Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

NBA Playoffs – 2017

I really should have published my NBA playoff prediction post right before the playoffs started, but things have pretty much played out as I thought they would and it looks like the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavs are headed to a rematch in the Finals. That is what a predicted in the pre-season and I’m sticking with that, although I would concede that each team could face some serious challenges along the way. However, baring the loss of a key player to injury, I don’t see either teams being defeated within their own conference.

Mt. San Jacinto State Park

Here a few pictures that I recently dug up from trip I made to Mt San Jacinto State Park, CA back in 2006, which predates the start of this blog, which I started in 2009. Mt San Jacinto is located immediately west of Palm Springs. At a height of 10,834 it is the second hight peak in Southern California.

From the Palm Springs side of the mountain the only way up is via Palm Springs Aerial Tram. The ride up is really breathtaking.

 

 

My Favorite Photos of 2016

After lengthy deliberation I have selected the photos that I took in 2016 that are my favorites. I originally published this post with 10 photos, but soon after decided I needed to   add a few because 10 just wasn’t a large enough group to represent my favorites.

Most of the pictures I selected were right here in Easton, PA, along with a few in Montclair, NJ, where I once lived, and New York City, another former home city of mine.

All photos with my iPhone SE or my iPad Pro 9.7.

img_0473

Nisky Cemetary, Bethlehem, PA

spring-garden-st-jan-2016

Spring Garden St., Easton, PA

painting-on-lehigh-river

Painters on the Lehigh River, Easton, PA

centre-square-easton

Centre Square, Easton, PA

easton-train-station

Old Passenger Train Station, Easton, PA

611-in-the-fall

Fall in Easton, PA, Route 611

toll-bridge

Toll Bridge, Route 22, Easton, PA

Group II

lower-manhattan-fron-gov-isjpg

Lower Manhattan from Governors Island

wtc-view-from-the-south

One WTC from the South

xmas-tree-at-rock-ctr

Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center

st-francis-xavier-church

St Francis Xavier Church, 16th St., Manhattan

Group III

garden-montclair-njjpg

Presby Memorial Iris Gardens, Montclair, NJ

img_2282-2

Presby Gardens at Mountainside Park, Montclair, NJ

garden-at-van-vleck-house

Gardens at Van Vleck Estate, Montclair, NJ

ticket-windows-at-hoboken-terminal

Ticket Windows at Hoboken Terminal

La La Land and the Race for the Oscars

Oscar time has arrived and Damien Chazelle’s La La Land looks set to dominate the Academy Awards  in the same fashion the film has dominated many other Film Awards events in the lead up to the big show on Hollywood Blvd.

I feel the same way about La La Land  that I felt about The Artist a few years ago. When I saw The Artist I though it was a lock to win Best Picture because it was such a unique film in this era, as a silent, black and white film. La La Land is a visually stunning film and as a musical it too is unique among the 2016 films. The entire cast was outstanding and it portrays Los Angeles in a very flattering way, which the Academy always seems to like. I see La La Land winning  not only the Oscar for Best Picture, but many other Oscars as well.

The big question is if La La Land can break the record for most Academy Awards wins for a single film. Titanic, Ben Hur and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King all won 11 Oscars.

La La Land garned 14 nominations, but includes two for Music Original Song, so LLL can win 13.  I think LLL is going to win 11 or 12 Oscars. I don’t think Ryan Gosling will win Best Actor for LLL, even thought his performance was excellent because the competition from Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea) and Denzel Washington (Fences) is.

However, I think is very possible that LLL wins every other Oscar that it was nominated for. We’ll see soon enough .

POST Academy Awards comments.

I must say that I was quite surprised that La La Land did not win Best Picture. I have not seen Moonlight yet, but I was well aware that it was a highly acclaimed film. However, I really thought that LLL had all the momentum. I guess not quite enough. Still, LLL had a very respectable night pulling in 6 Oscars, including Best Director for Chazelle and Best Best Actress for the very deserving Emma Stone. I don’t think those will be the last Oscars that those two win.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super Bowl LI: New England vs Atlanta

The Championship Round games certainly weren’t as competitive as most fans, including myself, expected them to be, but the I think the decisive fashion in which both New England and Atlanta leaves no doubt that the best teams from each conference remain and that will set the stage for a potentially great Super Bowl Game.

I think Vegas installing the Patriots -3 as the favorite is about right. I picked the Patriots to win the whole thing in a pre-season blog post and I’m not changing that prediction now. Here is what I wrote last September…

AFC Conference Champion: New England–Steelers, Bengals, as well as Kansas City and possibly Denver could provide tough tests to the Patriots in the play-0ffs. It will be interesting to see how the Patriots fare with Jimmy G at QB. If they go 2-2 with Garoppolo at the helm I think there a good chance that they will be able to amass the best record in the AFC and secure home field advantage in the play-offs and that will be important.

NFC Conference Champion: Green Bay–I think there are at least four teams that have a good shot at winning the NFC. In  addition to Packers I would add Arizona, Seattle and, of course, the defending NFC champions, the Carolina Panthers. I won’t be at all surprised if any of those wins the NFC, I’m going to go with the Packers.

Superbowl Champion: New England–Any doubts about Belichick and Brady both being GOAT’s  will be put to rest when the Patriots win Super Bowl LI in Houston.

 
Packers came close, but obviously collapsed in the end. I must admit that I did not see the rise of the Falcons coming. They really exceeded expectations this season.  I am concerned about the Falcons because of their prolific offense. I think highly the Falcons coaching staff and I like Ryan. He was definitely the league’s MVP this season.
However, I think Belichick and his coaching staff will have the Pat’s well prepared and they will take away a few of Ryan’s weapons on offense. They may not be able to shut down star WR Julio Jones, but they will stop other guys. I also expect the Patriots to limit the Falcons offense simply by keeping it off the field. I know, easier send than done, but I think NE’s offense can do that. I expect they will run the ball a lot and Brady will throw a lot of short passes to pile up 1st downs and time of possession.
If the Falcons offense does drop bombs early and they jump out to a big lead the Pat’s will be in deep trouble, but I think they can avoid that.
So, I’m going to take Patriots -3.
The Over/Under is a SB high 59 and I will take the Under.
Patriots 31 Falcons 27

 

 

NFL Playoffs 2017 – Championship Round

Two very intriguing games today.

Frankly, I won’t be surprised if any combination of the remaining teams end up in the Super Bowl because they are all good teams with excellent coaches and QB’s. However, I’m still sticking with my original picks: Patriots as AFC Champ’s and Packers as the NFC Champ’s.

 

 

 

2017 NFL Playoff Predictions (Divisional Rd)

Well, I can’t say the first round offered anything really surprising. It was OK, but all the teams that were supposed to lose did indeed lose.

Now, moving on to Round Two, with the #5 and #6 seeds eliminated from each conference the games in the next round should be more competitive and certainly more interesting.

I was right on three out four predictions in Round One. I was wrong on the Oakland vs Houston. That was a tough game to call. In retrospect I should have just defaulted to the Texans with their home field advantage.

Seattle at (-5) Atlanta

A game that could go either way, but I favor the Falcons at home. With QB Matt Ryan playing the best football of his career I think Atlanta’s high octane offense would difficult to stop for any team, and even  Seattle’s vaunted D will not be able to do that, especially without safety Earl Thomas.

Atlanta 34 Seattle 24

Houston at (-15) New England

Unless Tom Brady and about half the starters on NE’s offense are knocked out of the game early there is no way the Texans will win this game. That ain’t gonna happen. Houston’s defense actually did look good and the offense was half decent at times vs Oakland, but of course the Raiders were a mere shell of themselves with rookie QB Conor Cook  QB playing in his first game instead of Derek Carr, who was a legit MVP candidate this season. Big, Big step up in the quality of the opposing QB for the Texans defense now facing Tom Brady.

NE 35 Houston 14

Pittsburgh at (-1.5) Kansas City

This will be a brutal game. The 1.5 point spread justifiably reflects two even matched teams who finished strong in the regular season. I can’t say I would want to bet on this game. If this game were being played in Pittsburgh and if Ben Rothlisberger was totally healthy I would be picking the Steelers, but I think KC, with home field advantage, has the edge here.

KC 31 Pittsburgh 27

Green Bay at (-4.5) Dallas

In a weekend a games that look great on paper, this is arguably the best of the bunch. In Dallas, we have the team that was unexpectedly the best regular season team, elevated by the play of their spectacular rookies, QB Dak Prescott and RB Zeke Elliot and an awesome offensive line. In Green Bay we have one of the hottest teams in the league, led by the Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback who is still arguably the best in the league. The loss of star  WR Jordy Nelson does concern me, but I was impressed by how well the Packers played against the Giants highly rated defense in the second half last week. I’m going to go with the Packers pulling off the upset here.

GB 28 Dallas 24

 

 

 

 

 

 


George M. Fattell.

The gmf journal is a general subject blog that reflects my thoughts and opinions on a variety of topics that are of interest to me. Current home base is Easton, Pennsylvania, USA. Retweets do not equal an endorsement.

George Fattell Twitter stream

Archives

Categories