The Daily Bongo
Monday, October 31, 2005 -- EveningFirst half
The Steelers have a Monday night football game this evening. I'm hoping that I can stay awake for the entire game because I am feeling a cold come on. The Steelers got the ball first and ate up almost nine minutes on plays that resulted in a touchdown. Ben Roethlisberger threw a pass to Heath Miller. They lead now 7-0. The announcers are talking about how we should all worry about Roethlisberger's injury status because he had some strong hits. The only response that I have is that Roethlisberger is a tough boy, and I'm sure that he will be fine. Right now, he is in the locker room, but I'm sure that he's just getting some wrapping. our defense is not really doing as well as I would like, and the Baltimore Ravens came back to tie things up in the last two minutes of the first period. The score is now 7-7. Roethlisberger is back on the field and it looks as if his right knee has been taped. Originally a few weeks ago, Roethlisberger had hurt his left knee, so the right knee is something new. With the start of the second period, the Steelers aren't being as dominant as we all thought considering how poorly the Ravens have been doing this season. The offense is having trouble getting the ball off, and Roethlisberger has been sacked a few times. He punted the ball off (he's a multi-tasker), and Cedrick Wilson caught the ball on the one yard line, so that's where the Ravens got the ball. Jamal Lewis fumbled the ball, and we recovered it. We weren't able to get a touchdown even though we were ten yards out at first. Roethlisberger got sacked, and we had to settle for a 41 yard field goal attempt. Roethlisberger got intercepted at 9:19, and the Ravens have the ball. Fortunately, they aren't able to get a touchdown and have to settle for a field goal. the score is tied: 10-10. This is really sucking! We just got the ball and fumbled! The Ravens have the ball again. We really aren't doing too well in this half. It's surprising because I don't think anyone was anticipating this. Thank goodness, the Ravens went for a field goal and missed. Great play! Roethlisberger threw the ball to Hines Ward. The ball bounced up into the air off of Ward, and he tracked it and came down with it to only get a really hard hit. But Ward kept hold of the ball. It was a great play. There are 2:26 left in the half. Roethlisberger is having a problem with throwing the ball, and really doesn't seem to be making his passes. The Ravens have the ball and are trying to get the ball down the field so they can get another score before the end of the half and pull ahead of the Steelers. The Steelers are doing what they can to stop them. Right now, it is fourth down and only five seconds. Pittsburgh did a stupid thing and took a time out with only five second left. The Ravens didn't have a time out, and couldn't spike because they were at fourth down. Makes you wonder if someone on the Steelers side is pro-Raven. Fortunately nothing came of it all, and the score is tied as we go to half time.
The second half started with an interception by the Steelers. Chris Hope intercepted the ball, but got his ankle caught by one of the Ravens, so he threw a lateral pass to Ike Taylor. It was beautiful. The Ravens are challenging that Hope was down by contact. The Ravens won the challenge and said that Hope was done by contact. Roethlisberger moved the ball down the field and Miller scored again. The score is now 17-10. The Ravens got the ball back, and took over eight minutes to get a field goal. The score is now 17-13 in the fourth quarter. The Ravens got the ball again and scored another field goal. The game is close now 17-16. The Steelers are definitely not playing very well. Unfortunately, I'm not feeling very well right now, so I think I'm going to bed, and will catch up on the last few minutes of the game tomorrow.
Monday, October 31, 2005 -- AfternoonThe word is officially out. Both Ryan Whitney and Erik Christensen have been brought up from the minors to lending a helping hand to the Pens. At least, it's a move in the right direction. I don't know if it is enough though. We will just have to wait and see. Whitney is the defenseman, and he leads the AHL defensemen with five goals and 14 points. Christensen is third in the AHL with nine goals and ten assists (total of nineteen points).
Monday, October 31, 2005 -- MorningHappy Halloween!
The Penguins management has given a vote of confidence to Eddie Olczyk. According to Craig Patrick, Eddie O's job is safe for now. I like the way the "for now" was added because the thought that runs through my mind is that they are saying, "you're okay for now while we look for someone to replace you" or "we won't fire Eddie O. We'll just encourage him to quit." Craig Patrick does admit that there are problems with the team and thinks that the solution is to adjust the mix of players. Also, two players from the minors will be brought up to handle two of our lacking areas. Defenseman, Ryan Whitney, is going to be called up and center, Erik Christensen. Both players have been big contributors to the Wilkes Barre Pens success. We shall have to see how it goes. Our next game is tomorrow against the New Jersey Devils.
The Steelers are playing tonight against the Baltimore Ravens. It should be a good game for us because Baltimore has not been playing well of late. There is a great rivalry with the team, so it should be entertaining to watch. It's going to be hard to come into work tomorrow because the game is going to start at 9 pm, and will run until after midnight. It seems that 9% of employees wind up calling off sick after sporting events that happen the previous evening. It's perfectly understandable because you want to enjoy yourself, and getting up for work the next morning just puts a crimp in the fun.
Leave it to CMU to be on the cutting edge of technology and research. Scientists at CMU have developed a language translation device that is connected to someone's head. By detecting the movements of the jaw and face muscles, the device is able to make translations from one language into another. A demonstration was given at CMU by a native Mandarin Chinese speaker whose words were translated into English for the audience. Of course, at this point, the speaker has to have the device wired to his face, so it's not as sci-fi as it sounds. The possibilities are intriquing.
Sunday, October 30, 2005 -- Late AfternoonWhile the Pens can't seem to get their act together, the Baby Pens, the minor league team associated with the Pens, is undefeated. Their record right now is 9-0. Obviously they have some things going right for them. The players are playing well together, Marc-Andre Fleury is playing well. Right now, Fleury has six wins for the season. So what are the Baby Pens doing right that the NHL Pens aren't? That might be a multi-layered answer. Of course, as you probably know by now, I have serious problems with the coaching staff and lay alot of blame at their feet. Another possible problem is that Craig Patrick might not have done the best job of putting a team together. We have alot of stars on the team, but they don't seem to be playing together well. Our defense is weak. That can be the problem of the coach or of Patrick not recruiting someone for the role. Yes, Sergei Gonchar is the highest score defenseman, but maybe we need a defenseman who doesn't score, but clears the puck from our end. Also, Mario Lemieux might not be allowing the coach to do his job. There might be alot of issues beneath the surface that are causing the problems that the Pens have. The question is how can the problems be resolved? Firing the coach might be a start, but then can we get someone to replace him who can handle Lemieux and the team that Craig built?
Saturday, October 29, 2005 -- Late EveningThe Pens game today was quite a disappointment, but it is what I expected from them. We wound up losing a close one, and blowing a two point lead. The first period was not the best, but at least it ended with a tied score. The second period was great. The Pens were playing well (or the Carolina Hurricanes were just not playing at all), and the Pens actually pulled ahead to a 3-1 lead. However, the third period was a totally different story. The crowd really seemed to think that an interference call against Sidney Crosby was not justified. It's hard to tell because both Crosby and a Hurricane player were heading for the puck. Crosby just hit him before he got there. Now looking at the rule book, interference means impeding the progress of someone who does not have the puck, and the Hurricane player did not have the puck yet, so that is intereference. What gets to me though is the hypocrisy of Mario Lemieux. In the past, Lemieux was always chastising the officials for not calling penalties like this, and would always say that it was the reason why he wanted to retire so early. Mario claimed that he was sick and tired of not being able to play the game because other players would interfer with him and prevent him from making plays. Well, now that the shoe is on the other foot, and his teammates are being called for interference penalties (including Mario), it's a different story. In the Tuesday game against the Panthers Mario got called for a controversal interference call that lead Mario to argue with the officials. Considering the fact that Mario hit a guy who did not have the puck, and knocked the guy over, I'd say it was interference. Mario claims that the other player was skating backwards and was just unable to avoid Mario. Hmm--I wish that I could use that excuse when I hit someone with my car. Anyway, the Hurricanes had 19 shots on goal in the third period today compared to 4 shots on goal by the Pens, and the Pens had only 4. Final score was Panthers 5, Penguins 3. Sebastien Caron did a nice job, but there's only so much a goalie for the Pens can do when the defense is non-existent.
Saturday, October 29, 2005 -- MorningThe Pens will be playing the Carolina Hurricanes tonight. I have tickets to the game, and will be commenting on it when I get home. I don't think that tonight will be a win because Carolina has been pretty good this year. So far, they have seven wins, two losses and one overtime loss.
Of course, everyone who follows news knows that Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be wiped from the map. He made the comment a few days ago, and is still standing by the comment and has support by his government. The comments were made a conference titled "The World without Zionism". What I think is ironic about this is that Ahmadinejad is just verbalizing what is a common theme in the Arab nations. Some people are disillusioned enough to think that the Arabian nations will accept the existence of Israel as long as Israel makes enough concessions to placate the Palestinians. I don't think so, and I think that Ahmadinejad's comments show that.
Some local women's groups here in Pittsburgh want to boycott--excuse me "girlcott"--Abercrombie & Fitch. Why? Because they believe that some of the t-shirts being sold at the store are offensive and demeaning to women. I think that these women need to get an injection of humor and get over themselves. After all, who does see the humor in a shirt worn by a buxom blonde saying "Who needs brains when you have these?" The protest is supposed to be tomorrow (Sunday) at 4 pm. I think that the women picked a stupid time for their protest. Hmm...Sunday afternoon...no people in the downtown area (where the store is located). It makes alot of sense to have your protest when no one will see you. So, not only are these women humorless, they also aren't too bright. Personally, I wish that I had the boobage to wear the shirt in question. Maybe I should start a competing protest at the same time. I'll wear the shirt and protest the stupidity of changing words like boycott because you are trying to expose sexism.
Friday, October 28, 2005 -- EveningAlot of folks are happy now because the Pens have finally won a game, but it is nothing to be too excited about. First of all, we beat a goal who hasn't played in a while and who was brought in as a last minute save for a team with no goalie. Second is the fact that the play in the first ten minutes of the game was atrocious. It's nothing that the team should be proud of. Thank goodness they have the win, but they have to do alot better than they did in yesterday's game. One of the disappointments for the team is that Dick Tarnstrom will be out indefinitely because of a torn MCL (a ligament in his left knee).
Speaking of the Pens, Tom Murphy, the Mayor of Pittsburgh, is claiming that a fix is in the works for the allocation of the slots license here in Pittsburgh. It seems that the awarding of slots in the city might be a purely political thing and might depend heavily on who can grease the pockets of the folks in the Gaming Control Board. Murphy isn't willing to name names, and he has chastized the local media for not doing any hard core investigative work on the issue. Supposedly the company that is favored in this business is the owner of Station Square, Forest City Enterprises. We'll have to see if anything else comes from this.
Mars is going to make its closest approach to Earth this coming Sunday morning. The next time the planet will be as close will be 13 years from now. If you are into star gazing, this weekend will be the best time to do some gazing Mars' way.
Thursday, October 27, 2005 -- EveningI was in class today, and missed the very beginning of the Pittsburgh Penguins game. When I came in, the Atlanta Thrashers were ahead 1-0. That quickly became 4-0 within the first ten minutes of the first period. Fortunately Mario Lemieux was able to score two points. In the second period, the Pens came back with two goals by Sergei Gonchar. Right now, Lemieux has three points in the game and Gonchar and Sidney Crosby has two points. Another goal, this time by John LeClair. The Pens have surprisingly taken the lead, and then another goal! Gosh, this is really great. Can it continue? This time it's Ric Jackman. The Pens are ahead 6-4. The second period ends with the Pens leading. Something interesting to note is that eight of the ten goals scored this evening were power play goals. Also, the Pens were using Lemieux and Crosby on the power play, and that may be why they did so well. In the third period, we got another power play goal with LeClair. The score is now 7-4. The Thrashers scored one back, and it's now 7-5. Yes, it does seem that we are going to win because it is now less than 30 seconds until the game is over, and we have a two point lead. It's about time! They did finally win. Final is 7-5.
Now on to Survivor: Guatemala/The Maya Empire. The show starts with some nighttime shots. Judd thanks his side for voting out Margaret. Lydia said that she's glad that's overwith. Judd says that he is a big teddy bear. Jaime said that Judd has a big voice and a big personality and that scares people. Jaime said that he wants to take Judd with him to the end because Judd will keep blowing up which will bring the votes to Jamie. Bobby Jon hurt his shoulder, and his shirt was pasted onto his shoulder. It seems that the folks over in Yaxha are comparing wounds. It is time for the next challenge. Four tribe members will have to wrap material off of a pole and onto themselves. The first person will wrap himself, hook to the second person, then they wrap themselves, and then hook to the third person and so on. The fifth person on each tribe will be a wrapper. The first team to get to the end wins. The tribe that wins will get chocolate and be able to take a rip glide trip over the jungle. Amy and Jaime are the winders. Nakum is first. Brandon clips to Gary. Stephanie and Lydia got into alot of problem. Gary, Brandon, and Bobby Jon are next. Bobby Jon had some problems. Nakum made up time on the fourth pole. Nakum is having problems and Stephanie, Rafe and Lydia fell over and couldn't get up. Yaxhu won. Nakum fell down and panicked and couldn't get back up and they lost the competition. Lydia was to blame for this one.
Yaxhu needed the win for confidence. Amy is afraid of heights and is scared to make the journey on the rip cord across the jungle. Amy said that she wouldn't do it again. Bobby Jon said that it was a majestic feeling. Brandon thought the experience was "so cool". At the end of the trip, they got tons of chocolate--cakes, strawberries, milk shakes. They took the rest of the chocolate back to camp with them. Day 17 at Nakum. Rafe picked some leaves from the trees and made cards out of them so they could play games. Yaxhu canoed over to the Nakum group to invite them to a pool party to celebrate Danni's birthday. Stephanie talks them into walking down to investigate the Yaxhu folks calling out Nakum. Nakum didn't seem like they wanted to go over to Yaxhu, but they got talked into it. Danni just wanted to have a party and it was her birthday, and they do have a pool. Cindy tells them all that they should not take any peace offerings and shouldn't let any of this sway them. Danni brings out some of the extra chocolate for them. Stephanie said that sure she would eat their chocolate and go in their pool. Bobby Jon said that it was about fellowship and that they need to just relax and get along and then go back to war. Jaime was very quiet and just watching what was going on. Jaime said that he will like those people after the game is over. Stephanie said that she is not going to not stick to the plan because she went to a pool party. Stephanie thinks that there may be a clash between her and Jaime in the future.
Yaxhu, day 18. Danni has huge boobs but is excrutiatingly thin--emaciated. Bobby Jon is in the pool and fish are eating at his wounds. Amy tells Gary that if she finds out that Gary was an NFL player after the game, she is going to kick his ass. As Gary says, there is no Gary Hawkings in Grand Rapids, so she can search him down as much as she wants. As Bobby Jon says, this is in in the realms of competition. Yaxhu has to win. The challenge is for immunity. It is how well they work together to solve a puzzle. Three members run out and find a puzzle piece. Each person has to make at least one attempt to find a piece and bring it back, then they can go in any order they want. There are 12 pieces The remaining two will have to piece the puzzle together in a Mayan calendar. Nakum has Lydia sit out. The first team to complete the puzzle wins. For Yaxhu it is Brandon, Bobby Jon, and Danni. For Nakum it is Jaime, Judd and cindy. Nakum has four pieces and Yaxhu has two. Only buried pieces are left so they have to dig for all of them. Both tribes have six pieces. It is a battle. Both tribes are tied at nine and then Danni gets the tenth piece. Nakum ties. Cindy found the last piece. Nakum has already started putting the puzzle together. Bobby Jon found the final piece. Gary and Amy start putting Yaxhu's puzzle together. Stephanie and Rafe have a big advantage for Nakum. It's very close. Nakum is stuck with the last few pieces. Nakum wins immunity. Yaxhu was close. Nakum worked well together. Who will go back? It will probably be Amy.
Amy talks to Danni about what the possibilites are for her to stay. Danni said that she would hate to vote Bobby Jon out. Amy said that no one would ask her to come back. Danni brought up Bobby Jon's name. Gary tells Amy that if she gets Danni, she has his vote. So it is down to whether Amy can swing Danni. Bobby Jon says that the nervousness is bad because he is so close and is afraid of being voted off. As Bobby Jon said, that's life. Bobby Jon wants to make it to the jury and doesn't want to blow it. The question is how will the others vote. Danni wants to make certain that everyone is on the same page. Danni talks to Brandon. Danni tells Brandon that Stephanie and Bobby Jon already had a chance. Brandon says that he has an alliance with Bobby Jon but thinks that Gary and Amy belong there more because Bobby Jon already had his shot. Brandon says that it doesn't say that you have to lie, cheat or make alliances. Brandon feels that he is selling his soul in a way. Tribal council. Danni is asked how she feels to be there, and she says that nothing feels good because they have all bonded so well. Gary said that the group now is tight and close and it's harder this week than last. Amy said that she went through things that she would never experience anywhere else. Brandon says that it's more difficult than he anticipated on why he is voting folks out. Brandon says that it's hard to make a decision because do you pick the person who is deserving or who you have the alliance with. Danni said that it is going to be hard to keep your word at times. Bobby Jon said that it all depends on what sort of deals you made while you were competing. It is time to vote. Bobby Jon votes out Amy. Amy, of course, votes out Bobby JOn. The votes are tallied. Votes: Amy, Bobby Jon, Amy, Amy. Amy is voted out. Gary looks sad because he turned against Amy. Amy leaves and Danni and Gary seem to be the saddest. The four remaining Yaxhu members are now merged with Nakum and they will be forming a new tribe. All four voted against Amy.
Thursday, October 27, 2005 -- AfternoonTonight I should be writing about the first Pittsburgh Penguins win. Why? Because tonight the Pens are playing the Atlanta Thrashers who have lost five of the last six games. Also the team is having serious goalie problems. They even signed Steve Shields to a one year contract. Of course, it might be wishful thinking on my part that we should win. If we don't, more folks might want to get on the fire Eddie O bandwagon that I have been traipsing around town.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005 -- EveningI'm catching up on the shows that I missed last night.
First up is Amazing Race 8. This episode is titled We're Getting out of the Country Girls. The families are in New Orleans (before the hurricane and flood) for a rest period. The Bransens leave first at 12:40 am. They have to fly to Panama City, Panama, and then must make their way to the Panaman Smithsonian, cross the canal and find a scientist named Ricardo Dias who will give them the next clue. The Bransen dad admits that he is not used to being in a situation where he sees his children as equals. The Paolos start arguing right away, as usual. The Linz sister admits that she is the weak link physically. The Bransens borrow a cell phone and call ahead. They determine that the Continental flight will get them there around two hours earlier. The families are all trailing into the airport. The Gaghan family plan is to just beat one family. As the little girl says, better second to last than eliminated. The Linz's got the first set of tickets with the Bransens second. One of the Godlewski girls says that the elder Paolo son needs to be nicer to his mom. All of the tickets get sold on the Continental flight, so the remaining three families have to go on the American flight. It seems the Paolos wind up taking the lead. The Paolos, Linzs and Bransens arrive. The lead that they thought they had is lost because the Smithsonian Tropical Institute doesn't open until 7 am. The families are all camping out in one of the buildings waiting for the morning. All the stragglers are happy that they caught up. Everyone is now looking for Ricardo Diaz. The Linzs are very unhappy because they are on a slow boat. In the meantime, the Gaghan boat driver is saying that he has to stop to pick up someone else to the consternation of the Gaghan family.
The Gaghans managed to talk the boat driver into heading back into the right direction and not picking the person up. The families are now looking for Ricardo Diaz. The Gaghans are far in last place. The Godlewski family finds Diaz first. It is a Detour. Rhythm takes them by bus to a local location, Diablo Rojo, where they have to go to four different places and pick up four different instruments trumpet, trombone, saxaphone and conga drum. They then have to take the instruments to Take Five Jazz and Wine to get their next clue from the bandleader. In Coos, they have to go to the rainforest, find five plastic birds and circle them on a map. The map will have to be okayed by someone before they get their clue. If they get it wrong, they have to go back and redo the map. There is also a Fast Forward in the competition, and it is the only one. The first family to find it and completes the task can go directly to the Pit STop. They have to go to a place to do a Tandem Bungee Jump with all four family members going in a group of two. The Paolos and the Gaghans take the Fast Forward. The Weaver mother is a bitch and tells the other drivers to drive slower. The Weavers take first place, and then gets passed by the Godlewskis and the Linzs. The Weavers wind up in last place. The Godlewskis hire a taxi to get them the location that they want--Diablo Rojo. The Paolos get the first ticket to do the bunjee jump. The father tries to talk the elder son into it while the younger brother makes jokes about dying. The father and the younger son did it. The Gaghans are waiting for the Paolos to chicken out. The mother tries to calm the boy while there is no calming him. The elder son has a fear of heights.
The son agrees to it finally and jumps with his mother while he screams like a girl. The Gaghan family is very upset. The Paolo family goes directly to the Miraflores Locks, the Pacific entry to the Panama Canall. The Bransens were suckered by a woman that used them to get a ride on their bus to a restaurant. The Weavers are trying the bird searching competition, and are having problems finding them. The Linzs and Godlewskis are working together. The Paolos are the first family to check in to the Pit Stop. They won a trip for four to Panama to stay in the resort near the tropical rainforest. The elder son appears to have kissed his mom when they did the bunjee jump. It was a good, positive bonding moment for the family. The Weavers get the birds done, and have to travel two miles to a baseball stadium and search the grounds for their next clue. The Bransens get their set of five birds next. The Linzs and Godlewskis get all the instruments. Once the Linzs and Godlewskis get the instruments to the jazz club, they have to put the instruments into the cases in which they belong. At the stadium, there is a road block. Only one person on the team can perform the roadblock. That teammate must get a hit or homerun in order to get the next clue. They will get pitches from a little league pitcher, and if the person doesn't get a hit in three tries, the next team gets a chance to send their person in to get a hit. It seems that the pitcher is pretty good. The Weaver boy gets a hit, and the Weavers get the information to the Pit Stop at Miraflores. The Weaver mother gets upset though because the Linzs were yelling typical anti-hitting stuff, and she said they were so rude. According to the Weaver mother, the Weavers encourage everyone. Funny, we just saw her telling the other boat drivers to drive slow. Hmm. The Gaghans are in last place. One of the Bransen girls gets a hit. The Linzs get a hit and are in fourth place. The Gaghan dad got a homerun on the first pitch. They are now on to the Pit Stop. The Godlewskis are in last place. Sharon Godlewski seems to be really tired and out of breath and doesn't think she can hit the ball.
Sharon Godlewski finally gets a hit. The Weavers finish in second place. The Gaghan got stuck behind a car. The Godlewskis realize that they are in last place, but think it may be a non-elimination, and start putting on all their clothes in case they lose all their stuff except what they have on. The Bransens are third, and the Linz family is fourth. The Gaghan family just made it in as team number five. The Godlewskis are last. The Godlewskis aren't eliminated, but have to give up their money and everything except the clothes on their backs. Fortunately, they thought that might happen and put all of their clothes on, and boy did they look funny. But they did get to keep all of their stuff except for the bags.
Now Bound for Glory. Ellis Cannon is again talking about the Spartans. The Spartans will be playing Elizabeth Forward. I just noticed that the usual place where they are eating is JoJo's Place. Dick Butkus and Ray Crockett are eating their breakfast and discussing the team. Butkus said that he is feeling like he has to stop yelling at the team. Crockett said that he has to keep on yelling because that will get the results they need. Crockett lets Butkus know that Christian Wilson broke his leg playing Elizabeth Forward and that he and Butkus will have to work with Christian to get over his fears and know who Christian can block. Crockett thinks that the team is progressing. It is going from watching the film and thinking they suck to now watching the films and saying they are so close. Gianni Ricci is trying to get cleared to get back on the field since his ankle sprain a few weeks earlier. Ricci gets cleared by his trainer. The team is now heading out on the field to practice. Crockett really seems to know the guys too. Joe Kulik, who is a cornerback on the team, talks about how they have to play to their fullest potential. Crockett thinks that Chrisitian is really not doing very good at blocking. It seems he does not work 100% when he is blocking, and in the previous game it resulted in a quarterback sack. Crockett keeps on telling Christian that he has to hit the guy. Christian says to Morgan Singletary that he doesn't know how Crockett wants Christian to hit guys, and Morgan says "not like a pussy". The Riccis go to the Prima Donna to celebrate the ankle healing.
Three days before the game. Lou Cerro tells everyone that Joe Kulik had heart attack symptoms, and that they are going to try to fix his problem with drugs, but it may need open heart surgery. Crockett tells Butkus that Joe fainted the previous day and had to go to the hospital. It seems that earlier in the morning, Joe felt like he was having a heart attack and came in to get checked out and is now in the hospital with an IV. We see Joe in the hospital and his father Joe Sr. crying. His father tells him to keep the faith and that he might still have a chance to play. Crockett said that they are one player away from making a positive change. Crockett plays with Michael Robinson and tells him that he will have to go back to the bench. Robinson is a good player so he gets to play. Mike Maradin was surprised that he was pulled because he knew that he wasn't playing well, but he thought that he could come back and play harder. His father thinks that Maradin needs to be somewhere playing on defense. His mother says that he can't let it bother him. The father says that they have to take the gloves off and play football. As the father says, everyone wants to look pretty out there.
Back at the hospital (Allegheny General Hospital). The doctor says that it was just an air sack around the chest cavity, and that he will be able to go home and will be okay. Boy, it went from such a bad diagnosis to something alot nicer. Back at practice and Ricci says that he is okay with his ankle. Kulik comes back to pracice on Wednesday. They were going to dedicate the game Kulik. Joe can have light practice today and full pads the next day. Crockett said that when you think you are a star like Christian does, you tend to not give you all. Christian is acting the star instead of putting in the effort. Crockett said that a 140 pound guy should not be able to push around someone 185 pounds. Lou Cerro asks Crockett and Butkus to dinner. Crockett said that Christian is mad at him because Crockett is making Christian work. Christian's dad asks him how he feels about playing Elizabeth Forward with the break last year. His mom says that she worries everytime he plays since he broke his leg. His mom thinks that Christian will take the easy road unless he is challenged. She does know her son.
The day before the game, Ricci's mom is asking him what he will be doing, and if he is worried about getting hurt or reinjured. Ricci says you can't worry about getting hurt or you will get hurt. Butkus goes to the barbershop to get his haircut. Butkus is farting throughout the hair cut, or pretending to. It seems that he has a farting gadget and wanted to see how everyone would react. What a cutup! Someone from UPMC Sports Medicine comes in to talk to them. The players all say that Christian isn't giving his all for the team. They are told that they all have to visual stuff before the game. Christian says, why should I visualize making three touchdowns, because if I don't it was wasted. Butkus bonds with the players by telling them how he used to tackle in the past. Butkus tells them that success is a journey, not a destination. Back at the Alumni Bar, the Kennedy Township Fireman's Hall, they are talking about reports in the local papers. The one old man is totally confused about who is playing in the next game.
On game day, the cheerleaders made snacks for the football players and give it to them when they are in class. Nick DiIanni jumps into this snack pack. Anthony Pastin would love to make the playoffs. Morgan Singletary said that they worked hard to beat Elizabeth Forward, and it will be a set back if they lose. We see the kids in class, and alot of the players are sleeping in class. DiIanni appears to be sleeping in a chemistry class while his teacher says that DiIanni is concentrating. Butkus gives them a pep talk and tells theme they have to take a step forward and win this game. The game starts, and Ricci says that ran really hard and wound up hurting his leg more. Ricci starts crying, but Butkus tells him to not think about it, that he needs to get better because they have the whole season. Joe Kulik gets the first interception of the game. Amazing considering that he was ill earlier. Christian Wilson then fumbles the ball because he is worried about "breaking his wrist". Elizabeth Forward scores first and leads 7-0. Crockett talks to Robinson about what he needs to do. DiIanni is intercepted, and Elizabeth Forward scores again. 14-0. The air is coming out of the Montour balloon rather quickly. The offensive line appears to have problems, and DiIanni isn't on top of his game. The Montour defense recovers a fumble. Crockette gives them a play, but DJ just missed the ball. Montour gets a touchdown with DiIanni running the ball in. Score is now 14-7. Half time. Dan Iorio (Meat's dad) said that Montour should be beating them handily and isn't. Lou Cerro tries to talk them into not having such long faces. Morgan Singletary said that they all need to put their all in and play their best. Crockett takes DJ aside and tells him that he has to play with confidence.
The second half starts with Christian fumbling again. Crockett tells Christian that he has to calm down. Christian is still trying to say that he is afraid that he is going to break his hand. He needs to get past that because he is ruining the teams chances. Montour recovers on another fumble though to only turn it over again. It seems that Nick DiIanni is saying that he jammed his shoulder (at least the trainer is saying that). DiIanni's father thinks he needs to just go back into the game. Elizabeth Forward scores again. 12-7. DiIanni it appears can't throw, so he hands the ball to Christian who runs the ball in for a touchdown. They miss the extra point. It seems that they try to kick the extra point without a kicking tee and that's why they miss the point. Kulik gets a personal foul penalty by hitting a guy that was down. Montour has to make a play with a minute left in the game and a score of 21-13. The game is over and Montour lost. Butkus said that only a few guys are giving a strong effort and they never everybody to give it and they aren't. Meanwhile Pastin seems to be having a problem with DJ and starts yelling in DJ's face that he shouldn't just give up on the team. DJ calls Pastin outside and they go off to talk over their differences and cry and hug. Crockett seems like a nice guy and goes around trying to encourage and comfort the kids, patting shoulders and telling them that they are getting better.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005 -- AfternoonI have been talking with friends alot lately about the Penguins. What I have been hearing from some of them is that the Pens didn't so bad in the last regular season (2003-2004). The actual results don't show that. At the end of February, the Pens had won only 13 of the 64 games that they played. (That means we only won 20% of the games we played till that point.) Yes, we were the bottom of the league. Granted in March, the team finally gelled, and went on a winning streak, and added 10 more wins to finish the season 23-47-8-3. (That's 23 wins, 47 losses, 8 ties, and three overtime losses.) Everyone made excuses then that the team was young with alot of younger players and Eddie Olczyk was new to coaching. The thing is that I think that Eddie O is still a neophyte. Instead of being a head coach, he should be an assistant coach. I don't know who might be availble, but someone needs to get involved and stir this team in a winning direction, and from the stats, Eddie O is not that person. what makes all of this even more painful is to hear Eddie O say that there's nothing wrong with his system, and he sees no reason for change. If I were failing at my job, and I told my bosses that I still thought my way was the way to go, I could expect a swift kick in the behind. And I would deserve it! Someone needs to give Eddie O that swift kick. All the players on the team can take some of the blame, but the buck stops with the coach, and he has to acknowledge his hand in their recent woes. Maybe he doesn't want folks to realize that he doesn't know what he is doing, and is hoping that the smoke and mirrors of blaming the players will buy him some time. It is a pitiful performance, befitting the pitiful coach that Olczyk is. Sure, blame the players for not following the system, but blame the coach for not enforcing his policies. If Olczyk is right, and he has a system that no one is following, whose fault is that? All the players, or the coach who does have the respect of the players and the demeanor to enforce the rules?
I do like Bob Smizik's comments on the Pens. He does not believe that Eddie O should be fired, but would understand that happening based on the fact that the Pens have nine losses and no wins for the season. The losses are starting to affect the number of folks who are showing up at the games. For the first few games, the attendance was in the 17,000 area. Last night it was in the 14,000s. Mario Lemieux and Mark Recchi may think that Eddie O is not the problem, but then how would they address the reasons that folks are giving for the problem: not working hard enough, too slow in the neutral zone, too concerned with perfect shots, too weak on faceoffs, too left handed, too old? Fix the problems guys, and give us a win!
One thing that I think would benefit the Pens is to look at the Baby Pens. The team has won all of their games this season. They are 7-0. Something is going right there, and horribly wrong here. Heck, I may not be Lemieux or Recchi, so what do I know, but I still say look at the coaching!
Tuesday, October 25, 2005 -- Late EveningAnother losing night at a Penguins game. It was quite frustrating to be sitting in the stands and to see the Pens take so many opportunities to miss an opportunity. In the first period, we had several minutes of power play, with a few five on three opportunities, and they were all blown. In the second period, the Pens started racking up a slew of penalties giving Panthers some opportunities. Our power play performance stunk up the arena. While we had the power play, the Panthers were making shots on goal. Come on, we have to find some way to get the puck into their end of the ice when we are on the power play. Everyone in the arena became so excited when the Pens took the lead midway through the third period. But being the Pens, they took another opporunity to screw up. Sergei Gonchar made a stupid holding move and got a penalty and the Panthers scored at 17:30. So the Pens called a time out with 57 seconds left in the game. I think that Eddie O told someone to do something stupid to draw a penalty because within 13 seconds, Mario Lemieux was called for interference. 44 seconds were left in the game. We managed to make it to overtime, and 53 seconds into the overtime, the Panthers scored to win 4-3. The first two periods were painful to watch because the Pens seemed to have the market on lackluster performances. At one point, we scored our first goal in the first period, and wound up giving up the lead to the Panthers 37 seconds later. What I don't understand is when everyone comments on how the players are pulling stupid penalties, how the defense is non-existent, how we can't seem to capitalize when we are on the power play, and how Jocelyn Thibault was letting in soft goals (the Pens had 41 shots on goal while the Panthers had 31). And yet, with all these problems, we are to believe that it is not a coaching problem. I say that it definitely is a coaching problem. When you have stupid penalities, and are just recovering and then six men show up on the ice drawing another penalty, who is to blame? Yes, the team is not syncing. Yes some players are getting enormous amounts of ice time with extremely poor performances. Yes, Crosby is getting minimal power play time when he is one of the more positive players on the ice. So why blame the coach for what appear to me to be coaching problems? I still say we need a coach who knows how to coach, and not someone who should be a color commentator. The one bright star is Sidney Crosby. He makes other players get called for penalties and tries his best to make something happen.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005 -- MorningMario Lemieux is sticking up for Eddie O. According to Lemieux, the problem is that the players just aren't playing well. That explains it all. Every player has a problem, not the single coach. It's Crosby's fault that he's not on the power play, not the coach for not sending him out on the ice. If Lemieux can explain to me how all the players on the ice are deficient, but not the person who oversees them all, I might consider the possibility. Lemieux doesn't do that however. He just says that the system works, the players aren't doing their job. Even if that is the case, the reason all the players aren't doing their job is because they are not being molded properly by the coach. However you look at it, it always comes back to the fish rotting from the head. We are playing the Florida Panthers tonight. Let's hope that we have a win by the end of the evening.
Monday, October 24, 2005 -- EveningThere was a very interesting discussion about the Penguins on the KDKA Sports Showdown. The Showdown brings together some of the local sports reporters (both print and broadcast), and they discuss various aspects of Pittsburgh sports. As can be imagined, the main topic of conversation was why are the Pens losing and what can be done to get the Pens winning again. My favorite reporter, Dejan Kovacevic, who used to be on the hockey beat full time before the lockout, is of my opinion that the problem lies in a lack of a system. The team gets the system from the coaching staff, and that's where the changes need to be made. As Dejan was saying, other teams in the NHL that had a system and had a coach that provided discipline and structure are the teams that are winning now. The others agreed that the Pens are just out there hoping that anarchy will reign, and it isn't. Ellis Cannon said that he thinks that the problem is in the mind of the players, that they aren't focusing on the job. Again, a coaching problem if you ask me. The other thing that Dejan brought up that I have mentioned also is that Sidney Crosby isn't being given a chance to make a difference on the team. When you have a player like Crosby, who is scoring and making a positive difference when he appears on the ice, you give him ice team, you put him on the power play. Again another coaching issue. It's demoralizing to the offense to spend so much time in their own end defending the goal because the defense is more concerned about making offensive moves. Let's hope that something changes with the team soon because I want to see a number other than a zero in the win column.
The sports reporters on the Showdown also brought up the story about Tommy Maddox and the trashing of his lawn. The thing that is disturbing about this story is that Maddox and his agent have spread the rumor that folks threw things on Maddox's lawn, even though Maddox's wife denies it. I think that in this case, Maddox has really tried to generate sympathy for himself, and what I don't understand is that obviously the story was either fabricated or exaggerated, and Maddox is doing nothing to clear up the story. He is just going to let the story put a black eye on the Pittsburgh fan because his fragile little ego was hurt by the booing of his subpar performance.
Monday, October 24, 2005 -- AfternoonI am always surprised by opinon polls. For example, CBS did a survey in which they asked people their views on evolution. 51% did not think that evolution was the answer. They believed that God created man in his present form. An additional 30% thought that humans evolved under the guiding hand of God. Only 15% believed in evolution without any supernatural support. I am not a supporter or believer in Intelligent Design. However, you have to wonder why there is so much opposition to Intelligent Design if 81% of those surveyed believe in the concept to some degree. Another question is whether those surveyed are an accurate representation of the views that are held by the majority of Americans. The survey was done with 808 random people, but I wonder how random. It seems that liberals were more likely to believe in evolution (36%) with non-church goers (25%) and those with a college degree (24%). Personally I believe in evolution because I see the scientific proof for it. For example, all of the different breeds came about because of selective breeding and evolution. Some might say that using this example gives credance to the notion of an intelligent designer with man taking that role with dogs. However, I would say that man's involvement just made the process happen more quickly and gave it a particular outcome by preferring some results over others.
Sunday, October 23, 2005 -- EveningI'm not alone in asking this question: Why isn't Sidney Crosby getting more ice time? So far, he is fifth on the team with amount of ice, and he has two minutes less than Mario Lemieux. Lemieux is on the ice for 20:14 minutes while Crosby is only on for 18:30. There's something seriously wrong with having someone who is 40, even if he is Lemieux, on the ice more than someone who is 18. There's also a problem when the 18 year old has more points than anyone else on the team. The first thing that you have to think is that there is a problem with the coaching staff because they are ultimately responsible for overall direction in which the team goes. There will always be standouts on a team that do what they do regardless of the coach. However, when a team has the personalities that the Pens do then more is expected from it. If the team doesn't perform, it has to be the coaching staff. I have been ready to overhaul the coaching staff for a week now, but others are not as hasty. Even so, most people are expecting something to happen if the Pens don't start winning consistently, and based on Eddie O's performance in the full year that he coached, it's obvious that coaching ain't his forte.
Sunday, October 23, 2005 -- AfternoonAnother Steelers game this afternoon. Today we are playing the Cincinnati Bengals.
First half of the game: The Bengals seem to be controlling the ball alot. Chad Johnson almost made a touchdown for the Bengals, but he was out of bounds. Then the Bengals weren't able to convert on a touchdown afterwards, and missed a field goal attempt. We had the ball for a short period of time before it went back to the Bengals. The Bengals are making another scoring drive attempt, but it seems that they have had the ball for the majority of time so far in the first period. At the beginning of the season (on Sept. 5), my prediction was that Cincinnati would be leading the division, and so far they are. The Bengals had the ball for 10:50 with 23 plays, and the Steelers for 1:33 with three plays in the first period. The Bengals are having trouble making touchdowns when they are in their red zone. They did just score a field goal, and the Steelers now have the ball. For some reason, I'm not seeing Jerome Bettis playing. Ben Roethlisberger was just sacked, but fortunately the defense was offside, so we got the first down. The Bengals really seem to have the answer to our offense, but at least our defense has been keeping the Bengals out of the end zone even though they haven't been cutting down the amount of time the Bengals have the ball. Finally, they brought Bettis into the game, and he's been running the ball down the field, and has the team just yards from the end zone. That's what Bettis is good for. Roethlisberger was able to toss the ball in to Heath Miller. Everyone thought it was going to be Bettis running the ball in. The Steelers are now ahead 7-3. The Bengals have had to punt for the first time in the game at 10:06 in the second quarter. For some reason, Bill Cowher seems to want to give the ball to Willie Parker instead of Bettis. The thing is that Parker had two good games, but lately he hasn't been going anywhere. Give the ball to Bettis, and he can plow through folks and it takes a few people to bring him down. Roethlisberger just got sacked and that removed all the gain that Bettis just made on third down. Another comment that the announcers are making is that Roethlisberger is the only quarterback who hasn't been intercepted yet, and he was almost picked of a couple of times. The defense of both teams are doing a great job, and we have to punt off again. Two minutes left in the game, and the Bengals are trying to score. The Bengals can't make a touchdown, but they do get a field goal. The score with 28 seconds left in the half is 7-6 with the Steelers ahead one point. The half ends as Roethlisberger takes the knee. Score is 7-6.
Second half of the game: What excitment! Roethlisberger's first play wound up in an interception. Then it looked like the Bengals fumbled and the Steelers recovered, but it doesn't appear that the officials are calling it that wa. So the Bengals have the ball at the 49 yard line. We got it right back though. chris Hope intercepted the ball back, and ran the ball down to the 15 yard line. The Steelers weren't able to get a touchdown, and we had to settle for a field goal. The score is now 10-6. The Steelers got another fumble recovery and we have the ball again. Parker managed to break out, and ran the ball in for a touchdown. The score is now 17-6. Roethlisberger managed to evade a tackle, and threw the ball down the field. Hines Ward leaped up to catch it, and came down and dropped it and hurt his hip. It was quite a play, and it's so sad that Ward dropped the ball as he was coming down, but it's probably because he hit the ground so hard. There was a penalty on the play for the defense being too rough on Ward. It seems that the injury was just minor because he came back into the game to make a play that brings the team at the 4 yard line. Ward even managed to make a touchdown catch, and did an Irish jig to celebrate. I think that means that the injury to the hip just a few minutes earlier was nothing. The score is now 24-6. Fourth quarter is now starting. For a comparison of position, in the first half, the Steelers only had the ball 13:31 minutes while the Bengals had it for 16:29 minutes. So far in the second quarter, the Steelers have had the ball 14:36 while the Bengals had it for 6:25. The Bengals aren't putting up much of a fight, and the Steelers with 5 minutes left in the game got another field goal. The score is 27-6. Right now, we have the ball, and we're just running down the clock. With 2 minutes on the clock, Carson Palmer ran the ball in for a touchdown. The score is now 27-13.
Sunday, October 23, 2005 -- MorningI didn't get a chance to watch Endurance: Tehachapi yesterday, but watched this morning. The episode was titled Raft Pull. This episode has the first Temple mission. Issac is talking with others about the Temple mission, it seems that Blue, Grey and Green are possible targets. Julie from the Grey team has accepted that they are target, and that they are going to have to work that much harder since they have the Samati. It seems that Blue won't send Grey to Temple, but everyone else will. John thinks they are a strong team, and will do what they have to do so Grey wins. It's time for the mission. Each team starts on the color triangle. They have to start at a triangle with their team color right in front of their raft. They have 30 seconds to put sandbags in front of whichever team raft they want. Each team will then have to load the sandbags they have been given. They will have to pull themselves with a rope across the lake, grab a team colored flag, and come back across the lake. The first team back wins the mission. Everyone starts running around and seems to be targeting Grey and Blue. Grey and Blue are the two teams with the most sandbags. It seems that having their alliance exposed so early may have cost them.
The teams now get to load their rafts. Orange, Purple, and Yellow are off, then Green and Red. The only teams still loading rafts is Blue and Grey. And they still have to pull themselves across the lake. Purple is in the lead. Purple and Yellow are both heading back. It looks like a dash been Purple and Red, and Purple just got their flag in ahead of Red. Purple gets to picks who goes to the Temple of Fate. Everyone is congratulating Purple. As Daniela said, everyone underestimated Purple and gave them two bags. It seems that everyone started to target Blue and Grey early. Shane from Blue tried to pile up the Yellow team, and when Chris saw that, he yelled out "Get Blue". So that explains why Blue had the most bags. Blue was just starting out and everyone else was headed back. John is sure that he is going to go. As Dnaiela says, you don't know who will go. She is playing the power game and wants everyone to come and beg for the opportunity to stay in the game.
JD mentions that it was less than a week that Daniela was unhappy with her partner, but now she is happy with her partner. Purple has chosen strong teams to go to the Temple. They have decided on Grey and Blue. Each team that gets sent away gets to choose who gets their pyramid pieces with a good-bye note. The Blue and Grey teams hug everyone. Julie is upset about going to the Temple. As she said, it is only less than a week, but you get attached to people when you have nothing else. Amelia said that she didn't think it would happen. People tell you they are their friends, but they aren't. Shea said that he wished that they had more than just Grey in the alliance because only having the two of them really set them up as targets. John said that he will take away the wilderness from the experience. Both teams seem to be taking it well.
Blue and Grey are making the trek to the Temple of Fate. They are met there by JD, and the view from the Temple is beautiful. The game is the same: the three cauldrons of fire, wood and water. The team that picks the dominant element and has two wins will go back. For the frist game, Blue picks water and Grey picks fire. Blue wins. In the second game, Blue picks fire and Grey picks water. The games are tied. Whoever wins the next round will go back. Blue picks wood and Grey picks Water. Grey team is eliminated. John and Julie are really upset and sad, and both teams hug each other good-bye. Blue heads back to the camp. There is supposed to be a surprise that no one expects.
Saturday, October 22, 2005 -- EveningAnother Penguins game this evening, and another loss. I went out to watch the game so I could see it on a larger screen than at home, and I was sorely disappointed by the performance of the Pens. Sidney Crosby managed to get two points, but the final score was a win for the Boston Bruins with a final score of 6-3. The Pens had a lackluster performance, and can't seem to understand that you have to shoot the puck at the net to get a goal. By the end of the second period we had 11 shots on goal compared to 38 from the Bruins. The final was 47 shots on goal for the Bruins and 21 for the Pens. That is really unacceptable. Another problem was the number of penalities, 14 by the Pens, 11 of which were handed out by the middle of the second period. I really hate to sound like a broken record, but the only solution I see is to fire Eddie O. The guy has no system of any kind. What we need to do is to beg Kevin Constantine to come back to be our coach. All the people that I talk to have been willing to give Eddie O time to really get us into the basement, but the last season that he coached was equally bad. I think that he's had his chance. Eddie O's incompetance as a coach is glaringly obvious, and I hope that the Penguins management wakes up to see it before the season is lost. Also as a season ticket holder, I'm going to have to start asking for a reduction on my ticket cost for the team sucking so much. The Pens need to stop this notion of "let's hire a former Pens player to be a coach".
There was a bright spot of sorts for Pittsburgh sports fans today. The Pitt Panthers managed to beat the worst team in the Big East. That team happens to be Syracuse. The final score was 34-17. At first it seemed that Tyler Palko was trying to give the game to the Orangemen with an interception and a fumble, but he came around to run in two touchdowns and to throw one too.
I treated myself last night. I bought the Complete Calvin and Hobbes. I loved the comic strip and have missed it since Bill Watterson retired the strip. Reading Calvin and Hobbes just brings such joy to my heart, and even in the most depressing of times, it can lift my spirits. The set is a three volume boxed set with all of the strips that were published. The collection is quite heavy, so if you get it, just plop it and yourself down and read.
Friday, October 21, 2005 -- Late EveningThe Montour Spartans lost again tonight, and finish the season just as they did last year with a 1-8 record. It seems that Dick Butkus did return for tonight's game. It seems that what happened is that ESPN did not have the money for more than eight weeks, and just hoped that the show would be popular and generate some money. However, that was not to be. The kids never really bonded with Butkus, basically because Butkus did nothing to endear himself to the team. Ray Crockett, however, was liked by the team. Crockett actually interacted with the players and tried to give them information that would help them be better players.
What is not getting alot of press, but is being talked about on some of the local sports shows is the fact that the Tommy Maddox may not have experienced the harrassment that has been making the rounds of the national media. It appears that it may have been a fabrication. The question is who was the originator of the fabrication? Right now, Maddox and his wife are denying the stories, and the agent commented yesterday that he was unaware of such stories. It does make you wonder if the stories were fabricated to generate sympathy for Maddox since he has been getting so much flack for his performance last Sunday. I suspect that it comes from the Maddox camp, and that now the individual regrets it.
Friday, October 21, 2005 -- MorningTommy Maddox has been telling others that he is getting harrassed by fans over his loss in last Sunday's game. Supposedly, people are throwing things on his lawn and harrassing his kids as they go to school. However, last night on the sports call in show, the sports announcers were saying that Maddox's wife and agent did not know about the issues when questioned by reporters. Actually when questioned, Maddox's agent said that he was caught offguard. So I'm not sure what the real story is here, and if Maddox is just trying to drum up sympathy. If the stories are true, it's very sad that fans would go to such low levels as to harass someone's family. It's perfectly fine to boo Maddox at the stadium, but another to terrorize his family. Of course, if the stories aren't true, shame on Maddox!
Prince William is going to join Prince Harry at Sandhurst. William passed the exams for officer training and will start attending Sandhurst in June. Every male in the royal family goes into the military for abit because it's the thing that they do. It's not like there are other options open to them (such as business), and this also gives them the opportunity to say that they served their country.
Thursday, October 20, 2005 -- EveningI was in class this evening until 8:30 and missed the first period of the Penguins game. The New Jersey Devils scored two goals in the first period. Just as I turned on the television, two quick goals were made by the Pens, one of them by Mario Lemieux. The Devils came right back with two quick goals to make the score Devils 4, Pens 2. All of the spunk seems to be out of the Pens right now, and I would imagine that a win ain't going to happen tonight. The announcer is commenting on how the Pens matched the mood of the crowd in the first period which was flat, then the crowd and the Pens perked up abit and two goals were scored, then it went right back to flat. It really does seem as if the Pens are just accepting their loss to tell you the truth. The period is over, and we are on to the third period. Two minutes into the third period, and the Devils have scored twice. The score now is 6-2. it's 2:08 into the period, and Eddie O pulled Jocelyn Thibault and put in Sebastien Caron. For the first time in the game, Eddie O has put Lemieux and Crosby on the same line. The team and crowd really seem lackluster now. The Pens had some activity going on, and Crosby got hit with a stick that brought some blood to his lip. Crosby did a great job of falling to the ground and flinging his glove feet into the air. At 8:43 Ric Jackman scored a goal with an assist by Lemieux and Mark Recchi. Martin Brodeur was collided into by John LeClair. I don't believe that it was intentional. LeClair just sort of backed into Brodeur. Of course, being an expert in the field, LeClair should probably be aware of his location at all times. Brodeur's helmet was knocked off, and LeClair was quickly shoved to the ground by another New Jersey player. Game is over, and the Pens have lost.
Now onto Survivor: Guatemala/The Maya Empire. Brandon is shocked over how Blake got voted out. He thinks that you won't know how something like that might happen. Brandon asks Bobby Jon if he has any regrets about voting off Blake. Bobby Jon said some, but it was that stage of the game where he had to do something. Bobby Jon explained that he liked Blake but that he rubbed people the wrong way. Brian says that Nakum is going to be shocked to see how got voted out. Day 15. Jaime is talking to Judd about being sick of the noises of the jungle. It is very noisy. Also, they are all being eatten up by mosquitos. Rafe says that everyone is trying to get along, and Margaret is being a negative energy in the camp. It seems that the other six get along, but not Margaret. Judd said that Margaret hates that she is stuck with him. Margaret said that she is not at the same end of the food chain and she doesn't like it. Judd said that Margaret going around like a sore thumb is making everyone miserable. Nakum and Yaxhu meet. Nakum is shocked that Blake is gone. The competition each tribe puts two people on the opposite sides of a large ball. First two women, then two men, then one of each. The first to score three goals wins. The prize--a grill, hamburgers, buns and beer. So one team will eat well. We now learn that both teams will go to tribal council and vote someone out. The team that wins the competition will immediately go into another competition and in that team, there will be a competition for individual immunity. That person will not be voted out and will get the opportunity to go to the other team's tribal council to gather information. Lydia sits out for Nakum. Cindy and Stephanie are going against Danni and Amy. Cindy and Steph have an advantage because they got to the ball first. Amy and Danni gave a push, and Yaxhu got the first goal. Judd and Jaime against Bobby Jon and Brandon. Bobby Jon gave a big push. Brandon got knocked over a few times. Nakum scored. Bobby Jon got all psycho and got into Jaime's face saying "that's not nice". Then it's Judd and Steph against Gary and Amy. Amy fell and got hurt and Gary and Amy were not able to hold back the ball. Amy hurt her sprained ankle again. Amy and Danni go against Margaret and Cindy. Amy even with the sore ankle gave a good push and Yaxhu got it. Bobby Jon and Brian are now against Jaime and Judd. Judd went down and Bobby Jon and Brian got ahead. Nakum won the barbeque feast and a shot at individual immunity. Now individual immunity. All seven race out to collect three bags of letter tiles. They have to take each bag back to the station after untying and then race back to the others. They will then take the 11 letters out and spell a two word phrase to get the immunity. Steph had all her tiles out first. Judd can't even his tiles out, but he figured out the phrase and told Rafe what it was. The phrase was "ancient ruin". Rafe spelled it out, and won individual immunity. He owes it to Judd. I think that the team wants to vote out Margaret so the big goal was for her not to win the immunity.
Rafe was happy because they got the grill and he got individual immunity. Jamie said that Bobby Jon hit a flip switch. Everyone in Nakum thinks that Bobby Jon is psycho. Jaime says that southern people like him and Bobby Jon are crazy. Over in Yaxhu, Amy is limping abit, but she is a strong person. Danni says that everyone did give everything and that Nakum was just bigger. Brandon loved it when Bobby JOn got into Jaime's face. Bobby Jon claims to have put Jaime in his place. Amy feels that she let them down by falling so they didn't win. Amy is trying to play down how her ankle is swollen. Brian is trying to get the original Yaxhu together, and trying to get Bobby Jon off. Gary says that he doesn't understand getting rid of Bobby Jon who's a stronger player. Brian is hoping that everyone doesn't vote for him.
Barbeque at Nakum. Everyone is loving the hamburgers. Judd says that it sucks to go to tribal council. As Rafe says, it takes something out of the victory. Judd is talking with the others and says that Margaret will go out tonight. Judd doesn't have a worry in the world because as he said, he is one of the big guns on the team. Margaret thinks that Judd is the most offensive of the team. Margaret says that Judd is Judd's biggest enemy. Cindy and Margaret are complaining because there were supposed to be two beers and one root beer for everyone. Judd said that the person took the extra beer should go home. Judd gets rude and tells everyone to kiss his ass because they have the food because of him. Cindy says that can come back to Judd because folks won't tolerate his behavior. But for now, I think they will keep him because they need to win the challenges and he is the strongest. Nakum is at tribal council. Stephanie said that the feast was great, and she traded Judd a hot dog for a beer. Judd says that he loves his beer. Jaime said that he just got into it with Bobby Jon. Margaret said that Judd and Jaime are too vocal and need to tone it down. Judd says he gives his all, and that he just gives it his all. Judd said that it boosts moral. Judd got every angry and irrate and said that Margaret probably never played sports before. Margaret then says that when Judd gets vocal, he talks all over everyone. Judd said that he wouldn't consider himself a bad sportsman, and he loves everyone other than Margaret. Cindy says that it concerns her because the dislike between Margaret and Judd puts negativity in the air. Judd is really irrate and is not shutting up and talking all over everyone. Rafe says that he is not itimidated by Judd and that Judd has been nice to him. Judd confirms with everyone that he listens to them, but he doesn't not listen to Margaret because he hates her. Margaret appears to have told Judd at the beginning that he had ADD. Stephanie says that Judd embraced his new tribe, and she thinks that it's good. Cindy says that getting rid of the "bad apple" now will be good, and they need to identify the bad apple. Judd votes for Margaret saying that getting out of the jungle now is not soon enough. Vote tally: Margaret, Judd, Margaret, Margaret, Margaret. She is voted out. Judd is the guy who is going to win competitions. Rafe gets to stay to sit in on the Yaxhu council. Everyone voted against Margaret. Yaxhu comes in now.
Bobby Jon said that he got in the heat of the moment, and alot of testerone built up. Gary said that he thinks Nakum is good sports and that Jaime just gets carried away. Brian says that he has always been athletic. Bobby Jon said that Brian is a good old boy and always thinking of the game. Danni said that they think Brian is strong, classy and a nice guy. Amy says that her ankle was tweaked alittle bit. Brandon said that he was impressed with how Amy came right back to win. Amy went above and beyond and Brandon was impressed with her. Bobby Jon said that there isn't an obvious weak link and that everyone is competing and giving 110%, but that someone has to go. Rafe also appears to have won the right to give one of the people immunity. He gets to vote, then take his torch and leave. Rafe leaves. Rafe's choice for immunity remains a secret until after the vote. Brian is in deep thought. Vote tally: Bobby Jon, Brian, Brian, Brian, Brian. Everyone voted against Brian. Only shot now is Rafe's immunity. Rafe gave immunity to Gary. Brian is now voted out. You have to feel sorry that Brian is out. Jeff Probst said that they did a good job of boosting Brian to only turn around and cut his throat.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005 -- EveningThere's plenty of news in Steelers country. First is that Jerome Bettis was not happy with the way that the game progressed on Sunday. As he was saying on a local news show today, the role that Bettis is supposed to play is to come into the game during the clutch times and to get the ball either into the endzone or into field goal range. That's what he is being paid to do. So he was very disappointed when he was called on in the second half or the overtime. Of course, Bill Cowher is taking responsibility for all the mistakes of the game. One does wonder what he was thinking though as the game was playing out. Yes, anyone can make mistakes, but this whole game was a series of endless mistakes. Hopefully this weekend's game will be better, but there are already several players who might not play in it like Cedrick Wilson, Antwaan Randle El, and Joey Porter.
On the Pens front, Jocelyn Thibault will be back in goal tomorrow. The Pens will be playing the New Jersey Devils again. This could be a tough game. The Pens did have a lengthy session studying video tape of past games. I think that the team needs to actually practice its defensive moves more than it has been because that is the area that they are not very strong. Tomorrow should be an interesting night, and will hopefully be our first win.
Scientists have found that Mars used to be alot more like Earth than originally thought. It seems that they have found that the plates of the planet were once moving. That's what has happened with the Earth and is the explanation of the movement of the continents and earthquakes. The evidence is found in the striping that is found in the magnetic field of the planet. That means that the direction of the magnetic field changed at some point in the past, and this is usually a sign of shifting plates.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 -- EveningAnother episode of Amazing Race 8 was on tonight. This one was titled Think like an Office Chair. This episode was filmed in Mississippi and Louisana before Katrina and is dedicated to those who have been affected by the Hurricane. We start at the US Space and Rocket Center. The Bransens leave first at 1:15 pm. They have to find the world's largest office chair in Anniston, Alabama. The chair was created 25 years ago. The Godlewskis are starting out at 1:44 pm. Sharon and Christine of the four sisters are arguing with each other. The Weavers start out with a prayer. The mother says that you have to dig inside of yourself to compete. The Schroeders don't like the Weavers. The Paolos start out with an argument. The mother lost the instructions and the older son and she start to argue. Carissa said that she gets underestimated, but that she is fun. The Bransens find the chair first and climb it. They now have to go to Talledega Speedway. The Weavers hold their breath as they go by and try to ignore the site. They don't know they will have to go back. The Bransens get to Talledega first and now have to go to the track and complete one round on the track. They have to choose a party bike which takes multiple people and have to complete the race. A race official then gives them the next clue. The Gaghans use a back route and are now in 5th place. The Weavers are upset over having to go to Talledega. The Paolo mother is acting up and complaing per usual. The Bransens get the next clue. They have to go 260 miles to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to find the southern colonel and get their next clue. The Weaver kids get to Talledega and when they find out that they have to go on the racecourse, they say that they can't.
The Weaver mother tells the kids that their dad loved racing. The Schroeder father has the family stop to adjust the seats. The Weavers start on the track. The Gaghan family is in sixth place. The Weaver mother said that she thought it was good for the family to have put this all behind them. The girls feel that they have gotten stronger. Carissa couldn't even pedal, and at the end when her mom said that her legs were sore, Carissa said her legs weren't sore. The Bransens and the Linz families catch up with each other. The Bransen girl mooned on the Linz's and one of the Linz guys flashed his boobs. The Paolos just finish as a massive story rolls in. The Bransens find the clue box at the same time as the Linz. The families will be staying in the trailer park. There are computers in all the trailer parks and they have departure times. Once you take the time, you can't change it. There are three times to choose from. The Schroeder family didn't want to follow someone's directions on going to a trailer home. The Linz and Bransens held each other and get the 7:02 am time. The Godlewskis and the Weavers are in competition. The Godlewskis take 7:40 and the Weavers take 8 am. The father inthe Schroeder family is driving his daughter crazy. The daughter for the Schroeders doesn't want the 8 am time because the Weavers are on it. Carissa thinks the trailers are evil. The Schroeder daughter is crying over being with the Weavers.
The family tries to confort the girl, but it doesn't help. The Paolos get a 7:40 time. The teams much now travel to Richland, Mississippi and go to a BP and find a guy named Les. The Linz boys like the Bransen girls. They say the girls have nice bodies. They now have to go to Louisana, the Pelican state, and travel to Madisonville. They have to go to Fairview Riverside State Park, and find the fishing dock. The Bransens and Linzes are on their way. The Godlewskis go past the BP, and now have to drive back and get the clue. Carissa starts singing about the father losing his lucky pen. The Schroeder family said that the family is getting ugly with their hate of the Weavers. The Godlewskis are fighting now. The families have a detour. Work is there two people saw four pieces off a log. They then get their next clue. Play is to play 21 and after winning three rounds, they get their next clue. The Bransens and Linzes take play. The Schroeder family make an error and the park they are looking for is 1/2 hour from their house and five minutes from where the father works. The Paolos take the work option. I would take the work because the play could be difficult. The Gaghans take the play. The Linzes go for work after wasting time at Play. The Paolos completed the task. The teams must take the longest bridge to New Orleans, go to Esplanade Ave., run through the French Quarter to Preservation Hall. This is the pit stop and the last family to check in will be eliminated. The Paolos are in first place. The Bransens just finished play and are in second place. The Weavers won two out of two while the Gaghans are still winless. Will they stick with Play or move onto Work?
The Gaghans change to work. Christine starts crying because she wants to take her backpack. The other sisters say that she did it to herself. The Weavers quickly win. The Gaghans are having problems with the cutting part. The Schroeders are in last place. They decide to do the play. The Gaghans complete the task and are in 6th place. The Schroeders finish also, and are headed to New Orleans which is their home. The Paolos get to New Orleans first and park. The families are running around and the Paolo family is lost and the older son is yelling at his mom. The Bransens get to Preservation Hall first. They won a trip for four to Orlando, and will get to go to University Studios and Islands of Adventure. The Paolos are in second place. The father said that they ran the perfect race today. The Linz family is team number three. The Godlewski family makes it to number four. The Gaghan family is parked and the Schroeders park too. Who will be last? The Weavers are team number five. The Gaghan family was number six which leaves the Schroeders for last. They are eliminatred. The mother starts to cry. The whole family got lost because the father didn't know where the park was, and he used to work near the park. The daughter wishes that the father would have listened to her, and the father blames himself because his family didn't make it, but he thinks that they can deal with hardships when they can arise.
As a side note, the Schroeders lost everything to Hurricane Katrina. They gained one thing though, friends. The Rogers family, in Shrevesport, LA, took the Rogers in.
Bound for Glory was on next. The show started with Ellis Cannon again. Montour will be facing their biggest rivals and close neighbors, Moon Township. Ray Crockett and Dick Butkus meet at the restaurant again. Crockett says that they have to start from scratch and concentrate one week at a time. Crockett said that the team can't afford to get down. Butkus said that he has to look at it as glasses half full. Crockett actually seems to be much better at this whole coaching thing than Butkus does. As Crockett said, when you lose, everything is bad. Even the coffee is cold. Meat Iorio said that he used to be a bad boy, but he is being better now. His dad said that whatever he tells Meat goes in one ear and out the other. Meat says that the team is more intense because they have to prove that they are a good team. Butkus said that he didn't like what he saw on defense and is going to chance things around. Butkus claims that he told Meat that he is now going to be nose guard or not play. It seems that nose guard doesn't do alot of thinking. Lou Cerro was involved in these discussions. Butkus tells the kids to look at the glass as half full. Butkus says he wants a 5-3 defense. The kids start practicing. The defensive coordinator went from 5-3 back to the zone defense. Butkus damns the defensive coordinator. The defensive coordinator wanted to go to his old style. Then Butkus starts fighting with one of the coaches and swearing. Another assistant comes up and says you can't do this in front of the kids, and the one assistant says that he's been coaching for high school football from some years. Butkus has never coached. Morgan Singletary walks away from the practice because as he said, this is how it was last year. Meanwhile the other kids watch the mostly bleeped out argument.
Three days before the game. DJ was talking about how Morgan throwing his helmet down and walking away did not show alot of character for the captain of the team. Morgan knew that it was a bad decision, but he was so frustrated at the time that he didn't care. Lou Cerro addressed the issue. Butkus said that he apologized to Joe the assistant coach, and Joe said that they just butted heads. Butkus said they are family, and need to move on. Morgan also apologizes for leaving practice and says that he was upset. Crockett said that he's not upset about what happened because this is what happens when people really care. Crockett tells them to channel their aggression in the right direction to win. Crockett has everyone give a group hug and show the love. It's then back to practice. Christian Wilson says that Moon is the biggest rivalry. Nick DiIanni said that Montour used to be the powerhouse, but not anymore. The players really hate Moon. The thing that they don't let you know is that Moon and Montour are in close proximity. We then go to Moon's field. They have wno their first three games and haven't had a losing season in a decade. They don't believe in second best. The players are at Quaker State and Lube in Robinson. Moon and Peters Township are there. Some guy from Peters Township comes up to trash talk. Peters goes outside and want to fight. Then one of the Moon guys comes up and wants to fight too. The tensions seem to be rising. The Montour guys are scared because the Moon and Peters Township guys are out there asking for a fight. Moon left and there was no fight.
The day before the game, Butkus is talking about getting penetration for the line. Meat is being told that he is being a nose guard. Meat is saying that they are not sure about Moon because they haven't won against Moon for awhile. Butkus thinks that they has a good week of practice and that they can go out there and play. Butkus thinks that it's looking good for Montour against Moon. The mothers going to KFC and have a nice picnic for the kids at Clever Park. One mom says that she knows that the team can win, and that both teams are new. Butkus shows up at the "Alumni Bar" aka the Fireman's Club. The guys comment on Butkus' professional career. Meat's dad says that he thinks nose guard is perfect for his son. Butkus listens to the fathers talk. The Montour team finds a Moon flag, spray paint a message on it, and take it to Moon. The kids go to Moon School, and find a spot right in front of the entrance for the flag.
It's now game day. The kids at Moon say that the Montour kids think they are something, but Tiger pride will win in the end. It seems that Moon has never lost a conference game on their field since it was dedicated. Butkus said to go crazy and nuts and to just hit the other team whenever they can. It's time for the game. Morgan gives the team a pep talk to show Moon that they mean business and want to walk off with their heads held high. Montour recovers the onside kick. DiIanni throws a couple of incompletions. Then he runs with the ball and is just short of the down. Montour scores with a field goal on the opening drive. Score is 3-0. The Moon guy returns the ball for 43 yards after bouncing off alot of Montour's defenders. The team starts to argue on the field and Morgan tells them to stop arguing. Moon scores a touchdown and the extra point is good. Moon is ahead now 7-3. Butkus said that the guys are there and just not making the plays. Moon recovers a fumble. Moon makes another touchdown. They score the extra point, and it is Moon 14, Montour 3. The referees call the game for abit because of lightening. Crockett said that the lightening destroyed Moon's momentum. The game was postponed till the next day. Butkus said that he thought that this was happening for a reason and that they could make some adjustments leaving that night.
Back at the Montour school, we find out that Moon spray painted all over the Montour school. Some of the families are in Rockerfeller Grille. Meat's dad is willing to pay for paint for the team. Christian's dad tells the teammembers to have pride. DiIanni's father tells his son to play smart and hard. He tells his son that he has to play like he wants to win and that it is the most important thing in the world. The father tells his son that he should play the game not because his dad likes the game, but because Nick wants to win. His dad tells him that he has the opportunity to make this a game. His dad says that he needs to move beyond being a mediocre quarterback. His father says that he is tired of losing, it's not fun. He tells his son that he doesn't realize what he has, to seize the moment because it's staring him in the face. Crockett said that the defensive ends weren't playing, so there were changes and Maradin and Moohah are pulled out and new people are put in. Crockett thinks without the delay the change would not have happened. It's now time for the conclusion of the game. Montour seems to be getting better at stopping the offensive rush. The half is over with the score still at 14-3. Butkus said that he thought that the team acted like they could win. Morgan said that they came out to show them they were ready to play. Morgan was talking with his arms flexed and kissed his biceps at one point. Weird. The game is back on. Moon fumbles and Montour recovers. DiIanni throws a touchdown pass to DJ. It's now 14-10. Moon is starting to look distraught. Montour was totally different from Friday night to Saturday night.
Back to the top of the third quarter. Montour is still giving Moon a hard time and stopping the forward movement. Christian Wilson is doing a good job running the ball. Iorio breaks a couple of tackles and runs in the ball for a touchdown. Montour is now ahead 17-14. The Moon fans are quiet The bad thing happens: Moon makes a punt return for a touchdown. Moon is now ahead 21-17. Morgan Singletary tries to talk the team into getting the momentum back. Christian is stopped at the five yard line, then loses five yards on a run, and then DiIanni throws an incompletion, and then is sacked. Welch goes for a 37 yard field goal and is just short. You can see the team deflate. There is 5:40 left in the game. DiIanni's father watches without happiness. 3:06 in the game, and Moon has the ball. Less than a minute and Moon still has the ball. Christian's dad is also unhappy and angry. Moon wins: 21-17. Larry DiIanni said that the team did make progress, but they just didn't come out on top. Butkus said that the team is starting to believe in themselves. Morgan says that they are showing improvement, and that they want to win and are going to win.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 -- MorningBen Roethlisberger will be starting this coming Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. What's funny is that the Bengals refer to this week as Steeler week. The team used to suck before this year, and the big game in town was always when the Steelers came to town. That has to have a psychological effect on the team, and we are hoping that the Steelers will win. Cincinnati has been good this year, so it will be a difficult matchup.
Two local folks are fighting hard to get a slots license for the Pittsburgh Penguins. They have a website called Slots for Mario and are going to attend the Pittsburgh Gaming Task Force meeting tomorrow night to put in a word for the Pens. Let's wish them luck! Meanwhile, the Pens are trying to work on their problems with the defensive line. The team has been doing some practicing on 5 on 5 situations in the hopes that they can improve and win a game sometime soon.
What I don't understand is how can someone claim that Intelligent Design has nothing to do with religion? Michael Behe, who is a biochemist, says that "Creationism is a religious idea; intelligent design is not. "It is a science." So what is the scientific method that is used to prove it. How can we show that evolution isn't possible, but this supreme being is? And who is the intelligence in the design? It's obviously some God who has control over the entire planet. Of course, it has nothing to do with religion. I think that the Intelligent Design people say it often enough, they think that people will believe them. Behe claims that just because something is designed there isn't any additional knowledge about the designer. I would disagree with that, and say that there is the additional knowledge of the existance of some sort of supernatural being that is capable of creating life from nothing. I have an easier time accepting evolution and that life will arise from certain matter and favorable conditions than in accepting a supernatural being.
Monday, October 17, 2005 -- AfternoonTonight is the start of Sukkot. This holiday is also called the "Feast of Booths". You should already have your hut built where you will eat your meals over the next eight days. There are very strict guidelines on how the sukkah should be built, with the most important part of the sukkah being the roof. The roof must not be complete because you should have a portion open to let the sky show through. The walls can be decorated with a variety of objects, usually vegetables in celebration of the harvest or New Year's pictures. You also need to have the four species for the holiday. They are the etrog (or citron), a palm branch, myrtle and willow. The green etrog without blemishes is preferred over the yellow because the yellow one is already ripe and the green one is unripe and will last longer. All meals should be eatten in the sukkah especially something sweet because this is a joyous time of year and meant to be a happy one.
Monday, October 17, 2005 -- MorningIt seems that Tommy Maddox doesn't understand why he was being booed by Steelers fans yesterday. As was evident from Maddox's post game interview yesterday, he is totally clueless about what happened. Maddox blames the wind for all his problems. It must have been the wind that held him up and prevented him from falling on the ball that he fumbled in overtime. Or maybe he just didn't want to get grass stains on his uniform. Maddox also claimed that he had a great view of the field and all that was going on. So that must mean that he was purposefully throwing consistently into double and triple coverage. Yeah right! As Maddox said, for all that he has done for this city, he just didn't deserve to be booed. So what has he done for the city? His quarterback rating since the 2002 season has been consistenly below 100. In 2002 it was 85.2, 2003 75.3, 2004 58.3, and 2005 30.1. Check out Maddox's complete stats. I think that he should be glad that he was saved from being an insurance salesman, and should seriously consider returning to it. After all, the consensus is that Maddow handed the Jaguars the game yesterday with a bow wrapped around it.
On to the Pittsburgh Penguins. They have much more serious problems than the Steelers do. I'm not the only one who is noticing that our defense sucks. The offense can only get us so far if the defense still lets preventable goals into the net. I don't know how we can remedy the situation with the lineup that we currently have, and the sorry thing is that I don't think our coaching staff has a clue either. We do know that Eddie O doesn't have any plan to pair up Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby on the same line. Of course not. If you have the opportunity to put two people together who might actually be able to put more pucks in the net, why pair them together? At least that is the world according to Eddie O. I think that Crosby needs someone who can play with him, and not do as Mark Recchi did the other night. Crosby passes Recchi the puck to make a shot on net, and instead of doing that, Recchi passes it back. Meanwhile Crosby was waiting to get the rebound and wasn't in position to just get a meandering back pass. Eddie O is like Maddox thought. As Eddie O says, he sees alot of good in the team when he looks at the tapes. Maybe Eddie O should get some new glasses and take a closer look. When you have a player like Crosby who already has nine points for the season and is in second place in the points race, and you only have him on the ice for 23 seconds during a power play, you have a problem. I think that it is a coaching problem because who else is responsible for the lines that are sent out?
Afleet Alex is not going to race in the Breeders Cup this year. He is still recovering from his leg injury. Afleet Alex fractured his left front cannon bone on July 21. The cannon is the part between the knee and the hoof. He had surgery the week after the injury and a pin was put in the leg. He just isn't up to snuff yet, and the owners don't want to risk further injury to such a valuable commodity.
Sunday, Octover 16, 2005 -- AfternoonFirst half of the game: The Steelers are playing the Jacksonville Jaguars this afternoon. Tommy Maddox is starting for the Steelers. Maddox sucks. In the first four plays, Maddox threw an interception. Maddox is not very good at seeing what is going on. The play before the interception, Maddox was almost sacked as he just stood there waiting for the guys to come at him. Maddox couldn't scamper if someone gave him an electrical jolt and set his shoes on fire. This was the first interception of the season for the Steelers. with 2:30 left in the first quarter, the Jaguars decided to go for the fourth down, and wound up turning over the ball to the Steelers because they couldn't make the yardage. Jaguars were on the 23 yard line, and could have easily made a field goal. Of course, they may have been worried about the wind, but I would have gone for it. Maddox just threw another interception! Put in Charlie Batch. Maddox just doesn't have it. What sucks is that on the very next play, the Jaguars run the ball in for a touchdown. Score is now 7-0. Only 20 seconds are left in the first quarter, but Maddox can't seem to connect with any receiver. Fortunately there was passer interference, but Maddox didn't even throw the ball anywhere near the intended receiver, Antwaan Randle El. We are now starting the second quarter. Go Heath Miller. Maddox managed to finally throw the ball properly. Miller caught it and barreled through some defensive guys to make a touchdown. The score is now tied seconds into the second quarter. Randle El is the man! He just caught the punt around the 20 yard line, and ran it in for a touchdown! With one minute and 10 seconds in the second quarter, we have scored 14 points! Maddox is really having problems throwing the ball. He still is having alot of trouble connecting with his receivers. The only thing that he seems good at is a short pass. Maddox just did another stupid move. He threw a ball to Randle El when Randle El was in quadruple coverage. Yep, four guys on Randle El, and Maddox throws it right into the muck, and fortunately, just missed having yet another interception. Someone really needs to take Maddox off the field and send him back to selling insurance. Hopefully he is better at than he is at football. Even the announcers are commenting on how everyone is wondering what Maddox is looking at as he threw the ball to no one again. With just 1:43 left in the half, the Jaguars just blocked a punt and have the ball at the 16 yard line. So far the Steelers are blocking the Jaguars so they can't get into the endzone. The Jaguars are at fourth down with three seconds left. Will they go for it or take a field goal? They go for it. Offense had a false start. They are now moved from the 1/2 yard line to the 5 1/2 yard line. So they are going for the field goal. They barely make it through. Score at the half is Steelers 14, Jaguars 10.
Second half of the game: The Jaguars just appeared to make a touchdown pass, but Bill Cowher is challenging the call because he seems to think that the receiver might not have had possession of the ball while in the end zone. From looking at the replays, it looked good to me. The Steelers are charged with a time out, and the Jaguars now pull ahead. The score is Jaguars 17, Steelers 10. The Steelers are really not gelling with anything on the offensive side. Maddox has thrown 17 times and only had 5 completions. That's nothing to brag about. Another problem has been that Troy Polamalu has been called on a few personal fouls in the third quarter for throwing a receiver to the grounds when they were out of bounds and for hitting Byron Leftwich. Fortunately, the only thing that keeps on helping us out is that the Jaguars keep on making third down penalities. Rignt now, we are on the 20 yard line and hoping to get another touchdown. We couldn't do anything to convert, and had to settle for a field goal. The game is now tied. The fourth quarter is moving quickly, and the Steelers are still having issues. Maddox is still throwing incompletions, and just got sacked. Jeff Reed tried a 46 yard field goal attempt, and missed. He usuallyl doens't, but this time it was wide. You can't blame Reed too much because it has been very windy here in Pittsburgh today. The score is still tied with 3:22. Leftwich just got sacked and the ball will be going to the Steelers. There are two minutes left in the game. The Jaguars are slowing moving down the front and are really getting into field goal range with 30 seconds left. Ike Taylor just managed to stop a sure touchdown by knocking the ball from a receiver. On the second throw, the Steelers got an interception in the endzone for a touchback. The guy who got the interception is Bryant McFadden. Maddox took the knee and we are going into overtime. We just won the coin toss and will go first in the sudden death overtime.
Overtime: Why the heck did they give the ball to Tommy Maddox? He fumbled the ball, and didn't fall on it. No! As the announcer just said, Maddox put the ball on the ground and said, "here take it", and the Jaguars did. The Steelers had the ball in field goal range off of punt return, and then made the stupid mistake of giving the ball to Maddox. As my boyfriend said, he just wants to break Maddox's arm so he can give the ball to someone other than Maddox. My gosh, what a crap player Maddox is? So then the Jaguars can't do anything, and crap Maddox gets the ball again, throws into triple coverage, and the Jaguars run the ball in for a touchdown. As the announcers said, Maddox had the worst day that a quarterback could have. So do we think now that Cowher is ruing the fact that he ever put Maddox on the field? Maddox stunk up the field so bad that the only thing I can say is that this loss is totally Maddox's fault, and he should be hanging his head in shame and go back to selling insurance. Final score 23-17.
Sunday, October 16, 2005 -- MorningI didn't get a chance to watch Endurance: Tehachapi, but watched the recorded show this morning. The episode for this week is called Blocked. This week's episode is the first Endurance mission. Julie comments on how it feels like they are so close to winning, but yet so far. Chris says that it's a complement that everyone thinks that the Yellow team is the team to beat and the one to send home first. Shea says that Amelia is social, smart and athletic. Michael says that he and Kylie are getting along okay. Kylie said that she and Michael didn't know each other prior to being made into a team. Franke said that he and Erika are going to see what they can do. Erika is one of the strongest girls so he thinks they will be a strong team. Everyone is scheming to get rid of Yellow because the team is strong, and Chris is the youngest and immature. Everyone appears to be making alliances with everyone. Daniela admits that everyone appears to be in an alliance with everyone else to the point where it is confusing to everyone. Shea says that he is ready to go and pumped up. Shea says that he thinks that he and John of the Grey team will go far.
It is now time for the competition. JD asks Daniela if she worked out her differences with getting the wrong partner. Jon, her partner, says that he knows Daniela is a tough competitor and they will win. The winner today gets the Teamwork pyramid piece and will get the Samati which can be given to another team to handicap that team. Today's mission. They have to grab team colored blocks. They have to hold them between each other in vertical stack by pressing them against each other. As they race down the course, they have to pick up additional team colored blocks to add to the stack. If they drop the blocks, they have to restack them before they continue on. The first team to place all the blocks in the team colored tray wins. the teams start out. Green has the lead. John from Grey threw the block at Julie and hit her in the head. Then Grey took the lead. The secret I think is to have the fastest person facing forward to keep the pressure against the person who is slower. Battle is between Green and Grey. Green got it stacked in their tray first, and they won. Isaac said that their secret was just to keep pushing harder and harder. As Jeszie says, everyone is afraid of what she and Isaac will do.
Amelia said that the mission looked easy, but it was hard to actually do. Jonathan thought that his team did poorly. Julie said that it really stunk because Grey thought they were going to win. Isaac said that he and Jeszie figured out that it was just pressing against it other. Julie is afraid that the Grey team looked strong and that others will see them as a threat. John is not happy with finishing in second place. John says that if Green gives the Samati to him, the game is on. Isaac said that it is not necesarily down to deciding between Blue and Grey. Amelia doesn't think that Jeszie likes her. Amelia thinks that Jeszie will talk Isaac into whatever she wants. Jeszie seems to be an ace manipulator. Isaac said that they should give it to Yellow, but Jezsie says no. Jezsie says that Grey and Blue are the ones to target. Isaac wants to know if they should give it to Red so there isn't a problem. Isaac said that he told John that they would not give Grey the Samati, that John had told Isaac that Jezsie would want to give them the Samati and Isaac told him no. Jezsie said that you can't do that with girls. They just make their decisions and go with it. Jezsie says that she has been telling everyone they won't get the Samati because she plans on backstabbing everyone. Isaac says why, and Jezsie says because she wants to win.
The kids meet on the top of the Tehachapi mountains. Michael is asked who is in charge of the team, and he says Jezsie. JD says that Isaac seems like a nice guy who can't be controlled. Isaac said that there is no controlling because they couldn't have won the mission without teamwork. Julie is asked about the friendship between Grey and Blue, and it seems that they have a strong friendship (aka alliance) and that they have each others backs. It is now time to give out the Samati. Jezsie said that the Blue team is really strong, Isaac said that Yellow team could be a strong threat. Grey team got the Samati. Inside is four sandbags. In the next Temple mission, they will have four sandbags. Julie said that alot of teams are against the Grey and Blue team. Shea said that he will have to work extra hard to keep Grey from going to Temple. Jezsie says that Grey and Blue have to go. She just doesn't know how the other teams feel.
Saturday, October 15, 2005 -- EveningIt was another very disappointing Pittsburgh Penguins game. Marc-Andre Fleury started in goal, and he did the best that he could with lack of support from the defensive line. Donnie Iris sang the national anthem. The only comment that I have to make about the game is that we are sorely in need of someone who has coaching experience. I don't know where in the world some people get the idea that just because you were a half way decent player that you can coach. In Eddie Olczyk's case, he doesn't seem to have a clue of how to coach, and it really shows because the team as a whole sorely lacks the cohesiveness that a good team should have. I don't think that his assistant coaches are much better. Until the coaching system is fixed, I think that regardless of the quality of players on the ice, the team will be in the pits. The other thing that is becoming noticeable is that some of the older players did not benefit from the league not playing last year. John LeClair seems incapable of making plays, and even though he is only 36, he seems to need an injection of monkey glands to get him back into the competitive game. The only person who makes plays is Sidney Crosby. He had another assist today. So do we play Crosby during the power plays? Nope, because Eddie O doesn't have a clue. In this game, he only had 23 seconds of power play time. What a waste of a player. I am going to start the chant of "let's fire Eddie O" and hopefully someone in a position of power will act upon it. There was a bright moment in the game. In the last two minutes of the game, Fleury made a huge leap in to the air to save a score. He was being pulled from the goal to put an extra man on the ice, and the crowd got on its feet to cheer Fleury. Shots on goal sucked with the Pens only making three in the second period, for a total 21 shots in the whole game. Ziggy Palffy made the only Pens goal with an assist from Crosby. The final score was Lighting 3 - Pens 1.
Shocking news! Brett Hull has retired effectively immediately. It seems that his quality of play has not been up to his standards, and Hull realizes that as hard as it is for him, he should leave the game. It has to be hard on him because Hull has always been one of those players who has always put his all into the game. I think that year off due to the lockout has really been hard on the older players. It's harder for them to come back from the time off. Best wishes Brett!
Saturday, October 15, 2005 -- AfternoonBen Roethlisberger has returned to practice, but it seems that Tommy Maddox will start the game this coming Sunday. What I think is funny is that Maddox had hurt his calf a couple of weeks ago, and was expected to be out for three to four weeks. But since the opportunity arose to actually play, he miraculously became better and will be able to start. It was amazing to hear last Sunday that he would be out for awhile, and then to hear on Monday, oops, sorry, all better now.
It also seems that Hines Ward might not play this Sunday after injuring his hamstring last week. It seems that he hasn't been practicing this week. If Ward misses the game, it will be the first time that he missed a game since joining the Steelers in 1998. Yep, he has been playing 122 games straight, and has started in 89 consecutive games. That is impressive for a football player.
Surprisingly, Pittsburgh Panthers won today against the South Florida Bulls. The final score was 31-17.
I am heading to the Pittsburgh Penguins game tonight. We are playing the Tampa Bay Lighting, and I am hoping for the first win of the season. Knowing the Pens though, and the poor coaching of Eddie O., it will probably be another overtime loss. I will comment on the game when I get home.
Saturday, October 15, 2005 -- After MidnightPoor Montour!. They lost again this evening to the Blackhawk Cougars. The final score was 47-16. Right now, they only have one win in the season and one more game to play. If they lose their last game of the season, they will match their record of last year of 1-8.
Friday, October 14, 2005 -- EveningI went to dinner this evening, and came home to the recorded Penguins game. First period: Philadelphia Flyers scored first with a goal at 3:45 from Keith Primeau. Score 1-0 Flyers. Mario Lemieux got into a bit of a discussion with Joni Pitkanen for some extra bumping that Pitkanen did. When play restarted Mario gave Primeau abit more extra bumping that did not get called by the officials. I think that Mario was sending a message and let's hope that Pitkanen gets it. It was a real scrum and Pitkanen scored. I think that the goal should have been called off because Peter Forsberg was in the net (he also got an assist on the goal). There is alot of tension between the Pens and Flyers. It's amazing because the makeup of the team has changed over the past couple of years, and yet there is still the interstate animosity between the teams. The Pens score with three second left in the period. John LeClair scored the goal, and Sidney Crosby got the assist. The score is 2-1. Marc-Andre Fleury had 13 shots while Antero Niittymaki had only 5 shots.
Second period: 1:37 into the second period Simon Gagne scored. It's now 3-1 for the Flyers. Gagne just scored again with another assist by Forsberg! It's now 4:07 into the period. Now this sucks! They pulled Fleury! I think that is so unfair because it really wasn't Fleury's fault. Maybe if our defense was better we wouldn't have everyone and their aged mother shooting at the net! Brooks Orpik was the person responsible for giving up the puck which lead to the goal. Let's pull him and leave Fleury in the game. Score is 4-1 Flyers. So then the Flyers at 10:44 make a short handed goal. Goal was scored by Derian Hatcher. The defense sucks. No one was even attempting to take out the passing lane on a two on one situation. We really need to do something about how the defense sucks. So far in the period, the Pens have had only 1 shot on net. Finally at 12:11, Ryan Malone scored with an assist by Lemieux. Score is 5-2. At 13:08, Crosby got the credit for a goal that was made on the face-off. The score is now 5-3. Period is over. There were a total of 15 shots against Pens goalies and only 7 against the Flyers. Total for the game so far is 28 against the Pens and 12 against the Flyers.
Third period: The period starts when there was controversy over whether the Pens scored or not at 2:55. We didn't. The net had come off its moorings so that meant that no goal was scored. Dick Tarnstrom scored a power play goal with an assist by Lemieux at 5:20. The score is now 5-4. At 11:52, Maxime Talbot scored on the face-off. He was just trying to ice the puck and flung it toward the goalie and it went in! The Pens have tied the game: 5-5. The Flyers almost got the winning goal at 18:49, but it was actually a great save by Sebastien Caron. The puck richocheted off the pipe, crossing behind the net, and then someone tried to rebound it in, and Caron whipped around and grabbed the puck before it could cross the line into the net. It was a beautiful goal, and was the play of the game. It was beautiful. The Pens are headed to another overtime--will it be yet another loss? Crosby got a penalty for holding at 19:47.
Overtime: We got another penalty in overtime, so it should be a five on three situation in the Flyers favor. Penalty is on Sergei Gonchar for tripping. Caron is making some nice saves in the overtime. There were two broken sticks in the overtime by the Pens. Mike Rathje scored for the Flyers at 3:17 into the overtime. Final score 6-5. Total shots on goal against the Pens is 41 as opposed to 20 on the Flyers. That tells a story. We get 5 goals off of 20 shots while the Flyers get 6 goals out of 41. Our goalies are doing a great job, but the defense sucks and they are the ones that are allowing all of these shots on goals by the other teams. The Pens are the only team in the NHL who have not one a game.
Friday, October 14, 2005 -- AfternoonNo news on the Steelers front on who will be starting as quarterback on Sunday. At this point, it is a game time decision. Meanwhile Ben Roethlisberger has been jogging and doing everything in his power to be the person who starts the game. The official word is that Bill Cowher has not made a decision and will not until Sunday.
The Penguins are playing the Philadelphia Flyers this evening. I'm hoping for the first win of the season. If not tonight, then tomorrow against the Tampa Bay Lighting tomorrow. I have tickets for tomorrow's game, and it will be nice to have a win.
There is a new Bond, James Bond. The role has gone to Daniel Craig. I guess that the only thing that turns me off about him is that he has blond hair, but that can be dyed. Other than that, he looks rugged enough. I haven't seen any of the other movies that he was in to comment on his acting ability. It's not like Bond is a heavy acting role though.
Thursday, October 13, 2005 -- EveningInteresting news. Dick Butkus has left the Montour Spartans even though there are two games left in the season. It seems that he was frustrated with the fact that the team was losing and did not make the WPIAL playoffs. It seemed that Butkus only signed on for eight weeks so it really isn't too surprising to hear that he didn't stay on. ESPN has left a skeleton crew behind to film the remaining games. I wonder how ESPN is going to account for all of this. The remaining shows will have to have some drama because of the fact that Montour has had another major losing seaaon.
Survivor: Guatemala/The Maya Empire was on tonight. The episode was titled Cross, Cowboys and City Slickers. It's night 11 at the Nakum camp. Judd is feeling good about going against his former teammates. Judd tries to explain that they are all there to play a game and they are all there to win a million dollars. Margaret thinks of him as a traitor. Judd says that he doesn't care what the others think about him, just what his wife and child think of him. Judd says that he doesn't care if Margaret is unhappy with him and can't wait for her to go. Day 12. Blake is thinking about what his chances are in Yaxhu. As Blake says, the original Yaxhu have to know they are doomed. Amy is from the city and asks the others to explain farming to her. Brian says that he probably wouldn't be friends with these folks outside of Survivor because he is very blue state and comes from Boston. Brian says that his team is very religious, and he just goes along with it even if he doesn't agree with it because he wants to remain in the game. Very good idea. The teams meet up for the next competition. The teammates are complaining about the heat and the fact that they can't go into the water because of the crocodiles. Today's challenge is for a reward. They have to race to a first station, and one team member has to cut through a rope to release two handles. They all have to rush to the next station where another team member has to chop through a log to release two more handles. They will then have four handles. They take them with them. Then four different people have to put the handles into the turnstile and have to turn the wheel to bring up a cart. The six who have done the work now get into the cart and the seventh person cuts the rope that send the cart hurling down the track to the finish. The prize margaritas and snacks (dips and chips) and also a crocodile proof swimming cage so they can swim in the lake safely. The cage stays at your camp--not just for the day. Jaime and Brandon won on the ropes. Brandon is through the first rope. Brandon got it. Yaxhu ran to the second station. Bobby Jon is working on the log. Bobby Jon has the four handles. Jaime just got through the first rope. Yaxhu is already working on pulling the cart up. All six get in the cart and got chopped free by Danni. Yaxhu won the award, and Jaime just got through the rope. Jaime asked them if they wanted to quit, and Stephanie told him they didn't have to quit they were finished. Nakum had an absolute blowout and as Jeff Probst said, it fell on Jaime.
The swim tank and lounge chairs and deck. The whole thing is large enough for everyone. Brandon made the event because he got through the rope so quickly. Gary says that he and Kansas are loving their new superhero, Brandon. Brian said that Yaxhu is on cloud nine right now. As Brian said to be able swim even in a tiny square is heaven. Jaime is feeling bad over in Nakum. Jaime said that no one could cut the rope as quickly as Brandon did. Judd said that you can't blaim one person. They are a team. Judd tells Cindy that she should step up and do it if she knew that she could do the task because she was telling them all that she has seen Brandon cut rope and knew how to do it. Judd told Cindy and Margaret to setup and do it. Stephanie said that Jaime said that he could do the task, but then Brandon goes up and does it in 30 seconds. Stephanie says that inside she is crying and breaking down. She sasys that she feels like she is in a really bad dream and she can't get out no matter what. Stephanie does not want to relive her past losing experience. She says that she is in the less able group and the group that sucks.
At the camps, it has been raining for a few hours. Blake is sleeping through it. Amy comes up with the nickname Golden Boy for Blake. Blake always seems to come up roses and always talks about himself. Blake says that his girlfriend has really large boobs. Brian says that Blake is such an idiot. Brian has decided to play the game "Bait Blake" and tries to get Blake to tell his stories about Bobby Jon and Danni to look like an idiot. It is time for the next competition. The challenge sounds like it might be something where they have to communicate and work together. Lydia starts a chant to try to make everyone think positive. Lydia decided to be a motivator today. Everyone is laughing at her. Jeff says that Nakum doesn't appear to be very happy. The tribe that works together well should win. The challenge. Each tribe divides into two teams of three. One says behind and shoots balls to the two teams. The first team with five balls caught wins. Brian and Lydia are the shooters. Yaxhu catches it. Nobody catches Lydia's ball. Brian shoots again. Nakum steals it. They are now tied. Nobody caught it. Stephanie plows into Bobby Jon. Then Nakum catches one. They lead 2-1. Then Yaxhu catches one. Score is 2-2. Nakum catches one. 3-2. Nakum stole one and now leads 4-2. Nakum caught it and won immunity. Jaime tells Lydia that she did it for them. Yaxhu is going to tribal council. Who will be heading home?
Back at the Yaxhu campon Day 14. Someone is going to be going home. Brian says that it might be one of the three old Yaxhu members. Brian and Gary are talking strategy and want to turn someone from the original Nakum against Blake. Bobby Jon said that he is probably going to vote Brian out, but he won't vote out Blake because he gave his word. Bobby Jon doesn't think that this is one of this times. Gary has been taking the initiative and is talking to someone. Gary said that he wants to get rid of Blake. Brandon says that he is not going to vote for Blake but will probably vote for Amy or Brian. Danni seems that she might go either way. She doesn't like his frat boy stuff, but at the same time Blake is good at the competitions. The group is now headed to the tribal council. For whom will Danni vote? Jeff asks Gary about the storm. Gary says that only Brian and Blake slept. Amy talks about the Golden Boy nickname. Blake said that he thinks that although he started poorly that he can ride it out to the end. Brandon said that it is ramping up abit and not all physical challenges. Gary said that the first few moments were scary. Amy said that they are one group and forget what happened before. Jeff asks Blake the same question and Blake said that there are old tribal lines. Brian said that it shouldn't be tribal lines because you should give everyone a chance. I hope that it isn't Brian. Blake is annoying. The voting begins. Brian says to the camera that Blake may be the golden boy, but that he is platinum and will come out in the end. Votes: Blake, Brian, Brian, Blake, Blake, Blake. Blake is voted out. Relief washes over Brian's face. Jeff tells them that based on tonight's vote the game just took a big shift. It did too because Danni must have been the swing vote. But shocker! It was five votes for Blake and two from Brian. Both Bobby Jon and Danni voted against Blake.
Thursday, October 13, 2005 -- Early EveningThe Pittsburgh Penguins are the only team in the NHL which has yet to win a game. What's fun though is that we are one point ahead of the Flyers who actually won a game. We have been lucky enough to have three overtime loses that garned the team a point for each loss. Meanwhile, Jocelyn Thibault is expecting to return to playing this coming Saturday. He seems to be feeling well, and thinks that he will be able to return this weekend.
Ben Roethlisberger was off his crutches yesterday and is hoping to practice some throws today. It seems that Roethlisberger is like the Timex watch from the old commercials that would take a licking and keep on ticking. He does seem to have the ability to rebound quickly.
Hines Ward was mayor of Washington, Pa. today. He received the key to the city at 5 pm. Ward says that he does not harbor any future political asperations.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005 -- EveningNow for Bound for Glory. The show starts with Ellis Cannon talking about the Montour team on his radio show. He must be getting paid a pretty penny from ESPN. Dick Butkus and Ray Crockett are listening to the show as they travel to a local eatery. This week's upcoming game is against Hopewell and is also Homecoming. It is four days before the game, and Crockett is saying that Hopewell is different from the team they just beat because Hopewell is a bigger and more physical team. Crockett thinks that this upcoming game will be a crucial game. Crockett thinks that its great to have Christian back. Crockett then mocks Morgan by calling him Headache, and says they need to figure out what is going on with Headache. The cheerleaders are making banners for Homecoming game. The cheerleaders are believing and thinking the team can win the Homecoming game. They must be missing the practices. They are talking about the voting for Homecoming King and Queen. Crockett said that if you win, your status rises. I think he is trying to pump up the boys. We then see the players practicing. Butkus tells them to forget about the last win. Lou Cerro lets Butkus know that it has been four or five years since Montour last beat Hopewell. Butkus tells them that they have to score first and to get sharp because now they are down to business. it's not time for the film session to see how Hopewell has been doing. DJ talks about how big the line is and how talented they are. It seems that the last time they played Hopewell, they were just run over. Morgan Singletary says that its going to be a real intense game.
Break is over, Anthony Pastin is shown with his grandfather who has always been around football, either playing or coaching for his whole life. The grandfather is showing Anthony his pictures. It seems that the grandfather has been lonely since the grandmother died last year. The team is working out on the track and practicing sprints and dashes. Then we see the players working out in the weight room. As Lou Cerro says, their plan is to get kids out of study hall during the day and put them in the weight room to work out. The plan is to be more regimented. Lou Cerro goes looking around and sees a few members on the team just walking around and not working out. It seems that the players are just lazy and not really that motivated. They have shabby excuses like forgetting clothes or wanting early times. Poor Lou Cerro. They have this new, expensive weight room and the kids are just not interested. We see the practice and Crockett yells out that they have to find someone out there who wants to play. He thinks that the players are thinking too much about their last win and thinking they are better than they are. Crockett tells one of them that he is a running back and should run. The team looks awful in practice. Meanwhile at the Singletary household, Morgan is finding out that he has another doctor's appointment. He says that he hasn't had headaches since the previous Saturday.
It's now two days before Homecoming and Morgan is at the Center for Sports Medicine. The doctor tells him that when Morgan was cleared he should report his symptoms and it means that his vulnerbility could be high. The doctor thinks that he should be checked out. The doctor says that the hit in the third quarter was probably a concussion type injury but the headache went away. The doctor says if that continues, he can play on Friday. The Homecoming Court had Anthony Pastin and Morgan Singletary. Nick DiIanni and Dane Kaczynski also made the Court. We see the players kissing their girlfriends at the end of the school day, and it looks like Christian has a cute blonde girlfriend. Anthony says that they really have to study and do what they can against Hopewell. Butkus says that the team has to concentrate and they can't afford any screwing around. we then see some of the players making shadow creatures while others screw up in the practice. The team comes across as idle, lazy, immature, rich kids. Butkus talks to the team and says that he hopes that the team doesn't forget about the game with all the Homecoming stuff going on.
Pep rally time. There were alot of festivities with the pep rally. It is now one day before the game. The team is practicing, and Crockett tells Christian to wrap his hand so it doesn't get injured again. Nick DiIanni said that he likes talking to Crockett and thinks that he is a good coach. Crockett thinks that the practice went pretty well. Hopewell will also be a conference game. Butkus seems to wish that the kids would not be involved in Homecoming, but they are kids and easily distracted. DiIanni went over to Marina Matteo's house to give her three of his jerseys. It seems that the tradition is to give a girl that you "talk to" your jersey so she can wear it to the game. Of the three one of them was dirty, but Marina doesn't think it signifies anything about their relationship. Marina is a junior and a very cute girl. At the Montour Fireman's Club (which they keep on referring to as the Montour Alumni Bar) the adults are talking about the upcoming game. At the Homecoming Bonfireall the players are there partying. Anthony Pastin said that it was good to feel the energy of the other students. The team has been spending alot of time during the week on Homecoming festivities and think they should have concentrated on the game.
It's game day. Christian is sleeping and not getting up easily. Christian is not really talking much to him mom who is asking him about the game. His mom tells him that he needs to wake up. We see folks tailgating before the game. Anthony Pastin's grandfather comes to the game too. Nick DiIanni said that he is zoned out and just concentrating on the game. Christian thinks that they will beat Hopewell. The team is quiet and thinking and trying to get in the zone before the game. Butkus welcomes everyone to the game and wants to make the alumni proud of their team. We find out that Energizer is going to give a new scoreboard to the team so they will remember to keep going and going. Crockett tells them that all the hard work comes down to this moment. The court is being introduced on the field. Morgan appears to be captain of the football and the baseball team. The game starts. Christian is being given the ball, and just running into a wall of players. Montour intercepts the ball. Things are looking good so far, and Montour is second and goal. christian makes a touchdown and Montour leads by six points and the extra point is good. Montour does score and is up early by 7-0. Crockett thinks that is good, and we go to commercial break with Crockett and Butkus having a grand old time and thinking they can do positive things against Hopewell.
Now it is back from the break. Second quarter starts with the score still 7-0. Hopewell has a huge run and scores a touchdown and extra point. Score is tied. Crockett looks glum on the sidelines. Montour is starting to look like they do in practice with incompletions. Hopewell scores again and takes the lead. It's not 7-14. Montour is intercepted. It seems that DiIanni threw it away to someone who wasn't there from the team. Diianni said that someone should have been there, but he wasn't there. Crockett is trying to calm down DiIanni after yelling at him for throwing the ball when no one from his team is there. Hopewell has another touchdown. Hopewell 21, Montour 7 at half time. Cerro tells them that they are only down two touchdowns, and they shouldn't get into this thinking that this is just typical Montour and they can't do better. Cerro says that they need to stop pointing fingers on the sideline and to remember that they are a team. Time for second half. Hopewell scores again and is ahead 27-7. DiIanni throws to no one again, and then throws an interception that is returned for a touchdown. Score is now 33-7. Crockett says that the players on the team have a bullshit attitude--a loser's attitude. The game ends with Hopewell winning 47-15. Meat's dad, Dan Iorio, said that they looked terrible, and that they looked like little kids out there who forgot what to do, and he said that he wasn't impressed with anyone. As he said, it's the same thing all over again. Butkus in the locker room. He said that he doesn't know where to begin and is really pissed. He tells them that if they don't want to play, then they shouldn't come back. Butkus tells them that they blew the whole weekend. I think that he wants them to not party but work this weekend. He tells the team that they should play Nintendo because they are wasting people's time if they don't want to play. He says that if they don't want to be there to show up at 8:30 in the morning. It seems that they just gave up when they started to lose.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005 -- Early EveningI went to sleep early last night, but I recorded Amazing Race 8. This week's episode was titled I Don't Kiss, I Make Out. The race starts out at Welbourne where the teams had their rest stop. The Weavers left at 2:26 am. The first thing is to fly to Charleston, South Carolina. They are looking for the Battery, and there they will find their next clue at the Gazebo. It's amazing how some of the families have little things that get on each others nerves. Tammy of the Gaghan family say that they try to treat their kids like adults and thing that helps them out in the race. All of the families seem to realize that they will need to call for reservations, especially since they are getting stuck in traffic on the highway. The Bransens are going on US Air, and found out that Independence Air is arriving two minutes earlier, but there weren't enough seats so they are staying on US Air. Meanwhile the Weavers are trying to find a better flight, but aren't having any luck and are getting hated by everyone. The boy on the Schroeder team is getting friendly with the boy on the Weaver team, but the Schroeder stepmom tells him to "shut his pie hole". The Schroeder boy's comment to the Weaver boy is that his stepmom is a bitch. The folks who have tickets are getting onboard the Independence Air flight. The rest are getting on the US Air flight. The Paolos are fighting again. The older boy in the Paolo family said that he told his mother that if she weren't his mother she would be his worst enemy. The family does not get along very well.
After the commercial break, the families are now in Charleston. Independence Air lands at 10:04. The US Air flight lands at 10:04. All the family seems to find it quickly. There is a detour at the Gazebo. The choices are Forrest Gump or Muddy Waters. The Forrest Gump choice is to drive seven miles to Wando Shrimp where they will get on one of the shrimp boats and dehead 200 pounds of shrimp with their hands to get the next clue. In Muddy Waters, the teams must drive 37 miles to Ridgeville. There they must get into 4 by 4 and drive through a 400 foot gully known as a mud bog. They must make one complete circuit of the course, and could get stuck in the mud. The next destination point is in another town. So this will be a tricky detour to decide. If they have good driving skills they will be okay. The Paolo family got on the 10:38 flight, and in last place. The Schroeder family takes the shrimp. There are two crates of shrimp. The Linz family took the shrimp too, and the brothers keep on treating the sister like a brain dead idiot. The Godlewski sisters also took the shrimp detour. The Gaghan family take the mud ride and so do the Aiellos and the Gaghans. The Aiellos are stuck in the mud feet from the finish line. It sucks because they had to get pulled out and start all over again. The Linz boys are having too much fun with the shrimp. The Bransens said that the shrimp was easier for them because it was something they could all do. The Aiellos are on their sixth attempt and they are stuck again. The Schroeders are in first place. They have finished the shrimp task and now are to go to the Charleston vistor center and must sign up for one of two charters that is leaving town. The first is at 3 pm and the second is at 5 pm. The destination is a mystery. The shrimp folks have to make their way to the charter by foot. The Gaghans made it on their first time. It was really funny because the Aiellos were there sitting stuck in the mud. The Linz, Schroeder, Godlewski and Bransen families made the first bus. The Aiellos are on their thirteenth attempt, and got stuck yet again.
Another commercial break, and the Aiello family finally makes it on the fourteenth attempt. They are currently in sixth place. The Paolos are arguing again. Boy, that family is something else. The Weavers are just starting on the shrimp. The Gaghan, Paolo, and Aiello family are signed up for the second bus, and the Weavers just signed up at the last minute. It is going to take eight hours for the teams to get to their destination. They are going to Huntsville, Alabama, the rocket capital of America. The Bransens are in first place in the arrival at Huntsville. They must now drive five miles to the US Space and Rocket Center. They have to go to the Edward O. Buckbee Hanger to get the next clue. The Linz family is in second place, Schroeder in third and Godlewski in fourth. A road block is to be found here. Two people must ride the centrifuge until it reaches 3.2 Gs then they will get the next clue. The Linz sister realizes that they are now at Space Camp! The Bransens girls made it to 3.2 Gs. The next clue is to make their way to Rocket Park on foot a mile away. They search for a Saturn 5. They have to enter the Space Museum and look for a computer and log onto AOL for their next clue. The Linzs made it to 3.2 Gs. The Bransens made it to the rocket, and are searching for the marked computers. The message that the receive is a video message. They have race by foot and find the space shuttle Pathfinder. The last to get to the Pathfinder may be eliminated. The Bransens are team number one. All licensed drivers on the Bransen family will get free gas for life. All they have to do is get the gas from BP. The Linz family is second. The Weavers are complaining and crying and moaning about how rough live is and how hard they have had it. The mother is trying to tell the girls to make the best of it. The Paolos said that the Weaver family lost it, and the Paolo mother looks concerned for them.
After the commercial break, everyone is talking about the Weavers breakdown. The daughter, Rachel, wants to know where they are going. The thing is that they are making so much noise on the bus that they are keeping the others up. Back at Space Camp, the Schroeders are team number three and the Godlewskis are number four. The Weavers are in fifth place. The Paolo mother seems to be shocked to be in last place when she realizes that all the other cars have made it to Space Camp ahead of them. The Aiellos have pulled the number eight ticket for the device that puts you at 3.2 Gs. The Weavers are team number five. The Gaghan father is stupid and is walking around sightseeing. The Gaghan family always seems to get lost, and the Paolo family is lost too. The Gaghan father tells the kids to push it. Krissa, the little Gaghan girl, tells them to read the signs. Everyone is running to the final checkpoint. The Paolo family is number six. The Gaghan family is number seven. The Aiello family is the last team and has been eliminated. It was the mud trap that got them. The Aiellos were one of the few who got along, and they admit that they see each other as family now more than ever. I think that they are even better than regular family because they weren't getting involved in petty fights.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005 -- AfternoonSomething of interest to Pittsburgh Panthers fans is that Rod Rutherford, who played for Pitt a couple of seasons ago, signed as up for the Steelers practice squad. Rutherford really hasn't made it in the NFL.
A new study out says that it's not how hard you exercise, but how much you exercise. It seems that benefits are found if you walk a brisk 12 miles every week, and the more you do the better the results. People think that you have to really be gunho to get any benefits from exercise and the actuality of it is that all you need is a regular regime that you stick to. Walking two miles a day every day will take around a half an hour and will give you fourteen miles in a week. The other thing that I thought was interesting in the article was the claim that people gain three to four pounds every year so being active is a good way to maintain healthy body weight. I know that I put on a few pounds since I had my foot surgery, and I am hoping that as soon as I can start walking as much as I used to that I will get rid of those pounds. We shall see.
Tomorrow is Yom Kippur. This is the day that Jews are supposed to ask for forgiveness for all of their sins to God. The day before Yom Kippur, meaning today, Jews are supposed to ask for forgiveness for broken promises that were made to others because those aren't things that God can forgive. Tomorrow those of the Jewish faith are not supposed to do anything, no eating, drinking, working, washing, or wearing leather shoes.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005 -- AfternoonIt seems that Ben Roethlisberger may not have a serious knee problem after all. The MRI confirmed the doctor's original diagnosis that the knee was hyperextended (meaning bent the wrong way) and bruised. In fact, Roethlisberger may even play this coming week. The way it stands right now is that it will be a matter of wait and see. If Roethlisberger has a good week, he will play.
Tonight will be the next episode of Bound for Glory. I'm not sure if I will stay up to watch it so look for the synopsis on Wednesday evening. I do know that Montour is having another very bad year. The team lost again this past Friday, and have a 1-6 record. Obviously, they want to rival last year's 1-8.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005 -- MorningSo far, the initial report on Ben Roethlisberger's injury is that the knee was hyperextended. Ben isn't too concerned because he thinks that he is a tough guy and will be fine. He's on his way back to Pittsburgh and will have an MRI of the knee to determine the full extent of the damage. This is, in a way, all good news for Charlie Batch. Of course, he doesn't want his teammates to be injured, but now Batch will have to take the lead role in next week's game. Tommy Maddox is also out for the next three to four weeks with an injured calf muscle. It's amazing how quickly things change. There was a time when folks were seeing Batch as totally expendable because he was the third string guy. How likely was it to have both quarterbacks injured? Not only that, but in a pitch we could use one of our slash players, like Antwaan Randle El. Fortunately for the Steelers, they kept Batch.
Now this is interesting. Even though the Penguins haven't won a game, they are still just a point shy of .500 because of the scoring rules. A team now gets one point for making it to overtime and losing. So since three of our four losses are in overtime, we have three points. The Penguins have a problem. I wonder if the brunt of the issue lies with the coaching system and Eddie Olczyk. Yeah, so Eddie O was a player. That doesn't make him a good coach. I think that the Pens need to move away for the mentality that players are the type that can plot out a good game. So what if someone is a good player? That means that there was probably a good coach behind him molding him into that player. The Pens need a coach like that, and I don't think that is Eddie O. He should go back to color commentating during the games.
Monday, October 10, 2005 -- EveningFirst period: The Pens are playing the Buffalo Sabres. The game is on OLN, and in the first 13 seconds, the Pens had a penalty called on them. Dick Tarnstrom was called for tripping. Sidney Crosby started the game, and is miked. The Sabres were the first to score with a goal by Rory Fitzpatrick at 3;21. The score is 1-0. Right after a faceoff near the Bruins goal, Ziggy Palffy scored. Game is tied 1-1. Crosby had a huge hand in this play because he won the face off and then shot it off to Palffy. The assists though go to Mark Recchi and Sergei Gonchar. Crosby got called for an interference penalty at 13:24. It was one of those things where Crosby moved in such a way that in the past would have fine, but now it "interfers" with the progress of another player. After one of the commercial breaks, we found out that Crosby and Recchi are roommates on the road. After the period, the analysts on OLN were talking about how Brooks Orpik gave up the puck twice and how the poor defense on our team is going to be the downfall of the team. As the one analyst said, someone will be calling for the head of Eddie Olczyk if this continues.
One of the things that the analysts talked about during the intermission was whether players should wear visors on their helmets. It seems that the question came about because Mats Sundin took a puck to the eye on the Toronto Maple Leafs opening night. Sundin wound up with a fractured left lower orbital bone. It looked really bad from what I saw, and it seems that they are still trying to decide whether to operate on it or not. They are going to wait for the swelling to recede and then work on it. You have to feel for poor Sundin, but if he had a visor on, this particular injury could have been prevented. Granted there are times when something will come up under the visor, but I would wear the visor. I can understand the claim by some players that they feel that the visor obstructs their line of sight and peripheral vision. I hate wearing hats or anything on my forehead because I just feel that it gets in the way of me seeing. Alot of that is psychological though, and if I forced myself to wear hats, I would adjust. Being an eye glass wearer, I know that others will agree on is that at first the frame of the glasses really is obvious, and always seems to be in the way. Over time, usually in a few days, an adjustment happens, and you don't know that it's there. Of course, you can't force someone to do something for their own safety. I do think that the manufacturers of the equipment should work on making something that it less obtrusive for those who think that the visors affect their vision.
Second period: Crosby won the opening face-off. The Pens had two penalties called in short order and it was a 5 on 3 situation for almost two whole minutes. Marc-Andre Fleury did a fantastic job of blocking a slew of shots. I see a Daily Bongo number one star of the game here. The announcers were commenting on how it was like a morning practice where the Pens were sending pucks flying at Fleury and oooing and ahhing over his saves. It was really something to watch. It's hard to believe that he is so young. Boy, he is going to be a joy to watch in a few years--and in fact, it was a joy to watch him just now. The Sabres just scored with a goal by Paul Gaustad. It was just off the face off. Score is now 2-1. It really sucks that we don't have the defensive abilities to support and aid Fleury because he is doing a great job. Even the announcers are commenting on how Fleury is alone on his end and that the only thing that is preventing the goals is Fleury and the posts. Finally! The Penguins tied the score by attaching the goal. Recchi got the goal. Crosby got the primary assist on the goal. The score is now tied. It was a very good period for Fleury. He had 16 saves in the period.
Third period: This part is in competition with the Steelers game. The Pens aren't doing anything to score. Crosby had a few bright moments in the game, but it came to naught, and in fact is coming quickly to a tie ending. with two minutes left, Crosby and Recchi were going two on one at the other goal, and Crosby passed it to Recchi who instead of shooting, passed the puck back to Crosby, who wasn't able to get a good shot at net. Tied game and we are heading to a four on four overtime. There were 35 shots on the Pens goal.
Overtime: Both teams are flying back and forth across the ice, but the Pens aren't putting the pressure on the Sabres that they should. Damn! The Sabres won. The damn poor defense of the Pens lost the game. The puck was stuck by Fleury's foot, and Jochen Hecht kept on hitting on the puck and got it in for a goal. After all that hard work of Fleury's, the game is lost. What a disappointment!
First half of the Steeler game: We are playing the San Diego Chargers. I was paying more attention to the Pens game because at 9:28 it was headed to overtime. Ben Roethlisberger just fumbled the ball as we switched back to the Steelers game. There are only seconds left in the first quarter. Now we are on to the second quarter. Jerome Bettis is playing, and has actually been out for a few plays. Hines Ward just made a great play. He caught the ball, went down, got up, kept on running, and barreled his way through some players to the endzone for a touchdown. The Chargers are challenging the play and saying that Ward was down by contact. From looking at the replays, it did not look like Ward was touched though. We were robbed! The officials said that Ward was touched on the foot and he was not. So the touchdown was removed. We have the ball on the 35 yard line. By a series of moves, they got it to the seven yard line, the blitz was on, and Roethlisberger ran it in for a touchdown. The extra point is good. Score is 7-0. Nothing much was going on until James Harrison intercepted the ball. We have the ball around the 50 yard line. Then the Chargers got a penalty for a personal foul for unnecessary roughness after the play. Bettis brought the ball in for a touchdown from a few yards out. The score is now 14-0. Then Chris Hope grabbed a player by the shoulder pads and the facemask, and got a huge penalty. The Chargers get the ball at the 11 yard line. The Chargers get a touchdown. The score is now 14-7 and there is only 34 seconds left in the half.
Second half of the Steeler game: Roethlisberger just got sacked and they had to punt, but during the punt return, the receiver let the ball hit him, and Chidi Iwumoma came up with the ball. I never heard of Iwumoma before. There was a flag on the play. The officials says that the receiver was not given a fair opportunity to catch the ball. It seems that we are really getting sucker punched by the officials in this game. The Chargers brought the ball down the field and scored a field goal. Score is now 14-10. The Steelers are starting to lose their edge. With less than four minutes in the third quarter, the Chargers just made another field goal. The score is now 14-13. Roethlisberger just got sacked on a third down and that just took them out of field goal range and the Steelers had to punt. They have not been doing well since the second quarter. The third is now over and 15 minutes of the game are left. The Chargers got within field goal range again, and pulled ahead 14-16. As an answer, Hines Ward got a reception and got us to the 26 yard line. Then he got another reception for another first down. The Steelers are on the 16 yard line. Another throw to Heath Miller for a touchdown. Score is now 21-16. That was a very quick answer to the Chargers taking the lead! Five minutes left in the game and the Chargers on the 2 yard line with a first down. So they have a few chances to score a touchdown. LeDainian Tomlinson has been having a wonderful night, and just scored a touchdown. The Chargers chose to go for a two point conversion and failed so the score is now 21-22. The Steelers still have a chance. We were going down the field, and we got to the 29 yard line when Roethlisberger was hit in the knee by one of the defensive guys helmets. It looked like Roethlisberger's knee went the wrong way. He was lying on the ground, writhing around, but is now up, and appears to be walking off the field. So maybe it isn't as bad as it looks. Charlie Batch is now in for Roethlisberger. Bettis just got us a first down. We are on the 27 yard line, and the Chargers have had to take their time out. The thought is that they will try to run the ball down the field abit and then try for the field goal. Ten seconds remain in the game and we are on the 22 yard line. The Steelers have taken a time out. It was perfect, and Jeff Reed made the field goal. The score is 24-22. The chargers have 6 seconds to score. They aren't able to do anything though, and the game ends with the Steelers winning and Roethlisberger being taken off the field on a cart.
Monday, October 10, 2005 -- AfternoonTonight is going to be a busy night. Both the Penguins and the Steelers will be playing tonight. Fortunately the Pens game starts at 7 pm so hopefully I will be able to watch a couple of periods before the game starts. News for the Penguins: Brooks Orpik has been having a disagreement with coach, Eddie Olczyk. It seems that Eddie O thinks that Orpik may be out of condition because Orpik took time off during the lockout to take classes at Boston College. Orpik thinks that his conditioining is just fine and that he has been working out and doing well in practices. Eddie O thinks that Orpik isn't as sharp because of a puck stealing incident in the season opening game. Now from what I have been seeing of the team, it looks like alot of them are having synching issues, and I know that some of them were playing during the lockout. Another thing that Orpik has commented on is that the new rules that the NHL has implemented is making it more difficult for the Pens defensive players. It's hard for some of them because if you have been playing under a certain set of rule for awhile, it's hard to switch to a new set--especially if those rules make your job harder.
Sidney Crosby is in a multiperson tie for fourth place in the total points scored for the year. He has five points with one goal and four assists.
As for the Baby Pens, they have been doing much better than the Pens, and so far this season are undefeated AND won a shootout this weekend. All I have to say is that maybe we should bring some of them up here because we aren't winning, and really suck at shootouts.
An Israeli-American, Robert J. Aumann, and American, Thomas Schelling are going to share the Nobel Prize in Economics based on their work with game theory. When I first heard about game theory a few years ago, I used to think that it was just a theory on how games were played. But a very nice man and friend, Hector Correa, explained to me that game theory was basically a way of decerning the odds that would lead two combating forces to a particular outcome. Now the combating forces don't have to be in physical combat. They just have to be people, groups or situations that are conflicting in some way. It is a very interesting aspect of economics and political science.
God is out to wreck divine retribution on Madonna according to some rabbis. Is it because of her book about sex from a few years back? Nope. It's because she has a song on her new album that is supposed to be about Isaac Ben Solomon Luria. The song is called Isaac, and the reason God is going to be pissed with Madonna is because she is trying to cash in on Luria's name and reputation. I think that there are other things that Madonna has done that will be more offensive to God, but you believe what you want to believe.
Sunday, October 9, 2005 -- EveningNews from the Penguins. Marc-Andre Fleury has been called up to replace Jocelyn Thibault. Thibault hurt his knee at a practice skate earlier in the day yesterday when he was hit by a slap shot from Rico Fata. The knee is bruised, and I haven't heard anything about how long Thibault will be out. The interesting thing is that they initially called up Andy Chiodo to backup Sebastien Caron yesterday, but they are going to send Chiodo back down to the minors. I wonder why they didn't bring up Fleury from the beginning unless they thought that the injury wasn't as serious at first. Also, Chiodo was in West Virginia at the time which might have been closer than Fleury. Anyway, Fleury will be starting in the game tomorrow against the Buffalo Sabres.
Sunday, October 9, 2005 -- Early AfternoonSurprisingly, Pitt beat the Cincinatti Bearcats yesterday afternoon. The score was 38-20. So Pitt is now 2-4 for the season. Pitt shouldn't be jumping up and down because all this win means is that they aren't the bottom of the Big East barrel. Looking at the schedule, we might have another win this season against Syracuse who does seem to be scraping the barrel.
Saturday, October 8, 2005 -- Late EveningI have alot of things to comment on, so I think that I will start with the non Penguins games items first and save the best for last.
It seems that Stanford's Stanley won the Grand Challenge. It is abit confusing because the times on the Grand Challenge web page show the CMU robots before Stanford. It must be some sort of glitch in the system. It does seem that DARPA is looking at the results and that CMU's Sandstorm might be in the competition. At this point though, the money ($2 million) is going to Stanford. This is a big improvement over last year when none of the vehicles could complete the course, and in fact just went a few miles.
Interesting tidbit from yesterday's hockey news. It seems that the Great One, Wayne Gretzky made a faux paux by having a player listed as a scratch suit up for the game and play. Fredrik Sjostrom was listed as the scratch. Gretzky's screwup cost the Phoenix Coyotes with 19 men on the roster as opposed to 20. The real scratch was supposed to be Petr Nedved. The thing that I don't understand is why players think they can be coaches. Just because Gretzky was the Great One with playing doesn't mean that he will be much more than mediocre as a coach. After all, those who can do, those who can't teach or coach.
This bit of news from earlier in the week, Sun and Google have joined forces to combat Microsoft. Google's plan is to allow folks to access office productivity tools like a word processing and spreadsheet software from the Google Toolbar. The product that will be used is Sun's OpenOffice which has been a freeware package available for some time. This is an open declaration of war against Microsoft, and we should all benefit if the end product becomes better.
Now on to the game. The Mellon Arena was packed with 17,132 fans, and the game was an exciting one. We got to the game around an hour before the start time, and that was a good thing because it gave us an opportunity to see the Stanley Cup which was on display just a few yards from the section where we were sitting. It was gorgeous, and the guy who usually accompanies the Cup was there. The pregame ceremony was very nice. A film clip started the ceremonies with a recap of the history of the Penguins. Then the players were brought out onto the ice. The first thing that I noticed was that Jocelyn Thibault was not on the ice. It seemed that he hurt his knee with a shot from Rico Fata in a practice earlier in the day. That meant that Sebastien Caron was in goal. Everyone was very excited to when Sidney Crosby came on the ice. Another surprise for the evening was that Christina Aguilera sang the national anthem, and she did a great job. I took pictures of the activities.
First period: The first goal was scored at 3:31 by Ziggy Palffy with assists by Steve POapst and Dick Tarnstrom. After the goal, the former Pen Jiri Slegr got a penalty for hooking, and I noticed something that became a recurring theme through the game. Then Pens couldn't get the puck out of their section during power plays. A minute after we scored, the Bruins came back and scored during a power play. The score was tied at 1-1. Finally, a goal for the Pens from Mario Lemieux with assists from John LeClair and Ric Jackman. The score is 2-1. At 15:41, the Bruins scored again during a power play. That's the problem with the Pens. We get penalties and then can't protect the goal and wind up giving away points. Score is now 2-2. Fortunately, Jackman came right back with a goal at 16:01 with assists from Crosby and Mark Recchi. Score is 3-2. The shots on goal for the period were 10 for the Pens and 14 for the Bruins.
Second period: The second period started out well with Brooks Orpik scoring with assists by Crosby and Recchi. The score is 4-2. The Bruins came back to score at 8:57 to make the score 4-3. They weren't done. Another Bruins goal at 10:30 tied the game at 4-4, but then abit over a minute later, Mario scored an unassisted goal at 11:44. The score was now 5-4. Then came the big moment which I almost captured in pictures. I just snapped the picture right before Crosby made his first NHL career goal. He was assisted by Recchi and Palffy, and the arena just went wild. The time of the goal was 18:47, and folks were calling out to Crosby until the period ended, and resumed when the third period started. Shots on goal for the period 12 for the Pens and 16 for the Bruins. I think you can note a trend. The Bruins are making more shots on goal than the Pens.
Third period: The period started with the Pens leading with a score of 6-4, but ended in a tie of 6-6. The Bruins scored twice in the third period with the Pens just making 7 shots on goal while the Bruins made 10. The shot total for regulation was Pens 29, Bruins 40. You can see a definite trend here. We aren't stopping the Bruins from making shots while we make no shots. Folks in the stands were crying out for someone to just shoot the puck. That is a constant refrain at Pens games because the players seem to look for the perfect shot and won't make an attempt at something not perfect. This results in the team probably missing out on scores. I was not looking forward to an overtime because I know that the Pens have been really bad in the shootouts so far this season.
Overtime: 1:23 into overtime, the Bruins scored to win the game 7-6. The Pens had no shots on goal in overtime because it was all Bruins, and they even had one shot on goal that resulted in the score. The items of note were that Mario had two goals, Crosby had three points (including the goal), and Jackman had two points with a goal and assist. The three stars of the game by the local media were number 1: Glenn Murray, number 2: Crosby, and number 3: Mario. I choose a different lineup for my stars of the game. As I was leaving the arena, folks were asking if the Pens would win anything this season. The problem is that everyone had such high expectations and the team just doesn't appear to be jelling just yet, especially in defending the goal, making shots and the shootout.
Saturday, October 8, 2005 -- Later AfternoonNewer update for the Grand Challenge. It seems that Red team one from CMU, Sandstorm, might be in the lead. The two CMU and Stanford robotic vehicles did complete the race, but for some reason, the times that are appearing on the DARPA status board keep changing. As of this minute (5:25 pm), Sandstorm is ahead. I should know for sure when I come back from the hockey game.
Saturday, October 8, 2005 -- Late AfternoonThe second episode of Endurance: Tehachapi was on today. Today's show is the partner selection episode. and is called Power Play. The episode starts with JD Roth calling out the kids out of the cabin in the morning. It's time for the team pairing. Shea speaks up first and says that he wants Amelia, and she agrees. JD tells them that because they spoke up they get to be the first Endurance team. Amelia lets Shea choose and they are the Blue team. The rest of them have to compete, and the winner of the challenge will get to pick the teams. Jeszie had said that she didn't want to go with Franke to JD, and now she is afraid that someone will put her with Franke. Michael said that he would like to be with Daniela. Isaac said that he would Jeszie. Franke wants Erica. So everyone is being friends and hugging which Chris says should be stopped because the teams should have conflict. Chris said that he would do anything to win and thinks that's the way to go.
The kids show up for the competition. Each player has to hold a log above their heads as long as they can. The last person holding the log above his or her head wins and gets the power to decide the partners. Everyone gets into position. Callie is the first out. The kids have to hold the log up against a board and are only allowed to use one hand. Daniela is out. Franke is the first guy out. Michael loses his log and is out. Julie and Jon go down at the same time. Chris is the youngest and looks like he is not having problems. Jeszie is out. Erika is the only girl with Isaac, John and Chris. John is now out. It is down to three. Erika just went down. It is down to Isaac and Chris. Isaac was talking too much and lost his grip. Julie is afraid that Chris will screw up the partners because he isn't afraid of what others think, and wants to win. Chris picks Callie because she is athletic, smart and a great friend. They pick Yellow. Chris now gets to pick who will be the Red team and will do it with Callie. The guy for the Red team is Franke. The girl is Erika. Franke is happy about that because Erika is a strong girl. Purple is next. The guy is Jonathan, and the girl is Daniela. Daniela is really mad about it because that isn't what was previously planned. Daniela wanted to be with Michael. The guy for Grey is John. chris puts Julie on John's team. Michael is on Orange, and he gets Kylie. Isaac and Jeszie are the Green team. It seems that the only team that isn't happy is Daniela and Jonathan. Chris was originally planning on mixing things up, but then decided he didn't want enemies. So Daniela goes into the cabin, and just stares at Chris without saying anything. Then Michael comes in and hugs Daniela. It seems that Chris did not know that Daniela had an emotional tie to Mike. So we find out that Mike was Daniela's first pick and love might be in the air. Shea is talking about making it to the final two. Isaac and Jeszie start talking and she says that she does not like Julie. Isaac asks who she will send to the Temple, and Jeszie says that she can handle Amelia because she is a little cheerleader.
All the kids go to meet with JD. It is time to hand out pyramid pieces. Blue picks Courage. Yellow team picks Trust. Chris says that they both think Trust is good for a relationship. Red takes Heart. Purple takes Perserverance. Grey takes Commitment. Julie says that it is because you have to be committed to be successful. Orange takes Knowledge. Green is left with Leadership. The grand prize will be a trip to Costa Rica for an eight day expedition in the rain forest. The next day will bring the first test as a team.
Saturday, October 8, 2005 -- AfternoonTonight is the Pittsburgh Penguins home opener game. We will be playing the Boston Bruins. Some of the local sportscasters were saying that it would be fun if the game ended in a shootout because it is exciting for the fans. I'm not as excited about the idea because the Pens seem to have real shootout issues. I noticed that on the game on Sunday, the Pens weren't doing well in the shootout, and yesterday no one scored. So I'm hoping for a clear cut win. I will have my impressions of the game later on tonight.
The Grand Challenge started today. So far I have been able to find out that the two CMU vehicles are still in the race and have completed 2/3rds of the course. At the beginning of the race, the entrants were given the GPS coordinates for the entire race on a CD. There has been a definite improvement in the quality of the vehicles over the past year with all of the entrants but one covering more of the course than was completed last year. The start times for the vehicles were staggered with the point being that the vehicle that finishes in the fastest time wins. So far, the Stanford team is doing well. They have covered 127 miles in 7 hours and 12 minutes. CMU's H1ghlander is second, covering 124 miles in 7 hours and 19 minutes. Sandstorm, the second CMU entrant, is third at 123 miles in 7 hours and 12 minutes. Unless something happens to Stanford, they will win the race. Stanley, the Stanford entry, started the race in second position. The race should be over shortly because the total distance is 132 miles. In fact at 4:53 pm, I think Stanford finished at 7 hours and 30 minutes. Their time is less than both of the CMU entrants and the CMU entrants are still racing, so it looks like Stanford might have won.
Friday, October 7, 2005 -- EveningFirst period: It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh. Well, actually in Raleigh where the Pittsburgh Penguins are playing the Carolina Hurricanes. Sebastien Caron is in goal for the Pens, and so far, the game is moving quickly with nothing that it really noteworthy. The games seem to be moving along alot faster than they were. One thing that I did notice is that the arenas in the games that I have seen so far is that the phrase "thank you fans!" is etched on the ice. I think that it is to thank everyone for coming back to hockey. Damn, the Hurricanes scored! Eric Staal picked up a rebound from a goal attempt by Crosby to take it back down the ice at 11:59. The score is 1-0. Cory Stillman just had a breakaway, and you could tell that Caron was in trouble. He got Caron to commit to Caron's right, and shot the puck in. The score is now 2-0. Come on Penguins! Let's get something happening! Another close shave. Two close shots to the net. One was so close that the hornblower who announces the goals gave a quarter blow. But the goal was denied. Fortunately there's only 30 seconds left in the period.
Second period. Again, it just seems that the Pens are missing something. Five minutes into the period, Ryan Malone made a breakaway and tried for a goal, but was blocked by Cam Ward, the Hurricanes rookie goaltender. Another missed opportunity! An interesting tidbit about the Caroline Hurricanes' web page. It seems that they have given Ward a blog to record his thoughts about his first season. The announcers for the game are commenting on how Caron isn't banging his stick on the ice to let the other players on the ice know that a penalty against the other team is ending. That's what the goalie is supposed to do, let the guys know when the penality ends because the goalie shouldn't be busy and he is facing the clock. A fight broke out on the ice with 6:21 left in the game. Ryan VandenBussche got into the fight with Jesse Boulerice from Caroline. It was a nice fight with VandenBussche getting the worst of it in my opinion. Five minute majors for both, and the game continues. The Pens supposedly are now responding to the fight according to the announcers, but I'm not seeing much to get excited about.
Third period. This is looking more and more like a loss for the Penguins. Ziggy Palffy had abit of a breakaway, and practically an open net, but missed the shot. It resulted in a penalty for Carolina, and Malone managed to score an unassisted goal on the power play. The score is now 2-1. More mundane play, and then there was a shot on goal against the Pens that got rebounded and taken down the net. Konstantin Koltsov made a valient attempt to score, but he was denied by Ward. So the end of the game is coming, and it was getting really intense and exciting, and Crosby got an assist in a goal that was made by Palffy. Originally we had a five on three situation, and then four on three, and now after the goal, Carolina has a power play. The game is tied 2-2. It looks like we are going to have five minutes of overtime. I am hoping for a shootout! Overtime is four on four, and the seconds are ticking away. Scary moment there were it looked like Carolina might score, but someone Caron got the puck. Less than two minutes, and the play is mostly in the middle of the ice. Carolina keeps on coming at our net. We need to get the puck into their end of the ice. Shootout! The coach picks three players for the shootout. The Zambonis are out to scrape the ice in the center area. The three players will alternate. Penguins will go first. The team that wins the shootout gets two points, the loser gets one point. Caron and Ward are the goalies. First up is Mario. Ward stops the shot. No goal for Lemieux. He tried to go over the top and Ward gloved it. Stillman was next and went between Caron's legs. Palffy is up next. Some how Ward stopped it. He's doing a great job in goal. Matt Cullen is up next and is not able to score. Shootout is 1-0. Crosby is up next. Ward beat him. Carolina wins by a score of 3-2.
Friday, October 7, 2005 -- Early MorningTonight is the second game for the Pittsburgh Penguins. They will be playing the Carolina Hurricanes. Sebastien Caron is going to be in goal tonight. The game will be show on the local FSN Sports channel which had alot of success with Wednesday's game. The ratings for Wednesday's game was 7.5 which is impressive when you look at the numbers for the previous hockey season. It seems that with the 2003-2004 season, the ratings for the season averaged around 4.5. We will have to see if the viewers stick with it if the Penguins don't perform to expectations. As I heard from someone yesterday, he loves to watch the Pens when they are winning, but when they are losing, he loses all interest. Of course with any sport, you will have the fair weather friends. I think that the Penguins have a more difficult time in the fall because Pittsburgh is really a football town.
Are stereotypes valid? Scientists are known to research everything, and this was a topic that they took on as it pertains to race stereotypes. The findings are that the stereotypes aren't true, and may be due more to national values that may find some basis in the historical past for the country.
In the intelligent design trial in Dover, a witness testified that a textbook for students originally had the word creationism in it, and the word was later changed to intelligent design. What really gets to me about this piece of testimony, and the fact that everyone is making a big deal about it is that it is obvious that creationism is intelligent design. Both basically follow the premise that a God is responsible for the existence of life on this planet. come on. This shouldn't even be a matter of debate. After all, what is the intelligence in the design?
Thursday, October 6, 2005 -- EveningThere was another episode of Survivor: Guatemala/The Maya Empire on tonight. The title of tonight's episode is "To Betray or Not to Betray". The show starts will monkeys in the trees resting in the heat. Nakum is also resting on Day 9. It seems that it is in triple digest. Cindy said just when you think 104 is hot, the next day it is 114. Everyone seems to be wilting in the heat. Judd is complaining about the mosquitos being all over him. Their bodies are covered with mosquito welts. They look like they are in really bad condition. It seems that Nakum is just laying around doing nothing. Meanwhile the guys in Yaxhu seem to be doing okay, at least they aren't laying around doing nothing. Gary and Rafe are cathing minnow from a pot with corn in it. Yaxhu see a huge crocodile in the river that is snapping up fish. It adds to the drama. Nakum sees the Yaxhu tribe for the first time. They are getting a break from the challenges and will get to find out what their tribemates think of the others and will let the other tribe know something of the other. You can not vote for yourself. Question 1: "which tribe member needs some nourishment?" Yaxhu says Jaime, Nakum says Dani. Each gets an apple. "which tribe member is the smellest?" Yaxhu says Gary, and Nakum says Bobby Jon. They each get a shower with five gallons of fresh water. "from your tribe which man and woman deserve a picnic after and then returning to the camp?" Yaxhu--Gary and Amy. Nakum--Margaret and Judd. The four get a picnic of chicken and chocolate chip cookies. They have to take it off and eat it without bring any back. "Which tribe member remaining has tribe pride?" Yaxhu--Brian. Nakum--Cindy. The remaining players on Yaxhu go to Nakum. There are five remaining Nakum have to pull colors and Brooke stays with Nakum. Bobby Jon, Brian, Brandon, Blake and Dani are now part of Yaxhu and will be joined by Gary and Amy. The rest are now part of Nakum.
After the break, we join the four picnicers at the top of the Maya temple. The topic of Gary being a football player came up. He denied it, and Amy said if he was a multi-millionaire football player, she will kill him. Brian takes the guys over to the Yaxhu camp. When they get back to the camp, they found fruit. Amy and Gary came back to the shock of seeing non team mates there. Brian realizes that the Yaxhu tribe is outnumbered. Danni says that maybe Gary doesn't want people to know that he is a former quarterback because they might think that he has money. Over in the Nakum camp, Margaret and Gary find out about the change. So the members of the original teams are trying to figure out what they will do. At least with Nakum it is four on four, but Yaxhu has three old members and four old Nakum. Judd says it doesn't bother him, but it bothers Margaret. Judd is just glad to have gotten rid of the guys from his team and feels like King Kong now. Jaime and Stephanie are scheming over what to do. Stephanie asks Judd who's the strongest girl. Judd said that he gets along better with Jaime and Stephanie. They are plotting to get rid of the girls from Nakum. It seems they are thinking of getting rid of the four girls and keeping Rafe. Judd said that he feels good, and think that the three will make a good alliance. Judd has no problem with turning on his old tribe. He says that they have to get out of his jungle.
Amy has concerns because there is Bobby Jon, Blake, Brandon and Danni, and that there are only three from Yaxhu, Gary, Brian and Amy. Bobby Jon and Blake are going to target the three Yaxhu players. Amy's angle is still sore and sprained. Amy realizes that if she doesn't do well in the next challenge she is gone. competition--both tribes have to paddle out and get three bags of tribal color. There are Maya war clubs in the bag. They have to then throw the club and breaak tiles that are 30, 40, and 50 feet away. No one can break more than one tile. If someone can't do it they should step aside and let another team go for it. Lydia is sitting out. Nakum has their bag first. The boats collide. Nakum pushes Yaxhu's boat out and Yaxhu is in trouble. Nakum is getting the third bag as Yaxhu is getting their second. Yaxhu has their third bag and is headed bag. Nakum is back to the beach first. Everyone has to get to the mat before they can throw. Yaxhu is closing the gap. Stephanie broke the first for Nakum. Brian is first for Yaxhu and switches with Danni. Danni breaks it for Yaxhu. Tied one to one. Judd still throwing for Nakum. Yaxhu got the second tile. Judd finally breaks it. It is Brandon and Jamie going for it. Yaxhu wins the immunity. Nakum has tribal council.
After the break, Nakum is talking about who will go out in tribal council. So Rafe talks to Stephanie about it. Rafe thinks it will be a four-four tie. Brooke is saying that maybe they might vote the weakest person off. Brooke, cindy and Margaret are planning to stick together and want to know where Judd's loyalty lies. Margaret tells Judd that she would like all of Nakum to be together. Judd said that it Lydia and Brooke are the weakest. Margaret tells Judd that whoever has the majority will pick the others off one by one. Judd tells Margaret that she has his wheels turning. Rafe tells Lydia that they are hoping to get Judd to vote with them and that Judd won't know what hit him. Judd is worried about Jamie and Stephanie not being as loyal as they say they are. Judd said you can't trust anyone. Judd says that he won't know until he gets there who he will vote off. It is now time for tribal council. Stephanie is told that she is 1 in 7 and 4 in 21 overall in Survivor. Stephanie is wondering if she is a jinx. Margaret is asked about people connnecting. Margaret said that she noticed Stephanie, Judd and Jaime joining together. Judd says he was just being friendly. Lydia says that she still feels vulnerable, but hopes that the others will get to know her and her strengths. Brooke says that the women are more vulnerable because they aren't strong as men. Judd syas that he knows right away if he can connect to people. We see them voting. Votes are being tallied. votes: Lydia, Brooke, Lydia, Lydia, Brooke, Brooke, Brooke, Brooke. Brooke is the fourth person voted out. So now the remaining Nakum knows that Judd went against them.
Thursday, October 6, 2005 -- AfternoonThe CMU robotic team has managed to get two of the top three starting slots in the Grand Challenge which will start this coming Saturday. Fingers are crossed for one of the two teams to win the $2 million prize.
Some folks here think Hines Ward is benefiting from Plaxico Burress not being in Pittsburgh. The most obvious benefit is that Ward can make more money, and the other is that he is going to get the ball more. Right now, he is benefiting by having more touchdowns (four in the past three games). Personally, I think that he is also going to have the negative of more doubleteaming. I'm just waiting for the Steelers to face tougher competition, and to see the whole season's stats.
Wednesday, October 5, 2005 -- EveningToday was Mario Lemieux's birthday, and the Pittsburgh Penguins season opening game. Tonight's game is against the New Jersey Devils.
First period. Sidney Crosby did not score on his first shift as everyone was hoping and expecting. I didn't think that was very realistic. Yeah, Mario scored on his first shift ever, but I'm sure that it was equal parts luck and skill. Right now the Pens have a 5 on 3 power play in the first five minutes of the period. The penalities are flying this season. The Pens have had four power plays in a row without scoring. It's because of Martin Brodeur. He did a fabulous job in the first eight minutes of the game in deflecting the shots during those power plays. Sergei Brylin scored for New Jersey at 16:55. He was assisted by Alexander Mogilny and Dan McGillis. The score is 1-0. Then Brooks Oprik got a penalty for tripping and that led to a power play goal by the Devils' Zach Parise. Score is 2-0. Meanwhile Brodeur just beautifully blocked a shot by Lemieux. Gosh, Brodeur is unbelievable!
Second period. Crosby did a nice shot on goal against Brodeur, and he did another fantastic job of saving the goal. This game is quite frustrating. There have been so many Pens shot on goal that Brodeur is somehow miraculously deflecting. Around the 14:00 mark, there was a good opportunity to score. Brodeur was twisted around with his back facing away from the net, and yet he still managed to not let the puck in. 16.28 into the second period, Brian Gionta scored an unassisted goal. The score is now 3-0. The Pens aren't able to capitalize on any opportunity and end the second period without a score. The local station that is showing the game had Mario miked during the period, and shared some of what he had to say while playing. It seems that Mario is a man of few words. He really didn't have anything of fascination to say, and it was really pointless. He is definitely not like Ian Moran. During one of the playoff games a few years ago, Moran was miked and was quite entertaining. The game was against the Washington Capitals in Washington. Whenever they would play "Let's Go Capitals" in the arena, Moran would chant, "Let's Go Buffalo" because he wanted the Buffalo Sabres to win the other series. Moran was funny! Between periods, the announcer chatted with Crosby's parents in the stands. Sid's dad was a goalie in his past, and the announcer said something about how good Brodeur was doing, and Sid's dad said, "not bad, not bad. He's been lucky." As Sid's dad said the Pens have been playing well, but have gotten out of rhythm because of the penalties.
Third period. Gionta scored his second goal of the game, 3:29 into the period. This game is not looking good for the Pens. Of course, you can't win any game, but I think that folks have a higher expectation of what would happen. I think that they thought that Lemieux and Crosby would score four goals each. The score right now is 4-0. Finally the Pens have scored! Mark Recchi scored 5:36 into the period with assists from Crosy and John LeClair. It is Crosby's first NHL assist of his career. Score is now 4-1. The Devils scored again. It is under review to see if the score actually happened, and it looks like it came under the red bar, hit the back bar, and then bounced out. The initial reaction was that it hit the crossbar and came down, but the video we see looks like it did hit the back of the net. It's a score. Brylin gets his second goal of the game. The score is now 5-1. The game is over and the Pens have lost their first game of the season.
Tuesday, October 4, 2005 -- Late EveningTonight was the third episode of Bound for Glory. The show starts with the scene in the Montour Alumni Bar after the losing game. All the guys can see the faults. We have Elis Canon talking about the show and Dick Butkus as if he was the real coach. They show a portion of a newspaper article that mentions that Butkus provides drama but no win. Butkus and Ray Crockett think that they need to get Morgan back from his concussion. The next bit of the show takes us to the team watching the film of the previous game. Butkus and Crockett appear to be giving direction, but we do get a clip of Lou Cerro talking to the team. He's really the coach. The capitain of the team is really mocked and told that it is embarrassing that he didn't tackle anyone. Meanwhile others yell that they must lose losing. Crockett asks how they were 1-8 last year--if the other team forfeited the game. Crockett also tells one team member that he should be embarrassed playing with a bunch of girls. Meanwhile one father asks crockett why they are being so hard on the kids because they are playing well. Crockett says it's not playing well, it's winning. They should not accept losing, period. Morgan is now on his way to the Sports Medicine Center. Morgan is clear to go on to play in the coming week. It is team picture day. Morgan tells the coach that he can run today, light contact the next day, and if there are no headaches he is cleared to play. Right now, Morgan said that he is filling good and had his last headache on Tuesday. Morgan is supposed to be a good team leader and motivator.
After the commercial break, we see Abbey Schram. She says that cheering for a losing team has not been fun. As she said though, at least the last game that they lost was close. Molly Broker talks about how the cheerleaders won two national championships. All the girls admit that it really does suck to cheer for such a loser team. Morgan says that he needs to work to get into shape beause he hasn't been working out for the past two weeks. Butkus asks one of the real coaches how Morgan is doing. then we go back to cheerleader practice. It seems that the Miami Heat cheerleaders are there to meet with the girls. They showed up to choreograph a routine for the girls for the assembly that will be held before the game. Actually there are only three girls and the choreographer. So they begin an assessment of the girls and where they are at in their abilities. It seems that the cheerleaders are good. Next we see Christian getting his cast off and stitches out. He will have two splints. The one for play is more padded to keep his arm safe. Out on the practice field, Christian seems unable to catch the ball with the cast. When he runs he is okay because his right hand is fine, it's the left hand that is in the cast. Everyone thinks that he is the best running back the team has seen. Meanwhile Crockett is on the sidelines saying that with Christian, you never know what you will get.
It is finally back to school for all the students. Morgan says that he is not looking forward to going back to school and learning. Morgan tells Coach Cerro how his head hurts from learning. Cerro tells him not to have a headache on Friday. We then see the kids in their various classes. Crockett and Butkus are talking about what to do with the players on the team as if they really have a say in how things work. Butkus says that Crockett has to take over defensive backs and running backs because one of the defensive coaches has been suspended for racial slurs in the previous game against the other team. Butkus says that it is a good opportunity for Crockette. We then see all the trophies that the cheerleaders have. it seems their trophies get stuffed into a closet in the basement. No one really seems to care that they have a really good cheerleading squad and there is no appreciation for the team. The cheerleaders are preparing for the pep squad with the Miami Heat cheerleaders. Abby tells us how cheerleading is a physical sport. Morgan is told that if he has a headache, he should be careful because there's no reason to do anything stupid and compromise the whole season. Butkus hopes that he had eleven Morgan Singletary's. Butkus talks to the kids about the parents complaining to him about being too rough on the kids. Butkus says that he doesn't care because his whole point is that the team should be winning.
After the break, DJ says that he is really excited and hopes to bring back the first win of the year. We hear that the students llike to attend the pep rallys to just get out of their classes. The cheerleaders practice their routine outside before going in to the pep rally. Then we hear Butkus announced as the head coach of the team. Butkus then announces the players to the audience. Butkus then mentions the cheerleaders and their success and hope the football teams does as well as the cheerleaders. They then perform their routine, and it's pretty good. The students don't seem very excited but the Miami Heat choreographer talks about the three championships that the cheerleaders won. Morgan then says that he wants to thank the cheerleaders for going to every game and staying for the whole game. Joe Findley the school superintendent says that starting that day the cheerleaders trophies will be on display for the first time in years. So the cheerleaders are finally being recognized.
The team is riding on the bus to their next game which is in the middle of the state. The officials will not let Christian play without a doctor's note because of the cast. They tell Lou Cerro who then tries to locate the doctor's excuse. He finds the secretary and she says that it is on the desk. Cerro gets the Athletic Director to get someone into the building and fax the doctor's note to them. Butkus talks to the team again. You can see Cerro in the background dressed in a shirt and tie and acting like the real coach while Butkus does his play acting. Christian is getting ready for the game, while someone is trying to get the note. Finally they do get the note and Christian is cleared to play. The game starts. DiIanni gets sacked in one of the first plays, and then scrambles but doesn't make the yards. Albert Gallatin scores first and the score is 6-0. Albert Gallatin isn't able to get the extra point due to a bad snap. christian scores a touchdown. The extra point is good, and the score is 7-6 with Montour winning. A long pass to DJ Johnson results in another touchdown. Score is 14-7. Montour intercepts the ball. Gallatin intercepts the ball right back. It seems that DiIanni threw to the wrong side. Gallatin scores and goes for two points. They are successful and the score is tied 14-14 with 8:58 in the half. The Montour team got deflated after the interception.
After the break, we come back to Christian scoring another touchdown. The score is 21-14. Meanwhile Morgan is tackling away. There is a fumble and Montour recovers. Christian runs the ball in for another touchdown. Score is now 28-14. The team goes back to the field after the half with Butkus telling them not to count on their laurels just yet. Morgan takes a hard hit and is out of the game while the athletic trainer checks out Morgan who now has a headache. Ryan Welsh no attempts a 40 yard field goal and makes it. The score is now 31-14. DJ says it is the best feeling on the sidelines because they are up 20 points. Montour scores again. The final is 38-14. Montour has the first win, and at this point is 1-1 for the season. The team is really happy over the win. Butkus says whatever you have to do to have the right mind set you have to do.
Tuesday, October 4, 2005 -- EveningThe Amazing Race 8 was on tonight. The show starts in Lancaster, Pa. where the race ended last week. The Godlewski face is the first to leave at 7:57 am. They have to travel to York, Pa, and go to Shoehouse Rd. Once there they are going to pick up the next clue at the Shoe House. The Gaghan family says that folks thought they there were just dragging their kids around on a vacation, but they were. The Gaghans tried to be prepared and went over possible routes and told the kids not to be stupid. The Schroeders think that they need to work together better, and the Rogers family is having issues with a father who is a know it all. The Paolos start arguing as soon as they start out. The mother is nagging and annoying and the kids are abrasive. The Bransen dad didn't think they were going to do well, but the daughters are used to their family being pessimistic. The Linz family departs last at 8:45 am. They are trying to be optimistic and realize they have to make up time. The Gaghan family gets to The Shoe House first. They have to next drive to Washington, DC and get to the reflecting pool in the Mall and find their next clue. The Rogers family is in 5th place, and the father says that he is now the navigator. The Paolo family gets to the shoe in 6th place. All the families so far know to take 30 west and 83 south. The Aiello family is in 8th place. The Rogers family started 30 east though, and it looks like they are lost. The Rogers father is blaming the son for missing the 83 south exit when what had happened is that as the navigator, he told the son to go on 30 west instead of east. So now the father is driving because obviously the son is unable to drive since he drove past the exit.
Back with the Rogers after the break. The father is making it sound like he is the only functional member of the family. He seems like a real jerk. The Gaghan got to the Washington Memorial first and start looking for the box and the flag. The Weaver family finds the box first and the Godlewski family follows them. They have to get additional directions from a limosine by the Lincoln Memorial. The Gaghan family are lost. Paolo family found the box quickly as they drove by it. Meanwhile the Gaghan family is totally lost and not asking anyone. The Linz family is now in 5th place. The next move is to the Tidal Basin. The Godlewski got to the Tidal Basin. They have to use one person from the team to find another "spy" with the same briefcase. They have to use the phrase "the sky is blue". The other person will reply "the sea is green" if they are the right person. There are 50 people with briefcases, but only 10 with the right briefcase. They then have to exchange cases. The Godlewski family gets it first and have to go to Welbourne Manor in Middleburg, Virginia to receive their next clue. The Godlewski family is first. The Paolo family is in third place. The Bransens start arguing because the father can't keep up at the reflecting pool. Meanwhile the Paolo family is not almost out of gas and can't find a gas station. The mother is telling them that they should listen to her. The Rogers family is still arguing over being lost. Meanwhile the Gaghan family refuses to ask anyone to make sure they are in the right place.
After the commercial break, finally the Gaghan family meets up with the Rogers family and realize they are in the wrong location. The Gaghan family is now in 7th place. If only the famiily listened to the boy in the first place. Tsk, tsk. Meanwhile the Paolo family finds a gas station and the mother keeps on complaining and nagging. I think that I would have to kill her if I were her child. The Gaghans get the briefcase quickly and are now in 6th place. The Bransens are in 8th place. Unfortunately the father is not in good shape. The Paolo family is lost again because the father gave the son the wrong directions. Meanwhile everyone else is running into traffic. The Linz family uses their map and finds an alternative route. meanwhile the Bransen family has the switched case and seems ready to collapse. The Rogers are in last place. The Godlewskis are in Middleburg, and has found Welbourne Manor. The weavers though are in first place. Now they run into a detour. They have to choose either heat of the battle, and take part in a battle and take five people on stretchers. Heat of the night is the other choice and they have to get five barrels of oil to light 20 lamps. Then they have to gather a flag and take it to the pit stop. The last person to make the pit stop is eliminated. The Godlewski family decides on the heat of battle while the Weavers choose the lamps. The Linz family takes heat of the battle. The Weavers have 20 lamps lit and running. The Weavers are first. They won a trip for four to the Fairmont SouthHampton in the Bermudas. The Linz family came back from last to second. The Bransens are collecting bodies in the battle. The father is having problems completing the event. I wonder if he has a medical condition that has left him so out of shape. The Godlewskis family finished third.
Commercial break is over. The Bransens are back to trying their best. The Gaghans choose the battlefield which I think is a stupid move for them with the little kids. The Bransens have 4 of 5. The Schroder family does the lamps and finishes as team number 4. The Aiello family does the battlefield and finish the five, and so does the Bransens. The Aiellos finish as team number 5, and the Bransens are team number 6. The Gaghan family finishes in seventh. Now it is down to the Paolos and the Rogers. In the Paolo family, the mother isn't really able to carry anything at all. She is really weak. Weak, nagging. I'd want to get rid of her. The Rogers switched to the oil lamps. It is down to a battle between them. now. The Paolos are on their last soldier and the Rogers are lighting the lamps. Both have their flags. The Paolo family just manages to make it as team number eight. The sons say that the mother comes through in a clutch, but she really didn't. The Rogers family finished last. The father admits that the he led the family in the wrong direction. The father says that you can't blame others for your faults.
Tuesday, October 4, 2005 -- Mid AfternoonIf you live in the Pittsburgh area, this information will be interesting to you. The Allegheny Regional Asset District funding has been frozen for this year at last year's level. What does this mean? Well this is the money that goes towards the entertainment services of the County, such as museums, libraries, parks, etc. I have don't have alot of problems with my money going to some of these entertainment programs. The library is the best example of bang for my buck. My tax dollars go to the library, and then just by registering for a library card, for free, I can then borrow books and DVDs for free. Now I do have problems contributing to some of the other entertainment services that are listed because not only do they take my tax dollars, but they also charge alot for County residents to attend. If a place takes County tax dollars, then they should give a discount to County residents.
Would you like to be happy in life, but feel that you just aren't? Well, it may be a genetic thing. It seems that some people are just happy, and whatever happens to them in their life, they return to the same level of happiness as they had before the event. So a person who is paralyzed in an accident will return to the almost the same level of happiness that he/she had before the accident. The same thing happens with a lottery winner. That person may have a high for a year, but after that he/she will return to the earlier level of happiness. So how would you describe yourself? Are you a happy person? I think that I am. I usually find happiness in alot of the daily things that I do, and I try to make certain to do those things that I enjoy. After all, life is far to short to just put up and shut up. Personally, I believe that one of the components that leads to my happiness is that I love myself. I would rather be me than anyone else in the world. So what is happiness? Psychologists believe that it is more than just an emotional response. It is also the level of satisfaction that a person feels with his life. Right now, I am not happy with my job, but I realize that it is only a small portion of life, and that it is something that it not permanent. I make the best of it and plot and scheme to get something that I really enjoy. I am looking for that dream job, and I know that eventually I will find it.
Tuesday, October 4, 2005 -- AfternoonShana Tova! Today is Rosh Hashanah, the start of the Jewish New Year.
So what do you think Sidney Crosby's nickname is? I know that some people, myself included, have called him Sid the Kid. However, it appears that for the past few years, he has had the nickname of Darryl. The name comes from Darryl Sittler. Why? Because in Crosby's first exhibition game, he scored eight points. Sittler had scored ten points in his first game, so the others started calling him Darryl and the name stuck. Some of his fellow Pens call him Darryl now too after they noticed the name stitched on his hockey gloves (where players usually put their nicknames).
Mario Lemieux has been doing well this preseason. Not only is he healthy, but he has also been playing like his younger self. Lemieux had four points in Columbus early in the week, and another four points this past Sunday (with a goal and three assists). If Lemieux can stay healthy and continue at this pace, he should have a stellar year. This is pretty amazing considering that Lemieux will be turning 40 years old tomorrow, which is also the first day of the Penguins season. Yesterday at the Kickoff Luncheon that the Pens have, the rookies gathered to sing Happy Birthday to Mario.
Monday, October 3, 2005 -- Late AfternoonAi Ai, the chimp from China, is trying to kick her smoking habit. It seems that the chimp started smoking after she got stressed out from her first mate's death in 1989, followed by a second mate's death in 1997 and her daughter being sent to another zoo in the same year. So Ai Ai has been smoking for 16 years, and the zoo thought it was time to stop when her health began to deteoriate. So now they are playing peppy music for her, and giving her sweet treats and fried food on top of her usual diet. Ai Ai seems to be content for now although she did cry for cigarettes at the beginning. Now the question on everyone's mind is how does a chimp in a zoo get a smoking habit? Someone would have had to given her the cigarettes because she obviously wasn't going to the Chinese version of 7-11 to get them.
Microsoft is finally doing what Word Perfect did years ago. You will be able to save to pdf in the next version of Office which is known as Office 12. This will be great news for folks who know Word and Powerpoint and want to create PDF documents. It might not be great news for Adobe which might see a decline in sales for Adobe Acrobat. The only reason I used it was to get the pdf printer for Word.
This evening is Erev Rosh Hashanah which is the evening of Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah is the first day of the first month, Tishrei, of the Jewish year. In the Jewish faith, it is believed to mark the day that God created Man. The holiday is celebrated with the blowing of the Shofar and by eating specific foods. One of the main things to eat is apple dipped in honey or honey cake. In countries other than Israel, the holiday is celebrated over two days to make sure that you are celebrating on the right day. So we will celebrate Rosh Hashanah tomorrow and Wednesday this year.
Monday, October 3, 2005 -- AfternoonPlaxico Burress has an outstanding game for the New York Giants yesterday. Burress had 10 receptions for 204 yards and two touchdowns. You know that whoever has him on their fantasy team is probably jumping for joy. I admit that I thought of Burress for my team and turned him down because here in Pittsburgh, he was Mr. Butterfingers. That's what amazes me now. There he is making all his claims that he wasn't utilized to his fullest capabilties seem like the truth. After all, what really changed with Burress? The only thing is the team itself. I will wait to see how the entire season turns out, but I have to admit that I am really rethinking my opinion of Burress now. The Giants beat the St. Louis Rams by a score of 44 to 24. That is impressive considering what a loser team the Giants were last year.
Fans are getting excited about the Pittsburgh Penguins this year. There is alot of talk about them making it to the post season. Yesterday's game was a good one, but as always with a win like that, you have to consider the opponent. In this case, the Washington Capitals are a team either in a decline or a rebuilding stage, depending on your point of view. Before the lockout, the team has spent megabucks on getting some of the premier players on their team. Granted, they do have Oveckin, but that's pretty much it.
Yahoo! is going into competition with Google over digitizing library material. Yahoo!'s plan is to allow those who own the copyright to materials that will be scanned, the option to opt-in if they want. Google was just scanning the materials and letting copyrights be damned. Yahoo! is working in cooperation with the Open Content Alliance and plans to digitize 18,000 books of American literature and various other items from national and European archives. The materials will be available on the Open Content Alliance web site.
Sunday, October 2, 2005 -- Late EveningI have had a busy past few days, and it culminated this evening in attending the final pre-season game for the Pittsburgh Penguins. My boyfriend and I got the 20 game season ticket package, and today was the first game of the package. This package didn't include the home opener game, but we purchased that ticket separately. Now onto the game. We got there at 6:30 pm with the start of the game at 7:30 pm. I have to admit that I like to get there early so I can get some food prior to the game starting. Also, I like the watch the practice. When the Pens came out, I had my eyes open for Sidney Crosby. My boyfriend saw him first. Crosby was bouncing the puck alot on his stick. I guess that he does that to improve his hand eye coordination. The funniest thing was when my boyfriend thought that Mark Recchi had dyed his hair red--in a male pattern balding pattern. The game was a very good one for a fan because the Penguins beating the Washington Capitals by a final score of 7 to 1. Ziggy Palffy scored two goal in the game, and Mario Lemieux a total of four points with three assists and one goal. When it came to the end of the game, the top three players of the game were number three: Ryan Malone, number two: Ziggy Palffy, and number one: Mario Lemieux. The interesting thing to note about these three is that they were playing on the same line. Here is a complete official stats for the game and the scores stats. What I thought was impressive is that for the seven games that made up the preseason, Mario had 34 assists. That's not bad! Let's hope that he can continue with the same during the regular season.
Saturday, October 1, 2005 -- Late EveningThe Pittsburgh Penguins have their final selection of players for the regular season. The biggest surprise in a way was that Marc Andre Fleury was sent to the minor leagues. Fleury was one of the better players during the pre-season, but he would be making alot of money in bonuses if he played for the Pens. So the thought is that he was sent to Wilkes Barre because the team can pay him less, and that it might be to Fleury's benefit to be the main goalie as opposed to a backup.
Scientist have found a moon that is orbiting the tenth planet that was found not too long ago. It seemed that the scientists noticed something following the planet and think that it is a moon. It's useful to find a moon because that means that they might be able to determine the size of the planet based on the moon's distance and orbit around the planet. If a moon travels quickly around a planet it means that the planet is likely to be massive.
Constantine Maroulis has signed a deal to make a television series. The show is supposed to be a drama with musical elements. It will be interesting to see what the show is like. I think that Constantine would be best suited for a comedy, but we'll have to see how he does. People magazine says that the show is with ABC.
Saturday, October 1, 2005 -- AfternoonWhen you suck, you suck, and the Pittsburgh Panthers suck this year. Last night, they played against Rutgers, and lost by a score of 37-29. Right now, Pitt is 1-4 for the season, and is now 0-1 in the Big East conference. The thing that is so bad about this loss is that Rutgers is not that great of a football team. They have only won three Big East games since 2000. Sometime really bad is going on with the Panthers and someone really needs to take a look at the situation. It doesn't help that the only reason we were able to get close after being blown away in the first half was because Rutgers started to make some really bad mistakes. We were 27-0 at the end of the first half! Can we say Fire Dave? You hate to say it but since 2003 Wannstedt has had an incredibly bad record as a coach. He was 1-8 in 2004 with the Miami Dolphins.
The Montour Spartans aren't doing too well either. They lost last night. That means that so far they only have one win and five losses. This really has to look bad for ESPN's experiment, and it makes you wonder if Lou Cerro would have done a better job without all the distractions of the filming of the series. The parents should not be happy about this turn of events.
If you are in the Pittsburgh area, and you want to see the Penguins games in high definition, you have to hope that you have Armstrong Cable. A deal should be announced next week about the deal between Armstrong and FSN Pittsburgh to have a high definition sports channel that will play the games.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are going to have to decide today which players they are going to keep for the team, and who will be headed to the minor league. It's going to be a hard decision, especially for the backup goalie. It will be interesting to see what the final result will be.
Google and NASA teaming up to come up with new technology that will help the space program. It appears that Google will be building a facility on NASA's research facility in California. It seems that Google will be helping with a variety of computing and data issues. I would imagine that Microsoft must be green with envy over this move.
Saturday, October 1, 2005 -- Early AfternoonThe first episode of Endurance: Tehachapi was on today. The show started with a few clips from the previous seasons. JD Roth has set this Endurance in the Tehachapi Mountains in California. The show is set in a small lake area four thousand feet above sea level. Twenty kids set out on the mission in two huge open wagons. We get introduced to the kids. Julie, 14, from New Hampshire says that his isn't a popularity contest, it is an endurance contest. Jessie, 15, from Boston says that she's spunky. Brooke, 14, from Naples, FL, says that she doesn't look athletic, but she is and is going to try very hard and will endure and win. Chris, 12, from Atlanta says he won't be ordinary Chris but the amazing Chris. The kids look more mature every year. when you compare the kids to the ones that were in the first Endurance which was just four years ago, you would think that the age range was more mature, even though it is the same.
JD welcomes the kids to Endurance. As is usual with the game there are no tvs, cell phones or computers. The kids will sleep in cabins with cold water, beds made out of wood and no electricity. There are 13 pyramid pieces: Courage, Trust, Commitment, Luck, Strength, Perserverance, Heart, Knowledge, Leadership, Ingenuity, Teamwork, and the newest piece, Friendship. They added that because they have found in the past shows that making good friendships has been the key component in making it far in the game. JD is quite the showman. He tells the kids that usually at this point in the game, he says that six of them will be leaving by the end of the day, but this time it's different. Everyone smiles and applauds. JD then says, half of you will be gone by the end of the day. Everyone gapes in shock.
It was just a joke though. It seems that no one will be eliminated. Everyone gets to spend at least one night together. The Right to Stay competition will be the next day and then six of the kids will be sent home (three boys and three girls). The kids check out the cabins with the hard wood bunkbeds. It seems that it was very hot in the cabins, and everyone ran out to swin. The lake was disgusting though because there was alot of algae in the lake. Kylie is incredibly nervous and still hopes to be there in the end. As all the kids say, they are going to be really sad to leave now because they had the night together. Nicholas says that he thinks it will be a game of mind over matter. Meanwhile Kendall doesn't think she can do it. Julie thinks Keith and Tucker as the two strongest guys in the game. Amelia, Brooke and Julie seem to have formed a bond, and the three hang out all the time. Kendall said that some of the guys were talking and they want the threesome to stay because they are "hot". Actually all the girls are really cute. what happened to normal looking girls? Amelia is supernervous because she isn't sporty. It seems that Amelia is a cheerleader. It's now time for the competition. It seems that Michael is the smallest guy, and Chris is the youngest at 12. Chris says that he has the same Endurance as everyone else. Mike agrees.
The competition. Each has to grab onto a bar above their heads. They will then be dragged out over the water. The first three girls and the first three guys to drop into the water are eliminated. Daniela says that she is a huge Endurance fan and wants to stay in the game. The girls get dragged out into the middle of the frame that holds the apparratus to the middle. Brittnay is the first to go. Kendall is the second to let go. Brooke was the third to fall. Daniela said that she kept on thinking that she would not let go. Brittany said that she wasn't a physical girl and her fingers were slipping. Kendall said that she was disappointed in herself and she was trying to jump and get back on and she just feel. Brooke was sad, but she said that she tried her hardest. Franke is nervous because he doesn't know if he is equal to the task. Isaac just wants the competition to get started. The guys are dragged out next and are left hanging while we go to commercial.
One minute has passed and all the guys are still hanging. Nick fell first, and he looked like a big guy who could hang for awhile. Two minutes are now past. Tucker was the second to go down. That's funny because everyone thought that Tucker was one of the strongest. Keith was the third to fall. All the rest have made it. Mike, the smallest guy, is psyched to have made it. Nick said that he had issues with his hands and slipped. Tucker said that he is disappointed. Keith said that he could feel his hands slipping. It seems that the three had been planning to form an alliance and they are the first out. Tucker said to not over estimate yourself and underestimate the others because that gets you into trouble. The picking of partners will be done the next day which will be next week's show.