked him around a bit. His T. Bauer failed miserably as did my gamble on C. Paddak. I nearly lost it because of my bad waiver moves.

This next week I’m taking a flyer on B. Buxton. I think Minnesota is due for some run. They’re pretty scrappy and that’s what I look for as a metric. Hard to quantify but not hard to see when players either have the stuff or don’t. Often times I find my instincts on picking in this way are less than accurate. Carpet bombing draws a familiar parallel to my methodology up to this point. I feel like I’m getting better at recognizing trends. When teams get hot, they hit better, and that sliding percentage improves depending on the batting order, venue and so on. It’s a lot like football, but that stats go three levels deeper. They have sub metrics for damn near every aspect of gameplay. The Yahoo! league editor only lets you carry 15 statistical categories between batting and pitching, but there are twice as many choices of things to track. The data scrutiny is not a thing I have yet come to terms with. The guys who make money at daily fantasy know who to pick, on what day, and why it is a high percentage pick. Even down to the history of the individual batter’s past plate appearances versus the starting pitcher for the day… the comparisons allow for a super-informed perspective if one has the willingness to comprehend the data set in its entirety.

I am finding I continue to tune my focus; I’m working on understanding the various comparisons that might be of value. I experiment with risks in this somewhat prideless forum. Though, I am unhappy that DerpyDerpDerp is RUNNING AWAY with 1st place and has yet to be defeated. This unbelievably fortunate team is raking in several relevant offensive categories like HR, R and RBI as well as earned strikeouts for pitchers. It’s gross that I didn’t even think that team was relevant, giving in the preseason 3 of 4 ranking. Third place team, trashing me like yesterday’s pancakes.

 

Well my RP F. Vasquez just got a save to put me in the running for 1st place in terms of overall score. Not bad considering I was on the verge of losing 3 in a row. Yikes.

 

 

Slammy Update

Week is coming to a close. Right down to the fucking wire again. Last week I lost by 5. This week I trail by 4 leading into the last capful of remaining innings. I got two outfield assists which is double what I got the whole week before. 8/32 at this moment which is a shit average. Arenado is 0-for three. Sad if I lose by less than ten again. It’s quite possible.

The scoring system is really good. Very compelling and numbers are coming in all the time. Many blinks. Lots of data to scrutinize. I’m able to tune in and out easily with all the steady income of action. I’m enjoying this experiment, even if I can’t field a winning team.

Final Week Of Whammy Slammy Suzan 1

It was a W for Slammy Jammy (3-0), but revealed the great disparity in my scoring system. I found a balance to make pitchers volatile and position players incremental, with some initial failures to understand what that looked like day-by-day. Now that I have a few game weeks completed, I can see what stats should be recorded to achieve the level of complex fun I desire in a FMLB league. Now, I am starting Whammy Slammy Susan 2, and it is HUGE. The scoring is competitive, the games are popcorn fun with stats coming in all the time. It’s the balance I envisioned initially made real through practical experience. The stats I track make defense and offensive balance the paramount value in position players, but consistency in pitching will make or break you. Overall, lots of good.

The scoring has been intense so far. Balanced. Competitive. Just the thing I was hoping for. I may make changes next year but this is really great.

So far so good for my team. Anything is possible.

Week 3 and Other Notes

MH wise: things have been consistent… unperturbed. Maybe resilience is a part of that, though patience is something I’m learning. The aforementioned boof of week 3 (and all of the self-created panic) did not torn out to be that at all. In fact, with a downright PITIFUL contribution from my pitching staff, I still won on the hammering HR pounding shenanigans that ensue when you have a few of the league’s top 5 in the starting lineup. I won by more than 50 points. Bellinger is the (my) best player in my league. Yelich right behind him. Bellinger is in an OF slot because F. Freeman is at 1st base. The left infield is the Rockies (Arenado, Story) and the Braves on the right (Freeman, Albies). Harper, Bellinger, Haniger and Ozuna in the OF. Contreras behind the dish. It’s a deadly lineup.

Ultimately, the team serves a good model for ideal position play, and the intent of having the draft be random was to add that extra element of having to guess that Fantasy Sports is all about. I had to look at those four rosters it generated and snap up the one that I thought was going to win. I ranked them, post draft, A through D. I don’t know a ton about Major League Baseball, but I guessed which lineup had the most promise. Really since the draft, there hasn’t been much lineup change either. Each team gets two moves a week, and injury has been the real decide of roster changes. I did add the degree of difficulty upgrade with only 1 day a week when lineups unlock. That sucks when Snell breaks his foot in the fucking shower on the day he’s scheduled to pitch.

 

Now begins the Whammy Slammy Susan 2 FMBL LEAGUE ERA!!!! YAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!

 

The configuration I have now I’m very pleased with. Position players are a trickle trickle and pitchers go boom boom or bust bust. It’s a balancing act, with highs and lows aplenty. Defensive and offensive contributions are a great way to have players just STREAMING stats all the time, for hours of the day. Just boom boom new stat comes in. Then another over here… the board just keeps pinging little green boxes like a private fireworks show. Blinkity blink my little friends! So incremental stats, and then bursts from good pitching. I have turned over some of the pitching lineups of the other teams to cut out the underperformers and add better, more consistent options. My own staff has been devastated by injury, and recent waffle-like performance of G. Cole. 8 fucking earned runs? Really? Did your arm get chopped off between games?

I am scoring tonight! 4:00 pm is fun hour in my house! Yay! So excite.

FMLB Reset Boop

I’m changing the scoring system in the league today. This is what I was trying to figure out with my artificial league in my first experiment with fantasy baseball. I needed to find out what day-to-day scoring looks like. The ups and downs, the flashes and fizzles… then create a league scoring system that was both competitive and fair. Based on player skills, dramatic achievements and overall consistency. I didn’t know how to score a league how I had conceived it in my mind, since I’ve never played in one before, Head-to-Head. Now that I have seen what it looks like, I noticed a few things:

  1. If I’m scoring Assists, why not Put Outs? The Put Out is the real scoring play, not the Assist. This has been added and both have been scaled.
  2. Pitchers are not getting penalized for Hits, and scoring double on Relief Wins. This stat has been eliminated.
  3. Grounding Into Double Plays is overly penalized considering its day-to-day value.
  4. Runs and Hits for batters should have their values juxtaposed.
  5. Triples should not be worth more than Home Runs.
  6. Batters should be smacked for Balks, period.
  7. OFAs are now worth 20 times more than regular Assists: degree of difficulty, yo.
  8. Other categories were scaled and balanced as well

I concluded I wanted regular offensive players to have scaling and incremental scoring over the period of the day-to-day activities. Pitchers should provide massive bursts (potentially) of scoring to push a manager over the top or projection. Pitchers can make you or break you, but without consistency you’re nothing. After much testing and deliberation, I have decided on the final settings that will carry on into perpetuity. There might be a chance that I could revise again after the season was over, but I felt it necessary to do so now in order to not diminish the season’s potential. If I held on to the same rudimentary settings all year, It would be a disappointment. If I change them now, there’s still 18 weeks of fun now that I know much more than I did when I started.

This is going to be fun!

See below for all the categories on both sides of the ball that I’;m going to be scoring. This is going to be a fiercely competitive league, with a serious threat in the league of sound defeat. Things are much more balanced than they have been for the first three weeks. Things are going to be very different now, and much more interesting.

 

FMLB Week 3 Begins With A Boof

Very bad start to my week as the injury bug is slamming me Susan like $5 flapjacks. Man, Clevenger, now Snell is gone leaving a huge hole in my rotation. I lost Bellinger to a foot injury, Mondesi isn’t even starting tonight… I mean fuck! What happened to Bryce Fucking Harper? I’m also trying to guess if I missed out on Flaherty getting hot for Corbin instead. I could be fucked.

The scores are relatively close, but against any other team I’d be demolished. I have negatives in to roster slots after 2 days of action. Out of 7. Sigh.

Been down this road before, but it does bite a bit to be in line to lose to FaceMaster V. I’m never going to hear the fucking end of it. He’s intolerable enough as he is. Even if he’s 0-for-the-next-whatever, he’s lording this over me until the end of time regardless. I’d like for there to be some realization that I have a stacked team full of players that could, at the drop of a hat, break out for 50+. My starters are valuable but will be depleted after losing two of my best this week. Snell dropped something heavy on his toe… like a big pole made of granite or some shit. I’m looking at that 10-day DL tag going “yeah fucking right, he’s going on the 60-day DL after the x-rays come back. I’m going to find a way to play the waivers, like I have in the past. I’m not nearly as effective at the baseball waiver scene as I was with the NFL. My player knowledge is still growing.

****

Update: Arenado, Ozuna hit HR with peeps on the pillows. 3 DPT. Contreras at -3.75. I mean fuck. 2 K, 1 GIDP. Fucking catchers. It’s like the NFL TE roster spot of the FMLB universe.

FMLB Week 2: Final

Slammy Jammy emerged a massive winner over this week’s opponent: DerpyDerpDerp. Shortstops are coming through as anticipated but for peers, not because of the assists. This also has me pondering the Put Out stat again for next year. I like awarding points on relevant plays and PO is a star that has to be kept. It’s a part of infield mechanics.

I’ve hit a lot of home runs so far, plus fielding a shitload of modular infielders makes even the OF roster spot more viable. Bellinger is a good example of that flexed infielder in my OF slot. I had Story, Turner, Lindor and Mondesi to start the year and they went: mediocre, disabled, disabled and raking, respectively. Freeman and Arenado on the corners have largely been a let down but never count those guys out for long. Nolan looks like he’s getting hot again.

My pitching got slammed opening day but has suffered Clevenger on the extended DL. I had Snell put in a good start with Osuna and Trienen showing potential in relief. I’ve been whammy whammed with injuries so far, while all the other teams are doing fine in that regard.

I can’t wait to check out the record book tomorrow after the scores go final. They track some cool statistical accomplishments on the site. I’ll post a few tomorrow.

2-0 and my roster moves for tomorrow are pending. Probably going to shuffle a couple spots since I lost a pitcher.

FMLB Week 1: Results

A win for my team this first, very long game week. I’m starting to see a few league trends:

Strikeouts are killer at -.75

Singles and Runs should have their values juxtaposed

Some of the bonehead plays are being punished too harshly

Player value is in avoiding calamity. Catchers seem to consistently let me down, much the way the TE did in the NFL

The 1 day unlock is FUCKING AWESOME, and adds an element of difficulty that mirrors FNFL

I can see PO should have been a stat in my league

Some days are all negative, others are conveniently rocket ship

Did I mention about the strikeouts?

I just saw Dan Plesac drop a solid 35-foot putt on live tv, funny as hell how his fellow hosts reacted. Go look it up I’m not sure about the distance. They went apeshit.

First Glance: FMLB Week 1

This is my first season with FMLB and I must say it is hugely gratifying. To have numbers coming in all day long, days and days in a row, is insane. I remember the angst of having to wait until Thursday, Sunday or Monday to get the game-face on and start assessing my outcomes. In this format, outcomes are fluid. I sometimes think I’m being roasted alive, and at other moments, I’m rocketing away with high-scoring events. Both mediums present challenges for my patience, but they have entertained to a significant degree, and much more than I was expecting at the onset.

Some of the things I noticed based on the scoring system I set up: rewards and punishments are harsh. If the player is having an off day, it can be crippling. Alternatively, if your player is 2/3 with 2 HR and 4 RBI, you’re in a good way going forward. Mistakes are not wrist slaps but face-hammers… which can be hard to deal with but at the same time it raises the stakes and makes things more volatile. Injuries are terrible. In Rotisserie, I’ve determined that the midpoint Monday is roster-shift day in the set game week (Maybe true of the first week only since it is longer), but if your guy goes down, he’s locked on the roster card for many more days of zero.

So far my hot hot picks for my primary team include Oakland’s closer Treinen, Alberto Mondesi and Cody Bellinger. Flops include Zack Greinke, Nolan Arenado and Marcell Ozuna. The latter of which has yet to post a positive integer game-week total.

Really though, this is a way I am taking care of myself. I’m not dependent on others to have fun (since no one is into what I like to do) and I enjoy making my own games and stakes. I can’t count on anyone to take care of my needs or wants… it is entirely up to me. As it should be frankly. I’m tired of this war with others where I’m inevitably let down by waning interest or changing circumstance. This time, the fun is all mine.

Slipping Away / Walking Uphill

I had companionship for a time, but now I am back on my own again. I have been through this before, the tumult of understanding and the gauntlet of truth are punishing arenas in my reality. It is the simple fact of the person I am that has created this division and now removal. I had long ago accepted I would be alone for the rest of my life, and I did appease my sense of unrelenting loneliness by attempting companionship, at least temporarily. Now that my life has gone back to the place it had been at a few months ago, I don’t know how to feel precisely. Am I upset? Not really, but sad, yes. Do I regret? Naturally there are things I can find to blame myself for. Everyone, especially a blundering emotion-tornado such as myself makes mistakes. There are things I know I am and things I try to be, and right now there is a confluence of reasons for why things are now over between she and I. The fact of the matter is simple, and remains.

No one asks for more work in their life or readily accepts trouble into their world. I know I am a great deal of “work,” and trouble in one bundle… there’s just no avoiding that. I do the best I can but here is another example of how that failed. It hurts, very much to lose her, especially after I had developed a fondness, and after we had such wonderful dreams together. Stigma is a wall that can’t often be overtopped, or burrowed under… or even explained away with words. It is damaging, and breaks reason apart with animosity.

Well here we are blog, back to square 1. I am all done trying to find partnership for now. There is no world I see where I find someone who will take on the impossible task of accepting me as I am, and not wishing I could be somebody I never will be. My lesson in all this has been to observe my actions, and decide where to take a next step forward. If anything, I have learned that I am all alone out here (still), and that’s the truth I must stop trying to alleviate. I am my own confidant and guardian, and no one should wrest that from me in the years to come.

Goodbye K. Beautiful, complex, generous woman, you touched my life and lit it up, for a time. You gave me hope, and then dashed it. I know why you did, and I will mourn for us both.

Sundown Cold

The night that creeps in is wet and chilled. The weight of it is like resin or gooey snot seeping, sludging and glopping in. The smells of the coming winter.

Do you ever feel not alone in bed at night even though you are? When the cold comes in, and it surrounds, do you feel the echo? I do. I remember, and sometimes that’s a nail in my chest, and other times it still warms me. Perception can be momentary, circumstantial.

Now, there is only a space for understanding. A process where comprehension takes a back seat and settles for not knowing where the car is going. Think too hard and the tunnel develops a slope downward. For me, I often find myself contextualizing and interpreting: wrongly, optimistically, starkly…

Logic’s devices are stunted with emotion’s geyser-like eruptions. That’s the place where the echo comes from, I feel. The indelible imprint of a soul touched, the intoxication, idiosyncrasies, passions that once flared but are long silent, and have been. Something that I have know is there, and will clearly linger for the rest of my life. What to do with all the images? Cherish, I say.

We have so little time to be alive. Only a blip. A tiny fragment of a fragment. I’ve been guilty of abusing that gift… squandering it; laying waste to it on occasion. The fact that I still have it despite myself is a thing that can’t be ignored.

But here, now… this fragile place where the remembrance is strong… she remains with me. In some delusion where peace had pervaded, the outcome was different… the story continued, but changed to survive. Again and again we see that those who are suited to adapt, endure the cycles of changing chance and circumstance. Such is the case in our lives, however brief they are.

Why? I won’t deny I missed her. She was right there with me again. It hurt to wake up. I was bleeding. I won’t forget. I dreamed for a reason; and will never deny that.

Sometimes the best thing to do is dream, for it is there where I will see her again, in a place where no new harm can be incurred.

The ERA Equation

Fictional Fantasy Baseball – The Studyball Kurmudgeons

Rarely do I freely venture into the land of mathematics, but as that pertains to statistics, one could say there is love, not anger, death and PAIN. I’m not sure my endeavors serves any other purpose other than to fascinate my brain and make it work in a different way to figure out the solution to a problem, but regardless of notoriety, the task is noble. Back in the good ol’ days I was writing equations while manic that Excel couldn’t resolve, because they were written stupidly and abhorrently complex, ah yes, sweet memory… wait, this is a not good memory… however, I was able to do most of what I wanted, but not all. Fortunately I have found a middle ground between epiphany and practicality. The mechanism of my learning has been a logical argument within Microsoft Excel (or Google Sheets): IF/AND.

Excel allows one to look at or through data in a variety of ways, and boy is there a lot of data around Baseball. I take real 7-day MLB sums from players across the league and the results tell me something about how my own scoring configuration might balance, or scale in certain areas, as appropriate. The things that are hard to write equations for are those that modify or scale a result, or have an array of possible outcomes but somehow need to all be accounted for. Building a massive array by entering all the possible outcomes is not practical when dealing in hundreds. Equations need to be sleek, quick and able to return a sensible answer under any circumstances.

My task over the last couple of days was to make a logical equation using AND, IF or both, and try to weight the ERA over a game period like ranking the scoring/yardage surrendered by NFL team defenses. ERA becomes a scaling reward for low totals, and becomes a worthless (or a negative total) after 4. I had a similar equation already written for the NFL spreadsheet but all the values and references had to be changed.

=SUM[this is just the mechanism that will total the result as an integer]

(IF([condition/test],[result if Y],[result if N]

IF(AND[condition/test],[result if Y],(IF(AND[nested IF as negative response triggers second criteria in the next argument while building off the previous argument, as long as AND is present]

My initial equation looked like this:

=SUM(IF(D1=0,””,(IF(D1<.001,[value cell 0],(IF(D1=0,[value cell 1](AND(D1<.99,D1>.001,[value cell 2],(IF(AND(D1<1.99,D1…….. so on and so forth, moving the needle higher as the ranges of ERA are graded as they fall between one of the equations areas. But I was acting like there was a value below zero I had to be worried about, which is a product of using the equation from the NFL Fantasy Scorecard where those values are possible in the net yardage equation. After taking notice of the parameter change, I rewrote the beginning. 

There is a little “housekeeping” to settle up front, taking into account all numbers that COULD BE RENDERED on the spreadsheet. The D1, lets just say is the cell where the manual ERA will be entered on the sheet.

This specific line means, if D1 has no value in it, show nothing (represented by a text quote with no text “”) since zero is an ERA value there should be nothing to render if the cell is empty. 

After the above action, the next is to squarely assign a value to 0, since bridging ranges on it is problematic. The, the lowest value in the first range, mathematically expressed in greater-than less-than form. This can be repeated over and over, laying one on top of the other as the N condition until a result is returned.

The whole equation on the spreadsheet itself looks like this:

 

=SUM(IF(C21=“”,0,(IF(AND(C21=0),Rules!B40,(IF(AND(C21>0,C21<1),Rules!B40,(IF(AND(C21>0.99,C21<2),Rules!B41,(IF(AND(C21>1.99,C21<3),Rules!B42,(IF(AND(C21>2.99,C21<4),Rules!B43,(IF(AND(C21>3.99,C21<5),Rules!B44,(IF(AND(C21>4.99,C21<6),Rules!B45,(IF(C21>5.99,Rules!B46))))))))))))))))))

Those values triggered a result dependent on the integer in the cell, and were located on a separate page within the file:

The parallel between the NFL DEF/ST is undeniable because it is pretty much the same fucking thing. Beautiful how those two very different stats have a parallel in that scale, plus the way that can be whittled until bare at times, much like watching one’s team getting tired in the 4th quarter,defending the lead… this should give something additional for my nonexistent owners to fuss about. I wish there was someone who would fuss.

Making the equation and seeing the result it had on the scorecard was very rewarding, adding a boom-or-bust possibility to the pitcher’s slots on the roster. I like potential, and I like unexpected, crushing agony. Both remind me of how nice normal is.

 

 

Now I have a new scaling toy to play with, but another though I had is that pitchers aren’t the only ones with an ERA these days. Position players are now often used as a bullpen if a game is out of reach for example, and the manager wants to save his relief bullets. This could be hell for your average owner, when suddenly your 2B throws 17 pitches and has 4 ER with zero K, HR allowed and a 9.00 ERA!!

Fantasy Football League Career Statistics (Retired)

The image below captures all aspects of my FFL history. Judge me as you see fit. It was very stressful to have that going on year after year.

In one of my leagues there was money every time, if I finished 3rd. I finished in the top three on FIVE occasions. That’s 5 times in the 6 years we had a league.

Interesting stats:

Finished in First: Twice

Finished in Second: Four Times

Finished in Third: Three Times

The Studyball Kurmudgeons: Fantasy Baseball League?

I know I have said at other times that I was “satisfied” with the tinkering of the scoring. I wanted to do a “past 7 days” filter so I could see what a scoring summary might look like for that interval. I had whole season numbers, but I wanted the Head-to-Head games to be competitive, not boring and incrementally relevant despite the season’s length. I saw what a above average season point output would look like, and there were clearly some areas that needed adjusting.opportunity to scale some things back. The I ran a new set of season numbers with mid level talent and tinkered with the balance some more.

The latest set of numbers came from a pretty high-output names, and some not so much. I think this latest tinkering is the best to date, since I am very concerned with the individual games not being monotonous. I also added a handful of “high level” achievement in the game, like a grand slam, a no hitter… etc.

The overall model is balanced enough to keep things competitive among similarly knowledgeable players, mind you. The bonus FPs from a big play is probably enough to lift someone who is trailing late, or crush your foe into the turf with a massive play that sets you on the path to victory.

Let me first show you the scorecard, which was totally redone as of last time I wrote about it.

 

 

 

 

95% of that is real data from active players over the last week, and it helped me to see where the final adjustments to the scoring were to be made. With the recent live-data scenario, I can say that the current scoring setup promotes intense and interesting games, and that’s the main point. Here are the (maybe) final scoring tweaks.

 

Clearly position players other than pitchers do well in this mode, but the pitchers come out looking like NFL fantasy quarterbacks. When they’re hot, they’re lighting everyone up and things are generally: yay! When they’re not, they become a vast, expanding black hole consuming all nearby fantasy points if they stray too close.

 

Big plays get rewarded, sometimes massively. Emongously. Trabookafred!

 

 

Maybe one day I might run this league… probably not though.

It’s just fun to think about.

Another, differently shaped golden trophy would look nice in my castle.

5-4 Triple Play

Two Texas Rangers infielders made 3 outs all by themselves, which is among the more insane things I’ve seen happen during live sports over the years. I’ve never seen two pickles in one play, or any of those shenanigans.

Pretty miraculous play (this being the third time since 1961 that it has ever happened)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqcdoLUB4Jwhttp://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=24395792

**Sorry, that other link broke

Revised: Fantasy Baseball Scoring PERFECTED(?)

I was reading over my last post and I didn’t like the way the roster was breaking down into relevant and irrelevant levels of worth/value. Nearly every roster spot should have ways of achieving success based on a focused study of statistical output.

With that in mind, I went after trying to understand how the points were being accumulated, and how my weights were amplifying/deflating some values over others. I decided on a core format style which I feel would make for the best type of gameplay: steady accumulation with rare bursts of point gain interspersed. This likely leads to close games decided decisively (on one scoring event) or juggernauts demolishing their foes as they “go off” for big points. Steady accumulation on events like walks, singles, strikeouts (pitchers), assists, RBI or runs scored keep things close, hopefully, allowing for talented drafters to show how they set their lineups well in anticipation of big games for a given player. Only 7 bench slots means you can’t keep one of every position player on your bench for replacement, you will be FORCED to play the wire, like all good owners should if they expect to do well.

So, after some tweaking, I came up with a scoring set I like. I added Innings Pitched (.1 rounded down, .2 rounded up) as a trickle stat for pitchers that makes them better producers on a consistent basis. I changed the value of some of the offensive stats to neuter the distance between them and pitchers. The result is a dog that won’t impregnate any other dogs ever again.

 

 

So, the output of this needed to be judged somehow with actual data, which I provided the scorecard long before I began tweaking values. I have included my sample line up card here so we can look together and see how the values are expressed as fantasy points. Please note, this data is the ASB benchmark I have mentioned in other posts. The idea here is to highlight a “best case scenario” data-set to judge how high, potentially, the ceiling of exclusivity can go. On a game-to-game basis, this is going to be a more interesting thing to see. Looking towards a high point of 7,000+ fantasy points of season accumulation, and an unknown number of games in which to disperse them. I am THAT unfamiliar with the format that right now, I don’t know how long a MLB fantasy season is, or how frequently “games” occur as daily would be impossible. I can imagine daily maintenance being necessary, but having as many match-ups as there are games is a nauseating thought.

 

In my first post I talked about my points of emphasis in the game itself, and among the values that have endured to arrive at the final cut is Pickoffs. A rare but consequential event, the point value of which is devastating. 12 points for this event is the most heavily weighted event I score in this league template. Why? Because it’s a tease. Like picking a really good punt/kickoff returner in the NFL, you’re hoping your lousy pitcher redeems himself because his Pickoff move is phenomenal. Will he reward you with an unprecedented point total, or will he leave you starved for an event that, at best occurs less than 20 times a year for the league leaders? If he goes off, your cushy seat to victory is more likely than it was a minute ago, but your bet is on the rare event, or the steady churning motion of a consistent, winning pitcher with no rad move to first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have achieved a balance that now seems both competitive and enjoyable. It is the best I have achieved in my limited experimentation with the format, and really brings an element of uncertainty to drafting. I also foresee players making (nearly) irrelevant contributions due to lousy performances being more harsh than in the NFL. A zero is never ever wanted, but expected from time to time, but maybe in this league three days of .25 fantasy points might be just as terrible, if not worse.

Maybe one day I will know.  It’s a fun to think about.

UPDATE: Mid-Afternoon

For the sake of comparisons, I ran a simulation based on an actual head-to-head matchup, which in the regular season collect data over 7 days or so. I wanted to see what a high-output production would look like, which would be an approximation of having a “good week.” See below, though this is an unlikely final lineup, it is a possible one, and definitely a Cubs fan.

Looking over the 7 day output, I can see now that with 18 roster slots, some of those position players are bound to crater, while one or two others rocket up. These scores remind me of the FNFL scale which goes something like this:

0 – 5 = Wretched
6 – 10 = Minimal
11 – 15 = Average
16 – 20 = Above Average
21 + = Exceptional

We had a “200” barrier in my Detail Oriented league a few years ago… whoever gets there first is almost certain to win. That seems accurate as reflected here, but the flexibility of upward expansion for some of the roster slots seems outstanding. I like the way this looks, but also recognize how vital fielding the right players is, and making sure your roster is up to date. The restricted bench makes for a more competitive free-agent market, inciting wire competition.

FF Thoughts: Balanced Scoring Theory

It has been my experience in designing fantasy scoring systems for the NFL that the weight of every statistical category must be appraised in respect to the total items being scored, roster positions available and some form of biased incentive.

It can be said, as a baseline, common events should not be comparable in worth to rare events. It is this weighting that defines the terms of competition, and an aspect I particularly relish. I have beliefs about what aspects of a given sport are more difficult to achieve versus things that should occur and do occur regularly/often. What I cultivate in participants is a similar respect for the remarkable and an interpretive invitation to strategize.

As I develop my thoughts on how to apply my prior FNFL experience to the FMLB format, I intend to be true to my signature preferences and unique interpretation of the sport (s). MLB tends to be more statistically dependent (developed) and maybe even drowning in an excess of interpretations and comparisons. I hope to cut through the bullshit and boil my league rules down to the essential, and the remarkable. The mundane have been exiled!

Scoring: Two Factors

Weighted Scoring Categories

I use a combination of elements to determine what value to assign things: (commonality/frequency + subjective difficulty + game-flow based significance = relative weighted value). Through this, you should begin to see my perturbed view of the sport, and what makes it interesting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of my preferences become apparent with how harshly things are penalized, or how they are rewarded. Based on an ideal set of player’s 2018 All-Star Break statistics (relative mid-marker), the draft will see offensive players going first, but relief pitchers among the second wave. See below for the impact on how the team should be built in terms of available point scoring potential.

Difficult plays and stats that are hard to earn are weighted, but more heavily towards the remarkable. Outfield Assists for example, as I have stated in previous posts, are pretty fucking awesome. Clearly there are more points to be scored as an offensive player, but that seems to follow logic in terms of actual gameplay. Still, I see that, if there was to be a draft, I could see multiple strategies towards some desired stat-cultivation effort to specifically target a course towards relevance, and the postseason. Plays that cause outs, or kill rallies, or erase runs are dealt with harshly.

 

 

Roster Positions – Team Size

Depending on what is being scored/weighted, the roster needs to reflect a discipline to balance, and an incentive for a diverse live draft by fairly distributing point-earning opportunities across positions. As you can probably tell from the scoring table listed above, there are some positions on the lineup card that are going to be, generally, better contributors than others. The roster below is ordered in terms of fantasy point scoring weight/ideal projected point output potential (Great, High, Average, Low-ish

1B
2B
SS
3B
OF1
OF2
OF3
OF4
RP1
RP2
RP3
SP1
SP2
SP3
SP4
SP5
C1
C2
______
(18)

There would be 7 bench slots, rounding out the active roster at 25. There’s a certain nostalgic symbolism I wish to also encapsulate, (see the 5 man rotation, the 7th, setup and closer slots). I feel like there are 4 starting outfielders on every Major League team as a baseline based on logic, and the nature of the positions. I did not feel it necessary to be specific about the outfield positions as this level of specificity doesn’t add to the fun and makes drafting arduous because of the constraining requirements of the roster slot. In my build, OF gets to be more useful, potentially, based on a freedom to load RF or CF or whatever your preference.

C has become like FNFL TE to me now. Hit or miss, boom or bust, this roster slot looks like the one that will inevitably fuck me somehow. C rates low, even with All-Stars driving the stats, but they seem like to do so in bursts rather than consistently. Plus, this is another roster position that is most-likely to have a savvy backup on real MLB rosters.

I foresee infielders (with the exception of C1/2) being hard to find after some trends have been established. I have often wondered about free-agency and waiver pickups in FMLB. Maybe this will be something I learn about later, or maybe not at all. 

Well, I think this league would be fun, but this will never happen, more than likely. Good things to think about though, and that’s really all I’m trying to do. I just want something to feel good about, and excited I guess. Things have been really hard lately, and my energy is running dangerously low. I’m going to need help soon, and this little exercise has been one of my coping activities to help myself think about something positive and fun while also innocuous. Thank you.

Head-to-Head Format Fantasy Baseball

I have been watching sports for a long time and am also a very data-horny person in general. Fantasy Football was a good fit, but weekly single matchups are very stressful.

Theoretically, Baseball is much less strenuous, though still very inside-knowledge dependent. Also, because of the unusually long season, presents a more gradual advancement towards some final playoff-like confrontation. I’ve had a look at the formats available, and I think I like Head-to-Head the best. Comprehensive approach to stat calculation presents an uncomfortably large swath of statistical accumulation to process and deliberate about, as Rotisserie would seem to indicate. For me, the contest would have to be rooted in the more elegant aspects of the sport, and values achievements of significance, skill or consistency above others. I’d like to discuss a few of these, and why I believe they should be weighted in some way, and specifically tracked in the H2H format:

Defensive

(Outfield) Assists: The outfield assist might be my favorite play in all of Baseball, because it requires perfect body-mechanics to execute effectively. Also, having a runner thrown out at home, or caught trying to leg-out a double or triple is flaming-hot fried action. It doesn’t get much sexier than that. The deep outfield assist is easily the hardest throw to make in all of MLB (in a close second: the throw from third base foul territory to first before the runner is also a cannon-shot).

Double Plays: These coordinated exchanges can be stressful, improbable and miraculous at times. Among my favorites are the Strike-out/Throw-out, a long 6, 4, 3 or the Fly-out/Throw-out DP. When executed, they represent a tight-knit unit of infielders who can turn-two under any number of precarious, low-success probability circumstances.

Strikeouts: Obvious choice, but also a critical stat for determining the “overpoweryness” of a pitcher, which is a thing I like to track. Strikeouts looking, if they could be divided and weighted from strikeouts swinging, should be a tick or two more valuable than the latter. Either hitters get duped into thinking the pitch is junk, or they swing at something appealing that rapidly becomes junk on its way to the plate. Either way, very satisfying as an observer (except when it’s my guy who strikes out).

Pick-Offs: Though relatively uncommon, it should be a requirement of pitchers to have a sneaky pick-off move. It’s a skill thing, because pitchers should also be effective as fielders from the mound. Pick offs are particularly sweet because it’s the pitcher erasing his own mistake, and also requires a player who is not only good at throwing 90 feet from the windup or stretch, but also slinging it fast to first to nab some unsuspecting, or leaning-too-far-to-second individual.

Offensive

2-Out Runs Batted In: This is all about clutch. Hitting when it is most needed, driving in critical runs… its the sort of thing that light a fire under a team. This would up the RBI value in that scenario by a large degree. There is no more important single statistic for a player, in my mind, than this one. This is the stat that wins games.

Doubles: Why doubles? Because they are a lot like home runs, just on a different, more arduous trajectory. A double requires a batter to suddenly take flight around first to ensure the hit is not squandered as a single. Triples are fun, but they’re really mostly just poorly fielded doubles, which isn’t a miraculous thing IMHO. Doubles are also a good judge of power, and almost certainly boost nearly every relevant stat an offensive player can accumulate.

Home Runs: Chicks dig the long ball, and so do I. Though, if possible the Inside-the-Park-Home-Run would be astronomically more valuable than your standard home run. They are also a rating of power, and is often the engine behind RBI. Simply put, home runs are spectacular, and they are a part of the shiny entertainment value of the sport at its core. Players tend to fall into grooves seeing the ball well, and HR tracks that trend as well.

Stolen Bases: A feat of quickness, timing and keen observation skills. They also have a chance to be very effectual in the course of the game, and stealing home would obviously be massively valued over any other base, not just in statisitcal value but in the “feat of skill” aspect. For me, “manufacturing runs,” which is a “small-ball” concept of persistence and timely quickness is entertaining. Teams that don’t have the higher Batting Averages tend to steal more bases, and finding a player that hits well and steals bases is optimal.

Base/Modified Scoring Breakdown

Defensive Scoring Categories

Win = 5.5
Save = 7.75
Hold = 3
Assist = 2.75 (OF = 4)
Double Play =  4.25
Pick-Off = 5.25
Strikeout = 1

Loss = (-2.5)
Blown Save = (-9.5)
Error = (-.75)
Home Run Allowed = (-1.25)

Offensive Scoring Categories

Run Scored – 1
Run Batted In – 1.25
Single – 1.5
Double – 2.75
Triple – 3.25
Home Run – 5
2-Out Runs Batted In = 2.75
Stolen Base = 1.5 (Home = 2.75)

Caught Stealing = (-2)
Strikeout = (-1.25)
Grounded Into Double Play = (-3.75)

Under terms such as these, I think a low-maintenance league might be fun… but the scope of invested time on research is daunting to say the least.

Roster size is of importance as well, and I have that consideration when amplifying the point totals. It’s a scaled-down version of the standard model:

NL Model Roster Positions

1B (1)

2B (1)

3B (1)

C (2)

OF (4)

SP (5)

RP (3)

FLEX (2)

BENCH (6)

Total = 25

That sort of describes what I fancy about MLB… there are many little corners of statistical fascination and rarity that please my brain. The fact that Baseball is so heavily dependent on stats plays a big part in why it smells interesting and so, I just keep sniffing it. I like to sniff the smoodge.

Playoffs

So now I am in the post season in both leagues. In the family league, its championship time. I’m in, but I lost Gordon right in the home stretch so I’m basically fucked. I needed him back this week against Cleveland. So I’m going to lose out on a huge chunk that I need to build a lead. I barely survived round 1. I’m not going to get lucky twice in the same season. It’s not even a remote possibility that my scrubs will post a higher score than his. He has New England’s defense and that one is sure to go off. He also has Tom Brady, Tod Gurley with a juicy match up, Thomas Rawls, Jordy Nelson. I could go on. Justin Tucker. Ok. So I have to climb over some ridiculous average scores. I have no one that competes with them by position with the exception of Bell. My TE has been a disaster all year. I’m making a move this week for one because I don’t trust Ebron anymore. My WR position doesn’t consistently produce for PPR the way I had hoped. Crabtree has dropped 17 passes. So far. And I’m probably stuck starting him this week. He and his drops. Dropped balls in the championship are killer, and could cost you the crown. No doubt. It’s happened to me before. 

I give my logical effort to play the lineup I think will do the best, and just let it go. I’ve won before. I know how great that is. I had an inkling I would win last year but stayed humble. Now I’m sure I will be eliminated I feel somewhat liberated from pressure. I feel like I should strive to win while knowing that goal may not be achievable. When the ratios are aligned against you, victory is long gone. I am thinking there is a 10% chance I will win after having looked over the two weeks we play. He has just st so many choice matchups, and I’m missing out on one of my best. My best is probably done for the season. I realize the reality of my situation, and we are moving on. I’m being very Klingon about all this. “Perhaps today IS a good day to die!”

At work my lineup is stronger. I’m in the semifinals. I have little concern for the work league to be honest. I can’t beat Tony no matter how hard I try. I’ve thrown everything at him to no avail. Will he go 4-0 against me? Last time this happened, I went 3-0 against him but lost in the championship. It may well shape up to that very scenario, but not end the same way. I think he will thoroughly kick my ass with his super-team if I get past the first round. Tubby has no shot. Points aren’t there. Joseph (my opponent) has taken some hits. His lineup has been underperforming, but then again, so has mine. Mine even to a more severe extent I contend. So I may be out by the conclusion of Sunday. Christmas Day playoff elimination doubleheader. 

In truth, I’ve been only using football as a crutch. I have just had no other things I was doing rather than football. Recently I started gaming again. I’ve been exercising. I’m trying to diversify. So yeah I’m playing this year, but I’m not committed to it as I have been in the past. There’s just so much going on right now. And I get to be with family this weekend and Amanda too. Christmas is almost here. I’m being buried alive in debt. I’m alive. The world is going on all around me. I want to be a part of life. I don’t really have much concern about football right now. Survival is the priority. Things are improving. Goodnight. 

Last-Minute Happies

Score: +2

It was a slow day preceded by me vomiting. Not a great activity for 2:45 am. So I was up way too fucking early. I drove to work and proceeded to line myself up for a 9.5 hour day. Pretty stupid. Plus I also was tired and felt really dead. It was not a great day. I was in on this timer meeting which was largely over my head but I took a ton of notes nonetheless. I’m hopeful that Tuesday doesn’t start with barf and end with me feeling pooped. But even though I felt bad, I still did my mile. I had gotten out of form, so it was more challenging than it should have been. Bah. New day tomorrow. 

Like I had mentioned in previous posts, the FFL season is winding to a close. I gained a 23 point advantage in game 1 of 2 in the first round of the playoffs. I also narrowly squeaked out a victory in the work league by a razor thin margin. Literally won it on a meaningless 8 yard pass play to Edelman with only a few minutes left. Fluky. But I’m glad to have the win and not a narrow defeat. It’s largely irrelevant anyway in that league. 

I’m tired and going to bed. There’s all sorts of other things going on, but I’m in no place to dive into them. My mental state is south of reasonable. Goodnight for now. 

Top Score

It’s nearing the end of NFL Sunday and I’m still quite undecided as to my FFL fate. I have opposing players going tonight that greatly concern me. Namely Zeeke Elliot. He could go for 200 like it was nothing. So if he does, I’m sunk. If he is mediocre, I might just build a strong lead headed into game 2 of round 1. I lead in both leagues, both with Edelman going Monday night as insurance. I really hope this works out. Why all of a sudden? Because I would be riding on the back of the single greatest player performance of the year. Le’Veon Bell’s line today: 38 carries, 236 yards rushing, three rushing touchdowns, four catches, 64 receiving yards. 61 fantasy points. Record setting performance, one for the ages. Nearly 300 yards of offense. Unbelievable. So I lost Gordon today too. Bell helps augment my suffering. I hear that the injury is not severe, so hopefully he gets back to cutting and sprinting soon. Only 3 games left in the season. I have no one I can replace him with who has a chance at his volume. But Martin should fill in at least for next week. I’m tired of betting on wide receivers. Fucking impossible. I can’t guess for shit on right ends either. I’ve got to have the lowest output from the TE slot in the entire league this season. I have little doubt. But anyway. Wish me luck. 

The Playoffs!!!

It’s getting down to the last 4 weeks of the regular season and fantasy football 2016 is coming to a close. Despite my low expectations, I have once again clinched the playoffs for the fourth year in a row. In the family league the playoffs have begun and I finished the season with an 8-5 record. Each playoff round in the family league lasts two weeks, so it’s significantly more difficult to achieve victory since your foe gets two chances to knock you down. Winning 4 weeks in a row to clinch the championship is precisely what I did last year, but I have about a 15% probability of repeating that feat. My wide receivers are substandard… but I have a strong ground game, which has carried me this far. I need exemplary performances from below-average players in order to advance, and that is asking an awful lot from the fantasy football gods. The gods have rarely been forgiving, but sometimes they are. Either way, I don’t think I have much shot at it in the family league.

In the work league, the regular season is still trucking right along and into next week as well. We play 1 week per round and we most certainly play week 17. No football is omitted regardless of status of starting players. Good fantasy football is built around two skills: ability to select talent during the draft and ability to see talent on the free agent market and capitalize with waiver moves. So making some last minute streaming waiver transactions is exactly what fantasy football is about, and we should all be capable of assessing free agent talent based on matchups (at least). Therefore, making waiver substitutions for starting players on week 17 is business as usual, and even more of a challenge to overcome to achieve victory. I likes me a good challenge. Both my leagues play on week 17 during the most critical game of the season. High stakes, high risk, huge reward.

At work I’m 9-4 and have clinched a playoff spot (currently in 3rd place). I was in first place last year in both leagues heading into the playoffs. I’m thinking I have a real shot at the championship again at work. My running game is fucking stellar, and my wide receivers are at least mediocre. I have a soft schedule in the matchup department for several players, including my two biggest point scorers (Gordon and Bell) facing at least two bottom 10 defenses in the last 4 weeks of the season. Right when I will need a big performance most I have the highest likelihood of getting one… or at least, that’s the theory. I have big matchups mostly week 16, but a couple that carry over into week 17. In the family league (the one I particularly would like to win), a big performance week 16 could provide me with enough cushion to secure it even mid way through week 17 (unless I were to seriously implode week 17 [<— very possible]).

But my point is, hey, I just took the crown in both leagues last year, and here I am back in the playoff picture the following season. Above expectation. I had a rock solid draft, have made some dynamite waiver moves, and basically played the same way I did last year: not overthinking it, sticking to the basics and trusting the initial instinctual impulse. It has paid off with a return to relevancy once again. Even in the event that I end up battling for third place, I will still have proven that my victories, and constant presence in the playoffs is no fluke. I really do know what I’m doing. It’s not even as hard as we seem to all think it is. I’m not saying I’m phenomenal by any stretch, but I do have a talent for this.

But the family league this year might be out of reach. I sense an early demise at the hands of a significantly more well armed team. I don’t have the best matchups this week, a lot of stuff that could really go either way. That’s the type that’s hardest to assess, since the factors don’t favor any particular outcome. Those are the matchups that get decided by that initial instinct, and a lot of times they work out for me. Frankly, more often than not. Off waivers, I started Carson Wentz and he put up 20, Jaquizz Rodgers and he put up 154 yards and Steffon Diggs, who put up 13 receptions. I’m keen on things sometimes. But then again, I started Ebron and he goose egged me, and Crabtree hit me once for 3.5 early in the season and again this last week for 6.1. Sigh. Sometimes you knock it out of the park… other times, you whiff like a novice.

Ok blog, you are now caught up on the status of my FFL world. Wish me luck!

Solo-Time

Score: +3

I had Amanda for a little bit in the morning, but then she went home to be with her son. So I have been here in my apartment doing chores and watching science channel. I’m trying to isolate myself today and most of tomorrow because this is a good chance for me to cope with my emotions when I am by myself. This is necessary for my mental health, as I have explained in previous posts. 

So far the experiment is a success. I’m dealing. Entertaining myself. Doing responsible things. It has been nominal so far. I must say I do get bored easily. I have a pretty rad game of Bookworm going right now. Highest score I can remember having. 

I’m also not giving a shit about fantasy football. I’m tired of the feeling I’m getting from it. I’m not going to my parent’s place tomorrow to watch RedZone channel. I’m not spending much time watching the games at home. I’m not going to have my hot hand on my team’s scorecard. I just don’t want to care right now. I’m frustrated, and done feeling that way. I have a lot of good shit going for me right now. I’m established. I’m financially secure. I’m starting a month of training coming up here on Monday. I don’t need the stress of fantasy football invading that. I can sense when something has become destructive. 

Tomorrow I need to get food. A minimal amount that will keep me nourished for the next week. I’ve got a slog ahead of me. But I think I can do it. All my expenses were addressed, so what’s left can just be for food. 

I’m just trying to survive right now. Things are positive though, at least in my world. Tomorrow Amanda, Tristan and I will all be at the park hopefully throwing the frisbee. It’s rainy right now though. So maybe that plan will be scrapped. Either way, we will be spending time together. That will be good. 

Goodnight. 

Week 12

It’s a pivotal week in the family league. The playoff push is well underway, but now it’s time to seal the deal. I need to win my last two games and hit the postseason with the same record I had last year. Pretty shocking considering I won the championship in 2015. 

Anyway, my gambles are WR and RB. I’m starting L. Bell, M. Gordon and D. Martin. Doug is the one I’m worried about, considering he has to run against a good Seattle defense and there’s no certainty he will have much space to rumble. I need a solid 20 out of him like I got last week. WR is another story. I have two slots for three recivers: S. Diggs, D. Thomas and J. Edelman. Right now Edelman and Thomas are in with the idea that because this is PPR they look like higher-floor options. Diggs is hurt right now and not practicing so he’s no lock for Sunday at all. He let me down last week too. 

Projections have me very far above average but I never believe them. They have limited relevance. I just look at my matchups, which I like, and hope his aren’t better. It’s the commissioner of the league I’m playing this week, and I need to avenge the ass kicking I received at our first meeting. 

For defense I had a choice between Baltimore at home vs Cincinnati, or Green Bay at Philly on a Monday night. I like Baltimore better because Cincinnati just lost 46% of their offense to injury and that will lower the point scoring potential. Baltimore needs a redemption game after last weeks debacle, and I think they will get it. 

So the future looks better than it did last week, but this team I’m going up against is damn good. They are in first for a good reason. I just hope for another above average day and a W if I can get it. 

Week 11

So it’s getting closer to the end of the fantasy football season, and in the league where it counts I’m in 3rd place, and in (for now). Last year I went 9-2 and lost my last two. This year I’m 7-3 with three games to go and, like I said, it is within the realm of possibility that I would set my all time best record mark, adding that to my accomplishment of the 2nd highest single game score in league history (6 seasons) already this year. I was not expecting to make the playoffs drafting 8th, and still may not if I lose my next three. But regardless, my team is pretty good. They’ve propelled me to four straight wins with some bigtime scores. Although my game with David was decided in my favor by .3 points. It’s been that kind of season. I only cost myself one game so far to making moves right before kickoff. Left the win on my bench. This is why I preach the gospel of “don’t overthink it.” It’s worked wonders for me. Got me two championships last year. 

I’m hoping that somehow Crabtree gets a good matchup that Carr can exploit all day. That’s a tough secondary, but the Raiders are good. That’s a fact. Hopefully it’s not all about Oakland running the ball like it was before the bye. Luckily he was on my bench. In both leagues. 

The work league I don’t pay much mind to, as 3 teams don’t play. 7-3 there with weaker wide receivers but stronger running backs. Had been peddling 4 RBs most weeks. Just now flopped over to two QB. I figured, Dak and Cam? What could go wrong? Both have good motivation to play their guts out, and that’s just the sort of motivation I mean to capitalize on. Determined players don’t go down on first contact, they keep chugging. They move the fucking pile. Or like Bell, wait till the linebackers suck up to the line of scrimmage then bounce a fatty to the outside. 25 yards, just like that. Boy is he fun to watch. 

Anyway. This week at work I play a derelict team without a full starting lineup. Ian the quitter/cheater did not come back after losing to yours truly in the championship. So he let his team drift like plastic in the ocean. In the family/money league, I go against the 8th place team, of which there is still a strong possibility that I will lose. We both have good matchups this week, but some of his look like they could explode. Anyway, I’m still a constant skeptic. I’ve seen some pretty remarkable things in my time. It’s never over until is OVER. Q4 00:00. That’s when you can have your champagne. 

Worked Out Pretty Good

Score: +3.5

Well remember my pesemism about my two games this week? Turns out it was unfounded. I posted the single highest score ever recorded in my family league. Nearly every position player went for 20. Most more. It was insane. I was wrong on Fiedorowicz but meh, I’m never right on tight ends. Ever. It’s my one great flaw. Had league’s best receiver, 164 yards for Diggs. I had the second best scorer in Le’Veon Bell. 38.7 fantasy points second only to Dallas’ ‘Zeke the freak. So I hit a couple big home runs en route to a historic blowout. I’m in awe of all this good fortune… where is the post championship lull? I was supposed to suck this year, and I’m 7-3 and in the playoffs if the season ended today. Three more games left, I’m still within reach of best record ever at 10-3. It would be quite a feat but it is possible. 

So a good evening tonight with positive results. Much unexpected. Still have some scores to post in the work league but I think I have that one locked down. It would take a pretty otherworldly game from A.J. Green to get that done. Chances are low. So another 2-0 weekend. Not bad I say. 

Tristan and Amanda came over and we all played around for two hours. He and I played chess, and discussed the game and it’s rules. Then we got to playing Final Fantasy X. I have a save game with Nemesis unlocked. Never beat that particular monster, but I have the potential to try. Capturing 10 of everything was a BITCH. 

Anyway, it was fun to have them here. I want them to come over more often now that everything has settled. 

I’m ready for work tomorrow. I feel recharged after some very relaxing alone time. I feel calm and collected. 

Have a good night. 

Eve

It’s football eve, and I’m doing fine. I spent some time throwing the Frisbee with Tristan today in Santee. It was refreshing the three of us being there together having fun. He was happy to see me. All in all, very positive. I even invited them over to my house tomorrow during the games. I know that time with him is limited now that Amanda only has occasional custody. We are going to play chess and have fun. Good times will be had.

It’s another night alone here in the apartment and I seem to be doing fine. I had a good session with Margaret today. We talked for more than a therapeutic hour and delved into my solitude issues. I was telling her how hyper-vigilant I am against feeling sad or overly bored. I continue to find ways to distract myself and keep my mind occupied to avoid this, but she suggested that I actually, deliberately concentrate on happy things. She wants me to think about the progress I have made to get here, and the long relationship I have with Amanda, and how I have a steady job and have been stable on my meds for an extended period of time. It’s literally occupying the mind with something good instead of letting it drift to think about something bad by default. I have to force these thoughts into my head to crush the others that come in. It was an innovation I had not come up with on my own. So I’m going to give it a try next time I get to feeling solitary or sad. I think it will totally work.

Well blog, things are going pretty good. It’s a mildly important week in FFL, a week that I am pretty 50 – 50 about. I really am leaning on having some below average performances since the match ups aren’t pointed my way this week. Only a couple have a solid forecast of going off, so who knows. I’m looking for Tyerell Williams, C.J. Fedorowicz and Steffon Diggs to have big days despite being an outside shot to do much in the way of scoring. I expect Gordon to be worth something, and Le’Veon Bell has a tough match up this week. He could easily be stymied all day and I wouldn’t be shocked. I’m hoping a couple of my fliers go off and save the below average output of my powerhouse players. I decided to go 2 QBs in my work league… since it seems everyone else was. So I’m starting Newton and Prescott, who I intent to generate some rushing yardage as well as having stellar days through the air. Both have a sot at a rushing TD as well which would greatly help my cause. My roster in the work league is better then the one I have in the family league. But I’m 6-3 in both leagues right now, but like I said, I could very easily 6-4 in both leagues by this time tomorrow. I’d say 60%/40% I lose both games.

So I don’t have much hope. It would really put the dagger in my cousin if I win and I’m not particularly interested in being the one to do it. I like a competitive race and in her division, she would have a difficult time staying relevant if she loses, with only 4 games left to play. I could afford a loss, but she probably can’t She’d have to win out to stay relevant and even then, 7-6 is no certainty of a playoff berth with a team 2 games up on her in 2nd. So in reality, I’d like it to be competitive to show me if my guesses were correct about certain players, but do I mind losing? Not at all. We’ll just have to see how it goes. Expectations at a record low.

Superzippy With Boo

Score: +3

This is not a good thing. The last two days, my anxiety has been running at system-critical high levels. Amanda and I have been discussing possible triggers, but almost everything falls into that category. On football Sunday, I was out of my mind. I did 1.5 miles on the elliptical and took two warm sit-down showers… nothing. No reduction of symptoms. And things that continue to trigger me are relics from the past that have no implication now. Such as things that might have made me anxious years ago, situations at old jobs, awkward interactions, but why are they relevant now? I can literally feel my blood pressure spiking, and my breathing constricted. It’s not ideal. 

Work was fine today. Had my fingers in many pies. I’m feeling increasingly confident there. New round of evaluations coming up so that will be keeping me occupied for a while. 

Amanda had ECT this morning and the doctor prescribed her a stimulant to help her with her energy and clarity of thought. I’m hopeful it will benefit her, and we will just have to wait and see over the next few days. My mom has been helping out bigtime with getting her to The hospital and back. Oh, and I will be 33 on Sunday. We’re supposed to have dinner at my parent’s place: I requested Jesus Christ alpha and omega burgers with bacon and guacamole. Phe-nom-i-nal. Needless to say. 

I went 2-0 again this weekend even when I was sure I would lose the more important of the two games. Dropped my cousin last week and she was in the championship with me last year, and dropped the guy who beat me in the championship the year before this week. Vengeance is a dish best served on a gridiron. So both my teams are 3-1, with a very uncertain future ahead. I’m scrambling for waiver wire moves this week as injuries have become a problem. 

Well, I’m going to bed. Still have a very fast moving carousel in my mind, which I know will be better tomorrow. Goodnight. 

Summary: Week 3

So I felt it noteworthy to say something considering I may just win both games this week. One is still undecided because my opponent has three Falcons going (Sanu, Ryan, Freeman) but needs 70+ points to reclaim the lead. This week Minnesota’s DEF/ST came up big in the work league, along with waiver add Charles Sims putting up big numbers. DeAngelo Williams disappointed against a tough Philadelphia defense. Chargers gacked away another W, but Melvin Gordon did well for me. Stefon Diggs finally had a down game, of course, when I put him in my lineup. 

I spent some time watching the games at my Uncle’s house, while my sister’s bridal shower took place. I was regularly monitoring the scores, and it felt like a solid day of entertainment and fun. This weekend has been pretty good. I feel good going into this less-stressful week. 

I hope my lead holds and I can celebrate my first 2-0 week of the season. 

Cheaters

Tonight I wish to retell the tale of 2015’s fantasy football season. In the league that I ran, I invited a friend from a previous job to come play with some friends from my current job. Draft time was getting closer, and I was still 1 manager short to complete the league. My friend Ian from my old job said he knew a guy who would play, and so the final invite was sent out and the league completed. 

As the season went on, it became apparent that the new guy was derelict. Not what I was hoping for, needless to say. However, he did do 1 thing all year, he made a huge blockbuster trade to Ian for some priceless talent in exchange for injured talent. Ian then antagonized me by claiming the key to his success was picking up people I cut off my roster, which was partially true. But also true for everyone else. 

His team and my team made it to the championship, and I soundly defeated him. When I look back, it became clear to me that there was no new guy, it was just Ian managing 2 teams so he could harvest the talent from two rosters and make one mighty mega team. This plan failed miserably, and the evidence speaks for itself: no waiver for the new guy, 0-15 record, never changed lineups, no messages or chats, one trade with Ian. Odd? I agree. Ian tried to cheat his way to a championship and it backfired. Good triumphed over stupidity and my victory was all the more tasty because of it. 

Moral is, if your going to cheat, win… don’t humiliate yourself in the attempt to do so. Now he has nothing to show for his cheating, and is left with only shame. 

Or, you could not be a loser and play fair and earn your victories. Morality much? But then again, he is a Patriots fan. Nuff said. 

Now this year I invited Ian back. He declined for some bullshit reason. Can’t play for real with the big boys? Too chicken shit? I figured. 

Well, at least I know what it feels like to be a champion. Even if I never get to again. I made it. He didn’t. Ha fucking ha. 

Things and Stuff

Tonight I’m concentrating on holding my impulses at bay. I spent some time exercising when Tristan was here, I did a mile. I promised myself that I would “step it up” so another mile is upcoming. I’m going to deconstruct my processes and improve in areas that need help. Control. Willpower. Discipline. I’m holding true to my boundaries and continuing to aim for my goals. 

But I’m doing good. Looking forward to a day at Sea World tomorrow with Amanda and Tristan. I have a plan for dinner tomorrow night. It’s pretty fucking awesome. 

NFL season continues tomorrow. Frankly, I don’t care that I won’t see the numbers come in live, but I’d much rather be with my tribe, Amanda and Tristan, than alone watching football. Out having fun and making new memories? Or watching football… sorry football, but you’re going to lose every time in that matchup. As it should be. 

I’m hoping for a good night’s sleep tonight, and a fantastic day tomorrow. I’m so detached from concern about fantasy this year. What will be, will be, and I care not. I’m not getting all committed like I have in years past. Never again. 

Later. 

Fantasy Football 2016, 2nd Draft

I must preface with the fact that I was the only person who live drafted. So this league is very likely abandoned, which is what I was afraid of. But maybe they will still play, who knows. 

QB: Cam Newton, Tyrod Taylor

RB: Le’Veon Bell, Adrian Peterson, Davonta Freeman, Melvin Gordon, LeGarrett Blount

WR: Julian Edelman, Jarvis Landry, Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead

TE: Travis Kelce

DEF: Kansas City

I’m my league, the second flex on the roster allows for a second QB if desired. I wanted two running quarterbacks in the starting lineup. Then I hit pay dirt with running backs. An excellent haul. WR, eh, the weakest link. Jarvis is a talented player, but he and a hobbled Edelman only have an outside chance at both being of PPR relevance. My defense was picked off the tailings. Still decent, but not great. 

In the end, this one doesn’t matter all that much. I’m the projected winner of the draft. Won it last year too, en route to a championship. I now believe there to have been some foul play last year, but in the end, he fucked himself out of a championship. All I had to do was sit back and watch karmic retribution take its course. 
Happy season. Here’s hoping I don’t totally suck. 

Fantasy Football 2016, 1st Draft

My first league, the one with money on it and has most of my cousins in it, drafted earlier. My lineup is a mixed bag of hopeful projections and calculated risks. 

QB: Cam Newton

RB: Le’Veon Bell, Doug Martin, Thomas Rawls, Melvin Gordon, Matt Jones

WR: Keenan Allen, Demaryus Thomas, Golden Tate, Michael Crabtree, Tavon Austin

TE: Gary Barnidge

K: Mason Crosby

DEF: St. Louis, Buffalo

I gambled on defense, but in this league, they’re not often relevant. Just as long as their not worth a negative number. But those two defenses might utterly flop. I like my multipurpose QB, and the potential of my running backs after Le’Veon’s suspension is over, after week 3. My team suddenly becomes relevant. Gary is also a risk, based on RGIII’s success. If he gets annihilated and rarely completed a pass, Gary will be useless. My wide receivers are, again, a risk. Keenan seems like a good get for 100 receptions or more depending on his health. Demaryus is a risk, because the rookie QB has a high probability to fail, and would then not complete many passes to him. But he fell so far, like the fourth round. I had to take him. He’s fucking elite. 

If things go my way, I would be totally shocked. I took SO MANY risks this time. If some of them pay out, I could be relevant, but it could all fall apart so easily. I have significantly less hope this year than I did last, and last year I had not very much to begin with. But I underestimated my team and myriad waiver moves. Playing the waivers pushed my mediocre team over the top. I even lost my number one draft pick, Jaamal Charles, mid season. Still won the championship on waiver claims Doug Martin,  Lamar Miller, Tre Mason, and… believe it or not, Cameron Artis-Payne (Johnathan Stewart’s backup in Carolina). As a side note, I picked up Cameron and Tre the week before off waivers, both worth double digit fantasy points in the championship (and each had a touchdown, the margin that clinched my victory). 

So having good pieces to start with is important, and this year I will likely have very few. But we shall see. The probability of winning back to back championships is impossibly unlikely. Possible, but marginally so. 
I’m a few minutes away from my second draft in the league where I am commissioner. I’ll have another post sometime thereafter. I’m far less concerned with that league, in fact, it would be better for my work environment if I did poorly. Winning that one this year might be the last year anybody plays in it. 

Discipline

Score: +3

The way I see it, I can control myself much better than I had been recently. Part of the all-encompassing overhaul of my reality is that I need to be able to control myself. I need to be able to set a boundary and not cross it. I have been giving in to temptation and behaving like a hedonist. My world started to fall apart because I had relinquished control. Well, the days of that are over. 

I will make controlling myself a part of my journey towards a healthier life. I will not only set boundaries, but goals as well. I can succeed in my life if I have mastery of it. So now I’m thinking that I will need to put my boundary-setting discipline to the test. In time, I will reintroduce my vices and actually control myself. I will not fall into an abusive pattern, I will be measured and respectful at all times. Just like how I want to meditate to better control my thoughts, so to do I wish to control my desires and compulsions. Discipline! 

Well I’m getting ready for draft 2. Less concerned about this one. Just going to have fun with it. 

I’m still sick. I need to kill this mothetfucker. EXTERMINATE. 

Goodbye for now. 

Getting Harder

I managed to jam my morning with things to accomplish, but now I have some down time and I am not handling it well. 

My frustrations are many: first, this stomach bug still has me. I’m tired of broth. I want to eat food. This sucks. Second, I am now craving a vice of some form to help me deal with my off time. I am not going to acknowledge that feeling, and certainly not indulge it. However, it’s hard to suppress something so familiar. It’s also abundantly and closely available, which makes it even more of a challenge. But I am persevering. I have not crumbled in the face of temptation. I hope I can continue to do that. 

I drafted in my money league. I have a decent team, but not very deep at wide receiver. My running backs are also a tad suspect as Le’Veon Bell won’t play the first three games of the season. Cost me my first pick to get him, but if he stays healthy, I may have the best RB in the league. We will have to see how it plays out, but I had hoped for better than what I got. 

I spent some time in the shower but I didn’t meditate. I did a half mile on the elliptical, as I was quite sore from the two miles I did yesterday. I will get back up there and do another half mile later. 

I called my dad. He was doing good. I told him about the draft and we caught up for a bit. 

This is my issue: how am I handling that time when nothing is going on? I can’t just live from distraction to distraction. I need to be able to be alone, and at peace. I’m not thinking any negative thoughts. I’m not sad or overly anxious. I am getting clingy to the idea of indulgence, but I still don’t believe that doing so is a good idea. I need more of a break than I have had so far. I need to give it more time before reassessing and establishing new boundaries for myself. I’m not at the confidence level yet to say that I am strong enough to manage that, and it will take my continued denial of temptation that should promote growth in a positive direction. 

As the day goes on, and my processes continue to be worked out, I pause and reflect on the steps I have taken so far to get to this point. 

Go Figure

Score: +5

Sometimes I get to doubting myself, or my potential despite all my attempts to strive for confidence. I’m not 100% free of the harsh voice that demeans me; crushes me down. Most of the time, I have evidence to dispute such doubt, but not always. It’s not a crime to be afflicted, so I don’t judge myself for listening to what it has to say. I have a much longer pattern of trusting that skeptic than arguing with him.

My work week started today, and people either didn’t call at all, or all called in at once. When I was busy, I was swamped. Something rather unexpected happened however: the two championship games I thought I was going to lose, I won, and by wide margins. This was not expected, or even contemplated as possible. I told myself last night that I had an 85% chance to lose both games, 14% chance to split and a 1% chance to win both. See what I mean about that voice of doubt? I have never been a fantasy football champion, and I get to be twice in one day. After five years, and three 2nd place finishes, I’m in the fucking club.

It’s a remarkably good turn of fortune. I am glad things turned out this way, needless to say. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I still think bad things about myself sometimes. There are many subtle ways this doubt is expressed, however outnumbered by positives.

 

Capture

Capture2

 

Capture3

To Choose

Score: +3.5

I’ve had a nice time this final day of the long triple holiday saga that has passed. I love this time of year, but now we are beyond it, and into 2016. Things will be different, but I can’t say if we will be spared or slaughtered. The uncertainty of the future is well known, and not particularly fair. I don’t like to get my hopes up for things. Too oft is the result something unwanted. I tend to be more practical. Expect realistic outcomes, so that you’re not fooling yourself. I have become more frank and unobjective about things in the last year. I have altered my attitude to be more accommodating of an unforgiving world. Setting the bar needlessly high imposes quality at the cost of sustainability. I don’t do that anymore, and my life has been a lot simpler. 

I’m feeling good. I go into work tomorrow (Sunday) for a shift. My two fantasy football teams will lose their championship games, and I will be done with football for several months. I mean, I’ll watch the playoffs, but I won’t have my heart in it. I’m just going to learn what I can from this year and be all the more ready next year. I love to play, win or lose. I’m pretty damn good overall, with a regular season record of 85-52. Five years. So I’m pretty deep in it, and I don’t plan on not being anytime soon. Not winning now only compelles me to keep trying until I do break through someday. Inevitably, I’ll get there. 

My break has been long and glorious. But now it is done and I must resume my digging in the deepest catacombs of regular life. Drenched in the slop of patterns. Chiseling away endlessly at the insurmountable sum of things to do. Existence is filtered through a thousand gallons of rushing water. We do the best we can against the torrent. We grind out each ridiculously difficult step forward, with the hopes that the water will calm sometime soon. 

Consecutive

Score: +3

I am going to be making a regular habit of checking in daily to process my feelings. I have been somewhat delinquent in my blogging. The whole point of this place is to expunge. I wish to hold true to that. 

Today was slow. I got nearly 100% caught up on tickets and issues handed to me. I even had some boredom. This is abnormal considering how swamped we have been the last several weeks. Things are finally slowing down. Hooray and boo all at the same time. 

At home, Amanda has been sick. She is not going back to work until the new year. I am sad for her because she is suffering. I wish there was an easy way to get her out of her current job and into something she could enjoy. Hopefully things continue to improve health wise and we can get back on track again. 

I am in the championship for the second year in a row in my family league. Last year I lost by 1.4 fantasy points. Boo. This year I am likely to lose again as my team has been maligned by injuries. In two weeks I will be in 2nd place for the second year in a row. 

All told I am ok. I was bored today and I don’t really like that. But I’m home now and things are good. 

Click

Score: +2.5

It took me a while to clear the cobwebs this morning. I did party pretty hard Sunday. One coffee proved to not be enough. 

I’m doing fine. I just had a really slow start today, and my shift seemed to drag on at times. I did manage to hang in there, despite increasing desires to flee. It’s really hard Monday morning. Gets easier from there. 

I’ve been gaming and looking after my fantasy teams. Things are going well. I’m working my way through the map list in Edain with the AI on brutal. I’m stuck on a map that seems ludicrously stacked against me. Not sure how to win on that one. I’m going to the post season in both leagues again this year. I have the lead in one two-week game. The farther I lead the more secure my next week. Gotta win four games in a row to be a champion. 

Amanda is still having a hard time. She didn’t go in today, and may not go in tomorrow. She’s missed almost two weeks. It’s a bummer to see her suffering so badly. If it’s not one thing it’s another. She’s been through hell, and deserves a break. I feel like winter is going to be tough on her. More so than most. I wish I could take her pain away. 

Well blog, I’ve got no complaints. My life is a marshmallow; warm, soft and inviting. I’ve got to keep doing my job, and putting my feet in front of each other every day. 

Hump Day

Score: +2.5

Today was slower. My mind was in a sort of fog for most of the day. Work was stressful. It was a long day.

But alas, it is over. This time of year always makes me feel fuzzy. I wear my snowman pants. It gets cold outside, and I go under the comforter. We have a heater in the apartment, so we will never be frigid. But those waking moments at 4 when I first get out of bed in my underwear and stumble into the bathroom to turn the shower on… fucking cold. I know most of you out there live in a place where winter actually happens. I do not. I get the cold desert night, with all the warmth bleeding off into outer space. It doesn’t snow very often, cold systems barely make it this far south with any strength left. It’s been a while since we had a good storm. So I’m complaining in my own way, even though most of you suffer more. I’m a lizard. I need the heat to survive. My feet are cold and dead all the time now.

I talked to Margaret about my upwellings of emotional things that were happening to me at work and in other places. Music was triggering them a lot. Songs that reminded me of times with Jax. Then I got to thinking about her, and wondering what path life had taken for her. I even went as far as to indulge that interest and I read her blog. I regret that. I shouldn’t be giving those thoughts any traction. I, ultimately, don’t care what happens to her. She is a scar on my past, a wound that is all but healed. Only the ache remains. I don’t know what the trigger has been lately. I think I’m more run-down because I have been sliding, not climbing. It has been a depreciating energy sum of late. I am wearing down, yes this is true, but not at a rapid pace. Eventually, maybe several months down the road, I would be in trouble. But this most recent push will likely only last until early January. Then the OT ends, and I go back to a lighter schedule. As it were.

Amanda goes to see her doctor tomorrow. I think she will get a boost to her anxiety med because she’s not at a full dose of it yet and feeling fewer benefits. The depression symptoms have sort of leveled off. I think that’s good. We’re not losing ground anymore. Things are going to be ok. All good things take time to grow. Prosperity is the goal.

And Days Go By…

Score: +3.5

We are rolling through some form of trough. Things have become increasingly deliberate and generally strenuous. 

Today was a good day though. It was busy, so time really zipped by. Also, I have received a lot of positive feedback lately. 

Amanda and I are closer than ever as we scramble for a way out of the hole. She has had a dramatic change in her medications, and we are currently still unable to detect improvement, but it has only been 3 days. We have the boy this week, and he is very low energy. Unlike last time. This was much appreciated because Amanda is struggling. We are taking necessary steps and working daily towards the goal of wellness. But change is slow in mental health. 

My grandma has cancer and it has matastacised. She has a very limited amount of time left. My mom has been in the hospital with her for days. On top of that, the water pump in my parent’s RV exploded, causing thousands of dollars in damage. It’s been a series of shit draws. 

Life is not headed in a particularly pleasing direction. I still have my head above water but things are continuing to become submerged. I am relatively powerless here, and just trying to carry as much burden as possible. I’m hoping that I can provide assistance in this way, and not perpetuate any more suffering. 

I don’t know what is next, but the sea is choppy and we have a long ways to go before safe harbor.

In more uplifting news: I’m 12-4 in both leagues this season. That’s 3:1 win loss ratio, and only having one 0-2 week (3). I have rarely done so well. I’m still not getting my hopes up. I may lose out and miss the playoffs. You never know. With the way things have been going, I’m not going to be surprised if it all falls apart. 

My spirits are up, but the situation is in need of improvement. 

Spent

Score: +1.5

Today I did not make it in to work. It was a struggle of astronomical proportions to get out of bed, and I could not do it. I emailed in and used some of my PTO to have a day. And it was just the thing I needed. I woke up naturally and felt well-rested. I had the energy to do some stuff around the apartment, and I went shopping and bought Amanda and I some dinner. I tried to make something of an otherwise lost episode. Things have been nice today. I feel relaxed and ready to unplug for a while. The weekends are wonderful, even if we don’t do much. I feel like I can just BE there with her. I’ve been watching so much football… poor Amanda is doing her best. She’s not repulsed by it, but there is not much she finds interesting about it just yet. That might change with time. Baseball, she admitted, she had begun to comprehend, which bodes well for her understanding football, in time. I have no expectations in this department, and I am fully willing to compromise in the event that she comes to dislike it. We have been together 9 months, but it feels like we have established a comfort-level routine that might have taken others longer to build. I find the maturity with how she handles adversity to be particularly astonishing, and admirable. She was feeling anxious the other day and actually told me: “If it gets too bad with my depression, I would understand if you had to leave me… I would be hurt, but I would understand.” I guess this is what the last guy did to her, at the most critical point in which he was needed, he chose to abandon her. This is a thing I absolutely could not do. I truly love her, and the man she inspires me to be, and I’m going to get through this time with her and come out the other side of it stronger, and better than before. There is no giving up, and there is no prerequisite. There is no timetable for completion, just consistent encouragement along the line of self-improvement. Some time a part of that struggle is becoming truly self-aware… fuck, it’s a lesson I’m still figuring out. So when my body said: you need a break bud, I took one. I’ve had time to reflect, and today I was motivated to do some helpful things around the house because I love my girlfriend Amanda and I want her to just concentrate on getting healthy, and leave the rest to me. I’m doing ok, and can handle taking on the extra weight. I’m proud to, as a matter of fact, because it gives you the freedom to be unencumbered by responsibility and heal. I’m doing the best I can to give her the best shot possible at regaining her footing. I’m there for her right now, and I’m glad to be. I hope you all have a good weekend.

Cancellations

Score: +2.5

I didn’t go into work on Friday and that whole day pretty much became a cancellation. I also didn’t go to my psych doctors appointment. I figured: I’m doing fine, I’ll see her in a few weeks and tell her as much. My parents came home, and it was great to see them. My mom brought back about 45 pounds of rock. Good quality Quartz, Jasper, Jade and Agates of varying color. She found the kush green banded Jade, which is quite expensive. It will make for some excellent jewelry. Truly. I’m glad they’re back. 

Amanda and I were productive today. We did chores, went shopping, bought a crystal growing kit (see: shits and giggles) and I even went back to my parent’s to pick up my old iPhone which I am giving to my mom (pending a new SIM card so it will truly be hers). But really, I just wanted to get into my elastic shorts and lay around. I’ve felt so drained the last two days. I’m out of it. But hopefully tomorrow will be better. I’m looking forward to the slate of NFL games, starting with a 6:30 am game in London. I’m not giving myself a great chance to win this weekend in fantasy football, but it would be pivotal if I captured at least one victory. We’ll see. 

Amanda and I are doing good. We have a very relaxed way about us. It’s not a relationship where I always need to be paying attention to her. She pretty much does her own thing. I don’t worry about our relationship falling apart; we never fight and we seem pretty content with the way things are. She’s very much her own person, and I respect that. The relationship is not her identity, as it should never be. This is really the first time I’ve been with someone who was an adult. She’s got herself figured out, there’s no experimenting or denial. I respect her immensely. 

Here’s hoping for som nor zest. 

Less Than Maximum

Score: +3

231 Day Average: +2.93

I haven’t really had the “umph” to write much lately. Things at work have been complex and energy-consuming, but I generally enjoy the work I do more than I did in the past. I just wish I was making what I’m worth.

I’ve had a bit of a break from stress lately. Things have been less crazy-intense. I’m finding I have a bit more energy after my shift is over, and I can muster the strength to do a few chores here and there. Amanda is back in a depressive cycle. She’s with her doctor right now trying to work with him on a solution. She missed work again today and things have been hard for her at work because of it. She’s struggling, and there’s nothing I can do about it but be there to comfort her.

My parents are coming back this week, and I think Amanda and I are going over to their mobile abode Friday after work. It’s been more then 4 months since I saw them. I’m looking forward to this week being over for more reasons than that. I feel like my energy reserves are draining slowly, and soon I will not have much left. I need better sleep, and I really wish I could wake up quickly and get going. Things have been a slog for me in the mornings. Maybe I’m getting depressed too?

Amanda bought me an e-cig for my birthday (which is coming up) and I really like it. I was about to go buy a pack of cigarettes because I had the craving SO BAD, but this seemed like a better solution. I got smoky flavors, and they are nice. i can’t imagine the sweet tasting ones… yorf. I much prefer vaping pot, or smoking musky cigarettes or cloves. It’s the bold smoke taste that gets me. I also like black coffee, see STRONG. Anyway, I brought it with me to work and it was cool having it on my 15 minute breaks. I’ve been following fantasy football through the week but not doing that second-guessing thing I had been doing. IO lost last week because I did that. So now, I’m just going to go with the initial gut-reaction and play it from there. Rethinking things only leads to disaster.

Have a good day blog, nice to see you.

#1001

Score: +3

I’d say that’s a good score for a busy Monday. I handled my work today, dealing with some big issues that floated my way. This has become a big part of what I do now, I talk with my manager and resolve upper-level requests. I think my coworkers just assume I do nothing all day, because I don’t take many incoming calls when the tickets flood in. Then again, I don’t give two cooked shits what they think. 

The boy was out of control this weekend. He was grumpy that we had to leave the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center once we had done every activity on both floors. He pouted that he didn’t get a toy, which we was denied because he refused to take direction on multiple occasions. Amanda and I gave up on walking with him because all he could do was brood and stomp. We put him in the stroller and went over to the San Diego gem and mineral society. They had some outstanding samples there, including a huge blue Topaz. 

The boy went to his dad’s today, and we have heard that he got in trouble at school for talking during class. His dad is very machismo, which is funny considering he’s a pasty emotionless goth. But his dad spanks him, and doesn’t positively reinforce good behavior, just administers punishment. I think that will build resentment over time. 

Today marked the conclusion of week one in the National Football League. Both my fantasy teams won, which is a treat considering week one is quite possibly the hardest of the 17. Why? No trends, no data, just guessing. I guessed good. 

Time is zooming by. Tomorrow marks the 9th month of being in a relationship with Amanda. Has it really been 9 months? Things still feel very new. Maybe because we are still learning about each other. This relationship is a promising partnership. We have been growing together, and enjoying some fantastic memories. I feel like there are many more things we have yet to do with each other. 

Overall, this was a good Monday. It could have been much worse. 

Big Slouchatude

Score: +3

We had plans, I swear… but it seemed like we all just needed a day of rest (for the most part). Amanda just never really woke up, which would have made it hard to get out and do much of anything given that she couldn’t keep her eyes open. We did go down to the pool, but these angry weirdos showed up and they were all whispering to themselves and it got awkward, so we aborted. The boy has been snotty today, whining and complaining about everything. I can tell Amanda has reached a breaking point. She went to bed early in an effort to draw the curtains down on a day lost to lethargy. 

I have accomplished my weekend chores to ready myself for the week ahead: I did two loads of laundry, cleaned the cat boxes, took out the trash and did the dishes (though there are still some that need to be done tomorrow). I could tell today that Amanda needed me to help out, as she had zero energy to spare. It was a tough day for her. 

We have been playing Minecraft a bit today. My latest project has been to dig a massive tunnel down to bedrock, then open up an expansive chamber growing outward in three different directions. I have placed dozens of torches on the floor to keep the place lit as I push the walls out. It’s pretty cool. I’ve only found a few pockets of diamond, but lots of lapis lazuli and redstone. The lapis I’m surprised about, because on the other server I rarely found it at all. We have two houses that Amanda has constructed and the one that I use most often has about 30 chickens trapped in it. Reasoning? They are food and feathers for arrows, and since they drop dozens of eggs, the chicken population stays pretty constant. I’m not going to eat them all before I hatch enough of them to keep the colony thriving. We have made good progress in establishing our settlement. It’s looking promising. 

Tomorrow is NFL Sunday, but I am probably not going to see much of it because we will try to go to the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and IMAX theater tomorrow. Charger game comes on at one, so I will likely miss it because the IMAX movie we want to see comes on at that time. We have to compromise sometimes, and this football interest is not one that Amanda and I share. Therefore, it will not be something we debate over, or cancel events for, because it is not a priority when compared to taking the boy out for a day of fun and learning. I’m not that guy who would let Amanda take Tristan to the science center by herself so I could watch the game. It’s not that important to me anymore. Not so much that I would let it get in the way of a chance to bond with Tristan. 

Goodnight, and may your Sunday be fuzzy. 

Beach Day

Score: +4

We all went down to the beach today and had some fun. The swell was pretty small, but I got in on a couple of good waves. Mostly we walked around in the shallows and picked up empty clam shells for Tristan. He liked finding them when they were still two shells stuck together. 

I have been feeling good today. I’m a little anxious about going back to work, but that’s pretty normal for a Sunday. I get that anxiety that comes from anticipation and the stress involved. My job is very intense. I asked to have my seat moved away from the really awful people I currently sit near. I hope it goes through and I can get some relief from the idiocy. 

The 2015 NFL season is coming up and that’s good. I lost the fantasy football championship last year by 1.4 points. I have basically detached myself from concern this year. I don’t think I will win, and I guess I don’t care anymore. I’m 0-3 in championship games. I had my chance, and I couldn’t do it. So this year will be for fun. Whatever happens is fine, because I have no expectations.  I think that’s healthier than obsessing over it like I had been. 

Amanda slept in the bed with me most of last night, which was great. She has been out on the couch for more than a month. We have been having really good talks lately, deep conversations where we look at critical emotional issues. It goes both ways. I sometimes need her help sorting through my feelings and fears. She has helped me understand my dreams and their imagery. Things are very open between us. 

I’m ok. Feeling a little anxious, but that’s to be expected. Have a nice night blog. 

The Night Is Young?

I’m home from a 31 call day, and generally feel upbeat about this week. I know I got off to a terrible start, but I finished strong. I’m not going to be able to stay up past my bedtime and play games or watch TV… I’m tidally-locked into a routine that will irrecoverably induce fatigue by 9 pm or so. I can drink as much coffee as I can handle, but it will not change my 9 pm bedtime. Things went well at work today, with everyone moving seats around me, and even carrying over into the next few rows. I don’t know if it’s a good thing, or a bad thing that I’m not moving. I guess it’s one less hassle for me to endure. Now I sit next to Jeff, who is generally an idiot, but not as bad as some others. Chris has been moved to within direct earshot of Mike (my Manager) who will, no doubt, be appalled by the way Chris handles customers on the phone. Chris is generally rude, puts people on hold to finish talking to his friends, and has a dumb way of communicating with people. He treats customers like morons, which is not a good policy… it’s even bordering on hypocritical considering the capabilities of his own dimensionless mind. He has the worst phone manners out of anyone in the call center, with Ryan coming in a close second. I found an order today that Ryan started entering in the system, but he then completely abandoned it, ensuring that there was no way it would ship, and that someone (eventually) would call us (upset) wondering what had happened to the order they placed. That’s where I come in. I field the call, and can offer the explanation of neglect or delinquency for the reason this paying customer does not have what they asked for more than a week ago. Needless to say, that customer does not think much of us anymore, and I don’t blame them. I have been calling out these mistake-prone agents in emails asking how they managed to fuck things up so badly, and a carbon copy to my supervisor, who I’m sure is aware of the problem, but should be informed of big errors that result in escalated calls. It makes me wonder about the value the company places on it’s public face, in us. They have some certifiable retards manning the phones, and that sort of ilk is a great way to get a bad reputation about the customer service of Mood Media.

On the emotional homefront, I’m doing better by leaps and bounds. I have had support from all angles during a time of genuine crisis. People I reached out to helped, and people reached out to me from unexpected places. I was quite surprised by the attention, and have been thanking people ever since I got my shit back on the rails again. I’m on my own now though. My family has taken their rig a solid 270 miles north to Lake Isabella, where they were planning to stay through the beginning of February. I don’t think they’re going to be up there for that long, but we’ll see. Apparently, the fishing is good there, but my dad doesn’t freshwater fish, like I do. I have a top-notch bass rig that I have taken to several venues and had success with. But that’s more a summertime event, whereas the depths of winter are typically bass sleepy-time. They can be pestered into a strike, but it’s hard to do. Anyway, they are gone, and I’m flying solo for a while.

This is my last two-days-off-in-a-row weekend for the rest of the month. I have a Saturday shift for three weeks. I’m happy about that, in large part, because I have missed some time at work and would like a chance to get that money back. I’m making more than I spend every month, even with the lost hours. I’m in the + by $200 to $400 after two biweekly paychecks. Rad. That’s assurance and safety beyond anything I had been able to throw together in the previous 12 years of independence. It’s a good time to be me right now. I’m on the rise and have an unprecedented level of both success and stability. I’m doing great, despite occasional emotional setbacks. There are bound to be bumps on the road.

Mandosrex updated the Improvement Mod today, but the Japanese are still broken. Animals do not go to shrines regardless of how close you build one to a herd. And captured livestock do not fatten at houses or farms anymore. Mandosrex was trying to explain to me why this was so, as it has something to do with how the AI gathers food, or doesn’t as the case may be. I typically out-resource the AI in every category but wood regardless of who they choose. I applaud Mandosrex for trying to fix it, however, the Japanese are now unplayable. Wild animals going to the shrines encompasses the lion’s share of xp gathering for that faction, and without it, you may as well not even pick a home city deck, because you’ll never use it. It’s sad, because I like the Japanese, and now I can’t use them.

Tomorrow is the divisional round of the playoffs. I have 25 points in the bracket game, and the current leader has 41. My fate will be decided by the first game tomorrow, as a Baltimore win would greatly improve my chances of winning. A New England win buries me in the clear with few chances left to distinguish myself from the herd. I’m the only one who picked Baltimore. Fingers crossed.

Goodnight blog. It’s been a fluctuational sorta week. I survived. The end.

Sunday Sunday Sunday!!

I had my second consecutive day off today, and boy did that feel nice. I went down to the rock tumblers early with Moo and saw the stones in stage 2 of 4. They look glassy (because they were all wet), translucent and highly colorful. I have never seen so many good jasper and jadeite samples in one place before. The mineral inclusions and overall clarity of the stones are really something special. She scored on this most recent rockhounding trip up the coast. Those coastal ranges have some cool stones locked away in them, only sending a sample down the river to the sea. What makes it down that far in the alluvial plain is largely a mystery though in reference to actual origin. I couldn’t tell you for sure where a lot of those stones came from, but I know what areas they may have been eroded out of, given time and the right conditions. So they will remain somewhat unexplained, but nevertheless beautiful. Today they got the 500 grit aluminum oxide to effectively pre-polish the stones ahead of next week’s changeover. I’m super excited to see how they finish up. They are just so amazing, and only getting better.

I hung with my parents for a little while after that. I watched my numbers come in. All told, this was a bad week for big performances, but I had a couple on my family league roster, boosting me to a 9 point lead with 1 player to go and he still has one. We have the wide receivers in tomorrow night’s football game, I with AJ Green and he with Demaryus Thomas. It’s going to be a close finish, which is all I’m asking for ahead of the final week of the NFL. I want to be close do that if I make a move there will be only one outcome: a victory. Right now in the family league I’m guaranteed at least my entry fee plus $20, but to have a shot at the big kahuna ($100) for the title, and that is truly extraordinary. I never thought in a dozen years that at the end of week 12 when I was in third place looking up at Kevin and Jessica that I would not only leapfrog them both for the division crown and #2 seed the very next week, but then string together three more wins after that was like out of the question and beyond possible. I hadn’t won two games in a row all year, and suddenly I’m on fire winning 4 in a row with the final to be decided Monday. But holy shit what a ride it’s been. In the league I run at work, I have a 10 point lead with AJ Green going tomorrow, while Tony has Seattle’s DEF/ST going tonight. I will likely need to crawl out of a 10 – 15 point hole on Monday in order to advance to the championship. The probability of that happening are unknown. I’ve never had both teams in my two leagues go to the championship game before. If I can get past Tony for the fourth time this year, it will happen. Even if AJ Green lets me down and I do not advance in either league, I still will have completed two of my most successful campaigns as a fantasy football manager. I guided my personal league team to a nearly unbeaten record at 14-1, and got hot when it counted must in the family league and have an edge in the championship game. Hell to the yes.

I had some great feedback from the developer of The Improvement Mod (Mandosrex): he thanked me for my comments, and proclaimed that I had “saved the American” civ. well gee, thanks! Speaking of the Americans, I used them today and Mandosrex did two things I like: he added a block of 5 redcoats for 200 fame at the command center, and gave the Americans falconets, which came in handy for the push to victory. The redcoats had to have been the backbone of my standing army, with riflemen and halberdiers filling in the gaps. They swarmed and crushed, especially when I brought in the five falconets I had been sitting on. They dismantled the Dutch who I was facing at the time. But the Americans are working again, and Mandosrex has promised to take the broken home city cards out that were for export or consulate improvements. Once that is done and he adds in some new troop shipments in age 3 or 4, I will be satisfied that his comments are true. I do want to be the guy who saves the civ. it’s too cool and too well done so far to throw it out. They are historically appropriate as well, as this game is set in the 1400s through the late 1800s as far as I can figure. That would make the United States a historically relevant option.

FACTION USAGE (Games Played)
1. Aztecs (30%)
2. Portuguese (20%)
3. Americans (15%)
4. Japanese (10%)
5. Ottomans (10%)
6. Dutch (5%)
7. Sioux (5%)
8. French (5%)
9. British (0%)
10. Chinese (0%)
11. Germans (0%)
12. Indians (0%)
13. Russians (0%)
14. Iroquois (0%)
15. Spanish (0%)

It’s been a restful and relaxing weekend. I again feel like I am ready to get back to work, and do my job effectively. I am really looking forward to that error report coming out and seeing if I made more than one mistake so far. I’ve been pretty good about double checking my work, but there’s always a chance something slipped through the cracks. I’m fine with it. I’m clearly not the target of that report and it’s really geared to correct the guys who are just fucking in up more often then not like Steven, Ryan and Theo. those guys don’t really care if they do the orders right or not, as long as someone else is there to clean up their mess. It’s all very silly, and largely not my issue.

I am feeling good. My fantasy football has gone about as unexpectedly as it could go, but I’m still in it! I just have to pray to the football gods that AJ Green has a decent night, and seals me in for the win. It would be, truly amazing. Have a great night, and wish me luck!

It’s Saturday

It feels nice to have a day off. I didn’t really do more than my appointed responsibilities, and that’s fine. I had a couple of games of Age Of Empires III. On that subject: I actually engaged The Improvement Mod’s developer in a cool conversation. I told him about the Americans not having plantations or any way to spend the fame they collect. You can build a command post, but it doesn’t have any fame units in it. So I thought that was kind of dumb, and makes the Americans somehow broken when compared to other civs. They also have a consulate but no place to track export on their HUD. So I registered these two issues on the mod’s page on ModDB. and he was quick to reply saying that he would add plantations back into the build list and remove the consulate. He also said he would add fame units to the command post, which I thought was all well and good. He took my feedback and will release a new patch updating the American civ with my changes implemented. I think that’s pretty awesome. I’ve had a lot of fun playing this mod, and the litany of bug fixes, retextures, animation updates, new units and technologies that come along with it. It has fully restructured the core game into a pure state, which I can imagine is a blast in multiplayer. The AI can’t keep pace with me, and on expert it’s not beatable. I’ve tried. They attack at somewhere around 6 minutes and by then I have nothing to defend myself with. This is Age Of Empires, after all. Game length should be between 30 – 45 minutes. Not 6. At six minutes I’m just starting to develop an economy and raise my villager population to something respectable. Not the time to be going to war.

My fantasy football fate will be largely decided tomorrow, as the bulk of my players will be going. Philip has already thrown two interceptions, one a pick-six. Sigh. No playoffs for the Chargers this year. Gack city.

Anyway. I’m doing fine. Had a bit of an early start today. Did my laundry and wend shopping. I am cleaning my floors and then my bbq. It needs a good scrub apparently. I am planning on depositing my last DoR check next weekend and taking out the cashier’s check I make out to Jan every month for rent. I like paying my rent, it makes me feel responsible. Because I have my shit together. I can handle that.

I’m glad to be enjoying a day of (primarily) rest. I’m having fun and taking some time off work and other work related thoughts. My battery is recharging.

**UPDATE 7:15 pm**

The mod developer just wrote back to me saying he went ahead and implemented the changes we were discussing. He also gave better access to the revolt function and technologies. He added fame armies to the command post, while removing the consulate and the export resource. He also gave the Americans access to plantations (which seems historically accurate as well). I am truly happy to have been responded to so respectfully and rapidly. I made a pretty cogent comment, and that got something done. I look forward to trying out the Americans tomorrow.

**UPDATE 12/21/14 @ 9:00 am**

Remember how I said I was going to try out the American civ? I did, but didn’t complete a game before I noticed something more that could be changed. Since removing the consulate, the home city deck still had 3 cards that gave export or made consulate improvements cheaper/faster. So there was no need for these 3 cards and I pointed that out to the developer. He quickly replied that I had “saved the American civ” and was glad I had said something. Now the U.S. Will be a useful and effective civilization choice going forward. I’m just so pleased that my comments became gameplay changes. That’s fucking awesome. I love this mid, and will continue to play it for the foreseeable future.

11/12

Oh so very close to a break. It was an eventful day: I concluded timer training and am now a jack-of-all-trades in the DTOC. I can take a call on just about any issue and see it through to a resolution. I worked quite a bit on my billing handout, which covers common issues and procedures for the training I will be giving in the coming weeks. I don’t think the situations are all that complicated, but it’s a lot of new steps in Oracle for these reps and I want to give them instruction on things they will actually need to know in order to do it right. I received four hours of training and most of it I never used on the phones. My instruction will change all that.

I had a 45 minute conversation with my best friend Will, who currently lives in the Bay Area and has a job and an apartment up there. He has been offered another job in Portland Oregon though he is debating about what to do. We caught up on each other’s lives and had a great talk. I don’t give people advice about what they should do with their lives. Who am I to tell you how to live? I sympathize and discuss the possible outcomes of decisions. It’s nice to be in demand as he is. I know the feeling quite well. So that was good to hear from him. I hope he figures out what it is that will make him happy.

I’m chugging along here blog, and boy do I feel the battery level plummeting. Today I literally sat in my truck at lunch and stared blankly at my leg after I had inhaled my sandwich. I just couldn’t think or move or do deny thing at all. I was only half way through my day, and I was getting really crunchy. But I didn’t back down and run from that feeling, I pulled myself up and got after it. My body has also been tired because I’ve been working out. I’m so fucking out of shape. I can only do it until my muscles ache, then I stop. And the next day, I can go a little bit longer. My idea is to build up endurance and stamina so that I can make it a full 30 minutes or more. Right now I’m not even close to that, but I will be.

Emotionally I’m doing great. It’s my energy level that is in the outhouse. But I have just one more day to go before two days off in a row! And the first weekend of the championship in the family league. I’m not optimistic about my chances. In the league that I run, round one of the playoffs starts today and concludes Monday. I will either be eliminated, or advance to the championship to be decided in both leagues on week 17. I have a much better chance of winning the crown at work, where my team is stacked and ready to rock. In the family league, it would take a minor miracle to get me there.

I’m going to bed. I can’t wait to write that 12/12 post tomorrow. Free at last.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

It’s another Monday and I’m here before work writing another check-in post. I had really sad dreams last night, even though I can’t clearly remember what they were about. I know that someone I loved was gone, and I was trying to find a way to get them back but it was not possible. I woke up feeling off, and I haven’t felt right all morning. I actually feel vaguely stomach sick but I got myself to work anyway. I contemplated calling in, but nah. I don’t have a good reason to stay.

My weekend was both exhausting and rewarding. We totally unpacked the storage unit on Saturday and took two truckloads of stuff to goodwill and another truckload to the dump. We also set the rock tumblers going on the bounty of agates and chalcedony Moo found while visiting the north coast of California. So I will now have a regular obligation to go down there on Saturday and change the grit over the next 3 weekends. But in that time, those rocks will be renovated and beautiful. They are some of the best agates I’ve ever seen, and jasper of varying colors. Truly great loads. And soon we will see their buried secrets underneath all that pitting and weathering.

In fantasy football news, the playoffs started for me in the family league. Each round of the playoffs is two weeks long, so one must win two weeks in a row to advance to the final. I haven’t been able to put two wins together all year. But last week I beat my cousin Jessica to make it to the postseason, and this week, I built a 58 point lead and my opponent still has one player going (Julio Jones). This will likely reduce my lead to 20 or so. He’s a dynamite WR and I fear him. He’s probably not going to cover the margin, but he will cover most of it. In the work league I’ve rattled of 11 in a row now and just overcame a huge 100 point deficit on Thursday night to win by 33. I had AJ Green on both teams, who exploded for 11catches, 224 yards and a touchdown. In my work league he was worth 42 points.

All told I’m doing fine. I feel a bit off today, but I’ll probably get over it. My muscles are sore from all the insane work I did on Saturday. I was going to exercise but I’m in pain and will wait until I am not in pain to do my thing. I got a workout mat out of storage and a medicine ball too. I’m in good shape to get in better shape. Lol.

Have a good day, and happy Monday.

**UPDATE 1:30 pm**

I’m on lunch. I’ve been training on Mbox and the ticketing system we use to keep track of tasks all morning. The time has really zoomed by. I’m pretty tired still, and somehow chemically not right. I’m straining to keep with it, but I am and will. I’m hoping that I survive the night in fantasy football. I’d rather have a lead going into week 2 than not. Duh. But hanging in there.

Dinner Talk

I made dinner for Angi, who came over to my place tonight. We had a blast talking about past events, our recent camping trip, and products and services made or outsourced to China. She’s visiting from Italy, but grew up here in San Diego with me. We both took 3 years of drama in room 262, and have been through some shit together. Tonight was great; I made baked broccoli and cauliflower with a touch of garlic salt and I fried some tofu and oudon noodles in sesame oil. I didn’t like the way the oudon came out. A little too crunchy. Like overdone hash browns. But all tasty, and totally vegan.

We talked for the better part of 2 hours, and I enjoyed it. We have been friends for years, and like I said earlier, I don’t want to miss my chance to hang out while she is here for 2 months. Soon she will be gone, and I’d like to know that I made the effort to enjoy her company. Unlike the last time she visited and I was off Facebook and I never even knew she was here. I doubt Jax would have liked me seeing her, even though her jealousy would have been hypocritical. Like I’m the one who needs to be worried about cheating.

I made it through the day blog, and now we’re on to the short half of the week. Tomorrow night the New England Patriots host the New York Jets, which looks to be another wipeout on Thursday Night Football. Just about par for the course, even though Houston did manage to claw their way back into the game last week, it was clearly Indianapolis’ to lose.

Today we set a new high water mark for views on the blog: currently 85. The old record was 62. Shattered! Thanks for the attention, I do appreciate there being some kickback from the surrounding world. It inspires me to keep writing for my own health and ongoing sanity.

I’m pretty pooped, and up WAY past my bedtime. I hope you all have a happy football eve. Goodnight.

Uncle Schmuncle

I’m officially 2-0 after a truly nail-biting finish in the Family league, squeaking by with a 1.8 point margin of victory, moving me to 3-3 on the season, and in sole possession of first place in the western division. I’m 5-1 at work, and have just catapulted myself into first place riding a 3 game wining streak. The REAL test is this week though, because 2-0 weeks like the one I just had don’t mean much if you follow it up going 0-2. Week 7 is a pivotal matchup with the derelict team in the work league (a must win) and a matchup with my languishing cousin David in the family league, as his team holds down last place in the west. He even had the first pick overall, but lost it to Adrian Peterson, who is indefinitely suspended for beating (disciplining) his son with a stick.  Talk about rough luck. But his team is not very good, and certainly beatable, so I will be counting on two big wins to keep this hot-streak going.

But more to the point: I don’t need my stupid uncle’s fantasy football league, nor would I want any part of it if offered. I despised the attitude of those people the first time around, and their complaining, whining and otherwise bitching until they got their way. Yeah, sounds like a blast Uncle Phil, boy I’m sure glad I missed all of that excitement…

He had the audacity to think his league would just be too good to resist, and I would come crawling back and submit my surrender and forget about all the nasty bullshit things he did. Right. On second thought, maybe I’ll just ignore your future emails and consider you a not important source of information moving forward. I wonder which road I’m going to choose?

So ta ta uncle Phil. Good fucking riddance to you and your pompous, narcissistic, oblivious self. I’m having a grand-ole-time out here running my own league (in which there has not been a single complaint that wasn’t respected and treated with seriousness), and have been enjoying fantasy football without your guru-like insights. He even had the arrogance to call himself “Rozelle” as though he had earned the respect and dignity of a real professional sports commissioner and we should all just listen to him and his amazing, super-insightful points of view. How preposterous. What an ass. I’m so glad to be done with him. I had long since considered this well to be poisoned, and I’m glad to see I was right all along.\

 

Sorry, I had just been brewing these thoughts on my own for a while, and have really no place else to go with them. People who just act and treat me like I’m (first) not an adult, and second, with no respect, don’t deserve much of my attention. It’s pretty damn early, but this is my everyday schedule eh? I go to bed around 9 as well, and I hardly ever stay up past my bed time. I’m kinda boring, but also stable and happy, which I wouldn’t trade for anything. Not even DeMarco Murray.

Standing Here

Since today is colonization genocide day, people aren’t calling in very often because they think we’re closed. At what is supposed to be the halfway mark of the day, I’m only at 14 calls. I got involved in an unfriendly email exchange with my uncle Phil, who is a genuine narcissist, in which I basically told him I was still mad about the debacle that was his personal fantasy football league. You remember, the one he disbanded over people complaining about his unfair leadership? Well striking up a casual conversation with me did not yield any fruit, though he had no difficulty telling me why my feelings on the matter are irrelevant and that he was right all along. It put me off, needless to say. And resulted in a permanent ignore, lest I make the foolish mistake of becoming emotionally instigated to reply. I don’t have anything constructive to say.

Well that kind of put my mood into a rut, but no matter. The Chargers eeked out a victory in Oakland agains the hated Raiders, which will almost certainly make me smile. And Frank Gore being worth more than 6 fantasy points will put me at 2-0 for the first time since week 1. Hopeful that nothing goes seriously wrong with the 49ers offense, but damn near anything is possible.

Blog, I’m sorta down today, and feeling a lot of heavy emotions. I’m going to be fine, but everything I do today seems just a little harder. I know I have good things coming down the pipe, and stability in my long term future. But am I overflowing with happiness? I write that, but I don’t even really expect anything like it. In fact, it might raise more caution than incite joy. I’m not out here expecting to be giddy and in love. I’m not even sure about making friends, even though I took a big step in that direction over the weekend. Things are moving along. But you know me… I’m usually contending with some emotional uprising. My uncle being such an arrogant asshole doesn’t help. Of course it’s my fault he ruined the league for everyone that year, I mean, duh.

**Update @ 3:17 pm**

It hasn’t gotten much better in there. It’s dead. And the incessant creep of boredom is present, subdued only by the unfortunate ramblings of the “cool kids.” I think they are sure they are so very cool, and they have one-dimensional conversations and go on about the stupidest subject matter. One day it was people eating monkey brains in foreign restaurants, today, its water-boarding and torture as a fun thing to laugh about. Oh joy. So this is likely my final post for the day. I’ll be watching football tonight and doing my best to hold myself together. Things are hard, on occasion. But not as bad as they have been in the past, and subsequently, improving. That, I can grab on to.

Astonished

So today has been an outstanding day. I went on a fun date with Sara and we had beverage and walked around downtown La Mesa. It was a little hot. But we laughed the whole time, and I had a blast. I asked her out for dinner Tuesday night. I want to take her down to Filippi’s Pizza Grotto in Jamul because dude they make a mean pie. And they double-layer it with cheese. Fuck to the yes. So that was nice.

Later in the day, I went to go see about a place to live, and saw a quaint 4 unit house with a studio coming up for rent in October. Jan was super nice, and we really clicked. At least, it was my hope that we did. And she told me that they would decide in the morning. But no more than 20 minutes after I got home, she called and offered me the place. Wow. And just like that, the progress bar takes a big jump forward. The last real obstacle to establishing independent success. I feel like once the actual move is over, and after the dust settles, I can get into a normal rhythm. I eagerly await the ability to surf the internet, have a netflix account, have some real bandwidth to play with. Not that I need all that. Rent and utilities comes out to $850 a month, which is a tiny bit over my budget but until I get a pay raise my parents might have to help me stay afloat. Which is not ideal. But I’m just so damn close now. Marched right past that 65% mark I talked about earlier. I’m somewhere farther along. Making steady progress in an ever upwards direction. I’m just so happy to have found a place at last. And so close to family and friends. I know a lot of people in Spring Valley. The spot is great. No complaints as the grounds are quaint with a deluxe pool and spa combo. Hot stuff. October 4th is but two weeks away, and holy hell this is the official end of my temporary living situation. I have graduated on to a new phase, a step towards success. All signs point to yes.

So have a happy night. I treated myself to a yummy and now I’m going to snuggle-in for a comfy night’s sleep. Tomorrow is NFL Sunday and it’s really about time I got my ass kicked in the work league. I’ve managed to squeak by with the smallest margin of victory each week, which doesn’t make it any less a W, but it does add to the suspense. I have truly put my hat in for Houston against the NY Giants, on offense at least. Houston still has a few things to prove in defense. In my mind. After giving them a start last week and watching them choke away a decent number and end up with a measly 15.5. Boo. So Cincinnati will have the nod. But I have a feeling Arian Foster’s lighter workload may prove beneficial to Andre Johnson. Or so I hope. I need Andre to have a big game. After Julio Jones put up a crooked number (39) against me. That’s why I feel like I may have lost that one. But still anyone’s game, clearly. Sunday being far from decided. That’s why they play the games… so we might marvel at the amazing things that go on each week in the NFL.

Have a great night. I am.

Pointed At Up

I’ve been in a good place. I’m not so butt-hurt over losing my pen pal Saskia for yet another unknown reason. But I added a Sara to the equation. I like having new people to talk to, as this encourages social growth over reclusion. I can’t be troubled by quitters, and will stick with the people who stick with me. Seems pretty straightforward.

I met with my dear friend Angi who went to high school with me but then moved away to Italy. She is back in town for a couple months, it turns out, and will be available for fun for a while. We’ll get to chat and hang out some for the first time in like 4 years. Since I lived in Sacramento back in 2010. Remember that whole life that happened up there? Well I got to go revisiting it all today as I told the tale to Angi. And of course it’s a story with a moral and a message. But I’m not here to be pedantic or regurgitate events to you. We had fun catching up and it was super nice to see her again. When you haven’t really had much communication with someone for that long it kinda makes their memory fuzz out a little bit I guess. Because maybe it becomes harder to imagine what they might do or say. So reunions. A grand thing for long-term friends.

But there’s still a full day off ahead of me, and we’ll just have to wait and see if my hot streak can continue. Perhaps not.

Chippy

I’ve been on an “emotional roll” lately. I have had plenty of chances to feel sad or despairing over this or that, but I have taken none of it in, and have just gone about my life regardless. It’s hard recovering from such a catastrophic meltdown, but I have and I’m doing well. I’m interacting with new people all the time and sharing my interesting story. I find that the more chances I present myself to “get over it” the more of those chances I take, and make progress. I have been working with Margaret very closely, and she had some awesome conclusions for me to make at my last session. Truth is, I don’t have love for Jax in my heart anymore, or concern, or care. I just don’t want anything to do with her anymore, which was a hard thing to admit, given my morbid fascination with her life and it’s new direction. I’m through with occupying my time with Jax-thoughts. For good.

 

The “very exciting” NFL season starts tomorrow. A day I have awaited with much anticipation since the Fantasy Football leagues opened May 30. So I’ve had 80 some days to sit here and think about what I wanted to do, and when it finally came time to draft, I threw that plan right out the window and responded as the draft went a direction I could not have anticipated. Instead of doubling up on talented QBs in my jumbo-flex roster, I took 4 talented RBs and intend to steamroll my opponents with more ground game than they can handle. I run Jamaal Charles, Arian Foster, Le’Veon Bell and Ben Tate out there and see what I can get. I like having the reigns of an offense that focuses on the run, like Kansas City will have to considering their only wide-out is suspended. The guys I got will get 15-25 carries a game, and those are numbers you can build off to achieve success. You have seen my rosters, so you know what I did. The Ideus (Bailey) league is a bit murky. I’m not putting much stock in ESPN’s initial prediction that I will be swallowed by 20 points or more. Says I have a 20 point victory margin in the other league. Don’t put much stock in point-forecasting. If anything, it’s fun to compare how they project and how they perform when it’s said and done.

 

So I don’t have much for you this morning. I’m writing less because I’m not struggling with my feelings like I have been in the past. I’m doing well, and scooting along happily.

After The Draft Is Done

I’ve had both drafts in my two leagues, and they went very well. I have a wide-receiver heavy team in the Ideus (Bailey) league and a balanced attack in the work league. I won the best draft award in the work league with a B+. And I’ve already had to put down some silly trades. Ian is right back at it trying to get me to trade week 1. He’s so funny.

Anyway, in the Ideus League my roster looks like this:

QB – Drew Brees
WR – Calvin Johnson / A.J. Green
RB – Alfred Morris / Frank Gore
FLEX – Antonio Brown / Roddy White
TE – Kyle Rudolph / Heath Miller
DEF/ST – Cincinnati
K – Steven Gostkowski

And In the Detail Oriented league:

QB – Phillip Rivers / Andy Dalton
WR – A.J. Green / Brandon Marshall
RB – Jamaal Charles / Le’Veon Bell
FLEX – Arian Foster / Andre Johnson
TE – Jason Witten
DEF/ST – Cincinnati
K – Matt Bryant

Hour Of Resolve

I’m meeting new people right and left. Sure is fun too, seeing all the mechanics of interaction unfolding. I’ve been chatting with Angie for the past few days, and we’ve been trading video game stories. She’s console inclined, and I grew up on a PC. Though I have no objection to a console , mind you. Just some of my favorite games are usually a mod of some form and therefore locked to a PC based platform. Everything is better when you have the ability to improve an existing product or otherwise utterly recode the game. Like Ultimate Apocalypse. The core game is Dawn of War: Soulstorm and you need all the preceding expansion packs to make all the races unlock. It’s only then that the mod changes everything. But the core game is garbage. I’ve played it. It’s limited and dumb. It’s nothing like Ultimate Apocalypse. The time and energy they have devoted to that mod is outstanding. I really should throw some money their way now that I have some. I’ve been a supporter of theirs for a long time. Anyway…

So it’s been fun and Angie is also quite adorable. Things should progress at a friendly speed and meander if possible. I’m in no hurry to get anywhere. But talking about video games has been fun. Truly. And I hope things get farther than they did with Megan, who shut me out for no good reason at all. Not like I texted her a Shlong. Who does that? Apparently Brett Favre.

Things are nice. It’s Friday night and I draft in the Bailey (Ideus) league in the morning. And then my work league at 7 on Sunday. Two. Draft. Weekend. Boom to the hell yes.

Stale Flavorings

I’m not the kind to complain, really. I’m only ever alarmed when things are disproportionately wrong, like today at work when Kevin just ignored 2 calls and let someone else deal with the customer, because he was busy talking about headshots. It’s a known fact that retarded behavior is not tolerated. And this looks like a turd smudge on the face of the company. These are the sort that are directly interfacing with customers, which is good, if you know what you’re doing. If you don’t, there will be problems. I’m certain of that.

What I like to do, is when I get on the phone with a drive thru troubleshooting call, I like to imagine myself in a greasy fast food kitchen, looking for this absurd piece of vital equipment, where to find it, what size, shape and color it is, what it might also look like… you get the picture. I then tell them exactly what to do with it, and how to make a malfunctioning electronic device work again, in mere moments. It’s a satisfactory turnaround, with immediate payoffs in satisfied people who are (now) not wondering why they have a monthly subscription. Now they’re saying: hey, I’m sure glad we have that service. They just fixed my problem!

Sweet. So I get that when you do this job right, it can be totally rewarding, not frustrating, but simple. And it’s repetitive, as the same types of equipment fall victim to the same EXACT problem, because they’re all exposed to identical conditions. It’s easy to save the day when you know what you’re doing. Right? This should all make some sense, I’m not the exception.

I, rather, fall in a range with some good, hard working folk who have a mutual respect for what I do. To date, I have not had any kickback, no reprimand or castigation, rather, they prefer to point out procedural mistakes and imply that they be avoided. At least, I presume to learn something from these “coaching” emails. Of the 2 I’ve ever seen in my time at the company. Meanwhile, everyone around me is eating the poop and dying. I hear horror stories about kickabck from other departments, or orders gone wrong, resulting in a failure of service. If we promise that we’re going to do something, we sure as hell should do that thing we said. I hope this isn’t like, shocking. Everyone aught have enough moral presence to observe some essential behaviors. Application of effort, comprehension and learning, adaptability and progressive thinking. Aren’t these kind of important if you want to go far in the world? The exception to this rule are people who violate morality, like criminals, degenerates or other lesser beings. If you want to exploit your way to a living I do not endorse you. I would condone no such action.

I’ve been thinking a lot, because I find that we don’t really need all the people we have. There are too many, too much dead time, where not a single call is coming in, and everyone thinks it’s super great to meander around and barf about this and that. I have had the good fortune to get a chance to talk NFL with Joseph, who knows a lot about fantasy football as well. It’s been nice to be able to drop names like Bernard Pierce, John Kitna, Harry Douglas… we have a deeper than average understanding of the National Football League. Is John Kitna even in the NFL anymore?

There was no real point to any of that, other than to say that dead time means people come flock over to my desk and check out what I’m doing, or strike up conversation with me, or SIT on my desk and hang out. I mean really, I don’t ever have to go anywhere, the party comes to me every day. It’s TGIF at Westin’s desk! Bitches!

So I was tossing back song lyrics on Google Chat with Mike today, and I stumped him twice, once with The Moody Blues’ The Voice and then later with Gerry Rafferty’s Waiting For The Day. I’m a music stud. Seriously. Get the fuck out the way, I got you.

Well blog, I’m going to toodle around the internet for a while and then call it a night. It’s been fun catching up with you after a very stimulating day. I really appreciate you always being here for me, whether it’s good or bad, you always listen. And I’m thankful for that.

 

I Wish It Was September 4th

I’m antsy because the start of the NFL season is looming, and draft day is a mere 15 days away or less. That’s the last 15 days of a 93 day long drought of NFL offseason. The last 10 days are going to burn a hole through my mind. I’m a perennial top 3 finisher without a crown. I’ve won back my dues year after year, but this time, I want 1st. I’m tired of losing. I need to draft well and finish strong. This is my core philosophical approach. I’m always willing to talk trade. Mind you. But I need to know how to hold on to my best cards. It’s hard to predict sometimes, and oft we gamble and lose. Things happen. But not this year. Not to me. I’m going all the way this season, for glory or for the winnings. It will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine.

53 Days To Go…

I’ve DONE IT!

My fantasy football league has finally filled with managers. Since I got this job, I’ve been exposed to a whole new set of individuals who may or may not be into that sort of thing. I threw an email out to the agents today, and one of them came back and wanted in. The field is full! 8 teams, diverse, 11 roster spots, individual defensive player, PPR/PPA/PPC. A flex (W/R/T) spot, and a HUGE flex spot (Q/W/R/T). See what I mean? I’ve been planning this for a long time, and even had a FULL season test run with the first Detail Oriented league. This year, no mechanical issues, just clean good fuck yeah fun.

I’ve been asleep, waiting for the NFL to come. All this World Cup horeshit gets me laughing. What a retarded sport. It’s a sport decided by a MINIMUM of action, often resulting in scoreless ties, which then are resolved with this fucking penalty kick type thing. It’s insane. And they fake injury, and the refs go right along with it. Their sport is corrupt, slow, boring and idiotic. The NFL is in a class all its own. With STUNNING athletics, talented position players, and unique, chess-like roles, maneuvers, plays, scripts and movements all calculated, pondered and second guessed by hundreds of staff. Players strive, dive, leap and hurl themselves in amazing, heart-pounding ways, every single season. I can’t tell you how authentically amazing the NFL is. And by no means do I condone the violence and thuggery that goes on in the NFL, and the devious lying and tactics and arrests and all of that. I’m aware of it. No one’s perfect. I don’t hold the sport responsible for it’s players, and the NFL has integrity in areas where most other sports don’t compare. It’s not an argument, but a statement of fact.

Peace be with you travelers. My league being full will no doubt render me capable of mocking until my head blows up. In fact, I’m about to go do that right fucking now. See ya. Oh, and by the way, I draft 3rd.

Detail Oriented II: League Settings

I have finished calculating the best configuration for the second year of managing my own league. I based this primarily on experimental data collected during last season. I have figured out, in my opinion, how to balance the different roster positions against each other to reward each, yet, keep them at comparative, competitive levels. I have included the breakdown box, which is where my spreadsheet draws variables to calculate fantasy point values on the main scorecard. It will tell the exact fantasy point value for every score-able element. Each scoring category is reiterated in the detailed comparisons shown after the breakdown box.

The league is going to be better than ever this year, and even if I have to scour the public forums for participants, I shall have a league.

2014SS

 

201422det1 201422det2 2014ssdet3 2014ssdet4 2014ssdet5

 

FFL Update

I’m feeling it in the water and smelling it in the air… football season is coming back. Not yet, but soon, it will return in all it’s splendor, excitement and intrigue. In preparation for yet another year of FFL and NFL drama, I’ve christened my two teams, one in the NEW LEAGUE I WILL BE RUNNING (reply if you want an invite at the end of the month), and the other in the family league. I’m going for chargers references, plus me = coded nerd message.

 

 

 

teams

Anyway, I’m not activating a league until Yahoo! opens up to the public. Not going with ESPN as host. They fucking suck by comparison.

I’ll no doubt end the “dark time” of the NFL offseason when training camps get going. Hard Knocks is going to be selected by June. A lot is waiting in the wings.

 

17 Weeks of Winter?

The super bowl is over. There will not be another relevant NFL event until Fantasy Football Leagues re-open for the 2014 season… in 120 days. Or, 17 weeks.

I’m going to totally unplug this offseason. I felt like “riding the wave” of the hot hand at the end of the year probably cost me a championship in the work league. I opted to gamble, and lost it all. Whatever. I’ll not have that league again, considering I don’t work there anymore. They cut me lose like an unwanted skin-flap, as I recall. So, I have made balance changes to the league, thus, perfecting the scoring and settings. Trouble being, I will not have commissioner-ship over anything but a sad public league most-likely. Where people give up cuz its free to enter. And their team names are like “PEE IN MAH BUTT” or substantive equivalent.

So, 120 days away from this nonsense would be appropriate. I’m poorly this year. Been hard trying to think clearly about it. Maybe I over-scrutinized my options… maybe I just obsessed beyond logic. I ventured into some realm of attempting to know more then I should have been able to know. I guessed away my success. I thought I had it all. I ended up with $20. Boo.

So welcome ye dark time! Bring on the absence of NFL gossip and innuendo and news report with haste. Let me have my winter, and speak to me again once the bright sun of Training Camp strikes the horizon. I’ll be back into it again by the time Hard Knocks is available for download. Then we’ll see what new way I have planned to embrace mediocrity and make more spontaneous bad guesses than your average mook. I ponder my lot as I am an openly-active-mourner of Charger’s nation (or whatever we fans are calling ourselves these days), and all the “so close” and “just barely” moments I’ve had. Finishing 3rd is dreadful, and winning the 3rd place game is like wining a fresh turd. Finishing second just BURNS. I’ve never won anything. I’d really like to be a winner at this.

We’ll have 17 weeks to swallow the bitter pill of my real wins to losses ratio. My embraced mediocrity. 45-36 (.556 avg). I’m not living up to my expectations. I’m, so far, languishing in two under-achieving years of my 4 in FFLs. I wish my Uncle hadn’t lost his mind and destroyed HIS OWN LEAGUE, In which i was 8-2 and a STRONG 2-0 in head to head matchups vs the commish. He offered up a vote to cancel week 10 because of managers being unable to use the mobile app to update their teams. We said, no. HE canceled it anyway. It was the final straw in a long dictatorship fraught with the acts of an arrogance and tyranny. Thunderbolt, slam, dead. I had my sights set on the playoffs. Gone.

I really really want to win godamnit.

So, my thoughts are muddied on the whole issue. I will give my brain a break and contemplate this ever-changing equation again soon.

Changelog

Below are both performance comparisons and the Changelog for the work league I run. Through the season, I’ve seen where the settings and values need to be tweaked, and balanced slightly to achieve equilibrium. I have reflected these changed statistical categories by highlighting them, and then providing the 2013 season average for each comparable position player analyzed.  Not likely that I will change this much. Each top-scoring-performer in each score-able roster spot was scrutinized for comparison purposes. Flukes are bound to happen (See Jamaal Charles, Josh Gordon, Cincinnati Defense). This league is really about trying to make it fair, overall; and success to be based on your individual talent-assessment abilities. Feel free to comment if you notice something that sucks.

offensedefense

 

scorecard

 

scores

Out

I can be regretfully arrogant from time to time. Especially being the commissioner, it may have been a fortuitous fate. I went 6-8 on the regular season, and missed the playoffs in the league I created. My roster Looked, more or less, like this through the year:

 

QB – Cam Newton / Michael VIck
WR1 – Larry Fitzgerald / Andre Johnson / Roddy White / Antonio Brown
WR2 – Marques Colston / Vincent Jackson / Hakeem Knicks / Stevie Johnson
RB1 – Lesean McCoy /  Jamaal Charles / Le’Veon Bell / Alfred Morris
RB2 – Danny Woodhead / Pierre Thomas
TE1 – Jason Witten / Jordan Reed
DEF/ST – Seattle / Miami / Denver
K – Dan Bailey / Matt Prater / Stephen Gostowski

 

Obviously, at key moments this year, some of those guys hit big zeros. Important also, exceedingly close match-ups were lost. The streak of failing to win stat-corrected games is at 0:3 over my time in fantasy-land.

 

So, my apologies for my arrogance. I just want to be the best. This year, I’m not.

Down, Down and Playoff Bound

I’m off all meds at this point; have been for days. I worked right through my psychiatry appointment 2 weeks ago, and could not get any refills without seeing my psychiatrist first. So, I set myself up for disaster. Now I’m here, suffering through the withdrawal symptoms of the Effexor. My brain feels crushed against the inside of my skull. My stomach is constantly upset. My energy, despite the Aderall, is in the tank. I can hardly focus on anything, and I feel on the edge of sobbing every second of the day. I literally broke down into tears twice last night for almost no reason at all. Fear and anxiety are running totally rampant.

This has been in the background. I’ve been pressing on, and working, and putting on my happy face, and fighting to maintain stability. Thankfully, I see my doctor in about 45 minutes. I should have my medications today, and be back on track towards a healthier state very soon. At least, in my head…

Someone in my apartment complex falsely accused me of hitting some guy’s parked car on the street outside the building. I’ve been through the rigmarole with the insurance company, explaining that this report is based on hearsay, and claimed on my vehicle despite a sworn statement fingering a vehicle that does not match the vehicle I own. My vehicle has no damage on it. My vehicle is white, not brown. My wife has pink hair, and would be pretty easy to identify, as she was claimed as the responsible driver in said made-up incident. It stands to reason that grotesquely ignorant people are going to make up bullshit to create some drama in their otherwise pointless, un-evolved, pathetic lives. I utterly detest liars. I am planning to move the fuck out of this building relatively soon. Fuck this place and the garbage-people that reside here. Morons.

My reality is wrinkled from time to time. Not sure why this happens, but it does. The unknown of the next moment in time, while often benign, can sometime create a resounding impact, sending ripples across the surface of the pond. I have no reason to project, but instead, I cope with things as they arrive. I strive to be ready, rather than planning fruitlessly for the unrealized fate of us all.

In the Ideus (Bailey Family) league, I’ve clinched a playoff berth as the #4 seed. My record is 8-5, and I play my Cousin Jessica (10-3), the #1 seed. We’ve split our regular season match-ups (2), with a 20 point swing each way, per game. I’m in the playoffs for the second consecutive year (of the 3 the league has been in existence). I made it to the championship last season, and got annihilated. I’m tired of losing. I’m bored of second place. It’s my time to win. Just win, baby.

In the work league, in which I am the commissioner, I am FIGHTING for the #4 seed. There are 5 teams with the same, qualifying record (potentially). I hold the tiebreaker with the most points scored amongst them in the regular season. It’s come down to the final week, and 2 playoff berths are still available. Ideally, I’ll finish 7-7, and clinch my spot 7 days from this moment. I have some pretty tough, not opportune scenarios to contend with. The ebb and flow of fate is casting me, mercilessly, to and fro.  Win one, lose two, win two, lose one. It’s come down to the final contest; luck is no bartering damsel. I have to ponder my possibilities, and do the best my ill-equipped brain can to achieve my postseason dreams.

I distract myself with work, play, and study. I try my best to find safe-harbor from the pain in my mind.

My wife and I had sex last night, and I came like a teenager, rapidly, through the first few moments of being inside her. Right as I felt her body beginning to warm up, the way girls do when they start the sensual climb, and then I started coming. It just rolled, and rolled, and kept pouring out of me, and it never truly climaxed, but felt like a dull glow through my body. My hardness remained through the sequence, but failed me just as she was getting worked-up. I felt like a disappointment, because I hate going first. I remind myself that this is rarely an issue. My self-maintenance in the absence of intercourse has been stagnant. I was longing for her, specifically. I imagine, if regularity returns, that this prematurity will fade, and the stamina I am accustomed to in familiarity, will return.

I am about ready to head out to the psychiatrist’s appointment I have scheduled. I hope to discuss a new, less heavy-duty, med routine. I want to cut one or two of them loose. I can’t function as I am now, but also can’t be medicated beyond accessibility. Balance is a difficult goal to achieve. But I’m going to do this. I have counseling scheduled for the 17th, and I fully intend to make positive steps in the direction of positivity, stability and happiness.

The Answer

Have you ever been stridently right? I mean… like center of the bullseye and shit. Boom, statement delivered, done, thank you.

How about beating you boss into the ground like a train spike?

Ok, done. Trash talk, to date, has been OFFICIALLY BACKED UP. I proved it by winning, game over for you. TAKE THAT contradictory opinions! BOOM.

It’s nice to open the season winning both glory, and a huge beer when Saeculum Obscurum went 1-0. I won in the “Bailey” (now Ideus) league as well with 1.21 x 10^9.

A guess at the meaning of either name is appreciated. I highly doubt you will get either of them. I’m like 4 levels deeper than you.

I sound like such a shit head. But in reality, I’ve answered huge dissent, angst and conflict amidst the league managers with clarity, and decisive vocabulary.

They were disagreeing about whether a trade should be vetoed or not, and one poor bastard was on his own screaming about how unfair it was and that he’d voted to cancel it, and hat he would even have declined the SAME TRADE if offered to him… anyway, I answered the opposing forces with the following statement:

I totally think the best leagues have guys who discern, contemplate and
(importantly) differentiate. Our varying opinions only make us consider
alternative views, hence, new information. All thoughts and opinions are
welcome, and contribute to our vastly different drafts, starting rosters
and future trades.

(Dude who disagrees) brings up good reasons for disliking the trade between (The two people involved in the trade),
even if the league itself doesn’t wholly concur. Our reasons for liking
or disliking a trade are SUPPOSED to vary, because we all have an
equally kooked-up whacked-out talent assessment ideas. No one knows how
anything is going to go. We do all seem to have some SOLID guesses. But
who has anything more than that?

Seriously, If you know a player or coach directly that you get your
fantasy leads from, let me know. Because I want in on that action.

Friends, we’re ultimately, the victims of chance. All we hope is that
the injury bug stays away from your team, and a few of our independent
educated guesses (hopefully, more often than not), worked out.

As (a guy who says “peace” often) would say:

Peace

Because we all have reasons, but in fairness, you can’t talk shit unless you actually DO what you said you were going to. I bet my boss I could still kick his ass WITHOUT two of my best receivers. DONE. Please administer the penalty to the loser, and send them to the oubliette of utter shame.

It’s only week 2, chill out kid.

Mocking Too Early

I’ve done dozens of mocks at this point. No results, really, to speak of. Things are still “up in the air,” and since individual league settings tend to neutralize findings anyway, I don’t give too much credence to what roster positions are filled in what order.

The work league roster format is:

QB
WR
WR
RB
RB
TE
W/R/T
W/R/T
DEF/ST
K
IDP

Ideally, I might fill roster positions during the draft in this manner:

QB – Round 3
WR – Round 4
WR – Round 6
RB – Round 1
RB – Round 2
TE – Round 8
W/R/T – Round 5
W/R/T – Round 7
DEF/ST – Round 9
K – Round 10
IDP – Round 11

 

That does not take into consideration drafting BNs at some point before selecting a K or IDP.

I have 100 players on my draft board. Names that keep popping up are somewhat interesting. I’m not sure if I like what I’ve observed so far. These names are pretty much based on a standard, non custom league setting, with simple drafters following a pre-set order of relevance. Pretty much sticking to the Yahoo! format. So, my results have little relevance at this point. I’m bored though, so here you go:

QB – Drew Brees, Cam Newton

WR – Calvin Johnson, Marques Colston, Reggie Wayne, Antonio Brown

RB – Marshawn Lynch, Alfred Morris, Frank Gore, Darren Sproles

TE – Jason Witten, Greg Olsen

Eh. Not too excited about that crew. M. Lynch is the wrong class of RB that I am interested in. D. Sproles might be at the end of the line, productivity-wise. Is the sophomore slump for real? Is this all just superstition and hocus-pocus?

Blathering. My thoughts are an alphabet soup of NFL players. See you later.

The Inside Poop

No one knows a fucking thing. But they still say things regardless.

 

It’s interesting, however, to pick-through the shreds of reasoning most pundits (talking-heads) have for their beliefs. What am I referring to, exactly? It’s the brutally humbling world of NFL Fantasy Sports. Duh.

 

Not surprisingly, I’ve created MY OWN league this year. Much as I described in previous posts, but re-balanced, tweaked and tested throughout the long, dead wasteland of the offseason. OTA’s are about as boring as dead turtles fucking. Training camps don’t begin until the end of the month. We’re getting close, but we’re not there yet.

 

For me, the NFL is strangely pleasing. It demonstrates a high level of strategy on the part of coordinators and coaches, portrays momentary, great or panicked decision-making, huge physical exertion, and the whole thing is done at full fucking speed. Every play is different, albeit, the majority can seem (initially), fundamentally uninteresting; the nature of the expectation is wonder: will anything happen? What is about to happen? What about this new set of circumstances?

 

The criteria of achievement changes, and the game seems to have a “flow” about it; where “momentum” or “energy” can dictate rapid alterations to previous events, or inspire dramatic action. It is assignments, physical struggles, and a challenge to play in the most crucial engagement at the pinnacle of athleticism. The best of the best, play in the NFL.

 

People who can’t play (nor have the desire to), are locked into an observational standpoint, where analysis and understanding prove to be the most integral endeavors. Pondering the game’s endless complexities, and literal collisions of outcomes can result in endless moments of entertainment (for me, at least).

 

Numerical values make sense to my tiny brain, so mathematically expressing these athlete’s achievements is a good way to keep track of things, study said things and ponder upon their celestial importance. Often times, pundits will claim to have unlocked the future’s magnificent secrets, by injecting the womb of uncertainty with the semen of opinion. Such transparent, pointless and dangerous intrusions are for the decidedly meek, easily-controlled masses. It comes from no source of comparable meaning, and therefore, has no value.

 

I can go on all day claiming “well, I think THIS BULLSHIT HERE is going to happen.” But really, who am I kidding? I don’t fucking know; neither do they. They’d like you to think they know. But they don’t. No one does. I hope that’s clear…

 

Just laying this out there: what if, instead of pontificating about nothing, we concentrate our efforts on making relevant observations, or concluding upon facts.

 

I try to ignore most things I hear. It’s probably a good policy in general. I get to form my own opinions, while lying partially-submerged in the clear pool of ignorance. I much prefer to not know, than know something useless.

 

This year, I am commissioner of the work-wide fantasy football league, customized to a very discerning and particular set of rules and conversions. Points will have to be earned with skilled, logical guesses. Player values are going to be assessed through preference, primarily. At least, I believe opinions to have the majority-share of the projected worth of anyone in the NFL. Projected is another word for “here, I pulled this out of my ass, and it’s just for you!”

 

I’m a ticking time-bomb of expectation and suspense. I have been RIGHT THERE, “in it” every fucking year. And I never take the crown. Fuck that noise.

 

I said this last year too, right before my stupid fucking Uncle imploded my 8-2 record (with 2 wins against HIM). Disgraceful behavior that simply can’t be repeated.

 

So, here I go into waiting. Waiting for my drafts, and thinking numerical thoughts, in the pendulum-swing of comprehension that is my offseason routine. I make no Unitas Guarantee. I just plug away at my spreadsheets, and hope.

Detail Oriented?

Not sure what I’m going to call the Fantasy Football League I run this year, but for some reason, “Detail Oriented” fits the idea I had in mind. It speaks of a league focused in me minutia of scoring, settings and individual matchups; which is the precise reason I love the game. It’s my own opinions about talent in the NFL, expressed through craftiness, trades, intuition and guesses about matchups.

I’m not sure if my ideas are right, but I sure like them.

So, in order to achieve this “balance” I’ve so eloquently spoken of, I created an amazing MS Excel spreadsheet to do the scoring calculations for me. Since I have no access to the Yahoo! leagues for some time, I’m dedicated to discovering the optimal configuration that will yield a truly “fair and balanced” experience for those involved. I’m the Fox News of FFLs.

EEK. WHAT HAVE I SAID?

So, here’s what my roster card looks like from the Excel document. I make no promises about this being a final version, but it’s about as close as I think I’m going to get on team composition. 11 slots. Sound familiar?

Card

Scores by position will convert game statistics into fantasy points per league rules, which are expressed on a different page. They amount to the EXACT scoring and settings configuration of the “soon-to-be” Yahoo! league that I will run.

Manual entry is for adding “projected stats” or some similar made-up number that is based on a guessed-at total for said player in his position slot. I find comparing actual vs. projected can yield some amusing results, so I added it there for fun.

I have toiled mightily over the precise settings and scoring options. I really would appreciate your feedback, if you have any. I’m 100% open to suggestion, or providing explanation for my logical processes.

S&S

I’m thinking, all told, it will be pretty fun. Whether players drop-out mid season or not, I know I’M going to have a blast. With these settings, there’s no chance for exploiting the settings. I’m looking forward to 2013, and I hope you are too.

Did I mention I’ve been given the OK to run my workplace FFL? I’m only a little fucking excited about that. I am probably going to use my scoring and settings there. Try it out on some nerds, see how it goes. I bet it will be a fucking adventure in awesome, either way it goes for me.

115 More Days… Sigh

I’m actually watching all the previous seasons of Hard Knocks because I’m so fucking sick of dead-time already. Wasn’t the super-bowl like, last week or something? And here I am, impatient as always. Struggling. It’s going to be A LONG TIME before I am appeased. The NFL off season is a “dark time.” Much like a dramatic and prolonged winter. There is really no other sport, in my opinion, worth paying attention to in the interim. Basketball is organized thuggery and hardly a sport. Baseball is dreadfully boring, too long, and fundamentally uninteresting. The fantasy equivalents of said sports are just… retarded. In my world, the National Football League is the un-ursurpable king.

I no other forum do the complexities of individual interactions mean so much to the game. A single match-up can ruin a drive, or break the game wide open. There is no surrender in football. There is always a chance. It’s chaos theory at it’s embodied pinnacle. Who is stepping up? Who is getting beat? Who extended themselves beyond what we understand as the “limit?”

~115 days is a long time to wait for the beginning of training camp. But it is what it is. And I will be thinking little football thoughts as the time passes.

This year, I fully intend to manage my own league. I have been toiling over the specifics of how to balance scoring. I think I have finally done it. I’ve created a system which is balanced enough to allow for ONLY the individual talent choices to be the deciding factor in whether you win or lose in the league. It’s never going to be about exploiting a scoring system, as has been the case in EVERY SINGLE LEAGUE I have ever been a part of. There was always a way to exploit the scoring, even if it took some brain-power to figure out.

I have done the math. I have worked the variables down to a fine-science. I know how to balance scoring, so no position offers an advantage over the others. It’s going to come down to how the managers assess talent, draft and make waiver moves. That’s it. Smart players will win. Period.

This is the way it should be.

I have not FULLY decided on my teams yet. There will probably be 2 of them, one in my family league, one in my league. 3 teams is too much for me to keep track of. I hate the manager who runs 8 teams, and when I ask him “what’s your record?” He answers, “Well, I’m 10-2 in one league, and 8-4 in another.” Thus, the cream of the crop are presented as the definitive data set, when the rest of those teams are 2-10, 3-9 and so on…

As Dieon would say: “Good luck wit’ dat.”

Give me a break, manager with 8+ teams. You hide your flaws poorly. And your stupidity glares with glowing eyes at me. I see your little mind, despite your attempts to obfuscate.

I’ve finished in 2nd place 2 years in a row, and was RUNNING OFF with the lead in my Uncle’s league, until he selfishly, insanely, dissolved said league under the maniacal iron fist of his challenged tyranny. Shame on you, Uncle Phil. You’re an idiot.

I would never do what he did. Never. It’s not the job of the Commissioner to be noticed. He is a PLAYER AS WELL, not the “ruler of the league.” Go ahead and think of yourself as the “Pete Rosell” of your league. Yeah, right… you’re not the president of decision making. And that should never be changed. Arrogance and pompousness aside. We are in this together. No one stands above the rest.

I wonder if I will win my first championship this year. I may, as I’m only improving as the years pass. I think I can, I believe I can, and eventually, I will. Patience…

I’m a deadly opponent. A fast-waiver-mover. A repetitive thinker. A discerning foe. I await the challenge of the 2013 season. But I have some time to be idle. Waiting. Thinking. Calculating the demise of my enemies.

“In time, you will learn to call me… master.”

That Huge Dick-Sandwich!

Phil destroyed he league, FINALLY. Physically disbanded it after ridiculing everyone repeatedly and publicly. After several incompetent whiners demanded that week 10 be thrown out due to a Yahoo! glitch as well as their own procrastination in setting lineups, so it was tossed, despite A LEAGUE VOTE where the MAJORITY said NOT  TO DO THAT. He dd it anyway, and expected hypocritical actions were publicly pointed-out, and questioned he freaked and destroyed the league.

In reaction, I think I’m just fine. He was creating some serious stress for me, and others I imagine. This just takes some trouble off my plate, frankly. I’m doing my own league next year, why should I care if Phil destroyed his league?  I know how GOOD I am, so that doesn’t change anything. I already know not to do the fucked up things he did in my own reign as supreme  lord of football, but meh, I feel ripped off for the time I spent calculating how to beat his stupid fucking point setup as well as HIS ASS. 2-0. I don’t care if you throw out week 10, I STILL BEAT YOU TWICE bitch-pants McDickerprick. Suck it. Scoreboard.

So, I’m ok, just mad that THIS was how it had to end. Just silly. I wish we had a non-shitty commissioner. Next year, I can go make good on tat intent, and run the best league I’ve ever been in.

Li’l Y Lineup Week 10

I’m 7-2 currently.

This week, I must “stump the Unk.” I need to throttle his arrogant overbearing ass. I’d REALLY LIKE to be 2-0 vs him, and I think I will be pissed if it goes another way. Really. Injustice reigns if he wins. It would be a crime.

The league appears to be on my side, however:

No one ever votes, but me and Phil… until this week. =)

This is my starting lineup. Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb on BYE this week, so, chances of winning are lower than I’d hoped.

Remember, bonus yards over thresholds ~100 yards and bonuses for plays over 40 yards long. PP Attempt (.3) PP Reception (.5) [My reasoning for 4 RB, they’re always worth a bunch IF they get the carries]

QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick @ NE
WR 1: Julio Jones @ NO
WR 2: Danny Amendola @ SF
RB 1: Marshawn Lynch vs NYJ
RB 2: Michael Turner @ NO
TE: Aaron Hernandez vs BUF
FLEX 1: Ryan Mathews @ TB
FLEX 2: Isaac Redman vs KC
K: Matt Prater @ CAR
DEF/ST: Tampa Bay vs SD

Good, Bad, Neutral?

**EDIT 11/10/12**

QB: Carson Palmer @ BAL
WR 1: Julio Jones @ NO
WR 2: Danny Amendola @ SF
RB 1: Marshawn Lynch vs NYJ
RB 2: Michael Turner @ NO
TE: Brandon Myers vs BAL
FLEX 1: Ryan Mathews @ TB
FLEX 2: Isaac Redman vs KC
K: Matt Prater @ CAR
DEF/ST: New England vs BUF

AND I got this fucking message as a result of everyone picking me.

Oh, talk about your back-handed compliment.

Asshole. In other words “I am pretending to pick myself because I want you to think that I think I’m going to lose, so really, it’s like I picked your team, aren’t I great? But I didn’t pick your team at all actually, I picked my team, because really what I’m saying is, I think MY team is better, and I think those other guys in the league  just hate YOU less than ME so that’s the only reason they voted for you. And I still think you wil lose, and I will lose, but really, I’m going to beat you.”
Anyone but Phil. Please holy monkey catapult I’d like to stick a pile of shit in his face. >_<
I can’t wait to tell him I’m doing my own league next year. To hell with this.

Week 9

Quite possibly going 0 – 2 this week, but really hoping for 1 – 1. I’d like to hold first in Li’l Y, but that might be coming to an end as well, sadly. I hope I still make the playoffs. Phil thinks I will. I have, again, doubts.

Bailey league is anyone’s at this point.
Wish me luck. Randall Cobb, Marshawn Lynch and Pierre Thomas, be productive.

Pwned U

So, for the last 5 weeks, I have enjoyed wins in both the Bailey Friends ‘n Family league, as well as Li’l Y Memorial. 5 weeks, 5 straight wins. Went from worst, to first in the Bailey league. I own the top seed in the Li’l Y league, and have for the last 5 weeks. Jessica must fucking hate me for leaving her back there in the cellar (1-7).

Needless to say, this trend was somewhat unexpected. I planned to have a better season than last, where in the Bailey league I was last of 6 teams at 4-9. I am currently 5-3.

I had a league that I used to be in… the one that got me involved in Fantasy Football in the first place. My ex friend Tony introduced me to his Electric Apprenticeship league (named INDEED!), which he had at his work. I was the lone outsider. In my first year, I was 10-4 and eliminated from the playoffs, finishing 4th overall. the next year, I finished 2nd overall with a 10-4 record. Coming into this year, of the 3 leagues I had been invited to play in, I was MOST SURE I could or needed to win it all this year in the INDEED! league.

I wanted to show those guys I had what it takes. After the draft however, that plan was totally derailed when a colossally unfair trade was posted (R. Rice, P. Harvin for V. Jackson, C. Johnson). My subsequent distress over the HUGE advantage one team was clearly getting earned me immediate ridicule from the rest of the league, and I was made fun of publicly, and totally disregarded. It was clear to me, but not to them, that one team was going to become a statistically unstoppable juggernaut, and the other would have zero talent remaining. I quit the league that had shown me a passion I did not know I had in me, and that made me pretty sad.

So, with 2 leagues left to manage (which is about all I think my mentally ill brain can handle), I have high hopes that my core philosophical change, and new approach to Fantasy Football will pay off. So far, I’d say that’s the case. Li’l Y Memorial, I’m GOING TO BE 7-1 after a stat correction on Thursday hands me my 5th straight win. In both leagues. 5 weeks. 10 wins. 0 losses. Scoreboard bitches.

Down to it

Sunday game day. I’m in a deep hole in the relevant league, one that I probably won’t escape. win four, lose one… I’ll take that all day long. But we still have to go play the damn games, and I have to sit there and pray for a miracle. Underdog, always gunning for respect, always getting none. I have to win to prove I have it.
I don’t think I’m going 0/2 this week, but it is a distinct possibility far within the realm of reasonable occurrence. I ponder these things pretty regularly, trying to think about variables. My talent evaluations are almost entirely based on logical expressions. They are individually weighted values that have direct relevance to the situation in focus. Funny thing about this whole thing, is it SOUNDS like it’s numerical/mathematical computer-brain shit… however, I see them as feelings, colors, quantities of good blobs, or bad blobs. It’s hard to describe, but I SEE the possibilities of a given circumstance, and I think about all the variables impacting it, and then I formulate a probability feeling… thing. It was based on my projections about each variable, like weather, individual match-ups, home-field, distance traveled, bye week position, and so on. The list goes on because all these things factor in, albeit some more then others, but nevertheless should be included in the formulation of an outcome.

If you have two kickers, but the “better one” is kicking outdoors in the rain and the “not as great one” is in a dome, which would you start?

Just based on that? Or can I get some more variables please? Great, thanks.

I, as usual, have really no idea what to expect. Hey, I thought Minnesota was going to beat the monkey piss out of Tampa Bay on Thursday night, and boy was I looking like I had  jammed up my ass at the end of the game. Minnesota’s defense was worth close to forty fantasy points last week, and this week it was worth FIVE fantasy points. ouch, my anus is bleeding. Can you little popcorn guys help me?

I will be watching the morning numbers come in with anticipation. Most of my position players will be in the books at the end of the 10:00 am starts, with a couple here and there going on the 1:15 pm snap and the last finishing up on Sunday Night Football at 5:30 pm.

Again, this looks pretty bad for me this week. Guy not supposed to go off did (Doug Martin – against), and big-time at that…  and starter supposed to go off did not and was instead worth next to nothing  for me (Minnesota DEF/ST).

I am in this for my own personal challenge to myself, to show me how good me is at dis, and hows I can do stuff goods, MORe GooDs thAN YoUz, JErK. I hat u. Lef mah blog rIte nAo.
I’ll let you know If I plummet to the depths of despair and shame, or rise to ultimate glory and rise past the ceiling of heaven.

No pressure or anything. AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGG

I hate Football

The 61 Hour Block

This unruly sum of time is the approximate distance between snaps, beginning Monday Night, and ending Thursday at roughly 5:30 pm. I call this one, the “Transaction Block,” because the primary thing happening during this time are roster moves and waiting for pending waiver claims to sort themselves out. I do some reading, looking over the data on the players I have available. I also like to cycle 3-4 players off my roster, and get some fresh faces in there. I may even start one of them.

Speaking of 61, I just so happen to be 6 and 1 in the Li’l Y Memorial Fantasy Football League, which has a VERY NICE payout for best regular season record and champ. The afore mentioned record puts me all alone in 1st place, with everyone eating my dust by at least a game, most @ 2, and only 1 guy ahead of me in total points scored.

I don’t suck at this, clearly.

My other team went from LAST PLACE to FIRST PLACE after ripping off 4 straight wins to get above .500 for the first time all year. AND 2nd place overall in points scored.

Dominance.

SCOREBOARD!

Seriously though, it’s just deductive reasoning. It’s nothing fancy; I have no inside scoop. Probabilities, looking at the scoring & settings, and waiver watching… that’s it. A winner you shall be.

So, take it or leave it, the records speak for themselves.

Last year, 10-4, 2nd place in the playoffs, 10 owner league.

Year before that (FIRST YEAR DOING THIS) 10-4 and 4th in the playoffs, 10 owner league.

Yeah, what you got. Bring it Sanchita. UNTZ.

I (Don’t) HATE Football!!!!

It’s a hard line to walk. I was pretty outraged earlier this year over the MNF Green Bay at Seattle game… but then again, who WASN’T outraged by that?

You might wonder why a nerdy, non-athletic anti-social goober enjoys competitive football… it doesn’t seem like the “area” my kinds of people often wander into. But the NFL is a different kind of sport, as well. It doesn’t take a fucking genius to figure out a Baseball game. Most other sports are one-dimensional by comparison. Fucking soccer? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? YOU ARE… RIGHT?

In the NFL, every down has a play, every play is a coordinated deception by 11 HUGE and differently shaped men, attempting to hide their intent to get the ball forward a positive distance. It’s a lot more complicated than chess, though I often draw that simile. I say that, because it forces you to think about MOVES. Where is this guy going to go this play? Who lines up across from him? What type of coverage is it? Can we change the play at the line, in case the defense shows its hand?

Doing any of that in golf are they?

Football is about players, making LARGE plays in the confines of their offensive or defensive roles. It’s about athletes who have made their bodies their business, and their talents are physical AND mental. Can’t be a fucking idiot and expect to learn the Patriot’s offense (Chad proved this).

GAME-smart guys (no intellectuals in that bunch) guys playing their guts out every single down. Gotta love that shit. Though the NFL brings out the emotions of many, for me, this is about seeing different guys do great and often unbelievably athletic things. Keeping track of what they do, and how they do it. It’s a statistician’s dream, and one solitary nerd’s favorite winter occupation.

Useless Information

It bothers me when people widely distribute statistical information as though it had relevance, but in truth, contains no value whatsoever. A great example is to say something like: “Oakland has lost to San Diego in thirteen consecutive match-ups.” This seemingly staggering statistic is USED to infer that San Diego has an advantage if these teams meet again.

If you don’t see something wrong with that, then allow me to enlighten you: this stat has no value, because it is just a PART of a much larger equation, extracted for its shock value, but not for its factual relevance and not including any context. Without some background information, what good is that stat? Even thought I inherently like what it says, I know better than to believe it.

Questions I might be asking would look like: who was on the offensive and defensive lines for those match-ups, and were they the same guys, or different guys? Who won the match-ups on the line in those games and was someone on the line getting beat over and over? What were each team’s records during the years this streak went on? Were corners playing bump-and-run physical coverage, zone, or man-to-man?

See how much farther you can dig to unearth the other things that go into this one-line statistic? It’s patently unfair to say “they’ve won 13 in a row” or whatever, because it has no meaning without the WHOLE FUCKING THING being illuminated. Maybe it’s not that surprising, given the context. Who knows? If you just give that stat, and believe it, you never dig, and never learn the truth.

I find I have this evaluation in most fantasy football topics on assessing player value. I have my own ways of formulating POTENTIAL, which is ultimately a better word than value, which implies direct worth, where potential is referencing expected growth.

Most people do not think this way for some reason. I’d say my whole fantasy football perspective can be summed up in one word: probabilities. I ALWAYS calculate the probabilities of success for a given game, or other thing I can come up with. I take as many factors as I can come up with into account. AS MANY AS I CAN. The more variables in the equation, the more accurate it becomes, in my opinion. Chaos, being unpredictable (injuries, lightning strikes, drops, the turf monster), can’t really be calculated, so we can get close, but not right on. A somewhat resolvable image is better than no image at all, right? At least this way, I have a provable, working hypothesis to base my roster moves on, week in and out. I am forced, circumstantially, to act on incomplete information since I’m not an insider, football scout or otherwise professionally involved. The end result is that my opinions weigh heavily on my interpretation of the facts. But I’d say the proof has been in the pudding since the get-go…

I’ve finished, in consecutive years, 4th, 2nd and now LEAD my most prestigious league at 4-1. I’d say I have SOME IDEA what I’m doing. Despite the doubters.

So, moral of the story is, if you’re going to splurt out a stupid fucking number, THINK: what would Drake do to HIS equation? He’d probably add another variable. And so should you, if you think of one.