Wednesday, September 27, 2006

1985 Bears vs. 2004 Chargers

Yes, I am a fan of the San Diego Chargers. I became a fan during the Air Coryell days, then stopped following NFL football for a few years, then started following the team again in the 1994 season when they made their first Superbowl appearance, not as the offensive juggernaut I remembered from Air Coryell, but as a scrappy team that made it to the Big Dance via a combination of sheer will and luck (LOTS of luck). It was a shame they got blown out by the finest 49ers team of the decade, but at least they made it.

I then suffered through years of bad Charger football as then-General Manager Bobby Beathard methodically dismantled the team with a relentless barrage of bad draft-day decisions, bad free agent signings, and bad coaching hires. His crowning achievement was undoubtedly the drafting of QB Ryan Leaf and the hires of Kevin Gilbride, then Mike Riley to coach the team.

Current GM AJ Smith has done a fantastic job of reviving a franchise that was once a laughingstock of the NFL. He's made his share of mistakes, but they are far outweighed by his personnel decisions. The 2004 Charger team went 12-4 and made the playoffs for the first time in 9 years. It was in 2004 that the Chargers were once again recognized as high-powered offensive team, due to the emergence of explosive tight end Antonio Gates (who went on to set the touchdown record for TEs with 13 TDs) and the vastly improved efficiency of quarterback Drew Brees, to complement the already established star running back Ladanian Tomlinson. Their run defense was restored under new defensive coordinator Wade Philip's 3-4 system.

The 2006 Chargers may well be an even better team, with an improved pass rush and secondary, thanks to the addition of safety Marlon McCree and the drafting of talented cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who plays in nickel packages. They currently are ranked #1 against the pass (a longtime weakness in years past) and #2 overall in defense. The offensive line has benefitted from the addition of Marcus McNeill, who is an inexperienced rookie at left tackle but with tremendous upside. Backup RB Michael Turner has seen increased playing time, which saves some wear and tear on Tomlinson and keeps the ground game humming.

The 1985 Bears are still thought to have the finest defensive unit in the history of the NFL. That team also had the great running back Walter Payton.

A fun website called What If Sports is available for fans who want to try fantasy matchups, such as the 1985 Bears vs. the 2004 Chargers. Here are the game results, with full play-by-play:

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sequencer for Extended Just Intonation Tunings

I haven't been able to devote any time to exploring microtonal music due to my involvement with our band but I still try to follow the microtonal music-making world. Here is a free sequencer for making music with just intonation.

In the author's own words (posted to the Yahoo MakeMicroMusic group):

I wrote a program that sequences JI, with a common set of intervals
that follow the mouse; if you hit T while one of these intervals is
up, that interval becomes 1/1 and the other notes change to show their
relationship to it. So it is possible to sequence a melody or
modulate or borrow chords from other tonalities without doing

The program runs in the Pure Data programming environment. The
simplest way to set it up is to download pd-extended from

My sequencer program:

You have to start Pure Data (PD-extended) and make sure your audio is
set up, then open "JI.pd" from my folder. Some instructions are
below. I used this program to write the JI sonata at