The Daily Bongo
Wednesday, November 30, 2005 -- Early MorningThe Pens lost again last night. The final score was 3-2. Problems were plenty. When we were on a power play we couldn't even get the puck out of our area. We were the ones with the advantage, and more men, but we couldn't get out act together. The crowd cheered Marc-Andre Fleury, but he only could not bring about a win. There were issues with the team not shooting the puck at the net, but playing endless passing games while waiting for the perfect shot. The team over all seemed to be abit listless and not really playing together well. It isn't not the coach, what is it? More later.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005 -- AfternoonSurprising news from the Pens. Jocelyn Thibault has been placed on waivers today. If he isn't picked up by another team by noon tomorrow, Thibault will go down to the Baby Pens. The question is whether anyone will want him with the record he has this season of 1-7-2. Thibault could refuse to go to the minors, but Eddie O and Craig Patrick don't believe that will be the case. I will be going to the Pens game tonight against the Buffalo Sabres tonight, and I am hoping for a win. Don't worry, I'm not holding my breath. Report on the game later this evening.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005 -- MorningThe Indianapolis Colts scored another field goal last night, and won the game with a final score of 26-7. The Colts are undefeated for the season at 11-0. This is not looking good for our Super Bowl hopes. The Steelers have been talking about making a run at it since we lost in the playoffs last year. I just don't think that this year is our year though. I may be wrong because the season isn't over, and I have been wrong in the past. We will just have to wait and see.
It seems that Mario Lemieux may be playing tonight after all. It seems that he was unable to practice yesterday because he was sick, but within hours was all of a sudden feeling better and might actually play. I think this stomach complaint is weird; I'm just not sure what is going on. Is it stress related, or is it just an excuse for something else?
Leave it to scientists. They have found that there is a part of the brain that can cause someone to perceive themselves as fat even when they aren't. The area is the posterior parietal cortex and sits right above the ear. The way the scientists were able to identify this spot as the culprit was by strapping a vibrating wrist band to some volunteers. When the volunteers touched their waists, they felt that their waists were smaller. The scientists were looking at brain scans of the volunteers and found that there was activity in this particular part of the brain. Those who thought that their waists shrunk the most had the most activity in this part of the brain.
Monday, November 28, 2005 -- EveningSteelers game tonight. I'm not sure that I'll be able to stay up till the end because I have to work tomorrow, and have a Pens game tomorrow. The Steelers are playing the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts are undefeated so far this season, and it's not looking good for the Steelers tonight. However, you never know. We'll have to see what the game brings.
First Half: We won the coin toss, but we only had the ball for a little over a minute before we had to kick off. on the first play, the Colts scored. Peyton Manning threw an 80 yard touchdown pass. 1:44 into the game, and the score is 7-0 with the Colts leading. The Steelers weren't able to do anything with the ball, but then our defense held off the Colts, and they were forced to go for a 49 yard field goal. They got it and the score is now 10-0. Our offense is getting a royal ass whooping. But thank goodness for the defense. Troy Polamalu intercepted the ball and ran it down to the 7 yard line. Will we score and start to get things abit closer? They did it. Ben Roethlisberger threw the ball in to Hines Ward on the third down for a touchdown. The score is now 10-7. Maybe it won't be that bad after all. Damn! We got the ball in field goal range and could have tied things up when Jeff Reed missed the mark. Wow! So the score is still 10-7. There has been alot of back and forthing with the Colts making a field goal at the beginning of the second quarter. More back and forthing. Manning was just sacked with 2:38 left in the half by Joey Porter. The Steelers got the ball back, and then Roethlisberger was intercepted with less than 30 seconds lefft in the game. The Colts were able to score another field goal before the half ended. Score at the halfway mark is 16-7 in favor of the Colts.
Second half: The Steelers, bravely or stupidly, did an onside kick to start off the half, and it was recovered by Indianapolis on the 37 yard line. Manning and crew managed to come down and score a touchdown 3:15 into the half. The score is now 23-7. I have to admit that I haven't been paying as much attention to the game as I probably should because our offense seems incapable of doing anything against the Colts defense. Not only that but we have been killing ourselves with penalties, especially offside and false start because they can't seem to hear themselves in the stadium. There are only a few minutes left in the game, and the Colts have intercepted the ball. The game is over for all intents and purposes, so I am going to sleep and will confirm the final score tomorrow morning.
Monday, November 28, 2005 -- Early EveningThe Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled Marc-Andre Fleury. He should be in goal for tomorrow's game against the Buffalo Sabres. Also, rumor is that Mario Lemieux will not be playing tomorrow due to that ongoing stomach ailment. It does make you wonder about ths stomach ailment. It is because of anxiety or just an excuse because he is really not playing up to par and should be off the ice. On the Sunday Sports Showdown on KDKA, as Dejan Kovacevic was saying, the problem is that the team doesn't have a system of any sort. He said that he's been watching hockey all his life, and if the Pens have a system, he can't identify it. As he said, it you get a group of offensive powerhouses together and they don't have a system, they perform in a disjointed way and become frustrated. As Dejan says, it's coaching. When the team is behaving like it is, that is the only answer. Another comment Dejan made that makes the point is "when the Pens are on a 5 on 3 and can't cross the red line, who is the problem?" Answer of course is coaching. You can blame all the individual elements all you want, but at some point you have to realize and accept that the reason all those individual elements have problems, and with the Pens, there are multiple individual and group problems, you have to blame the coach.
Monday, November 28, 2005 -- MorningOne thing that I forgot to comment on yesterday was that the Baby Pens won another one on Saturday night. The record for the season is 18-0-2. The game on Saturday was against the Binghamton Senators and the final score was 4-1. Tomas Surovy scored two goal in the game and is still the leading goal scorer on the team. Dany Sabourin was in goal, and deflected 42 shots on goal.br>
Sunday, November 27, 2005 -- EveningAnother Penguins game this evening. This time we are playing the Tampa Bay Lightning. Sidney Crosby is suited up and playing today, but Mario Lemieux is not playing due to illness. Geeze, I didn't know that being a geriatric past your best playing ability was illness.
First period: Jocelyn Thibault is in goal for the Penguins. Tampa Bay was the first to score off of a face off. It looked like Brad Richards the center scored off the face off with abit of a deflection. The score is now 1-0. Penalty shot for the Penguins. Matt Murley gets the shot, but isn't able to get it past the Lightning's goalie, John Grahame. Not alot of action in this period. The announcers are commenting on how the Lightning are dominating on the face-offs. We do have a problem at center. The period ends without any further scoring.
Second period: The Pens managed to kill the first penalty, but then Ric Jackman decided to take a late hit on another player who was long rid of the puck. Excuse me, but I believe that was always a penalty. This time, the Pens can't clear their zone, the Lightning score. Less then two minutes later, we take another stupid penalty for holding and the Lightning score a second time. Score is now 3-0. The announcers commented that the Pens were floundering in their own end, and said that was how Mark Recchi described their pitiful play. Right now, shots on goal? None for the Pens in the second period that is almost half over. The Pens are playing pitifully. There's no other way to describe it other than painful to watch. Finally, the Pens have a power play, and hopefully we can get some shots on goal. One shot, but not a producer. The score is still 3-0. Again, right before the end of the period, the Pens got another penalty, and will have to battle off that penalty in the third period. Three shots on goal for the Pens in the second period compared to 18 for the Lightning. Craig Patrick, the GM of the team, is talking to one of the announcers during the intermission, and says that he doesn't see the problem with the play in this game. According to him, only two power plays went against them and they have things well in hand if they play as well as they did in the first period. My comment is not that they played well in the first period, but that they didn't suck as much as they did in the second period. Total shots: 27 for the Lightning and 12 for the Pens.
Third period: Again, we kill one power play just to take another stupid penalty with a slashing by Erik Christensen, and Fredrik Modin scores his second goal of the night. The score is now 4-0. The announcers seem to have issues with the play of Sergei Gonchar. Bob Errey is one of the announcers, and his comment was that Gonchar was out of position, and that Gonchar has not been doing his job at defense well at all, and should be benched to send him a message. The other comment was that no one on the Pens appears to be sychronized or playing together as a unit. That is the common problem. The announcers aren't saying anything bad about the coaching and I think it is because Eddie O used to be an announcer with him, and they personally like him. Eddie O is why the players aren't synched. Even Mike Lange said that the Pens are playing embarrassingly poor hockey right now. At least it won't be a shut out. The Pens have gotten a short handed goal with one minute and 15 seconds left in the game. Scorer was Maxime Talbot. It's not enough though, and the final score is 4-1.
Sunday, November 27, 2005 -- Late AfternoonI went to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire this afternoon. I was looking forward to seeing it because I have enjoyed the books so much. The movie was an enjoyable one, and even though it was almost two and a half hours long, the time really did seem to fly by. This movie had alot of action in it because of the Tri-Wizard Competition. The film starts darkly with Harry, Hermonie and the Weasley family journeying to the Quiddich World Cup. while there, the Dead Eaters make an appearance and the Dark Mark is placed in the sky. Is this a sign that Lord Voldemort has returned? Harry has been having nightmares about voldemort and his scar has been aching up a storm of late, all signs that Voldemort has gained strength. At school we find that a group of students from two foreign schools have travelled to Hogwarts, and Professor Dumbledoor announces that a Tri-Wizard Tournament will take place. We have the French girls from the Beauxbatons school and the Eastern European boys from Durmstrang. One person from each school will compete in the tournament, and the games can be deadly. Although he is under the 17 year age limit, Harry's name winds up in the mix, and he is forced to be the fourth person to compete in the tournament along with Cedric Diggoory from Hogwarts, Ron's Quiddich hero, Viktor Krum from Durmstrang and Fleur Delacour from Beuxbatons. The action in the tournament scenese are exciting and suspenseful, and the cinematography is wonderful. The actors playing Harry, Ron, and Hermione have changed from the first movie. They are growing into young adults and their acting skills are improving. In the movie, the group goes through all the teenaged trials and tribulations of dealing with the opposite sex and dealing with each other. Tempers flare, and there is a breakup between Harry and Ron that is eventually repaired. Miranda Richardson does a great job as irritating and annoying gossip columnist, Rita Skeeter. The movie was dark and forboding, full of emotion twists and the death of a major character at the end. Lord Voldemort has his official return to life, and Ralph Fiennes does a great job as the character. I wouldn't recommend the movie for the very young who might not realize that movie death is not real life death. There were some younger boys under the age of 10 in the theater when I went, and they didn't seem to upset by the violence. It would depend on the child. It is a fun movie, and I would highly recommend seeing it.
Sunday, November 27, 2005 -- Late MorningSidney Crosby may not play in the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning later this afternoon because of a badly bruised ankle that he got after being whacked in the leg with a stick in the game on Friday. The pain and swelling have lessened, but it's thought that it might be best to sit Crosby for this game. We will have to see how the scoring goes without Crosby creating opportunities.
In other Penguins news, it looks like the team is going to try to bring Marc-Andre Fleury back to the major leagues. What has to happen is that the team has to find the money to pay Fleury a $3 million bonus if he plays for an extended time in the NHL. Let's hope it happens although I think that we also have problems in the defense and center areas. It might be too little too late.
I'm not alone in thinking that Eddie Olczyk is consistent in making poor choices. It seems in the game on Friday that Jocelyn Thibault had the better record against the Florida Panthers, but Eddie O. decided to play Sebastien Caron because he had one the last game for the Pens. As the writer of the article in the Post Gazette said, Eddie O. has consistency. He wants to play the goalie who won last as opposed to putting any sort of coaching analysis into the game and picking the goalie that has the better record against the team. Yep, Eddie O sucks as a coach.
Saturday, November 26, 2005 -- EveningEndurance: Tehachapi is finally back with new episodes. Today's was titled Drop Out. The show starts with JD Roth back at the camp with the kids the next morning after the first elimination. Green is in the lead with two pyramid pieces. Amelia reads the message from the eliminated Grey team which starts with a part from JUlie which says that she has gotten close to everyone in the past week and loves everyone. John says that it was great to get to know everyone and says that everyone is like family. Grey team leaves the Commitment piece to the Blue team. The team that wins today's challenge gets the power to decide how the game will change. Jonathan says that everyone thinks the Blue team is strong especially since they now have two pieces. It seems that everyone has been after Blue and the concensus is that Blue should be worried. Amelia says that everyone just wants to get rid of Blue because Blue and Grey were so strong and Blue is the only team left now. Shea confirms with Franke that the two teams targetted next will be Blue and Orange.
Everyone is now headed to the challenge. It is a hot day, well over 100 degrees. The mission: there are bars over the water. They have to put their feet on one end and hands on the other. The person who holds himself up out of the water the longest will have the opportunity to divide the teams into two super teams with three teams each who will compete in the Temple mission tomorrow. The winner also gets the discipline piece. Only one member of the team has to be remaining in order for the team to win. Michael (from the Orange) is the first person in the water. Daniela (from Purple) is second in the water. Orange team is out when Kylie falls. Jeszie (from Green) just fell too. Four minutes pass. Amelia (from Blue) is down now. Blue is out when Shea falls in. Callie (from Yellow) falls next after eight minutes. Franke (from Red) is done. Erika is the only girl left. While Issac is stretching, he falls and eliminates Green. 14 minutes have gone by, and it's Yellow, Purple and Red.
Erika is talking herself into staying and how it is just like surfing, and just keeps on talking. She tells Jonathan to shut up when he tells her to stop talking to herself. Chris tries to shake off Erika. 28 minutes have passed. Jonathan fell and now Purple is out. Chris fell out too and Yellow is out. Erika the girl, outlasts them all, and Red wins. She has a celebration with Franke in the water who runs out to congratulate her. Chris is really upset when he is in the cabin because he got second place. chris thinks that he fell because he didn't have his mind set correctly. Issac admitted that he lost his concentration and that's why he fell. It seems Chris was really down after staying there for 30 minutes and then losing to a girl. Erika said that she is really happy to have won a piece. Franke and Erika are talking about who they will pick. Franke does this act where he pretends to read Erika's mind and says they will pick Green and Yellow. Franke said that he doesn't want Jon and Daniela to be mad at them. Everyone knows that it will be Blue and Orange that will be sent to the Temple next. Erika admits that the ideal superteam will be Yellow, Purple and Red.
It is now time to hear how Red is going to form the super teams. Blue, Green and Red are the ones with two pieces. JD comments that Blue has never won a competition so he asks why Blue is such a target. Jeszie says that they have to get rid of Blue because Blue will target Green and Yellow, but it appears that Chris and Issac have told Shea that Blue is safe and Shea gave Green and Yellow that same process. JD says that the Red team is like the comic relief because Franke is such a comedian, but that Erika changed that by being so strong. Erika says that she thinks that Red has what it takes to make it through and to handle retribution. Erika said that the strategy was to pick the teams that she was best friends. Erika says that the teams are also the strongest. Franke says that Green and Yellow and Red will form one team. The other team will be Purple, Blue and Orange. It will be one of the toughest Temple missions yet. Erika says she's really confident in their superteam. Michael of Orange is not too confident. Jonathan said that he is playing to win, and says that he will always try his best. That's why he has sore muscles and two blisters.
Friday, November 25, 2005 -- EveningThe Penguins played the Florida Panthers this evening. Fortunately, I missed the game in real time, and just looked at some of the highlights (or lowlights) from the recorded show on the DVR. Now anyone would think that since we were playing a team--the Panthers--who have had a twelve game losing streak, that we might have an easier time in winning. Of course, that wasn't the case with the Pens. We wound up losing the game 6-3, with four of the Panthers goals coming in the first period. The only scoring line that we have on the team is the Ziggy Palffy, Sidney Crosby, and Erik Christensen. The performance that I fast forwarded through was pitiful. Yes, our goal tending sucks, but so does out defense and offense. This team plays like a lackluster, disjointed body that is it need of a some coaching direction that they are obviously not getting. The only way to rectify this downward spiral is to get in a coaching team who has a clue of what to do, and will get the team in shape. This evening on the UPN Nightly Sports Call the guys were talking about what the problems are with the Pens. As Dejan Kovacevic was saying, the problem is deeper than just goaltending although making a change there might be good. As Dejan says, it may be that they don't have a system or aren't getting the practice that they need. What it comes down to, as Dejan says which I have been saying for awhile now, is that the team isn't getting the guidance and the coaching that they need. Yep, Eddie Olczyk is not a coach, and should not remain one with the Pens. The only way to bring the team out of its doldrums is to replace the coaching staff. As another caller commented on the show, the coaching team as a whole doesn't have the experience needed to do a good job. As Dejan said again, Eddie O. has no system, and if he did, he isn't getting the team to follow it. The coaching staff really does have to change. Pitiful! The other problem is the geriatrics on the team. Mario Lemieux right now has a -15 rating. That means when he is on the ice bad things happen. Lemieux has been turning over the puck. Lemieux needs to realize that he's past it and should take off the skates. Mark Recchi also has a -16. Again, bad things happen when he is on the ice. Don't put him on it! It is painful to watch the team perform, and we can only hope that the management of the team (and unfortunately, Lemieux is part of the management and obviously blinded to his and Eddie O's problems) needs to wake up and make some changes ASAP.
Meanwhile, the Baby Pens won again tonight. This guy who sat next to me at the Pens game last Saturday claims that the Baby Pens win all the time because all the other teams suck. That's like saying that the Pens lose all the time because all the other teams are just better and not that we suck. It's coaching. It's having a system, and having a person who guides his team in practices and the games to perform at a certain level. The Baby Pens have that and the Pens don't. The final score was 3-2 against the Rochester Americans. So far this season, the Baby Pens are 17-0-2. Oh, and another thing to note is that Konstantin Koltsov who couldn't score a goal here with the Pens scored one for the Baby Pens.
Britain's Royal Society doesn't want scientific papers released on the Internet. Why? Because they claim that have scientific information on the Internet will harm scientific debate. What a bunch of hooey! Having the information readily available to the general public should increase the scientific knowledge and lead to a better informed debate. Then the real story comes out. It's not scientific debate that the Royal Society is concerned about. It's the almighty dollar, or pound. If the information is released on the Internet for free, why would you subscribe to a journal to get the same information? They believe that it would cause non-profit organizations to go under. The only concern that I would have is if non peer reviewed research was published. As a reader of such information, I would hope that the science follows certain standards, and that I am just not being sold a line on the moon being made out of green cheese. I've never understood the elitist attitude that some in science have that science should not be made accessible to people. I think that those who spout that line just want to validate themselves as being superior.
Friday, November 25, 2005 -- MorningThe Pitt Panthers had their butts whooped last night by the West Virginia Mountaineers. The final score was 45-13, and capped off a losing season for the Panthers who had five wins and six losses this year. The Panthers performance was pitiful, and there will be much to work on for next season. They will have the time though since there will be no bowl game for the Panthers to undeservedly go to as they did last year. West Virginia, on the other hand, is being considered for the Orange and Sugar Bowls. We'll have to see where they finally wind up.
Thursday, November 24, 2005 -- EveningSurvivor: Guatemala/The Maya Empire was on this evening. This episode is titled Everything is Personal. The show starts after the tribal council on day 27. Judd admits to the group that he wishes someone had told him. Stephanie said that she didn't want to put Judd in that situation. Judd said that it was supposed to be an alliance of six and that obviously wasn't the case. As Judd said, here comes the backstabbing and lying. Gary thanks Lydia who said that she would rather have Gary there instead of Jamie. Day 28 and everyone is sleeping. Judd is snoring very loudly. Gary and Lydia give each other a sign of V. Lydia says that she doesn't know if the alliance is strong, but that she needs to be careful. Judd woke up and heard Gary asking Lydia questions. Lydia says that Stephanie is making all the decisions. Judd doesn't like that Lydia was being so tight with Gary. Gary tells Lydia that the tightest four are going to the end. Judd tells Stephanie and Rafe, but Rafe isn't that concerned. Stephanie can't believe that Gary is working Lydia so strong. Judd thinks that Gary is trying to make an alliance with Lydia. Judd says that the person you least expect to lie is the biggest liar. Gary is still talking to Lydia about what her strategy is. Lydia says that she's not sure about Cindy and that she has to cover her ass and go with the best deal. Today's reward challenge. Each has three pots filled with corn. Jeff Probst is going to ask them questions about the Maya culture and Guatemala. Each time the person answers a question, they get to smash someone else's pot. The person who has the last intact pot wins. The prize? Winner gets to leave and go to a true natural wonder. It's a natural spa with fajitas with beef, chicken, shrimp, etc. First question: the Maya carved the their history on what? Answer stela. Stephanie is the only one to get it wrong. Judd and Cindy break cindy's. Rafe breaks Danni, and Danni and Lydia each break one of Stephanie's. Gary breaks Cindy's. In the Maya courtball game, members of the losing team were killed and their heads incased in something that is the next ball. Everyone but Steph gets it right again. Lydia puts out Stephanie. Stephanie says that jealous will get you no where. Danni breaks Judd. Cindy breaks Gary's and he is out of the game along with Stephanie. The Maya believe that men are made from corn, everyone but Judd gets it right. Lydia and Danni break Judd's jars. Cindy and Rafe break Danni's jugs, and she is out. Which doesn't border Guatemala? Costa Rica. Only Rafe gets it right and he breaks Lydia's pot. Temples of Tical are the only ones to be build during the Mayan time with modern machinary, and it was false. Cindy breaks Lydia's pot, Rafe takes her last pot, and Lydia is out. She takes out a pot of Rafe's. It is now down to cindy and Rafe. Cindy gets the 30 volcanos in Guatemala right and breaks Rafe's pot. If Cindy gets the next question right, she wins. True or false, the most active time is at dawn. The answer is false and Cindy wins. Cindy gets to pick one person to go with her. She says that it is the most difficult decision in the whole game. Cindy picks Rafe. Lydia looks upset. Lydia is in trouble for breaking Stephanie's pots. When she did, Lydia said it was because Stephanie had already eaten three times, and Stephanie said that Gary did too--which is not right because Gary only ate once. But you can see that Stephanie now thinks that Lydia has joined Gary, and that puts a target on Lydia's back.
Back at the camp. Stephanie is upset that Lydia hit her twice. Stephanie said that she is sick of hearing Lydia complain. Stephanie made it clear that folks should not be picking on her for eating all the time. Gary said that Steph eats all the time and keeps on eating all this corn and nuts. Gary doesn't think that Stephanie lost weight since she was there because she has been eating so much. Lydia tries to explain that it wasn't personal and that she would have taken Rafe because she and Rafe have been eating the least of everyone else there. Judd says that everything is personal and it shows where Lydia stands. Lydia said that she wanted to give someone else a chance for food. Lydia said that everyone puts Stephanie on a pedestal, but no one wants to do anything about it. Meanwhile through this whole thing, Stephanie was stuffing her face with corn and nuts. Cindy and Rafe are at the spa with a gorgeous waterfall with all this food and a massage table. They decided to eat first. Rafe said that he wanted to eat first. Cindy and Rafe talked strategy alot. Rafe says that Lydia is easily swayed--and he should know because he sways her. The water in the pond was hot in the waterfall--shower hot, and underneath it was cool. Cindy and Rafe then get a massage. Rafe said that it was an amazing experience to have the waterfall, the food and the massage. Rafe said after that reward he thinks he can make it. Back at the camp, Stephanie is sitting on the temple and says that she is thirsty, and asks Lydia to bring over the water which she does. Rafe tells them about the reward and says it wasn't that much food and they were kabobs. Stephanie said that it was great that Cindy and Rafe got it. Lydia says that she felt insulted and feels like an outcast. Lydia was eating corn soup and Cindy said that Lydia was trying to make them feel guilty for winning and not letting Lydia win the challenge. Even Lydia admits to the camera crew that she should have gone instead of Rafe. cindy says that it is a challenge, and you need to step it up. Lydia is now out of the alliance. It is Stephanie, Rafe, Cindy and Judd.
Day 30. Judd, Rafe, Stephanie and cindy are at the top of the ruins drinking coffee. Gary says that there is obviously a foursome that thinks they have all the power. Gary talks to Danni about who should go next. They think that it should be Cindy or Judd. Gary is going to talk to Rafe, and they want to make an alliance with Danni, Gary, Lydia and Rafe. Rafe needs to play both ends because that gives him the power. It is now time for immunity. They will first hear a story from Jeff about Maya folklore. At the end, they will have to race to seven different stations. In each station is a puzzle. They have to put the puzzle together, and it will ask a question about the story. There will be two boxes with answers on the lid. They have to pick the right answer, and in that box will be a flag. In the box with the wrong answer is a colored stick. They have to take the colored stick and run back to a fire and burn it before they can go back to try the question again. The first person to get all seven of their colored flags wins. The story is about Ixchel. JUdd missed his question, then Stephanie missed her first one. Rafe got his second flag, and so did Gary. Confusion is setting in on where they were and where they weren't. It is down to Gary and Rafe. It's a race. Rafe won immunity with Gary just a few steps behind him.
Rafe says who would think that this gay Morman would win the immunity challenges. Rafe said that when he was young he never would see role models who were gay and who were strong and could compete in challenges. Stephanie said that last time she felt powerless, but this time she feels powerful. Lydia tells Danni that since the numbers game is over, no one needs her so they are ready to get rid of her. Lydia thinks that she is screwed. Gary thinks that he is a big enough threat that they will get rid of him first. Gary said that he won't dwell on it and will just see what he can do to stay. Rafe says that he trusts Stephanie but that he doesn't trust Judd. So Gary realizes that they will turn on each other and the quicker that happens the better for Gary. Judd says that he doesn't trust anyone. There is a violent storm coming up. Judd wants to get rid of Lydia or Gary, but as he says, you never know until you get to the tribal council. Who will it be tonight? Bobby Jon and Jamie sit in on the tribal council. Lydia says that she didn't want Stephanie to win and that she wanted to win. Lydia said that since Stephanie is well liked she gets invited. Lydia said that it's nothing personal--she just wanted a chance to eat. Lydia said that in her eyes it is Steph who runs the show. There is obvious disagreement between them. Gary said that there are folks who are star struck by Steph, and they can probably get her autograph after the show. Bobby Jon and Jamie laugh at that one. Steph rolls her eyes. Cindy is happy with how she played the game ethically. Judd says that he is too. Judd doesn't think he lied yet, but he is thinking of starting because everyone seems to be lying and to stick in the game he will have to start lying. Judd said that Gary said that Cindy and Lydia shouldn't be in the game. Gary said that he never told them that. Gary then brings up the comment that Judd said the idol was on the ground when it was in the trees. Gary outed Judd, and Judd had to go back on his comment that he hasn't lied yet in the game to admit that he lied. Time for voting. Judd votes against Gary. Votes: Gary, Cindy, Gary, Gary, Gary. Gary is voted out. He was my favorite, and it is sad to see him go, but I think that he expected it. I think that the person who gets to the end needs to take Steph with them because the folks on the jury so far don't like Stephanie. Everyone voted against Gary. Gary taped a farewell where he admits that he played in the NFL, but kept it hidden so folks would judge him based on his character.
Thursday, November 24, 2005 -- AfternoonToday is Thanksgiving Day here in the United States. My boyfriend does not like turkey so we will be having a non-typical dinner of baked chicken, roasted potatoes, corn, and rolls. Nope, there won't be any dessert pies either. I decided that even though I like pumpkin pie, I don't need to eat a whole one by myself. Happy Thanksgiving!
The Baby Pens lost last night in overtime. The final score was 2-1 with the Providence Bruins winning. So the Baby Pens are 16-0-2. It's understandable that the Baby Pens are going to have some problems since the Pens have taken all the top scorers for the team. The next game for the Baby Pens will be on Friday against the Rochester Americans.
The Backyard Brawl will take place tonight. It's the annual game between the Pittsburgh Panthers and the West Virginia Mountaineers. Pitt has to win tonight in order to get into any sort of bowl game. The Mountaineers have an 8-4 record. It is expected that they will whoop Pitt's butt, but then you never can really say how these things will go.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005 -- EveningSince I was watching the Pens game yesterday, I recorded Amazing Race 8 and watched it this evening. This episode was called How's that Face Feel?. The episode started at Lake Pyle, Arizona, and is the largest man-made lake in the world. The Godlewski sisters depart at 5:45 am. They now have to drive 136 miles to Monument Valley, utah. It is the scene of some John Ford movies, and the teams have to find John Ford Point. Christine Godlewski thought that they could relax and talk during the trip, but they didn't. Sharon and Michelle says that Christine talks too much. The Linz's said that they made too many mistakes in the past, and they need to step up and win this one. The Godlewskis are going the wrong way on Rt. 98, going west instead of east. The Weavers say that they didn't think that they would be welcomed with open arms. The mother says that it is against their beliefs to be treated so rudely. She seems totally oblivious to the fact that her family is the rude one. It's amazing to see such closeminded hypocrisy in a family, but the Weavers don't seem to see how they act, and blame the other families for the Weaver family flaws. The Weavers start out. The Godlewskis are headed to a gas station which is why they were going the wrong way. The weavers say that they don't care about the otehr families. The Bransens leave at 6:27 am. The Bransen dad says that they have to be more aggressive instead of cautious because there are so few teams left. The Godlewski sisters realize that Florida is in front of them and don't like it. The Linz family realizes tht they went past the turn for Monument Valley Park. They ask someone and have to turn around. The Weavers see the Godlewskis turning around and realize that they went the wrong way. The Weavers are now caught up with the Godlewskis who weren't able to turn around. The Linz family passes the Godlewskis. The Bransens hope that all the tension between the other families will benefit them. The father says that they are neutral like Switzerland. The Linz family turns around first before parking so they can get out. At the point, the teams must choose two family members to ride in a helicopter and be taken to the top of Elephant Butte. The helicopter has room for two teams at a time, and it's first come first served. The Godlewskis pull a number before getting the clue and get number two before the Linz family who is ahead of them. The Linz family has to come back and only gets number three. The Weavers and Godlewskis go off in the first helicopter ride. The teams go running to the clue box like it really matters which of them is first. The Godlewski and Linz family talk about yielding the Weaver family. The Godlewski family says that they have the Linz family back. The next clue tells the families to go 180 miles to Moab, Utah and find Gemini Bridges, which is a geological rock formation, to get the next clue. The Weavers and the Godlewskis are left to backup. The Weavers appear to be ahead. The Linz boys go on the next helicopter ride and thought it was awesome. No sign of the Bransens. The Linz family is on their way. The Bransens finally arrive for their helicopter ride. Two of the daughters take the ride and are really impressed with the sight of the landscape from in the air. The Weavers aren't liking Utah because there isn't alot of population. The Linz family catches up to the Weaver family and passes them. It seems that the Weaver girl can't drive the trailer and is really slow. Rolly the Weaver boy says that they got passed because they are only going 51 mph. The Linzs are first. They have a detour--Ride down or Drop down. In Ride down, the teams choose a bike and travel a six mile course to find their clue. In Drop down, teams must rappel in two stages down 270 feet, follow a marked path and find their next clue. The Linz family says that they will rappel instead of biking. One of the Linz boys says that if they lose a teammate, god rest their soul and they will then switch to bikes. I like the Linz family because they have a boisterous sense of humor. The Weaver kids don't seem to know that Utah is the home of the Mormans. The mother informs them of this fact. The Weavers decide to do the bike riding (which should be longer, but at least isn't going over a mountain cliff). One of the daughters gets off her bike and starts to walk, and Rolly realizes that they won't be able to do the task.
Becky Weaver is having problems figuring out how to use her bike. The Linz family is going through the rappel easily. The Bransens appear to be ahead of the Godlewskis. The Bransens also decide to do drop down, and the father guesses he could do it. I think that pedalling six miles would have been rougher on him. The Bransen dad has a fear of heights, but the daughters want the experience, and the father wants them to have the experience, so he's going to do it. The Linz family has gotten to the clue box, and find that they have to drive themselves Green River State Park, 52 miles away. They will spend the night and the departure time will depend on when they arrive. The Linz family is on the way. The Weavers girls are saying how much they hate Utah. The Bransen dad is on his way down. The Godlewski family has fallen into last place due to a production error that caused the camera system to drain their battery. They got a replacement vehicle, but they are in last place now. The Godlewskis decide to do drop down which is the fastest option. The Bransen dad is at the bottom and the last Bransen girl is on her way. The Godlewskis are on their way down. The Weavers are now in second place. The Bransens are in third place, and the Godlewskis are last. All of the sisters have completed the task and are on their way. The Linz family is first and will depart at 7 am. The Weaver family reaches the Park and will leave at 7:15 am. The Bransens arrive and will leave at 7:30 am. The Godlewskis arrive and will leave at 7:45 am. The Godlewskis planto be optimistic because you don't know what the next day will bring. The Linz family is playing a paddle ball game. The Weavers are talking about how no one wants to talk to them and how they are on their own. They claim that they are friendly, it is just the other families who are all wrong. The family should start to think to themselves that not all nine families could have been rude--that maybe the Weaver family must somehow start that feeling in others. They don't even think about it though.
The next morning, the families must travel 20 miles to Heber City, Utah, and find Bart. Bart is an 1100 pound trained grizzley who will give them their next clue. You can instantly see a differnce between the attitudes of the families. The Linz family talks about how beautiful the scenery is. The Weavers talk about how ugly it is, and how one view looks like a pimple on the mountains. The Bransens and Godlewskis are also on their way. The Linz family just passed the road they wanted. They ask for directions and get on their way. The Linz family arrives first. They are directed to Bart. He has the clue in his mouth. They now have to go to Park City, Utah, and go to Utah Olympic Park, which was home to the 2002 Winter games. There is a yield ahead. The Linz family is on their way. The Weavers are looking for Bart, and the Linz family realizes that they can make no mistakes because they have to get to the yield before the Weavers. The Weavers are now meeting Bart. The Bransens get there as the Weavers are leaving. The Weavers choose not to take 40 North, but to take 92. 92 seems to be a dinky little rode. That could mean that it will slow them down. The Bransens get the clue from Bart. The Godlewskis have just gotten to Bart. Everyone seems to go on 40 North except the Weavers. The Weavers are on a sceneic route and now realize they should have taken the highway, and that they will get the yield. This is the second of only two yields. The Linz family decides to yield the Weaver family because they are right behind them. The Linz family hopes that the yield to the Weavers will give them enough time to finish first this time. There is a road block here. Only one person may perform the task. The person has to put on skis, ride a 60 ft. ramp, and land in a pool of water. Nick Linz is the person chosen, and the other brothers hope he doesn't do something stupid and won't hurt himself. The Bransens have arrived and wonder what has happened to the Weavers. Nick does his jump and gets the clue. They have to drive 28 miles to Salt Lake City, and go to the City Library. This is the Pit Stop. The last family to check in may be eliminated. It is the Godlewski family. The Linz family tells the Godlewskis that the yield is for the Weavers who aren't there yet. The father says that he would be scared. The daughter admits that it is scarey. The Bransens look like they are in second place. The Godlewskis are on their way and complete the jump and get their clue. The Godlewskis are on their way. The Florida team still hasn't arrived yet and realize that it was a waste of time. The mother tells the kids that they just need to accept and realize that they will be last and they will be eliminated.
The Weaver mother says that they have to accept that they are on a long, long, long cut. The mother tells them to enjoy the ride. One of the Linz boys said that they wonder if one of the Weavers was eaten by the bear. All three families are hoping that it is an elimination and that the Weavers are out. The Weavers get there, and realize that they have the yield. The Weavers says they knew it and that most people like them--just not on this show. The Linz and Bransen families are in downtown Salt Lake City. The Linz family found the library, and they get to the rooftop first. They won a trip for four to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and just minutes from Grand Teton National Park. The Bransen family finished second, a move up from last place. The Godleski sisters finished third. christine Godlewski says that she likes to talk, but she is going to backoff and cut down on the talking. Rolly does the ski jump for the Weavers. They head on their way. The Weavers are now talking about just wanting to be eliminated. They arrive last. It is a non-elimination leg, and the Weavers aren't too enthusiastic. The Weavers lose all of their money and their possessions. The Weavers don't seem to have alot of hunger. The mother admits that she loves the race but that they just don't know if they have it in them to win. It seems that the Weavers were just setting themselves up to be eliminated, and now they are in it to win. Let's hope not!
Wednesday, November 23, 2005 -- AfternoonThe Israeli election has been set for March 28. The biggest news has been that someone from the Labor party Haim Ramon has joined the new party that Ariel Sharon formed called "National Responsibility". The election for the head of Likud will happen on Dec. 19. Binyamin Netanyahu will be competing for the lead of Likud.
It appears that after a game, Sidney Crosby just doesn't go off and rest. He does the routine interviews with the media giving his feelings and impressions about the winning or losing effort. After that, he goes off to do some exercising. Crosby's exercises of choice are plyometrics which are exercises that are meant to improve athletic performance. Crosby says that the exercises help him to rid his body of lactic acid and help his performance. The plyometric exercises require that you already have build up your strength with weight training and performing in the sport of choice. The exercises then help the athlete to increase his speed or strength in certain movements. Crosby is joined by some of his teammates, mostly Maxime Talbot and Mark Recchi.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005 -- EveningThe Pens are playing the Washington Capitals tonight, and the big story is the showdown between Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin. Since both are in their rookie years this year, there has been alot of comparison between them and questions about who will wind up the Rookie of the Year.
First period: I was busy baking the first fifteen minutes of the game, and had to keep on running into the living room because the Pens were being a lean, mean scoring machine. The first goal was scored by Ziggy Palffy at 5:08. It was followed by another goal at 8:02 by Rik Jackman (who had an assist on the first goal). The third goal was scored by Crosby at 11:53, and the fourth goal, yep, you heard me right, the fourth goal was scored by Lasse Pirjeta. The Pens are leading 4-0!
Second period: Not to worry the old Pens are back, or at least the poor goalie situation is back. Sebastien Caron let in two weak goals by the Capitals. The first happened at 5:31 when Chris Clark got a wrap-around because Caron didn't have the posts covered properly. The second happened 14 seconds later, when Caron had left the net to assist with the puck. I always hate it when the goalies leave their post. So now the score is 4-2. The Pens have scored again. This time Crosby brought the puck down the ice, and then passed it to Palffy who Crosby saw getting over right by the net. Palffy and Crosby are excellent on the same line. Mario Lemieux is looking like a lost little old lady. I know it is sacrilege to say in this city, but the guy needs to consider a second retirement. The score is now 5-2 and Palffy has two goals and Crosby has two points.
Third period: The Capitals have scored again. This time we had the power play, but there were issues with Lemieux's puck handling. Ovechkin got the puck and ran it down to pass off for a goal. The score is now 5-3. Even my boyfriend is now saying that Lemieux should be sitting down and watching the game as opposed to playing it. Again the Capitals are short handed, and they just scored again at 6:30. So, do we think that the Pens can hold off the onslaught and keep the one point lead? The Pens have just gotten a penalty with nine minutes left in the game. The last thing that the Capitals need is a power play at this point in the game. So the penalty just got over, and even the announcers remarked on how Lemieux was there to clear the puck, and gave it away to one of the Capitals. With a minute left, the Capitals have pulled the goalie. The Pens managed to do it. This was the most eye-opening in the fact that we could see the age of Lemieux, and boy was it evident. The final score was Pens 5, Capitals 4.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005 -- AfternoonKonstantin Koltsov , Rico Fata, and Rob Scuderi have all cleared waivers and are being sent down to the Baby Pens. Two players are being brought up from Wilkes Barre. They are Michel Ouellet and Matt Hussey. Hopefully, this move will make a difference, but I'm not alone in being surprised at the move. I don't think it's going to get the Pens what they want because the problem is a deeper one. The players such as Hussey and Ouellet are doing well with the Baby Pens because the system and the coaching work there. With the Pittsburgh team, it's just a hodge podge of misdirection that isn't conducive to winning. Hussey and Ouellet will be playing tonight when the Pens play the Washington Capitals at 7:30. We'll have to see how the team does with this minor changes.
At his weekly press conference today, Bill Cowher listed Ben Roethlisberger as probable. That should mean that he will be starting next Monday barring any unforseen circumstances.
Two former Steelers players and a coach have made the semifinal list for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The players are Dermontti Dawson and L.C. Greenwood. The coach is Russ Grimm. The semifinal list for the next induction into the Hall of Fame has 25 names, and that will be narrowed down to 13 candidates in January from which three to four will be selected for the Hall of Fame in February. Good luck guys!
Monday, November 21, 2005 -- EveningIt looks like Mario Lemieux might not be playing for Canada in the next Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. Lemieux didn't show up for the orientation camp in August, and has said that he thinks that the person who is playing well when the team is announced in December, whoever that person is, should be named to the team. Lemieux also said that he would give up his spot for Sidney Crosby. I think that Mario knows that he's not at the top of his game now. After all, he is 40 years old, and he probably thinks that it would be a good idea to let the younger players have the experience.
Possible news from the Pittsburgh Penguins. There are reports that the Pens have put Konstantin Koltsov , Rico Fata, and Rob Scuderi on waivers. Teams will have until Tuesday to pick the players up if they want them. If the players aren't picked up then they will go down to the Baby Pens. So far, there hasn't been any official word of the waivers, but I'll be keeping my eyes and ears open. One of the local sports writers was suggesting just this morning that the Pens might put some players on waivers and bring up some others from the Baby Pens. I'm thinking that Tomas Surovy is probably going to be coming up since he has been doing such a good job in the minors. The thing that I was also suprised to learn is that the Pens have too many players right now, and have been doing alot of healthy scratches because of it. So my boyfriend was telling me that he thinks that all three (Koltsov, Fata, and Scuderi) might go down to the minors with only one coming up, which I think will be Surovy. It will be interesting to see what happens on Tuesday. Unfortunately, the Pens seem unwilling to commit to Marc-Andre Fleury for financial reasons. Fleury should be up here instead of in the minors. One of the local sports announcers was suggesting that the Pens didn't think that Fleury would be very good this year based on his performance in the playoffs last year. That was abit on the silly side because that's the thing with young people. They don't let poor performances get in the way because they have arrogance.
Ariel Sharon has resigned from the Likud party, and has asked the Israeli president to call an early election. This is quite a shock for the Israeli government and press. Sharon is going to form his own party, and it is rumored that Shimon Peres might join the party that Sharon forms. People are also thinking that Binyamin Netanyahu will lead Likud and go against Sharon in the election for prime minister.
Sunday, November 20, 2005 -- EveningThe Baby Pens won against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this afternoon. The final score was 5-2. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 28 of 30 shots, and Tomas Surovy had a hat trick. The Baby Pens season record is 16-0-1 with 33 points. Four of the top 20 scorers in the AHL are from the Wilkes Barres Penguins. The next game will be against the Providence Bruins on Wednesday. Go Baby Pens!
Sunday, November 20, 2005 -- AfternoonThe Steelers are playing the Baltimore Ravens this afternoon. Originally the game was scheduled for 4 pm, but since the Ravens have been playing very poorly this year, the league moved the game up to 1 pm, and put the Indianapolis Colts and the Cincinnati Bengals.
First half: Tommy Maddox is starting the game. The Ravens had the ball first, but they weren't able to do anything with it, so now we have the ball. we weren't able to do anything with it either. Deshea Townsend intercepted the ball, but the offense wasn't able to do a thing, so we wound up punting the ball. Maddox sucks! He just had the ball, looked like he was going to throw the ball forward, and then just dropped it to the ground. The Ravens pounced on it because Maddox sucks when it comes to taking care of his fumbles. The guy is as stiff as if he has a long broomstick shoved up his butt, and it makes him incapable of falling on the ball. Fortunaately, they considered it an incompletion and we just had to punt off. We are now into the second quarter and neither side has shown much going on. Tommy Maddox sucks, and can't do anything. The Ravens weren't able to get a touchdown, but were just able to get a 47 yard field goal. The score is now 3-0. Finally! It's about time. After a ton of ineffectual attempts by Maddox to make plays, he finally tossed the ball off to Heath Miller. We have finally made a move. Then another long pass to Hines Ward. It could have been a touchdown if Ward didn't have to wait for Maddox to throw the ball. Poor timing on Maddox's part, but at least the play happened. We are in the red zone, but Maddox just got sacked. Maddox just stood there and waited to get sacked because he is unable to move. So we got so close again, and Maddox wasn't able to get anything done. Jeff Reed had a 44 yard field goal, so the game is now tied at 3-3. The Ravens just got a touchdown. The extra point was good. The score is now 10-3 in the Ravens' favor. We just got the ball, and Maddox had a very poor pass that was almost intercepted. Maddox threw another that was dropped. The ball was underthrown according to the announcers. Maddox threw another and it wasn't much of anything. Maddox was yelling at the ref, like the ref is responsible for Maddox being a Hoover and sucking up the field. The ball was punted to the Ravens and Jamal Lewis fumbled the ball, and it was recovered by Townsend. Maddox is back to throwing the ball ineffectually. There were the standard dropped passes or passes to the air and a sack, and now we are stuck with settling for a 37 yard field goal. It's good. Score is now 10-6. The Ravens managed to get the ball down the field but weren't able to get a touchdown. They did a field goal though, and the score is now 13-6. We need a touchdown to tie things up. There are only 21 seconds left in the half, so I doubt that any scoring will be done with Maddox at the reins. First half is over now with nothing happening.
Second half: If anything Maddox is even worse in the second half. Maddox has a blind side with encompasses him by 360 degrees. So he got charges on his "blind side" which was face on towards the defensive back, and the ball got tipped and intercepted and almost run into a touchdown. Fortunately, the defense was offside so we got the ball back. Maddox just really looks awful and the thing is that we are pretty much stuck with him. Maddox just really seems to be having trouble throwing the ball and making a connection with anything except the ground or to bounce off someone in a purple uniform. Unfortunately, our only option at this point is Antwaan Randle El, and he isn't seen as a really viable option because he's on the short side for a quarterback. Randle El just had a play as quarterback where he tossed the ball off to Willie Parker. We now are 4th and inches, and we are going to go for it. Unfortunately, Maddox just called his second time out within a few plays of each other. Is it because Maddow is totally incompentent and an idiot and should not be on the field, but should be selling third rate insurance? Well, after wasting another time out, Maddox got sacked. The thing that really sucks is that if Maddox just didn't take a few steps back from the line of scrimmage and stand there like he was planted into the ground looking at the defensive guys rushing at him, he wouldn't get sacked. Put Randle El in! It's not like Randle El will blow a lead. We are losing to one of the worse teams in our division, and Randle El definitely couldn't be worse than Maddox. The Ravens have the ball now where they sacked Maddox. Randle El got to be quarterback again. He threw the ball to Willie Parker for a first down. Then Maddox came back in, got sacked and threw the ball up into air blindly, and now we are at 3rd and 16. Maddow called another timeout. What the heck is his problem? Well, we know what it is--incompetence. Ravens had the ball, but couldn't do anything. We get the ball, Maddox tries to throw and lost the ball. The Ravens recovered, and because we don't have any timeouts because Maddox ate them all up in five minutes, we can't challenge it because it seems it was a questionable call. As the announcers were saying, all Maddox had to do was play smart and not have turnovers. So what did Maddox do? He played like an idiot and turned the ball over. Finally! With 5:15 left in the game, the Steelers managed to get down the field with some help from Randle El and Hines Ward to get a touchdown run in by Willie Parker. The extra point is good, and the game is now tied, 13-13. Two minutes are left in the game, and the Steelers have just gotten the ball. We now have to get the ball down to score a field goal at least. We have no timeouts so we have to hurry up and do things. Maddox throw the ball poorly, and it got knocked off of Ward and recovered by the Ravens. The officials are reviewing the play. The Ravens have it and are trying to get the ball down within field goal distance. Fortunately, the Ravens weren't able to anywhere and time ran out. There were flags on the final play with Kyle Boller missing a Hail Mary pass. We now go into overtime.
Overtime: Joey Porter called heads and we get the ball first. It's sudden death. Maddox managed to throw a 25 yard pass to Cedrick Wilson. After gaining some yardage, Maddox couldn't get any first downs, and then got sacked so the Steelers have to punt. The Ravens weren't able to do anything, and we got the ball back. Unfortunately, Maddox is still getting sacked. Right after that, Maddox threw the ball right at one of the Baltimore players. There wasn't even a Steeler in sight. Bill Cowher was just left to shake his head. The Ravens have the ball again. The Ravens got a first down in Steeler territory. They are on the 44 yard line. Boller almost threw a touchdown pass, but it just got dropped. The Ravens now have the ball around the 30 yard line. They are going to try to get even closer to give their kicker a chance. The Ravens have their field goal team on the field. If the Steelers lose, it is because of Maddox and his numerous incompletions and standing rooted to the spot when under siege. The Ravens made it and they won the game. 16-13.
Saturday, November 19, 2005 -- EveningAnother extremely disappointing evening watching a Pens. You would have thought that the Pens played last night instead of three nights ago with the lack of energy that the team had on the ice especially in the third period. Meanwhile it was the Philadelphia Flyer who had the energy in the third period. Shots on goal in the third period were 12 for the Flyers and 5 for the Pens. That's probably because the Flyers got rid of their geriatrics, John LeClair and Mark Recchi to us because for some reason, the Pens want to start a senior citizen farm, and wanted to give LeClair and Recchi a nice retirement home. Jocelyn Thibault sucked in goal, and let in two easy goals in the third period. It was a pitiful performance in the third period, and the Pens wound up losing 6-3. So Thibault let in two soft goals, one goal was an empty net at the end of the game, and two others were goals that happened because our defense broke down. Mario Lemieux played like he had poor eye/hand coordination, and it showed with some poor puck moves. There were moments of good play by the Pens, but it was just overwhelmed with poor performances all around. The question becomes when will the Pens do something to improve their game. It is glaringly obvious that the team's management is not interested in winning since they sent down Marc-Andre Fleury down to the minors when he is the best goalie in the Pens organization. Instead we are stuck with Thibault who used to play with Eddie Olczyk a few years back when both played for the Chicago Blackhawks. That relationship might explain why we got a goalie who has played in two years (first year due to injury and second due to lockout). Something has to change if the Pens want to win, and more people are now talking about a coaching change.
There was some woman singing the National Anthem at the Mellon Arena tonight, and she was off-key on some of the notes. I am not a singer, but after hearing this performance on top of last Saturday's game with the off-key trumpet player from the military who did the National Anthem, I think that I should be given a shot. I wouldn't be good, but then I wouldn't be worse. Since the team is so concerned about saving money, they should let people buy the option to sing the Anthem at the game.
Meanwhile the Baby Pens won tonight in overtime. The final score was 3-2. The season total so far is 15-0-1. I wonder if the Pens are watching and comparing the teams because something is right in Wilkes Barres and horribly wrong here in Pittsburgh.
Saturday, November 19, 2005 -- AfternoonThe Baby Pens won again last night for a record of 14-0-1. It seems that Marc-Andre Fleury did an excellent job, stopping 34 shots. This comes after his game with the Pens where he blocked 45 shots. At least Fleury is being philosophical about being sent back down to the minors when he is probably the best goalie that the Pens have right now. I don't understand it. The kid is good and deserves a shot to play since he is showing that he is capable of it. Obviously the Pens are more interested in losing games than to make the proper moves that would have them winning games. Last night, the Baby Pens beat the Norfolk Admirals by a score of 3-1, and will be facing the Admirals again tonight at Norfolk. Tomorrow, the Baby Pens will be playing the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
The Pens are playing the Philadelphia Flyer tonight. The game should be an exciting one, especially based on the game last Wednesday. It will be interesting to see how Sidney Crosby handles the game especially since in the last game, he had some teeth chipped by Derian Hatcher. I have tickets for the game tonight, so I will be commenting on the game when I get home. Poor Sidney's mother was not very happy with him for not wearing a mouth guard, but I guess that's the manly, hockey player responce.
Friday, November 18, 2005 -- EveningAntwaan Randle El is one of my favorite players. This past Tuesday, Randle El went to school with a local boy, Robert "Schwartzie" Schwartz, as part of the NFL and JC Penney's Take a Player to School program. Children can enter their names into the contest, and the winning child gets to take a player to school on Tuesdays, which are typically off days for the players. Randle El showed up at Schwartie's house in a limo and went to school with him at Jefferson Elementary School. At the end of the event, Randle El put Schwartie's phone number in his cell phone so they could keep in touch. It seems that Randle El told the kids that his favorite position is quarterback. There has been alot of talk about whether having Randle El be quarterback would be a bad or good idea. Randle El has alot of confidence in his abilities. Although Randle El was a good quarterback during his college years at Indiana, he's really on the small side (5 ft. 10 in and 192 pounds) which would make it difficult for him to play the position in the NFL. Bill Cowher has commented that he wasn't so sure about Randle El having a good line of sight over the large linebackers to thrown the ball. The only way that Randle El will be called into action is if Tommy Maddox is injured and Charlie Batch can't go in for him.
Thursday, November 17, 2005 -- EveningAnother episode of Survivor: Guatemala/The Maya Empire was on this evening. This episode was titled Eating and Sleeping with the Enemy. The show starts right after the tribal council. Everyone asks Gary where he found the immunity idol. Gary admits that he only found the idol that day. Jamie thinks everyone thinks Gary is a nice guy, but he doesn't. Jaime tries to pick a fight with Cindy. Jamie tried to get Cindy to be bitter towards Gary, but she refuses. Then Jamie tries to talk to Gary. Jamie tries to say that Gary said that he would vote for Brandon. Judd even admits that he didn't see Gary lying and thinks that Jamie just tries to get people upset. Jamie said that he is mad like Gary is. Gary says that he's not mad, and Judd agrees that Gary doesn't seem mad. Judd thinks Jaime is losing it. Today's reward challenge. The group of eight is going to be split up into 2 teams that will have one pair of men and one of women. A pair at a time they will be tied together and have to go through a mud pit, going over the first obstacle, under the second, and over the third. They have to get a pot of corn and come back, and while they are filling their pot, the other team will set off. The first group to complete the task wins. The prize? They will leave via helicopter and get to go to a private residence, shower, and spend the night and wake up to coffee. Teams are: Jamie and Rafe and Cindy and Lydia against Judd and Gary and Stephanie and Danni. Rafe and Jamie are in the lead. Gary and Jugg are pretty far behind. Lydia was struggling and Danni and Steph caught up. Lydia was really having issues getting back to the finish. Danni and Stephanie were good and really making up the time. Lydia was really slow and struggling. She just didn't seem to be able to do it. Danni and Steph had enough corn and they won. Jamie wanted Lydia and Cindy to keep on walking through the mud. Cindy refused saying the other team already won, and they would look stupid continuing to walk. Judd, Gary, Stephanie and Danni were flown away by helicopter right away.
Danni and Steph thought it was just great. Stephanie had never been in a helicopter before. The group was greeted by the guy who owned the house. They all showered down by the pool. Stephanie said that she wouldn't have gone with anyone else. Stephanie thinks that she and Danni are alike. Judd took all his clothes off and cleaned up. She also liked Gary. They had tons of food, and they just started chowing down. Danni thinks that the reward helped her so much to get to know Stephanie. Lydia was apologizing to everyone about how she cost them the reward. Jamie seemed bitter. Jamie tells Rafe that he sees Judd, Jamie and Rafe as the final three. Jamie wants Rafe's word, and Rafe won't give it to him because Rafe doesn't want to give his word without thinking about it. Rafe said that Jamie seems to be really paranoid and just seems to be losing it. Jamie does seem abit psycho. The group a the house got pajama and more food. Gary said it was his time to make some ties with Stephanie and Judd. Gary says that he always wanted to take the strongest to the final four and then see how it goes. Stephanie thinks that it's a good idea, but she has a good thing going on, and doesn't want to ruin it. Stephanie and Danni both admit they would vote out Jamie. They all go to sleep in a huge bed together. Judd said that getting rid of Danni and Gary will be hard because now he has gotten to know them, but the threat has got to go.
Day 26. The foursome wake to the smell of coffee brewing. There was six different flavors of Folger's coffee and they tried them all. The owner of the house brought in a present for the foursome. They are videotapes from home. They all start to cry. We see Judd's wife and daughter, his mom and brother and sister-in-law. We see Danni's mom and her dogs. Then we saw all of Stephanie's family. Gary said that he was happy to see the other people's families. Gary started crying when he saw his kids and wife. Gary thought it was the best prize that he could have had. The foursome are back at the camp. The foursome brought back food. Cindy was a huge coffee lover, and she was just so happy to see the coffee. Judd said that the only person he was worried about was Jamie because he didn't want Jamie to think that they made any deals with Gary and Danni. Gary said that he made the pitch and doesn't know if it will work, but he knows that if he doesn't win immunity, he will be the next gone. Immunity Challenge time. Each will be attached to a long rope that is tied up in obstacles. The first four move on. Then the four will have to go through a three tier obstacle. That winner will get immunity. Gary is ahead. Cindy and Steph are tied for second. Rafe seems to be coming into fourth with Jamie. Gary has moved on to the third stage. Rafe sems to be in second. Gary, Rafe and Jamie are on the third stage. Judd says that he hasn't given up, he is just trying to figure it out. Rafe is now in the lead. Gary is stuck and trying to figure it out. Rafe finishes first. Jamie is moving on. Two spots left. Steph moves on to the final round. Cindy is closing up on Gary. Cindy moves on to the final and just edged out Gary. Cindy is moving quickly and into the fourth section. It looks like it is Cindy's to lose. Cindy and Rafe seem to be in the battle for the finish. Rafe wins immunity after Cindy gets hung up. Cindy looks very sad over losing.
Back at camp. Gary congratulates Rafe. Rafe said that he realizes he might be a huge threat because he won two immunities and was second in another. Gary said that he gave it his best shot and went out fighting. Judd said that he is going to vote out Gary because Jamie is very paranoid. Judd said that Jamie would get only one vote, maybe from Gary. Jamie thinks that Gary is a serious threat. Jamie says he is working the card alot to get rid of Gary and sticking with the six. Jamie is really paranoid. Cindy tells Jamie that there is no reason to vote out Jamie. Cindy said that Jamie's paranoia is getting ridiculous and it is getting old. Jamie talks to Rafe, and Rafe tells Jamie that Jamie needs to calm down because his nervousness is really getting on everyone's nerves Rafe keeps on trying to tell Jamie that everyone is sticking to the six and everyone is keeping their word. Rafe tells Lydia that Jamie is driving him insane. Rafe tells Lydia that Jamie keeps on saying that Jamie keeps on asking if he is sticking with the plan. Lydia said that she is sticking to the plan and that it is difficult to think of voting him off. Steph said that she is into voting off Jamie but that Gary is a smooth operator. Steph and Rafe seem to want Jamie to go, and might vote that way if Lydia agrees. It will be interesting to see what happens. Bobby Jon comes in as the first member of the jury and will listen in but can't comment. Steph said that it did give her a chance to get to know Gary and Danni and to bond. Danni agreed and said that it was nice to get to know Judd and Steph. Judd said that he bonded with Gary and that Gary is someone to look up to. Judd says he respects Gary and that he is a man's man. Judd admits that it is his most difficult vote, but he has to move on. Jamie said that he couldn't say that he would not miss someone. Jamie said that everyone has been supportive and great. Gary said that the most important thing is a positive attitude. Gary said that he is trying to be upbeat and take it a day at a time. Rafe is keeping immunity for himself. Jamie votes against Gary. Gary of course votes for Jamie even though he would want Jamie on his team. Judd votes against Gary. Time to tally the votes. Votes: Gary, Gary, Jamie, Jamie, Jamie, Jamie, Jamie. Jamie is voted out and Judd looks very shocked and surprised because he didn't know it was coming. As Jamie goes to leave, he says "Blindsided nice. Now that's how you vote somebody out." Jamie is very bitter. Gary smiles at first. That's the best information they could have according to Jeff Probst. Who you give information to, and what information you share is the key to success. Everyone except Judd voted against Jamie.
Thursday, November 17, 2005 -- AfternoonMarc-Andre Fleury has been sent back down to the minors. It seems that Sebastien Caron is now recovered from his leg injury and will be taking over the starting goalie duties.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005 -- EveningAnother hockey game tonight. This time it is the Pens against the Philadelphia Flyers. Jocelyn Thibault was injured in the pregame practice so Marc-Andre Fleury is the starting goal tender. Fleury is doing a good job so far in the first period. The Pens as a whole are still sucking. So far, in the first period, the Pens have only shot the puck at the net four times. The Flyers had 11 shots on goal. Pitiful! It looks like another one of those games. First period ends with not much to say other than it's 0-0. In the second period, we found out that Thibault was taken to the hospital for further investigation of his injury. It looked like he might have gotten hit in the chest area with the puck during the pregame practice. Third period. Sidney Crosby tried to make a play after getting a penalty at the end of the second period for unsportsmanlike conduct for yelling at the referee. The problem is that there isn't anyone else on the team who is putting in the same effort as Crosby. Crosby made a pass to Ryan Malone during a power play that resulted in a goal for Pittsburgh. A minute later, there was a scrum in front of the Philadelphia net that resulted in a goal. So now, the score is 2-0 for Pittsburgh! The Flyers then got a power play in their favor, and came back to score a goal to make it 2-1. Peter Forsberg had an assist on the goal. The Pens gave up another penalty and the Flyers scored again. For the second time, the scorer was Joni Pitkanen with an assist by Forsberg. The Score is now tied, and all of this happened in just the first seven minutes of the period. Eddie O. is looking upset and frustrated because both the Pens and Flyers got called for a roughing penalty. The culprits were Ryan VandenBussche and Donald Brashear. Some good action is going on but nobody is actually following through with any goals. Regulation ends in a tie. We are now going to overtime. The Pens are having extreme trouble in clearing the action from their end of the ice. Fleury is doing a great acrobatic job. Crosby got the puck on a breakaway, and managed to get the puck by the goalie. The overtime was soemthing else. The Flyers were totally dominating, and were making all the shots on goal, with a total of six. The Pens had only one shot which was Crosby's breakaway. He had some help from Malone. Hmmm. Eddie O. doesn't seem to really appreciate the skills of either, and always gives preference to the geriatrics who did nothing to help with the win. At least they have another win for six in the season. Total shots on goal: 44 for the Flyers and 26 for the Pens. Pitiful performance over all, but at least a win.
CBS Sportsline does an excellent job with hockey game casts and statistical information. It is my favorite sports web site. Excellent job with the game cast for tonight's game.
I disagree with the article written by Dave Molinari. He says, and for some reason manages to get Eddie Olczyk and Ryan Malone to give his hypothesis some validation, that the Pens start out slow because they think they have the talent to just win games, and then rally at the end. That doesn't jive with what I have seen in the games where the legs of the playes seem to give out on them in the third period. I think that I would say that the second period usually seems to be better than the others, but with the way these players have been playing, that's not saying much.
Cedric Wilson is not very happy with the amount of playing time and throws that he has been getting since he has been with the Steelers. As Wilson said, he should have checked out the situation before he decided to come to the Steelers so he would have had a better idea of what to expect. Surprisingly, Wilson seemed ignorant of the fact that this is a running team, which I thought was common knowledge.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005 -- EveningEddie Olczyk's daughter has been ill lately. It seems that she has been having stomach pains for over a month, and her mother took her to Children's Hospital here in Pittsburgh right before the New York Rangers game last week. Even after exploratory surgery, the doctors don't know why the girl has been having the stomach problems. Regardless, I hope that she is feeling better soon. I like Eddie O. In fact, I really loved him as a sports announcer. A coach he ain't. But that does not mean that he's a bad person. He is a caring father, and in general a nice guy. He just shouldn't be a coach.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005 -- AfternoonCharlie Batch is definitely out for this Sunday's game. Ben Roethlisberger is still listed as questionable, but things are looking like it is going to be Tommy Maddox starting the game. This isn't necessarily good news because the team had some issues with Baltimore Ravens the last time that we played them.
Someone up there is listening to me. Mario Lemieux will be sitting out tomorrow's game because of stomach flu. Lemieux will sit out the game with the Philadelphia Flyers. So let's see how the team does without Lemieux. One of the things that I was discussing with my boyfriend at lunchtime is that we need to get the geriatrics off the ice who are not performing and see if some of the younger players have the legs to play 60 minutes of hockey. At this point the geriatrics, those older plyers like Lemieux, don't seem to have the oomph. It was funny because at yesterday's game, Ryan Whitney was talking to Brooks Orpik. Whitney was saying that he's afraid that he's going to hit Lemieux with the puck one of these days and be sent down. That might not be a bad thing because at least the Baby Pens are winning.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005 -- MorningIt seems that the Steelers may be planning on playing Ben Roethlisberger this coming Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. Even if they don't, they might possibly go with Charlie Batch who has a broken pinky finger on his right hand (which is his throwing hand). There's also the horrible Tommy Maddox and Antwaan Randle El, the college quarterback with the 51 yard pass this past Sunday. All will be decided based on how much practice Roethlisberger does and how he bears up under the practice.
Ryan Malone was a healthy scratch in yesterday's game. Why? Because Eddie Olczyk didn't like the way that Malone was skating. Yeah, Eddie O. didn't think that Malone was moving his feet efficiently. Interesting! The non-productive geriatrics on the team who slow down the plays and can't make a goal in an empty net aren't scratches. Oh, I get it! It's because the geriatrics have a storied past, and they just deserve to be on the ice because of who they are, not on how well they play. That's another reason why we are losing. Eddie O. doesn't have what it takes to stand up to the geriatrics.
Meanwhile the quality of play in the first two periods of the game was unexceptionally bad. I've seen better games with kids on the ice. The team was slow moving and lethargic and couldn't seem to get its act together. Now that is a problem, and guess what, taking Ryan Malone, a guy with energy, didn't fix it. It was torture to sit through most of the game, and the little bit of quality play didn't erase the memory of a team wallowing in lethargy and geriatric play. Maybe we should be sitting out some of the older non-producers and letting the young kids get on the ice.
Monday, November 14, 2005 -- EveningIt's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! The Penguins are playing the New York Islanders. The first period started with the usual slow action on the part of the Pens. In fact, it was a pretty boring period with no highlights and no low lights. No score in the period. In fact, lackluster and boring would be very apt descriptions of the action. The second period isn't much better. Neither team seems to want to score. The Pens have very few shots on goal, only five in the first period and the Islanders had 12. The Islanders are the first to score. They were attacking the net for two minutes, and the Pens just couldn't seem to clear it. Somehow the Islanders were making line changes during the time. The puck went over Jocelyn Thibault's shoulder. Score is now 1-0. The level of play by the Pens is abismal. This is so pitiful. The Pens can't seem to get over to the Islanders net, and the Islanders just scored another goal. There is only 2:28 left in the period. I think my dead grandmother could do a better job on the ice than the Pens. As you can tell, I am so throughly disgusted with the level of play by the Pens. In two period, TWO PERIODS, the Pens have only had twelve shots on goal. Yep, you read that right. Pitiful, painful, and pathetic! Let's Fire Eddie O! Let's Fire Eddie O! Third period. After some more lackluster play, Sidney Crosby scored a beautiful goal. The score with 13 minutes to play is 2-1 with the Islanders leading. My gosh, what a shock! Erik Christensen just scored. The game is now tied with just a bit over a minute left in the game. It definitely looks like the game will go into overtime now. The overtime was alot more fast paced than any other time during the game. Unfortunately, it didn't result in any score. We are now having a shootout. The choices for the Pens are Crosby, Lemieux and Christensen. Alexei Yashin, Trent Hunter and Shawn Bates are going for the Islanders. Yashin misses the goal. Now it is Crosby's turn. Crosby scores. The Pens have a 1-0 lead in the shootout. Hunter scored in his attempt. It is now tied in the shootout 1-1. Lemieux is stopped like a bug squashed on the floor. Bates scored. So now it is 2-1. Christensen must score or the Islanders win. Christensen scored and the shootout is now tied. Miroslav Satan is now up for the Islanders, and he can't score. Now it is up to Mark Recchi. There was a review of the Christensen goal because the net was off its moorings. Recchi couldn't score. As my boyfriend said, the rookies for the Pens score, but not the geriatrics. Mark Parrish lost control of the puck and didn't score. Next up is Ziggy Palffy. He gave a sorry ass attempt at a shot. Robert Nilsson misses for the Islanders. Then Konstantin Kolstov missed. John LeClair took off his shield and he tried for the Pens and missed. Jason Blake scored for the Islanders. Ryan Whitney, the ninth shooter in the shootout, misses. The Islanders score 3 goals and the Pens 2 in the shootout so the Islanders win in overtime.
Monday, November 14, 2005 -- Late AfternoonSome people really irk me, and I have to admit that my biggest source of irkdom is the person who sits next to me in the cube farm where I work. This person insists that fan threw trash on Tommy Maddox's lawn and harrassed his children in school. Granted, part of the problem is that the true story did not get reported to the extent that the rumor was reported. However, if Maddox's wife denies that it happened, and there is no police report, I have to say that it didn't happen. Now maybe Maddox spread that story around at first until he realized that he was caught in a lie, but the fact of the matter is that it did not happen! Well, the person in the cube next to me (boy, I can't stand him) refuses to acknowledge the stories that are out that prove that the fans are innocent of charges. I don't understand someone who is unwilling to accept facts because they heard a rumor and the rumor must be true. What an irritating putz! What do you do about people who are closed minded? The obvious answer is to ignore him, but the fact that this untrue rumor continues to besmirch the reputation of the Steelers fan gets my goat.
Interesting side note on the Hines Ward reception statistics. Although Ward has more receptions than John Stallworth, Stallworth has almost 2,000 more yards from scrimmage, and 63 touchdowns compared to Ward's 42. This is not to lessen Ward's accomplishment because we also have to understand that the Steelers are not necessarily a throwing team, and they do tend to rely more on the running game.
Monday, November 14, 2005 -- AfternoonThe Baby Pens won again yesterday against the Hartford Wolf Pack. The final score was 5-4 with the winning goal scored in the last 2:33 of regulation time. The Baby Pens record is now 13-0-1. Now if only the Pittsburgh Penguins could have some of that consistency. The team is having difficulty understanding why they can't put their performances together because if you look at the members of the team, they should be beating everyone. The problem as I keep on saying is coaching, and everyone skirts around the issue and tries to blame everyone else. There is a reason why our powerplay sucks and why we can't score goals. I think that a shake up in the coaching might work wonders for the team. The question is when will the Penguins management wake up to that reality?
To listen to Mario Lemieux, you might think that the problem was his stick. Lemieux hasn't like the way the composite sticks were handling the puck, so he is using a hybrid that has a wooden blade and a composite shaft. So far, Lemieux likes the stick. The question is if that will improve his level of play.
It's amazing how much the Chancellor at the University of Pittsburgh makes in a year. Nation wide, yes you hear me right, Mark Nordenberg ranks 11th in compensation. For 2003-2004, his compensation totalled $571,305. This did not include the car that he was given by the University or the housing, because he is provided with a residence. I am also assuming that the extras that go with both items such as insurance, food and supplies is also not covered, or the cost of the salary of the chauffeur who drives the Chancellor around town. This is absolutely ridiculous for a public school of Pitt's calaber. No wonder tuitition rates are so high. If you have to pay out this much money, you have to bring it in somehow.
Sunday, November 13, 2005 -- EveningThe Steelers played the Cleveland Browns this evening. We used to have a real rivalry with the Browns, but that pretty much ended when the Browns were moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens. Charlie Batch is starting for the Steelers.
First half: The Browns had the ball first. They had possession for 5:07 and wound up with a touchdown at the end. Score is 6-0, but the Steelers should get the ball now. So far, the Steeler defense is not doing the best job. Batch has been throwing the ball down the field and threw a nice one to Hines Ward and Antwaan Randle El. Ward then caught a bobbling ball in the end zone that went under review to see if he really had control over the ball and if he was in bounds. The announcers don't think that the review will change the play on the field, but we shall see. If Ward has three receptions tonight, he will break John Stallworth's record for number of receptions for the team. The touchdown pass was ruled incomplete. We weren't able to capitalize in the redzone, and the team went on the fourth down, and wound up giving the ball back to Cleveland. So we are scoreless and it's 7-0. The Browns have held the Steelers to a scoreless first quarter, and so far, our defense is really having issues in stopping the rush of the Browns. Finally! Batch has gotten the ball down the field, and he handed it off to Jerome Bettis who ran the ball in on the second attempt for a touchdown. The score is now tied. With 3:58 seconds left in the third quarter, Ward made his third reception and passed Stallworth's record. Ward now has 538 receptions which is the new club record. The Steelers are not able to make a touchdown, so they had to settle for a field goal. The score is now 10-7 with the Steelers ahead. The Browns got the ball back and had four plays before Joey Porter intercepted the ball. We now have the ball with less than a minute left in the half, and Charlie Batch is doing a great job with throwing the ball and directing the team. It is a difference between night and day in comparison with Tommy Maddox. Again, we get it down to the end zone. It looked like Ward got the touchdown, but he was put at the one inch line. Batch then did a quarterback sneek and got the touchdown. This was purely a decision made by Batch because there wasn't time to tell anyone what to do. Batch is doing a great job. We also got the extra point, and the Steelers are ahead 17-7. Go Charlie Batch!
Second half: Damn! Charlie Batch broke his hand and won't be back. Well, he might be back in case of emergency like Tommy Maddox sucking, maybe. So Maddox is on the field and hopefully he won't disgrace himself as he did before. I say if anything, bring in Randle El. He can't be worse than Maddox. What a great play! Maddox tossed the ball to Duce Staley who then tossed the ball to Randle El, and then Randle El threw the ball down the field for 51 yards to Ward who made a touchdown. I watched the play over and over. It was really great. Ward was beaming on the sidelines, and I'm sure that Randle El can't be contained! We now lead 24-7. Porter just got another sack. The team is really rallying now. The Browns are starting to make some yardage now, but hopefully that won't continue. Randel El also made a nice play by getting the ball passed to him and made a first down. So now Maddox thought that he could throw the ball because he threw one ball for three yards. Well, he threw an interception! Thank goodness there was a personal foul with a face mask that took the ball out of the hands of the Browns. We all know now that Maddox won't be throwing so the Browns are on to the run. Bettis got creamed. We are now at the point where we are taking a penalty and doing a punt because the coaching staff has no confidence in Maddox. What does Maddox do? He walks off the field with a big, broad smile on his face. As the announcers said, Maddox should not be smiling because he is a total putz on the field. They did mention the story about fans throwing garbage on Maddox's lawn which was a total lie that was perpetrated by Maddox to gain sympathy for himself with the team and the fan base at large. Because Maddox has never admitted that he lied and that the story was totally bogus, I lost all respect for him. And here we still see it being bandied about as if it were truth because the national media picked up on the lie and ran with it. I find Maddox's actions extremely offensive. People hate Maddox because he is incompetent on the field and a liar. The Browns had the ball, and then it looks like they fumbled the ball and it was recovered by the Steelers. It looks like it was a completion that was dropped. The Browns challenged the call and it was ruled that the call was right on the field. It is now the fourth quarter. Maddox is back on the field and we are running the ball again. Maddox threw the ball again, and totally overshot the player. Maddox can not throw, so that was a wasted down. We wound up getting a field goal. The Browns aren't able to do much, and we have the ball again. Maddox was finally able to make a completion throw to Ward. The fans applauded because it is about time. Maddox wasn't able to get a touchdown, so we are going for another field goal. Most of the talk during the game has been Maddox's poor quality of play and how the Steelers are probably going to be stuck with him in the future. With 4:23 to go, the Browns blocked the field goal and ran the ball down the field to get a touchdown. The extra point is good, and it is now 27-14. We had a good punt return, and now have the ball with in the 10 yard line and are on the way to another touchdown. Verron Haynes ran the ball in for a touchdown, and we now lead 34-14. With 27 seconds left in the game, the Browns are trying to score. It was caught by Antonio Bryant and the extra point is also good. The score is now 34-21. With only 21 seconds left, we take the knee and the game is over.
Sunday, November 13, 2005 -- AfternoonThere really was no good reason for the Penguins last night. They should not have been tired because they just had a day off and there aren't any real illness that the team can claim laid waste to them. The team was claiming that the lackluster performances of late have been because of the fact that they had a tiring road trip. According to Rico Fata, "I think we just had to match their work ethic. If we matched anywhere near their work ethic, I think we would have been fine." My question is why doesn't the team match the New York Rangers work ethic? General laziness of the individual players or a coach who is wallowing in incompetence and is able to command the respect of the team so they do put in the effort? It is glaringly obvious, and has been since the 2003/2004 season, that Eddie Olczyk is in over his head, and no one is realizing that it is in the best interests of the team to get a coach who has a clue of what to do. Yes is it frustrating at Eddie O. admits. It must be exceptionally frustrating for a person who has no coaching experience to suddenly be expected to be able to turn in a good performance. Let's put Eddie O out of his misery. Fire Eddie O, and put in a competent coach.
Speaking of competent coaches, the Wilkes Barre Pens soundly beat their opposition last night. The score against the Portland Pirates was 6-0. In thirteen games, the Baby Pens are 12-0-1. This record should be sending a message to the Pens. I think the only signal that they are receiving is that they should bring up random players in the hopes to make the situation better instead of realizing that coaching is everything. Perhaps the Baby Pens coach, Michel Therrien, doesn't want to come to the Pens and to take a backseat to unofficial coach, Mario Lemieux. In fact, that might explain Lemieux's support of Eddie O. Eddie O. probably lets Lemieux make all the decisions which is obviously a problem. The Baby Pens will be playing the Hartford Wolf Pack this afternoon at 4 pm.
Maxime Talbot broke his nose in the hit that he received on Thursday from Montreal's Steve Begin. Talbot doesn't blame Begin though because it was one of those hits that gets made on a player with the puck. The problem was that Talbot was low on the ice which put in face in a vulnerable position.
Pitt won yesterday afternoon against Connecticut with a score of 24-0. The Panthers are hoping for a win in their final game of the season which will be against the West Virginia Mountaineers. Pitt is hoping that with a win that they will get a bowl game even though they really don't deserve it. Why? Because even though West Virginia is the better team, Pitt with it's crappy record might be able to secure a bowl bid with six wins. West Virgina is undefeasted in the Big East so far, and only lost one game in the entire season. The team is good though and should whoop Pitt's ass. I'll be cheering them on to do so on Thanksgiving evening. This really shows you how screwed up the BCS is that an undeserving team like Pitt might actually get a bowl game which they don't deserve.
Saturday, November 12, 2005 -- Late EveningThe Penguins have a serious problem, and it is still not being addressed by the current management/coaching team. This evening, we played the New York Rangers and the Rangers played an excellent game. Since Jaromir Jagr left the Pens a few years ago, fans have been hostile towards him. For me, I really liked him then, and still do. Whenever Jagr would have the puck, the audience would boo him. Jagr put on a show for everyone though, and achieved a hat trick (3 goals) in the game. I did notice that whenever the Rangers had a powerplay that Jagr would be out on the ice for the entire two minutes. The Penguins did an awful job during their powerplays, and frequently, the Rangers would be shooting at our goal when they were shorthanded. Line changes were not smooth, and at one point, only two players were on the ice while the other three were slow in getting onto the ice. Probably because Eddie Olczyk was having issues. The team was lackluster even though we just won our last game, and we had some rest at home. Shots on goal were low with only 24 from the Pens while the Rangers had 41. Sergei Gonchar had problems with turning over the puck to the other side, and that should be addressed somehow, either by sending him to the minors or something. I know that the minors seems harsh, but his quality of play is not worth what he is making, and he needs a wake up call. In the end, the Pens lost 6-1. It was a sad and pitiful game, and most of the 17,132 fans had left by the time that Ryan Whitney got a five minute major for checking behind and game misconduct at 15:05. At that point, the Pens were behind by a score of 5-1, and there was no hope. Some people in my section started yelling out for Eddie O to be fired, and I have to admit that even though I have been a proponent of his removal, I seemed to be a lone voice. People are now becoming more vocal and agreeing with me that some of these problems must come from the top, and when you see crappy line changes, it does come down to the coach.
Saturday, November 12, 2005 -- Late AfternoonI'll be going to the Penguins game tonight. I'm looking forward to the game more than usual because they will be playing the New York Rangers. Because of the location of our seats, I should have a good opportunity to see any goals scored by Jaromir Jagr. I'll have my comments on the game later on tonight.
Friday, November 11, 2005 -- Late EveningI am finally catching up with Amazing Race 8 from Tuesday night. The show You Look Ridiculous. I don't roll with the Punches, I punch starts in Costa Rica. There are only five teams left. The Paolos leave first at 7:25 am. They are to head to Playa Maracas. They have to swim to a buoy to get the next clue. The older son and the mom are having their usual verbal battles. The Linz family leaves at 7:28 am, and the Bransens after them. The question is who will be swimming to the buoy. The Paolo dad is first in the water. One of the Linz boys (Nick), then the Bransen dad. The Paolo dad got the clue, and then had some sort of problem in the water and had to get rescue swimmers. The teams then have to travel 60 miles to La Iglesia de Metal in Grecia. They will then get a clue from an altar boy. The older son said that he till take his dad's backpack. The dad just couldn't do it. Everyone is at the pay phone trying to get some taxis. It is the Linz family, then Paolo and Bransen. Vans pick them up and they start out on the trip. The Godlewskis go off and Sharon goes swimming to get the clue. The Weaver boy goes out to get the clue. The race is on to find the church, and the Linz family gets there first closely followed by the others. There is a funeral going on so they try to be quiet and respectful. It is now a detour. In Brush, they have to go 10 miles to a box cart factory and finish decorating two of the cart wheels. Barrel has them going to over 10 miles to a sugar cane plantation and load a truck with one ton of sugar cane. After that, they have to search the factory for a marked barrel for the next clue. The Paolos and the Linz family decided to do the sugar cane. The Bransen family take the painting option. The Paolos got to the sugar cane factory. The Bransen family's driver gets lost or appears to not know where she is going.
The Bransen family driver has to stop to ask the police where to go to. The Godlewskis have arrived at the church, and they take the painting option. The Bransens have arrived and start painting. The designs are quite intricate. The Weavers also decide to do the painting option. The Paolos aren't doing a good job and get passed by the Linz family. The Linz family is on their way to the factory to look for the clue. The Paolo son starts yelling at the mom, and they get their sugar canes on the cart and are on their way. There is alot of arguing going on with the families and the painting. The Linz family is at the factory, and is now looking for the marked barrel. They find the section and have to get the clue from one of the barrels. They now have to travel to Phoenix, Arizona where they find one of five marked cars and go 14 miles to a go cart track to get their next clue. The Paolo dad got the clue first. The Paolo mom admits that she wants to go to New Zealand. The Bransens get their clue too and they are on their way. The Weavers are on their way in fourth place. The Godlewskis are last and think that it is because of their perfection that they have been killed. The Linz family got a flight that gets in at 9:35 am. The Linz family got the Delta flight, but the counter was closing. So the Paolos went to the Taca flights and they are going to wind up in Phoenix at 9:20 am. So they beat the Linz family by ten minutes. The Weavers and the Paolos are on the same flight, and the Weavers try to make nice with the older Paolo boy. The Bransens, Godlewskis, Paolos and Weavers are all on the same flight. The Godlewski sisters thought that they could get an earlier flight on America West, but the reservations weren't actually placed. I don't know what is up with them now.
The Godlewskis managed to get a flight from Newark to Phoenix that will get there at 7 am. The others notice that the sisters are missing. Everyone is now headed to Phoenix. The Godlewskis got to the airport 45 minutes early. The Godlewskis are now in first place. The Bransens are in second place and the Paolos are in fourth place. They are now all headed to the cars and to the Super Cart school. The Paolos look like they are having trouble finding the cars. The Linz family has found their car. The younger Paolo son finds the car, and the mother is really having issues with the older son. It's the usual story with them. The Godlewskis get to the road block. One person gets to do the job. That person has to take a 50 mile race in the hot, boiling sun to get the clue. The only stop can happen at the 25 mile mark. The Bransens are second. The Weavers arrive after the Bransens, and the mother is going to do the racing in the car. The Weaver kids are crying because their dad was killed in a racing accident. The Godlewskis are past the 25 mile mark. Wally, the Bransen dad, is out on the track now. The Weaver mom is out of the track now too. The Linz family gets there and they are going out on the track. The Godlewski sisters go over to comfort the Weaver kids, but the Weaver kids are not grateful. The Paolo family is last at the track. The Godlewskis have finished the task. They now how to go 32 miles to Fort McDowell. This is the pit stop. The last family to check in might be eliminated. The Godlewskis are now trying to find Fort McDowell. The Linz guy was close to the Weaver mom and it seems that he might have hit her car.
It seems that it was close but everyone is okay. The Godlewski sisters are lost and have to go back to find the place. So that was valuable time that was lost. The Bransens are now in second place. They aren't sure of the directions and are going to stop to ask. The Weaver family is in third place. The Linz family has just finished and they are off to the pit stop. The Paolo dad is complaining because the older son is doing the super cart and he is not doing it as fast as the dad would like. The Bransen dad was upset because he wanted to call to make sure they were headed in the right direction, and the girls just wanted to run. It's a foot race with three families arriving at the same time. The Godlewski family is first. They have won a trip for four to Belize for finishing first. Second is the Weaver family. The Linz family is third. The Paolo mom is afraid that they might be on a non elimination pit stop. The Paolos appear to be fourth. The Paolos are putting on their clothes and realize that another team is behind them and start running to the pit stop. They are team number four so they wasted some time putting on all their close unless it wasn't a non elimination. The Bransens are last to arrive and they go back to put all of their clothes on. The girls are crying, but are happy that they aren't eliminated. They lose all their moneyand everything except the clothes on their back, which is not alot since they went back to put all their clothes on.
The Godlewskis leave first at 11:43 pm. They have to travel to Mesa, Arizona. They have to go to Fighter Combat International at Williams Gateway Airport. The weavers leave at 11:48 pm. The Weaver kids say that no one likes them because they are different. No, it is because they are hypocrites and rude to others. The Paolos leave at 12:06 am, and the Bransens leave after them. The Godlewskis are fighting. The Linz family gets stopped by a police car because they stop in the street, and the kids explain that they are trying to get directions because they are part of a race. The Bransen girls go around to the casino and beg for money from some of the gamblers before they go into the casino. The dad kept his distance. The Weavers got the first number. The Linz family is second and the Godlewskis are third. The Paolos get number four. The Bransens get number five. At 4:30 am, they get into the airport. Road block, the person has to go up in a figher plane, and at some point take the controls of the plane and do a 360 degree loop to get the next clue. The boy for the weavers and the Linz girl do the loop for their teams. The pilots do a variety of moves to get the folks in the mood. The Weaver kid does the loop on the first attempt. The Godlewski sister also completes the task on the first attempt. The Linz girl also does it on the first attempt. The younger Paolo son is going to fly. The Weavers have the clue. They have to go to the Grand Canyon to get their next clue. They have to go to Lipon Point that is the widest point of the Canyon. The Godlewskis are following the Linzs. Brian of the Paolo family did not make it on the first attempt. The mother is upset with the son for screwing it up. As she said, he had it. Brian Paolo made it on the second attempt. The Bransen girl also screwed up the first time too. So they both had two attempts. Neither the Paolos or the Bransens know where they are going and ask each other. The Bransens are stopping to find out, but the Paolos aren't. The Weavers get caught throwing food out of the car. The Paolo father tells them to go the wrong way, as we find out because the Bransens get the right directions. The Weavers tell the toll booth guy to slow down the Linz guys, but the toll booth guy doesn't. The teams must now go 139 miles to Paige, Arizona and find Glen Canyon Dam. They will then choose a guide and have to make it to the top of the dam. Because the Paolos went the wrong way, they are stuck in a long line of traffic. They are in last place when they finally get there. The Weavers, Linz and Godlewskis race into the visitor center to get a tour guide. The Linz and Godlewskis get to the clue at the same time. The detour, bearing or bailing, takes place at the infamous Horseshoe Bend. In Bearing, teams must go by motorized raft to a section of the water where they have to choose a card with a set color with a compass coordinate on it. They must set the compass to that degree, travel to another box and pick up a card of similar color and follow its coordinates. They have to collect three cards of the same color to get the next clue. In Bailing, they must take a motorized raft to submerged boat, bail it out, and then when it is empty take it across the finish line to get the next clue. The Weavers are rude but blame it on everyone else. The Linz and Godlewskis take bailing while the Weavers take bearing. The scenery is very beautiful. The Linz and Godlewskis are having problems finding the submerged boats. The Paolo family seems to have screwed up and went in the wrong direction, and will now have to back track.
The Paolos now have to play catch up. The Linz family finds the submerged boat first and starts flinging out water with the buckets. The Godlewskis get there too. The Weavers have their first compass clue. The younger Paolo son thinks they can catch up and the mother is admiring the scenery. The Linz get most of the water out and then tip the boat. The Godlewskis are still clearing out the boats. The Pit Stop is there. They have to go to Lake Powell, Arizona, 14 miles away. At Antelope Point, they have to choose a boat, and find the boat house that is the pit stop. The Linz family is in first place. The Weavers have two of the three clues. The Bransens also go for the bailing detour. The Weavers have completed the task and so have the Godlewskis. Both rush out to get to the Pit Stop. The Bransens are on their way to the bailing detour. The Bransens are bailing. The Paolos see that three cars have passed them. The Weavers are making a u-turn and ask for directions. They do alot of asking of God to help them. The Paolos say they are going to do bailing. The Bransens pass the Paolos and wave. The Paolos start arguing again and the older son threatens to drown the mother because no one will find her body in the big river. It is quite funny. The Paolos have a serious breakdown and yelling match as the mother says they should tilt the boat while the older son says it is too heavy to tilt and they have tried it already.
The Paolos find finish their task, and head off to the pit stop. The Linz family is first and gets lost because they don't follow the marked path. They still appear to be in the lead. The Godlewskis are close behind. The Godlewskis finally get going in their boat. The Paolos think there is a 50-50 chance between them and the Bransens. The Godlewskis have caught up with the Linz family probably because the Linz boys are heavier than the lighter Godlewski sisters. The Godlewskis made it first. They have won a travel trailer. The Linz family is second, and was just right behind the Godlewskis. One of the Linz boys says that it may be that the sisters will be nice to them afterwards. The Weavers are third, and the kids start to cry and complaining about how rude the other families are and how alone they are and how they are just leading a Christian life. The Bransens go out in their boat and the Paolos aren't too far behind. The Bransens are team number four. That means that the Paolos are last. They are eliminated. The father said that he had a ball and they really enjoyed it. The Paolo mom says that they fight alot and they are going to be together. The older son said that he is proud of his mother and she surprised him and won't be so down on her. The fmaily is crying and emotional while trying to be positive.
Friday, November 11, 2005 -- Early EveningEveryone has been talking about the great ending to the Penguins game last night. Sidney Crosby is quiet a hero, and he has been doing an exceptional job. Yesterday's game was also a good one for Jocelyn Thibault. He didn't play last year because of the lockout, and only played 14 games in the previous season with 5 wins. So it was good for Thibault to get a win under his belt. Meanwhile John LeClair was back on the ice last night with a plastic shield over his face to protect the multiple fractures over his right eye. LeClair said that there were some visual problems with the shield which I don't understand because it is clear. Yeah, I don't like a hat with a brim on my forehead, but if it were made of clear plastic I wouldn't say that it blocked my vision.
A Kansas City group is trying to lure the Penguins out of the city. It's well known that the team is having financial issues in the city, and that there is a need for a new arena. As the Kansas City group said, if the Pens don't have a deal by next year, they are prime targets for becoming the Kansas city Penguins. Let's hope that the Penguins work out a deal so they can stay in the city.
Thursday, November 10, 2005 -- Later EveningThe Pens are playing the Montreal Canadiens. The Pens took an early lead and scored two goals in the first period. Mario Lemieux scored the second goal shortly after getting whacked with a stick close to the eye. It was one of the accidental things where a guy was trying to clear the puck from the Canadiens side, and Lemieux skated into the stick. Of course, he wanted the other guy called for a penalty but that didn't happen. The Canadiens came back to score a goal in the second period, and we are now in the third period with no really good scoring attempts. Both teams look abit lazy again. Maxime Talbot got a pretty good hit, and had to be helped from the ice. The question is whether it was a fair hit, and it looks like it was. Talbot was low to the ice and was playing the puck when he got checked and hit Steve Begin's shoulder. Right after killing the five minute penalty that Begin got for the hit, the Canadiens scored to tie the game. There's only 3:31 left in the game so we are probably going to head for overtime. Yep, overtime. The Canadiens have been putting alot of pressure on Jocelyn Thibault. As Mike Lange said, the Canadiens were like bees around a hive. Overtime is over and we are on to a shoot out. Let's see how this go. Michael Ryder is up first. He doesn't score. Next up is Mark Recchi and he doesn't get a goal either. Next is Alexei Kovalev. He doesn't score. Next up is Lemieux. He can't score either. I missed the name of the third Canadien, but he can't score. It's all down to Sidney Crosby who went to the top of the next and scored. The Pens win in a shoot out, thanks to Crosby. The Kid is something else and obviously even has Lemieux beat so far this season.
Thursday, November 10, 2005 -- EveningAgain there are conflicts in the shows to view with both a Pens game and Survivor: Guatemala/The Maya Empire. Right now, the Pens are leading with a score of 2-0, but it is between periods, so I will start with Survivor. The show is called Secrets and Lies and an Idol Surprise. The show starts with the Survivors heading back to camp at night. Jamie is talking to Rafe about being upset over being told he has no class. Rafe tells Jamie to go to sleep. Jamie is really bothered by Bobby Jon's comments about having no class. Bobby Jon and Jamie have a surprisingly calm conversation about the comments about having no class. Jamie said that his feelings are hurt, and everyone tells Jamie to not take it all so personally because it is a game, and Bobby Jon didn't mean to imply that Jamie was white trash. Morning comes on Day 22. Lydia makes some sort of corn pancakes, but Judd doesn't want to eat. Judd says that Gary, Bobby Jon and Danni know they are the ones to get voted off. Judd said that if it were turned around they would do the same thing. Danni talks to Bobby Jon about going out to look for the idol. Bobby Jon knows that it is visible but hard to find. Bobby Jon is determined to find the idol. Danni hopes they get some more clues, but she is praying and hoping that she finds it. Gary talks about how this is like a football game and that he is going to try everything to get towards the end of the game. It's a reward challenge today. They have to use this tool to throw an arrow called a "lelala" I think. The reward is food, and everyone will eat. However it will depend on how well you do in the challenge. First place gets the best and last place gets the worst. First place is steak and lobster. Also the winner gets one clue to the location of the immunity idol. Judd is up first and flings his arrow. On the bullseye on the ground, Judd is 7 feet from the center and sets the standard. Judd leads, Bobby Jon goes next but doesn't do as well as Judd. Rafe beats Bobby Jon and is now in second. Cindy also does a nice job and moves into second place. Lydia is up next and she winds up in last place. Danni is next, and winds up in third place. Gary is next and winds up in fourth place. Stephanie is next and moves into fourth place ahead of Gary. It is Judd, Cindy, Danni, Stephanie, Gary, Rafe, Bobby Jon, and Lydia. Jamie lands in fourth place. However, Jamie says that he would rather take the last place meal and let everyone else move up. That was a really class act, and Bobby Jon shook Jamie's hand. Rafe thinks that Jamie learned alot. Jamie said he made up the plan on his own, and said that he planeed to give up the food if he wound up ahead of some of the others.
Day 22 and time for the food. Judd got his own table. The others at a table in a row, seated in their winning order. Judd got steak and lobster. Cindy gets chicken and veggies. Danni got spaghetti with meat. Stephanie got a burger. Gary got a slice of pizza. Rafe got a ham and cheese sandwich. Bobby Jon got a baked potato. Lydia got a small fish and water. Lydia thanks Jamie, and says that he can live with his self respect. Jamie got ramon nuts. Judd gets a chance to invite two people to share his feast. Judd invites Bobby Jon and Stephanie to join him. Stephanie is crying. The three get an open bar and dessert menu. Judd shared with the others, and Bobby Jon said that he didn't gorge because he could see that Gary was looking at them with such hungry eyes. Gary said it was two hours of watching them gorge themselves and get drunk. Judd did get drunk. Bobby Jon and Judd tries to move a huge tree stump, but Judd is falling down drunk. Judd was so drunk that he threw up right near the shelter even though he denies it. Judd can't keep a secret and he shares the clue with Stephanie. The clue leads Stephanie to believe that the clue is not on the ground, but in a tree. Judd tells everyone that the clue is totally on the ground.
Day 24. Jamie and Rafe are talking about the plan for the future. Jamie tells Rafe to stay with him. Rafe said that Jamie is paranoid. Rafe doesn't think Jamie taking the lowest meal was out of the goodness of his heart, but that it sneaky. Gary tells Jamie that he will vote for whoever the group says. Stephanie says that she is losing patience with Jamie. She sees Jamie as a huge liability and threat and that he can ruin the entire plan. Stephanie looks like she has a swollen eye. Jamie is paranoid because Gary is practising. Lydia tells Jamie to not worry about it. Jamie is definitely thinking too much. The challenge to test coordination and balance. All nine go across a balance beam untieing two wooden planks as they go. Only the first four to cross with the two planks move on. Then the four with the two planks use those to cross a knotted rope bridge. The first two move on to the next step. Final round, you have to navigate a two line balance bridge. If you fall in the water you go back to the start. First person to finish that wins. They have to untie all the knots. Gary is the first. Stephanie fell and had to go back to the start. Everyone is working on the second plank. Bobby Jon fell and Judd's foot touched and he had to go back. Stephanie moves on to the next round. Gary moves on. Jamie moves on, and so does Rafe. They have to use the planks to go across the rope bridge. Rafe is first, and Jamie follows him. They are in the final for immunity. First person to get two feet on the platform wins immunity. Rafe went into the water and had to go back to the start. Jamie won immunity so he won't be getting voted out. Everyone heads back to camp.
Back at the camp, Jamie tells everyone that Gary wanted to vote him out and he wants Gary to be the person voted out next. That was really a lie because Gary didn't say that. Jamie says that Gary is head gaming everyone. Stephanie is getting nervous even though everyone agrees to vote out Gary. Gary tells Bobby Jon and Danni that it is one of them. Gary asks Stephanie if he can trust her, and asks if he is going out. Stephanie says yes, but won't look him in the eyes at first. Gary says that they are all telling him that it is not him, so he thinks that means that it is him. Bobby Jon tells the others that he should not be voted out that Stephanie is the one who will lie to them all. Jamie and Judd told Bobby Jon that he isn't going home tonight. Gary is out in the forest looking for the idol. He sees Judd looking up in the trees and realizes that the Judd was lying about the idol being on the ground. Gary said if the idol is on the ground why is Judd looking in the trees. Stephanie said that it would be amazing if Gary found it. We can only hope because I like Gary and all the players that I like so far are getting voted out. In tribal council, Danni doesn't think she can trust anyone and that her head is on the chopping block. Rafe says that there is alot of paranoia in the camp and that it is running through everyone's head. Gary says that you can lie in the game, but it is up to what the individual wants to accomplish in the game. Gary says that he hasn't lied, and Judd says that he hasn't either. Cindy says that she surprisingly trusts the people, but thinks they will all be liars at some point. Gary has found the immunity idol and he uses it. That was very lucky because he was going to be voted out. Gary has a funny smirk on his face. Jamie votes for Bobby Jon and says sorry. Bobby Jon votes against Stephanie. Stephanie votes for Bobby Jon. voting is done. I am so glad that Gary foiled their plan. It was quite a pause before he turned it in. Votes: Stephanie, Stephanie, Cindy, Bobby Jon, Bobby Jon, Bobby Jon, Bobby Jon, Bobby Jon. Bobby Jon is voted out. He is the first person on the jury. How they voted? Gary voted for cindy, and Danni and Bobby Jon voted for Stephanie. The others all voted for Bobby Jon.
Thursday, November 10, 2005 -- AfternoonMarc-Andre Fleury has been recalled to replace Sebastien Caron. Flery was named the AHL Goalie of the month last month because of his 6 wins and 0 losses for the month of October. Tonight the Pens will be playing the Montreal Canadiens.
On the Steelers front, it seems that James Farrior is hoping to be back on the field this coming weekend, and Ben Roethlisberger is hoping to be back by the Nov. 20 game.
Wednesday, November 9, 2005 -- EveningThe Pens were playing the Atlanta Thrashers tonight. I missed the first period of the game. The rest of the game has been a sorry display. The Pens seem lack luster and out of shape. I suppose that is understandable considering the age of some of the players. However, we do have some young players and at least they should have some energy. The first period was scoreless, but the Thrashers turned it around to score four goals. As the game is slowly winding down, the Pens look like they are going to be shut out. With 2:45 left in the game, Sebastien Caron hurt his hip and had to be pulled. Jocelyn Thibault was put in, and the Thrashers scored a goal on the first play. So after five seconds of play with Thibault, the Thrashers have scored. It's now 5-0. With 2:11 left in the game, Ric Jackman got a penalty. Just what we needed to end the game--a powerplay for the other team. The Pens are pitiful, and it is painful to watch most times. The Pens are shut out and lose yet again.
Wednesday, November 9, 2005 -- Early EveningBefore the Pens game, I'm catching up on last night's Bound for Glory. The show starts four days before the game, and we see the local Rita's ice and other business. We are back at JoJo's Place for a meal and discussion with Ray Crockett and Dick Butkus. Montour will be playing New Castle in the upcoming game. Crockett thinks that the team is as different as night and day. There is such a difference between Crockett and Butkus. Crockett says it will be all right and his attitude is that he will keep on coaching and the students will be all right. At the end of the meal, Crockett says that he will let Butkus pay for the meal because it is the last one that they will have and that Crockett has paid for the others. We hear that Bryce is okay. He's the kid who was hurt in the last episode. He was kept overnight and has a neck brace, but he is okay. He won't be coming back because he has to be out for 4 weeks. Bryce has nothing because his whole uniform was cut off of him. Bryce's diagnosis was a severe concussion, and he looks really banged up and bruised in the face. Butkus says that he has to communicate to the team that they have to suit up and go after it every day. Anthony Pastin says that it's hard to just get beaten by a little bit and still lose. It seems last year they lost each game by 20 points, and this year, their total over all games is 22 points. That's a big change. Crockett talks about how he talked to EJ about the game and if he is ready. Crockett tells the team how EJ said that they would have won the last game if he (EJ) had made less mistakes. Crockett said that he needs to hear that from more of the other players especially seniors. Crockett is calling DJ a loser because in the last game, he claimed to have a sore shoulder in one play, and then was fine in the next play. So Crockett said there's a difference between pain and injury. Crockett said that the students need tough love. They need to be told off at times, but then encouraged at others. Crockett really is a very good coach, and I am impressed by him. Butkus is a sore loser and cry baby, and really doesn't interact much with the kids and it is more evident in the later episodes.
Three days before the game we see Lou Cerro drive up in a beat up old 1992 van with 162,000 miles on it. Crockett tells Butkus that Butkus is a hall of famer and should help Cerro out. Butkus says that he will open the door for Cerro. Butkus is talking to Meat about kids who would go the extra mile and he tells Meat (Anthony Iorio) that he only found that quality in Meat out of the whole team. The Army sargent, Drill Sargent Self, has been working with Meat, and he asks if Meat wants to take on the role to be a leader and a role model and do some good. The kids are now working out. Crockett and Butkus drive up in a really nice truck. Crockett calls them over and Butkus says that they have made progress and that Crockett and Butkus will be leaving, and they talked to someone at Dodge to get him a new Dodge Ram megacab because Cerro can't be late to practice because his tires are flat and he has an old rickety car. Crockett calls all the coaches into the cab. Crockett tells Cerro that they really appreciate all that Cerro has done for them. Cerro calls his wife and tells her about the truck and how shocked he is. Cerro says that he never had a new car in his life and probably never will again. His wife was crying when he told her over the phone.
Two days before the game, and Sargent Self show sup at Meat's house at 5:55 to wake him up. Self says that he is trying to keep him fired up and motivated. Self tells him that the first step is the hardest one and welcomes Meat to the next level. Self says that you have to win your individual battle in order for everyone to win. Crockett is back coaching the team. He's encouraging the team, and telling them that they have to give 100%. Crockett said that Meat can be something special if he steps up and takes what is offered to him. Self says that it is a 200% improvement since th first day. The kids are now at the game arcade having some fun and down time. The four captains of the team get interviewed on a radio show, and their teammates show up to support them. Nick DiIanni says that the team has to give it their all even if they aren't winning. Morgan Singletary says that they are turning around Montour and that next year should be really good.
Day before the game and another practice. EJ Banks is doing good, and DJ Johnson is complaining about how he can't catch new balls. Crockett mocks DJ and they have new balls every Friday night, but maybe they can get some old balls to throw to DJ. Crockett arranges for the team to go to Allegheny School to volunteer. The school is for mentally challenged adults. One older man says that Butkus played football when the guy was a young boy. Morgan says that he thinks seeing the people there really opened his eyes. Anthony Pastin says that seeing the people taught him not to take anything for granted. Butkus shows up at Meat's house with some salsa. It seems that Meat's dad had invited Butkus to dinner to show his appreciation for all that Butkus has done. Meat's father says that it's a once in a life time opportunity. Back at the "Alumni Bar" we hear the old farts talking about how good the team has been doing. One guy says that they have to learn how to win. Another said that they didn't have a winning season since 1997. Everyone is talking about next year and when they make the playoffs.
It's game day. The team loads up into the school buses and head out to New Castle which is around an hour's drive from McKees Rocks. Cerro talks to the team about how they are on a three year losing conference record, and they need to start learning to win. Butkus has them all pray in whichever way they want, and that they should ask that they win and that no one on either team is injured. The game starts poorly for New Castle and Montour recovers a fumble. They can't make a touchdown, but get a field goal and lead 3-0. New Castle is not playing well, and Montour seems to be doing well. Then EJ fumbles and New Castle recovers. Crockett tells EJ that he has to calm down and concentrate on the plays. New Castle gets a touchdown and moves ahead 7-3. EJ is having problems throwing the ball, and Christian Wilson is unable to get anywhere. Then we see DJ bobbling the ball while Crockett has a fit over it. Crockett tells EJ that EJ threw the ball right and that he can't help it if the people aren't catching the ball when they should. There is a drastic change in the game. Montour is playing poorly and New Castle just gets the punt and runs it in for a touchdown. Then we see one of the New Castle guys grabbed the ball right out of EJ's hands and ran it in for a touchdown. The score is now 21-3. Crockett tells them it is about stepping up and being men. They have to take the responsibility and play. As Crockett says in life you get knocked down and you just have to get up and keep playing. Montour goes for a fourth and ten and EJ Banks gets sacked. New Castle is just outplaying Montour. Score is 28-3. The offense is unable to do nothing. EJ fumbles the ball again and New Castle gets the ball. Butkus says that the team took a giant step backwards in one night. Montouor winds up losing the game 34-3. Butkus said that the tendance is to go through the motions. Highlights from the next game which is against Blackhawk. Crockett is on the sidelines, but not Butkus and we don't really see the sidelines, probably because of that. Montour loses 47-16. Then we see the West Allegheny game that has a few highlights of hardhitting. This time we see Butkus on the sidelines. I think that he came to the game because of the controversy over him not showing up. Montour loses the last game of the season 28-6.
The players are clearing out their lockers. Crockett says that even though they didn't accomplish what they wanted with the playoffs, he thinks that the team has improved within themselves. Crockett said that he wished that he has eight more weeks to learn more about the kids. Crockett said that it took him five weeks to learn something about the various players. Crockett admits that he has battled with the students, but he thinks that they took something from their losses and learned about life. Crockett says that he enjoyed it all, and that they all tried hard. Butkus tells the kids that they have grown so much. Butkus said that football is like life, you get knocked down alot, but then you get back up. Butkus and Crockett have an award for them. It is an Energizer award for the student who has done as much as he could and who didn't give up. The award went to Anthony Pastin. Crockett tells the kids that it is up to the rest of the guys to take the step and to go forward with Coach Lou and that the coaches have a deep passion for football. Crockett said that if they learned to make efforts in life and give their all and have passion in life that Crockett and Butkus will have succeeded. DiIanni said that the coaching staff has brought a whole new attitude to the players. DJ says that the team is more like a family. Morgan says that he has good memories. Butkus is shaking the kids hands while Crockett is giving them hugs, and I think that explains it all. The season was a losing one, but maybe the kids have gained a good experience and have learned how to win and how to give their all.
Wednesday, November 9, 2005 -- Early AfternoonI didn't get to watch Amazing Race 8 or Bound for Glory last night because I went out with a group of friends to try Claddagh Irish Pub located at the SouthSide Works. I was looking forward to the visit because the restaurant has homemade shepherd's pie. I've made my own shepherd's pie so I was looking forward to trying it. The design of the restaurant is centered around the bar, hence the pub part of the name. Booths were scattered along the side of the bar, and since we were a large party of nine, we were placed in one of the back rooms. The items on the menu were responsibly priced with appetizers and sandwiches under $10 and entrees under $20. My boyfriend and I started out with the Pots of Gold which were potatoes that were peeled, cut in half, scooped out and filled with cheese and scallions. The potatoes were tasty, and plentiful (six halfs in all). For the entree, I decided against getting the whole shepherd's pie on my own because I heard that it was large, so I went for the half order of fish and chips. The half order was large, with a huge slice of fish. The fish was crispy, but not remarkable. The chips were large, seasoned fries, again unremarkable, and the side of coleslaw was a miniscule portion that was average in taste. Others ordered the shepherd's pie and I was immensely disappointed when I saw it. Bascially, it was a bowl of seasoned ground meat with huge chunks of carrot in it with a scoop of lumpy garlicy mashed potatoes on top. Every shepherd's pie recipe that I have seen has the meat covered with potatos on top that form a crust. It was not at all what I expected, and I was very happy that I didn't get it. My boyfriend had the salmon with dill butter, and it was okay--again a dish that was average and nothing to be excited about. I decided to get a dessert and got "Bailey's Crepes: Two thin crepes filled with a Bailey’s cream cheese, rolled and topped with a raspberry and blackberry fruit compote." Again it was a disappointment. The crepes were tough and tasteless and the cream cheese was also bland. All in all, I would have to said that Claddagh's was a huge disappointment to the palate, and I probably won't be returning in the future.
In local news, Bob O'Connor won the Pittsburgh Mayoral race. It's not like this was a surprise because the city is predominately filled with Democrats, and the Republician entry, Joe Weinroth, was campaigning by stealth and was doing everything to stay below the radar. I have to admit that O'Connor is a personable chap, and comes from the Squirrel Hill area of town (and just lives a few blocks from me). I'm hoping that he will help the city instead of hurting it.
An archaeologist from Pittsburgh discovered a complete alphabet on a tablet that dates to the 10th century B.C. in Israel this past summer. This is evident that the culture at that time might have been more sophisticated and that there were attempts to teach the language in a written form to others. The rationale is that the tablet has the alphabet on it, and could be used in a teaching situation. Some scholars disagree that the tablet is in Hebrew and claim that it is Phoenician or a mix of Phoenician and Hebrew.
Tuesday, November 8, 2005 -- MorningI'm not the only person in Pittsburgh who questions Eddie Olczyk's coaching ability or lack thereof. Even though the Penguins won last night, it wasn't from lack of trying to blow a well earned lead. It seemed that even though it was the third period and the Pens were ahead 3-0, Eddie O. called the team over to give them some suggestions that lead to the Rangers coming to within one point of tying the game. I guess that Eddie O doesn't know when to keep his mitts out when the team is doing well. Probably because as a coach, Eddie O is the pits.
Sidney Crosby is a bright spot on the team. He's always there to make a play or to put pressure on the other team. Jaromir Jagr managed to keep all the hype about Crosby in perspective however by saying that the kid may be good, but that he would wait to make that assessment because it's not fair to those who have been great for years to say that Crosby is the "Next One" based on one month's worth of play. He's right. Of course, being Jagr, some of the sarcastic bite comes out, such as when Jagr was asked about Crosby's performance against the Rangers. Jagr's reply was: "I didn't really pay attention to him. I was just concentrating on myself. Of course, he scored a goal and he had some good plays."
Charlie Batch will be the starter this coming weekend against the Cleveland Browns who suck. I'm not so worried about Batch not giving a stellar performance because he did what was needed. He didn't lose the game.
There is controversy with the Pitt football team. Tyler Palko spoke out yesterday and said that there are some players on the team who aren't giving there all for the team, and who aren't working out as hard as they could. It seems that Palko is a hard worker and a team leader, so he is just trying to call out the other members of the team to make them realize that if they don't work, they won't win any championships or may not get as much play time when the new recruits are ready to play. Palko was not alone in dissing his teammates. H.B. Blades, the middle linebacker for the team, agrees that not all of the teammates have the same desire and work ethic. Let's see what happens now that the players have brought this to light. Will Dave Wannstedt make any changes?
Monday, November 7, 2005 -- EveningThe game between the Pens and the New York Rangers. The first period started out well. The Pens have been playing well so far. One of the prettiest moves happened in the first five minutes of the period when Sidney Crosby had the puck, and was between three Rangers. Crosby leaped over the sticks of two of the players, landed on his knees, but still made a shot at the goal. It was truly beautiful. That kid does indeed have talent. It's funny because watching the game is like watching the old Pens play the new Pens. The Rangers have Jaromir Jagr, Marty Straka, and Darius Kasparaitis. At 15:20, Mario Lemieux scored a goal to give us the first score and lead of the evening. I really don't like the announcers that they have on OLN. They mispronounce players names and seem to be generally ignorant of the sport. There some stupid woman who does color bits who informed us that Lemieux is already in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Obviously they think that idiots who know nothing of hockey are watching. Score at the end of the period is Pens 1, Rangers 0.
Second period: The Rangers are back on the ice and really don't seem to have much of anything going on. Theh team just doesn't seem to be playing on all cylinders. I was hoping to see some good scoring opportunities by Jagr. There's not alot of scoring going on which I thought would be the case. With 1:57 left in the second period, Crosby scored a goal. Boy, maybe the Pens might actually win tonight which I didn't think was possible. And so far, nothing from Jagr. The period ends with the Pens still in the lead with a score of 2-0. The Rangers have more shots on goal than we do, but Sebastien Caron has been doing a great job in goal.
Third period: Wow! Another goal at 3:42 into the period for the Pens. This time it was Ziggy Palffy. Score is now 3-0. I'm waiting for the Pens to totally fall apart in the third as they usually do. Palffy was going for a breakaway and got shoved, and he gets a penalty shot. Kevin Weekes, the Ranger goalie, blocked it. Score is still 3-0. The Rangers have just scored. Ryan Hollweg scored his first NHL goal. The Rangers are putting on the pressure. At 13:36, the Rangers scored another goal. The lead is now down to one goal. Goal was scored by Marian Hossa. The last few minutes of the game were hard playing, but the Pens managed to hold on to win in the end with a score of 3-2. Jagr did not score at all in the game.
Monday, November 7, 2005 -- MorningI am really looking forward to the Penguins game tonight because they will be playing the New York Rangers. Jaromir Jagr has been one of my favorite players for awhile now, and he has made a goal in almost every game that he has played this season. The goal is to see if he can score 50 in 50. Yes, Jagr can be a pain with his personality, but that's one of the things that I like about him too. He doesn't try to please. Jagr is Jagr, and with a talent like that, you just accept him as he is. Jagr is happy with the New York Rangers, and that's something that he hasn't been in a long time. It's obvious from his successful play that things are going well for him psychologically and physically. I'm just looking forward to the show tonight, and not expecting much from the Pens.
Mario Lemieux is hoping to put in a full year of play this season. In the past, he has been plagued with back problems and other health issues. This year though, he is hoping to prevent it from happening. The question is whether this is a realistic hope since Lemieux is 40 and has never played a full season in the NHL in his entire career.
Meanwhile, the Baby Pens are still winning. They beat the Philadelphia Phantoms again yesterday. The Baby Pens record for the season is 11-0-1. Not bad at all.
This week the European Space Agency will be launching the Venus Express that will be going to Venus to gather information on how a planet that seems so much like our own could be so different. I think that some scientists are looking for a way to blame it all on greenhouse gases and make the implication that something similar could happen here on our planet. The first thing that I would like to see if such a hypothesis is made are the remnants of cars on the planet and other industrial evidence.
Sunday, November 6, 2005 -- EveningThe Steelers are playing the Green Bay Packers this afternoon. Even though I still need to lose the few pounds that I gained during my foot surgery this summer, I'm planning an eating fest. That's how it should be sometimes. Eat, drink, and be merry!
First half: Charlie Batch is starting the game, and has already gotten the Steelers into the red zone in the first three minutes of the game. He dropped the ball at one point, but recovered it himself. The only thing we were able to do is to get three points from a field goal. Green Bay had the ball, but ReShard Lee fumbled, and it was recovered by Troy Polamalu. Again we got it into the red zone, but couldn't do better than another field goal. Score is now 6-0. The Packers put up an fight to get some points and wound up with a field goal. Score is now 6-3. One minute is left in the first quarter. The first quarter ended with a near fumble by the Steelers, which only became worse in the second quarter when Batch threw an interception. Thank goodness the Packers suck! We just had a fumble by the Packers that Polamalu picked up. He ran it for 77 yards and got a touchdown. The extra point was good, and the Steelers lead 13-3. Things are not going wel for either team, and we haven't been making any scores. With 30 seconds left in the half, the Packers missed a field goal attempt from the 30 yard line.
Second half: The Packers had the ball for a total of 25 minutes in the second and third quarters, and had a seven and a half minute drive that resulted in a touchdown. The score is now 13-10. We really do miss Ben Roethlisberger, and it's obvious at times like this. charlie Batch just screwed up a snap and go sacked. Now they are trying a field goal from the 50 yard line, and it was blocked. The score is still 13-10. I admit that before the season started, I thought Roethlisberger was going to suck this season, but I was wrong. There, I admitted it. The guy really seems to know how to get things going in a game, and he's a real trooper he plays hurt. I think that the fans are noticing it more just as I am when Roethlisberger is not playing. Yeah, he may not be the best in the pre-season, but Roethlisberger knows how to put it together when it counts. Great news! Eight minutes left in the game, and the Steelers have intercepted the ball. We have the ball down to our 10 yard line. Hopefully we can get this in for a touchdown just to make things a bit more secure. Duce Staley was playing in this game, and he just ran the ball in for a touchdown from the three yard line. He got me abit irritated because he did a slow little prance at the two yard line. I hate stuff like that because that's when you get tackled by your opponent. Anyway, now the score is 20-10. A few plays later and there we are punting again, and the Packers almost brought it all the way back. They are now 35 yards from a touchdown. There are less than three minutes left in the game. Fortunately, the Packers were able to get a first down, and we have the ball again with two minutes left in the game. The Steelers are now taking the knee and wearing down the clock. We won the game, 20-10.
Good news from the Baby Pens. They won their game yesterday against the Philadelphia Phantoms and now have 10 wins and 1 loss for the year. They beat the Phantoms with a score of 4-1. They played again this afternoon, so I should have those results either later tonight or tomorrow depending on the update on the page. We don't get alot of news about the Baby Pens even though they are doing much better than our Pens. What needs to happen is that we need to bring the coach of the Baby Pens, Michel Therrien here to coach the Pens. It's not like he hasn't had head coaching experience in the NHL. Believe me, no one could be worse than Eddie O.
Saturday, November 5, 2005 -- EveningAnother Pens game tonight. We are playing the Boston Bruins. Some folks are getting excited here in Pittsburgh because the Pens won the last two games and think that all the problems are solved. They aren't though because in one of the wins, we easily gave up a two point lead late in the game, and in the other, the New York Islanders didn't show up to play. First period: John LeClair is going to be out for an indefinite time after suffering a puck to the face in practice that resulted in multiple cheekbone fractures. Poor LeClair! In the first 28 seconds of the game, Nick Boynton scored for the Bruins. They look like they have come to play. The Pens, however, seem to want to lose this game. Sidney Crosby got one of the first penalities, closely followed by Brooks Orpik, and then Mario Lemieux decided that he had to add on an interference call (the type he wanted called because people do it to him all the time), and then threw in an unsportsmanlike conduct for a total of four minutes by mouthing off to the ref for calling it. You can't have it both ways, Mario! So of course, the Bruins scored, and then scored again 35 seconds later because we were still in the box with penalities. Jiri Slegr, the former Pen and a defenseman, scored both goals. Score is 3-0 Bruins favor. Fortunately, Crosby was working some miracles and got the puck at the net, but he wound up not getting credit for the goal. That went to Mark Recchi with assists from Lemieux and Ryan Whitney. Right now with seconds left in the first period, we have a two man advantage, which will carry over into the second period. Score after the first period is Bruins 3, Pens 1. Our goal was a power play goal, as was two of the Bruins three goals.
Second period: more of the same old losing Pens. We managed to somehow not be able to get the puck into the Bruins end of the ice even though we had a two man advantage. I am not seeing anything going on with this team in this game that leads me to believe that the situation has changed much because of the two wins. It seems that problems are still abounding. We had a power play, but weren't able to do anything with it. The Bruins, however, score again, and the score is now 5-1 in favor of the Bruins. At that point (9:37), Sebastien Caron was pulled and Jocelyn Thibault was put in his place. At 12:01, we had some excitement when a fight broke out between Rico Fata and Slegr. Slegr elbowed Fata and got called for the penalty, and then Fata decided to do some shoving and Slegr dropped his gloves and pummeled Fata. I always did like Slegr, and I don't care for which team he plays.
Third period: Almost eight minutes into the period, and Boston has scored again. It seems that this is going to a blowout loss. Score is now 6-1. The Pens seem to be exceptional at blowing a two man advantage. It wasn't until the power play ended that Lemieux managed to shoot the puck over so Lasse Pirjeta could make a goal. Score is now 6-2. Another fight at with 4:42 left in the game. This time it was Ryan Malone getting pummeled. He got five minutes for fighting. Then play just started and another Pen was getting pummeled. Yes, we were on the losing side of all three fights this evening. This time it was Ryan VandenBussche. Eddie Olczyk looks worried, and obviously isn't good at the coaching bit because he just sent 6 offensive players off on the ice. What an idiot! Crosby was set to take the penalty. Let's fire Eddie O! We just got another penalty with less than two minutes left in the game, and this time Pirjeta actually hurt the Boston player and he had to be helped off the ice with a knee injury. I am thoroughly disgusted with the play of the Pens tonight and their unsportsmanlike performance. With three seconds left, and the Bruins not even playing, Recchi scored a goal. Final is 6-3.
Saturday, November 5, 2005 -- Late AfternoonThe group responsible for the "girlcott" of Abercrombie & Fitch were some local teenage girls with the group Allegheny County Girls as Grantmakers. It seems that a group of 20 were responsible for getting Abercrombie & Fitch to remove shirts with slogans such as "Who Needs Brains When You Have These" from the store's catalog. Now the group will be meeting with reprensentatives of the store to come up with slogans for shirts that will be empowering for girls. I guess that I must be the only person who has issues with this boycott. I'm sorry, but if a saying on a shirt disenfranchizes a person, that person has a problem. If someone thinks that things will change for women, or that girls will somehow have better images of themselves if they wear shirts that say something like "Girls are Smart", that person or group doesn't really have a grip of reality or where the real problem lies. Where is the problem? The problem lies in the fact that women (and girls) are more willing to protest over silly issues such as humorous slogans on shirts, but not willing to protest over sexual discrimination in the workplace. An example is the University of Pittsburgh's communication and rhetoric program. In April of 2004, there were reports of a hostile workplace environment in the department because of male professors having sex with female students and preferential treatment given to male members of the department. Of course, the University denies that there is a problem, but recently the last two women faculty members of the department resigned. Yes, you did hear me right. The last two women left because of problems of discrimination in the department. Of course, it is still denied that there is discrimination in the department. I'm sure that if women and girls wear shirts with empowering statements on them, everything will just be fine in the world. Let's address issues like that instead of real problems such as sexual discrimination in the workplace and penalizing of women who report the issue. Perhaps the Allegheny County Girls as Grantmakers should look at some of the harder issues that really do affect the female population as opposed to shirt slogans. After all, girl power shirts have been available for awhile now, and that obviously is not helping out women where it really matters.
You have to feel for Terrell Owens. A couple of weeks ago, he had his 100th touchdown reception and received no recognition of the fact publicly by the Philadelphia Eagles. The team management does know how to recognize T.O. when he complains about the lack of recognition for his individual effort and that he thinks that the team might be doing better with the aid of Brett Favre than with the mediocre play of Donovan McNabb. If you look at the passer ratings for both, Favre is better. McNabb's stats are boosted by last year's really good ratings. Granted, I am not a big fan of McNabb's since his loser whine in losing the Super Bowl last year because he was just puking from exhaustion. Yes, T.O. has been disruptive to the team this season, but he did ask to be traded and Philadelphia refused. So they are getting some of what they asked for by keeping him around. Now T.O. has been suspended indefinitely for his comments. Sometimes I don't understand team management. They hire folks like T.O. knowing that they are prone to be outspoken and troublemakers in a fashion, but they think that it will be different under their management. No it won't. I think that the Eagles handling of T.O. just made the situation worse. I think that if I worked with McNabb, I'd be beating his ear just like T.O.
Friday, November 4, 2005 -- EveningThe Pitt Panthers lost yet another game last night. They were playing Louisville who was favored to win, and did so with a final score of 42-20. Pitt did it's scoring in the first half and then just fell apart miserably. With the schedule that the team has coming up, it seems likely that this will be the worst season that Pitt has had since 1999. Chances are that the team will finish up with a losing season of at best 5 wins and 6 losses. The reason for this thinking is that one of the two teams that we have left to play is West Virginia at Thanksgiving. West Virgina has 7 wins and 1 loss.
Abercrombie & Fitch gave into pressure to drop shirts with sayings that got under the skin of some women's groups. The store understands that some women are offended by the shirts, so they are pulling them from the stores and won't be selling them. I think that it is sad that the company gave into pressure from women's groups that had no sense of humor. I would have thought that the story about the "girlcott" would have caused more women who have brains and humor to actually purchase the shirts.
Sprint, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications have joined together to come up with a plan to develop and distribute voice, data, video and wireless services across America. One of the things that the group is talking about is to enable you to program your DVR from your cell phone. So if you are stuck in traffic and know that you will be missing a show that you really want to see and forget to record, you can just dial in and do it. Also, you might be able to watch video from your cell phone. I can understand the interest in doing these sorts of things, and know that there have been times when I might really want to do something like this. AT the same time, you have to wonder if we are becoming too connected. When do we get away, and just take a walk in the park and enjoy the scenery?
Thursday, November 3, 2005 -- EveningTwo competing events this evening. There is a Pittsburgh Penguins game and Survivor: Guatemala/The Maya Empire. Since I already missed two periods of the game, I'll comment on the Survivor show, and then do an analysis of the game. Good news so far, because the Pens are ahead 4-1 against the New York Islanders.
The Survivor: Guatemala/The Maya Empire episode tonight is The Hidden Immunity Idol. The show starts at night after Amy was voted out of Yaxhu. The remaining Yaxhu members are heading over to the Nakum camp, and the Nakum members are sleeping. The remaining Yaxhu folks pledge to work together. Bobby Jon says that it's going to be hard for him because he can't stand Stephanie or Jamie. The Nakum members are woken up and told that they are now merged. Stephanie says that her head is spinning. Bobby Jon starts getting the fire going and Jamie comes over and makes a comment about how he has the shelter and the others will have to sleep outside. The next morning, Gary, Brandon, Danni and Bobby Jon are bringing in wood. Danni says that the Yaxhu members feel like outsiders and slaves. They realize that they have to kowtow to the Nakum members. Brandon admits that he and Bobby Jon are probably first on the chopping block. Lydia and Rafe find a message saying that there is a hidden immunity idol in the woods. Whoever finds it can use at any tribal council up to the final four. It just needs to be used before the vote. Everyone is out to look for the little (6 inch) stone idol. You don't have to tell anyone that you found the idol until you use it. Gary says that he won't tell anyone he has it. Brandon said that he could really use it because he feels that he has a target on his head. Bobby Jon is talking to Stephanie in the woods about how he wants to be on the jury. Stephanie says that she wants to make that too. Stephanie said that she can't make any promises because it will be either him or Brandon that goes. After the conversation, we see the wooden idol stuck in a tree. Does Bobby Jon find it?
Lydia asks if they have thought of a name for the tribe. They decide on the name Xhukum. Lydia comments on how they are one big happy tribe for now. It seems that they are still looking for the idol. Jamie said that he is looking for it so he can target Yaxhu. Bobby Jon said that he spends an hour a day searching for the idol, but you can't drive yourself looking for it. Rafe said that he is horrible at looking for things and doesnt think there is much hope that he would find it. He stuck his hand into a hornets nest while looking and decided that was a sign from the Mayan gods to give up on searching. Stephanie said that she was expecting some sort of food, but they didn't get anything. Danni said that it was such fun over in Yaxhu and everyone got along so well, and they made the best of things. Meanwhile the Nakum people do nothing but whine and complain about how awful it is. Gary makes some fishing lures and the Yaxhu go fishing together. Judd thinks that it is a smack in the face they went fishing while Nakum eats the Yaxhu candy. Rafe doesn't think that they are safe, and Brandon admits that he thinks it is sad that the Yaxhu folks are made to feel like they have to act like slaves and do all the work for the old Nakum folks. Judd and Jamie joke about how they should evict the person who comes back with the largest fish. At that point, Rafe wonders if he has joined the Axis of Evil. Judd and Stepanie say that the order of eviction is Brandon, Bobby Jon and then Danni. Jamie says that it's not about being nice but knocking people off and winning. Meanwhile the old Yaxhu folks want to row back to the old camp and chill out and enjoy themselves as they did in the past.
Everyone is hanging out at the pool. Stephanie says that is nice to have the pool. Bobby Jon doesn't think that the Nakum's fairytale will come true. Bobby Jon doesn't think that the six Nakum will make it to the final six. It seems that the first individual immunity will be up. The immunity appears to be to walk with a pot on their heads. Danni doesn't have the head for this sort of competition because her head is uneven. Jeff asks how the merge went. Jamie admits that he said that the Yaxhu would have to sleep outside. Bobby Jon said that he doesn't care. Cindy said that she was looking forward to a snack. They will have a merge feast. The thing is that if you want to eat at the feast, you can't compete in the challenge, and if you compete in the challenge, you can't eat at the feast. The competition is to balance a clay pot on your head without touching it. You have to stand on a platform. If after one hour, there is a tie, they will go to a tiebreaker. Jamie, Rafe, Stephanie and Lydia choose the feast. The others choose the competition. Jamie comments that Bobby Jon and Brandon were out first and that Judd was up there saving "their" lead. Bobby Jon says that he is not going to let Jamie tell him what he is going to do. Rafe is really having problems with the comments that it is the six of them against the four of the others. Rafe tells Jamie that they shouldn't talk, and Stephanie consoles him. Danni has the pot slip off of her head. It is a tie with the remaining five. Now they go to the pyramid and have to race up it with the pot on their heads. The one to make it to the top first, or to get the farthest without dropping the pot wins immunity. Cindy is first out. Gary won the immunity. Bobby Jon and Brandon both lost their pots.
Day 21. Jamie and Judd got into an argument. Judd seems angry at the fact that Jamie chose eating and just made comments. Danni thought that it was cocky and arrogant. Cindy didn't think that was nice. Everyone agrees that Jamie acting like an ass wasn't nice. Also, the fact that Jamie let the cat out of the bag about voting out the Yaxhu people. Rafe said to Danni that he felt crappy all day. At the feast, Rafe thought that it crystalized in front of his eyes and thought that he was in with the devil. Judd and Stephanie join in some Jamie bashing with Bobby Jon. Everyone is very unhappy with Jamie, and it might be that Jamie might get voted out. Bobby Jon asks Jamie in front of Brandon if his head is on the chopping block. Jamie says that they are all good farm boys and should say something if someone is on the block. Bobby JOn then lets Brandon know that Judd and Stephanie were talking about getting rid of Jamie. Brandon, however, isn't believing it, although he says he would crap his pants if it works out like that. Brandon says that he has been thinking about going home and being voted out and that this came up about Jamie. Brandon is out looking for the idol. He is hoping that Jamie gets voted out and that he won't need the idol. Gary says to Rafe that if they do what's right, they vote against Jamie. Gary lets Rafe know that there is nine and the others still have an advantage. Cindy would rather hurt Jamie's feelings than Brandons. Cindy thinks that Brandon deserves to be there more than Jamie. She says that she won't know until she write the name on the paper. Tribal council. Rafe said that it was hard to hear Jamie's comments because he didn't want to hear this us against them, and wants it to be a game about respecting each other. Bobby Jon thought that it was no class. Jamie says that he can just think what he wants. Bobby Jon and Jamie just start arguing. Jamie claims that he didn't disrespect anyone. Cindy said that she competed because she can eat when she gets home. She also didn't appreciate not being considered when Jamie commented that Judd was competing for the Nakum because she did everything that Judd did without the appreciation. Gary is asked if the six who competed deserved to stay in and not one of the four who ate. Gary says it should be based on heart and who deserves it. Cindy says that morals and heart come into play when making a decision. Everyone is asked if they have the idol and would like to present it. No one does. Jamie votes out Brandon. Bobby Jon votes out Jamie. Bobby Jon says that Jamie is not a southern gentleman and has no class. It is time for the vote tally. Who is out? I hope it is not Brandon. Votes: Brandon, Brandon, Jamie, Jamie, Brandon, Jamie, Brandon, Jamie, Brandon, Brandon. Brandon is voted out. It is sad that the Nakum players did that, and I have less respect for them, especially for Rafe and Cindy who had issues with Jamie's morals, and yet still voted for him.
Meanwhile the Pens had a very good game today. Sidney Crosby scored two goals and one assist. Surprisingly, the Pens actually won today, and in something of a blowout. Erik Christensen got his first NHL goal in the game too. This is the type of game that we should be playing all the time. The part of the third period that I saw was pretty much puck passing in the middle of the ice. It wasn't very thrilling or exciting, and it didn't look like the Islands had much going for them. It appears that was the story for the majority of the game. The final score was Pens 5, Islanders 1.
Thursday, November 3, 2005 -- AfternoonBen Roethlisberger had arthroscopic knee surgery today, and should be out for the next week to two weeks. That means that Charlie Batch will be starting until Roethlisberger comes back.
Sidney Crosby has been named the NHL's rookie of the month for October. This is impressive considering how poorly the team has done on the whole and based on the rookie competition. Crosby has the right attitude about the award. He says that it's nice to get, but that he is more concerned with winning games at this point.
Two rather interesting stories stories are appearing in this week's Nature. First up is that scientists think that they have identified some of the first light that would have appeared from the earliest stars in the Cosmos. If they are correct, scientists could gather more information on what caused the universe to exist. Now, whether they have actually found the first stars is the question because basically what they did is observations of the skies and tried to subtract the light from known stars, galaxies, etc. I think that it is like fishing for a needle in a haystack, but they believe that they have found it. The second story is about the measurement of the black hole in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Two scientists from China say that their measurements of the black hole put it at half the size of earlier estimates. According to them, the black hole will fit in the space between the Sun and the Earth.
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 -- Later AfternoonNow for Bound for Glory. This afternoon when I was leaving the Oakland area, there were a slew of different football players and cheerleaders from schools across the city, and my boyfriend saw Morgan Singletary. On that note, now on to the show. Ray Crockett commented that he did not believe that Elizabeth Forward beat Montour, but that Montour beat itself. Nick DiIanni hurt his shoulder in that game. His father thought he should go back into the game because he wasn't that badly hurt. The show starts four days before the game with Ambridge. Dick Butkus is asking Lou Cerro what's the story is with Nick DiIanni, and Cerro is saying that it's something in the shoulder. It seems that DiIanni hit his elbow and popped his shoulder up. Crockett is thinking that Bryce can be quarterback. Cerro thinks that they should do with EJ Banks who is a freshman. DiIanni goes to the doctor who checks out his shoulder and explains where the pain is. It seems that DiIanni may have separated his AC joint. The plan is to take an MRI. Best case is that it will be one week out, worse case is that it is three or four weeks. It seems that DiIanni has never missed a game and would hate to not play in his senior year. At the film session, Crockett goes over what mistakes the linebackers are making. Crockett said that he is frustrated because he wants the kids to win, and they can't seem to find a way to win. Anthony Pastin comments on how everyone is down and how it is hard to get back up. DJ Johnson is commenting on how they come into the game with a good attitude, but that it is frustrating to lose. Butkus talks about the year that his team was 1-13, and before that season, he thought they would have a winning season. Cerro tells them to prep themselves for winning the game this week. The team is going through their exercises on the field. EJ Banks is going to be the quarterback, and he is just a freshman. Crockett sais that they should prepare like DiIanni won't be ready for the game, and see what happens. Bryce would like to get some snaps in, but the coaches won't let him. Crockett asks Bryce if he can learn the plays to which Bryce says he can, and Crockett laughs. EJ seems to look smooth and has a nice arm motion. EJ admits that he is abit nervous because he doens't know what to expect. EJ tells his mom about the plan for him to be the starting quarterback. EJ calls his dad and lets him know about the good news. DiIanni's father talks to his younger son about what was going on at practice. A call comes in and it is good news for DiIanni. It will be a day by day thing, and he might be ready to play by the Friday game.
Butkus and Crockett are getting lunch at JoJo's place where they have the Butkus Buffalo Chicken Sandwich special. It's three days before the game. Butkus doesn't think the other players will rally around EJ. Crockett says that the best thing about EJ is that the players like him and might rally around him. Also, EJ doesn't have any of the bad habits yet. AS Crockett said, EJ just needs to go out and play. Butkus asks what if DiIanni is ready to go. Crockett says that if DiIanni isn't ready by Wednesday, they have to go with EJ. The question is whether EJ can handle being hit. DiIanni doesn't think that he will practice this week, but if he is ready to throw on Friday, he will. Butkus drives on to the field. With him he has two Steelers, Joey Porter, Antwaan Randle El. and Kevin Jones with the Detroit Lions. The kids applaud and Crockett tells them that until you are mathematically eliminated, you keep on trying. Randle El is giving tips on quarterbacking. Randle El is a slash player. He's one of my favorite Steelers. Randle El likes EJ. Kevin Jones is showing the kids how to run some plays. Kevin Jones thought that they were small, but thinks they could still make up for that. Joey Porter show the players how to make hits and stop the run. Even Joey Porter thought they were undersized for a high school football team. He thinks that if they play with heart, they can make it up. Porter tells them that this is the most fun that they will have in football, and they will get out of it what they want to take out of it. Randle El tells them they have to believe. Joey Porter gives them his pep jump and scream. EJ is talking to his parents about playing. His dad, Edgar Banks, said that EJ is just 14. EJ said that he may be small, but he plays big. His little sister made a sign for her brother saying he was "Bound for Glory".
The Montour Band is having a car wash at a local fast food location. The football boosters president challenged the band boosters to a challenge to see who can wash the most cars. They have a trophy at stake and some other challenges. The kids from the band and the football team are on opposite sides of the street. The band sends over their band van, and the football players send over a huge truck. The KFS is giving out free food to boost the band's washings. The band had 130 cars and 5 huge trucks, and the football boosters had 221 cars. The football players were glad to win something. It's all for the school, so it was for a good cause. EJ got his head shaved and Crockett is encouraging him. We also find out that it is Bryce's first year playing football, and he thinks that he can throw the ball. Butkus is asking Bryce if he can fill in if something happens to EJ. DiIanni is saying that he really can't throw, and it is going to be hard to sit out a game. EJ looks good. The problem is in having the receivers not be butterfingers. EJ is trying to stay focused on the game and thinks they can win if the team stays focused. EJ and Christian Wilson are cousins and have been playing football for awhile. The two families meet to play pool in Christian's family's gorgeous pool room. EJ's dad is not worried about him and thinks that he will do a good job.
Practice the day before the game. Butkus thinks that EJ is fine and that he will do well. The kid seems cool. Butkus gives his pep talk about pulling together offensively. He doesn't seem to know EJ's name, but that's Butkus, the non-coach for you. The underclassmen don't seem to be willing to ply. It seems they have already given up. Morgan tells them that he is not going to play in college and that this will be his last four games of football. Pastin tells one kid who laughs while the seniors are giving a pep talk to leave because they don't need people on the team who aren't taking it seriously. It seems that most of them aren't. Back at the "Alumni Bar" (Kennedy Township Fireman's Hall), they are talking about EJ Banks and his potential. They all seem to be up on EJ leading the team to a win. The morning of the game, Pastin's father is asking if the team realizes that if they went three of the next four games, they make the playoffs. As Pastin says, the team just doesn't care. His father says that the seniors have to do something about it. At EJ's house, they are eating eggs and bacon. EJ's dad is amazed at how calm he is. EJ wants to show his parents and sister what he can do instead of just telling them. The Pep Rally shows the students being excited. EJ is being announced as the new quarterback.
It's game time. We see the band pulling the football boosters in a chariot around the field. Butkus tells the team to show them who they are. If everyone does it, then the team will win. EJ gets his first throw in as a first down, and then throws deep to DJ Johnson, who catches the ball. EJ seems to be doing good and is able to make the throws. Montour makes a touchdown and gets the extra point. Score is 7-0. EJ did well in his first series of play. Ambridge comes back to score a touchdown. The extra point is good and the score is tied. Crockett is yelling at one of the defense guys who wasn't covering his area. Crockett says that the team has to beat Ambridge.
It is now in the second quarter. Ambridge throws down the field and appears to make a touchdown, but there is a flag on the play. The Ambridge coach goes out on the field to argue. it seems that it was an illegal forward pass and it is going to fourth down. Ambridge has to punt. EJ gets intercepted because DJ is not in position. As Crockett yells at DJ, he says that he doesn't care what the other team does, you keep running. EJ is really upset at throwing an interception and DiIanni tells him that it wasn't EJ's fault. Crockett keeps on trying to explain to DJ that you don't stop running and complaining because the quarterback is trying to throw you the damn ball. DJ said that the problem was that the defender grabbed his face mask and pulled him, so DJ stopped to look for a flag, and of course, there wasn't one. Crockett apologizes for yelling at DJ, but says that it is a lesson learned. The defense does its job of blocking a touchdown, but Ambridge makes a field goal. The score at halftime is Ambridge 10, Montour 7. EJ blames himself for the interception. Lou Cerro tells them to go out there and battle and get the other team to respect them. Neither side scores in the second half and there is some good rough and tumble football. DJ Johnson doesn't go back into play because he is abit sore with six minutes left in the game, but EJ goes in for him. Crockett tells EJ that he has to look at his man because you can't cover if you don't look at him. Crockett also tells DJ to suck it up and play with the pain. Ambridge turns over the ball with 25 seconds left in the game. EJ throws deep and misses. Bryce is knocked down and isn't moving. He is motionless. It looks like he was knocked out. The trainers rush to him, and his parents run over. The trainers tell Bryce to keep talking to them. He has neck pain and is out of it. They have Bryce wrapped up and are taking him to Allegheny General Hospital. It's now Montour's final shot. The ball is thrown to DJ, and he gets nowhere. Montour loses 10-7. It is hard for Crockett to understand how the team loses because they get the opportunities, they just don't seize them. Crockett feels sorry for Bryce because he was coming on all season. Butkus said that everyone wants to win, but only one team does win. Butkus thinks that the team has improved by leaps and bounds. Next week will be the season finale for the show.
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 -- AfternoonI took off some time this afternoon because of the cold, so I thought that I would catch up on the shows that I missed yesterday. First up is Amazing Race 8. This episode is titled I'm Sick of Doing Stuff I Can't Do. The race starts at the Panama Canal on the Pacific Ocean side. The Paolos are the first to depart at 8:22 pm. They must first head to San Jose, Costa Rica via three charter buses that run 30 minutes apart. It's first come, first served. Once in San Jose, they have to drive themselves to Volcan Poas, it's a thousand foot deep active volcano. The next clue is to be found on the rim. The Paolo mother things that her kids will learn to appreciate her more after the experiences and might learn that eventhough she is not as fast as she was, she might still be useful. Unfortunately, the sound quality on the show dropped at this point. The Weavers were the second to leave, but it was impossible to hear what they were saying. The Paolos got a courtesy car while the Weavers went for a taxi. The Weavers were talking about how their fellow competitors don't seem to like them. The sound came back for me to hear how the Weavers can't control what everyone else thinks of them. They did say that they were all Christians and above all this. The Bransens head off next. The Linzs leave at 9:17. The Linz family says that the competition has kicked int. The Linz are the first to get a taxi. The Gaghans leave, and the little Gaghan girl thinks they have to run there, so the mother explains that it is 200 miles away. The Bransens all cram into a very small taxi. The Paolos get the 11:30 am bus, and seem to have the first bus. The Paolo son tells the Linzs where to go to get the ticket. The Paolo mother says that as long as it isn't the Weavers tell the others where to get the ticket. Everyone dislikes the Weavers as the elder Paolo son says because they are rude and inconsiderate to everyone. Nice Christian qualities of the Weavers. The Godlewski sisters leave without any money. They decided to use their feminine wiles to get them someone. They manage to get some money from some cute guys at a bar. The weavers wind up on the second bus at 12:00, and the Bransens wind up on the third bus. The Godlewski sisters are being nice to the Weavers so the Weavers will be nice to them, but the plan is to backstab the Weavers. Everyone is camped out at the bus station sleeping. The first bus leaves. Everyone seems to bond and be happy on the first bus. The Gaghan father says that when you see poverty in other countries, you learn to appreciate what you have in your life. The first bus arrives. The elder Paolo boy tries to hurry on his mother, and she says that she is coming to which the son replies "so is Christmas". The Linz family gets to the van first, and the Paolos follow them. The Linzs find a taxi driver to lead them to the Volcano, and the Paolos play for it to be split later. The Gaghans and Weavers start looking for transportation while the Weaver mom prays for God to help them.
The Weavers and Gaghans lose time because the Bransens and Godlewskis catch up and show them where the cars are. The Bransens have a disagreement because the daughters don't want to get out of the car. The Linzs and Paolos get to the Volcano easily. The problem is that the Park is closed, and they have to wait for morning for the gates to open. The Weavers are in fifth place and the Bransens are in last. The Gaghan family gets in cheaper because kids are free. The Linzs are first and surprisingly, the Gaghans are second. The teams must now find a coffee plantation, the Doka Estate. They will find the clue there. Everyone gets a caution that there will be a yield ahead. The Linzs are in first place, and they are trying to alude the Weavers. The Paolos are in 4th place and seem to be getting along alot better now. The Bransens stop for a map. They may currently be in last place, but they know how to get where they are going. The Linzs are talking about yielding the Weavers. Everyone is talking about yielding the Weavers. At the Doka Plantation, everyone is in a mad dash to get the next clue. This is the first of only two yields in the race. A yield means that one team can force any other team to yield for a specfic allocated period of time. Each team can only use their yield once in the game, so they must decide when it is in their best interests to use it. The team that is forced to yield must turn an hour glass over and wait for the sand to run out of the glass. The Paolos get the first number and choose to yield the Weavers. A roadblock is ahead. Only one member of the team may perform this task. The task is to go through 800 pounds of coffee beans looking for the one red bean. Once they find the bean, they get their next clue. The Paolo mom and Gaghan mom go into the competition. The secret is to spread it out and look for it. The Godlewskis are first, surprisingly. The next stop is for the teams to travel 94 miles to Jaco which is a beach town. They have to enter the surf shop there and find Javier to get their next clue. The Paolo mom is second. The Weavers get to the yield and start making fun of the Paolos because their photo is taken in front of the garbage truck that the Dad drives for a living. One of the Weaver girls hits the photo of the Paolos. Little do they realize that everyone was out to get them. The Linzs find their bean next. The Weavers being the nice Christians that they are, are mocking the photos of all the other teams. What a jerky family! I hope they lose. The Weavers yell out rude things to the teams that are passing them, and are obvious poor losers as the Linzs comment. The Gaghan mother is having real problems finding their bean. The Weavers realize that no one wants them and thinks that they might get elminated.
The Weavers keep on talking about how they are responsible to a higher authority and won't stoop to do such things as the Paolos did. Funny because they were telling the drivers of the boats last week to drive slowly for everyone else. The Gaghan mother is not able to find the red bean. The Gaghan kid tells his dad that he hopes the mom knows what red looks like, and the dad yells out to look for the "red" bean. The Godlewskis are trying to talk to the Paolos to find out where to go. The mother tells the elder son that he shouldn't tell others anything, and he replies that he will until they get to the final three and then it will be every man (or family) for himself. The Linz boys are making fun of their sister. The Weaver mother keeps on yelling out to the daugher to pray to God to find the bean, like God is worried about the Weavers finding a bean. The Weaver girl finds the bean before the Gaghan mother. The Gaghans are now in last place with no hope of finding the bean in the near future. The Gaghans are getting really frustrated. The mother finally finds the bean, and they head off. The Bransens get to the surf shop first. There's a detour. The choices are Relic, where the teams have to make their way to the nearby rainforest, and cross six precarious rope bridges while looking for four relics of the Mayan civilization. One each is delivered to the local archaeologist, they get their next clue. In Ripe, the team must go to a banana planation, gather 15 bushels of bananas and load them onto a hanging tracks, then using a pulley system, they have to convey the bananas to the packing station and get their clue from the floor manager. The Linzs and the Bransens take Relic while the Paolos take Ripe. Most of the other teams seem to be taking Relic. The Godlewskis are really starting to argue now. The Paolos make it to the Plantation, and only the father can seem to lift the bananas. It seems that they are really heavy. I wonder if they did the right thing by choosing ripe. The rope bridges seem really scary, and I know with my fear of falling from heights, I would have issues with it. Everyone does seem to be doing the Relics except the Paolos. The father seems to be a real work horse. The Bransens get their four different relics and head back, but it is a long way on the bridge. The Paolos have their bananas done. The Paolo sons admit that they could not do what their father does for a living. The man is a strong guy. The teams must now travel to the next Pit Stop which is at the town Quepos which is approximiately 20 miles away. The last family to check in may be eliminated. The Paolos know where they are going because they saw the signs to Quepos. The Bransens are in second so far and the Linzs in third. The Gaghan kids are telling their dad to drive faster. The Gaghans note that the other families were there and gone and only the Weavers are left. The Gaghans are enjoying the search for the relics while the Weaver van is stuck in the mud. The Weavers want a guy to give them a push. Now obviously the guy speaks Spanish, but the Weavers think that by yelling at him, he'll help. He just looks at them.
The Weaver mother start complaining and said that she is sick of doing things she can't do, and drives off without the kids. She has to stop to get them eventually. The Gaghans are still in last place. The Paolos are in Quepos. The Paolos seem to be in the lead. The son tells the mom to run and is trying to give her alot of encouragement. The elder Paolo son tells his mom not to stop. The first family are the Paolos. The mom says she can't do this anymore, and the family says she can. The Paolos start celebrating becuase they are team number one. They each get either a Segway, Vespa, jet ski, or all terrain vehicle. Each of them gets one. The elder son says that the mother has really impressed him with all the things that she has done. The father admits that this was the best thing for them. Although they argue alot, you can tell that they are alot more encouraging of each other than they were at the beginning of the race. The Linz family is second, and Bransen is team number 3. The Godlewskis park and run up for 4th place. The Gaghan son realizes that they are in last place. The father says that they will not give up on this and will race to the end. The Gaghans park and run their tussies off. The Weavers are team number 5. The father tells them that they will come back for vacation because he loves this place. The Gaghans are eliminated. The kids are crying while trying to hold it in. The poor little girl. The father said that it was rough seeing the tears in his kids' eyes, but he hopes that they learn perserverance and to never give up.
Tuesday, November 1, 2005 -- EveningThere are a few things on to watch this evening and my cold is worse, so I will watch Amazing Race 8 and Bound for Glory tomorrow, and concentrate on the Pens game tonight and have an early evening.
The Pens is up first. Sebastien Caron is starting in goal for the Pens, and Erik Christensen and Ryan Whitney were starters. We are playing the New Jersey Devils and the good thing is that Martin Brodeur is not playing tonight due to a knee injury. The difficulty in watching hockey on television is that it is really difficult to get a feel for how the team is performing as a unit or what energy it has. So far, things don't seem that energizer, but we'll have to see if it picks up. Not much of anything really happened in the first period, and it ends without a score on either side. We had eight shots on goal compared to the Devils five. As you can tell from those stats there was just alot of puck passing and not much else. This was the most boring period of hockey that I have seen in awhile. The second period starts. 6:26 into the period New Jersey scores with a goal by Jamie Langenbrunner. The score is 1-0. Again another situation in which the Pens aren't the first to score. So the Pens got a 5 on 3 power play and the new kid Ryan Whitney thought that he had a goal, and it went up to the box. The Pens were hoping for another one of those bogus calls like they got on Saturday where the goalie's glove went into the net with the puck in it and that counted as a goal. I called it bogus then, and I call it bogus now. This one doesn't look like the glove is even in the net. No goal. A few seconds later, Sidney Crosby shot one on net and it went in. The game is now tied. Unbelieveable! A little over a minute later, Lasse Pirjeta scored for the Pens and we now have the lead 2-1. The periods in abit over three minutes without any additional scoring. I am really amazed at how empty the arena looks. There is no word yet on the attendance, but it looks abismal. The third period is starting and we find out that Mark Recchi is getting credit for the second Pens goal. The Pens have a penalty from Christensen, and Maxime Talbot scored a short-handed goal. The score is now 3-1. Of course, we usually fall apart in the last 8 minutes or so of the game, and this time Sergei Gonchar got a penalty, and New Jersey capitalized on it, by shooting the puck at the net and having it kicked in by one of our players. The score is now 3-2. Four minutes are left in the game now. with 2:12 left in the game, the Devils score again. Score is now tied. This is shaping up as another sorry-assed Pen loss. The Devils are like sharks circling in a bloody pool. Another lead blown. We are now in overtime. We can only hope for a win now and not a repeat of our past history. My Gosh! I don't believe it! Gonchar just scored and the Pens won. We still aren't looking good, and we have a long way to go for improvements.
Tuesday, November 1, 2005 -- AfternoonIt seems that Ben Roethlisberger was hurt in yesterday's game. So far, the official word is that it is a posterior capsule strain in the right knee. They are doing an MRI, and there should be more information later along with the time frame that he might be out.
I had a very nice lunch today. The McRib is back! A McRib is good eating. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of savoring this tasty morsel, the McRib is McDonald's answer to a rib sandwich. It's a slab of preprocessed pork meat slathered in tasty barbeque sauce. Pickles and onions are scattered on the sandwich. It is one of my favorite foods and offered only for a limited time at McDonald's in the Pittsburgh area.
Tuesday, November 1, 2005 -- MorningEddie Olczyk says that he understands that his job is on the line if the Pens don't start winning soon. We aren't talking about one win followed by several losses, but moving onto the track of several wins. Tonight will be another game, and we will have to see how the team does. Ryan Whitney and Erik Christensen should be getting some playing time this evening, so we will have to see how they do.
Prince Charles and Camilla are coming to the United States for a week long visit. The visit will start in New York City and include a trip to Ground Zero today. Tomorrow they will head to Washington, then New Orleans, then Marin County, and end in San Francisco. Each day will be a new city. One group that will be following Charles and Camilla around is PETA. They have issues with the Royal Guard wearing bearskin hats, and think that fake fur should be used instead. Personally, I think that PETA should spend it's time on more important things, but it is their time and money to waste.
Two new moons have been found orbiting around Pluto. Scientists are hoping that this new find can give us some more information about how the Kuiper Belt was formed.
Some news about Big Brother. House Calls had its last show last Monday, and I just watched the clip. Gretchen and Marcellas talked to Ivette, and Ivette still seems clueless about what a hypocrite she and the Maggots were. Marcellas kept on trying to explain to Ivette what a hypocrite she is and trying to explain how America viewed the Maggots and how mean they were to others. Ivette won't listen and I don't think that she will ever understand. That's her loss. In other news, James has a web site and so does Howie. Scott Long from Big Brother 5 had a small bit part in a stupid movie called The Scorned. It seems that the movie got some really bad reviews, but it shouldn't affect Scott very much because he only had a small bit part.