Wednesday, March 31, 2010

First Round Recap

The first round of the Couchwarmers Invention Bracket Spectacular is now in the books. Here's how the bracket looks moving into Round Two:

Here's some analysis on all of the close matchups and upsets:

The One Where I Become a Certified Barbeque Judge

Regarding the previous post, Daniel did an excellent job explaining the day-to-day activities of the unemployed. My method, while largely similar to his, has a few key differences, mostly because of the longevity of my current stint on the inactive roster. I'll let his explanation simmer (or maybe ferment) for a few days before I pile on.

Now, a post that I promised you last week: my experience at a Certified Barbeque Judging Class. I guess it all started a couple of months ago when I began watching a show on TLC called BBQ Pitmasters. This program showcased a handful of barbeque cooking teams who would travel around to contests, competing for culinary fame, trophies, and often tens of thousands of dollars, simply for cooking barbeque. To be fair, the extent to which these cooks would go to ensure perfection was astounding --  48 hours straight, barely sleeping at all, killing themselves to make sure every minute detail of their food was perfect. But the cooking part wasn't what intrigued me the most.

How To Make It (Unemployed) In America

A quick plug before we begin -- if you haven't voted on day 2 of the invention bracket, click here. We've decided to stretch it out a little bit so as to avoid bracket overload -- we're taking a day off from it today, but we'll post round one results tonight and have voting on all second round matchups tomorrow. As Sam so eloquently put it: by voting, you are validating our existence, so thanks. And now, on to the topic du jour.

Almost every day (of the past week), I have found myself in a conversation like this:

Person I am speaking to: So, what do you do for a living?
Me: I blog.
Person I am speaking to: You blog? Well, surely you do more than that.
Me: Well yea, I am studying for the LSAT as well and am even tutoring a couple people for the LSAT while I study. But really, my main focus is blogging.
Person I am speaking to: OK, so what’s a typical day like?

I never would have thought being unemployed would be such an enigma to people. I have worked for an embattled governor and the Worldwide Leader in Sports -- both unquestionably interesting places to work -- and people are WAY more fascinated by my current unemployment stint than they were by my paycheck-earning days. 

Well, I’m going to try to satiate your curiosity by explaining the formula for jobless living -- and it’s actually quite simple. It stems from what I will dub: The Bifurcation Belief

Allow me to explain…

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

First Round, Part II

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To all of you who voted yesterday, thank you. Results for both yesterday's and today's matchups will be posted tomorrow. But before we get day two of the first round started, let's deal with an issue that came up yesterday.

Many of you had problems with the inclusion of "Music" in our bracket, claiming that it's a discovery along the lines of electricity and fire, and not really an invention. Well we here at the Couchwarmers are a blog of the people. When you complain, we listen, especially when we completely agree with you. Therefore, "Music" has been given the boot. Hit the road, Jack, and don't you come back no more. Replacing it will be an item that we "dropped the ball" on, one that was submitted to us by simply telling us (not email) but that we forgot to bring up during our bracket discussion -- in fact, it is the very item that we dropped...the ball! The updated bracket is at the top.

Today, we'll be voting on the games in the Einstein Region and the Guttenberg Region. "But guys, Einstein's not an inventor! He's just a physicist!" Yes, we know. But with it currently being Passover, we felt that we needed some representation. Plus, he actually did invent something: a fridge that only needs a heat source to run. Perfect for pool parties. I'm sure Einstein had a sick tiki bar. Plus, he figured out why the sky is blue. That's pretty badass.

And now, on to the voting. Today's highlights include:

Monday, March 29, 2010

First Round, Part I

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Welcome to the first round of the of 2010 Invention Bracket Spectacular! Over the next week or so, we’ll be allowing you to vote to determine the winning invention out of our field of 65. For each matchup, we’re asking you to vote on which invention matters the most to you. Basically, if you were given the choice between the two items in each matchup and could only use one of them -- or if mankind could only use one of them -- forever, which one would it be?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

This is the Dawning of the Age of LaceDarius

Well, not quite. But he was really good. I'm going to avoid the lengthy recaps I've given to the other games, and instead just give you this:

Scheyer made shots when it mattered. Nolan was awesome. Singler's bad shooting was more pronounced than his albinism. Zoubek was somewhere in between "monster zoubek" and "retarded dinosaur Zoubek" today. (Yeah, I know you wanted to see that picture again too.) Baylor was solid all around, and LaceDarius Dunn was pretty spectacular, at least until he cooled off at the end. And I'm glad to see that Baylor has a Zoubek too. Nine minutes, five fouls, four points. Sounds about right.

Baylor was good. Duke was better. On to Indy. But now, we have much more important matters -- I present to you:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Painful to Watch

Duke took on Purdue in a Sweet 16 matchup on Friday night, and of course, everyone watching could only think of one thing:

Purdue Basketball: It will COMB YOU OVER!!!

But then the game started, and suddenly, I wasn't having so much fun. Purdue ground the game down to a halt. Duke was missing open looks. Purdue was airballing threes on several of their possessions. At one point in the first half, the two teams were shooting a combined 44%. And to clarify, this wasn't a combined average. Duke was shooting 23%. Purdue was shooting 21%. This one was as ugly as, well...I'm not gonna say it.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Tidbits

Three days, and we're still going strong. Take that, doubters. Evidently the over/under for this blog has been set at July 31st. Personally, we think that seriously underestimates our ability not to have anything else to do, but we'll let you be the judge of that. Take a look at the poll on the right and let us know.

The Big Red Hit a Wall

...or more accurately, the Big Red ran into DeMarcus Cousins.

While we gather submissions for the interactive invention bracket, I thought I'd briefly reflect on last night's game.

Well, Kentucky is better.  A lot better.  In fact, I think that Kentucky easily wins 9 out of 10 hypothetical matchups vs Cornell and would probably grind out a win in that 10th game too.  They're just too fast and too strong.  And not in a 2007 Patriots vs Giants kinda way in which the Giants can compensate for their lack of athleticism in some areas by riding the underdog wave...and still being equally athletic in other areas (namely on defense and at running back).  This Cornell team was just not as athletic, as talented or as ready for the big stage as Kentucky.  The real question is why we deluded ourselves into thinking that Cornell had a chance (and by we, I am referring specifically to the pundits, because Cornell alumni HAVE to delude themselves into thinking their school has a chance--we've invested over $100,000 in the school and we're looking for some return on that investment in the form of one successful basketball season).  Let's debunk a couple myths here...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Call for Submissions

Before we move on to the business at hand, just a quick word on Daniel’s last post:

I completely agree with him on Breaking Bad. It’s the best show on TV right now that you’re not watching. (Unless you haven't been watching LOST. Then that's the best.) And the best part is that there have only been 21 total episodes in the series so far. So if you’re not watching it yet, start now. If you’re as “motivated” as we are, you can be completely caught up in 3-4 days.

As for Friday Night Lights…I stopped watching it when the dorky kid at the school killed a guy with a shovel. Daniel’s told me it’s gotten better since then. I’ll just have to take his word for it.

Now on to The Couchwarmers’ first ever interactive post:

You didn't think this blog was just going to be about sports, right?

There's so much other awesome TV to discuss.  Plus, sporting events are almost exclusively played at night so that leaves the rest of the day for us to find something to do with ourselves.  And for "the exclusive 9.7%" (if you have a better nickname for this, I'm all ears), there's no such thing as being bored.

With that said, I'm going to make a plea.

Rooting for the Enemy

Have I enjoyed UNC's terrible season? You bet. Am I rooting for them to win the NIT? You're damn right I am. Wait, what? "Sam, why are you rooting for UNC? Don't you hate them with all your heart?"

The answer, of course, is yes. Which is exactly why I'm rooting for them. Nothing would make me happier than UNC having to raise an NIT Championship banner in the Dean Dome, because every time their fans looked up, they would see a constant reminder of Carolina's worst season since the Matt Doherty era.

And yes, I checked -- they do have NIT Championship banners. I think the players all get a certificate of participation too. With a gold star on it. The tourney MVP even gets a scratch 'n' sniff sticker on his. Good stuff.

"Well what if they don't want to raise a banner signifying that they're the 66th best team in the country? Can't they just win the damn thing and then forget it ever happened?"

What, and slight the players who worked so hard to ensure that technically, they finished the season ranked right behind Winthrop? Not likely. Even ol' Roy wouldn't stoop that low. At least I hope he wouldn't. I really want that banner.

Anyway, thanks for following the blog through Day 1. See you tomorrow for Day 2. I hope we were everything you hoped for, and more. Goodnight, readers. Both of you.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cautious Pessimism

When I was in 8th grade, Duke had one of the greatest college basketball teams ever. Led by the inside play of Elton Brand and the sharpshooting Trajan Langdon, this team was stacked. They went 16-0 in ACC play, and rolled through the ACC Tournament, beating UNC by 23 in the final. They had only lost one game all year, their 6th game of the year, where they lost to Cincinnati when a buzzer-beater that would have won the game was waved off because it came a split-second too late. There were no expectations of anything less than a championship. Rolling into the NCAA Finals against UConn, this team didn't just look unbeatable, they were unbeatable.

The Case For Cornell

...well not really, but the title sounds enticing.

(Editor's Note: Daniel is an alum of a little school in Ithaca, New York called Cornell....ever heard of it?)

And with that, I say hello and welcome to the party.  Sam could not have phrased the purpose of this blog any better -- we're trying to provide insight into the life of the unemployed.  There's a lot of hardship out there, and we see it all on TV while you're pushing papers at work.  So whether you find our posts entertaining or you're just that bored of the helicopter game, we're glad to have you onboard.  The more people that read us, the better the excuse we can give to our parents and grandparents for why we're still in our boxers at 2 in the afternoon on a Wednesday.


Come on in. Make yourselves at home. Just not the seat with the footrest. That's my seat.

Welcome to The Couchwarmers. My name is Sam. My co-pilot is Daniel. We're two somewhat-recent college graduates who have nothing better to do with ourselves. I worked for a year after graduating doing psychiatric research, and then when that was over, I basically went into sleep mode. After Daniel graduated, he worked for a blind, coked-up governor for a while and then worked as an ESPN production assistant, before ultimately finding himself in the same situation as me. Truthfully, he's more proactive than I am about this whole job thing -- but as of right now, we're in the same boat.

In essence, this is a lazy man's blog. So there might be will be times when we don't post for a while. But we'll try to keep it up, because what the two of us do have is too much free time. At least for me, the majority of this time is spent watching TV -- sports and scripted shows, mostly. At least in the beginning, that'll be the direction here. But who knows if, or how, this thing will evolve. Think of it this way: for those of you lucky/motivated enough to have jobs, this is basically a look into how the other 9.7% lives.

Anyway, we're planning a big kick-off day today. Remember, there's always a space on the couch for you. Just don't touch the remote.