Random: More Nook, spring, baseball and even a bit of Gopher

Yesterday, I blogged about reading newspapers on my Nook Color. Since then, I received a couple of questions: Why Nook instead of Kindle? And why not get an iPad because it can do more?

I’ll tackle the Kindle question first. I went with the Barnes & Noble Nook Color for one primary reason: Library books for free. I purchased my initial Nook (the original with the black and white screen) back in the fall. Shortly after the Nook Color was announced and came out. Fortunately for me, I didn’t have the Nook for long and B&N allowed me to return it for full credit and pay the difference for the Nook Color.

While I use it for newspaper reading, I’m also doing more reading overall. Unlike the Kindle, you can checkout e-books from the library for free. The Hennepin County Library has a good selection and in the four months I’ve had the e-reader, I’ve probably read about 10 books for free. Many have been books I may or may not have purchased otherwise. With a library book, if you don’t like it, you just check it back in. It’s not a big deal. With my library, e-books can be checked out for 21 days at a time.

Why not an iPad? The biggest reason, honestly, was that I didn’t want to spend twice as much cash. A Nook Color is $249. IPads start in the $500 range. Plus I have a laptop. A MacBook to be specific. While the iPad is super cool and it can do more than the Nook Color, the NC does have some good stuff. It has a web browser that isn’t awful. It’s reasonably quick and it works in a pinch.

It would be cool to stream Netflix on an iPad and use some of the cool apps. But I wanted something that was more of a reader than a computer. I like that the Nook Color has a browser, some games and (allegedly) will be getting more things. I think it would be different if I didn’t already have a laptop.

Now onto other topics:

The Twins on TV: There was a front page story in the Star Tribune. There were TV stories. There was much angst on Twitter, Facebook and other parts unknown about the fact that the Twins would no longer have games on over-the-air television on a regular basis. Instead, everything will be on Fox Sports North.

My opinion: Deal with it. And welcome to reality. If you didn’t realize sports was a business previously, you should have.

Currently, only 18 percent of homes in the Twin Cities don’t have cable or satellite television. Maybe I’m a jerk, but if the Twins are truly that important to you, you probably had cable before. I think we’re hearing from the people who like to complain

And let’s say this forces you to sign up for television of some sort. David Brauer worked to find out how much it would cost. The cheapest option is Dish Network at about $600/year once promotions expired. Let’s say you only watched the Twins and got no other benefit from having expanded television — that means not one Jersey Shore episode or Top Chef episode and not a single highlight on SportsCenter — it averages out to be less than $4 per broadcast Twins games.

And for the “we paid for your stadium crowd,” your tax dollars go to many businesses. If a major retailer gets any tax breaks in building a store, does that mean you get to go in and take stuff for free? Maybe I’m a jerk, but if it is important to you, you can pay for it. Or you can listen to the radio. Or you can hit up your friends with cable.

Something I like: Melting snow. This week has been glorious. I realize we’re going to get snow on Sunday/Monday. I can’t imagine that we’re going to have another snow-free March. But this is a good start. I saw actual grass today for the first time in months. This week of melt is going to help once things really start to warm up. And with the golf show starting tomorrow at the convention center (I’ll likely make an appearance on Saturday), the timing is perfect.

Something I don’t like: All of this Albert Pujols drama. We finally got LeBron settled and unpacked in South Florida, do we really need this? For the next, say, eight months, we’re going to get force fed a diet of: Will he? Won’t he? Does he want to stay in St. Louis? Will the Yankees be interested? What about the Red Sox? As someone on Twitter posted, maybe they can just trade him to Denver for Carmelo Anthony. And talk about another story I’m tired of.

The Gophers: When I started blogging on a regular basis, someone said, ‘Why don’t you blog about the Gophers?’ I said, ‘Why don’t I poke out my eyes with a fork?’ But I will add simply this: The loss at Penn State wasn’t good, but it doesn’t mean the Rodents are destined for the NIT. If you hear people saying that, they don’t know enough and you shouldn’t listen to them.

This Gophers team might not deserve to be a NCAA tournament team, but they still very much have a chance. They don’t really have to do that much to make it to be honest.

If they get to 9-9 in the league, I think they will be fine. The tournament bubble is awful — have you seen the middle of the ACC and the SEC? Yuck — and there are four more at-large bids.

Can the Gophers get to 9-9? That’s another question. This team isn’t all that good right now. They have point guard issues, they’ve gotten some bad breaks, but I also don’t think Tubby can get a pass either.

This Penn State loss is a perfect example of why. The Gophers had two offensive possessions out of timeouts in the last minutes and both were disasters. The first one (with about 50 seconds left) looked like a fire drill. A team with a massive front line didn’t have a player in the paint and eventually the Gophers traveled. Later, it looked like the Gophers had a little better direction coming out of the timeout, but the ball was thrown out of bounds. And that doesn’t mention the inability to close defensively on three-point shots.

Despite the breaks, the setbacks, the Gophers had a chance to win this game. It was the kind of game that an above average team should win. It doesn’t doom the Gophers, but it doesn’t help them either.

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One thought on “Random: More Nook, spring, baseball and even a bit of Gopher

  1. Great blog entry, Jeff. I enjoyed reading it.

    I want to tackle three issues here. I will talk about the Twins TV rights, decisions by free agents and the Gophers basketball team.

    Let’s start with the Twins. I am not upset about the Twins being on Fox Sports North exclusively. I have the MLB.TV package, so I will watch their games. I understand that it’s a business where teams or the league will go to cable if they get the highest amount of revenue for the telecast. I learned that when the NBA put their conference playoff games on ESPN and TNT rather than put it on ABC several years ago.

    I can also understand why folks would be upset if they don’t see their team on 29 on Sundays. Not many people can afford cable. It is very expensive. 64 bucks for a cable package? Then again, the Twins used to be on 29 once a week while the rest of the games were on Fox Sports North, so fans probably should have gotten used to it.

    I used to not have cable back in my high school days, and it stunk listening to the radio. You like to see the action as it unfolds, and TV provides that medium. I get why some folks would be devestated not watching the Twins.

    There is no right or wrong answer on how fans feel.

    As for the Albert Pujols situation, I am really getting tired of watching which team a star is going to go play for once his contract is up. I am already ill with Carmelo Anthony’s situation. Sports should be about talking about a team’s victory or a player’s accomplishment. It shouldn’t be about the business of sports whether it’s labor or free agency or whatever. That really bugs me, and I don’t have to like that either even it’s reality. I swear I may stop watching sports in 6 or 7 years if I have to go through this. I get guys leave, but does this have to be a story 24/7/365?

    I mentioned to you that I have a feeling Gophers will be in the NIT in January, Jeff. I wasn’t being delusional or smoking somthing. I did not like the vibe of the team. I had my concerns with how the Gophers would fare against the Big 10 teams, which hasn’t been good under Tubby outside of last year’s Big Ten Tournament run. Then, you have the defections and suspensions.

    I don’t know if they are in or not, and you raise great points, but I just don’t trust that team. I haven’t like what I saw all year this year. Last year’s Big 10 Tournament run was fun, but I don’t see a repeat this year. This team has too many flaws.

    As for Tubby, his style worn me off. I understand now why Kentucky fans ran him out of town. The guy can’t coach offense. Too many times, I saw players not having a clue to run an offense or to find the open guy. These guys are confused too often. Is it any wonder why the Gophers can’t win a game in the first round and struggle in Big 10 play?

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