The Eclectic

Time moves in one direction, memory in another. – William Gibson

Rice and Henderson to the Hall of Fame

Posted by David Leslie on January 12, 2009

Rickey Henderson is a 5 tool freak of a player. Take this example among many as what Rickey could do from the 1989 playoffs rebroadcasted on MLB Network (my new wake up channel).

Game tied, Rickey draws a walk. Carney Lansford to the plate. Rickey steals second base and then third. Infield now in to try and keep Rickey on third if Carney hits a ground ball. Lansford hits a line drive that would have been caught by the shortstop at his normal depth to drive in Rickey. So with just a walk, Rickey was able to change the game in just one at bat.

Then there was the night I saw him go from home to third on a passed ball third strike. You want to talk pain. That was pain. Pitcher was on the bump just stunned how he when from striking Rickey out to Rickey on third base due to a pass ball and a throwing error trying to chase him.

Last, you’ve gotta love how Rickey inspired a new generation of great players like the Phillies’s Jimmy J-Roll Rollins

BTW: Who are the 28 morons writers who didn’t vote Rickey on the first ballot?

Jim Rice had to replaced a Red Sox hero and Hall of Famer. While the city never let him forget who’s came before him, Jim became himself a Hall of Famer. Only question here was why did it take so long?

This also starts the new debate. Since Jim Rice is in the Hall, who is the best eligible player still waiting for the call?

My take is still for Buck O’Neil.


Posted in The Locker Room | 1 Comment »

Thoughts on this bowl season

Posted by David Leslie on January 8, 2009

As a Bama fan, losing to Utah in the Sugar Bowl was tough. It was a no win for the Tide. You’re expected to win and if you lose, no matter how, you choked. But living in Columbus Ohio, I have to put up with Buckeye fan so I have to follow them via osmosis.

Yet losing as the Buckeye’s did because of a busted coverage with less than 30 seconds to go has got to hurt more than losing as Bama did.

With Bama’s loss, about all you can do tip the hat to the Utes and say ‘Dang it!” under your breath. You came in, got thumped early, fought back but fell way short as they thump you again for good measure. Nothing is really changes this. There isn’t that one play that shifted the game. It time to pull the cleat they shoved up ya hind end out and start getting ready for next season.

With OSU’s loss, it’s coulda, shoulda, woulda hell time. Winning with less than 30 sec to play; Then it comes undone, the spot (face it, he made the progress) then that slant and poof you just lost. Now you’re looking at every play wondering if this had happened or that had happened, would the outcome been different.

At least me and my fellow Tide fans had a whole quarter to let the lost sink in with the welcoming arms of the Big Easy and a long weekend to comfort our pain. Buckeye fan had 10 seconds and a late night plane ride to go back to work.

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Book Review: How to Break a Terrorist

Posted by David Leslie on January 7, 2009

4 out of 5 stars

What worked:

  • Great examples of how interrogation approaches work
  • Quick read
  • Gets you involved in the fate of the subjects
  • the Randy-isms

What didn’t work:

  • Too short
  • Only discussed the hunt for al-Zaraqwi from the point of view of his unit

2 years ago I was having breakfast with some friends of my uncle’s before a Christmas tree hunt. On the TV a story popped on discussing waterboarding and its use in interrogations. One of the fellas at the table popped off that waterboarding isn’t torture and was the best way to “get them to talk”.

When I tried to interject that waterboarding was great for scaring the crap out of someone but it does little to get real information, I got what I call the “Jack Bauer argument”. You know, <play some really tense music please and read this with a gravely voice of Don LaFontaine> you have a bomber in custody who knows where a nuclear bomb is planted. There is only one way to get him to talk before it is too late <end with a close up of Jack who has the GUTS to do what must be done>.

How to break a Terrorist by Matthew Alexander with John R. Bruning details Alexander’s role in using the ‘new school’ of interrogations techniques based on rapport, respect of culture and approaches that play on the subject’s hope that proved invaluable in the hunt for al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

The book is a quick read (finished in about 2 nights) and discusses in very understandable prose how these techniques and approaches arose from ones used in criminal investigations and car sales (ever have a sales person go ‘get their boss’ before you leave? This is an approach), how rapport is built using doppelgangers regardless of what the subject has done, and the frustrations with those who still believe that harsh interrogations are the way to go.

It also talks about the dilemma faced when you have built rapport with the subject and have offered them hope as a way to get them to cooperate but know that in reality the subject’s crimes has sealed their fate.

Yet even with this book detailing how more information was pulled out of a subject in 6 hours using the new techniques than was extracted in a month of the old techniques of fear and control, you still get the believers of the Jack Bauer arguments like Sean Hannity shooting their mouth’s off in this interview with Alexander. If it wasn’t for Ollie North blabbering about al Zarqawi at the opening of the interview, I would have loved to seen Alexander look at Hannity and say “I broke a senior Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader in the 6 hours using rapport! You still thing torturing someone who is expecting it is going to get information faster than that?” when Hannity cut him off for time at the end.

Sad that a comedy show did a better interview with him than a news show.

Posted in Stuff | 4 Comments »

Yes We Can

Posted by David Leslie on November 5, 2008

It’s been a long but good day. At the staging area at 5:45, to the poll by 6.

Worked with some great folks to get out the vote for our next President.

Numbers from the machines at my ward looked bleak but many voted early.

So while the team leads headed downtown to watch results, I went home and was stunned by the results:

Obama = winner

I get to tell my son that those door hangers we hung Monday night together helped get Obama elected.

Nancy Garland = Beat Jim MacGregor. I got 8 pieces of mail from Jim in the last week. That’s tells you how much money went into this race to come up short.

Pat Tiberi (a man called Igor by Esquire to John Boehner’s Dr. Frankenstein) goes down to David Robinson who never even mail dropped my ward. Given that Pat took over the seat from his boss John Kasich who held it before him, I thought he would step down on his own before he’d ever lose an election for this seat.

Heading to bed now but more tomorrow as it sinks in..

Posted in Stuff | 2 Comments »

My Halloween Idea

Posted by David Leslie on October 31, 2008

If you wanted to know where I’m with the election; let me give you this exchange with my wife.


Me; I’ve got an idea for Halloween

Jean: No, you are not handing “Vote Obama” with the mini Play-Doh cans

Me: Is that overkill?

Jean: You have the Obama – Biden sign in the front yard already. Besides kids can’t vote.

Me: How about a Democratic voter guide for their parents?

Jean: No

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Back from Summer hiatus

Posted by David Leslie on October 2, 2008

It’s been a long summer in the Leslie household. From our family trip to Cedar Point to the great wind storm thanks to Hurricane Ike, its been memorable.

Here are a few highlights

– John got glasses

– My cousin Caitlin graduated high school, competed in the state track finals on the hottest (thus far) day of the year, gave the commencement speech  at the graduation on the 2nd hottest day of the year and started school at Davidson.

– Thanks to the Red Cross, we got free Cedar Point tickets for giving blood and took a vacation to the north coast. We stayed in a dive, found a great restaurant that was in an old boat factory and hung out with our friend who lives in Amish country.

– Jean started working more hours at work so John got to spend time hanging out with some of the other kids in the neighborhood.

– I got a new tablet pc and a home server

– I went to the last 2 games at Cooper Stadium, home of the Columbus Clippers.

– John started kindergarten


I’ll post more on these over the next few weeks.

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Wanted: The Must See Action flick of the summer

Posted by David Leslie on June 19, 2008

I won some free passes to see Wanted and let me just say that I haven’t seen an action flick this good since “The Matrix

In many ways, Wanted the book is what got me back into comics. The cover of the first issue by Mark Millar and JG Jones just grabbed me when I caught just a passing glance at it in a banner ad. I hunted it down and I loved the idea (like in the The Matrix) of a guy who thinks his life is one way to have his view of himself shattered and rebuilt yet leaving the question hanging “Who are you really? And Does a change of fate change that inside you?”

The film takes this and builds out on this question while leaving behind many of the comic book aspects of the Wanted universe. To be honest, this makes the movie stronger because it is easier to relate to than the group of super villains featured in the book.

The action is some of the best I’ve seen in a long time. I can’t really put it into words, you just need to treat yourself to see this on a big screen.

Acting, first rate. Folks in the theater laughed and clapped both for the bad guy’s speech and at the end.

Here’ is hoping that Dark Knight is this good!

Posted in The Arts | Leave a Comment »

Notes from the day

Posted by David Leslie on May 14, 2008

  • The new Nine Inch Nails “The Slip” is, lets call it an album, is great. This is the best album for me so far this year. And that’s before you factor in that it is a free download and Trent is offering remixable tracks. I’ve got Discipline stuck in my head plus “The Four of Us are Dying” is a great instrumental track with a bleak name.



  • Speaking of flicks, do we really need a 2nd Hulk movie? I mean, I’m all for redoing Catwoman so long as they keep Haley, dump everything else and get Will Pfeifer and Ed Burbaker to do the script. Oh and Darwyn Cooke’s take on the costume is a must.

Posted in The Arts | Leave a Comment »

Oh how I love Hulu, let me count the ways

Posted by David Leslie on May 13, 2008

If you are a TV fan, you really need to head over to A joint venture between NBC Universal and News Corp (think Fox), Hulu features a great mix of current and classic TV shows plus movies using Adobe’s Flash player. Even better is it’s ability to let you take a whole show or part of a show that you like and embed it on your favorite social software outlet.


Speaking of the social, you can rate episodes plus add reviews to the shows for other Hulu users to read. For those RSS addicts like me, you can even subscribe to RSS feeds for the shows you like so that you can know when new content for that show is posted to the site.

Now you will see ads, one at each act break for the episodes but that’s little price to pay for the ability to watch online.


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My forwarded email rants for the night

Posted by David Leslie on April 27, 2008

I got two emails forwarded to me that just set me off. Both were political and had two of my biggest pet peeves in them.

The first one featured the line: If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading this in English, thank a solder”

Here is my reply:

The historian in me always gets hung up on this line:

“If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English, thank a soldier.  “

See, if you aim to make this statement jive with history, you’re going to need to thank the family of a British veteran of the French-Indian War. During that war, the French drove out of Quebec and started to take the northern British colonies. The British sent in the full Army and with support from the Colonial militia, held the French in check.

Now some little known facts from this war.

– George Washington suffered his first military setback after he attempted to hold a captured French fort only to have to surrender. It should be noted that Washington had a commission secured in the British Navy but his mother refused him from accepting it.

– The British sought to recoup the cost of the war by raising the taxes on the colonials who’s homes, businesses and persons were saved from becoming French. The ingrates claiming ‘no taxation without representation’ would attack their former protectors without wearing military uniforms and then fall back to mingle with the civilian population.

Keep in mind that the Iraqi government has collected an estimated $35 billion in oil revenues since last fall. In that same timeframe, the United States has paid $45 billion for reconstruction with $0 paid by the Iraqis themselves for the efforts.


Next was a question of a candidate’s lack of wearing a flag pin (full disclosure, I support said candidate):


What is really up with #48? This one just gets me going.

I mean we have troops on two battlefields, we’re up to our necks in debit to China of all nations (yes, they have been buying up the debit bonds), oil is over $110 a barrel, the economy is tanking thanks in part to deregulation and greed but let’s vote for our next president based on if they wear a flag pin, or went to Muslim school, or was a POW or is a Woman?

How about let’s vote for the person who’s got the best plan to get us out of debit, start working to have an energy plan that is not oil based and get out of Iraq so we can go into Afghanistan to find the people who really did plan 9/11.

Better yet, how about being able to describe the person’s plan that you picked and why you think it’s the better plan.

Posted in The Dump | Leave a Comment »