Being able to work at home has many perks. Not sharing a communal microwave with coworkers who insist on torching popcorn when they aren’t cooking seafood or some Indian dish is one benefit. The commute is pretty great, too.
But the hardest tasks when it comes to writing at home are staying consistently inspired and (even more difficult) focused. There are plenty of distractions in an office, but in my apartment there are even more things to throw me off task. My dog isn’t just a dog, she’s a reason to stop what I’m doing so I can wake her from a nap and get her riled up enough to play fetch for 10 minutes.
The constant supply of available food (if I’ve gone shopping recently) is another, more unhealthy distraction. Back in my desk jockey days I’d occasionally search the kitchen for available food that nobody would miss, find none, then go to one of downtown San Francisco’s 1,000 Walgreen’s, all of which possess an absurdly deep candy selection. TAKE 5? GIANT BAG OF LARGE LEMONHEADS? NERDS ROPE? I MUST BUY ALL OF THIS.
Usually I’d resist the temptation to go downstairs, mostly because I didn’t want to deal with the craziness that is a downtown San Francisco Walgreen’s. But at home, if there’s candy, I’m eating it. Even bad candy, like my wife’s Twizzlers. Okay, that’s a lie. Little known fact: Twizzlers is a candy that is not actually edible. Okay, that’s more of an assumption than a fact, but Twizzlers are waxy awfulness.
But one of the worst distractions at home happens once a year: Fleet Week, when San Francisco is taken over by the Blue Angels and assorted other aircraft, which spend a good portion of the week buzzing over my apartment. I’m not complaining about the Blue Angels or Fleet Week. But it is impossible to write … sorry, they flew over again … complete sentences when the surreal sight of war planes spinning around in formation is visible through your window, especially with the noise that follows.
There’s something that makes you feel like a little kid, running to the window and staring into the sky to see if you can catch a glimpse of the fast airplanes going zoom-zoom-zoom in the sky. It definitely makes you want to head to the rooftop with a few beers instead of who’s going to win some game between the Chiefs and the Colts.
I was hoping to see the Blue Angels soar over Candlestick Park before what’ll be one of the most anticipated home football games around here in a long time, but I didn’t buy tickets and the 49ers are a little stricter with media credentials than the Giants or Warriors, I guess. This NBA lockout needs to end, and soon.
Onto the picks, with odds courtesy of 5dimes.com from around noon today (10/7/11):
Eagles (-1.5) @ Bills
The Eagles would probably be favored by at least 7 if this game was in Philly, but people are still clinging to the Bills’ home wins against the Raiders and Patriots. But the Eagles’ season is on the line.
Titans @ Steelers (-3)
Who would have thought before the season that going into this game Ben Roethlisberger would be the one trying to get healthy while Matt Hasselbeck looks like he did five years ago? It helps that Roethlisberger’s been sacked 11 times while the Titans have only allowed 4 Hasselsacks.
Chiefs @ Colts (-1)
Colts coach Jim Caldwell has had his humanity come into question on several occasions, meaning people wonder if he’s actually a human being with a beating heart. Not that he’s a cold guy, but he seems almost emotionless. But you have to hand it to the Colts for playing as hard as they have without Peyton Manning. This week they finally get their just reward. And my reward is not having to watch this game!
Cardinals @ Vikings (-1.5)
I assumed this would be this week’s Ron Pitts/Jim Mora Jr. extravaganzduh, but with byes starting this week they got the week off. How we’ll miss them…
Saints (-7) @ Panthers
This one has potential to be the most exciting game of the day, one of those 38-35 slugfests.
Bengals @ Jaguars (-1)
And this game might not have any scoring at all (watch as the Saint beat the Panthers 13-3 and the Bengals win 38-35).
Seahawks @ Giants (-11)
In this weeks edition of “TOO MANY POINTS” we have the New York Giants. For all the hype surrounding the 49ers’ surprisingly good start punctuated by that comeback win against the Eagles, it’s interesting that the Seahawks actually pass for more yards per game (186.5) than the Niners (177.5).
Jets @ Patriots (-10)
Even though the 49ers’ passing game is rather conservative, I’m still happy the 49ers took my advice before the 2009 draft and stayed away from Mark Sanchez. Prediction: the Jets are going to make a HUGE offer to whoever ends up with the Andrew Luck pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Like every one of their draft picks and Mark Sanchez. And the team getting the offer will say, “Well, that part about all your picks sounds nice, but you can keep Sanchize (secretly laughing while covering the phone).”
Chargers (-3.5) @ Broncos
Hi ho, hi ho, Denver will play Tebow.
Packers (-7) @ Falcons
If Matt Ryan avoids throwing any interceptions against the Packers opportunistic but soft pass defense, the Falcons win this Sunday night game outright.
Bears @ Lions (-5)
Megatron’s going to go off in his first Monday Night game in front of all his
rowdy friends fans.
Raiders @ Texans (-5.5)
The Texans actually beat the Raiders in Oakland last year without Andre Johnson, when Arian Roster had 189 all-purpose yards (133 rushing) and 2 TD (1 running, 1 receiving). Foster came back last week from his hamstring injury and had 166 all-purpose yards (155 on the ground). The Raiders’ run defense, currently 4th-worst in the NFL in yards allowed per game, is giving up an NFL-worst 5.9 yards per carry.
Buccaneers @ 49ers (-1.5)
The Bucs’ strength is their running game, but Josh Freeman’s hardly Sanchezian (actually, he’s really good). The Niners’ strength is their run defense. Both teams are 3-1 and in the situation where a win here could propel them to the top of the heap in terms of up-and-coming teams. The Bucs also play very well on the road (7-2 since the start of 2010).
Tampa’s also flying cross-country on a short week, and after a surprise 3-1 start Candlestick is going to be the loudest it’s been in years. I won’t be there, but I can imagine the cheers when Jim Harbaugh’s announced will be deafening. In a low-scoring game, the crowd will cause the 49ers’ defense to play at a level they haven’t reached in years.
Last week: 8-8