Tag Archives: featured

The World’s Greatest Online Magazine Presents The Half-Baked Podcast: 11. In Just Before The Deadline

Yes! Got it in before the lockout!*

Wow, the game of baseball can (very occasionally) move fast. We recorded this over Monday and Tuesday night and well over three quarters of this is definitely old news. The WGOMPTHBP, your home for breaking news several days after it happened (and punched mouth noises).

Anyway, DK, DG, N**, and HJ (me) at different times and spaces all get together to discuss the Wolves (well, that one game)! The Gophers (would that it was)! The Vikings (passingly)! The Wild (okay, we talk about the Wild for awhile)! And throughout there's a lot Twins talk with much celebration of the Buxton extension and discussion of a certain pitching strategy that WE TOTALLY STARTED TALKING ABOUT BEFORE ANYONE ELSE AND HAVE THE RECEIPTS TO PROVE IT!

* Technically not true as this was posted in the early Friday morning CST hours
** "N" means nibbish. I just did that for the sake of continuity. Maybe he should add an extra word to his handle so I can initialize it.

At The Movies: Netflix Flicks

Let's put up a movie post!

I recently watched a whole bunch of things, which I'll note at some point in the future. But specifically I wanted to share this little fun clip advertisement I saw for the movie Red Notice. Red Notice was apparently a big Netflix movie, and, like a lot of theirs, felt like it was rushed a bit, maybe needed another rewrite to tighten stuff up, etc. Kind of made up for the lack of writing by just having fun people doing fun things. And in the end it was good enough, because of that.

Anyway, what have y'all thought of Netflix movies (and similar?).

Aaaaaaand... also apparently I can't get the clip in this post. Half baked. I'll try the comments.

What are you watching?

First Monday Book Day: Adaptations

Been a while since we had an FMBD post. As I washed my beard on Saturday I found myself wondering whether The Boss’ POTUS biography journey has made it into the hirsute Chief Executive era.

We’ve had some CoC chatter about the new Dune film adaptation. I’ve been watching & enjoying Foundation on Apple TV+, but I’m not familiar with Asimov’s series. The same was true for The Expanse (final season drops on Prime in December) and James A. Corey’s novels. I’ve been meaning to start reading those.

What previously-unadapted* novel or series would you like to see get the (home) cinema treatment? On my film list are: Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We, J. M. G. Le Clézio’s Désert, & Vonnegut’s Player Piano. Eugene Vodolazkin‘s Laurus, Richard Ford’s Canada, & Richard Powers’ The Overstory all seem ripe for a high-quality miniseries treatment.

My current read is Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Committed, which is a follow-up to The Sympathizer.

* We can hold ourselves to English-language adaptations.

The World’s Greatest Online Rugby Football Club – Positions

Hello, everyone and welcome to the World's Greatest Online Rugby Football Club. (I admit it seems like a better idea in my head now that I've seen it written out. "WGORFC" is not a great acronym. I"m also considering just WGOM RFC. Anyway, I'm open to suggestions).

I hope to provide a little bit of primer for those who have ever seen a rugby match, gone "What in the world is going on out there?" and wanted to learn more. We'll start with the basics and work our way up. First, we start with the basics about players, things like "How many players are there on a team?"

Turns out, that's not exactly a simple question with a simple answer. Why? Because there are several types of rugby and that's a topic for a future installment, complete with 100+ years of back history of class and socio-economics in 19th century England. For now, the easy answer is 15, just 15 don't worry about it.

One of the neat things is that positions get numbers, not players. This means you can tell exactly what position someone is playing just by what they're wearing. Change positions from one match to the next? You're gonna wear a different number.

These 15 players are broken up into two general groups, each with subgroups. The two main groups are FORWARDS and BACKS.


There are 8 players in the forwards. Their main job is to participate in scrums. Again, the scrum is another topic unto itself, but the quick-n-dirty is "two groups push against each other to try to win the ball in the middle". Here's a picture of a scrum, in case this looks vaguely familiar. These are the players we're talking about first.

England (white) v. Australia (gold) in a scrum

Let's start with the front row, which consists of 2 props and a hooker. Here is our first introduction to rugby naming conventions. They are very straight forward and usually let you know what people's jobs are. In the scrum, a hooker hooks the ball with his or her foot, while the props prop them up. Once we explore the scrum more closely, you'll get a clearer picture of what I mean. (We'll also explain the tighthead/loosehead distinction then, too. Don't worry about it yet.)

Next is the second row, comprised of 2 locks. The locks lock (again, see what I mean?) the front row together by the way they bind on to each other.  The first and second rows together are called the "tight five" because there are five of them all tightly bound together.

Then we have the two flankers - 6 & 7. They go on the flanks of the scrum. They are more loosely bound to the tight five with just one arm rather than two, hence "loose forward". They are there to push in at an angle to help steer the scrum so it doesn't start to spin (among other jobs).

Then we have the 8-man, so named because he or she wears #8. They push at the back of the scrum and provide a nice link to the backs.


First up, we have the scrum half. He or she gets the ball out of the scrum or ruck (another future installment) to pass along to the rest of the team. Their first pass is usually to the flyhalf (#10). The flyhalf can very roughly be thought of as the quarterback. Most of the on-field decisions are made by them and they are the main distributor of the ball.

Next up are the centers - inside (12) and outside (13). These two work in tandem, and are the most physical of the backs.

Outside of them you have the wings (11 & 14). These two patrol the wide areas of the pitch and are very active getting forward on the attack, then covering back on defense. These are usually two of your fastest players.

Lastly, there's the fullback (15). Sort of a free safety type, they direct the defense from their vantage point usually about 20 meters or so behind everyone else. They are the last line of defense on a breakaway run, and field a large number of the kicks from the other team. The wings and fullback work together as a unit to provide cover in the deep parts of the field.

And there you have it, a very quick rundown of who is where and what they're called. Now we that we know who's on the field, we'll discuss the field itself. After that, we can get into what's happening on it.

Future Installments (roughtly in this order)

  • The playing surface
  • Objectives/Open Play
  • Rucks
  • Scrums
  • Ways To Score
  • Different Types of Rugby & Evolution of American Football

The World’s Greatest Online Magazine Presents The Half-Baked Podcast: 10. (Part 1): The Thrill

Hey gang! Well, we tried to record this in full, but schedules are complicating things (nibbish got a new puppy or something I don't know). Anyway, DK, DG, and I were able to get in some quick Wild talk as Kaprizov is now safely a member of the Wild for the next few years. We also look at other signings, the draft, and the year ahead. We go to break at the end of the episode, which hopefully means we'll pick it up again sometime soon. Enjoy!

My Peruvian Misadventures

Some of you may have seen on twitter, but I had a partially disastrous trip to Peru. I developed High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE). Apparently HAPE is really hit and miss. Could be genetics, could be I was a little sick and over compensated, could be my lungs were damaged from COVID last fall. Anyway here is my somewhat running journal of what happened.

I hiked a 15,700’ mountain pass in the Andes with High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and survived to make this description.

I’ve been planning an Andes adventure for a couple of years now with the trip postponed last year due to the pandemic. Finally got it set for first two to weeks of Sept. I trained by walking around the St Paul hills and lots of stair work too. Unfortunately you can’t train for altitude in Minnesota.

I arrived in Cusco (elev 11,000’) 2 days early, did some walking around and included a steep walk to a religious statue with a 700’ elevation gain in just over a mile. Did great. The first day was a drive from Cusco with an elevation gain of 3,000’ then a warm up hike of 7 miles all above 14,000. Did well, no ill effects. Some heavy breathing at steep parts but to be expected.

Things went bad in my tent at night. I had a constant nonproductive cough that kept me awake all night. Literally a short cough every 5 seconds from 8:00p to 6:00a. I slept, if at all, for maybe 20 minutes. Next day on hike I had literally no energy. I need constant breaks and while I was gasping in buckets of air, other hikers just waiting breathing somewhat normally.

After a beautiful mountain glacier lake we we headed up to a pass at 15,700 feet. I made it but a big struggle. Rest of the route was generally downward but some rises too. Overall 9.65 miles of hiking, all over 14,500 feet in elevation.

We checked my o2 sats at camp and I was hitting about 60 percent. 86 percent is considered pretty good at that elevation and I was given o2 to help. That night again the constant unproductive cough. And no sleep. So two days, 17 miles hiking in 14,100-15,700 elevations and no sleep.

Next day I was given remaining o2 but would now ride a horse as we had two passes at 16,665 that day. No way I was making it 9.95 miles without a horse. Camp that night at 15,700 feet. It snowed two inches on tent that night. I just hunkered in my tent from approximately 3:00p on. At one time my o2 sat was 58% and once I put boots on to pee outside tent, got back in sleeping bag exhausted. O2 sat was 50%. More o2 had to be taxied 3 hours from Cusco and then brought by horse another 20 minutes. It arrived at 11:30pm.

Next day another horse day but we would get to place where taxi could bring me back to Cusco. 7 miles of riding but I had to get off horse a couple of times because downhill was too steep to be safe riding. Taxi arrived at literally “mountain road ends at an Alpaca Hut.” But 3 hours later I was in Cusco hoping lower altitude would help. Unfortunately it didn’t help at all.

Next day Expedition company took me to clinic for Covid test (negative) and then for tests. Cat Scan showed lungs 30-40 percent compromised. Some docs thought Covid and was a big controversy. Finally the most senior doc said no Covid. But HAPE. Went to ICU with regimen of o2 and steroids. Numbers improved. Did hyperbaric chamber for 1 hour next day. But now docs being weird. They were ignoring me and expedition company thought they were going to try to milk my stay.

There were two other expedition events planned for Saturday and Sunday I was hoping to do. The sacred Inca Valley and Machu Picchu - both at lower elevations. No arduous hikes, sleep in city hotels. Alas Sacred Valley had to scratched. We basically broke out of hospital Saturday afternoon by insisting that I had a plane to catch back to US. My numbers looked good (enough) and I could survive. It took some cajoling but I was released.

Aside: I was in hospital 4 days, 2 in ICU and 2 in a private room. 3 hyperbaric chamber sessions, CT Lung Scan, blood work, etc. Cost: $1,650. Meds extra but less than $200. We have a serious medical cost issue in this country.

To make it to Machu Picchu for the last train of the evening we had to catch a taxi and rush through Cusco Saturday night traffic, a rock slide outside of town and police checkpoint. Lots of stimulation for a guy who just spent 4 days in hospital hooked to o2. Made the train by 8 minutes. But through some expert coordination was able to make it to Aguas Caliente that evening to meet up with the group for an early morning (5:30a) train ride the next day to Machu Picchu. Which is even at a lower elevation, roughly 8,200 feet.

And there I am, Machu Picchu, weary, woozy, kinda emotional, but breathing and enjoying the heck out of all of it. Fin.

Parentgood: New Phases

It's been a little while since we had one of these, right? And with school starting, it seemed an opportune time.

My family is moving into a new phase this year - all 4 of my kids are in full-time school, with the youngest starting Kindergarten. My oldest is in 6th grade, which is still Elementary where we are, so for this one year all 4 kids will be at the same school. We've been talking about this for 5 years, ever since Heidegger was born.

Philosofette has a part-time job at the school, in the classrooms, this year too, which should be excellent for the family. Or the rest of them at least. I'm all alone.

Anyway, it's been a real gut punch. I'm super excited for the future for all my kids, but also kids grow up too fast, and I don't want any more time to slip away.

Also, here's a sappy poem I wrote. Someone feel free to edit it to be better and more effective - emotionally I'm a wreck right now because my kids are growing up too fast, so I'm no condition to fix a poem about my kids growing up too fast.

To my daughter, now all grown
On the eve of school’s first day
To that happy girl whose beauty shone
Whenever we would play

I can’t believe you’ve come so far
So fast, the time has flown
My pride and joy you truly are
My love expanding as you’ve grown

This night before I sit on edge
I can’t believe it’s almost here
Now to leap from home’s safe ledge
The morn draws ever near

The doors will close, the bell will ring
Your attendance will be marked
While to the past your father clings
Your future now embarked

To my daughter, now all grown
As the time slips still away
Go out and make this world your own
And know I love you more each day


Alright... everyone with kids older than me, tell me it'll be alright and how wonderful this next phase is too. While I wait for people to do that, I'm gonna go look at their baby books.