Friday, September 30, 2005

Like Sands Through the Hourglass

Big ups to Will today. ----It's your birthday, go Willy... go Willy... it's your birthday.... ---

Well, don't dance too much Will. We need you in the game tomorrow, and can't afford to lose you to another blown out knee. Just kidding.

But "Know What I Mean" would like to wish Will a happy birthday. And we'd like all of you to do the same if you have the chance. I hear that he really enjoys the birthday spankings.

Old School

Is it just me, or do those of you that still play video games have a couple of classics that you just don't ever stop playing?

I've talked about the old school Nintendo before, but I've found myself playing a 1997 version of a computer game lately. "Age of Empires II" by Microsoft is a real time strategy game. It's got graphics that you'd expect from 1997, and sound effects to go with it. I used to play the old "Red Alert 2", but alas, I don't have it on this computer.

I have a few recent games on the computer, and one really fancy flight simulator, but I don't ever play them.

There was a game from back when I was in high school that I would shave a cat for. Microprose put out a football game in '93 I think, called "Coaches Club Football". Terrible graphics, even worse sound effects, but awesome game play. A 'create your own plays' mode that was light years ahead of it's time, and a practice session that beats any I've ever played. Plus, as a QB, you moved the 'target' around the field, so instead of throwing to a guy, you threw to a spot on the field. Awesome game play I tell ya.

They made a "Coaches Club 2", and it was pretty terrible. They tried to improve the graphics, and it messed up gameplay. Sometimes, nothing ever beats an original.

"Age of Empires" would take a permanent back seat to "Coaches Club Football" if I could ever find it.

Anybody else like this? What games can't you ever put into retirement?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

To the Spoils Go the Victors

Or something like that.

In what has to be a decisive upset, I've won the Blog of the Week Poll, sponsored by I was up against four other VERY good blogs, mostly political in nature. I don't ever pretend to take myself, or this blog very seriously, and if you had a chance to look at the blogs I was up against, you'd all agree that they do excellent work.

I won by a large margin of two votes. I say large margin, because it's 100% of the margin that the blog a week prior to mine won by. Thanks to those that voted for me, and keep an eye on the poll - I'll be back up for voting during a semi-final round later on in the year.

On A Related Note

Speaking of sticking your nose in where it doesn't belong...

The NCAA today denied the University of North Dakota's request to keep the 'Fighting Sioux' mascot/logo for it's university.

This is one of the stupidest things the NCAA has done in a while. And the NCAA has done some pretty stupid things in its day. The 'regulation' as put forth by the NCAA, says that the "abusive and hostile" use of American Indian nicknames will be banned from postseason use. This means that schools with those mascots and logos, will not be allowed to use any imagery of the logo, or use of mascots in postseason games. This goes into effect in full in 2008. The first step of this 'regulation', is that school with such mascots/logos, will not be allowed to host a postseason event, starting in 2006.

Well, 2006 is almost here, and the University of North Dakota has been scheduled to host some post season hockey events in ND after the deadline. This was scheduled well before the regulation came about. The NCAA has said that all references to the logo need to be covered up by the time the tourney comes to UND. The University is saying that it would be too cost prohibitive to cover the 3,000+ logos in the facility.

But here's where the absolute stupid part comes in. At first, there were several schools at the Division One level that were affected by this 'regulation'. The Florida State Seminoles appealed the decision, and were granted an 'exemption' by the NCAA to keep the mascot, and FSU will not be forced to hide/change/give up their mascot. The Central Michigan Chippeawas and the Utah Utes ( with a U and a large feather and Indian bead symbol as a mascot ) were also granted exemptions by the NCAA.

So how can you have a regulation banning Indian mascots, calling them "abusive and hostile", but then allow three schools to keep them? Did I miss something? What kind of logic is that? Any why just limit it to the postseason you ask? Well, the NCAA had an answer for that. They said that they did not posses the authority to do anything about schools using mascots during the regular season, because, well, 'what they do when competing against each other is their own business.'. Say WHAT?

The NCAA is saying that they can put the regulation in effect in the postseason, because they run the post season tournaments. But in effect, by saying the matter is between the schools during the season is a bunch of bull. There are literally, over 400 pages of regulations that pertain to athlete eligibility as defined by the NCAA. Those rules apply to all collegiate contests, post season or not. So how can you say that you can't regulate mascot usage during the regular season, but not allow someone to play based off the eligibility requirements during the regular season???

And to pick and choose which mascots are "hostile and abusive" is absurd as well. My high school had a caricature of an Indian for a mascot. This mascot stood for a VERY long time, before a new principal came in to office, and decided for himself that the mascot was derogatory to Indians. A debate ensued, and eventually, it was put to a vote of the students to keep the mascot, or get rid of it. 95% of the students voted to keep the mascot. So what did they do? They got rid of the mascot of course.

Sometimes when I start writing about something in the blog here, my blood pressure begins to skyrocket. These things are about people sticking their nose in where it doesn't belong, and being power hungry to do something about it. There are much larger issues that need to be dealt with, and to feel that you have the authority to tell other people what their mascot should/shouldn't be is just plain arrogant. Someone needs to give Miles Brand ( the president of the NCAA ) a swift kick in the ass, and bring his enormous ego back down to earth.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Pink Is the New Yellow

Just when I think that I've seen it all, something new comes along to my amazement. I have always been interested in people that find things that they don't like. Especially those that seem to go out of their way to find things they don't like, and put up a BIG stink to get it changed. No, this post is not about Cindy Sheehan (which I have gone to great lengths to avoid here in the blog), but this blog is about football. Yes, football.

Turns out that there are two law professors (Jill Gaulding and Erin Buzuvis) that have a problem with the color that the University of Iowa uses in it's visitors locker room.

The article, in short, describes how the visiting locker room in Iowa's football stadium is painted pink. It has been that way for decades. Recently, they made a few adjustments to Kinnick Stadium (to the tune of 88 million dollars), and added a few more pink amenities, sinks, tiles in the showers, a few more pink rugs, etc.

I'm all for it. The article talks about gender equality, and how having a pink locker room demeans women. WHAT? The coach that had the idea in the first place, Hayden Fry, was a psychology major in college, and chose the color because of the 'calming and passive effect on people'. How genius is that? Put them your opponents in an environment where it's harder to get jacked up. Coaching brilliance right there. So, the locker rooms have been this way for decades now, so someone needs to explain how this is demeaning to women?

One beef I have though, are the law professors that brought this up. Was she an opposing player in the locker room? No. Does she use the locker room herself? No. Which brings me to my side point that I alluded to at the start of the post. Tell me then, how is this her business?

I am amused, but at the same time angered by people that go looking for things that they disagree with. For example, I live in a town that has a shield for a city logo. On this shield are four quadrants, with each quadrant containing a symbol of the town's heritage. There's a tree, a school house, and what I believe to be some farming reference. The last quadrant has the phrase, "In God We Trust". It used to have a cross in that quadrant. But an atheist from Illinois got all upset over the cross on the city seal, and filed suit against the city.

Why do things like this get taken seriously in our society? He didn't even live here! The cross represented the fact that the first building constructed in Wauwatosa was a church. That's Tosa's history, and heritage. So some guy that never has to see the seal, because he doesn't even live here, gets to dictate that we change the seal, because he doesn't like it? It stood for decades before this guy came along, and now it has to change? And then, when we take the cross off, and replace it with, "In God We Trust" - he's okay with that. Huh? Makes my blood pressure rise just thinking about the arrogance.

Anyway, back to the pink locker room. It's been pink for decades, and now because some woman who has no affiliation with ANY football team doesn't like it, a big stink is being made. She says that it's demeaning to women. Another UofI employee, Marc Light (works in the school of library and information science), feels that 'by painting the colors of the walls pink, UofI is trying to demean opposing teams, by suggesting they are gay or women'.
"I just had a daughter (who) will turn a year old in about three weeks," Bradshaw said "We plan to be here for some time, and I would prefer she not grow up in an environment where to be a woman is something less or to be unmanly is something less."
WTF is going on here? It's a pink wall paint! The guy that came up with the idea over twenty five years ago, did it to try to stop the opposing players from becoming too excited before a game. Not one opposing coach, or player has a problem with it. In fact, I'll bet many of them wish their school would do it.

The opposition to the pink walls say that the pink color implies that the opposing players are "less manly, or have woman like qualities". They take it a step further by including the gay community, saying that the pink is degrading to women and gays. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Just wait until they find out that in many visitors locker rooms, they deliberately shut off the hot water for the out of town guests!! Oh my, get your torches people!! Get your pitchforks!!

So where does it stop? Pink is the color of choice for newborn baby girls. If I have a baby, and it's a girl, what happens if I paint the walls of my nursery pink? Am I telling her she's less manly, and possibly gay by doing that?

How 'bout light blue? What if they painted it blue? Are they being demeaning to little baby boys? Are they implying that the visiting football players are like little baby boys? Or green? Green walls would be demeaning to Irish people, saying they're not strong. Boy, somebody better stop me quick.........

So I know I shouldn't get all worked up over this, because the opinions of those UofI employees cited above don't mean anything. I just can't believe this story became newsworthy. I have some pink tile ( well, salmon colored really ) here in my bathroom. I better make sure no one from Iowa ever gets to see it, or I might be in big trouble.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Most Important Meal

So I got up this morning, took a shower, and was about to leave for work when the friendly folks from work called me to inform me that the meeting was pushed back until 10am. That's pretty nice of them, because that means I don't have to go in until then.

So instead of going back to sleep, to make sure I stayed up, I made some breakfast. By making breakfast, I mean that I made a frozen pizza.

That's not a bad thing, right?

How Do You Get To That Point?

I haven't really ranted about anything as of late. I've given up on the TV issues, and accepted the fact that if something is in HD, I'll watch it. If not, I won't let the blood boil too much.

But this stuck with me today, and thought I'd share. I was at Walgreens yesterday, and it was pretty busy for a Walgreens. I was waiting in line behind a lady that was there with her two kids. She kept telling them to be quiet as we stood in line, and the kids were being well, kids. It was a little boy and girl, and they were smackin each other, grabbing candy, saying "Mom, watch me!" every four and a half seconds, etc.

The lady began to check out, and stopped paying attention to her kids. She felt that she was overcharged for an item, and a manager had to be paged. At this point, one kid starts chasing the other one ALL around the store. The kids begin screaming as they ran about. You can hear them as they go all the way to the back of the store.

The manager ( who at this point I don't believe knows that the kids belong to the lady he's working with ) - keeps kind of peeking over his shoulder to try to figure out why there's kids making that kind of racket. So he seems kind of surprised when the lady shouts out the kids names, and shouts the cliche line of "If you both don't get back up here, I'm going to leave you both here!!!"

Keep in mind, these kids are in the BACK of the store, and this lady just yelled that out at the top of her lungs. A confused manager ( seeming like he's not sure how to deal with the situation ) then tries to explain to the lady that she was not overcharged, and that she was mistaken. Well, the lady doesn't take too kindly to this, and begins to complain/argue with the manager.

While this is going on, the kids are getting louder, and I'm pretty sure I heard a crash that equated to a display being knocked over. The manager asked the lady if those were her kids, to which the lady replied, "Yes", and went right back to arguing with him. He kept looking back towards the back of the store, and eventually couldn't take it anymore, which lead to this exchange:

Manager: "Ma'am, I'm going to have to ask you to control your kids."

Lady: "Don't you dare tell me how to raise my kids!!!!"

Manager: "Ma'am, I'm not telling you how to raise your kids, I just cannot allow them to be running all over the store like this."

Lady: "Well, if you people could do your jobs, and ring things up correctly, we wouldn't be having this conversation."

Manager: "Ma'am, I've told you we didn't ring it up wrong. But I have to ask that you keep your kids with you....."

Lady: "Don't talk about my kids!!! I cannot believe you would treat your customers this way!!!"

She went on to use a few choice words that I don't normally use in the blog here. I was actually impressed with the way the manager tried to handle the situation. He then just said that he would not ring her up, and that she should just leave the store. She stormed off to get her kids, which they were not too happy with, and the kids voiced their displeasure on the way out. I got a headache just from witnessing/listening to the whole ordeal.

When I thought about it, I wasn't sure how to feel about what I just saw. I was angry at the lady for a lot of reasons. She couldn't control her kids. She obviously has poor parenting skills that allowed for the kids to run off and behave the way they did. She was being a royal bitch to the manager.

But I felt sad too, that the kids had to end up with parents like that. I know that I got real lucky with the parent lottery. And I know there's no 'parenting' manual to use when you have kids. I know that had my brother and I pulled that when we were kids, there woulda been hell to pay. But I also know that it wouldn't have gotten that far. My parents wouldn't have let us run off, beating the crap out of each other.

I don't have kids, but do want them. Is it really that hard? If you're not even going to make an effort to raise them right, then why bother? If the lady doesn't like kids, don't you think she would have figured that out after the first one?

And then I thought about all the people that just live their life in a constant state of being pissed off. You know the type, they're always short-tempered, angry types - no matter what the time of day. How can you manage to go through life like that? How do you summon the will to get out of bed in a mood like that? At what point of after 20 or so years of living like that, do you decide to not lay on the train tracks that day? Those kids have to live with that lady everyday for atleast the next ten years of their lives. That is, if they make it that far. I can only imagine this is where the 'rebellious' crowd comes from. These will probably be the kids doing heroine or in juvenile detention by the time they're 16. What a sad, sad way to go through life.

As for me having kids ( scary thought I know. but hey, if Damion hasn't screwed up his kids yet, then I've got a fighting chance ) - I would like to tell everyone I know that if you ever see me encounter anything like the above with my kids, I grant you two rights. First of all, I'd like you to beat my children for acting like that, and second, I give you the right to smack me over the head for allowing it to happen. I don't care how 'bratty' kids can get. A good parent can still control their own kids. Shame on that woman.

The Roof, The Roof Is On Fire

Well, the roof was almost on fire yesterday. We had a bit of a problem with an electrical outlet yesterday, that had we not caught when we did, might have burned the house down.

The wiring in the house is pretty old, and apparently two of the wires behind an outlet in the bedroom got a little close for comfort, and started melting the outlet itself. We noticed it when sparks came out when something else on the same breaker was turned on.

So Bob came over with a new outlet, and explained to me which wires go where, and why. So a crisis was averted. Although I know it would have made for much more of an exciting read had something caught on fire, or if someone would have gotten zapped by the outlet.

Since I've now heard about Nort's lightning adventure in the river, that picture made me think of him.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Is This Heaven? No, It's Indiana

Okay, maybe they filmed the other movie in Iowa, but now there's even more reason to believe that heaven on earth exists in Indiana.

I just finished up my LONG post about how I came away from Notre Dame loving every second of it. Now I've read this story, and love it even more.

I also apologize to any women who read this at work ( mom? ), that may have to run to the ladies room to adjust/reapply their makeup after reading it.

God Bless Charlie Weis for doing that. All you ever hear out of the media is all the bad things that happen. Then Mr. Weis does something like this, and it's an afterthought of a story on Yahoo and ESPN.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Ewwww... Code. Pt. 2

A little while ago I posted about how much the pure code of web design and I didn't get along yet. I'm workin' on it, and pluggin' my way through. But there's other kinds of code that are WAY out of my league, like straight-up programming code. I know what C++ is, and I know what VB is, but that's it, I know they exist by name only. I pretend to know what I'm doing on the web, but as for any other programming, I'm not even a fish out of water - I'm a fish from another planet.

So I wanted to thank Nick ( from "The World According to Nick" ) for writing me a program that takes information from a spreadsheet, and magically turns it into html code that I can use and manipulate in ways that make sense to me. I said it in the post below, but again - it's not what you know in this world, but who you know. He probably saved me tens of hours a week, so that I don't have to do it all by hand.

For that - "Know What I Mean" gives him a big round of applause. Even though he said it was 'pretty easy' for him - it wouldn't have been for me. So again, thanks!

A Chill In the Air

So despite my grand dislike of cold weather, I actually do kinda like the first couple of nights that end with a slight chill to them. The sign that fall is approaching. This can only mean one thing...

Football season. More specifically, college football.

One of the things near the top of my "Things to do before I die" list, is to visit some of the major college football stadiums. Places like Notre Dame stadium ( checkmark, as you'll read ), The Swamp in Florida, The Rose Bowl, Happy Valley ( checkmark, perhaps another post ), Oklahoma's stadium, etc.

Two years ago, Will and I made the trek down to South Bend for a game. Before I get into how cool that weekend was, I would first like to say that I used to hate Notre Dame. They were just too good. They would never lose when I started following college football in the 80's. That's why I really don't like the University of Miami's team, or like any of the state of Florida schools for that matter. Same goes for Duke basketball, just can't stand 'em. But it's not a bad thing, I'm just happy when they lose. So I disliked Notre Dame. And then I went there a couple of years back for work. I used to help a guy who would work with athletes, and make them faster. We worked with a couple of ND football players. I took ONE step on that campus, and was an INSTANT convert. From that moment on, I became the biggest ND fan.

So forward on to the season of our trip. Brock and Anthony ( the two ND athletes we worked with ) share the same agent. I was able to get in touch with him to secure what I thought was going to be 4 (four) tickets for the ND/USC game. At this point I called another friend and huge ND fan, Chris, to invite him to go with us. So now, you've got myself, Will, and Chris. Now all we need are two things; another person to go with, and a place to stay.

So we call up our friend Lee. I've previously mentioned him as "Sky Dork", well, because he's a pilot. Since South Bend is a small town, hotel rooms are quite difficult to come by, especially when there's a football game. But here's the beauty of the phrase "It's not what you know in life, but who you know." Lee pointed out that hotels HAVE to reserve rooms ahead of time for incoming pilots. And it just so happened, that his airline flies to South Bend. So, in exchange for a ticket, he re-worked his schedule to fly into South Bend that morning, and fly out the next day. It's like the whole trip was meant to be.

That is, until a week before the trip. At this point, I'm only sitting on two (2) tickets. You might remember, I was promised four (4) tickets. After a few phone calls and emails, I'm told that I'm only getting two tickets, and I should be happy I got those. Ut-oh. As Will said on the phone when I called him about it, "Lee and Chris aren't going to be happy."

And I'm sure they weren't, but they didn't show it. Chris still wanted to go down to South Bend with us, just for the atmosphere, and Lee couldn't change his flight at that time, so away we went. Lee lived in Chicago at the time, so we spent Friday night by him, and took him to the airport early Saturday morning. The ND/USC game was a late afternoon game, so we knew we'd have plenty of time to get there and look around.

We actually got to park pretty close to campus, and Will, Chris, and I wandered around the campus for a few hours before the game. Wow. The leaves were turning fantastic colors, students playing catch on the yards that surrounded the dorms, bar-b-ques everywhere. The band plays all sorts of songs on the front steps of an academic building before every game. It was awesome. I don't know how any recruit of ND does NOT sign with them.

So it gets to be game time, and a sad, puppy faced Chris has to walk off campus to the bar that he's going to meet Lee and his crew at. They went to 'Corby's', which is where the bar scene in "Rudy" was filmed. As we walked into the stadium, the older gentleman that took my ticket extended his hand for a handshake, and said "Welcome to Notre Dame". How cool is that? A personable greeting upon walking into the stadium. Our seats were in the endzone opposite of 'Touchdown Jesus', but the view is not what it used to be, due to stadium expansion.

I'd also like to point out, that it's sometime in October, and it was in the 70's for temperature. Couldn't be any more perfect. At least until just before kickoff. The Golden Knights, a unit in the Army, parachuted the game ball INTO the stadium. They jumped out of their plane, and were so high, you couldn't tell it was a person. Very cool start to the game. As for the actual game, the first quarter saw ND and USC trade touchdowns back and forth to the tune of 21-14 USC lead at the end of the FIRST quarter. It didn't get any better for ND, and USC went on to romp their way to victory. I believe the final score ended up being 40-20. Will and I actually wanted so see a bit more of the campus, and knowing we had a ways to go to Corby's, we left with about five minutes left in the ballgame.

The campus was EMPTY. Quite an opposite look from just a few hours earlier. And as we're walking around, we spot two students walking, and asked them if they could tell us a few good bars to go to. We explained that we were from out of town ( obviously ), and were looking for the 'cool' places to go.

Student - "Oh, you're from out of town? Cool. Hey, wanna have a beer with us here?"
Me and Will - "Uhhhhh, YES. Yes we do."
So we walked over to a parking lot, where there was a truck with a few coolers of beer in the bed. We hung out and talked to them and a few of their passing friends as the game let out. After a while ( and a few unanswered calls from Chris and Lee wondering where we were ), one of the students introduced us to a grandparent. Upon learning that we were from out of town, the grandmother reaches in the truck, and pulls out a tupperware box FULL of pizza, and offers it to us. How cool is this? Drinking beer on ND's campus, and an old lady just offered us pizza!!!! I love this place!!

After that we made our way over to Corby's, to find Chris, and the non-pilot portion of Lee's crew pretty drunk at this point. So we had a great time at Corby's until it was time for Lee and his crew to go back to the hotel. Lee's been playing babysitter to the flight attendant the whole time, so I think he's kinda happy to be calling it a night. Will and I are going to be going back out after taking them to the hotel, but for reasons still unknown to this day, Chris decides to get out of the car, and stay at the hotel.

Will and I ended up closing out Corby's. Bar time in Indiana is a little later than here in Wisconsin, and we had a great time. We met a few of the Golden Knights that had parachuted on in earlier in the day. Very cool guys. Actually, everyone there was really cool. It just seemed too perfect, but in a good way.

Much to Lee's dismay, the bar closed, and we came back to the hotel like two bulls in a china shop. Did I mention we'd been drinking or at a bar since about 5PM?

Me (in what I thought was a whisper) - "Shhhhhh. Lee's sleeping!"
Will (in what he thought was a whisper) - "I AM being quiet, you're the one that's gonna wake him up!!!
Me ( still not whispering ) - "Don't slam the door!! It'll wake him up!!
Will ( still not whispering ) - "Dude! I thought you closed the door!!!
Lee ( in so NOT a whisper ) - "Oh MY GOD guys, I'm awake already!"

We then felt the need to tell him everything that happened while we were out at the bar. Now, he's a good enough friend, that I know deep down, he was interested. Just not at 3:30 in the morning, when he had to be up at 5 to leave for the airport. It also didn't help that Will and I were going to sleep on the floor, and Will sometimes snores. VERY LOUDLY. Lee said later that he had yelled at Will at almost the top of his lungs to try to wake him up and stop the snoring, and we didn't even flinch. We didn't even roll over when he threw pillows and a comb at us. I don't see what the fuss was all about. He said those planes practically fly themselves anyway. ( I have alot of respect for pilots, but I like to make fun of the one I know personally )

Sunday started with Chris loudly knocking on the door at nine am to wake us up because he wanted to go to the College Football Hall of Fame. We found out the hard way that it's closed on Sundays. That was the ONLY thing that went wrong that entire weekend. I couldn't believe it. If you would have told me before I went, that all those things would happen, and I would have one of the best weekends ever, I wouldn't have believed you.

And understand, that even though this is the longest post I've ever had, the weekend was even better than what I've described here, if you can imagine that is possible. I cannot imagine going to any other college, and having that magical of a time. Even the Penn State weekend, as cool as it was, just wasn't as magical of a place. Sometime I'll have to tell you at least what I can remember from that weekend. I'll get some pictures from the ND weekend up on the web, and give you a chance to see them. GO IRISH! GO BADGERS! And GO ANYONE playing against Miami!!

Friday, September 23, 2005

From My Wet, Soggy Fingers

How this drifted past my attention until now, I don't know. All this talk of Rita coming, and I missed the memo that said that the local authorities in New Orleans are confiscating weapons, specifically firearms from the citizens there.


I would ask how they have the authority to do that, but the NRA is doing just that, by filing suit on behalf of those that have had their firearms taken from them.

I'm not sure how I missed this until now. The quagmire started way back on Sept. 9th, when Police Superintendent P. Edwin Compass said that he was 'expanding' the gun confiscation order. Up until that point, law enforcement officials had found hundreds of firearms left behind from people fleeing the hurricane. They began actively searching for abandoned firearms after Coast Guard and Army helicopters were fired upon in early September.

Now, I'm okay with the last part. If a gun is just lying around, and people are shooting at Army helicopters, then by all means, take the gun that no one is claiming ownership to at that point. But the 'expansion' to the order was to take guns away from EVERYBODY, including weapons possessed by law abiding citizens.

Compass was quoted in the NY Times and Washington Post as saying:
"No one will be able to be armed," Compass said in The Washington Post article. "Guns will be taken. Only law enforcement will be allowed to have guns."

There is a statute on the Louisiana books that says the "chief law enforcement officer" can "regulate possession" of firearms during declared emergencies.

The statute goes to great length in its wording to avoid the word 'prohibit'. Louisiana statute Title 14, Section 329.6 provides for the regulation- not the prohibition as appears elsewhere intentionally in the language of the statute - of many things from flammable liquids to bullhorns and even weapons, but it does not authorize taking (prohibiting) them.

I guess I'm even okay with with the statute. But when I read the statute, what it tells me is that the chief law enforcement official can tell me where I can take/carry my gun, not that he can have it. If you're going to 'regulate' guns during an emergency, and close down gun stores during that time, that sounds legal by the statute. Even if you go as far to say that I can't leave my property with my gun, that sounds legal by the statue as well.

So it's going to come down to a Second Amendment issue, and that's where it's going to get messy. Or more messy as the case is. This is not a discussion as to the framers intent of the amendment. I'm pretty sure even the people on the WAY left will agree that the intent is that the populous has the right to defend itself. You may not agree that it should be legal to carry/own a modified assault rifle, but that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about law abiding citizens being TOLD to give up their firearms. Not just the ones the WAY left want to get rid of ( the sawed off shotguns, the 50cal machine guns ), but ALL of the firearms.

One observer wondered aloud if this was a 'trial-balloon'. Is this the first step to disarm the populous? San Francisco is currently engaged in a very heated debate about becoming completely gun-free. Following New Orleans lead, say with an earthquake, are officials there going to demand that no one have a gun?

It's kind of a scary thought. If I had all day to write, I'd wonder where this goes next. Parts of New Orleans was poor. Now you've taken their firearms away from them. When they want to return, there's talk of using 'eminent domain' to take the land away, and rebuild in a better fashion in the eyes of the powers that be in Louisiana. And that is going to be the real scary trial balloon. They're going to have to make some laws up as they go along with the rebuilding of that city. And if the laws they're coming up with now, before the rebuilding starts are any indication of what they have in mind.... that's when the real nightmare might begin.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

So There's More of Them to Surrender Then?

The French government is worried that French parents aren't having enough babies to keep the population rising, and are offering over $900 a month to parents that will have a third child.

I'm all for French jokes, but this has me a bit worried. France has the second highest population rate in Europe. But officials say that it's not high enough, and as it stands, the population will decline in the future.

( 1st French joke: - "But this is France we're talking about. Should that be a good thing for them?")

Since when is it up to the government to control population rates? The French are known for being a promiscuous lot anyways, but now you have to pay them to get them between the sheets?

(2nd French joke: - "Q: Why wasn't Jesus born in France? ..... A: They couldn't find 3 Wise Men and a virgin")

France already has a population at just over 60 million. They are worried about the political and economic ramifications of a declining population.

(3rd French joke: - "Q: Where can you find 60,100,000 French jokes? .... A: France")

So will this work? Will paying parents to have a third child reverse the effects of a declining population? It might. France might have more people to take care of later on. But the rest of Europe isn't doing anything about their respective declining populations, so there's going to be economic repercussions anyway. The EU is so closely tied that it's not going to matter anyway. But at least the French have assured us that we can keep making jokes about them for years to come.

(last French joke: - "There was a Frenchman, an Englishman and Claudia Schiffer sitting together in a carriage in a train going through Provence. Suddenly the train went through a tunnel and as it was an old style train, there were no lights in the carriages and it went completely dark. Then there was a kissing noise and the sound of a really loud slap. When the train came out of the tunnel, Claudia Schiffer and the Englishman were sitting as if nothing had happened and the Frenchman had his hand against his face as if he had been slapped there. The Frenchman was thinking: 'The English fella must have kissed Claudia Schiffer and she missed him and slapped me instead.' Claudia Schiffer was thinking: 'The French fella must have tried to kiss me and actually kissed the Englishman and got slapped for it.' And the Englishman was thinking: 'This is great. The next time the train goes through a tunnel I'll make another kissing noise and slap that French bastard again.")

The All Powerful

Two political posts in two days? I must have fallen on my head...

A few weeks ago, I posted about how nice it must be to be the President, and have all the power that comes with the position. It was a satirical post, because I talked about how people were blaming President Bush for 'causing' Hurricane Katrina. He's powerful, but he cannot control weather.

But there is a new accusation out there that has me rolling on the floor. This morning on CNN, they were talking to some 'authority' on what damage Hurricane Rita potentially could cause. They brought up the fact that almost 20% of the oil refineries are located in the projected path of Rita. I almost choked on my slice of cold pizza when I heard the following:

'It is totally irresponsible of this administration to allow this to happen. This administration should know better than to put oil refineries in the path of category five hurricanes. This administration is slowly destroying this country by allowing these disasters to happen.'

HOLD ON. Back the political stupid truck up. I have accepted the fact that the two political parties don't like each other. I understand that they will use various opportunities to show that the other party is weak, silly, and unable to perform their job.

But plu-eeeze. To say that this administrations put those refineries there on "purpose" is just plain stupid. I can't begin to describe the lack of logic in that thought process.

Now, I would have to think, to become a political pundit of note, you have to posses some intelligence. So when you make it big in the political advisory world, do you have to turn in your logic, intelligence, and common sense passports?

Last time I checked, the gov't didn't build those refineries. Last time I checked, those plants are in the Gulf Coast because that's where most of the oil comes from. Last time I checked, those plants have been there for a LONG time.

So with all the other things going on in this country, and around the world for that matter... WHY does this guy get to go on TV and say the stupid, baseless things that he did? Someone please explain this to me.

This is the biggest reason I don't jump off the recliner to discuss politics. People get so blinded by their views, and get such a narrowminded outlook, that often times, discussion is not an option. So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go bang my head against the wall to make myself feel better.

Keep Your Pants On For A Change

Wow. Amber Frey is back in the news. She sure gets around. I'd have a joke about this article, but I'm just not that funny tonight.

You think he can get his money back?

The Price of Crime? $42.07

This article made me laugh. Not in a good way though.

Turns out, a felony was probably committed, and State Sen. Alberta Darling is only going to have to pay the state $42.07. Now, Darling wasn't the one committing the felony, so why is she paying the $42.07 you ask?

The article is about Chris Slinker, who was an aide for Sen. Darling. He worked out of a district office of Darling's in Menomonee Falls. Slinker was the only person employed by the office at the time. He made over two hundred phone calls to Shawn Wanta, and he made them from the Meno. Falls office.

Well, who's Shawn Wanta you ask? Well, the article doesn't give a job title, but he was paid almost $1100 dollars by working for Darling in October of 2004 as a consultant for her re-election campaign. A funny side note about being a 'consultant'. Darling had no idea who Wanta was before this story came out. But that's not where the problem lies. Wanta currently makes yard signs and web sites for political candidates. Wanta's most recent work in yard signs and web work came for two Meno Falls Trustee candidates. Chris Slinker is a Meno. Falls Trustee, and an avid supporter of the two aforementioned Trustee candidates.

There was recently a very bitter battle in the election cycle with Village President Jefferson Davis ( well, if that isn't a political birthname ), where some of the Trustee candidates spent a record $19,000 in a losing effort to get a seat.

Confused yet?

Well, basically, Slinker was calling Wanta from Darling's office phone. And making campaign calls while on the clock with the State is a felony here in Wisconsin. Ut-oh.

So when a reporter finds this out, Slinker says he and Wanta are 'good buddies', and that the calls were 'personal in nature'. Suuuuure they were. He was actually quoted as saying they would speak about politics and their fantasy football teams. HA!

So when Darling gets word of this, Slinker resigns. He said he did so on good terms, but Darling says she would have fired him, had he not resigned.

So then at the end of the day, there's no further investigation, no felony charges pressed, just Alberta Darling writing a check to the State for $42.07. And this is just small time LOCAL politics. I can only imagine what goes on at higher levels of government. A favorite quote of mine is:

"There are two things you never truly want to see how they get made. Hot dogs, and laws."

Well, if the above story is any indication as to how the people that make the laws are put into place, well then, yikes. Is it too much to ask/think that the people that serve in government should see it as just that, a service, and not a career?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Hope He Got A Raise

I am slowly delving into the graphical world. I enjoy working with graphics, and at the same time find it very challenging. One job I always wished I could have done with alot of success would have been that of a graphical designer. I really admire people that have the eye, and more importantly, the imagination to put something together that's both functional, and pleasing to the eye.

So when some creative head comes up with something both funny and on point from an ad agency, I find this to be artistic gold. An example of what I mean is here in the pic below.

Very well done. I hope that person got a raise after that effort.

Safety Tips

Random thoughts for the day, in no particular order.

  • Nort's actually been hit by lightning. Well, not a 'direct hit', but the boy was standing in a river that got hit by lightning. He said all he felt was his entire body tense up, and his leg jerked out to the side and whacked into a rock, breaking his big toe. Now, we all love Nort, but I cannot get that hilarious image out of my head. I've known Nort for a while now, and this was the first I ever heard of this story, after he read my lightning story below. You think you know a guy.... and it turns out that he's been sticking his finger in the electrical sockets. At least that explains his picks for the NFL this year ( just kidding Nort ).

  • AMC had on Field of Dreams tonight. Which was cool, but sucked at the same time. I haven't played any Madden, or College Football on the PS2 for a while, so I was going to use the downtime tonight to do just that. Then I saw Field of Dreams was on. And sadly, that's one of those movies that if on, I have to sit and watch. I'm curious as to how far this phenomenon goes, and what other movies people stop what they're doing for....

  • Former Milwaukee Bucks center (now with Portland) Joel Pryzbilla is taking boxing lessons here in Milwaukee. Joel is seven feet, one inch tall. He currently weighs 235 pounds. How is that possible? I'm six feet, two inches tall, and I tip the scales at 215. I have an athletic, but thinner frame. This guy is ELEVEN inches taller than I am, and he only weighs twenty more pounds than me. Wow. I don't think the boxing is going to help much Joel. Perhaps training for the competitive eating circuit might help.

  • Joel Pryzbilla is also the same guy who came out of college after his soph. season at the University of Minnesota. Joel was on a full basketball scholarship. See, the pesky thing about those scholarships are that you have to attend class. Joel decided not to do that. So when the head basketball coach called him in to his office to remind him that if he didn't go to class, he couldn't play basketball, Joel looked him straight in the face and said that he just wouldn't play basketball then, and quit the school. So how was he rewarded for his efforts? By being drafted in the first round of the NBA draft that spring, and cashing a check for a few million dollars. - No, I'm not bitter about how that all worked out.

  • The lead story on tonight was the impending Hurricane Rita. They talked about how in the event the storm takes a turn northward (which is not expected, but a small possibility), two whole buses have taken people out of the New Orleans area. This was the LEAD story. Two busses. How many people are we talking here? A hundred maybe? In an area where there are still TENS of thousands of people coping with disaster, I could have downloaded a video clip of maybe 50-100 people getting on a bus. C'mon editors, I know you can do better than that.

  • Speaking of the Gulf Coast, the Louisiana governor wrote a letter to President Bush, asking 'preemptively' to declare a State of Emergency, incase Rita makes landfall in Louisiana. Now given how the state and local officials really fouled up the efforts after Katrina made landfall, I'm not sure I'm okay with declaring a State of Emergency before something MIGHT NOT happen. And second... how are they still NOT in a State of Emergency down in the region??

  • On a happier note, city officials from Las Vegas, NV are putting together a proposal to take to the officials from New Orleans. They are going to offer to 'host' Mardi Gras this spring, until New Orleans can get back up to speed. They want to turn "The Strip" into Bourbon St. for the week. That is one of the better ideas I've heard of in a long time.

  • Vegas Baby, Vegas! Daliborrrrrrrr!!!

That's all for now, you may return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The End Is Nigh Pt. 2

This was going to be the first thing I was going to post about today, and then I started in on the other posts, so my little 'experience' this morning has to wait until now to be told to the world.

I thought the world ended this morning. Or at least my 8 square block section of Wauwatosa. Apparently, the church next door to my house got hit by lightning at 6:27 this morning. When I say "next door", I mean NEXT door. When I say "lightning", I mean a force of nature that was SO loud, it knocked a picture off the wall.

I'm a VERY sound sleeper, but I thought this was the end. I was sound asleep, and then there was the LOUDEST sound I've ever heard in my life. I've been in front of rock concerts, and fired shotguns, but this had 'em all beat. Everyone knows what a 'thundercrack' sounds like, and this was no exception. Except for the volume. Wow.

So the bang happens, and my heart rate pegs out at about 225 beats per min. I sit up in bed so fast, that I have no idea where I am, and I'm confused as all get out. It's kinda dark in the room, but light enough that I see a picture come off the hinge and fall to the floor. That's how fast I sat up. All I can hear is the 'after rumbles', and what I think is the sound of rain hitting the window, but I'm so startled, at that moment I'm not sure what that noise is. I looked at the clock, and saw 6:27, and thinking there should be more light outside.

So then I look over, and Robyn's not there. I think to myself, "that can't be good". A few things should have sunk in at that moment, but didn't. First is, that she's out of town, up in Door County. Second is, that even if she was in town, she would have left for work already, and wouldn't be in the bed at that hour anyway. But neither of those thoughts hit my rattled brain immediately.

You know how things can happen, and you have about 223,548 thoughts run through your head in about a half-a-second? And they're all crystal clear thoughts? Well, for about three-tenths of a second, I thought it was game over. Bomb went off in my front yard. Is this really what it's like to die? Plane hit the school across the street. If I were dead, wouldn't things seem a bit more clear now? Gas main blew up underneath the house. Lightning hit the house. I can feel my heart beating a mile a min in my chest, how can I be......

LIGHTNING!!! Ah yes! An explanation! I can't be dead! Just completely startled out of my mind. So now it's about four seconds after the strike, and mentally, I feel alot better, but my heart is still racing. As I waited for my neurons to return to normal, I thought about how people could survive a direct lightning strike. My words on this thing cannot describe the volume of the thunderclap, and I don't think I could fathom the energy released during a lightning strike.

So I think it took a good half hour to fall back asleep. I used to look forward to thunderstorms in the night. Now that I know there's a literal lightning rod on the building next to mine, I'm not so excited about them anymore.

When the World Gets In My Face

So on one hand, I'm happy for people that can go out and make a lot of money doing what they love. Sports ( a topic which occupies way too much space in my blog ) is a prime example of this. Are athletes overpaid? In many regards, yes. But it's market value. Someone ( an owner ) has to be willing to pay them, so if the athlete can get the money, then I say more power to 'em. I love this country that has an economic system set up where people can make millions of dollars a year for playing a game.

But then there's music. I know for every commercial pop 'artist', for every manufactured flash in the pan 'artist', there are thousands of musicians waiting for their break. So again, if you have the market demand for it, then by all means, go get your piece of the pie.

So I guess I can't say I'm shocked that Bon Jovi has gone and made a few more songs. It's not like he needs the money, so I'd like to think that he's still putting out songs because that's what he loves to do. But Jon... it's not 1987 any more. Here's an excerpt of some of his lyrics from "Have a Nice Day":

"Ohhh, if there's one thing I hang onto,
It gets me through the night.
I ain't gonna do what I don't want to,
Im gonna live my life.
Shining like a diamond, rolling with the dice,
Standing on the ledge, show the wind how to fly.
When the world gets in my face,
I say, Have A Nice Day.
Have A Nice Day."

Twenty plus years of rockin', and that's what he's got left in the tank? "Shining like a diamond"? "Rolling with the dice"? You're going to teach the wind how to fly Jon? You're going to tell the world to "Have a nice day"?

Hard, edgy rocking stuff there Jon. It must be tough to keep the 'badass' image of yours up during your old age.

But people will buy the record, no matter how crappy it is. It has the name on it, and the people that still consider him to be an all-time great musician will buy the album. And Jon will get his money. He'll get alot of money. He'll get more from the people that buy the album when they buy tickets to see him in concert. So like I said above, good for him. But when I heard a portion of the song on the radio, it kinda made me cringe inside a little. Why this guy? What kind of pre-birth lottery did he win by being born as Bon Jovi? How nice is that, when you can produce basically the same album every few years, and make TONS of money for it?

So I find myself kinda conflicted. On the one hand, like I said earlier, if you can do something and become successful, go for it. But I also can't stand musicians that don't ever grow, or try new things. Music is an art in my mind, and making cookie-cutter songs, and doing the same thing over and over and over doesn't count for me.

A favorite band of mine, Pearl Jam, has changed over the years to the point where I don't like alot of the stuff they make any more. But that's okay. I like that they tried something different, even if I don't care for the music.

As for Bon Jovi, at least we'll always have "Slippery When Wet". But in the late 80's when everyone was rocking out to that, I never thought we'd be hearing it recycled and repackaged in the year 2005.

The End Is Nigh

I just realized that the end of the world is coming soon. I came across this realization when I said the following sentence to Nort in regards to fantasy football:

"You know, if I would have started Freddy 'the Groin' Taylor instead of Jamal Lewis, I would have had a chance to beat you this week."

So it's mostly bad football news this week. The good news is that the Muskego Hitmen won their sixth game in a row, beating a tough Soldiers team. We have an ease in the schedule now for a couple of weeks, which should give us a chance to load up for the playoff run. Plus, my uniform will be getting pretty dirty the next couple of weeks, so I'm excited.

But that excitement isn't carrying over to the fantasy football world. Nort squeaked ahead during the Sunday night game, and I got clobbered yet again in the BNS league. I couldn't do this bad in fantasy football this past week if I tried.

Speaking of which - Nort didn't do that hot in the Pick-em league, where you pick the game with a spread included. I won the week last week with nine right, and with two games to go tonight I'm in second with six. Will's brother had a really good week to give him the overall lead.

And then there's Nort. Nort only had 5 right the first week, and with 2 games to go this week, he's sitting on a big fat TWO. As he said about it; "I couldn't pick only 2 right if I tried!". Here's the best part - Triple D didn't even make ANY picks this week, and at the moment, he's TIED with Nort for last place.

Next time we go to Vegas, we have to keep Nort out of the Sports Book for the sake of his pocketbook. ( not that the blackjack tables are any more kind to the wallet..... DALIBORRRRRRR!!!)

Saturday, September 17, 2005

We All Know How I Feel About TV


Here's an article about a guy who breaks the
World Couch Potato Record. Basically, he sat on a leather couch and watched TV for 12 minutes shy of SEVENTY hours. The old record was just over 50 hours.

He was allowed a 5 min break every hour, and every 8 hours was allowed a 15 min break. This was all part of a gimmick on "Live With Regis and Kelly", so he sat in a room that faced the street, and had a window for a wall. He could not look at the people outside, but had to stare at the TV the whole time. And the TV had nothing but ABC on the WHOLE time.

So I guess it's safe to say that he didn't get to watch anything in Hi-Def then. ( See previous posts if you don't get that joke. )

On a side note - the UTEP - Houston game on ESPN2 was broadcast in HiDef tonight. Those musta been the cameras that were supposed to go to Columbus, Ohio.

So I have SEVERAL questions here. First off, how do you stay awake for 70+ hours? Cuz you know it's not like he rolled out of bed and went straight to the couch. He had to wake up, get ready to go do his gig, prolly do an interview with Regis, and THEN hop on the couch.

But how do you stay awake for 70+ hours while watching television? Unless it's a sports game, something about 9/11, or a really damn good movie, TV usually makes me drowsy. Especially if I'm sitting still. I fall asleep in front of the TV more than I care to admit. And plus.... he HAD TO WATCH ABC!!!! So you know, in addition to not having any HiDef entertainment for him, it was ALL CRAP that he was watching! How do you stay interested for that long with out wanting to shove a very sharp object through your eyeballs just to entertain yourself???

Although, this is the same guy who broke the world record for standing on ONE leg for almost 77 hours, and once went bowling for 100 hours. I don't even want to get started on the questions I have for those events, especially the bowling. That's over FOUR days!!! I stayed up over a couple of days a few times before, and it's tough. An early post here detailed how I went a couple days without sleep, and I thought I might pass out at the end. Bowling for 4 days??? I just felt like I had an aneurysm just thinking about it.

Although the best line in the article talks about why he does all these things, ( all 16 world records ) to 'raise awareness of suffering children'. And alot of awareness he is bringing to them... cuz you KNOW he gets asked this every time he does something;

Reporter: "Why on God's green earth would you do something so ridiculously f*cking stupid like this?"

Suresh Joachim: "To raise awareness of suffering children."

Reporter: "Uhhhhhhhhhh. Okay."

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go to bed. WITHOUT the TV on.

Friday, September 16, 2005

It's the Small Things in Life

At least that's what she said to Nort!

Ahh, to pick on your friends. A timeless pastime. So while I'm sure Will is going to be a bit more indepth in his ribbings, I've taken all of about 4 minutes to photoshop a picture of our good buddy, Nort. Will has asked that people send him pictures of Nort so he can 'shop them for everyone's amusement. Well, I only have 2 pics of Nort, and this was the only thing I could think of. Subtle, but I'm sure Nort won't think it's funny, which is the point.

I'll post the actual picture later. But for now, it's off to make fun of Poohbear!

So we went out and met Poohbear, Colin and new wife Steph, Evan and Angie out at Club Paragon. Poohbear has gone above and beyond the call of duty by being shat on YET again. Oh, but if I ever had the time to post about that.... well... that'd be NEVER. There's not enough time in the day to talk about Jon and the poo that he has encountered.
Anyways, Nort couldn't pick out the difference in the picture right away. So here's the original image.
*note* - the picture is from a camera phone from a year or so ago when Nort was at Have A Nice Day Cafe. We turned around for like two min to get some beer, and we came back to this. Sometimes you think you know a guy......*end note*

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

On A Roll

So the last couple of posts were football related.... so why stop now!?!?

I know it won't do any good, and I never do things like this ( cuz you'd get the same result by sticking a sharp pencil in your eye ) - but I actually sent an email to ABCSports about the lack of the game ( Texas vs Ohio State this past weekend ) being broadcast in High Definition. I tried to be as polite as possible, and didn't mention any of my rants about ESPN ( ABC is the parent company of ESPN, and ABC is owned by Disney... so some business major needs to explain to me how a company within a company can own another company... anyway... ), and even asked for a reply.

I asked why the decision was made to not broadcast in HiDef, even though this game would garner more viewers for a game than any other matchup this year. I asked why they spend a significant portion of their budget on promoting HiDef, yet chose not to showcase it then. I asked why they would spend a significant portion of their budget on R&D for enhancing HiDef graphics and in-game 'toys', but refused to show the game in HiDef.

Much to Robyn's dismay, this is why I got the TV that I have. For games like this. Sure, her episodes of House look great ( and btw, it is a really good show. Even a great cameo by LLCool J on tonight's episode ), but I got it for football. ESPN managed to show the 5PM kickoff of LSU and ASU in HiDef, but the marquee matchup got pushed to the wayside.

I'm not holding my breath for a reply.

On a lighter note, despite getting completely WAXED in the BNS fantasy football league, I did well in every other aspect of football this past weekend. I beat my old boss in the WAC fantasy league, and beat the boys in the Pick 'em league ( pick the winners of the games based on the weekly line ) with 9 right. It would have been higher, but the Rams decided that they would rather play soccer than football, and Denver couldn't beat a team with a rookie running back, rookie head coach, and a quarterback..... well, I couldn't even tell you who the Miami qb is. So with only getting 9 of 16 correct, I coulda put wood on all the games, and woulda only been up one bet worth.

The Hitmen remained perfect with a 21-0 drubbing of the Venom. Willy played a lot, and I saw some action on defense. Got to come up and make a good stick ( but I gots to wrap it up B!!!! ), but it was fun. Coach said after the game, he was a little hesitant of puttin me in on D for two reasons. Reason number one was that I haven't had much of a chance to practice with the defense, and reason number two was that he heard I was a cancer as a teammate.

Two guesses where he heard that from.

Willy started to set him straight, but he said that he has seen nothing from me that would back that up, and put me in the game, and thought I did a good job. Which is nice, because both Will and I should see increased playing time as we all get ready for the playoffs.

So we play yet another Sunday at 3Pm, and the weather should be much better this time around.

So next week, you'll get to hear about how I waxed Nort up and down the WAC league, and how good it feels to be 6-0 on a minor league football team.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Football Gods Are On Fire


Sometimes the games just don't work out like you expect them too.

The UT/OSU game did live up to every word of hype from the last two weeks. I had thought Ohio State was going to win the game, but thankfully, I didn't lay any wood on them. Texas had 3 turnovers, and OSU had only one. But man, it was a costly one. OSU fumbled the ball with just over 3 min remaining in the game, and they were leading by only 6. Texas turned that into a touchdown, and with a one point lead after trading possessions, they pinned the Buckeyes deep. A safety, and that was the game. Texas 25, Ohio State 22. One of the best games I've watched in a long time. Between this game, and UT's performance in the Rose Bowl last year against Michigan, I'm almost a believer. ALMOST. Until they prove me wrong and actually do it, I cannot see them running the table and challenging for the National Title. But they sure put on a helluva show tonight.

Hook 'em horns!

Wisconsin has put up over 100 points in two games. I won't mention who they've played, but they've put up 100 points in two games. I think we went a seven game stretch last year with out breaking one hundred. And it's nice for the meantime, Michigan and Ohio State each with a loss. Hey now, I have to enjoy this while I can.

And on a MUCH lighter note... the Milwaukee Traveling Circus (read:Marauders) lost to Kane County tonight....


If you'll excuse me for a moment...


Okay, I don't feel any better, but I'm off to bed with dreams of a Venom beating in my head. Will hit it right on the head; "If you're thinking of joining a semi-pro football team, join a GOOD one. Maybe the defending champs if you can."


Saturday, September 10, 2005

Safety Tips

Half time of the Ohio State/Texas game, so I felt like expounding some wisdom on the masses....
  • This game is living up to the hype. In today's world of 24/7 coverage, that hardly EVER happens.

  • Went down to TosaFest to grab a bite to eat. It was pretty dead this afternoon. Great weather, Saz's, Chancery, Bartolotta's, etc all having food out. Beer a plenty. But hardly any people. TosaFest used to be 3 days. Now, it's one and a half. The Badger game was over. How can things like this not survive?

  • Mack Brown is the coach at Texas. He is 1-14 against teams ranked in the top 5. One and freakin' fourteen!!! Jim Cooper was run out of Ohio State a few years back because he only beat Michigan 4 out of 9 tries. Almost half the time!! Brown absolutely lays an egg against a good team. Which sucks for him, because he has to play Oklahoma every year. How can he keep his job with a record like that?

  • He sure can recruit though. Those linebackers for Texas are freaky fast.

  • Another bit about the game tonight. This is arguably the BIGGEST non-bowl game in the last ten years of college football. It's a night game, on ABC, which means it's being broadcast to the WHOLE country. It's the second ranked Longhorns vs the fourth ranked Buckeyes. There's 102,000 people in the stands, some of whom paid over $1,000 to watch the game. The loser of this game most likely has NO shot at the national title, and the winner emerges as the biggest threat to USC. So do you think ABC could broadcast this game in High-Definition????? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. How does this happen? How does the entire sports department over at ABC not get fired for this? Who said, "No, leave the HD cameras here, and just take the regular ones to Columbus."? In case you hadn't noticed by my previous articles, the choices that the TV stations are making are really pissing me off.

  • Hitmen play the Venom tomorrow at 3PM. Yes, it's right during the Packer game. Yes, the retard that comes up with the IFL schedule should be slapped in the mouth. But I'll play some more this game, some offense, and some defense. Will is going to prolly play more than I will. He's at home with a water IV hooked up right now. Each day this week, the forecast for Sunday got hotter and hotter. So it should be fun.

  • Nort's going to have an MRI tomorrow. On a Sunday. And the MRI was scheduled for 3 days after he initially saw the doctor. How can I get on that health plan?

  • We'd also like to give a big shout out to Momma Garb. The woman that gave rise to Nort is in the hospital after undergoing spinal surgery. Nort of course didn't tell me she was having surgery until she was actually in surgery - but I wish her well, and a speedy recovery.

  • Marauders play at Kane County tonight. Over/Under on how many points they lose by? Anyone???

Alright, the game is going to be back on in a few min. I'm sure ABC/ESPN/Disney will do something in the second half that will cause me to have to post again before the night is out.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam

If I knew how to type in the 'music' symbol in the headline, it would have been a little funnier.

So WTF is with spam in the comments? Not that any of my mass of readers comments on what I say, but wow. I've only had the blog for a few months now, and already getting spam in the comments. Is it like spam in email? Are 5% of the people actually dumb enough to click on it, and then proceed to order what ever it is?

So I think I may have to go the route and inconvenience all 7 of you that might read this once a week, and turn on the 'word verification' for comments. I know... you all hate me now. Well, thbbbth on you. I played for the Marauders for 5 years. You think I haven't been booed before???

Plus, this will be better for me. I'd get my hopes all up when I'd see a comment, and then be all distraught when it was some spam. So sad. So now I can return to my normal life.

Unless of course, you all want to keep ordering whatever it is they're selling.

Ewwwww.... Code.

So yeah, I know it doesn't look that good up on top there, but I'm trying. I'm workin' on a graphic for the top, and have put part of the Hitmen banner on top of my blog.

I've been spoiled by Dreamweaver, and haven't had to deal with the pure code of web design yet, so it was an adventure just to get that graphic here in the blog. Code, like anything else can be a bit scary when you look at it, and you don't know what 99% of it means. So like a blind man at a stripper convention, I played with every little bit of code I could get my hands on, and eventually the banner ended up where it was supposed to.

But I know down the road, knowing (and being able to manipulate) the code is going to be the key to any success I'll ever have in web design. So I'm going to get my hands dirty in this messy 'code', and hopefully the class should help.

Hell, it can't be any harder than that freakin' Flash program. Sheesh. Flash is a beast to learn on your own. I figured out Photoshop and Dreamweaver in a fairly short time. Flash..... well, lets just say that even if I wanted to show you the screwups I've had with that program.... well.... I couldn't. I can't figure that out yet either. I really don't like that program. Hopefully this class will help with that. Then I can make the Hitmen site, and this blog a lot more interesting/interactive for my small audience.

One Good Turn...

I might actually be up to seven readers now... and if all goes well, by Christmas, maybe we'll get to double digits!!!

"So you're sayin' there's a chance!"

Nick Schweitzer has made mention of my blog in his own, and since one good turn deserves another, I'd suggest you check his blog out as well. You can find "The World According to Nick" here. His posts are usually a little more insightful than the mindless drivel you will find here, so check it out.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Running the Clock

I will preface this post with the understanding that after all was said and done, I am much more happy with my WAC fantasy football team. So now that you know that, here's how it all unfolded, and I ended up with my not so rockstar team.....

9:12 - All logged into Yahoo over at Nort's place. Avoided hitting any cows,deer,sheep,badgers,horses, and hay bales on the way over to his place.

9:13- Someone in Nort's other league takes the Baltimore Defense with the SECOND overall pick in the CBS Sportsline league. The night is off to a good start.

9:14 - "Someone just took the Bills Defense in the second round!!! I'm drafting with idiots!!!!!" Nort yells out from the other room...... I wish I was in that league.

9:17 - Skippy jokes are missed.

9:27 - Mindless chatter going on while we wait for the draft, even some Skippy jokes make an appearance, much to my delight.

9:30 - We're off!! I'm in the middle of the order, so pretty happy with that.

9:31 - Tomlinson goes off the board. The guy took the whole 1:30 to make the pick.

9:33 - I get Jamal Lewis. Yes, that makes two leagues I have him in.

9:34 - Tom Brady goes off the board in the first round, much to the enjoyment of the online group.

9:38 - Randy Moss lasts until the second round.

9:41 - Nort prefaces his pick with "Start your jokes now", and picks Ahman Green. In a stunning use of foreshadowing, this would not be the funniest time Nort will use that line.

9:47 - Will's pick of Kerry Collins ( and by no means a bad pick ) generates more discussion that I would have guessed.

9:48 - Nort's pissed that Gates didn't fall a few more spots to him.

9:49 - 4 rounds to get the first Defense off the board.

9:50 thru 9:56 - Sale on wideouts in aisle six!!!

* so a quick update where I stand. You'll notice I haven't been listing the times and players I took so far, cuz I'm not happy with the way things are shaking out. I picked up Rudi Johnson in round 2, and Bulger in round 3. This was followed with Reggie Wayne in round 5. Let's just move on, and go back to making fun of everybody else, shall we? *

9:59 - First kicker off the board in round six. This is followed by a comment from a guy in our league ( I have no idea who he is ), saying that kickers and defenses should only be allowed to be selected in the last two rounds. I'm glad he's not in Nort's other league.

10:03- Wideouts are a strength in my other league ( Moss and Harrison ), but in this one I've got Wayne, Plaxico Burress, and M. Muhammed. Ugh.

10:05 - The 'moment'. Sure, we've chuckled at picks, and generally been making fun of EVERY pick online so far, but here's the one. This is the one that Nort's neighbour prolly heard our outburst of laughter. Will announces to the group, "Ready for this one?"....
And takes....
Cedric Benson.
In round six.

Let me quote from Will's blog. He gave a preview of the NFC North division, and here's what he had to say about Benson.

"They just signed their rookie RB and only prospect to do something meaningful on offense yesterday. Being a rookie with no camp experience puts him at a huge disadvantage to start off the season. That's like not having sex for 6 months then being asked to f**k Jenna Jameson -- you're not going to be impressive."

Benson might turn out to be a serviceable back. But because it was Will making the pick, after he said that about Benson, had us rolling.

10:12 - I just pulled my groin going to get a beer from Nort's fridge. When I return to the computer, I see that Fred Taylor has gone off the board. Coincidence?

10:17 - Will won't share with the rest of the group that he's received an 'invitation' for the evening, if you know what I mean. - Nort however, will share that information, at least with me, to Will's dismay.

10:21 - So thin at WR, I take Lee Evans. Moulds was still on the board, but he killed me so bad in a league 4 years ago, I didn't take him on principle.

10:23 - D. Graham at TE. I haven't had a Patriot in a league in a long time.

10:24 - I just got pissed that Pennington didn't last 4 more spots to me. I hope I don't pull a groin on the way back to the fridge, this is getting painful.

10:26 - I have to run out to the car and grab some fire extinguishers, as Nort almost sets his house on fire by selecting the Chicago Bears defense. We made a promise not to tell his father about that one. Again, and in a much better fashion this time, Nort prefaced it with "Start your jokes now"

10:27 - Kurt Warner better blow up this year.

10:36 - The last of the "Bring on the jokes" as Nort selects Longwell.

10:39 - Who the f*ck is Courtney Anderson?????????

10:40 - We still can't find out who he is online. ANYWHERE.

10:41 - Mont takes Kyle Orton. I wish we were playing for money.

10:42 - Anderson is some tight end. Nort or I still don't know who he is, or where he came from.

10:43 - Stephen Davis rounds out the draft.

10:45 - Nort's still not done with his CBS draft that started a half hour prior to ours.

11:20 - Nort finally finishes his CBS draft.

What a draft. The other people we have in the draft seem pretty cool, so we'll see how it all works out. Gotta love football season. Oh, and Nort... we'll fill you in on how week one goes while you're out having a meeting to discuss your 'duties'. Have fun!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Power to Wield

I can't wait until I'm 35 years old, and can run for President of the United States. That job comes with some awesome powers. You can veto laws from coming into effect, and nominate Supreme Court Justices that will interpret the existing laws on the books.

Oh, and I don't know if you heard, but the President can CAUSE hurricanes!!

Apparently, President Bush is to blame for the devastating hurricane that hit the Gulf Coast last week. I didn't know the President could cause changes in the weather.

How come people far less intelligent than myself ( and that's not to say that I'm the brightest of the bright ) can go on TV and spout about how the President isn't doing enough, and that this whole mess is his fault? I just get this little space in the internet here, that maybe all of 5 people read, and these asshats get national tv time?? WTF??

I turned on the TV and saw some relating articles on the aforementioned internet today, and the mainstream media was calling Bush an 'attention whore' for going down for a second visit. So how can he win in this situation? If he sits in the White House, he's a jackass for being insensitive to the situation, and if he goes to NOLA, he's being 'opportunistic' and looking for a photo-op. I dunno, maybe I won't want to run for POTUS.

An event like this just underscores how government really works. The people and agencies that have the most effect on your day-to-day life is LOCAL government. I challenge any person to give me an example when ANYTHING the President has done affected their day-to-day way of life. Your local government is responsible for that. Each State is run in their own unique way. It was set up that way. States were to be given their own identies, and let to be run the way they wish. So each State has a different way of handling disasters. FEMA is there to help, but would someone PLEASE explain to me what else the President can do in this situation?

Anybody?? Hello???......

Oh wait. There IS nothing else. He's appropriated money, and he's letting everyone else do their job.

I do feel really bad about what has happened down there, and wish there was more that I could do. I try to imagine if Milwaukee were suddenly under 10 feet of water. What would happen if I had no more access to the money I have in the bank? If all the stores were washed away? If my job was completely destroyed? Knowing that friends/family may have died? How long could you last without all those things? I wouldn't have the slightest clue about how to get started again, and doubt that I would be able to on my own. It's scary.

But I would not feel that it was the President's fault if no one got to my house for 4 days. And to all the pundits that think it is his fault, I hope you're doing your part to help. I can't go to NOLA and rescue people out of their houses, and if you're still sitting in a TV studio, you're not physically helping either. So YOU better do what I did, and then some. Go to RED CROSS ONLINE and make a donation. I wish I could have made a much bigger donation, but every dollar will count. And if you're on TV, you make ALOT more money than me, so pony up and put your money where your mouth is.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Bitch Slappin' Coordinators

Oh wait, that's my other fantasy football team name.....

Had the WAC fantasy football draft on Thursday night, and a day later, I'm still not sure how I feel about my team. This year, I don't have to carry Dan Schultz on my shoulders, but we'll see how it goes.

This was an 'auction' draft, where you decide how much of your 'salary cap' you want to spend on a particular player. We had a cap of $360 dollars, and you had to select 2 QB's, 2 RB's, 2 WR's, TE, K, and a team defense with the $360 dollars. You had to leave at least $3 on the table to select bench players. I kinda like the setup, and it's a nice change of pace from a regular draft. Each person would throw out a name, and the bidding would start on that player going around the table.

The highest 'paid' player was McNabb, at $96. In order, the top ten were....
2t - Favre $93
2t - Shawn Alexander $93
4t - Tomlinson $91
4t - Culpepper $91
6t - Manning $88
6t - Moss $88
8t - Harrison $86
8t - McGahee $86

Other notables:
Holmes $85
Owens $68
Gates $56
E. James $80
Freddy (Groin) Taylor $1

I'm not kidding about Freddy. I picked him up in the bench round for a dollar. No one other than Nort got it when I said, "Okay, start your groin jokes now, but Fred Taylor for $1." Nort laughed, and nobody else blinked.

My roster consists of the following. Please hold your applause/boos for the end. Prices paid in parenthesis.
QB - Chad Pennington (22), Kurt Warner (11)
RB - Kevin Jones (52), Jamal Lewis (57)
WR - Marvin Harrison (86), Randy Moss (88)
TE - Todd Heap (31)
K - Jeff Wilkins (1)
Def - Jacksonville (3)
Bench - Fred Taylor (1)
Bench - JP Loseman (1)
Bench - Travis Henry (1)

I'm really happy with the runningbacks and receivers. Moss and Harrison, two top-ten players in a normal draft. I paid out of the nose for them, so that means that one or both will suck it up this year.

I was most pleased with Jamal Lewis. This dude is STRAIGHT out of prison. You think he won't run with a little giddy-up in his step this year? Plus, he has to play against Cincy's defense, and Cleveland's defense TWICE each this year. Look out. And for only 57bucks? He's another top-ten player in a regular style draft. Kevin Jones, well..... hey, I got Kevin Jones! Not sure what else to say, other than he'll be the Detroit workhorse. Harrington BETTER get his act together with those wideouts so they don't stack 8 in the box.

I didn't over pay at TE ( most TE's were going for 25-40, with the exception of Gonzalez (71)), and I'm happy with Heap.

Rams' usually can score some points, and Wilkins' home is in a dome. Rams' defense is suspect at best, so they might get in some shootouts. At least I can dream.

Jacksonville usually has a tough defense, but I'm hoping for a few more defensive scores. They get the takeaways and the sacks, and don't give up the points, but don't put too many on the board. I'll give em at least 3 weeks to turn that around.

Now the Quarterbacks. I've actually had Pennington in one league or another for the last 3 years. He has a good TD/INT ratio, but is not a barn burner when it comes to fantasy points. I think he's playing with a chip on his shoulder ( no pun intended to his injury from the offseason ), and I'm going to ride this train one more year. As for Warner.... oh boy. The pickings were getting a little slim at this point when I needed one more QB. Harrington was still on the board, as was Leftwich, McNair, Carr, Bledsoe, E.Manning, and Aaron Brooks. All kinda scary choices to go to bed with, and Warner is no exception. But Dennis Green went out of his way to get Warner, so he isn't looking over his shoulder at McCown, and he has Fitzgerald and Boldin to throw to. I hope the deal he signed with the Devil that got him his 2 MVP's has a clause for another good year in it. But he's in the best situation since Bulger came of age, and he better take advantage.

So all in all, I'm not unhappy with my team, but also didn't come walking away thinking I had by far the best team in the draft. It'll make for an interesting season.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Take A Step Back

So I was going to post about the fantasy football draft we had tonight sponsored by Joe Bechard from the WAC... but right after the Packer game was over, I started flipping through the channels.

I came across a show on A&E called something like "The Last 102 Min. The Story behind the final 102 min of the World Trade Center"

I don't know if I'm the only person that this happens to, but I found myself frozen in the chair, staring intently at the tv. This happens everytime something about 9/11 comes on. I can't explain it, but I feel like I have to sit and watch whatever it is, and find myself staring at the tv, just like back on that day.

I'm not sure why this is. I can remember the day in every little minute detail. From hearing about it on the radio at 8am in the car on the way home, to walking into the house with the then GF and seeing my mom crying. Everything, the whole day. But I wasn't anywhere near NY, the Pentagon, or Pennsylvania. I've never been to NY. I didn't know anybody in NY. I didn't know of anybody that died in 9/11. Heck, I don't think I even know anybody that KNEW anybody that died that day. It's been 4 years almost to the day. Am I the only one?

I will watch and try to learn from programs that talk about the Oklahoma City bombing, or the Challenger explosion - but it's not the same. I remember where I was when the Challenger exploded. I remember watching Tienamein (sp?) Square. I watched the Columbine coverage for countless hours on tv. So why any informative program on 9/11 makes me not want to change the channel?

They spent much of the second half of the show speaking with survivors, and a lot of Fire/Police survivors. Several of the people survived after walking down 80-90 flights of stairs. They recounted how the building sounded as it collapsed right behind them. There was a police battalion chief that had 4 other men, and two civilian women in a stairwell with them AS the building collapsed. They guestimated they were on the 8th floor when the building came down on them. They survived by being "trapped" in a pocket the stairwell created, and were rescued almost 8hours later. The policeman radioed out for help, and an hour later when someone responded, he said they were where the "B" stairwell in the North Tower was. The response over the radio was, "Where's the North Tower?". It took eight seconds for the building to come down, and for eight hours, this policeman thought he was trapped in his 'coffin'.

These are not pleasant thoughts. Even less pleasant knowing it really happened, and wasn't part of some movie plot. But how come no matter how many stories I hear, or footage of the buildings coming down I see, I still feel like I have to watch?

I don't ever want to forget, and maybe I'm supposed to feel like this. I can only hope that other people feel the same way, and that they won't forget either.