The Daily Bongo

September 2005

Thursday, September 29, 2005 -- Late Evening

After having the best game of his career, Clark Haggins is going to be out for five weeks after surgery on his groin. It seemed that Haggans injured himself during Sunday's game, but he continued to play.

It seems that Ryan Malone has been doing a good job on the same line as Mario Lemieux. It seems that line is really clicking as was evident from that line's performance in the preseason game the other day.

Mars Rover, Opportunity, is being sent to investigate its largest crater yet. The crater is Erebus, and scientists are hoping to get a plethora of data from the crater.

Thursday, September 29, 2005 -- Evening

Another episode of Survivor: Guatemala/The Maya Empire was on tonight. Yaxha camp is sleeping while Lydia is working hard. Lydia said that she would have gotten rid of Brianna because she is on the weak side. Brianna said that she doesn't get along with Lydia. They don't fight, but they don't have alot in common. Brian said that he orchestrated the ousting of Morgan. He says that he will do anything to have things go his way, but he would go along with the others just to get far. Judd from Nakum said that he only slept a few hours even though they are in day seven. It seems that a monkey is constantly calling for his friends. It seems that there is a howling monkey there that is just constantly screaming. Judd said that the constant screaming is driving him nuts. Jeff Probst calls the Yaxhu tribe in for Nakum to get the first look at the new tribe. The challenge is for the tribe to build an archaelogist's tent. The teams will be blindfolded and tied together. One member will not be blindfolded and will direct the team to gather the things that are scattered around the ruins that will allow the team to build the tent. Once all the elements are gathered together, the team members can take off the blindfolds and build the tent. The first to correctly build the tent will win comfort supplies like blankets, pillows, lanterns, tarp, rope and fuel. Brook will be the caller for Nakum and Gary for Yaxha. Nakum seems to be ahead in gathering bits although Brooke seems to suck at calling at directions and they seems to hit each other alot. Yaxha got their ninth item and could take off their blindfolds. Yaxha had a big lead. As Jeff says it will come down to who works well together. Yaxhu seems confused and can't figure out the frame while Nakum is working well together. Nakum won the reward. Yaxha fell apart in putting it together--the calling was good, they just couldn't work together. Nakum had awful calling, but could work together.

Stephanie said that the reward challenge was easy and that they just started building in conflict with each other. Stephanie is hoping that they can pull it out. Amy said that it sucks to lose, but hopes that they can get it together to win the next commpetition. Amy is very funny about how funky her clothes are, and sounds very New York. She comes from Massachussetts though. Amy said that she will not give up. Bobby Jon said that it felt good to win. It seems that the heat is taking a toll on Nakum getting anything done work wise. Cindy said that there's probably hundreds of alligators in the water. Cindy said that alligators got deeper to cool off, and that her teammates think that it is safe to go deep. Brandon said that the brave may not live long, but the cautious don't live at all, and he would rather live. Brianna is working hard mushing corn because she wants to be a useful member of the team and not eliminated. She makes corn mush for the tribe. Rafe said that every meal tastes the same and he would just like to eat something different. Rafe wants to eat a termite. He and Gary taste them. Rafe thinks they are good protein even if they don't taste good. Stephanie just wants them to stop because it looks gross. Brandon said they all have different ideas of how to do it, but that they work as a team. Margaret starts to tell them what to do. As she said the tarp should lean, but they have what looks like a circus big top. Bobby Jon said that you just can't tell grown men what to do. Judd said that nobody's going to tell him what to do except for his boss and his wife.

The morning of day 8 dawns. Nakum has received a basket of feathers, bands and body paint. The idea is to decorate themselves for the next competition. Brian says that they need to do it so Yaxhu does not go to tribal council. Brian is fired up and trying to get the others just as fired up. The competition: it is based on the Mayan game of court ball. There will be three players on each team. You can't run with the ball, it is just passing. The team must then make a basket. The first team to score five points wins. First team is three men against three men. Judd, Blake, and Bobby Jon against Brian, Rafe and Jaime. Brian scored first for Yaxhu. They lead one to zero. Then it is two men, one woman. Judd, Blake and Margaret against Rafe, Jaime and Amy. Blake scored one to one. Then it is all women. Lydia ran with the ball and had to give it to Nakum. They score and have two points. Blake then scores again for Nakum. They lead three to one. It is 114 degrees. Blake, Bobby Jon, and Brooke against Rafe, Gary and Amy. Rafe scores. Three to two. Blake, Bobby Jon, Judd against Gary, Brian, and Jamie. Score is tied three to three. Danni, Cindy and Brandon against Amy, Lydia and Rafe. Danni scores for Nakum. They lead four to three. Brianna doesn't move around, and Danni winds up scoring for Nakum. Yaxhu goes to tribal council.

Stephanie said that she doesn't like being on a losing team again. Stephanie is really upset with the women on her team and things that they aren't very athletic. Lydia and Brianna never played sports before. Lydia tried, but Brianna just sort of stood there without doing anything. It seems that they are going to vote out Brianna. Brian said that he didn't like Brianna because he likes them crazy or pretty and Brianna is neither. Brianna said that she is scared because she is the weak link. Brianna says that she knows that Lydia doesn't like her her, and is trying to talk Stephanie into going against Lydia. Yaxhu goes to tribal council. Jeff asks Stephanie if it is looking familiar and she says it is like deja vu. Stephanie said that she felt frustrated and admits that Brianna and Lydia didn't know sports. Lydia said that she sucked today and was in there trying her best and put her heart into it. Brian said that the other tribe is probably more athletic but that Yaxhu is committed to be together and like each other. Gary says that being athletic is important. Amy tries to tell people not to vote her out. Brianna is voting out Lydia for not looking her in the eye or trying to talk. Brian votes out the girly girl Brianna. Stephanie votes to stop the losing streak. Who is out? votes, Brianna, Lydia, Brianna, Brianna, Brianna, Brianna. She is voted out. Brianna says that they are strong and need to go and kick some butt. Yaxhu heads back to camp.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005 -- Evening

Last night was the second episode of Bound for Glory. The show starts with Ellis Cannon talking about Montour's opening game for the season. Five days before the game, Ray Crockett and Dick Butkus meet to discuss the plans for the game. I'm not sure where they met to talk because the restaurant did not look familiar. Crockett and Butkus were talking about who could step up for the team, and they mention DJ. Meanwhile Morgan Singletary is talking about going to see the doctor and get cleared to play again. He has to have clearance since he had the concussion. He mentions that he opened a fortune cookie with no fortune and that can't be good. Back at the field, Butkus brought in a drill sargent from the US Army. Butkus thinks that it will get the team into great shape. I think that it is just so much phony baloney for the television cameras. What we see is the drill sargent standing on the sidelines talking to Butkus talking about what he would like the kids to do. Meanwhile the kids aren't even listening. I don't think that the drill sargent actually interacted with the kids. I think it was just more show. There is a kid nicknamed "Meat" who really seems to think it is funny. The kicker for the team is actually pretty good, and Crockett calls him the secret weapon. Derrick Johnson (DJ) said that Crockett is always there to give advice. It seems that Morgan fails his test to play. He couldn't complete the test and got a headache doing it. So he is out for another week.

Three days before the game we see Gianni Ricci talking about how Montour is being talked about in the local paper and how Gianni is being mentioned as a possible lineman. It seems that he keeps on letting the colleges know how hs is doing. The drill sargent is back on the sidelines on the field. Crockett says that he has his eye on Gianni because he thinks that the kid will be stepping up and doing some things on the field. We then see Butkus giving his pep talk. They did edit this show well. You wouldn't think that Butkus is not actually coaching. It is just talk. The booster club at Montour paid for the high school locker room. It is a really nice one and not like the usual high school locker room. Butkus is telling the team that they won't be moving into the locker room until they earn it. DJ looks like he lives in a house that isn't as upscale as some of the others. It seems that he was adopted four years ago by the family that he lives with. He says that his parents treat him like he is one of their kids and that he has lived in the house his whole life. DJ thinks he will get alot of time on the field in the next game. He hopes that the hard work pays off.

After the break, we see the team doing jumping jacks in their uniforms. Ben Roethlisberger shows up to motive the kids. Butkus slaughters Roethlisberger's name. Roethlisberger showed up to practice with this kids. From what I hear in the local papers, Roethlisberger just showed up for abit, threw the ball alittle and left. We see him watching the kids and appearing to give the kids some techniques. we heard from DiIanni, the quarterback for the team, how Roethlisberger gave him some good tips. Crockett said that a professional player never came to his school and coached him. The cheerleaders are practicing in the gym when one runs in and says that Roethlisberger is there. All the girls squeal and run to watch him on the field. The personal trainer who is a woman comes to yell at the girls because they are watching and squealing. I would have told her to get lost. What could they really do? Butkus and Crockett drive over to talk to DJ at his house. They want to impress on him that he has a great opportunity to become a star and to carry the load. Crockett wants DJ to do a little bit of anything. It seems that DJ got at least 8 yards every time he touched the ball. It seems that the quarterback DiIanni has his favorites and DJ isn't one of them. So DJ doesn't get the ball very often. So the duo show up at Nick DiIanni's house to impress on DiIanni that he should get the ball to DJ more often. DiIanni said that he wants to be a leader, which Butkus says he hasn't seen.

The kids are in the gym the day before the game. Nick DiIanni said that the pressure is on. The cheerleaders go to DiIanni's to decorate his yard. It seems they do this for all the senior players. Ryan Welsh is told by the one fat cheerleader that he really isn't a football player. The fat girl is a talker though, and the other girls seem shyer. We see the fathers of four of the guys on the team at a local bar downing a few and hoping for a good year. Crockett says that DiIanni has to throw to DJ or they won't win. As Crockett said, it's a team sport. He hasn't seen a quarterback yet who can throw the ball to himself and catch it. Butkus tries to talk to Morgan, but doesn't seem to know what to say. Crockett tells them that since the team had a great practice for two days, they can use the locker room. Crockett said that it should happen before the first game. It seems that they got alot of new stuff, including new uniforms from Reebok. Butkus tells them not only should they look like champions, they should play like champions. Butkus says who cares about Chartiers Valley or whatever it is called. Butkus doesn't know who the opponents are and obviously doesn't hide it.

Montour travels to Chartiers Valley for the Friday night game. It's a rainy evening at the end of August. The team is hoping for a win. The rain is pouring down. Butkus tells the kids to go out and have fun and that the byproduct will be that they will be winners. Butkus asks everyone to bow their heads and pray in their own way, and then talks some about God and winning and to have fun. chartiers Valley is favored to win. We hear a phony newscast because everyone here knows that Lou Cerro is coach. he has the headset on in the film--not Butkus. DiIanni misses a throwing opportunity because he wasn't looking down field. He runs with the ball, and the team can't get a first down. The Chartiers Valley Colts run down the field and score. The kick was no good, and the score was 6-0. Montour's defense has been doing well, but not the offense. It seems that DiIanni again doesn't throw to DJ. Then DJ throws an interception which might be due to the rain. With 52 seconds left in the half, Anthony Pastin intercepts the ball and runs it in for a touchdown. Score at the half is 7-6 with Montour leading. It seems that in high school, they play 12 minutes quarters, so there is 24 minutes left to play. This is the first time in a while though that the team went to the locker room at half time without being 20 some points behind.

Ryan Welsh kicks off the ball, and then is the only one who brings down the punt returner. chartiers Valley then misses a field goal attempt. DiIanni finally throws to DJ who gets them some yardage. DiIanni winds up getting hit and fumbled while he tries to continue his run. Ryan Welsh misses a field goal attempt. Chartiers Valley scores a touchdown when a runner breaks through the line and goes all the way down the field. They do a two point conversion and lead 14-7. Ricci is down and appears to have hurt his leg and is helped off the field. Ricci tells them to leave him alone and walks off the field. It doesn't look like it is broken or serious because Ricci can wiggle his toes. Montour now tries to do something with 2:19 left in the game. DiIanni makes a long throw to DJ who catches the ball. The team is close to the end zone, and winds up getting sacked twice. Montour tried a quarterback fake, but it didn't work. The final play was an incomplete throw to DJ. Chartiers Valley then runs out the clock. Montour lost by a score of 14-7. Butkus said that losing has become a habit with the team, but they have to strap it up and break the pattern. And the show ends.

I just checked on Montour's statistics so far for the year, and they have 1 win, 4 losses. Has to suck if you are Butkus and ESPN. But since ESPN is using the team for drama, they should get plenty of it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005 -- Afternoon

The Penguins won the first home preseason game last night. The score was 7-2. The big star of the evening was Mario Lemieux with one goal and three assists. Poor Sidney only had one assist. He's young and should get better. Of course, the Pens might not have had alot of competition from the Blue Jackets because half of them were out with a stomach flu. They probably had the nachos at the Arena.

If you are a student in the Pittsburgh area, you can go to some of the Pens games with the student rush program. Students with a valid ID can purchase tickets for the Pens games one hour before the start of the game for $20. That's $20 regardless of which seat is available. The only issue may be that there won't be seats that are together, so if you go with friends, you might not get to sit together, but you will see the game.

I thought that Bill Belichick was rude when he told the Steelers doctor to get lost. Well, it seems that others agree with me. The president of the pro football athletic trainers said that it was not the usual sort of thing that would happen. The home team doctors usually offer as much assistance as possible. I wonder if Belichick was having a bad day.

This was on last night, and I recorded it. However, keep your eyes open for repeats! Cosmos the series that Carl Sagan did in 1980 has returned to TV. It's on the Science Channel, and will be shown on Tuesday evenings. It seems that some of the graphics and animatations have been recently enhanced. I haven't had a chance to see the shows yet, but I am looking forward to it. I loved the shows and I think I saw them several times when they were repeated on PBS. I became a life long fan of Sagan's, and I would have to credit him with my fascination with astronomy (I did get a degree in physics and astronomy). The show is wonderful. Watch if you can. If not, look for Sagan's books.

The Dover trial has started up, and we have gotten testimony from teachers who were told by the school board that someone should stand up for Jesus and have the biology classes teach evolution and Intelligent Design on a 50-50 basis. The teachers said that they were forced to watch videos that said that Darwin's theory was full of holes. It seems that the prosecutor is trying to show that the school board has a history of talking about God and creationism.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005 -- Evening

Today was the start of Amazing Race 8. The race is starting in New York, and features ten families. The ten families are: The Gaghan family with two little kids. The family runs marathons together, and Carissa the little girl can run a seven minute mile. As she says "I may be small, but I'm not stupid." She says that she is going to out trick the other families and adults. The Linz family with three brothers and a sister. There are three other brothers at home. Tommy and Megan are the youngest, but they are adults. The Paolo family are parents and two sons of older teenage years. The Black family is another with paretns and younger boys. The Black family is also black. The family practices karate together. The Branson family with a father and three daughters who are late teens/early twenties. The Weaver family with a mother and three kids. The mother is a widow whose husband was killed on a race track. He was trying to clean the track and was hit by a car. The Aiello family is a father with three sons-in=law. He wants to know how his sons in law will react under stress. The Schroeder family is a father, step mother with a teenage son and daughter. They are from New Orleans. We see the family kickboxing. The Godlewski family are four sisters. They plan on going with the prissy, blonde bimbo. The Rogers family with parents and older son and daughter. The father says that he is going to take charge. They are southern and from Shreveport, Louisana. The prize will be $1 million. At the start of each race, each family is given a small amount of money that can be used. There are pit stops that the families must reach quickly, or be eliminated. The first race starts with the families getting a clue, running to drive away in their own SUV, and then head across the Brooklyn Bridge to destinations unknown. The race starts. They run to their bags to get the clue. Clue: Drive yourselves to Soho, find Eastern Mountain Sports and get supplies. They have $150 for the race. They all run to the cars. It seems that the Gaghan family was the first to leave.

The little Gaghan kids seem to be pretty bright. Everyone is trying to figure out where Soho is. No one seems to know where to go. The Weavers went the wrong way down a one way street. The Gaghans seem to be doing pretty good in getting around in New York city. It seems that the goal of the families is to follow the other cars. The Gaghan family gives up the lead to another team that knows how to get to Soho--the Linz, and starts following them. The Paolo family seemed to be pretty argumentative with each other. The Gaghin and Linz family did well. The next clue takes them 90 blocks where they have to find a hot dog stand on 91st Street to get further directions. The Paolo family is in last place because the father who was supposed to know New York got the family hopelessly lost in Manhattan. The older son was really unhappy with the father. He kept on about how stupid and retarded the family was. We see some of the guys knocking over things and running around. Then the Paolo family finally finds out where to go when the older son gets out of the car to ask for directions. They should not have had the families drive in New York because it looked really dangerous. The Black family hasn't travelled much. Meanwhile the Paolo family is arguing and yelling at each other and calling each other stupid. The Linz family is in first place. Next up is to cross the George Washington bridge. Cross through New Jersy and Pennsylvania and go to Washington Cross. The Gaghan family is second. The Schroeder family is third. The Black family is in 9th place. The Paolo family is dead last. Once they get to Washington Crossing, the Aiello family first. They have to row a boat across the Delaware, get a flag, and come back across the river to get their clue. There are only four boats that will carry the families. Each boat has a fack George Washington who gives directions. The Bransen family is now second. The Rogers family is third, the Weavers fourth and the Gaghins are now fifth. The Aiellos are the first to get their clue. They have to 34 miles to Philadelphia, go to Fairmount Park, find Belmont Plateau, and then pitch their tents and spend the night. They have to hurry up because they will be assigned times to leave the park for the next leg of the adventure. With the Black family, one of the little boys saw the clue box and got the family on the right track. The Paolo family seems to be really far behind which is what you would expect from their start. The Linz family is lost and had gone well past where they should have gone. Meanwhile on the Delaware River, the Black family is being taken away by the current because the kids are crying that they can't paddle.

The Aiello family arrives at the park first and starts to pitch their tent. The Gaghan family moved up into third place. The Aiello family gets to depart at 10 am. The Gaghan family are second and also get a 10 am start. The Bransen's in third place get 10:30. Back at the river, the Black family is still having issues, and the Godlewski family is in eighth place. At least they have their flag. The two teams who haven't gotten their flags yet are the Linz and Paolo families. The Paolo family is in dead last still, and are just crossing the river as the Linz team is leaving to find the Park. The Schroeder family has found out that they are in 6th place and get to leave at 10:30. The Paolo mother is really having problems moving. The Paolo mother lost the clue so the family has to go back to get it. The Paolo family has some serious issues that are coming out in this episode. The two boys are disrespectful to their parents, and the mother and father let the boys, especially the older one, treat them like shit.

The show is just past the first hour. I have to admit that I'm not sure if I am a fan of Amazing Race. I think that this show is far too long--it is two hours. I would rather be watching one of the shows that I am recording, and I just hope that things pick up when the shows are shorter.

The older son in the Paolo family said that they have to take a risk. He said, we know what the clue said, we don't need to go back to get it. Meanwhile the mother was acting like the sad martyr. The next morning, the teams had to travel 92 miles to Mount Joy, Pa and the Bruebaker family farm for the next clue. The Weavers seem to be a religious family and always seem to make some sort of religious reference. The Weaver family is now in first place. The farm is in Amish country. The teams get their first detour. They must either build a watermill or pull a buggy. Both the Weaver and the Rogers family choose to pull the buggy. The Gaghin family has it easy because the two adults can put the lighter two kids in the buggy and pull them. The Weavers have an accident in their buggy. It runs away with the two girls in it. The mother and son were pulling the buggy.

The mother in the Weaver family was run over, and she was okay. The one daugher started to cry because of how the father died. Fortunately the Weavers tell the Gaghin about the brakes as the Weavers go to do the building. The Gaghin family passes the Aiello family while the kids sing. As the Aiello guys say, the Gaghins have 70 pounds of kids in the buggy while they have 400 pounds of men. It seems that the better choice was to build it instead of buggying it. It seems that pulling the buggy was the bad choice because it is so tiring. The LInz family is having some problems. The Weaver family is first. They have to go to the Rohrer family farm in Lancaster. The last family to reach the Rohrer farm will be eliminated. The Paolo family is disorganized as usual, and the fighting ensues. The Gaghin family finished the buggy in third place. it will be interesting to see if the Paolo family finishes last. For some reason the families seem to get lost even though they have maps. They really seem to have problems following directions and using a map. The families are looking for blue silos that mark the Rohrer family farm. The Godlewski family is the first team to reach the farm. As the winners, they get $20,000. The Weavers and the Gaghins get to the farm at the same time. The Gaghin family made it as team number two. Those kids can run. The Weavers are team number three. Back at the building the Paolos are fighting. The Linz family is not doing too badly considering they pulled the buggy.

The Schroeder family is having some problems building their mill, but they finally get it going. The elder Paolo son yells at his mom who was trying to touch the watermill. Goodness knows why she was doing that. Meanwhile the Mother starts crying because she says that she has had a lifetime of embarrassment with how her children treat her. She tells the father that he needs to handle the kids. I guess she doesn't want the parent role. The Rogers family is the fourth team. The Schroeder family is team number five. The mother starts yelling and screaming because they thought they were lost. At the end they were team number six, and the family is all smiles and laughing. The family is really disfunctional. The Bransen family is team number seven. The Linz and Black families are still building and buggying. Aiello family is team number eight. It is down to the Black and Linz family. The kids in the Black family are starting to look abit depressed. The Linz boys decided to not follow the other team in the hopes of getting there first. Both families get there at the same time. It is now a race to the finish, and the Linz family is team number nine. The Black family is eliminated. The family is sad, but the father said that sometimes you win and sometimes you don't. As long as you put in your best effort that is what counts. The dad says that he is proud of his family. The mom said that the boys did the best job that they could, and the father said it was the best experience that he wouldn't give up for anything.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005 -- Afternoon

If you are interested in being on Big Brother, applications are being accepted for next year's show. I know that I won't be applying because I can't imagine being stuck in a house with no escape with a group of drama queens and kings. It's more fun for me to watch the action than to be a part of the action.

Don't you just wish sometimes that you can turn the clock back? I'm sure that the Steelers would love to do that. It appears that the press box operator made a mistake with the clock that resulted in the game being 52 seconds longer than it should have been. Now the game winning field goal was scored in the last few seconds on the clock. IF the time had been correct, the game would have gone into overtime, and who knows what would have happened? Cowher is being diplomatic and says that it would not have made a difference and that New England won fair and square. You just have to wonder. Granted there is nothing that can be done now, but the mistake should have been caught and fixed at the time.

The other Steeler story deals with Bill Belichick turning down help from the Steelers' doctor. When Matt Light was injured, with what turned out to be a broken leg, the Steeler doctor ran out to help him, and was told to get lost. John Norwig, the Steeler doctor thought it was funny because he was just going out to help someone in need. I guess that Belichick just thought that Norwig was going to turn the screws on Light to get team secrets.

Sid the Kid will be making his home debut tonight in the Penguins game tonight. The game is a preseason game against the Columbus Blue Jackets and will be our sixth preseason game. So far, the first five have been loses, so everyone is hoping for a win. This is not a good sign, but I'm hoping that it is just because we are playing around with the lines and don't have things firmed up yet.

Bo Bice and his wife had a baby on Saturday. It is a boy named Aiden. No other details have been released. Congratulations Bo.

This week is Banned Book Week. It's one of my favorite weeks because I think that I should be the person who decides what I, or my children if I had them, read. Here's the list of the 100 most frequently challenged books. Some of my favorite books are on the list, like Harry Potter, Catcher in the Rye, Huck Finn, Of Mice and Men, and A Wrinkle in Time. It's fine and dandy for someone to decide that they don't want to read the books or don't want their children to read them. Let me make up my own mind about what is permissible. Most of the time it is just that some folks are trying to suppress ideas. This is not just a conservative thing. Liberals are just as apt to want to ban a book or a thought that doesn't agree with their agenda.

I originally mentioned this around May 25, but it appears that more scientists are getting on board with the idea that Voyager 1 is on in the heliosheath. This is the area of solar system that marks the location where the solar winds slow. Voyager already experienced the terminal shock that occurs when something hits the heliosheath area in December of 2004. The Sun is surrounded by a bubble that marks the extent of our solar system. This bubble is called the heliosphere and extends well beyond where the farthest planet is. It is expected that Voyager will reach the heliopause which marks the outer boundary of the heliosphere in eight to ten years. Voyager will then no longer be affected by solar winds of any kind. At least from our Sun.

Monday, September 26, 2005 -- Evening

The Penguins have reduced their roster to 35. 12 players were sent to the Wilkes Barre Penguins. There are going to be more cuts tomorrow.

More news on the Grand Challenge. Red Whittaker of the CMU Robotics Institute says that he thinks his team has a good chance to win the challenge this year. It seems that both Red Team vehicles, H1ghlander and Sandstorm, have both completed 175 mile courses in preparing for the event. As Red says, what it comes down to is the durability and smartness of the vehicles and the luck of the contestants. H1ghlander was the vehicle that was damaged when it turned over last week, and it was back with limited functionality within 48 hours.

Monday, September 26, 2005 -- Afternoon

I do have some additional notes about the Steelers loss yesterday. The one comment that I didn't like was made by Hines Ward in explaining how New England won. His comment was "They're the Patriots. That's why they're champions." The reason that I don't like it is that in a way it excuses bad performance on the team's part because they were just playing a better opponent. At the NFL level though, I think that the players should be more level. Besides, the Steelers had many opportunities that they just blew.

All is forgiven with Antwaan Randle El. Even Cowher told him that he should just let it go. He understood that Randle El was trying to make a play, but that you just can't do that with a team like the Patriots. I would feel really bad if I were Randle El, but you can't let it eat at you. Just realize what you did wrong and move on with life. Meanwhile on the other end of the spectrum, Clark Haggans had one of the best games of his career.

Teams will be competing for a spot in the Grand Challenge robot race on Oct. 8. Qualifications will begin this Wednesday with 40 teams competing in a 2 mile semi-final race that will determine the 20 entrants for the great race. This is the robotic vehicle race that takes place in the Nevada desert and could be as long as 175 miles. The robotic vehicles are supposed to navigate the course without human interaction. They are supposed to respond to whatever comes into their path based on algorithms that have been preprogrammed into their systems. The winner of the race will get $2 million dollars. CMU has two challengers on the Red Team, but one of them flipped last week while preparing for the Challenge. The vehicle is being repaired and should be ready for the qualifying round.

There hasn't been alot of news about the upcoming Pittsburgh mayoral election. Basically the Democratic party controls the city, and the person who wins the primary for the Democratic party usually sails into the job with little challenge in the November general election. This year there might be abit of a change up though. The Republician candidate for mayor, Joe Weinroth, has gotten the endorsement of the firefighter's union. The reason for the switch in support was because Bob O'Connor, the Democratic nominee, refused to meet with the union until after the election (which will be held on Nov. 8). The news about this endorsement is that the firefighters really do vote as a bloc, and it seems that they were the group responsible for the last mayor's win. The thing is that O'Connor shouldn't count on a win before it actually happens. In the city, things have just been as quiet as can be. You wouldn't think that there was going to be an election for mayor in six weeks time. I hope that this starts the flurry of activity so we can find out what the candidates hope to do for the city. I am really not happy with O'Connor's assumption that the race is won.

Sunday, September 25, 2005 -- Evening

Second Half
In the first few plays of the half, New England was still having problems. Brady was sacked, and they were just not moving the ball. Adam Vinatieri missed a 53 yard field goal attempt. That was a quandry for me because I have vinatieri on my fantasy team, but of course want him to do poorly in this game. Roethlisberger is on the field.

The audience found out that the way that Brady communicates to his snapper in noisy places is by tapping him on the butt. The announcers didn't know what the scheme was, but it was probably a pat on the butt, the linesman says something and then off they go. It didn't work for Brady because he was sacked as they were saying it. Then Haggans caused Faulk for the second time in the game to fumble, and it was recovered by the Steelers.

I just realized that I didn't see Staley play. I can't tell if he is suited up and just on the sidelines, but he hasn't made it into the game yet. Reed just scored a 24 yard field goal, so the Steelers are ahead 13-7.

Brady can't seem to get anything going, but fortunately for them, our special teams let them get close to the endzone. Vinatieri wound up capitalizing on it and making a field goal. The score is now Steelers 13-Patriots 10 with seconds left in the third quarter.

Things are not looking good for the Steelers. Corey Dillon just scored a touchdown and the Patriots now have the lead. The score is 17-13 in the Patriots favor.

Roethlisberger was under attack in the end zone, but he managed to get a pass off to Verron Haynes for a first down. In the very next player, Roethlisberger got sacked. The Steelers just seem sort of out of it. Duce Staley is playing now. The ball wasn't passed to him, but he was on the field.

The Patriots seem to have something going for them that the Steelers are lacking. The Patriots have suffered some injuries in the game, and yet are still plugging away. Meanwhile the Steelers just seem to be out there on the field doing nothing much of anything. What is sad about it is that the Steelers had the momentum in the first half, and it just seems to be totally gone. There is less than four minutes left in the game. vinatieri just scored another field goal for the Patriots, and the score is now 20-13.

Ricardo Colclough, from Special Teams, got the ball to the 50 yard line. A pass to Cedrick Wilson has us to the 40 yard line. We have to score a touchdown here to stay in the game. Ward got another first down just as we reach the 2 minute warning. Ward got his leg wrapped because he was having hamstring problems. We lost yards with two holding calls, and are at second down and 11. Now it is third down and 11 because Randle El wasn't able to hold onto the ball. This is not looking good because we have to score a touchdown to tie. On the third down, Roethlisberger was tackled as he tried to run with the ball. Now the question is what will we do with the fourth and 11. We have a timeout now, and the guys on the Steeler sideline look down. Pass interference called on the Patriots and it is a 23 yard penalty and a first down. We are on the five yard line, and Roethlisberger just threw a nice pass to Hines Ward who scored the touchdown, the extra point is good, and the game is now tied! There is still 1:21 left in the game. This is nerve wracking.

The defense seems to be having problems, and it really sort of sucks because we are so close. There have been plenty of opportunities though that the Steelers had but didn't take advantage of. We should have had a touchdown with the Randle El mistake that caused a turnover. Vinatari just scored a 43 yard field goal with one minute left in the game. New England wins and Roethlisberger has his loss in the regular season. He's 15-1. This was really disappointing. Final score is 23-20.

Sunday, September 25, 2005 -- Late Afternoon

First Half
The Steelers game has just started. The Steelers won the coin toss and elected to receive first. We didn't have the ball for very long before we had to punt. The New England Patriots have the ball and are in the red zone with their first sets of moves. The Steeler defense doesn't seem to be stopping or blitzing Tom Brady, and Corey Dillon just ran the ball in for a touchdown. The Patriots have scored first. 0-7.

Not to worry though! Ben Roethlisberger is hell bent to prove me a bad predictor and I love it. He threw a pass to Hines Ward who ran the ball in for an 85 yard touchdown, and the game is now tied. 7-7. The fans are psyched now. I have to admit that I didn't think much of Roethlisberger based on his pre-season, and I'm all for putting someone in his place, but Roethlisberger is proving me wrong. He has been consistently good in the regular season, and really seems to want to work. So he may be a jerk in real life, but he is a good player.

New England has the ball, and James Farrior just sacked Brady. Bad news in the first quarter with 7:32 left to play. Rodney Harrison was badly injured on the field, They had to bring out the cart to take him off the field, and it looks like he really hurt his left leg somehow. Earlier in the week, Harrison was trash talking the Pittsburgh fans in a way by saying that all they could do is make noise. As Harrison said: ``It's just fans yelling. I don't care how loud it is. It's just fans, It's people sitting on their butts, standing up, yelling and screaming. That's all it is. They can't do anything. They can't throw, they can't catch. All they can do is yell, scream, swear at you, maybe give you the finger, and those type of things. But they can't do anything. They're fans, sitting down, drinking beer, eating popcorn and pizza, and you respect that."

Roethlisberger did something unusual. He was underattack, and ran with the ball, and took a tackle. Usually he, and other quarterbacks, slide to avoid the hit, but he plowed right in. I was surprised. Of course, you don't want your quarterback taking risks like that because you don't want him to be injured.

The Steelers weren't able to convert on their next move, but we did manage to get it within field goal range. We now lead 10-7.

In the second quarter, New England had the ball but Clark Haggans caused Kevin Faulk to fumble. Larry Foote recovered and we are on the 35 yard line. Roethlisberger threw a long pass to Antwaan Randle El who was running, and almost tackled. Randle El, threw the ball to Ward, and the ball was fumbled and New England recovered it. Boy, what a stupid move on Randle El's part.

New England had the ball, couldn't do anything and had to punt. We tried to make some moves, but then Roethlisberger was trying to throw to Randle El and the ball was intercepted with 7:23 on the clock. The Steelers challenged it, and it is being reviewed now. It looks like it is going to be ruled an incompletion, and it was. The Steelers are not charged with an interception. It was fourth down though, and we just basically wound up throwing the ball away. New England wasn't able to do anything and had to punt. It doesn't seem that either team really has things going right. I am really surprised because New England is really seeming lackluster this season. Right now, they are 1-1 for the season.

Roethlisberger was injured with 2:37 left in the first half. He was rolling on the ground and it is not clear right now what the issue is, and there isn't an instant replay on the tv. one guy was holding onto him and Roethlisberger threw the ball, and the guy still dragged him down and fell on him. Jeff Reed tried a 47 yard field goal, and it was good, but there were whistles before the snap. We had a false start, and it is now a five yard penalty, and it is a 50 yard attempt. The second attempt was blocked though, and we make no score. It is still 10-7. Roethlisberger hurt his left shoulder, and it's not known yet if he will come back into the game.

Chris Hope intercepted the ball within yards of the endzone. Roethlisberger is on the field, but he took a knee, and the teams are going to the locker room.

Sunday, September 25, 2005 -- Early Afternoon

There is a Steelers game later this afternoon, and I am going to rush out in abit to make sure I have plenty of snacks for the game. You can't watch football without making it an eating feast, and if there is one thing I love to do, it's to plan activitites around food.

Big news from the Penguins is that Mario Lemieux has been moved from the left wing position to center. It seems that the line will be Lemieux with Ziggy Palffy and Ryan Malone. what is just great is that this is our second line! When you look at the depth that the Pens have this year, it is really exciting. My boyfriend and I received our tickets to the home opener which is scheduled for Oct. 8.

One item which I have not been able to comment on to the length that I would love is the topic of Intelligent Design. According to the propopents of this "theory", it is not creationism. It's claim is that evolution has holes in it. For example, not every link is found in the evolution of animals and humans. Therefore, according to the ID folks, that means that there is a problem with evolution. Their claim is that there is no way that things could have evolved from single cell creatures to the complex human without the hand of an overseeing being. What we are talking about here is God. The ID folks don't want to come right out and say that because they know that there is a problem with preaching religion in public schools. The problem is that they believe that this notion of intelligent design is scientific and that it should be included in classes that teach science. Not only that, they want the children to be taught that the evolution is a theory with holes in it and only intelligent design is complete. I am really offended that someone would want to have a pseudoscience presented in a scientific format. I hope to have some time to comment on this topic more fully, and have been planning a comments page on it. I just haven't had time since I started the writing class and went back to work. However, I am going to make the time because there is a case planned here in Pennsylvania that is going to court in Harrisburg tomorrow. The Dover school district wants to include intelligent design in the science classroom, and of course, folks are fighting that. I know that the question that I have for any person who does not believe that it is possible for an eye to evolve is how does this superpowerful, magically being exist? Did this being just pop up out of nothing or does it have a creator too? I find the evolution of the eye to be alot more believeable than a God that just is. I will have more in the coming days and will keep an eye on this trial.

Saturday, September 24, 2005 -- Evening

Finally, the Pittsburgh Panthers were able to beat a high school level team. That's right, Pitt beat the Youngstown State Penguins. The game was abit of a route and the final score as 41-0. I know that the team is probably whooping it up at the fact that they finally won a game and won't be starting the season 0-4. The fact of the matter is that there is not alot good with the team just yet, and it is going to take some work to get them into shape to play a better team. Granted our schedule is weak, but I'm not anticipating alot more wins.

There were some interesting stories from someone who went to the Big Brother wrap party. It seems that the Maggots aren't talking to each other. This was bound to happen if one of them won because they were the sort of people who would have sour grapes and not be happy for a buddy. It was quite alot of fun to watch the Wednesday House Calls show because it was very obvious that there was tension between Maggie and Ivette. Check out the House Calls this coming Monday. Gretchen and Marcellas will be catching up with some of the houseguests over the next several weeks on Mondays to find out how they are doing and what they think of the experience since they have had a chance to watch the tapes.

Friday, September 23, 2005 -- Mid Afternoon

I finally got the chance to watch the episode of House Calls that had Maggie, Ivette, Janelle and James on it. It seems that they were trying to not to call Maggie and Ivette on some things (although Marcellas did try to bring up some things, and almost called it the "Fiendship" to their faces). Maggie was trying to cover for April and Jennifer when Ivette brings up the fact that some folks in their alliance did not like her. James and Janelle exchanged rolling eyes when Maggie was trying to boost the Maggots. Marcellas did call Ivette on the fact that she should have taken Janelle's offer to throw the game and let Janelle win. Ivette tries to defend herself, but she really was stupid and it still comes through. Maggie wears a sour puss throughout the show, especially when James makes comments about Eric. It was an interesting show, and I am thinking that the Maggots will not be friends outside of the show. Michael called into the show, and Maggie asked what people really thought of them outside the house, and Michael said that everyone really lovedhim, Kaysar, Janelle, James, Sarah, Rachel and Howie. I thought it was hiliarious. One thing of interest is that Maggie is saying that she is going to split some of her money with Eric. I didn't think that the contestants were allowed to do it because they signed a contract with CBS.

Friday, September 23, 2005 -- Afternoon

It seems that there is a chance that Duce Staley might play in this Sunday's game against the New England Patriots. It seems that Staley has been practicing with the team for the past couple of weeks and Bill Cowher thinks that Staley might be able to play a role in the game. I'm thinking that Staley won't be a starter, but will see some action in the game. We'll have to see how he does. I'm not a big fan of Staley's because to me it seems that he has always had some sort of physical issue over the past two years. What gets to me is that for all the time we have had him, he hasn't really produced what we had hoped for.

I must not have been listening too closely to the sports news because I missed this story. It seems that Rafael Palmeiro is at it again. No, he hasn't tested positive for steroids again. What has happened is that Palmeiro claimed that if he had steroids in his blood, it must be because a teammate who claimed to inject him with B-12 actually injected him with steroids. Who did Palmeiro implicate but his teammate Miguel Tejada. What is really wrong with the story is that Tejada only had B12. So he didn't give Palmeiro steroids. What I think stinks to high heaven about this is that Palmeiro knows that he has been taking steroids, but to protect himself, he blames an innocent teammate. What a jerk and asshole Palmeiro is! I think that MLB needs to just give Palmeiro an ass kicking and suspend him from playing for a couple of years. Palmeiro did the deed and should pay the price, and should pay double for being a jerk.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 -- Evening

Today was the second episode of Survivor: Guatemala/The Maya Empire. As with most of these shows, we had a recap of last week's episode. The new action started on night 3 with the Nakum tribe returning to camp and thinking of how sick all the men are. Day 4 takes us to the Yaxhu tribe. They don't think that the Nakum drive is as big a powerhouse as they originally thought. Yaxhu thinks they are the most diverse tribe. Gary isn't telling anyone that he was an NFL quarterback 15 years ago. It seems that Yaxhu is getting along very well, and they think that will help them in the competition. Blake from the Nakum is whining about not being able to breath, sleep, and that he's not feeling well. Then we see the nurse who's on Nakum nursing Blake. He really seems like a whiner. Meanwhile Brandon, the farmer, says that he thinks that Blake has to man up and play with pain. The next compeitition is going to be for food. They have to race one at a time over to a net, and then have to climb around on the net and release one of eight bags, drop it into the water, and must drop into the water after it. If the person falls into the water without a bag, they have to go back to the beginning. All the players must go in a certain order, and after everyone has gone at least once, then they can go in any order. The winning team gets all eight bags. What they win will be worms, hooks, and other things to help them fish because besides crocodiles in the water, there is also alot of fish. Amy sits out for Yaxhu so they don't have an unfair advantage since they have more people. First up is Jaime and Bobby Jon. Jamie was first into the water with his bag. Brian for Yaxhu is on his way. Finally Bobby Jon gets back and Cindy goes off. Cindy made up alot of time, and got Nakum the lead. Blake and Stephanie then went off. Both were pretty much tied, but Stephanie got out first. Gary and Brandon then go out. Brandon got his bag first. Margaret was first for Nakum, and then Rafe for Yaxhu. Rafe dropped without a bag and had to go back and then couldn't get out of the water. Rafe really lost them alot of time. Judd didn't get a bag and dropped into the water. Danni went out for Nakum and Morgan for Yaxhu. Brianna was out next for Yaxhu with tied bags. Brianna fell without a bag. Lydia went out for Yaxhu. Danni got a bag for Nakum. Nakum has 6 bags, Yaxhu has 5. Jamie from Yaxhu goes out and Brooke is coming back. Jamie made up alot of time, and they are tied again. Blake is going for the eighth bag and Brian is going for his bag. It looks like a tie. Nakum won the competition, and Blake acts like he is dying.

Nakum goes out to fish early in the morning. They actually caught a few little fish. Rafe says that they are in desperation mode and will eat anything. Rafe found a grasshopper. Gary lets us know that Morgan isn't doing her fair share of the work at the camp. Meanwhile Lydia makes a fish trap. Rafe decides to eat some ants, and he and Gary get an ant nest. They sample the ants, but Lydia gets 10 little minnows so that means one each. Lydia says that the way to a man's heart is through their stomach. We then go back to Blake wheezing in the Nakum camp. Judd says that Blake does nothing in camp, and Margaret just nurtures him. Judd is getting sick over just hearing how much Blake is resting and not doing anything. Judd complains to Brandon about it. As Judd says Blake rests all the time while the rest of them work, so he can be the hero in the competitions.

Blake is still whining. The next competition is coming up, and it sounds like tug of war. Danni from the Nakum tribe is a sports writer and recognizes Gary as an NFL quarterback. Both tribes will be connected to each other with a colored rope. Each person must get a flag, and other players from the other team can try to impede the other team. If no one from the tribe gets a flag in the specified time, it becomes a one on one competition. Brianna will be sitting out this one. Nakum had a bit of a lead. One of the guys goes for Danni, and a real mud battle goes on. One minute is left unless they get flag it is down to one on one. Which ever player is closer to the flag gets it. They have to get three flags to win. Danni yells out that Gary is a quarterback and that her teammate needs to be a tight end. Yaxhu looks shocked. Brandon has a big lead and gets to the rope and gets the second flag for Nakum. Judd and Jaime both go up again. Jaime made a big move and started to move towards his flag. Judd waited until the final seconds and pulled Jaime. Nakum won the flag and immunity. Yaxhu goes to tribal council.

Yaxhu is not happy about the tribal council, and they are all wondering who will go. They all love each other they say, but they have to vote someone off. Stephanie is shocked that they might be talking about getting rid of her. She is shocked. Stephanie says that she is the strongest girl on the team and can't understand being voted off and refuses to get off. Someone asks Gary about being a former NFL quarterback because Danni said something while she was wrestling in the mud. Gary is keeping his past quiet because he doesn't want to be voted off. Gary says that he doesn't like Morgan because she does nothing in the camp. He doesn't like Lydia because she is limited because Lydia is smaller and older and therefore can't compete. It seems that a group of them have decided to get rid of Lydia. Brian likes Lydia because she is a really hard worker. He tells Lydia what is going on. Lydia campaigns and says that she puts her heart and soul into every single challenge. Morgan is lazy, and does nothing, but they will keep her because she is young. That is so stupid. So they have tribal council. Stephanie said that the tribe was very welcoming. Jeff asks Lydia about her being the least athletic, and she says that she tries really hard. Votes: Morgan, Lydia, Morgan, Morgan, Morgan, Morgan. So Morgan gets voted out by five votes. Jeff tells the tribe that they are obviously close and unified but that the person voted out obviously didn't see it coming.

As the show ends, we see everyone voting, and everyone voted for Morgan to leave. She admits that she didn't see it coming at all.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 -- Afternoon

Sidney Crosby garnered an assist in his debut as an NHL player. It was a preseason game, and the Penguins actually lost in overtime with a score of 5-4. The nice thing is that Crosby didn't seem to be out of place playing against older, more experienced players. It's going to be a good season, and I am excited that I have my partial season tickets!

Some of the local sportscasters have issues with the way things are being presented on the Bound for Glory. The main issue is that Dick Butkus is being presented as the coach on the show, but in real life it is Lou Cerro. I know that they did this for the cameras, and folks outside of Pittsburgh will only watch because Butkus is on the show. I think that the show is hilarious. I'm not sure if that is the way that it is meant to be, but to see Butkus go off on one of his stupid tirades is just hilarious. There's Butkus saying that the 15 years old should be playing hurt. Come on, they are only 15! Do you want them to ruin their bodies now so they never make it to college or to the professionals? I guess that Butkus wouldn't mind that. I think that the kids from Montour aren't necessarily hoping to be the next biggest star. They are just hoping for a scholarship that will pay for college.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 -- Evening

I watched the debut episode of Bound for Glory. It is set in the Montour School District which is a area southwest of Pittsburgh. It is not too far from the Pittsburgh Airport, and the homes are usually nicer ones with more land around them than you would find in the city. We see Dick Butkus driving into town with a trailer listening to a radio show with Ellis Cannon talking about Dick Butkus coming to town. We then see some guys in the Kennedy Township Fireman's Club sitting at the bar talking about the Montour football team. We hear that football is the sport in this part of the country (southwest Pennsylvania) and that the team hasn't had a winning season since 1988, and was 1 in 8 last year. We then see some of the yuppie kids sitting outside on the family deck with the nice yard behind them talking with their dad about how great it will be to have Dick Butkus as the new head coach. The kids and that environment that they live it reminds me very much of the well to do middle class family that you see in movies. That is how that part of town is. The majority of kids are the team are white, with one kid who is half black (his mother is white). If you went five miles away to McKees Rocks, you would see a different picture. There you would find more black children in the schools and on the sports teams. There are also three areas that are lower income, and all three are scary places to find yourself in. The show takes us to the Montour Football Boosters Picnic where one of the fathers was telling the kids to eat up because they were skin and bones. We hear from some of the parents and boosters that they are looking forward to a winning season at Montour. It was one of the better football programs in the 50s and 60s. We hear from some of the players that last year was a train wreck and embarrassing. This is supposed to be the turn around year. Now a scene right out of American Pie with a pool party in the backyard of one of the players. We have the typical high school jocks prancing around the pool with scantily clad buxom teenage girls embracing each other or flirting with the want-to-be heroes. One of the players believes that this year they will make the playoffs and they keep on saying that they can guarantee it. It seems that at least one of the players is intimidated at the thought of Butkus coming to town. He says that he is coming to Montour because he is getting the kids at the beginning of their football careers that he is hoping to mold them and get them to build alittle character. One thing to note is that the homes and rooms of the football players are very nice. They obviously have alot of priviledge. They just talk like ghetto kids. We then get to meet the only black player, Christian Wilson. He's a running back for the team and has been playing since he was 7. He broke his leg last year, and his mom really doesn't want him to go back to football. Christian wound up breaking his leg in a football game. Dick Butkus shows up for the coaching meeting. Poor Lou Cerro introduces Dick Butkus. Butkus gives them the pep talk while the students sort of look dazed. I don't think some of them are listening. Now it is time for team practice. The team sucks. They play like girls, and can't catch the ball. I've seen some better pee-wee league teams. Butkus asked them if they knew why they were doing this because they were pancakes with no motivation and no urge to really win.

After the break, it's the morning of the first scrimmage (this was this past August). We get to see a father (DiAnni) who used to be a coach and assistant coach and now has both of his sons on the team. Butkus says that he was dealt a team with no motivation and not alot of depth and that he just has to drill it in and hope they get it in which case everyone will die of a heart attack. Morgan Singletary, one of the linebackers, says you don't want to hurt yourself in scrimmage, but you want to play. Christian Wilson is the premier running back. There is another black kid as a linebacker on the team. So it seems there are two in total on the team. In the scrimmage, the quarterback just sort of drops the ball and the other team falls on it. The quarterback can't throw and no one can catch. Butkus said that they forgot alot of the things that were drilled into them all week, and you have to wonder why. It seems 2-3 guys are doing the right thing, and 7-8 are missing their assignments. Butkus said they have to eliminate the mental mistakes. We see one of the players, Morgan Singletary, really get wacked in the head during a tackle, and it looked like a bad hit. We see the medical person there say that she thinks Morgan has a concussion. His parents take him to Children's Hospital here in Pittsburgh. The doctor says he has a concussion, and they take a head CT scan to see if he has any bleeding.

Dr. Singh comes in to see Morgan. The CT is fine. It seems that Dr. Singh is worried about him reinjuring his head and that he has to be out for a month. As she said, he has only one brain. The doctor tells him that he has to sit on the sidelines and watch, no practice. Morgan is upset about missing three games. Now Butkus is going to pick up a buddy from the airport to check out the team. The guy is Ray Crockett. Butkus is telling Crockett that no guy is standing out except for maybe Christian the running back and Morgan Singletary. We are now at week two of camp. Butkus introduces Crockett to the team and explains that he is there to make them tougher on the defense. Butkus asks if the players can look in the mirror and say that they gave 100%. Butkus says that he and Crockett don't want to be embarrassed to be associated with losers. Crockett then flashes his Super Bowl ring. After the pep talk, the team sucks and finds themselves unable to catch the ball. Crockett is telling them to sprint. Then shows the kids how they run and that is just how a wide receiver will run past them. Christian seems abit bored while he is doing his stuff. Butkus asks for fullback volunteers. No one volunteers so he grabs a kid (he calls him number 18) and tells him to do what the other kid did. Then he tells another kid to just go and run somewhere. It is hilarious becuase they really do suck. Christian is given tips on how to run and run around cones. During the practice with the spinning drill, Christian popped his finger, and the trainer said to go to the hospital. So a piece of bone was pulled off of Christian's bone and has to be operated on. Christian's thumb is grossly unstable according to the doctor and can move sideways. The doctor says that he won't play football for at least two months after the surgery, but Christian says he has two more years anyway.

After the break, Christian returns to the training facility and tells everyone that his thumb is broken and that he might be out for the season. Crockett can't believe it and keeps on saying no. Crockett didn't think it was a bad injury, and doesn't believe that it was that bad because it is just a thumb. As Crockett said, get it operated on now, and go back to play. Crockett sais that Christian has to be thinking if he should play football with a broken leg one year and broken thumb. One of the players said that with Christian injured that the season is over. Butkus starts yelling at the players, and Crockett is telling them they are terrible and they have to run. Butkus says to Cerro that he is about to lose it because he can't believe that the folks are claiming that the injuries are so serious. Butkus says that he doesn't care that the players are 15, they need to be running with the crutches. The funniest line was Butkus calling it Club Med and that the injured players were treating it like a social club, and they should just go off and play Nintendo. Butkus then tells the players that there is pain and there are injuries and they need to play with pain. He says that they don't think that the kids care, and that the coaches are trying to make them winners instead of periennial losers. He says even God can't coach them. Butkus says that the desire has to come from inside and that other teams can kick their ass. He says that kids in the ghetto know that it's their only way out to play the game. Those kids can't afford to go home and play Nintendo.

Another break down. The players gather around to talk and they agree that there is alot of soul searching to be done. Morgan said that he has to sit out with a concussion, but he is waiting to be back. Morgan said that he played through injuries in the past, and they need to do the same. Christian goes to his mom and says that he has to play whether the doctor agrees or not. Christian says that he has to play and his mom is trying to find out if "they" are saying it or he wants it. Christian then tells his dad that he has to play, and the father says that there are 40 other kids and Christian isn't the only one. The players say that Butkus yelling at them gave them motivation and pushed them. Someone does catch a ball. Christian's dad, Pierre, must be a cop because he has handcuffs on his belt. Christian's mom, Romi, and Christian decide that they need a second opinion. Butkus said that he is not going to let anyone let him be a loser, and that he has been dwelling on the negatives too much to give any credit to the positives. He tells them they are on the way to the playoffs. Christian goes to the Center of Sports Medicine with UPMC. The second opinion was to fix the hand now and that he could go back to the field in ten days with a good cast. Christian tells Cerro what is happening with the finger now. We hear Christian telling everyone he is getting surgery tomorrow and will be playing in two weeks. Butkus is not very promising though.

The final section of the show shows the morning of the final scrimmage. Christian is at the hospital getting his finger operated on. Christian's dad, Perry, said that the surgery went well, and if the doctor gives the okay, they will play. Butkus gives the team a prescrimmage pep talk. Butkus said that he is there to stop the mental problem of the team viewing themselves as losers. Montour was doing well, and then the other side scored. Butkus said that they didn't fold their tents like losers do. It seems that the progression of the team has been better but as Gianni Ricci, one of the players said, they still have a long way to go. Crockett keeps on telling them to run fast not jog. He also says that they are improving and learning how to play the game of football. Butkus said that you have to plant the seed in their heads that they can win. And so the show ends.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 -- Afternoon

Yesterday was a busy day for me as I mentioned, and I had some difficulty in getting caught up with all the things that needed to be done. The first episode of Bound for Glory was on last night right after Big Brother. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to catch all of it, but I do have the show recorded and will give a full update on it this evening. The show looks like it is going to be an entertaining one for drama, but I don't know how much the kids will gain from it with football experience. You have to feel sorry for the coach that was just hired to take on the real full time duties of the team, Lou Cerro. He is one of the better high school coaches, and has to take a back seat to the drama of Dick Butkus on the show. From what I hear in real life, Cerro takes a more active role. You would have to hope so!

I wasn't the only one who was disappointed in the Big Brother finale. I mean it came down to a vote for a Maggot. I think that Howie summed it up best by saying that they couldn't vote for one of America's choices, and that the only option was to chose from one of America's least favorite players. Granted the players created plenty of drama on their own, but it would have been nice to get some good secrets and more game stirring activities from Big Brother's end. I do have to admit that both April and Jennifer seemed upset at being called on the carpet for "America f***ing sucks" and lies that they perpetrated though the game. Since I'm back at work, I didn't get a chance to catch today's episode of House Calls, but I hope to watch it sometime this evening. Supposedly, Maggie, Ivette, James and Janelle are supposed to be on the show.

It seems that Ben Roethlisberger hurt his back with a hit that he received in Sunday's game. That didn't prevent him from soldiering on. Roethlisberger should be proud of his 15-0 record in regular season games. The first loss will be hard, but hopefully, he will bounce back with another win. He is impressing me because I have to admit that I was writing him off after his pre-season performance. It just goes to show that you shouldn't judge someone too much on their performance when it really doesn't count.

Scientists are find that Mars is alot more active than originally thought. It seems that the Mars Global Surveyor has found evidence of gullies and craters. The gullies showed up in photos from April of 2005. They checked back on previous photos of the area, and the gullies were not in evidence in July of 2002. To have such changes in just a few years time means that more is going on with Mars than we thought.

Scientists have found out that the ingredient in green tea that might fight cancer, might also play a role in protecting the brain from Alzheimer's Disease. Actually what the scientists found out is that when the injected lab mice with the antioxident in green tea that the beta-amyloid protein was not produced as much. It is suspected that these proteins are the cause of the plaques in the brain that clog the arteries and wind up causing Alzheimer's. Of course that doesn't mean that it will work in humans or that the prevention of Alzheimer's is as simple as drinking a glass of green tea every day. For one thing, there are other things in the green tea that appear to block the protein from doing its job. The other thing is that scientists tend to give lab mice so much of the ingredient that they are testing that it isn't feasible for a human to get that much into their bodies without supplements. So the thing now is to find out if and how to make the supplement, determine the amount that would be needed to prevent Alzheimer's, and wonder if it will cause any side effects in humans that werern't noted in mice.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005 -- Evening

Since I returned to work, it has been difficult to come up with a schedule that allows me to do all the things that I grew to enjoy during my recovery from the bunion surgery. I'm going to have to work harder on freeing up time to get more blogging done.

Tonight was the final episode of Big Brother. We all know what that means. It comes down to either Maggie or Ivette winning the grand prize. The 80 days of Big Brother are over, and it is time for the live finale. The recap for this show covered the entire season. They mentioned the Summer of Secrets which didn't result in alot of secrets. Julie Chen was there with a live audience. The jury will be made up of Jennifer, Rachel, James, Beau, Howie, April, and Janelle. We see Maggie and Ivette hugging after Janelle left. Ivette said that her game plain was to be honest. She said that she was she was outspoken, blunt and loud. Maggie said that she made it this far in the game by the loyalty to the group of people that she chose. We see her just keeping quite instead of giving her opinion. Maggie claims that she likes the spotlight and isn't the quiet sort of person and her family and friends would be shocked. Maggie claims that she didn't break the trust of anyone she cared about in the game. Ivette says her family is everything. We then go to the jury house to see the arrival of Janelle. James said that he would like the final winner to be the person who played the game the best, not the one that kissed the most ass. As he was arguing with everyone, Janelle appeared. She hugs everyone, and tells them that Ivette won HOH and that Janelle made Ivette an offer to take her to the final and win the big prize, but that Ivette gave up her the final prize. James gets really angry and says that she remained true to her friends while kicking her family in the ass. Beau tried to stick up for stupid Ivette, but James said it best by saying that she chose a friend that she knew for nine weeks over a family that she had for 25 years. April says that if it came to two of the Maggots and one of the others, that if the Maggot chose the other then none of the Maggots would vote for her. Beau said that it would be playing dirty to do that, and they wouldn't honor it. Janelle says that it shows that Ivette had integrity though, and Howie said that Ivette didn't play with integrity thoughout the game, why do it at the final part? Janelle said that Ivette wasn't as bad with integrity. James says no one played with integrity. Janelle said that she would want the person who wins to be a person who won the game and didn't hang in the shadows. Rachel said that Ivette is a big piece of trash in the game in her eyes. Beau said that was Rachel's opinion, and she said that she is entitled to it. Janelle seems to be really anti-Maggie. April said that she thought that Maggie was going to be carried by the others so why should she compete. Beau said that Maggie wanted to fly under the radar. Rachel agrees and thought it was strategy. James thinks that it was good that Ivette was able to beat Janelle. Janelle says that Maggie always pointed the finger of blame at the other players instead of at herself. James asks if Maggie kept the Maggots around because the more she kept the Maggots together because she cared about them, or because by keeping them together made the others targets. Beau asks if James thought that Maggie got others to do her dirty work and James said that she did and that was why everyone was sitting there. James tells them that she set them up. April asks if they really think that Maggie was manipulating them, and then says that they all knew that Maggie was manipulating them. Janelle said "why didn't you get rid of the bitch, and April says because she liked Maggie. James grabs his head in disbelief and disgust. April thinks that Maggie deserved to be at the end. Rachel thinks that Maggie was a strong competitor and said that she deserves to win. James said that it should be the person who played the best. They all admit that they have alot of thinking to do to see who gets the $500,000 prize. Second prize is $50,000 which I had erroneous thought was $250,000 earlier. Geeze, Ivette was really dumb!

After the break, we see each member of the jury ask one final question and have the finalists make a plea. Maggie calls James best friend. James asks Maggie what definitive moment she thinks got her to the final. Maggie says that it is because of all her team members. Rachel asks Ivette why she shouldn't vote for Maggie. Ivette says that she can't give one because Maggie has played the game as hard as any of them has played the game, and she could never tell someone not to vote for her. Howie asks Ivette if she did play the game with integrity. Ivette says that she did not lie in the game and that she was honest and in fact sometimes too honest for some people. Janelle asks Ivette that throughout the game she was playing for her family, but that didn't she think by last night's decision (to chose Maggie over Janelle) that she made a $450,000 mistake and why she did it. Ivette said that chosing Janelle would have caused her to break a promise and lose the $450,000 anyway. Janelle then says to Maggie that she hasn't made alot of plays in the game, and why she deserved the money over Ivette. Maggie says that she tried to be a competitive player but that she did not need the spotlight and didn't want anyone to think she wasn't a strategic or strong player. Then Beau asks Maggie what her strategy was when Eric left the house. Maggie says to not get evicted. Maggie says that's when she formed the Maggots. April asked Ivette if she was throwing the competitons because she didn't win until the final few folks were in the house or if there were just stronger competitors in the house. Ivette said that she knew the other side wanted her and that she was nervous and that her only safety was in one of the Maggots getting HOH> Jennifer asks Maggie who was the one person who brought up Kaysar's name as a nomination. Ivette says that she doesn't mind taking the blame and that she thinks it was her and Beau. Maggie says that she couldn't display what sort of player and strategist she was. Maggie said that she tried to blend in and maintain a competitive edge, and to lose at some competitions or to let others take a bigger role. Maggie thinks that she deserves to be there because she gave 110% of herself to be there. Then Ivette speaks and says that it is hard to say that she deserves the money more, but that she deserves it because she played Ivette. She also says that there were others who were causualties but the she offered herself up in the past. Ivette says that she is so grateful to be there. It is over, and Maggie tells Ivette that she wants a hug. James says that he is wavering towards Ivette because she did what she did for her friends while Maggie did it for herself. April says that one played as an open book and the other as a closed book. April says that both worked. Janelle said that it is tough for her because she thought that Ivette was a stronger competitior than Maggie. Jennifer says that she found out some things about Maggie that shocked her, and that she has thinks against Ivette and that it is 50-50 now. We then see Maggie and Ivette talking where Ivette says that she is confused, and Maggie says that she doesn't think they (the jury) like either of them. The jury is then brought out to sit in front of the live audience. The screams were extremely loud for Janelle, as she came prancing out like the blonde bombshell that she is.

Another break down. It is now time for the jury to vote. Each jury member has a bag with a key for each of the remaining two. They are going to be called up one by one, insert the key for the player that they want, and then to make one final statement. Beau is first. He says that he is proud of them. He says that he has amazing memories with Maggie and that he has grown closer to Ivette. April is next. She says it was a long road for all of them, and that it feels great to see the wonderful people and fans and that they will see family. She says that it is a hard decision and that she really likes them both. James is next. He says that they did an outstanding job and thanks them for putting up with him. He said that he had his say throughout the season. Rachel is next. She says that the person she is voting for is the person who has been the most complete player, personally and competitively. Janelle is next. She congratulates them and says that her decision was so 50-50, and whether she should choose the better player or to base it on personal decisions. Jennifer is next. She says that she loves Maggie and wishes Ivette luck and says both played a good game. Howie is last (because he is star of the show according to Julie). He says that he loves them both and they played a great game. He also says that he can't vote for America's number one Choices--Kaysar or Janie. That he is stuck voting for America's last choices. He then says "don't hate the houseguests, hate the game". Both try to smile. Howie is sweating alot, and Julie tells him to take a deep breath. The votes are final. Ivette looks upset probably because of the comment Howie made about America's last choices.

Commercials are over. The first five evicted houseguests are brought back. This will be the first time the jurors will hear more details about the show. They bring out Ashlea, Michael, Eric, Sarah, and Kaysar. Julie starts with Sarah and asks Sarah what was the one thing she wished James was aware of. She said that the loyalty that Rachel, Janelle and Howie had towards them. That she loved them all. James is speechless and says that in the end everyone had to go home in the end. Julie then asked Eric the same question. Eric thinks that Maggie played the game better than anyone that he has ever seen because she never gave anyone any indication of which way she thought or favored. Eric thinks that Maggie had everyone figured out and that she was that good. Julie then asked Michael about the claims of his supposed bad behavior, and wants to know what he has to say to his accusers. Michael said that he got great feedback from people who saw the live feeds and that was it. We then get to revisit Howie being mean to April. Howie said it was scripted for television. Howie says that he apologizes to April. April says that you love to hate him and hate to love him and that she was roommates with Howie in the jury house. We then hear April calling America pieces of shit on phone call. Then April was more evil with the second Janelle America's Choice win. April says she really doesn't think that America is a piece of shit and that she is sorry to America and Janelle. Julie then tells them that America gave Kaysar 82% of the vote. Julie asks Kaysar what he has to say to Jennifer and he tells her next time to think for herself. Jennifer looks teary eyed and says that she did think for herself. Eric said that Kaysar supposedly swore on his life and didn't like a taste of his own medicine. Everyone started booing Eric and Julie said that they would move on. We move on to Sarah and James. They get to give each other a hug. James looked very emotional and teary eyed.

It is now time to find out who has won. Beau's vote goes to Ivette. April's vote goes to Maggie. James' voted for Ivette. Rachel voted for Maggie. Janelle voted for Ivette. Jennifer voted for Maggie. It is now down to Howie's vote and it goes to Maggie who is the winner. Ivette did screw her family, and she looks close to tears while Maggie is all smiles. It sucks that the head Maggot won. We have to see ugly, midget Eric hugging Maggie and then Ivette. All the houseguests go around hugging,and Ivette looks really upset. She sold out her family for a friend. The families of both are there, and they hug and cry.

The final moments. Maggie says that she feels awesome and that she has lots of gifts to buy, a house, pets to take care of, taxes to pay. Julie reminds Ivette that she goes home with $50,000. And so the season ends.

Monday, September 19, 2005 -- Evening

The 2005 Golden Gasms from TVGasms has been released and Big Brother won a few of the awards. For Best Rivalry, the winner was Janelle and the Maggots. Most Annoying Female was Ivette. Julie Chen tied for Best Hostess. Kaysar, of course, was the Best Reality Star, Male. Janelle was the hands down winner of Best Reality Star, Female. Finally, Big Brother won the Best Television Series, Unscripted. This past season has been a good one with alot of drama. The only part that has not been as enjoyable has been the ending since it has boiled down to two Maggots competing for the final prize.

Monday, September 19, 2005 -- Afternoon

The official word from Bill Cowher is that Willie Parker will be starting for the Steelers next week. This past game was Parker's third consecutive game where he managed to get over 100 yards so for now, he is the man. Another high note from the game yesterday was Troy Polamalu, the Daily Bongo player of the game yesterday. He has been getting alot of kudos for his three sacks yesterday. It appears that three sacks set an NFL record for the most sacks in a game by a safety. Polamalu well deserves all the recognition that he is getting because he is a play maker who can always be counted on to make something happen in the game. Also, he is just a nice person off the field. Hines Ward also had a notable game with six catches and two touchdowns. All in all, there is alot to be happy about with yesterday's game.

NASA has released detailed plans for its upcoming moon flights. They hope to get four men on the moon in 2018 for a week. The spacecraft that should carry the astronauts to their destination should be ready for 2012. That should give them enough time to test the technology and hopefully get the astronauts there and back safely. The cost for this endeavor should cost around $100 billion. Yep, you heard that right. Some folks think that this is a waste of tax payer money, but there are so many benefits to be gained by returning men to space, not just orbit of the Earth.

I am back to work, hence the lack of blogging today. I will have to wait until I get home to check out the archives of House Calls. Today's episode will be a bittersweet one for all of Janelle's fans because she will be interviewed as the final houseguest who was evicted from the Big Brother house. Check it out if you get a chance because I'm sure that it will be a great episode.

Sunday, September 18, 2005 -- Afternoon

Second Half
The Texans got the ball first in this half, and they actually managed to make a play, and got short pass that gave them a long gain. Polamalu just sacked Carr with abit over 12 minutes left in the third quarter. Polamalu is a great player. I love him because he does interceptions, sacks, and just general play making. You have to love a guy like that. He is one of the folks on my fantasy team, and even if he doesn't score points, I would keep him because he is entertaining. Carr just missed a tackle and ran for 19 yards to make first down. Houston is doig a good job of moving the ball down the field and have gotten down to their own 10 yard line. It looks like they might actually get a score of some sort. With a short pass, the Texans were finally able to score on their first drive of the half. They got the extra point and the game is now 20-7.

The temperature on the field is now 108 degrees, down from near 120 degrees at kickoff. Boy, this was quite a play. Roethlisberger had the ball on a third down with 5 yards to go. Roethlisberger was under siege, but he kept on running and evading, and made a 40 yard completion to Cedrick Wilson. It was something else. We got the ball down close to the end zone and Parker ran it in for a touchdown! Reed made the extra point, and the score is now 27-7.

It seems that there have been moments during this second half were the Steeler defense just falls apart. With around 11 minutes left in the game, the Texans were able to throw the ball and get a first down when they were at 2nd down and 24. It's not that the defense is doing poorly, it just seems that there are times when things just aren't meshing. It's probably because of the heat on the field. It was all okay because Polamalu sacked Carr yet again for his third sack of the day. It's amazing to see svelte Polamalu fling Carr around like a baby. The guy is amazing.

The game feels like it is winding down even though there are 7:54 minutes left to play. We were just going to punt, but the Texans roughed our kicker, so we have the ball again for a few more minutes. Even the announcers seem to be talking about personal stories of the people on the team and showing folks on the sidelines.

Two minute warning. The Steelers have the ball. It looks like another win. One of the local sportscasters was claiming that the Steelers would lose today which seemed like a stupid choice to me because the Texans aren't a good team. Roethlisberger is still playing which is surprising considering the fact that he had the bone bruise in his left knee earlier. There is 1:10 left in the game, and we are at 4th and 6 on the 22 yard line. We just ran the ball and didn't make the down, but the game ran out of time. It finished with Carr getting sacked yet again. The feed cut to another game quickly, but it was a sack by James Harrison. Anyway, the game is now, and the Steelers have won.

Sunday, September 18, 2005 -- Afternoon

First Half
The temperature on the field was nearing 102 degrees. That is going to be a problem for the Steelers because of their black uniforms, but right now, we are lucky because the sidelines for the Steelers is in the shade. We received the first kickoff, and Ben Roethlisberger did play. The first play was a handoff to Willie Parker who got 18 yards on the initial run. The announcers are commenting on the fact that Roethlisberger had a perfect passer rating in last week's game. Nice play just now with Roethlisberger evading a tackle and throwing a ball to Antwaan Randle El who caught it just inside the line. So far with 5 rushes, Parker has 39 yards. He can wiggle through some tight spots. Hines Ward just dropped a pass, and now we are at third down on the twenty yard line, and then Roethlisberger missed another throw. Jeff Reed just made a 37 yard field goal for the first score of the game. Steelers have 3.

Clark Haggans just knocked the ball out of the hands of the Texans quarterback, David Carr, and Joey Porter grabbed the ball. Our ball. Now with the offense on the field, Roethlisberger threw a 16 yard pass to Ward for a touchdown. Jeff Reed made the extra point, and it is Steelers 10, Texans 0 with 8:04 left in the first quarter.

The Steelers have the ball again with 20 seconds left in the first quarter and we are within field goal range. Parker was tackled and we didn't get anywhere, and then a holding offense on our offense put us on the 14 yard line, and so the first quarter ends. The very first play of the second quarter was a touchdown pass to Ward. The Steelers had a false start penalty that moved them back for the extra point, but Jeff Reed was able to come through. Steelers lead 17 to 0. Roethlisberger is 8 for 11 with 135 yards and 2 touchdowns

Troy Polamalu is making life suck for the quarterback, Carr. That's good news for us because Carr is having difficulty getting his act together. We challenged the spot of the ball on a throw that was completed, and lost the challenge so we got charged with a timeout. The Texans are really not doing very well, and so far, they really aren't providing the Steelers with alot of competition. Polamalu just sacked Carr when they are trying to get close enough to get a field goal with 8:20 left in the game. So we get the ball back again. Roethlisberger threw a 54 yard pass to Randle El for a completion. One of the Houston defensemen, Robaire Smith, got injured, and Roethlisberger called over the trainers for him. Parker is not getting alot of yardage at this point. The fans aren't too happy and I can understand why. It must be as hot as hell there because the Texans are trying to affect the Steelers with the heat. Unfortunately, it has to suck for the fans too. Willie Parker just got a first down for us, and we are on the 15 yard line. There are abit over 5 minutes left in the game, and it looks like we are trying to use up some time before making our next score. We couldn't capitalized because of some penalities, but Reed scored another field goal. It's now 20-0.

Carr got sacked just after the 2 minute warning in the game by Ike Taylor. We got the ball and on the first play, Roethlisberger got sacked. He didn't even see the defense guy coming because Roethlisberger was trying to run with the ball. We almost made the down, but it didn't matter because it was the end of the first half.

Sunday, September 18, 2005 -- Late Morning

The Steelers are warming up in Houston right now, and it looks as if Ben Roethlisberger will be playing today. At least he is practicing more with the team than Tommy Maddox is. There are alot of comments about how Roethlisberger's right leg is wrapped but that it's his left leg that was injured. I guess that the thing that the Steelers are trying to attempt to do is to confuse Texans to attack him from the side they think is injured but that in reality isn't.

On the Big Brother front, it appears that Ivette and Maggie were asked some questions via video connection by their former housemates in the jury. It seems that the questions really got to them because it appears that all of the jurors, with the exception of Beau, really seemed to have the knives in for them. For example, James alluded to the fact that Maggie used her Maggots to do the dirty work for her so she remained in the background, and that enabled her to ensure her place in the final two. James also asked Ivette that if she is correct that her family comes first that she chose someone for the final two that put her family second. You have to love James for saying it like it is and for seeing these folks for what they are. Also, Jennifer asked Maggie whose idea it really was to put up Kaysar. Then Rachel followed up by saying that they knew it wasn't Maggie--implying that it was Ivette. Another good part was Janelle saying that Maggie looked shocked as always--implying that Maggie wasn't a very good game player. Maggie seemed to be really upset that no one realized that she was a great strategizer and player of the game--it seemed that no one congratulated her on her play as they did with Ivette. I think that Maggie's strategy was to use other people to get far, and she did that well. It's just that using people tends to come back to bite you in the butt.

Some folks who have been watching the live feeds and know that Ivette has said some really racist remarks (too numerous to enumerate) about others in the house and about folks in general, wonder why Arnold Shapiro (the executive producer of the show) hasn't allowed the remarks on the television show. The idea is that by not showing the comments that Ivette makes that a more favorable image of her has been propagated. Shapiro's comments are that he doesn't want to have such remarks on the show because he doesn't like the remarks, and that folks who have the live feeds (and access to the commentary of the live feeds on the Internet) know what a racist pig Ivette has been. I suppose that I can see the point that the television show is meant for a more general/family audience while the live feeds have a disclaimer on them that the viewer may see offensive material. Also there is the concern that if a wider audience heard the remarks, there might be some people who would do something to Ivette when she comes out of the house. It doesn't matter if the remarks made the national air. The remarks were made, and all the viewers of the live feeds and readers of online commentaries know they were said. So we know that Ivette is a racist pig. The other thing that I have take issue with is that Ivette just wasn't making these comments to air. She was making it to other Maggots. They NEVER said anything to her about the offensiveness of her remarks. From that and from the frequency with which Ivette made the remarks to her fellow Maggots, I have to say that the other Maggots are equally guilty. I find the Maggots offensive people, at least in the house, and find it sad that two of them made it to the finals.

Saturday, September 17, 2005 -- Evening

My boyfriend and I went to an early dinner so we could watch the Pittsburgh Panthers game this afternoon on a big screen television. More about the game later, but first I wanted to mention the great experience that we had at Buffalo Blues located on South Highland Ave. in Shadyside. The restaurant is known for having great wings (they have been voted best in Pittsburgh in some local polls) and for having blues music. Today they had all the large screen televisions (of which there are several scattered all over so every seat has an excellent view of a large screen) focused on the Pitt game. The food was served quickly by a very alert and responsive waitress. The wings are some of the best that I have had in a restaurant. They were meaty and on the large size. Usually when you go to a restaurant for wings, you get an anorexic chicken. Not at Buffalo Blues! The flavor of wings that we got today were garlic parmesean (drier, less saucy wings), Buffalo Blues (a buffalo style sauce), and spicy garlic (with hot pepper flakes scattered on the wings). I gave in to the inner fatty who is quickly becoming the outer fatty since I haven't been as mobile since the bunion surgery, and we got the fudge brownie ala mode with chocolate sauce. It was enormous and fabulous with an extra container of hot chocolate sauce on the side for additional pouring and dipping. I was really impressed with the atmosphere, the price ($8 for a dozen wings), the quality of the food, and the service which was exceptional considering how busy it was. I would definitely go back again and recommend the place to others.

The only disappointment was the Pittsburgh Panthers game itself. As my boyfriend said, "Pitt is not it". The final score of the game was 7-6 with Nebraska winning. Don't let the score fool you. The game was not that close. Pitt had plenty of opportunities, but didn't capitalize on them. The most frustrating and sickening part of the game was in the final few seconds of the game. Pitt had the ball in the last 30 seconds of the game, and managed to get the ball down within 40 yards of the endzone. All that was needed was a 42 yard field goal. Well, the first attempt went horribly awry with the football being thrown before the holder guy was ready. The ball ricocheted off the helmet of the holder and flew into the kicker's hands (Josh Cummings). Cummings threw the ball down the field almost to an interception. One second was left on the clock, but Pitt still had a second chance. Well, that attempt was blocked and Pitt lost. The game was a huge disappointment. There are alot of problems. The offense seemed out of sync--how else could you explain the holder not even looking toward the line for the ball, hence having the ball ricochet off his helmet. Also, the defense didn't seem to understand that this was NOT a touch football game, but a tackle game. The team needs alot of work, and a 0-3 start for the season is really not looking good for Dave Wannstedt.

Saturday, September 17, 2005 -- Early Afternoon

The Penguins practice continued at Mellon Arena yesterday. The big news was that a defenseman outscored Sidney Crosby in the scrimmage. Everyone will be analyzing and over analyzing the poor kid's moves all during camp. I don't think that a defenseman who hasn't scored much in his career outscoring Sid the Kid means very much. I would like to go to some of the practices, and used to in the past. However, visiting the practice at Mellon Arena isn't as nice as going to Southpointe. At Southpointe (the old practice area), you could sit in a restaurant overlooking the ice and actually have some lunch or breakfast while watching the team. Granted the arena was meant for junior hockey, and had those awful medal benches that required a blanket for comfortable sitting, but you could see the players upclose. Afterwards, if you had your skates, you could even go out for a public skate on the ice. I miss Southpointe practices.

NASA is planning to have men back on the Moon by 2018. The plan at this point is to make the vehicle a combination of space shuttle and Apollo rocket parts. It seems that the engineers for the new vehicle will be relying on older, more tried and true technology as opposed to something newer, flasher, and more impressive. That makes sense because basically they want to get the folks there and back safely, and sometimes an old war horse is more reliable than a frisky filly. From the Moon, it will be a hop, skip, and a jump to Mars. At least that is my hope. I have to admit that I am not the brave, adventurous type who will want to make the mission, but I think that it would be great for our future.

Friday, September 16, 2005 -- Evening

Tonight was the final HOH and eviction episode on Big Brother--Day 76 in the house. The show started with the usual recap since Howie was evicted. The recap ends with the HOH competition from Tuesday night. Maggie admitted that the HOH safe competition got more complicated when the dial started moving. Janelle tells us that the speed of movement changed up so it would go slow and then fast. Maggie says as they are walking that it is an honor to be next to the other two, and they both agree. Ivette said there was no talking and she was busy praying. The dial was really moving fast, and they were sweating and Janelle says that her back was hurting. Meanwhile Ivette said that it was horrible having to send April home. We see after April leaves Janelle says "final three" and then tries to touch Maggie's hand, but Maggie said that she was sad. Then we see Maggie and Ivette hugging while Maggie admits that she is going to miss April. Back to the dial game, and Janelle almost falls off and says that the game is hard. Then Janelle tells the others that she is not going to be able to make it. Ivette tells her to keep on trying though. As Ivette explains in the DR, she knows that America thinks that she is evil, but she really isn't. No, she isn't evil. Janelle fell off after three hours and 45 minutes. Janelle said in DR that she didn't feel good about losing HOH and hopes she didn't let down her family. Maggie and Ivette thought that the first part of the competition was endurance and the other was memory. Ivette was trying to explain to Maggie that she really wanted to win the HOH competition. As she tried to explain, if Ivette wins, she is taking Maggie and if Janelle wins, she is taking Maggie. So Ivette is just trying to safeguard herself by giving herself a shot at winning. Maggie did not like the conversation because she did not have any inclination the Janelle would take her to the final. Maggie then falls off, she says because she lost focus because of the conversation about Janelle taking her to the final. Ivette stops instantly, and says "you didn't fall". Ivette thinks that Maggie gave her the competition. Janelle comes running out and congratulates Ivette. Janelle said that she saw a look of fear on Ivette's face. Ivette got the combo to the last gold safe and finds out that the prize is in the backyard. It was a pair of Vespa scooters. Everyone was so excited. Janelle said that she really wanted one of them so bad. hehehehe!

After the break, we have the second competition with Maggie and Janelle. They go outside and there is a platform that is shaped like a giant padlock and there are keys hanging near by. Ivette hosts. In front of each is a giant padlock. They have to remove covers on the top that reveal eight clues. Once they have the answer to the clue, they put that number on the combination clue. Once they think they have it, they run to the other side and pull on the loop. The loop only opens when the combo is correct. When it opens it releases a key. The first houseguest to put the key on the post wins the HOH competition. Janelle says that she is going to try very hard because she wants to go head to head against Ivette. Ivette was not allowed to stay outside, and had to go inside and as she said, have panic attacks. The first clue was number of women in the pressure cooker. (6) Second was number of vetos not used. (4) Janelle was doing two clues at a time while Maggie was only doing one at a time. Third was number of pairs in the house the day before Eric was evicted. (5) Fourth was number of players who have won veto twice in a row. (1) Fifth was number of menu items from snack shack from hell. (9) Sixth was number of votes to keep Rachel in the house when she was evicted. (0) Seventh was number of houseguests who have won HOH and veto in the same week. (3) Eighth was number of different houseguests who have won the power of veto (7). As we are hearing the clues, we see Maggie and Janelle talking about the clues and how sure they were of the answers. Sometimes they were sure and they were right, and sometimes they were wrong. Maggie tried the lock first and it didn't open. Maggie couldn't figure out which answer she was getting right. It came down to both Maggie and Janelle having three answers wrong. Janelle and Maggie were both down to one item wrong. The two questions they had wrong were the Snack Shack from Hell for Janelle and Votes for Rachel that Maggie had wrong. Janelle got it first and won. Ivette comes out and congratulates Janelle. Maggie would prefer Ivette to win because she would pick her. When they go back into the house, they see that the dining room table now has a center that is filled with money. Janelle screams and reads the note. "Congratulations final three houseguests on making it this far in the game. As one of you will be taking home the $500,000 grand prize, we wanted you to see how much money that actually is. Best of luck to each of you. Big Brother". Maggie said it was to remind them that they would be winning alot of money. I think that the point was to remind them to play for the money and not for fake things like supposed friendships. After some time, we see Maggie going outside and Janelle and Ivette sitting inside and playing chess. Janelle asks Ivette if she is thinking of winning the game at all. Ivette says that is her goal. Janelle then asks her if she thinks that she can beat Maggie. This is a good question because Ivette can't beat Maggie and should realize that. Ivette realizes that she can't. Ivette says that it is a bond with Maggie though. Janelle says that Ivette has a choice of whether to have money or to have friends. Janelle says that she is going to pick Ivette. Ivette says that if she won the money it would be great for her family. Janelle then reminds Ivette that if she picks Maggie Ivette is dooming herself to second place and not first and that is a fact. Ivette is stupid though and will screw herself out of supposedly loyalty. We go to the living room to talk to the final three houseguests. Julie asks out of all the former houseguests who she misses the most, and Janelle replies Michael. and grins. Julie thought that she would say Howie to which Janelle replies that she saw Howie recently, but hasn't seen Michael in a long while. Janelle is asked who she misses the least, and she says Eric and says it's because they didn't get along very well and didn't see eye to eye. Maggie says that she misses Eric the most. Maggie said it is because he is an awesome person and a great friend, a true leader. (a true smuck.) Maggie misses James the least because Maggie said that he was mean all the time. Ivette says that she misses Eric the most and didn't get to know more about him. The least for Ivette is Ashlea. We are going to find out after the break what Ashlea, Michael, Eric, Sarah and Kaysar have been doing.

After the break, we see Ashlea, and she thinks that people didn't get to know her. Ashlea said that the first episode she saw was Janelle and Michael kissing the "spider man kiss" where Michael kissed Janelle upside down. Ashlea said that if this is what Janelle wants she will be supportive of her, but if Michael breaks her heart, Ashlea will break his ass. Then we see Michael and Kaysar. Michael has freaky spiked hair. On a web site poll we hear that 69% of the voters think that Kaysar is hotter than Michael. Michael comments that folks have asked him how he could become so involved with someone in only two weeks. As he explains the situation was very intense. Michael says that he would like to see where it will go. Kaysar is grateful for what has happened, and even made an appearance on The Young and the Restless. Then we see the vote to put Kaysar back into the house. (Side by side with Kaysar, you can see what a midget Eric is--and he was shocked.) Kaysar was shocked that 80% of the public sent him back into the house. Eric claims to not be disappointed at all to not get back into the house. Eric says that now he is only known by Cappy at work. Eric claims that Ivette is everything that he is and that they both are very emotional, and he believes that is why they clicked together. Eric claims to not regret anything he did in the house, and like him or hate him that's how he is. I can understand that, and I choose to hate him. I can't stand those short men with Napoleon complexes. Finally we move on to Sarah. She went back to Chicago and spent time with her family. Sarah can't wait to talk to James and thinks that the show had a positive impact on their relationship. Sarah is rooting for Janelle to make it to the final two, and is hoping that James would do the right thing and vote for Janelle. Then we hear again from Eric. Eric thinks that the two opposite people in the house are Maggie and Janelle. Eric thinks that Maggie has kept her eyes on the prize. She has too, and has been quite skillful at manipulating the Maggots. Kaysar thinks that Ivette can win the whole thing. Michael and Kaysar both hope thought that Janelle will win. The final image is Sarah holding a pink t-shirt that says "Bye Bye Bitches". Which is a Janelle quote.

Break is over. It is now time for the final HOH competition. The winner must evict someone immediately. Ivette and Janelle are sitting side by side. Maggie is sitting in the dining room but Ivette and Janelle can't see her. Julie is going to read the beginning of a statement made by a houseguests at the jury house (so it is only those who made the jury). They are then given two choices of possible endings. For each correct answer they get one point. The one with the most points at the end of six questions wins. First: Howie said the most annoying thing about living at the Big Brother house was (a)hearing people say they wanted to leave (b) the girl scout troup. Answer: A. Ivette got it right. Second: Rachel said the most shocking moment in the house was (a)the fight between Michael and Eric or (b)the fight between Howie and April. Answer: A and both got it wrong. Third: Beau said if I had to spend a romantic evening with a houseguest I'd choose (a)Howie or (b)Michael. Answer: B. Now one got it right. Fourth: James said the hottest guy in the house was (a)Kaysar or (b)himself. Answer: A. Ivette got it right. Fifth: Jennifer said the biggest mistake I made in the house was (a)backdooring Kaysar or (b)not sticking up for Michael. Answer: B. Janelle got it right. Sixth: April said the houseguest who deserved to win the America's Choice phone call was (a)Ivette or (b)April. Answer: B. Janelle got it right. Ivette and Janelle both have two points and are tied. They grab their chalkboards. The answer is a number. Who ever is closest without going over wins. If both go over the one who is closest wins. What is the combined total of all votes cast to evict this season? Answer: 74. Both said 66 and it was another tie. How many hours have you lived in the Big Brother house from the night you entered until 5 pm this evening? Janelle said 1900 and Ivette said 1875. Answer is 1797. Ivette won. Ivette goes off to hug Maggie who swings her legs around Ivette and shows us butt crack. Maggie has a really flabby shaky ass. Maggie is so shocked. Ivette is reassuring Janelle that she was awesome. Julie reminds Ivette that she is guaranteed at least second prize, but that she now has to evict someone remembering that she is picking who will compete against her for the grand prize. Ivette is going to do the stupid thing and pick Maggie. I feel it in my bones because Ivette has been consistently stupid throughout the game.

We have to wait until after the break to learn Ivette's decision. Janelle and Maggie are sitting in the eviction seats. Ivette stands and gets a brief word. Ivette says that "you know what's coming. Besides being a beautiful woman, you are an amazing player, and have given me a total run for my money but I have to evict you Janelle because I have a promise to keep, but I want you to know that I think you are amazing". Janelle says that she knows, she knows. Janelle says she can't wait to see the others, and Ivette says that she is voting Janelle into the Big Brother All Stars. Janelle comes out to speak to Julie. Inside the house, Ivette and Maggie are hugging and carrying on because they both get money. Ivette will get the second prize unless the houseguests surprise me. Janelle said that she knew that Ivette would evict her. Janelle also didn't think she would make it that far. Janelle thinks that it was a poor decision on Ivette's part to pick Maggie because there's no way that Ivette can beat Maggie, but that Ivette is the type of person who doesn't want to break a promise. Julie said that Ivette made no secret that she really needed the money and wants to know if Janelle thinks that Ivette chose friendship over money. Janelle said that Ivette did. Julie asks what that says about Ivette's character and Janelle says that Ivette is a good person. Julie said that she thought Janelle and Ivette were arch enemies. Janelle says that they were and that she couldn't even stand the sight of Ivette, but she got to know her better and think that she's a nice person. Janelle said that she would do so many things over and said that maybe she wouldn't have told so many people that she didn't like them. Now it is time for the good-bye messages. Maggie said that so much of the time she listened to people in the house who said that Janelle hated her. Maggie said that she should have addressed the issue with Janelle instead of just believing others. Maggie said that she has changed her mind on alot of things and admits she was wrong. Janelle says Okay. Then Ivette. Boy, did they give each other a run for their money. Ivette respects Janelle so much as a player and says that they were both very determined in this game. Ivette said it was good competition and it was fun, Ivette said that Janelle did amazing and should be proud. Janelle said that she is happy that Ivette won. Janelle said that she wants to change her decision after tonight and thinks that Ivette is a good person. Then Janelle tells Julie she doesn't know--and Janelle seems teary eyed. I do like Janelle. Janelle will be on House Calls via phone on Monday.

We go to break and come back to Maggie and Ivette in the house. Ivette says that she just won her family $50,000 dollars and is so thrilled. Maggie says $500,000. Maggie said it's an awesome feeling and great. Both are really happy. I would have loved to see the reaction of one of them if she was sitting beside Janelle. The final vote will be on Tuesday.

Friday, September 16, 2005 -- Early Afternoon

I just finished watching House Calls and found out why Kaysar was on the show. It appears that Kaysar finally posted something on the Revenge of the Houseguests Blog, and Marcellas took exception to it. Marcellas did not like the comment that Kaysar made about Maggie: "represent those in our society who sit around quietly and watch the good people of this world go down in flames. And when the dust begins to settle you feast on what’s left." (quoted from Kaysar's blog bit) Marcellas thinks that it is just a game, and you can't judge Maggie's character outside of the game because of how she played the game. That is true, but at the same time, it is hypocritical of Marcellas because he has judged others based on how they play the game. I guess that each of us rethinks things that we have said in the past, or when someone else says something realize how wrong they and we are. Personally, I still dislike Ivette. I don't care that it's just a game. I found out from the Housecalls show that something interesting happened last night between Ivette and Janelle. It seems that Maggie has not been leaving Ivette's side because she is afraid that Janelle would approach Ivette to make a deal. Well, Maggie got called away to the DR, and Janelle seized the opportunity and talked to Ivette. Janelle told Ivette to throw the HOH competition and Janelle would take Ivette to the final two. Janelle told Ivette that Ivette didn't stand a chance to win against Maggie but did stand a chance against Janelle. Ivette agreed and seemed to be thinking about it. Then Maggie comes out of DR, and grabs Ivette to find out what happened while she was in the DR. Ivette told her the whole thing! What a blithering idiot! I hope that I am never that stupid in life! Ivette should have kept her big trap shut and just let Janelle win. It seems that Maggie keeps on telling Ivette that Ivette should do what Cappy would want and what would make Cappy proud. Bullshit! Maggie just wants to win and is pulling the Cappy card to play mind games with Ivette. I just hope that Ivette wakes up, smells the flowers and realize they stink. Then she needs to throw the competition OR evict Maggie and take Janelle with her. It's Ivette's only shot.

Friday, September 16, 2005 -- Morning

The big news here in Steelers country is that Ben Roethlisberger has a bruised knee and is questionable for the game this coming Sunday. That means that there is a 50-50 chance that he will be playing. On KDKA they have a segment Monday through Friday at 5:45 pm with a Steeler, and yesterday was Antwaan Randle El's time. The sportscaster asked Randle El if he thought that Bill Cowher would have Roethlisberger play, and Randle El just said, if coach says 50-50, it's 50=50. I thought that was funny. There isn't alot of concern on the players part in having Tommy Maddox play because he has played with them in the pre-season and did well, by the way. Also, Maddox used to be the starting quarterback. The injury to Roethlisberger is one that he suffered in the opening game. Now if you talk to Roethlisberger, he thinks that he will be playing on Sunday, but coaches are notorious for thinking about the whole season, not just one game. So I expect that we will see Maddox starting on Sunday.

Congratulations to Randle El! He and his wife had a baby girl on Saturday and named her Ana Lauren. The baby was seven pounds 15 ounces and is Randle El's third child. I really like Randle El. He has a great personality with a huge bubbly smile that lights his whole face. I love the way his eyes crinkle up when he smiles--he's a whole face smiler and those are my favorite people because you know that they are basically fun and good people. It's especially true if they smile that way alot, which Randle El does.

On the Pittsburgh Penguins front, Sidney Crosby had a really good practice yesterday, and of course, folks are getting an image of the Stanley Cup in their minds. We just all need to take a chill pill and remember that it is only one practice and that the kid is young and still has a lot to learn about playing NHL level hockey. After all, even Crosby himself has admitted that the guys are alot bigger, stronger and faster than the kids that he is used to playing. I'm not saying that he won't catch up and be able to contribute. I'm just saying that we should be taking deep breaths and calming ourselves down!

On the goalie front, we have a wealth of options, and right now the battle for second place is being faught by three players. Marc Andre Fleury is my favorite right now, just because I like him. He is the youth option since he is only 20 years old. I think that he needs more seasoning though because he can be abit inconsistent with his play, but I would be willing to give him a chance. It's a wonderful feeling to be sitting back and watching so many good players battling for positions on the Pens. I remember back just a couple of years when we didn't have any big name players because we had to trade them all away for financial reasons. It's wonderful to be able to have a competitive team, and I think that it will be good for all of NHL hockey because I imagine that alot of teams can be in our situation.

There's alot of controversy here in Pittsburgh over a former Steeler who died a few months ago. The coroner's office has said that Terry Long died of swelling of the brain that is consistent with the person receiving multiple traumatic events to his head--which is the sort of thing that happens to lots of football players. Since the coroner here is none other than Cyril Wecht, I would be tempted to believe that he's right. The Steelers doctor is disagreeing though and saying that Long didn't have any concussions on the field while playing. The doctor wound up with egg on his face when some notes surfaced about Long getting hit one time on the field and not being able to walk steadily, being light headed and not being able to concentrate and having to sit out for a week. Sounds like a concussion even to me, and I'm not a doctor. I think that the Steelers doctor just doesn't want folks to think that football is dangerous. Come on, any of us would have to admit that the repeated damage that is done to the body has to have some long term effects. Perhaps in Long's case, the blows to the head just brought out an inherient problem that might have remained hidden without the blows.

Leave it to the global warming fanatics to blame hurricane Katrina on global warming. It seems that some scientists are saying that the warming of the planet has lead to warmer ocean waters that are spawning more powerful hurricanes. Yes, there are some facts here that can't be refuted. Warmer waters make for stronger hurricanes. The only thing that I question in this science is ascribing the problem to global warming that is caused by human endeavors. The researchers studied hurricanes over the past 35 years and found that the number of category 4 and 5 hurricanes increased with 169 in the period from 1975-1989 and 269 from 1990 to 2004. I don't know what that would actually mean, because you can choose any period of time and find a fluctuation. I would like to know what the strengths of hurricanes were throughout the recorded history which I would imagine would be longer than 35 years. I would think that the reason we are seeing these particular years is because the goal of the scientists is to present data that supports their opinion and theory. I'm sure that if you look at the full record of hurricanes you might find a different story. That's the problem that I have with the media reporting science stories. Everything you get is spoonfed to you with an agenda in mind. Unfortunately the majority of viewers lap it up like it is manna from heaven. Question what you read and hear. You might learn that things are exactly as you are being told.

Make sure to watch House Calls today at 1 pm EDT. Kaysar will be joining Gretchen and Marcellas via phone. You can watch the show by going to the main Big Brother page. Also, tonight will be the final HOH competition and eviction of one of the houseguests. Who will be HOH? Ivette or Janelle? Watch tonight at 8 pm to find out!

Thursday, September 15, 2005 -- Evening

This evening was the first episode of Survivor: Guatemala/The Maya Empire, and is titled Big, Trek, Big Trouble, Big Surprise. The show is located in the Mayan ruins found in the Guatemala Penisula. We find out that the area is inhabited by jacguars, crocodiles and dangerous spiders. The contestants have been split into two tribes with 18 strangers. The adventure takes 39 days, which I believe is the standard Survivor time span. We met the two teams. The Nakum wearing Yellow and Yaxha wearing blue. At the camp, there were be things that will help the contestants to live as the Mayas did. They each have one "tool to aid them, and that is two previous Survivors, Bobby Jon and Stephanie from the Palau version. Stephanie is on the Yaxha team. The girls were all crying, but John wanted to know how he was going to win with her on the team. Bobby Jon is on the Nakum team. Brandon from Nakum thinks that Bobby Jon is dumb. The tribes are told that they can keep or vote off the old Survivors. The first test is a race of 11 miles through the jungle. The winning tribe gets the better camp and gets flint to make fire. The losers get the lesser of the two camps and no flint. It is a marathon and not a sprint. Nakum goes up the steps and to the right, Yaxha goes to the left. The tribes will find a compass and that map at the time and fruit and rice. It is up to the tribes to decide how much to take with them. Someone made the stupid decision to eat some of the food there. What idiots! The farmer guy, Brandon, is a real idiot. Stephanie thinks that Yaxha welcomed her with open arms, but it worried that they might see her as a threat. They have to use their compass to walk a straight line. Jim the old man comes up with the idea to leap frog with one guy going forward, and then the rest join him. Jim said that you could walk in circles if you didn't do it right, and he has the navy experience to know how to use a compass. Gary seemed to take charge and be the leader with the Nakum tribe. Gary is the ex-NFL player, but he said that he was a landscaper. Stephanie and Gary took charge of reading the compass. The Nakum tribe is leading at this point in the show. Judd, the doorman never camped and doesn't know where he is going. Blake got hit with a branch with spiky thorns so they had to stop to take the spikes out. Margaret, the nurse took spikes out. Yaxha is still trailing. It's night time and the Yaxha tribe is really lost in the thick jungle. Yaxha stops for the night because they can't see. Nakum stops too because they can't see. Blake who got hit with the spiky thorns is throwing up, and it sounds really gross. Fortunately, he has a nurse on his team.

Break is over. There were lots of wild animal noises and it was freaking out some of the people because it sounded scary. The Yaxhu tribe started moving abit before daybreak. The Yaxhu tribe met up with the Nakum and that was surprising because originally Nakum was ahead of Yaxhu by alot. So then the Nakum tribe starting running. The Yaxhu tribe had to wait for their weakest players and wound up losing sight of the Nakum tribe. Bobby Jon on the Nakum tribe started to get bad cramps from dehydration. Fortunately, again, they had a nurse on their team. Nakum was surprised to see the experienced guy go down fast. So far, I am noticing alot of whiners. Nakum got to the river and their boats first, and they set out to reach the camp. As they were paddling, the Yaxhu tribe arrived, and realized they were so far behind and started pushing it. Nakum docks first. Judd stupidly leaped out of the boat too early and wound up in thick mud and had trouble getting out. Bobby Jon in the meantime was really sick from cramps from dehydration that he was a real impediment on the team and couldn't get out of the boat. Even with all that Nakum managed to get there first and got the better camp. The Yaxhu tribe gets sent off to the second and lesser camp, and still have a way to go. They get a map and get sent on their way.

After the break, we see Yaxhu paddling to their camp which was all the way across the lake. They don't have water or shelter, but get busy building it. Stephanie says that she is psyched because she is on a team that has heart and spirit. Rafe reminds me of Andy Dick, and I think will annoy me. Meanwhile we start seeing all the guys on the Nakum tribe vomitting. It seems that they are very dehyrated. The women appear to be fine. As I explained to my boyfriend, it's because Women are much better at stamina. Fortunately they have the nurse. So they got there first, but most of the guys were so sickly while the women were fine. Just goes to show you who the stronger sex is. The teams are up for their first challenge on Day 3. The challenge, all nine have to paddle out into the lake around a bouy. They grab a torch. When they get back, they have to drag the boat up the beach with the help of logs and a rope that four of the men tug on. As they clear the back log, they have to drag it to the front to keep the boat moving. It's just as the Mayas would have done it. Yaxhu has their torch first and turn around. They arrived at the beach almost at the same time. Stephanie had her foot caught under one of the logs. Nakum had a slight lead, but then Yaxhu started to take a big lead because they had teamwork. Yaxhu won and get immunity and get a flint to make fire. They get the immunity icon. Nakum has a tribal council that night and will vote someone out.

After the break, Nakum goes back to its camp. The heat seems to sap them, and Jim hurt himself, and snapped his left bicep muscle it seems. Nurse Margaret to the rescue. The women are talking about how they are the strongest on the team, and how Bobby Jon was the weakest. Brandon, the farmer, has questions about whether the sick men can take it. My boyfriend said that he would get rid of the old man, Jim, because obviously he will have problems. Blake, Jim, and Bobby Jon are the sickest and are on the line. Nakum has its council. They each light their torches. Bobby Jon said that he was never that beat down before and that not many get another chance at $1 million. Danni had a major mustache going on her lip. Judd said he was only sick for an hour so he is good to go. Meanwhile Jim is going to be a real problem because he has the torn bicep and has his arm in a sling. Blake is up first and quickly followed by the rest. The votes are tallied. Votes: Jim with 5 votes. I don't know if anyone else was voted for because the first five were for Jim. So Jim is the first person who is gone. Then we see Jim's wife saying she was proud of him and looking forward to their walks when Jim comes home.

Thursday, September 15, 2005 -- Afternoon

Duce Staley practiced with the Steelers yesterday, but probably won't be starting this coming Sunday. Bill Cowher has said that he wants to play it safe and use Staley for third down situations when he first comes back from his injury. That means that Willie Parker will be starting on Sunday. Meanwhile Ben Roethlisberger didn't practice, but folks aren't thinking too much about that one. Roethlisberger got banged up abit in the game last week, and the team is just taking procautions with him. His status is listed as probable.

While watching the live feeds of Big Brother, you can hear loud sounds of construction. I would imagine that the crew is building stands for the viewers who will be attending the live finale next Tuesday. Maggie is in alot of pain, and seems to be having alot of trouble moving around. It seems the second HOH competition must have been rough. Janelle is probably just as sore, and I hope that this does not affect her competition with Ivette on Friday. Ivette is telling Maggie that she has a feeling that she is going home and that she is okay with it. Maggie says no. I really do wonder who Janelle would pick if she won. I know that Ivette would be stupid enough to pick Maggie when that would doom Ivette to second place.

Thursday, September 15, 2005 -- Morning

I was out of it for a good portion of yesterday due to a bad headache, so I had to catch up with my daily dose of Big Brother by reading Joker's Updates. It seems that Janelle has won the second competition! I am really rooting for her to win the competition against Ivette because I really do not like Ivette at all! The question that I wonder about now is who should Janelle pick if she wins HOH? I think that Janelle stands a better chance to win against Ivette than Maggie because I don't think that April will vote for Ivette. However, you really can't tell with the Maggots. I would have to say that my inclination at this point is to go for Maggie so Ivette gets no money at all. Janelle might get second place, but that's not chump change.

I'm not the only one who would like to see a reality tv show centered on the Lemieux house in Sewickly. A local sports columnist, Gene Collier, would like to see the dynamics and interactions also. It seems that Sidney Crosby has the run of the second floor of the house (I would love to know how this house is laid out). It seems that a typical day sees Mario and Sidney getting up around the same time, breakfasting together and then heading off to practice. Mario has said that Sidney is a different person than Mario was when he came to Pittsburgh as an 18 year old in the 1980s. Mario really didn't speak English and was quieter and more reserved. Sidney is a native English speaker and is also fluent in French. It also seems that Sidney is outgoing and chatting up the other players. Mario has said that there will be no female sleepovers in his house, and I thought that was funny. As Collier says, it seems that it is a father son type relationship with Mario keeping his eye out for Sidney's well-being.

We have been hearing lots of stories about the flooding in New Orleans. Usually the finger of blame is pointed at the federal government as being responsible for all that has happened. According to the Louisiana governor and the New Orleans mayor, it is all Bush's fault for not giving money to the city to shore up the levees. You would think that the city didn't have money. So they shouldn't have had the funds to pay the New Orleans Saints $186.5 million to stay in the city. Hmm. Makes sense to me. Let's pay millions of dollars to keep our football team in the city, but screw the levees. That's the federal government's problem. If they don't give us the money, we just blame them when the levees break. That's what happened. Can you imagine that? $186.5 million to keep a football team in your city. This deal was made in 2001 and the state of Louisiana paid out $12 million in 2002 and $13 million in 2003 and then struggled to make payments in 2004 and 2005. The team is still owed $130 million, but since the city and state are probably not going to be able to pay the team, it will probably be looking elsewhere for a home. I just can't believe that the state decided to sell out its people for a team. Meanwhile the whole NFL gave $1 million to the victims of Katrina. Boy, talk about deep pockets, eh? The team gets over $50 million over the past few years, and the whole of the NFL can only come up with $1 million. If I were the people of New orleans, I would stop blasting Bush, and turn my fury on my state and city representatives who turned their backs on my needs, and didn't care about my safety. The only thing that is nice to finally hear is that the governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Blanco, is finally taking responsibility for the fiasco. The thing is that the mayor and governor did not have a plan, or at least didn't implement anything if they did. According to Michael Brown, the former FEMA head, Blanco was "incapable of organizing a coherent state effort". The issue of the levees should be addressed before rebuilding begins because it would be stupid to just duplicate the situation again. Unfortunately for Louisiana and New Orleans, its local representatives might be useless in that respect.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 -- Late Morning

There are some things that Mario Lemieux is not sure of. He's not sure if the Penguins will make it to the playoffs this year, although he is feeling pretty good about their chances. He's not sure if they will make it to the Stanley Cup, but again, there is a possibility. The one thing that Lemieux is sure of is that the Pens are going to lose money this year, even if the season is all home games are sold out. If the Pens make it to the second round of the playoffs, the team will have lost $7 million. This topic is being brought up again because some are thinking that just because tickets are being sold that the Pens' financial woes are over. The Pens still want and need a slots license to secure the funding that is needed to keep and maintain a hockey team in this town. Let's hope that they get it because if they don't, we will probably lose the team in 2007. The lease that the team has with Mellon Arena will expire in 2007, and the team will then be free to go to another city.

The Steelers have re-signed Charlie Batch and have let Nate Washington go. Washington is an interesting story. He is an undrafted player from a small school in Ohio who tried out for the team, made it, and performed decently in the pre-season. If Washington is not signed by another team today, the Steelers will sign him up for their practice squad. I think that will be good for Nate because he really seems like a hard worker, and I wish the best for him.

Bill Cowher has been taking things slowly this year as he did last year. His attitude is to take each game at a time and not look too far down the road. Yesterday at his press conference, reporters tried to get him to comment about playing the Patriots in a few weeks time and Cowher refused. He also wasn't too excited about the win this past weekend. As Cowher said, he knew there were things that the defense and offense needed to work on, and things weren't quite where he wanted them. I can see what he means about the defense because there were some first downs that were made that the defense should have held up. Yes we won, but it might be different if we played a stronger offense. Anything thing that I think folks here in Pittsburgh are getting carried away with is Willie Parker's performance in the first game. One game does not make a champion. Let's see how he does all season before we start calling him the greatest player. Folks are so quick to throw someone up on a pedestal and just as quick in ripping the guy down. Let's take a deep breath and follow Cowher's suggestion to take the games one at a time and slowly build a season.

Shaq is at it again! This weekend, he noticed a man who yelled anti-gay slurs and threw a bottle at a gay couple walking down the street in Miami. Shaq followed the man in his car and flagged down an officer who was then able to arrest the man for his actions. Shaq hopes to be a police officer one day, and was already working with the Miami police on fulfilling that goal when the incident happened. Shaq is the man, and I really do have alot of admiration for him.

The Japanese launched a spacecraft abit over two years ago that has finally reached its target. The spacecraft is the Hayabusa and is investigating an asteroid named Itokawa. The spacecraft is now observing the asteroid and will at some point land on the asteroid, grab a sample and then return the sample to Earth. The sample should return to Earth in the summer of 2007. We are hoping to get a better understanding of the formation of the solar system by doing more research on asteroids.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 -- Early Morning

The first competition is over and Ivette is the winner. It seems that Janelle fell off of the dial after four hours. Ivette and Maggie were discussing who would fight against Janelle in the next competition when Maggie fell off of the dial. Ivette was then given the combination to the last safe and when she opened it, she was informed that her prize was outside in the backyard. The prize? Two motor scooters. No word yet on when the second competition will be, but I am assuming it will be today and that the final will be tomorrow. The last houseguest to be evicted will then be booted on Friday evening at 8 pm.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 -- Evening

Tonight is live eviction night on Big Brother. The next episode will not be broadcast until Saturday, and the finale will be next Tuesday. The show, of course, started with the usual recap of events. It's day 73 in the Big Brother house. Ivette said that she knew that she and Maggie would be nominated. Ivette asked Maggie if she thought Janelle said meant the bit about Ivette being a strong player, and Maggie said yes. Ivette says reality is that Janelle would not put up April. Ivette tells Maggie that the two of them played the game the same way. Ivette is now saying that the closer she gets, the more she has to play for the money. Ivette is worried about the whole conversation between Janelle and April. Ivette thinks that April is doing things that she said she wouldn't for money. She calls April a manipulator. Maggie says that what she does with Ivette and April is to say a listener and not give opinions. Meanwhile April tells Maggie not to fight for the veto so it can be a fight between her and Ivette. Maggie tells Ivette that April said she would take Maggie. Ivette says that's not cool. Maggie reminds Ivette that Ivette has told Maggie the same thing. Ivette says "I haven't lately". The look on Maggie's face makes her realize that the Maggots will turn on each other. Meanwhile back at the Jury house, Howie is arriving. Rachel says that since Beau and James arrived, it has been a division again. Rachel dreaded it being Howie. Howie first thanks James for the lucky underwear. Howie said that it looks wonderful there. They all have a drink of champagne and then watch the video of the show. Rachel made a comment about Maggie not really knowing the tie breaker question in the HOH competition. James replies that Maggie is throwing the game and Beau gives him this look of "bitch". But James is right. Maggie threw the game. James said that Ivette must have been disappointed to know that Maggie had no faith in Ivette. Then Rachel makes a comment about Ivette being jealous of Janelle. Jennifer gives her a look and comments in a DR that everyone is really hating each other in the jury house.

After the break, we find out about the power of veto competition. There is a table with faces in four different sections and circles and buzzers. The competition is the Missing Link. They each have an identical chain of covered clues. They pull up the cover of each clue and have to place the face of the houseguests on both sides. They have to completely fill out the chain, then hit the buzzer. If it is wrong, they have to redo it. The first person to finish wins. The person's face had to match both clues on other side of them. April knew that it was going to be difficult because there were multiple answers to the questions. Janelle knew that it would be an advanced game that April would not do well at. Maggie kept on hitting the button every thirty seconds. Ivette knew that Janelle was going to be working it. April was really struggling. Janelle had eight faces right. Then Ivette got it, and started freaking out. She started screaming and running around and pounding the ground. Maggie was happy for Ivette and sad for herself for not doing better. Ivette starts screaming out about being in the final three, and April thought it was really rude and started crying. April and Maggie are in the exercise room. Then Ivette comes in to the room, and says that she is sorry if Maggie and April are mad. April explains that she thought Ivette was rude with her screaming knowing that one of them was leaving. Ivette thought she should be jumping up with joy because she saved her ass. April tries to explain that she would not have done that because it was going to be hard on the other two. Ivette said that she would give them alone time. Then April said, Ivette is always right, so there's nothing you can say. April goes to the HOH room and Janelle follows her to comfort her. Janelle agreed that Ivette should have been more composed for April's feelings. Janelle said that she was concerned for April because it was strategy and getting a vote. April said that everyone needs the money, and she is not going to vote for Ivette because she needs the money. Ivette has been going on about getting all the money now. April said that if Ivette picks Janelle, she would vote for Janelle. So Janelle wants Ivette at the end with her. April and Ivette talk in the HOH room. Ivette says that April doesn't know what it is like to have your ass on the line. April says that Ivette should have been less rude. Ivette tells April that April should have realized how it would feel to Ivette hearing that April didn't want Maggie to fight for the veto.

Break is over. Ivette says that the only thing good about the veto was saving yourself. Ivette won it for her family. She calls everyone into the living room. Ivette says that she has been very misunderstood in the game and winning the veto has brought out the ugly side of some people. Ivette says that she is using the veto to save herself. Janelle then has to put April up for nomination and says that she is sorry. Maggie and April grasp hands. Ivette is acting very bitter. We see Ivette just sitting outside and looking. Ivette says that her family would never forgive her if she didn't use it. April tries to explain her reaction and how she has been thinking of the game. April says that she knows Ivette would get mad, but April felt that she made alot of decisions by listening to Ivette. Ivette says to Maggie that she knew that April was going to blame her. April says that she felt that she made decisions based on information from Ivette. Janelle comes down for the HOH room and looks outside to see Ivette screaming at April. April says that Ivette never listens to her. Ivette says that if April won the veto, she would not be going through this epiphany. April says that she hasn't been enjoying the past few weeks. April says that hanging around Ivette hasn't been making her feel good lately. Ivette continues to scream at her, and says that she liked April and that is why she hung around her. Maggie just watches speechlessly. Ivette yells and won't let April talk. Ivette then tells April that if she wanted the veto, April could shove it up her ass. April said that she made alot of decisions because Ivette didn't like Kaysar or Janelle. Ivette says that she and April would not be friends outside of the house. Ivette then goes to cry. It was a great fight, with Ivette just screaming and talking over April because that's how Ivette is. Julie comments on the friendship turning on each other, and we join Janelle in the HOH. Janelle said that she made it that far by playing the best game that she could to move herself forward each week. Janelle said that she definitely did cause a huge fight between April and Ivette. She wanted the Maggots to turn on each other and succeeded. April is going to go back to the jury house and tell everyone how Ivette treated her. Now Julie is giving Janelle a houseguests name and wants the first word that comes to Janelle's mind. Maggie: quiet. Ivette: loud, April: talkative. Janelle is very giggly and pleasant.

After the break, we get to find out who Ivette is sending home, like it is any secret. Ivette is looking like a bitch as she sits there on the couch. It is time for Ivette's decision. Both Maggie and April get to speak. Maggie says that there is no good reason for one to stay over the other and that all four have been playing the game and all deserve to be there and everyone is an incredible person. April says that she is happy to be where she is at. April said that she would never campaign against Maggie and wishes everyone luck. I thought that Maggie gave a really nice speech. Ivette now casts her vote and says that each has played a part in where she is at. Ivette is close to tears and says that she would not wish this on her worst enemy. She evicts April and says that she is so sorry and then Ivette starts crying crocodile tears. Everyone gives April a hug. April says good bye to the fish and tells everyone that she loves them. I think that Ivette was trying to win over April's vote, but I don't think that she will get it. Then April trips coming down the steps. Classic April! Ivette stops crying instantly and brushes away the crocodile tears. Maggie is crying too. Julie asks about their closeness. April thinks that Ivette's choice was strategic and personal. April believes that Ivette and Maggie are closer friends, and that she and Ivette butted heads. April said that she took things too seriously in the house and should have had more fun. April is blaming everything on the house. April thought that Ivette was sweet, and that April apologized for the past few days. Julie asks about Ivette influencing April. April says that she wouldn't blame her actions on Ivette, but listening over and over and over to things that April did things that she normally wouldn't do. Now the good-bye messages. Janelle said that she enjoys April's company and is glad that she talked to April. Ivette said that she is sorry that she brought out the worst in April and made her do things she wouldn't do that Ivette is confused about. Maggie said they wouldn't be sad and they would remember the laughter and the good times. Maggie said she fell in love with April the first day. April gets teary eyed and said that she thinks they all deserve the money. Surprisingly, Maggie was quite mature and nice today in all of her speeches. I won't be rooting for her. My choice at this point for final two are Janelle and Ivette because Janelle would beat Ivette. Although I really don't want Ivette to get any money, so I would have to say that the final two should be Maggie and Janelle even though that means that Janelle would probably get second place.

The HOH competition begins. All three head out to the back yard. Tonight is only the first of three competitions. The game is the Key to Being Safe. Each has to balance on the raised rim of the dial of a huge safe setup and hold onto the key that is above her head. The one who holds on the longest wins the first part of the competition. Each grabs their keys and stands on the dial. They must hold on with at least one hand. The game begins. The two who don't win will compete in another competition. Then the winners of the two competitions will compete against each other on a live show this coming Friday live at 8 am. I was wrong earlier. There is no show on Saturday. And then the finale is this coming Tuesday.

We come back from break for a few minutes. The winner of this competition receives the combo to the final safe in the gold room. Julie then says "this is the summer of secrets and we do have a final spin." At that point, the dial they are standing are starts to slowly move. And that is how the show ends!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 -- Afternoon

News on the Penguins front. Brooks Orpik decided to take that take it or leave it deal. There is no word on what the terms of the contract are. The rumor is that it is a one year deal for $600,000. I would take that deal. Of course, it's not enough to live on for a lifetime, but with good investment and a few more years of work, Orpik should be a-okay.

The big news in my mind is that Mike Lange has been signed by FSN Pittsburgh, the local sports channel, to announce the Penguins games. I love Mike Lange's commentaries. He's the guy who came up with the quotes "scratch my back with a hacksaw" and "Elvis has left the building". Okay, I don't know if he is the originator, but he uses those sorts of comments all the time when announcing the games. He's a nice guy and very knowledgeable about hockey. It will be nice to have him in his usual seat during the games.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 -- Morning

It seems that 40 elderly people were found dead in a hospital in New Orleans. The part of the story that disturbs me is that the deaths are being attributed to the Hurricane even though one administrator said that some of the deaths had occured before the Hurricane, and that the bodies were being held until they could be claimed by relatives. Another administrator said that "some" of the deaths may have been due to the Hurricane. Doesn't matter. The whole number is attributed to Katrina. Why? Because it works for the agenda of boosting the death count. It's moves like this that makes me really question the agenda of the media and government officials. I wonder how many people are so gullible to just swallow whole the stories that they are feed by the media. I would imagine that some people want to believe what they are told because it fits in with their preconceived prejudices. The death toll (counting all of this 40) is now at 280 for the state of Louisiana, which is a far mark from the minimum of 10,000 that the state initially claimed.

Brooks Orpik still hasn't signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins yet and isn't sure just what he will do. Eventually, he is sure that he will re-sign with the Pens, but isn't really happy with the "take it or leave it" deal that was offered to him last week. I would imagine that if the deal is a true "take it or leave it" one that there really isn't much choice. Perhaps Orpik (or more likely his agent) doesn't believe that the offer really is a final one. That could be a tricky game to play.

The NHL has made a $100 million deal with XM Satelite Radio to broadcast games. The deal will be for 10 years and will start in 2007. At that point, XM will have the exclusive rights to the games. XM will have a station that will be dedicated to hockey. Things are really looking up for the league.

Monday, September 12, 2005 -- Evening

Tomorrow is going to be live eviction night on Big Brother. It's going to be April because Ivette used the power of veto to save herself. The house has been boring on the side. The only action has been the Maggots engaging in petty jealousy. They still are having issues with Janelle winning prizes and America's Choice. Also, April just keeps on going on and on about America hating them. Well, it's not endearing her to us by hearing her constant whines. There were some major power outages in LA today, and it affected the Big Brother house resulting in fish for awhile.

In Gaza today, Mahmoud Abbas showed he didn't have alot of control over the Palestinian population when the people flooded into the areas recently vacated by the Israelis. Synogagues were set on fire and the Egyptian/Gaza border was stormed by Palestinians on both sides of the border. Egyptian soldiers had to fire on the crowds to control the masses at one point and one person wound up dead. We will have to see how things progress. Right now, news reporters were talking to Palestinians who said that this was a victory for terrorism. As one person sais, Sharon said that areas of Gaza were as important as Tel Aviv. If the Palestinians now have Gaza, have much longer before they have Tel Aviv? According to the guy interviewed on television, it won't be long as long as the terrorism increases. My boyfriend was saying that Sharon did the right thing because now it will show that Abbas doesn't have control over his people. Personally, I don't think that will happen. I'm not sure why folks are so blatantly against anything that Israel does, especially when Israel is held to a totally different standard than any other country in the world. For example, a Palestinian terrorist blows up a bus of civilians, and we are told that we should understand the feelings of the terrorist and how oppressed he was. Israel targets a terrorist leader and kills him, and evil Israel. We must condemn the nation. Do you see a problem here? I sure do. You really have to wonder if this double standard is the result of a unspoken anti-Semitism. I'm sure that the folks that mouth these views would say they have nothing against Jewish people. All I have to say is actions speak louder than words.

Javon Walker of the Green Bay Packers tore his ACL and is going to be out for the rest of the season. The controversy here is that Walker's contract is up in a year and he was trying to renegotiate his deal. Well, Brett Favre put his two cents into mix and said that Walker should show up for training camp. Walker did. Favre was applauded because he showed his leadership role and got one of his teammates to show up to camp. Meanwhile Walker said that he did it to show that he was worth the money that he wanted. Well, well. Now Walker is injured and gosh knows what he will be like after this. The only thing that one can say is that this is probably going to affect Walker's salary in a negative way. So, Favre--it's nice that you got your teammate to play without a contract renewal. Are you going to pony up some bucks to cover what Walker lost because of his injury?

Monday, September 12, 2005 -- Late Morning

Fans are really excited over the Steelers' win yesterday. The offense did a great job that was totally unexpected based on the performances in the pre-season. The defense looked shaky at first allowing a touchdown, but managed to get their act together and hold the Titans to a big goose egg after that. Everyone, both locally and nationally, have been enthusing over Willie Parker. He got 161 yards rushing which puts Parker at number 12 for the most ever rushing yards in a game by a Steeler. In addition to that he also got another 48 yards from the screen pass. Parker didn't even play the entire game, so goodness knows what he could have done. There was no need to risk injuring him though when we were so far ahead.

Rico Fata is happy to be in training camp for the Pittsburgh Penguins this year. He had a bout with testicular cancer earlier in the year, but seems to have recovered nicely. Everyone is hoping this will be a great year for the Pens, and there are some stories that are up for consideration. Who will be the second goaltender? Who will be the second center? It is already assumed that Sidney Crosby will be the center on the first line. Of course, this is all depending on how the training camp goes. How will the young defensemen on the team do, and will any make the official starting lineup? What will the third and fourth lines look like? It will be interesting to see how these story lines play out over the season. My biggest concern is Eddie Olczyk because I'm not as sure of his coaching abilities. The team was getting much better at the end of the last regular season, and I think that was a result of both the players and coach gaining experience and confidence.

We turned Hubble on our own solar system, and have a new color map of Pluto. The interesting parts are the areas that are assumed to be methane frost and frozen carbon monoxide. The information was gathered over 12 orbits, and it took two years of computer processing to get the final map. Meanwhile another team worked on getting precise measurements of Pluto's moon, Charon, during lunar eclipses. Scientists are now using the information gathered from Hubble with information data from the 1980s. The question on astronomers minds is whether Pluto deserves the classification of planet.

In what I consider a bizarre story, Prince Albert of Monaco is saying that he was tricked into fatherhood. His claim is that the woman, Nicole Coste, set him up. No real details are given on how this happened, but I do have to wonder about it. Is his claim that he was drugged and then wasn't fully aware of his actions when he had sex with her? It's the only thing that I can think of. I would hope that he isn't claiming that she told him she couldn't get pregnant. No man should be that stupid to believe any woman who says that unless he has proof. The thing that I have found hardest to believe in this whole affair is that Albert actually had sex with a woman. There were many rumors that he was gay. After all, not many men make it to 47 without ever having a serious girlfriend. Albert claims that he has had difficulty finding women because the women are scared away at the thought of trying to fill the shoes of Princess Grace (Albert's mother and former film actress Grace Kelly), and Albert has been frightened of the responsibility of finding that perfect someone. Now he says he's just too busy to go bride hunting. I'm sure that Caroline is breathing a sigh of relief because that means that she or her son, Andrea, will then become ruler of Monaco when Albert dies.

Sunday, September 11, 2005 -- Evening

Roger Federer beat Andre Agassi a few minutes ago. The final score was 6-3, 2-6, 7-6, 6-1. It's amazing that Agassi was able to get as far as he did, and he has nothing of which to be ashamed.

Sunday, September 11, 2005 -- Early Evening

So far, the actual number of deaths in Louisiana is much lower than the original amounts that political flacks and the vulturous media were claiming. Right now the number for the state is 154 dead. That's a good deal off the 10,000 that were originally blared by the media and the mayor of New Orleans. I think that in this situation, there was a rush to judgement and finger pointing that was unparalleled. Some people really hate Bush and are extremely quick to blame him for all the woes that exist on the planet. Cloudy day in your neighborhood? Must be Bush's fault. Yes, things did not go smoothly with the evacuation and the levees were not maintained in such a way to miminize the type of problem that we saw in New Orleans. Is that Bush's fault? No. I would find more fault with the local authorities than with Bush. The most irritating thing is that the media plays up points because it is in the media's best interests to do so. It raises ratings for them to show suffering and it is within their political agenda to quickly place blame without taking a full accounting of the situation and the response. More people could have been evacuated from the city IF looters were running rampant in the first few days of the Hurricane. I call that a people issue because the lootings were of food for starving children, but of clothes, electronics, jewelry and other unedibles by people who are the lowest common denominator--base criminals who prey on others misfortune. Some people find fault with Bush replying "what were the problems?" to Nancy Pelosi when she said there problems with the evacuation. I noticed that her reply was that Bush was oblivious. I noticed that she didn't clearly detail and outline the failings and how they could have been better handled. It's not in Ms. Pelosi's political agenda. I would have no respect for a president who instantly just said things were totally bad when there may have been reasons and conditions outside of the federal government's control. Also, there may have been things that went right. You'll notice that the problem area was mostly New Orleans, and that things went more smoothly in other areas. All I say is that at this time we should first make sure that things are being fixed, then do a careful audit of what did go wrong and why. Let's drop the political agendas and actually care about doing what is right and what will make future situations better. Don't fall into the trap of buying hook, line and sinker political propoganda that is spewed by those who have something to gain from getting the public to buy a certain lie. Personally, I would doubt most of the things that the mayor of New Orleans has to say because he is so quick to foist blame on others without taking a modicum of reponsibility himself.

The men's final is now being played in Flusing Meadow, and the sets are tied between Roger Federer and Andre Agassi. Agassi just won the second set, and the score is 3-6, 6-2. This should be a good match.

Sunday, September 11, 2005 -- Afternoon

Roethlisberger wasn't able to convert so we had to resort to a field goal. Fortunately, Jeff Reed was able to make the score a 44 yard field goal and we now lead by a score of 10-7.

Thank goodness! The Titans weren't able to convert either, and their kicker, Bironas, was not able to score a field goal. For some reason, kickers have trouble making the mark in Heinz Field. Folks claim that it is because there are swirling winds in the field because of the one end being open to give a good view of the point. I have to admit that the field is a gorgeous one, and the view is terrific. It just sucks if you are a kicker.

Shocker! On the first play after the missed kick, Roethlisberger threw a 63 yard pass to Antwaan Randle El who ran it in for a touchdown. Score in the second quarter is now 17-7. Roethlisberger has had two touchdown passes in the game. Well, it just goes to show that pre-season means nothing.

Troy Polamalu just made an interception with 5:40 left in the second quarter. The guy is a real play maker. The interception was in the Titans red zone. The Steelers are really doing well. Willie Parker is also doing well with 10 carries for 48 yards.

Again, we got down within touchdown range, but couldn't convert. Jeff Reed just scored a 27 yard field goal, and we lead 20-7 at halftime.

After the half time, the Steelers came back, and Willie Parker ran in another touchdown. This time it was for 11 yards, and so far for the day, Parker has 100 yards. Jeff Reed made the extra point.

Willie Parker is doing an excellent job this game. He has 161 yards so far this game, and there are still abit over three minutes left in the third quarter. Right now, we are down by six yard line, and close to another touchdown. Verron Haynes just ran the ball in for a touchdown. The score is 34-7. So far, the Steelers offense has scored in one fashion or another every time they had the ball. That's pretty good. This particular run was a total of 80 yards.

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Roethlisberger was sitting on the sidelines with some ice on his left hand. The sports announcers don't know what is up. They think that it was because of a bad snap that caused Roethlisberger to go down with the ball and have folks pile up on him from the left side.

Joey Porter just sacked Steve McNair, and the ball came loose and the Steelers recovered. I've never seen so many defense guys charge a quarterback. You know that McNair had no chance.

We didn't score off of the other interception, but we just had another interception by Ricardo Colclough. It's his first career interception. Tommy Maddox is now playing in the game. I think they want to make sure that Roethlisberger doesn't get too hurt and since we have such a larger lead with less than three minutes to play, they are giving Maddox some time. Two minute warning.

The game is over and the Steelers have won with a final score of 34-7. This was quite a surprising game for me and showed how little you can tell by the pre-season performance. Roethlisberger was on the mark this afternoon, and the offense played like a well oiled machine. The defense did a great job of putting pressure on the Titans, and they made some good plays with the interceptions. I think that my player of the game was Willie Parker who really showed that he has the stuff. I was quite pleasantly surprised by the performance of the team as a whole. Of course, the Titans really don't have a very good team this year. In two weeks time, we will be playing the New England Patriots. I'd like to see how we do then before I start revising my predictions for the year.

Sunday, September 11, 2005 -- Early Afternoon

Today is the Steelers first game of the season. They are playing the Tennessee Titans. The Titans have the ball first and drew first blood by scoring a touchdown. The score is now 7-0 with the first 6 minutes of the game gone. I'll have periodic updates on the game throughout the afternoon. One news item on the Steelers front is that Charlie Batch was released to make room for a rookie replacement for Clark Haggans who is injured. I think that the release of Batch was a big mistake because you know that one of the teams who don't have a quarterback of note will pick him up. We shouldn't put all of our eggs in the Tommy Maddox basket because I don't think that Ben Roethlisberger will be doing well. One of the local sportscasters has commented on Bill Cowher isn't known for having good opener games. It seems that he has a history of losing the first game of the season--we are 6-7 in opening games.

One person that I really admire is Shaquille O'Neal. The guy goes out of his way to give to the community. The latest story is that Shaq has collected together a truckload of supplies for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in both Louisianna and Mississippi. He thought that he needed to do something other than just give money. So he went back to Florida and he and his wife organized a collection, loaded up the trucks personally, and are driving them to the folks that need them. The only concern that Shaq's wife has is that the local authorities in the states will unload and distribute the items, and she doesn't think that they will get the folks who need it with any great speed. I really admire Shaq because he gives money and time, and really seems to be a caring person. He does his Shaq O'Claus bit for poor kids in LA where he gets truckloads of presents to personally hand out to the kids at Christmas. We need more people in the world like Shaq. Instead, we hear from the NFL that manages to only contribute $8 million for the victims. That is a spit in the bucket compared to the amount that the players, owners and teams in general make from the public.

The Steelers just scored a touchdown. Heath Miller caught a pass in the end zone. The game is now tied at 7-7.

Mark Messier may be retiring. The announcement is expected tomorrow. Messier has had an outstanding career and is now 44 years old which is old for someone in hockey.

Yesterday at the US Open Kim Clijsters won the women's final against Mary Pierce. The score was 6-3, 6-1. The match ended shortly before the Big Brother show was broadcast last night. This is the first Grand Slam win for Clijsters. Meanwhile Andre Agassi won his semi-final yesterday, and will meeting Roger Federer later today in the men's final. Federer still has Lleyton Hewitt's number and beat Hewitt in the semi-final yesterday. Hewitt beat Federer in eight of their first ten matches, but lately has lost nine straight matches to Federer.

There was a turnover in the Steeler game, and we got the ball from the Titans. Maybe the team will show me and have a much better year than I thought they would. I hope that they do because I would love to be proved wrong!

Saturday, September 10, 2005 -- Evening

Tonight the Big Brother episode started at 10 pm because of the US Open. It started with the usual recap. Ivette said that she didn't regret her decision to get rid of Howie. April said that Howie had great personality and thinks that she is the girl version of Howie. Really? Janelle said that Howie was her cheerleader and it was awful to see him leave. Ivette said that Howie is a funny guy, but she won't miss his interactions with Janie. They all gathered to see Howie's picture go grey. Janelle said that it's weird being the only one left of the alliance and that it is now three against one. Janelle yelled out to Howie because he wanted her to win HOH so badly. Maggie had nothing to say other than that they should have evicted her in week one. She is such a poor sport. Ivette said that Janelle was pretty much hated and put up for eviction, and yet still keeps playing. April said that Janelle won it fair and square. Janelle keeps on about the being in the final three. April talks to her while Maggie hangs her head. April tells Maggie that she feels so bad. Maggie says that it is the worst case scenario. Goodie! As Janelle says this is the Maggots' worst nightmare because they are going to have to vote against each other. Ivette says that it won't be pretty in her DR confession. Ivette says that it will be a fight to stay. She says that she loves the other Maggots but some claws will be coming out this week. Maggie says that she got this far and it sucks if she has to go home now, and she really doesn't want it to get ugly. April realizes that one of them will be the only person voting who will have to vote their own out. It's great. April is going to talk to Janelle later to find out what she wants. April doesn't think that Janelle wants Ivette to stay. Maggie thinks that everyone has gotten horny, but that April is the worst of them all. We then see scenes of April talking non-stop about sex. April says that it will be like they are virgins again. April says that she wants to look at her husband and applaud him. Janelle then gets her HOH room, and invites them all up. She gets a ton of M&Ms. Janelle also got a photo from her high school friend. Maggie said that the Maggots have always talked about their families and dogs, and it was nice to see that Janelle had those things too. I guess that Maggie thinks that Janelle just sprouted from the ground. What an ass! We also see a cute picture of Janelle's black pomeranian, Cupcake. Janelle says that Cupcake is very photogenic. Janelle invited the three girls to sleep with her. She says that she would die though if they brought Eric's picture. Ivette thinks that Howie told her to be nice to the Maggots. They say that doesn't make any difference in how they feel about her. As April says it's either two of them or one of them and Janelle at the end.

After the break, Ivette says that she is dying to be a mom while talking to Janelle. They both realize that they have something in common. Janelle always looks up baby names and loves Isabel. Ivette seems to look for baby stuff, and so does Janelle. Janelle says that she is good with kids because she acts like a kid. Janelle says it's nice to daydream. Janelle also thought it was nice to share something like that with Ivette--that they have soemthing in common. Meanwhile the Maggots did not go to the HOH room. Maggie said that it wasn't in their schedule because Janelle stays up late. Besides they want to talk about stuff at night that she doesn't want to share with Janelle. Maggie says that losing Eric was really hard, and that their alliance has lasted a long time. April says that their alliance has dominated, which it has. April said that it was because they enjoyed each other's company. Maggie thinks that what they did was groundbreaking. Talk about mush. Then Janelle came in and interrupted. April said that Janelle made it to final three and doesn't care who goes with her. Ivette says that Janelle never gets nervous, but Janelle said that she does. Janelle says that the reason she is warming up to the Nerd Herd is not because she likes them but because Ivette told Howie that Janelle has an evil heart. Janelle's purpose is to show that she does have a good heart. Janelle is thinking about the journey now, and is hoping that if she creates dissention between the Maggots she might win votes. Ivette had to admit in DR that Janelle is actually human and is really confused about her now. The only thing that I have to say is what sort of people are the Maggots to think that Janelle is not human or has family, etc. They really have done her a disservice. Maggie, the head Maggot, says that Janelle can be nice but chooses to be evil. Ivette says that Janelle is being nice to get their votes and Maggie says that it is too late for that.

After the commercial break, it is time for America's Choice. We see the guys from Two and a Half Men on the plasma screen in the BB living room. It is just to promote the show really. The show is a funny one, and I have watched it a few times. Far too many clips were shown, and they would cut to the houseguests to show them laughing. Everyone thinks it is Ivette. Of course it is Janelle. A limo is waiting for her outside. Janelle is all excited about going out. Janelle said that she was floored after being told she was America's Choice again. Maggie said something about Janelle giving away the plasma tv or trip to the Bahamas. Janelle giggled and said, no. Janelle is blindfolded and sent out to go on her adventure. April says afterward that she feels like a crappy person. Her mom raised her well, but what does she have to do. April starts crying and says that no one in America loves her. Ivette says "are you going to tell me that America doesn't love an ER nurse or a country girl from Texas?" And April says to Ivette, "and there's you--how could someone not love you?" Ivette says that she is constantly doing unselfish acts. Ivette says that she talks about her family constantly, and the Maggots have these hearts. Bitter, jealous women. Janelle said that she's sure that they are talking about it. Ivette says that it bothers her that Kaysar got voted back in and that Janelle got the phone call from Michael and now this. April says that Janelle is a cocktail waitress and then Ivette and Maggie join in the bashing--Maggie says that Janelle gets rewarded for her bad behavior. Ivette says that one girl is taking on the three of them and beating them. April then says that SHE has never said she hated anyone in the house--as we see film of April saying that she hates Rachel, Howie and Ivette and several others. Ivette is also saying that she hates Janelle and that Janelle doesn't deserve anything at all. She claims that the only reason Janelle has gotten anything is from lying and hiding behind strong people. Of course that doesn't explain how Janelle won HOH twice and the veto. But the petty, jealous bitches have no reason. Ivette says that Janelle has no morals and not a bit of a soul, and she refuses to reward Janelle for that. April asks how America can like a girl--and then asks if they are taping this, which Maggie has to remind her that it is being taped. We then see Janelle arrive at Two and a Half Men. The little kid gives her the tour of the stage. It seems the stage has a working refrigerator. Then we go back to April griping about how she has a job, but Janelle doesn't. They have incredible jobs and Janelle just talks about sex, drugs and alcohol. The three Maggots really, really come across as very petty, jealous, bitchy, spoiled sports. We then see Ivette's girlfriend say that she likes Janelle. April tries to rationalize it saying that the Maggots don't care about Janelle winning all this stuff. They are just concerned about their families having to fight for them being good people. As April says, they must not look good to America. Then we see happy, pleasant Janelle at the taping. Everyone was applauding her, and she got to meet Charlie Sheen. He asked some questions about the show which makes it obvious he doesn't watch the show. Janelle then gets to sit in the audience and watch the show. At the end, Janelle shows us the shirt and says that she will wear it when she goes back to make the Nerd Herd more jealous of her. Then Janelle goes into the limo and in DR says that she appreciates America being so nice to her. The Maggots ask her how it was, and she tells them how wonderful it was and shows them the shirt. Janelle said that she didn't know if the Maggots were excited to see her, but she was excited to rub it in their faces. That's also not good sportsmanship. April asks if Charlie Sheen was cute. Janelle says that old people were telling her that "we love you Janie". Maggie thought that it was something that they called her Janie. April sighs in jealousy. It is funny to see the Maggots reaction.

Another commercial break is over. We then see Janelle, April and Maggie sitting out by the pool and talking about girl stuff, and April says that she would seek Janelle out to talk about girl stuff. The camera fixates on Janelle squeezing her boobs and putting sound effects with it. Janelle says that she doesn't feel close to them because she knows that they hate her so much. Janelle says that she is going to get another breast implant down to make them more natural. Maggot acts superior and keeps on asking "why? I don't understand". April then says that she had alot of plastic surgery, but she did it for cosmetic reasons and not because she felt insecure or had low self-esteem. Can we say hypocrite? I hope that someone takes the Maggots aside and shows them their hypocritical remarks and comments on the hypocrisy. And please alert them to their pettiness and poor sportsmanship at the same time. Maggie says that she had a friend have breast implants and it looked painful. Maggie goes on and on about surgeries and how dangerous they are. Maggie says in the DR that she is not a huge supporter of vanity. April and Janelle keep on poking their boobs and the BB producers play boing sounds. Janelle and April talk in the bathrrom. Janelle asks if April wanted to talk to her. Janelle says that she would put Maggie and Ivette up and asks April if she would vote Ivette off. April asks if that is what Janelle wants her to do. Janelle replies that she thinks that is what April would want to do. Janelle said that she wanted to talk to April alone in the HOH room because April talks too much and gives out way too much information. Also, she knows that Maggie and Ivette would think that she and April cut a deal. We then cut to Maggie and Ivette in the backyard, and Maggie says even if April promises Janelle to take Janelle to final two, she wouldn't. Ivette says that the deal could be to vote Ivette off, and Maggie says "and that will get her to the final two?" Ivette says that it knocks Ivette off. Maggie said that April wouldn't make a deal like that. Maggie thinks that Janelle is trying to get information from April. Janelle asks who Maggie would take to then end, and April claims that she doesn't know. We then cut again to Maggie and Ivette with Maggie saying that she never made a deal outside of the Maggots--well, at least she never made one that she kept. Ivette said that she never made a deal. Ivette says that she not talk to Janelle alone, and didn't like April talking to Janelle alone. Ivette sees it as April and Janelle against Ivette and Maggie. Janelle says that she doesn't want April in trouble for the other two thinking April and Janelle have a deal. Ivette says that Janelle is a smooth talker, and Maggie and Ivette are commenting on how long April has been talking to Janelle. Maggie says that there is no deal that can be made and nothing that can hurt them. Maggie said that April can't make that deal because it would cost her the money. April is screwed now, and probably doesn't realize it.

After the break, April comes downstairs. She was upstairs for 40 minutes in the HOH room. April tells them that Janelle didn't tell her anything or make any deals. She said that Janelle was just trying to find out who each person would take with them. Maggie asks April if she told Janelle anything, and April says no. From what we say, April did just keep on saying "I don't know". The thing is that Maggie and especially Ivette don't believe her. Ivette says that April has gone out of her way to be friendly to Janelle so April would go further in the game and get closer to the money. Maggie--acting like the superior bitch--says that Janelle never called her or Ivette up and her relationship is different with April. Maggie says that Janelle feels that she can talk about the game with April. April says that she says hello to her, and that Janelle probably felt that she could talk to April because April is just one of those people. Maggie sees April's conversation with Janelle as a problem and that it hurt Maggie in the game. It is now nomination time. April sees it as part of the game. Janelle is putting up two folks to split up the three. Maggie says the only chance is to win the veto. Ivette would love to win the game and knows that Janelle is HOH. Janelle says that she knows that April and Ivette have partners in the jury and that could influence the vote. It is time for the nomination ceremony. Janelle says that they should be all proud to be the final four. Janelle says that she felt like an outcast in the house and felt attacked. Maggie smirks at her. Janelle pulls out April's key. Maggie and Ivette are on the block. Janelle says that she nominated Ivette for purely strategic reasons because Ivette is strong and doesn't give herself enough credit. She also says that it isn't for personal reasons with Maggie. Maggie claims that it was all lies. Ivette says that no one was nice to Janelle because she brought it on herself. April said that if she sends Maggie home that April has a better chance to win. Janelle says that there are some people that she wants to win it and others that she doesn't want to win. The eviction episode is this coming Tuesday.

From the live feeds, Ivette has won the veto. I'm not sure how that will play out, but she will probably send April home. The thing that would make more sense is to send Maggie home, but Ivette won't do that because Maggie has been threatening April and Ivette that if she is sent home (to the jury) that the "Friendship" won't vote for someone who goes against the "Friendship". There is something eerie about this group.

Saturday, September 10, 2005 -- Afternoon

There is confirmation that Janelle made it to the set of Two and a Half Men. I'm cheering Janelle on to the final two. Yes, she has won alot of the prizes during the past Big Brother season, but I think that she deserves it.

Saturday, September 10, 2005 -- Morning

From what I have been able to tell, Maggie and Ivette are definitely nominated for eviction. Also, I was reading a post on JokersUpdates from someone who claims that Janelle was at the filming of Two and a Half Men. The Maggots refuse to believe that Janelle is actually liked by folks outside of the house, and want to begrudge Janelle her winnings. It seems that the Maggots want to believe that someone Big Brother helped Janelle to win. The Maggots are a bunch of the poorest sports that I have ever seen--while having such hypocrisy to accuse others of their failings.

Pitt is the Pitts. The game yesterday was one of the worst exhibits of college football that I have seen. I think that ESPN showed the game on a Friday night because they were equating the game to one that you would see two high school teams play. So Pitt tied the game in the last 11 seconds of the game. The score was 10-10 and went into overtime. In overtime, Pitt got the ball first and had the chance to make the first scoring opportunity. So what happens? Tyler Palko threw an interception that was run down the field for a touchdown. Ohio won by a final score fo 16-10. What is so disappointing about this loss was that we should have won. The Ohio Bobcats have not had a game on national television since 1969, and were expected to lose by everyone! Our team did a really crappy job. Supposedly, there were folks that were trying to talk Tyler Palko up as a possible Heisman Trophy winner. They must have been living in a dream world because I don't think that Palko has shown anything in his college career that would put him up for consideration. Talk about the Heisman pretty much dried out yesterday because of Palko's three interceptions. This is the worst start for Pitt since 1984 when they were also 0-2. People are already calling for Wannstedt's head. As I said yesterday, I will wait to start my bashing for next year because I think that he is stuck with alot of the bad recruiting that was Walt Harris' legacy. Most of the sportscasters last night were saying that Wannstedt can't coach for a college team and has to realize that this isn't the NFL. That is a problem. I think (and hope) that as the season progresses, Wannstedt will learn. All I have to say is that Fire Dave Wannstedt is available as a hostname. I would imagine that some Pitt folks might be gathering their dollars together to get rid of Wannstedt sooner rather than later.

Friday, September 9, 2005 -- Late Evening

It seems that Janelle may have nominated Maggie and Ivette for eviction. April was talking to Maggie about winning the veto and taking someone off. Maggie then told her that April might go up if she did that. So that leads me to believe that it is Maggie and Ivette. So, I am assuming that April will vote out Ivette because she wants to keep Maggie. However, more people might want to vote for Maggie, so I would get rid of her if I were April. The goal is to win the game. I have to admit that after hearing Ivette's mother and girlfriend, I have respect for them. Ivette's mother made alot of sense by saying that Ivette should be playing the game, not trying to make friends. Also Ivette's girlfriend is really not bad looking. The picture that Ivette got for HOH was really homely and ugly, but it didn't do her justice. Also the girl makes some sense by saying that she couldn't stand Eric and couldn't understand Ivette's obsession with him. Also, I liked how the girlfriend said that she liked Janelle and liked how she was playing the game. So Ivette has good taste in women, but poor judgement in life in general it seems.

Pittsburgh Panthers are really sucking right now. They are losing to a college that is not even considered in the same league. This was supposed to be one of the games that Pitt would win, and right now in the 4th quarter the score is 10-7 with Pitt losing. So what is the problem? I think that we don't have any really good players. It's hard when you bring in an NFL coach who really hasn't even coached for a college and then give him players that a half-ass coach recruited and expect him to do well. Pitt has been on a decline for the past couple of years, and I think that it might take a couple to get them out. I'm going to hold out on bashing Dave Wannstedt this year, but next year the gloves will be off. I'm just not holding out much hope for Pitt to do well at all, and it's really going to look bad when we don't get to any bowl at all with our football team, and no Big East of NCAA tournament for our basketball team.

Friday, September 9, 2005 -- Evening

Sidney Crosby signed a contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins today. The deal is for three years and will garner Crosby $850,000 a year with the possibility of making double that amount based on performance based bonuses. Those are the bonuses for thinging like the number of goals scored, time on ice, awards won, etc. The signing was broadcast live on one of the local sports channels and crosby said that the process was an easy one. He is living with Mario Lemieux for now, and said in one of the interviews that was telecast that Mario has been driving him around town showing him how to get to places and Crosby has been asking alot of questions. The kid, he is no more than that at 18, comes across as a well-mannered and professional player. I wish a bright future for him, not just because he is playing for my home team, but also because he just seems like one of those good guys that you want to have the best.

In other Penguins news, the team has traded Kris Beech to the Nashville Predators for a conditional draft choice. What this means is that the Penguins are saying that Beech is worth us receiving a higher draft pick, and Nashville says that Beech ain't all that, and want to give us a lower pick. So based on his performance with the team, Nashville will give the Pens an equivalent pick.

Joey Porter has been moved from doubtful to questionable. That means that Porter is likely to play this coming Sunday. On the other hand, Duce Staley has been downgraded, and won't be playing. The Steelers have also released the captains for the 2005 season. The offensive captains are Hines Ward and Alan Faneca. Defensive captains are Joey Porter and James Farrior.

The Pitt basketball team has released the schedule for the coming season. The beginning of the schedule is the same old Pitt story--playing high school quality teams that gives the team a weak schedule. I think that it is also presumptuous of the team to already have the time blocked out for the team to attend the Big East Championship and the NCAA championship. After all, I don't even think that we will have a very good season this year.

Tyler Palko is hoping that the Pittsburgh Panthers will improve in the upcoming game tonight at 8 pm. Palko is willing to shoulder the responsibility to make the teams' performance better. We'll have to see how they do. After all, they are playing a high school type team today that we should beat. So I expect them to win easily. If they lose, that is an extremely bad sign.

Scientists see alot of similarities between the Earth and Titan, Saturn's moon, and the reason for that may be that the objects are in locations that could be considered sweet spots. That means that the Earth and Titan have managed to be the right size/mass and distance from the Sun. This means that there is a posssibility that there might be some life forms on Titan. At least, that is what scientists have been hoping for the longest time.

Scientists have also found an object in the Kuiper Belt that has the fastest rotation rate of any object in the solar system. This object rotates every 3.9 hours. The object looks like a squashed rugby ball probably because of its rotation rate.

Google has hired Vint Cerf who was the founding father of ARPANET which was the precursor of the Internet.

Thursday, September 8, 2005 -- Evening

Tonight is live eviction night on Big Brother. we had the usual recap at the beginning. I can't stand seeing Ivette flopping around screaming. It was great though to see Janelle win the veto. It is day 68 in the Big Brother house. Julie comments on how Ivette could influence the game because she will be the tie breaking vote. Ivette said that she picked April as a Janelle replacement. April said that it was not a good feeling to be on the block. April said that she would feel that it would be a lose-lose situation if April went out because they would be two pairs. Janelle says that Ivette is there for the money and it's not to her advantage to get rid of Howie. Howie makes the analogy that it's like Star Wars with the Clones against the Jedis. That guy still hasn't let go of that Star Wars light saber. Howie says that it's time they go to the Dark Side of the Force. Meanwhile April and Maggie are watching Ivette talking to Howie and Janelle in the kitchen. April is leery of this because she doesn't know what is happening. Howie broaches his plan to Ivette. He says that if April wins HOH, she's taking Maggie, if Ivette wins HOH, she's taking Maggie, if Maggie wins HOH, who is she taking? Howie talks sense to the brainless one (Ivette) about how it would be in her best interests to be sitting next to Janelle or him. Howie tells Ivette that she has a friendship bond with Maggie and April and if they are true friends they would remain friends outside of the house even if Ivette does this. Ivette doesn't realize or refuses to accept because she ain't the brightest bulb in the GE factory that she will not make it to final two with those two unless she wins HOH. Ivette says that there is some truth in what Howie and Janelle say, and that she only knows what she is doing. Ivette goes up to the HOH room where Maggie and April are sitting giving her suspicious looks. Ivette tells Maggie and April that Howie and Janelle told her that her the chances of winning the money against them is better. April says that everyone in the house deserves the money. She says that she has credit card bills and would like the money. In the DR, Ivette says that April has said that she isn't there for the money, but the closer they get, all April does is talk about the money. Ivette cries crocodile tears and says that there is nothing more that she wants then to win the money because it would be so great for her family, and that she would love to see the relief on their faces--especially since Ivette has been feeding her mother's gambling addiction. Ivette says that she is afraid that her chances are becoming very slim. They are, but will Ivette do what she should and get rid of April? No! Julie goes to the houseguests in the living room. She asks Ivette how she feels about getting that far. Ivette says that it is amazing especially since she has been on the nomination block three times (why don't you talk to Janelle, Ivette?) and that she is content. Julie then asks Howie, what it's like to be the only man? Howie says that it's like having sisters and he is the last man standing. Julie asks Janelle what the hardest competition was? Janelle says the swimming one. Julie then congratulates April on not smoking for 38 days. April says that she will continue to not smoke in the outside world. Maggie how as living in the BB house changed you? Maggie says that her world doesn't exist and that her schedule is all screwed up.

Back from commercial break, and we get to hear more about Ivette. We get to see Ivette's mother and girlfriend. We see Ivette say that she is stubborn and way outspoken. Ivette's mom says that Ivette tells it like it is, what you see is what you get. Ivette's girlfriend doesn't look so bad. She says that Ivette doesn't know when to shut up and that her mouth is her strongest weapon. The girlfriend says that Ivette is emotional, but not a crier and doesn't understand why she is crying so much in the house. Can we say CROCODILE TEARS???? Ivette's girlfriend hates Eric and can't understand Ivette's obsession with him? Even Ivette's mother doesn't understand it because she is closer to everyone but Beau. Ivette's mother said you didn't go to make friends, you went to play a game. Make friends outside of the game. Ivette's mom knew that April and Jennifer were the ones who wanted to get Ivette out. Ivette's girlfriend also likes Janelle and likes Janelle in the game. You go girl! The girlfriend thinks that Ivette may be jealous. It is amazing how much better she looks than that picture. Ivette's mom is proud that Ivette won HOH. Ivette's girlfriend wants her to fight for the money. We now talk to Ivette in the HOH room. Julie asks about Beau leaving and Ivette getting HOH. Ivette says that she got HOH late, but it was with Beau's strength. Ivette is asked about choosing April over Maggie and says "we" chose April over Maggie because it was a group decision, and it was because April wasn't nominated in the past. Julie asks how important the money is and Ivette now says that she came for the money--which she has been denying all along. Basic hypocrisy--which is what I expect.

After the break, we get to see James and Beau going to sequester. They both went there the same day. Rachel loves the jury house and says it's a country paradise. Jennifer says that Rachel is good to have around. Rachel would be happy to see Ivette. They scream to see James. Jennifer said it was a half heart hug. Rachel was sorry to see James. Jennifer noticed that James flicked her off. James said that he got to toast his death. Then they watched the show without the diary room stuff. Jennifer says that Howie looks fat next to skinny ass James and admits that she's getting more bitchy the more people come into the house. She is a brat. Jennifer was happy to see April win HOH, and Rachel was really sad. James said that he has no plan to be nice to Jennifer. James says "when you are a coward, you have to backdoor people" to which Jennifer takes a deep breath. I think it's great! James was calling April Busto. And then James was saying America hates you April. James said it was tough to live it, but even worse to watch it. James whispers to Rachel, I get evicted. Then as the video tape ends, Beau comes into the house. Jennifer was happy to have Beau in the house. Rachel thinks that the double eviction helps her team and can't wait to see what happens next. James then carries Beau over the threshold. Now we go back to the show and the diary room. Ivette says that April will get the money, and thinks that keeping Howie around would make it worse then slim. Maggie says that Ivette is screwed and will not get any of the Maggots votes. Ivette is bugged by the fact that April is all about the money, and how it turns her stomach to hear April talk about needing the money. Then Ivette says that she is in desperate need of $500,000, and then starts crying--you guessed it--crocodile tears.

It is now eviction time. Howie and April get to plead their case. April is first. She thanks to her family and friends and then to all the houseguests, and has loved the opportunity and would love to stay another week. Howie says that April is a cute pawn, and then thanks everyone, says that he misses Beau, and then says that Jen from BB6 and then mentions Julie. He also says that Janelle is a good Jedi Janie and he wishes her the best. It is time for the voting. April kisses Howie. Janelle goes first, and she votes to evict April. Then Maggie goes in and votes to evict Howie. Ivette has to break the tie. Ivette votes to evict Howie. Ivette calls April a great friend and says that Howie brought her alot of laughs and gets rid of Howie. Howie hugs everyone. Ivette is holding his bag for him. They all give him alot of hugs. Howie tells them all to be nice to Janie. He knows what the bitches are like. Howie now gets to talk to Julie. The four remaining houseguests are waiting for Howie's picture to change. Julie asks what happened, and Howie says James. Howie thinks James and Sarah were after him, and wound up screwing his alliance. Howie says that there were alot of things he could have changed, but what are you going to do? Howie says that the Maggots played a better game than he did. As Howie says, he got beat by a nerd herd, so they must be better. Howie says that Janelle is the strongest player in the game. She's smart like Kaysar and strong like James. Janelle says that she hopes she can take the nerd herd and that she knows Howie will root for her, and that they will be friends forever. April said that she was in shock at how Howie treated her and forgives him. Maggie thanks him for the laughter that he brought to the game. Ivette says that she loves Howie, and nobody dies in the game. She says don't hate the houseguests, hate the game. Howie will be on House Calls tomorrow. Then we hear about America's Choice. Text #1 for Ivette, #2 for Maggie, #3 for Janelle and #4 for April. Voting is done by calling 22788 (CBSTV) or going to the website. There's nothing there yet, though.

It is now time for the HOH competition. Whoever wins tonight gets to compete next week too. Thank goodness. Tonight's game is Before or After about events that happened in the BB house. If you think that it was before or after another event you have to vote. Each correct answer gets one point, and the one with the most correct after seven questions wins. 1) did kaysar get an MP3 player before or after getting back into the house? After. Everyone gets it right. 2) Did James win his 4th veto competition before or after Jennifer left the house? After. Janelle and Maggie got it right. 3) Did Howie meet Holly before or after the light saber? After. Maggie and Janelle got it right. 4) Did Beau win the martini bar before or after Maggie's bday party? Before. Janelle got it right. 5) Was Eric evicted before or after the first safe was opened? Before. All got it right. 6) Did Sarah eat turkey pot poi before or after she opened the gym door? Answer: before. Janelle and April got it right. Janelle has 6 points. Did Janelle receive a phone call from Michael before or after April got HOH? Answer is After. Janelle is HOH. Janelle runs and hugs Ivette. Then she hugs April, and then hugs Maggie. Janelle is soo excited! I am soo happy. I want to see more Maggots leaving--especially Ivette.

Julie goes to the living room. April is sitting by Janelle. Janelle says that she feels like Miss America for winning and says that she is so proud of herself. Julie asks Maggie what she wishes she had brought into the house. Maggie packed like she was going camping. She said that there is alot that she missed. Janelle is asked what it was like growing up in Minnesota. She said it was a sheltered life. On Saturday, the show will not be on until 10 pm, and that is when they will reveal who goes to Two and a Half Men. Tuesday is live eviction day, probably because the Tuesday after that is final day.

Thursday, September 8, 2005 -- Afternoon

Tonight is live eviction night on Big Brother. I have my class until abit after 8 pm, but will be recording the show. There is some news on the Big Brother front. Nope, the house is quiet and today is cleaning day. The news is about the next America's Choice that we will hear about tonight on the show. we will get to vote to send one of the remaining four houseguests to visit the set of Two and a Half Men. I will be voting for Janelle to go because I really can't stand any of the remaining three. It doesn't look as if Ivette is going to be smart enough to evict April, probably because she doesn't know that April and Maggie have a pact to go to the final two together. Stupid girl! Meanwhile Big Brother is still doing well in the ratings.

Thursday, September 8, 2005 -- Morning

It's time for Sidney Crosby to negotiate a contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but it isn't expected to be much of a problem. Because of the new labor agreement with the NHL, the most that Crosby can make salary-wise is $850,000. However, that's not the limit. He can also get bonuses that are tied to performance. If Crosby would be lucky enough to win all the awards available, he could make up to $4 million. What sort of awards are we talking about? Bonuses would be available for winning end of season trophies like the Calder for best rookie or the Art Ross for scoring champion. Also, he could win bonuses for amount of time on ice per game and for the season, scoring, assists, you get the picture.

Mario Lemieux has been spending some of his money for a good cause. Yesterday Mario's foundation gave $2 million dollars to the Children's Home of Pittsburgh. The money will be used to build a facility that will be used to house the services that the Children's Home offers under one roof. The Children's Home offers both adoption and medical services.

There is still a controversy over the cause of death of Yasser Arafat. From the information that has been released, it is still not clear what brought about the stroke that lead to his death. The rumors that the PA has been propogating is that Arafat died from AIDS or poison that was administered by the Israelis. I'm not sure how they surmised that happened, but there you have it. Of course, the agenda of the PA is to foster hatred for the Israelis since the unspoken goal (unspoken to the foreign media, but blatant with local media) is the removal of Israel. There is a call for Arafat's medical records to be released, but it will be used for whatever agenda the PA has. Even if the information is not conclusive, they will say that is conclusive of their suspicions.

Information that is coming back from the Deep Impact mission is that the comet Tempel 1 was more flimsy than originally thought. Carbonates and clay were found in the ejected materials from the impact, and scientists say that these are signs of the presence of liquid water. It may be that liquid water is more prevalent than previously thought. Some things that were found were expected, but the bond of the materials was more fragile than originally thought. It seems that some of the material is held together, but loose like snow lying on the ground. Of course, Tempel 1 may be an anomaly.

It seems that the Mars Express has found that an ice belt once used to encircle the Martian equator. This is based on evident that the orbital has found that suggests that ice was one in the region. Now, the ice is centered on the polar caps. Also, it has been observed that the Mars' planetary tilt can vary from as much as 15 to 40 degrees. The reason for the tilt variation is because Mars lacks a moon big enough to stablize the planet.

Apple released its iPod type phone yesterday. The phone doesn't look very snazzy, and it's made by Motorola. Some folks don't think that the phone will do well in the market because it has a high cost, and there are already phones out there that can do similar things for a lower cost. Also, I think that I would rather just get an iPod instead of getting a phone that does the job. I know that the mantra is that you don't want all of these devices in your pocket, that you want one device that does it all. Why? If one component goes bad, then you have to replace all the devices or get the same phone/device again. I think that it's like the video/DVD players. If the video tape portion breaks, you either have to get the whole device again, or buy a separate video player.

In the hopes of limiting piracy, Harry Potter books are going to be available as downloads from iTunes. All six books will be available in audio format. JK Rowling made the decision after hearing that books were available in audio format from E-Bay.

This will be good news for all of us. The sliding scale of youth has moved to encompass all of us who are under 49 years of age! Basically this means that the amount of time that you are considered middle aged is shrinking because old age still starts at 65. The information was obtained from a survey were people were supposed to say what is considered young and what is old. I think that with the way things have changed with our society, people are more active until later periods in life, and that helps them both look and feel younger than in the past. When you look at pictures of folks in their 30s from the early 19th century you would think they were much older. Before you know it, youth will be extended to 60, and old age won't begin until 75.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005 -- Morning

I'm not a big fan or follower of baseball, but the big news in the city is that Lloyd McClendon was fired from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ever since McClendon started as coach five years ago, the Pirates have been doing miserably. Actually, the Pirates have had losing seasons for the past 13 years. There have been calls for McClendon's head for a long time. There is no word yet on who will replace McClendon. For the rest of the season, the bench coach (who has only minor league experience) will be coaching.

The Steelers have released Lee Mays yesterday and signed Quincy Morgan. Mays will be out for a few weeks with a hamstring injury, and Morgan will be used to boost the wide receiver section of the team. At yesterday's press conference, Bill Cowher said that his only concern is with the out of sync passing. At this point, I don't think Cowher is concerned enough to not have Ben Roethlisberger start. I guess that he will wait until we lose a few games before he makes a change. It will be interesting to see how the team does this coming Sunday.

Hines Ward showed up an autograph session yesterday, and was greeted by some folks who were gathering money to help evacuees from Hurricane Katrina. They told Ward that they had gathered abit over $10,000, and Ward said that he was so proud of them that he would match the donation. That was really a nice thing to do.

In hockey news, Scott Stevens has announced his retirement. Stevens said that having a year off showed him that he could live without hockey. The biggest issue for Stevens is that he mentally isn't up for the task, and since he is 41, he decided that it was just time to retire.

Scientists now believe that the volcanos at the north pole of Mars may still be active. The reason that they think this is because there aren't any signs of impact craters on the volcanos. The implication is that the volcanos recently must have erupted and that this wiped out the signs of craters. The scientists gathered the information from Europe's Mars Express.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005 -- Evening

There was another episode of Big Brother this evening. It started with the recap of the past week. We got to see a rather ugly slow motion video of Ivette running around like a crazy women while her breasts flopped around. It was very unattractive. April said it was a very very sad thing that Beau was gone, and all they could do was take a piece with them. Maggie felt like she was the HOH sending someone home. Janelle said that she voted for Beau to go because that's what Howie wanted. Janelle said that she liked Beau--she wanted Ivette to go because she can't stand Ivette. The houseguests all went to see Beau's picture turn to black and white. Ivette tells us she is still playing for Eric. Ivette that she should have won HOH and saved Beau. Ivette says that her chances at a million dollars is now gone, and she's just a regular player. Ivette says that there's no more game to be played, and the Maggots no longer have to be nice to Howie and Janelle. Hmm--so when were they nice to them? Never as far as I can tell. Meanwhile Howie and Janelle are in the kitchen area, and Howie is telling Janelle that she is the strongest player in the game. Howie thinks that Ivette won't stand a chance because she wants it so bad. Meanwhile Ivette won. Janelle feels upset and mad that she failed miserably. We had to see Ivette win all over again. Screetching like a banshee. Ivette was very happy to win. Maggie wanted Ivette to have the HOH feeling and to get the pictures. Ivette knows that Maggie may have somehow given it to her. Ivette ran around screetching "I'm HOH, I'm HOH". Ivette says that either Maggie or April will be winning the $500,000. Ivette says that one of them would go this week and another next week. Howie told Janelle that he wouldn't have done better than Janelle in the HOH competition. Janelle was thinking that she should have known that Michael liked legs, she said that was stupid of her. Ivette got her HOH room. We got to see a picture of Ivette's girlfriend, and she is a really ugly looking scank. Ivette calls her girlfriend Tush. Janelle said in her DR that she didn't want to slane anyone on tv, but that girl was as ugly as hell. Ivette's girlfriend sent out a necklace that would protect her. Howie opened up Ivette's Reese's pieces and was eating them without asking. The Maggots white trashed the HOH room setting it up with all their stuff and moving in together. Janelle knows that they are both going up and that one of them has to win the power of veto. Janelle has a plan to win the veto, have Ivette nominate April, and approach Ivette about voting out April and taking her to final three. Janelle doesn't know if Ivette will take it though. Janelle still wants them all out of the house though.

After the commercial break, we see Howie wandering around with the Jedi light saber. The Maggots are watching him on the secret tv in the HOH room. As April says, the minute that Howie saw the light sabers he went back to being a kid. We see Howie with the light saber glued in his hands, and looking in the mirror as he practices with the light saber. It is really funny to watch him. Ivette is putting Howie down for pretending to be a Jedi. Howie admits that he is always thinking of the Jedi way and meditating. Then we see Howie and Janelle in a Jedi battle. Howie says that Jedi Jannie is tough. A powerful Jedi she will be. Janelle agrees that the force is strong with her. Janelle said that she is not into Star Wars things. Then Howie goes to stalk the evil that is the Maggots. Ivette thinks something is wrong with Howie. She is such a bitch with no sense of humor. Ivette said that she has waited to get rid of Janelle since the beginning. If Ivette nominates April and Maggie, they aren't standing with her at the end. Janelle says "that bitch can nominate me, but that doesn't mean she will get her way. I'm not going to be leaving this house." We see Ivette contemplating it. Howie said that the only thing he is wondering if it is April or Maggie's key coming out first. Ivette realizes that if she keeps Howie or Janelle, she will win at the end. Ivette has a fake smile as the nomination ceremony starts. Ivette says something hokey about "I find too funny that in this game, that if you talk and say the truth, you are found to be loud. And if you stay quiet you are found to beat around the bush. If you lie to someone's face for the sake of the game, you are a snake. The only thing you have is your heart." April's key was first, and then Maggie's key. Surprise, surprise. Ivette says that she nominated Janelle and Howie because she underestimated Janelle and that Janelle can easily manipulate a man. Then Ivette said that Howie is on the other side. Ivette then says she has nothing more to say because the truth is laid out. Janelle jokes about being completely floored about being nominated. Janelle says that Ivette can't accept that Janelle got that far by being good, not manipulating men. Howie then chants in the DR "no biggie, no worry, no sweat. This game ain't over yet." The Maggots are wondering around. Maggie said that Ivette laid it out on the line. They then told Ivette that her speech was great. Janelle says that Ivette always has an excuse for everything. Howie says that Ivette was melodramatic. Howie said that Ivette just liked her chance to shine and won't have another chance again. Janelle wants to know if guys liking her is something to frown upon--and adds maybe that is for a lesbian.

It's time for the veto competition. They all go to their own room assignments and then are called out one at a time to compete. There was a big picture screen with the housemates faces fading in and out of each other. Three different houseguests morph into one face. The competitor has to guess the three names and press them into the big computer board. If they are correct, another face appears. The houseguest to guess all six faces in the quickest time wins the veto. April was first and kept on leaving four names up instead of three. April said that they make up some ugly people when combined. April did it in 4:16. Ivette was next. The face with Rachel, Beau and Kaysar was an ugly black, Arab guy according to Ivette. Ivette's time was 3:28. HOwie was next. Howie go stuck on the one where his face was part of the picture. Howie sucked at the event. Then came Maggie. Maggie got stuck on the one that Rachel, Beau and Kaysar. Maggie hopes that one one in the house has children with each other. Then is it Janelle's turn. Janelle said that the first one was easy because it has Michael's mouth. Janelle also thought that it was Maggie's hair on the Rachel, Kaysar, Beau. She thought the Jennifer, Ivette and Howie was the ugliest chick. Janelle thinks she screwed up and was very upset and almost crying. They go to get the times in the backyard. Ivette was carrying on. April got 4:16, Maggie 3:59, Ivette 3:28, Howie 9:18, and Janelle 2:30. Janelle won. As Janelle said, she knew that Ivette thought she had Janelle out the door. April said Janelle is in the house for another week. As April said, all Janelle wants is a sugar daddy, why does someone like that continue to win? (because she is smart?) Ivette says what do you do around and all star Big Brother competitor. Maggie says that she has to start winning HOHs and start winning vetos--as if she wasn't because she wasn't trying.

After the break. Ivette says that the worse case scenario happened. Ivette wanted to send Janelle home. Maggie said that she thought it was Ivette's job to get rid of Janelle. Ivette said that it Janelle's fifth or sixth time on the block. They keep on calling Janelle the bitch. Maggie said that they found it very very odd that Janelle stars at people, but obviously it stood her well in this game. What ugly, petty bitches the Maggots are! April said that there's no way Janelle will use it on Howie. April said that she will go up against Howie and have Ivette break the tie. Maggie says that Janelle has to go through them. Janelle says that she doesn't want to lose Howie, and Howie tells her that Janelle deserves to go the whole way. Janelle is going to Ivette with the deal and see if she goes for it. Howie tells Janelle that she should tell Ivette that in order to win, she needs them. If Ivette is up against Howie or Janelle, she could win, but if she is up against Maggie, then Maggie will win. As Janelle says, Ivette needs to take some aggressive steps. Ivette and April don't know how to play the game, and Maggie is using them. Ivette is outside by the pool and asks Howie how much she can trust him. Ivette approached Howie and said that she somehow pictured her and Howie at the end. Ivette said that if she played it strategically she should keep Howie. Howie wants to know what is in the back of Ivette's mind. Ivette says that she should start getting rid of her friends now. Ivette says that it would benefit her to be at the end with Howie or Janelle. Ivette says that you can't count your eggs before they hatch. It is surprising that Ivette has thought this out, because she is right. She needs to keep Howie and Janelle to give herself a shot at actually getting the money.

It is now time for the veto ceremony. Janelle says she has to save herself because the girls want her out of the house. Janelle says that she is happy to see Ivette have to nominate one of her own. Howie tells Janelle why he wants the veto used. Howie said that the person who uses the veto gets to go on to the final four. Howie said that she won it, she should use it. Janelle said that she thought of using it to save Howie. Janelle said that she knows the girls would vote her out. So now Ivette has to nominate someone and says "it's been discussed" and nominates April. Ivette said that she had to put up someone. Ivette says you can't leave a team in this game--as if the Maggots aren't a team. Howie says that he only needs Ivette's vote to stay in the house. Who will Ivette get rid of? All day today, she was talking about how HOwie was getting evicted this week. Ivette is really stupid if she does that.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005 -- Early Afternoon

The House Calls show is just winding down. Beau was on via phone call from the sequester house, and fortunately was only on for twelve minutes. It was really viewing because Marcellas decided that since he didn't have anything good to say to Beau, he wouldn't say anything at all. So Marcellas sat there quietly, reading a book, fixing a hangnail, and moving around a plant. Gretchen asked the questions that she had from the audience. One of the first questions was what did Beau contribute to the show. Beau giggled and said that he was the token gay guy. Finally he came up with the idea that he contributed passion. When Beau made the gay comment, Marcellas rolled his eyes. Beau also went on to say that phone calls are his forte. Also according to Beau, the thing that he missed the most in the Big Brother house was his cell phone and his clients because they can't shop without him. The guy can't even string together two words to make a sentence and has no fashion sense. I would say that he has to be concerned that his "clients" found someone else to shop for them who actually knows what looks good and not peach pants with a sky blue polo shirt. Gretchen also asked Beau about showing his penis to the houseguests, and he really couldn't come up with an answer on why he did it, finally saying that people were looking at him, and he just "whatever". So Gretchen asked what Beau's plans were for after the show, and Beau ah-ed quiet a few times before suggesting that he would see if he could get an acting job and do shopping for his clients. Gretchen also asked him about his black and white comment, and of course, Witless Beau couldn't answer that one either. When asked who was the strongest player in the game, Beau said Kaysar and James and then added "not that I'm saying that I wasn't". Another roll of Marcellas eyes. After Beau got off the line, Marcellas said that he didn't want to talk to Beau because he has nothing nice to say to Beau, didn't like him as a person, and didn't think Beau played a good game. Marcellas went on to say that he wanted Beau to win because he was black and gay and wanted to promote those aspects, but he really couldn't stomach Beau in that role. Besides, Marcellas knew from watching the live feeds that Beau was frequently making rude remarks about Marcellas, so goodness knows how he thought Marcellas would take that. Some of the callers thought that Marcellas was rude, but I thought that Marcellas handled himself well, and treated Beau just as he deserved. In fact, Marcellas showed alot more restraint than I would have been able to muster. Some other things came out from the callers today. One was that the Maggots didn't think there were live feeds in the HOH room. Idiots! The other was a caller who could not understand the Maggots claiming that they have the moral high ground when Maggie, Ivette, April and Beau hid Janelle's clothes under the bed in the Gold Room, and Maggie was encouraging Beau to rip the clothes (which Beau thankfully didn't). Then Ivette claimed that Janelle won the veto competition because she gave a blow job to a camera man. What sort of sickness is that remark? Marcellas calls the Maggots the Fiendship--because they are a bunch of fiends--and Marcellas stated that the Fiendship made him ill with their claims of being moral superiors and acting like such sick losers.

I also have some comments to make about literature. I am taking a fiction writing class, and will be sharing my thoughts and what I learn.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005 -- Morning

There is some talk that Mario Lemieux might take on the role of center when the Penguins start the regular season. Since Lemieux came back from his retirement, he has been playing mostly left wing. It will be interesting to see what the line up will be when the season starts because the Pens have really gotten some good players. It's a nice problem to have a wealth of players from which to choose.

It seems that Joey Porter might be playing this coming Sunday. He was practicing with the team yesterday. Porter hasn't been playing since his August 10 knee surgery, and there is no official word on whether he will be playing on Sunday. Sunday's game is the first of the regular season, and will be played at 1 pm against the Tennessee Titans.

Scientists from the Royal Veterinary College and Cambridge University are trying to get a DNA sample from the bones of Eclipse, who is considered the greatest racehorse ever. There has been a project to get DNA from a variety of the biggest names in the history of horseracing with the goal being a better understanding of equine physiology. It seems that with Eclipse, it is going to be difficult to get the DNA from his bone sample because the DNA will have degraded over time. Eclipse's whole skeleton was saved when he died because of his standing as a race horse. He was unbeated in his racing career which spanned the years 1769 to 1770. The horseracing awards in this country are known as the Eclipse awards in his honor. Another horse that the team would like to get a DNA sample from is the Godolphin Arabian. This horse is one of the founding fathers of the Thoroughbred breed. The scientists are trying to get the okay to exhume the horse from his resting place in near Cambridge.

Over in the Big Brother house, everyone still appears to be sleeping. I noticed something interesting. Whenever a Maggot is HOH, all the Maggots camp out in the HOH bedroom. Back in the day when there were five of them, three would be in the bed, and two would be on the floor. Well, now there are only three Maggots left, so you would think they would all be nice and cozy in the bed. Well, it looks like Ivette is sleeping on the floor (in her old position). It just seems weird when you think that Ivette is the HOH and should have dibs on the bed. I have to agree with Marcellas about this one. He thinks there is something weird about this camping out together. Today should be an interesting House Calls. Marcellas can't stand Beau. I'm sure Marcellas is going to be wearing his real hair afro wig. House Calls is on today at 1 pm EDT.

Monday, September 5, 2005 -- Evening

It seems that Janelle used the veto to take herself off the block, and April is now up in her place. It's not that there were alot of options. I am imagining that the Maggots will get rid of Howie, and it is going to come down to a tie break because Janelle won't vote against Howie. As there get to be fewer guests in the house things get quieter and there's less strategizing. After all, the alliances are already formed. The only excitement is who wins HOH and who wins the veto. As I was saying the other day, the only strategizing is that Janelle should be plotting NOT to win HOH this coming week, and hoping that she wins the veto to take herself off the block. She definitely wants to be HOH when there are only three people because that person evicts one of the remaining two houseguests.

Scientists have decided that the ice balls that form the rings of Saturn aren't hard. The particles move more slowly than originally thought. How did they come to this decision? It's from data that has been gleaned from the Cassini mission. What the scientists would like to do is actually somehow capture some of the material and analyze it, but that won't be possible unless another mission is sent to the planet.

There's more news on the Hines Ward contract. It appears that the deal is worth a total of $27.5 million dollars and includes a $9 million dollar signing bonus and a $1 million dollar roster bonus. His salary is $17 million for the next four years. It seems that Ward's mother was crying at the news that her son had managed to get such a huge financial boost.

Monday, September 5, 2005 -- Afternoon

Hines Ward has finally gotten his contract extension from the Steelers. It seems that the extension will be for the next four years and the rumor has it that Ward will get $17 to 18 million over three years and a base salary of $1.669 million a year. There isn't an official word on the amount though. There's supposed to be a press conference later on today. I wonder if folks will be complaining about the amount at the end of the season if Ward doesn't do very well, and we don't make it to the playoffs.

I have a bet with my boyfriend on how well the Steelers will do this year. I don't think that we will have a winning season, and I told him that I believe the final result will be 7 wins and 9 loses. I think that our offense is going to be subpar this year, but that our defense is going to be superb as it was last year. The only thing is that I don't think that we can count on our defense being our sole producer on the field. Last year we won a few games because our defense held back the other team and scored points off of interceptions. We should not count on the Steelers having a winning season based solely on the efforts of our defense. I also think that Hines Ward will not have the stats that he has had in previous years. Now Ward has never been a stats heavy player which is why I question labeling him as an elite receiver. He's a well rounded receiver, but as part of a core of receivers not as a standalone. I think that ward will not hold up well with double teaming, especially if Ben Roethlisberger is throwing the ball to him. I also think that Roethlisberger will not perform well this year, and that Tommy Maddox should be the starter. Cowher is going to go with Roethlisberger though. My final prediction is that we won't make the playoffs this year. I think that we might be second in our division, perhaps third. I think that Cincinatti will be first in the division with the competition for second going between Baltimore and the Steelers. As for my boyfriend, he thinks that the Steelers will have 12 wins and 4 loses and make it to the AFC Championship. Our bet is for $5. I would hope to be wrong because I would like the Steelers to do well this year, I just don't think that it will happen.

The other breaking news today is that Jerry Rice is going to retire. The announcement is supposed to be made this afternoon. It seems that Rice was told by the coach of the Denver Broncos, Mike Shanahan, that Rice would not even make the number 3 receiver and that Shanahan could not even guarantee that Rice would be active for every game. For those of you who might not know the implications of being active, it would mean that Rice wouldn't even be allowed on the sidelines during the game. You have to feel sad for Rice because it seems that his decision to retire is not based on desire on his part, but because he won't be allowed to play.

Sunday, September 4, 2005 -- Evening

Brian St. Pierre was one of twelve people who were released by the Steelers today. Meanwhile, the local newspaper, the Post-Gazette has some stories that we should keep our eyes on this coming season. The first thing that we have to keep our eyes on is the running game for the Steelers. With Jerome Bettis and Duce Staley injured, we will have to rely on some untried players and hope for the best. Other things to keep our eyes on are the offensive line, not having Plaxico Burress and the secondary lines.

Venus Williams beat Serena today at the US Open today. Venus will be advancing to the quarterfinals with a score of 7-6 (5), 6-2. I always liked Venus more than Serena because Venus has a face that just looks friendlier and more approachable. On the men's side, Lleyton Hewitt managed to hold on to win in five sets against the number 25 seeded Taylor Dent.

If you love to laugh, you will want to check out Chef. This BBC comedy was released in 1993, and featured Lenny Henry as a chef, Gareth Blackstock, in a two star Michelin restaurant located in the English countryside. Gareth browbeats his kitchen staff with fiery tirades about how stupid they are, and how poorly they do their jobs. My favorite bits are when he wields his rapier tongue on the customers in the restaurant. Just keep in mind, if you go to Gareth's restaurant, don't ask for salt when Chef is around. The show is hilarious and very well researched to give an accurate picture of what it is like in the kitchen of a first class restaurant. Be aware that the first two seasons are better than the third so make sure to watch them in order if possible. One of the best episodes is in the first season, and is titled Big Cheese. In this episode, Chef goes looking for unpasturized Stilton cheese, "cow and bug in perfect harmony". Run out now and rent or buy the DVDs. To get a sampling of Chef, you can watch the salt clip from the BBC. What is so funny about the show is that it's like watching Gordon Ramsay with his rants and foul language. The thing is that Chef! came before Ramsey, so maybe Ramsey's copying Chef.

Sunday, September 4, 2005 -- Afternoon

Great news on the Big Brother front. It appears that Ivette nominated Howie and Janelle to be evicted. What's so great about that you ask? Well, it also appears that Janelle won the power of veto. Now I think that she should take herself off (obviously). Then what will happen is that Ivette has to put up Maggie or April. I think that she will put up April. Then Janelle votes for April to go, and Maggie votes for Howie to go, and it comes down to Ivette. If Howie can convince Ivette that she stands a greater chance of winning next to Howie, then we can get rid of another Maggot. The only thing that I think is going to happen though is that Howie will be gone. I don't think that Janelle wants to win HOH next week. What she wants to do is win the veto and take herself off if nominated, and then win HOH because it's winning HOH when it is down to the final three that lets you stay. So it would be a bad strategic move to win HOH this coming week. I hope that she realizes it and is able to throw the game better than the others.

The Mars Global Surveyor has shut off its science instruments due to a glitch. The folks at NASA are rushing to figure out what the problem is because they want to take some pictures from the area where the Mars Polar Lander crashed. They want to figure out what went wrong to cause the crash so they can avoid the issue next time around.

Pitt lost to Notre Dame last night, and it was not pretty. The final score was 42-21.

Saturday, September 3, 2005 -- Evening

Big Brother was on this evening. I was delayed in watching it because my boyfriend wanted to watch the Pittsburgh Panthers. Since Pitt is losing miserably, I can now watch the recorded show. The show started with a recap of the past week with James eviction and the double eviction week with Howie getting HOH and Ivette and Beau being evicted. Julie is announcing this evening. The show starts with the feelings everyone had after James eviction. April says that she is everyone's hero at this point. Beau also was glad that James was out and wouldn't be in the final two. Ivette said that James was the first person that she connected with in the house, and then he became an enemy. April thinks the house with the acception of Ivette is happy with the decision. Ivette said that a sympathy vote wouldn't have said anything to James. Then we see Howie win HOH. Howie was happy to get the job done. April wished that it was a Maggot. Howie was happy that he did it when it was needed. Ivette said that she could taste HOH, and was so sorry not to get it. Howie said last time he made some wrong decisions last time, but not this time. Then we see Ivette crying (yet again with the crocodile tears and poor sportsmanship). She is angry because she didn't win. The girl really needs a few lessons in sportsmanship. Ivette whines "why can't I be blessed? Why can't I have the strength these people continue to have?" (Maybe because she is a whiny, rude, poor sport, racist?) Beau says that Ivette took it very hard not winning the HOH--that she takes everything very hard. Then Ivette whines some more and spreads evilness by saying that nothing could give Janelle more pleasure than to send the Maggots home. I know that it would give me endless pleasure. I really hate Ivette. Ivette regrets not sending Janelle home because Ivette claims that Janelle has the worst soul that she has ever seen in a human being. Obviously Ivette doesn't look too deeply at herself, or she would see something 100 times worse than Janelle. I really dislike Ivette and would hate to see her in the final two. We hear Janelle say that she is "so happy". Then we see Howie make his nominations. Both Beau and Ivette say that it's all right. Then Ivette comments in the DR that she told Howie it was okay before he said her name (and she did) because she knew that Howie had to put her and Beau up because they were the last couple in the house. Howie asks if they hated him, and Ivette said no. I think it was hard on Howie, and he did seem upset. He left and asked Janelle if he did the right thing, and she said "yeah, definitely". Then the Maggots go to console Ivette and Beau, but mainly Ivette. Beau said that it wasn't a surprise at all because Beau put up Howie and Rachel, and he knew that he and Ivette were a target because they were the last pair. Then Howie and Janelle are in the kitchen and Howie asks if Janelle if she thinks they hate him, and she said, no and reminded Howie that the other side has been putting up their friends for weeks. As Janelle said, she talked to Howie about how Beau was physical and how Ivette just annoyed the crap out of her. Howie asks if anyone wants to see his HOH room. They all go up, and he had two Star Wars light sabers. Howie was so happy and grabbed one right away and turned it on. Janelle thinks they are a great tool for Howie. The sabers light up, and Howie turned off the lights and started sword fighting with everyone. Howie says that's as good as it gets, and tells the non Jedis to be careful with the sabers so they don't take a foot off. We then go to the Maggots the next morning in the cot room. Ivette saays her only disappointment is not to get HOH. Maggie says that one of them could win the veto. April says that it's easier for Howie to put Ivette up now than April having to do it later. What gets under April's skin though is that Janelle is safe for another week. Maggie reminds April that they will need to be partnering up very soon and that they have to fight for each other. April said that they can't trust Ivette. April says that she thinks that she and Maggie are a strong team and have to take each other through the game like they came in together. Ivette comes out to the patio where April and Maggie are eating and asks what happened to which Maggie says "nothing happened". Ivette goes to Maggie later and asks Maggie what' wrong, and Maggie says that she misses her home. Ivette asks if Maggie would play the veto with her. Maggie says "of course I do"> Maggie says that she has to win the veto because that's the only thing that safeguards her. Ivette tells Maggie that if she wins the veto she won't use it because then Maggie would go up. Ivette's plan is that Maggie wins the veto, take either Beau or Ivette off, and then April goes up, and April is the one to go home. Ivette whispers her plan to Maggie and Maggie says in the DR that she is in a horrible position because she has also sworn to protect April. Maggie says it will be very difficult.

After the commercial break, Holly from last year's Big Brother comes out and says that it's time for the veto competition. Howie was excited that Holly knew who he was. The veto competition is Big Brother casino. It's basically a big craps table. Holly is the dealer. Each person starts with ten casino chips and can bet up to five chips per play. Once everyone has placed their bet, Holly rolls the dice. For example if the person gets week 1 and veto, they would have to know who won the veto in the first week. Each person answers using one of the face chips that they have. If they answer correctly, they double their chips. If they are wrong, the house takes the chips. On one dice is crap out. If that comes up, everyone loses their money. After everyone has had a chance to roll, the player with the most chips wins. Holly is such a ditzy blonde. April is the first to up to roll the dice, and rolled a crap out so everyone lost their bets. Beau was next and had in week three who was not evicted. Answer Maggie. April won three chips. Howie won two. Ivette won four. Janelle won four and Maggie won four. Beau also won three chips. Then Howie rolled the dice. Maggie said that the game was running really smoothly and that everyone seemed to know the answers to the questions, so it just came down to how much you bet. Ivette had a crap out. April had 19 chips at the end, Beau had 16, Howie had 17, Ivette had 19, Janelle had 19, and Maggie also had 19 chips. So they needed a tie breaker round between April, Ivette, Janelle and Maggie. They each had a chalk board and had to write down the number of chips that they wanted to bet on the board while Holly rolled the dice. Who was not evicted in week 6? Answer was Janelle. April bet them all. Ivette got it wrong and was eliminated. Janelle got it right and bet 19. Maggie got it right and also bet 19. So now a three way tie. Again Holly rolled the dice. It was week 4 replacement nominee. Answer was Janelle. April bet 37. Janelle bet 38 cheaps. Maggie bet 38 so it was down to her and Janelle. Holly has a tie breaker question. Ivette wants Maggie to win so Ivette's plan can go through and April goes home while Ivette and Beau stay. The closest without going over wins. The question: in the veto competition playing dirty, how many keys total keys were buried in the mud. The answer was 138. Janelle guessed 72 and Maggie guessed 98. Janelle wanted to win because it seems they wanted to backdoor Maggie and wouldn't be able to do it. Ivette runs over to give Maggie a huge hug. Maggie says that she doesn't know what she is going to do with the veto. She knows that Ivette and Beau want her to use the veto so April will go up and be voted out. Maggie says that it puts her in a horrible position and she will be responsible for someone leaving the house. You can see how pleased Ivette is when she whispers congratulations to Maggie.

After the break, Maggie asks to speak with Howie, and he asks if Janie can come along. Maggie says, can't you do it on your own, and Janie says that she'll come with them. April gives Janelle this look at that statement. Meanwhile Ivette has this look like she is wondering why Maggie wants to talk to Howie. Maggie says that she just wants to talk to Howie. Janelle asks Howie if he can handle it (being alone with Maggie) to which Howie says "not really". So Maggie says "nevermind". Maggie said that she didn't have anything that she really had in mind and wanted to pick his brain. Maggie said that obviously Janelle has control over Howie. Ivette has this look, and Beau was grimacing. So Maggie says that she wants to speak to Beau, Ivette and April. Meanwhile Ivette is really giving Maggie a look. Janelle says in the DR that she is not goign to allow Maggie to speak alone to Howie because last time all hell broke loose, and Maggie was calling all the shots. Maggie then talks with the others about Howie not being his own person and how sad that he can't make a decision without Janelle and that Howie doesn't deserve to win Big Brother. Maggie says that if she uses the veto to take one of them off that April goes up and wants to know what each of them wants her to do. Ivette looks disgusted and says that Maggie should do what she thinks is best for her. Maggie says that the thing that was best for her was to win so she didn't get backdoored. Maggie says that it is in their hands. Beau says to go with her heart. Ivette looks really, really hurt. Ivette says that Maggie is having a hard time making a decision. Ivette and Beau leave and April thanks Maggie for not using it. Maggie replies that she may. April is not happy at hearing that and says that you don't know what can happen if you are nominated. Maggie says that April won't go home, but April doesn't believe it. Maggie asks April if she sees what she means, and April says no. Maggie rolls her eyes. April tries to explain and syas that Maggie doesn't know. Maggie says that she has to decide between the Maggots. April says that taking one of them off doesn't do anything because they can still vote how they want. April starts to cry in DR and says that Maggie of all people, the one that she was closest too, and the one said she had her back to even be thinking of voting her out was eye opening. We then see Janelle and April going into the HOH room to talk. Janelle says that she knows that Maggie is going to use the power of veto, and it doesn't matter who they take off because the Maggots have the votes to take out April. April doesn't know what to do. Janelle thinks that Maggie would go for the couple because she is trying to safeguard herself, and knows that Janelle will continue to target the couple. April is crying to Janelle about what to do. Janelle tells April that Maggie is amazing and that she has to convince Maggie. Maggie tells April that she realizes that she can never win against another member of the Maggots. Maggie thinks that keeping a pair in the team is strategically smarter for her. April is really broken up over this. Maggie says that if she keeps a target in the game it keeps Maggie longer. April says that she thinks that if it came down to her and Ivette that April deserves it more. April is shocked that out of all the people in the house she thought that Maggie was going to play the game with a heart. April said that she knew what she would do for Maggie. Maggie says that if she keeps April it insures her death. Maggie says that she doesn't know what to do. I think she wants April to sacrifice herself. Maggie says that she is in a horrible position and that she is going to make someone really mad. It is time for the veto ceremony. Maggie gives each a chance to speak. Beau goes first. He says that he won't campaign against his partner he loves her to death and brought him into the game and tells Maggie to do what she thinks best. Ivette looks like death and tells Maggie that she will respect whatever she does. Maggie says that morals are a very unfortunate thing to have in this game because they get in the way alot. Maggie chooses not to use the veto and says that she loves the three Maggots and that's it.

Only three people are voting this evening. Who will it be who gets voted off? Beau and Ivette get to plead their case. Beau thanks his family and friends and the friends in the house. Ivette says she can't compete with Beau and he is way to fabulous and she loves everyone. Janelle goes first and votes to evict Beau. April votes to evict Beau. April is crying. Maggie votes to evict Beau. Beau is out. Julie announces it. As an aside, Beau is wearing peach pants and a sky blue shirt and it really hurts the eyes. April says that she will miss his Beau Bedtime Stories. Beau hugs everyone and Ivette cries--probably at losing her shot at all that money. Beau goes to talk to Julie. Maggie, April and Ivette are crying. Ivette says that she thinks she cried more than anyone in the game. Julie asks about Howie nominating him. Beau doesn't regret it. Beau thinks that Ivette has an amazing chance to make it to the end. Beau will be on House Calls on Tuesday. It is now time for the HOH competition after the break.

The competition starts. It is down to April, Ivette, Maggie and Janelle. The game is called Magnetic Attraction. Julie will ask eight questions based on the questionnaires they filled out before they entered the house. They will answer blue or red by placing the magnet on the board ahead of them. If they get the answer right, they get one point. If they get the answer wrong, the magnet drops and they not get a point. The person with the most points at the end wins. Question 1: Who said they get the most complements about their smile? Blue for Kaysar, red for Michael. Answer Kaysar. Everyone gets a point. Who says they have a bad habit of cracking their nuckles? Blue for Sarah, Red for James. Answer Sarah. Everyone gets a point. Who said the craziest thing they ever did as a result of a dare was to get on stage with a naked girl in Key West? Blue for Beau, Red for Ivette. Answer Ivette. April only one to get it wrong. Who once dressed up as Brittney Spears for Halloween? Blue for Jennifer, Red for April. Answer Jennifer. Janelle got it won. It is tied between Ivette and Maggie. Who would title their autobiography "I had a Blast living a normal life"? Blue for Eric, Red for Maggie. Answer Maggie. Everyone got it right. Who said their shortest job consisted of three days selling blood plasma? Blue for Rachel, red for Howie. Answer Howie. Everyone but Janelle got it right. Who's first job was working at a Dairy Queen? Blue for Janelle, red for Ashlea. Answer Janelle. Everyone got it right. Last question: Who said the body part he liked the most on a woman was her buttocks? Blue for Kaysar, red for Michael. Answer is Kaysar. Everyone got it wrong. There is a tie between Maggie and Ivette. April is silently clapping. Tie breaker: in the HOH competition playing it straight what was the total score of houseguests competing? Maggie says 1, Ivette says 35. Correct answer is 47. Ivette wins. Ivette runs off like a crazy woman and starts crying and screaming on the big couch. You would have thought she would hug her teammates first, but she did eventually. I would imagine Janelle will get voted out next Thursday unless she wins the veto.

Saturday, September 3, 2005 -- Afternoon

Tonight is the first home game of the season for the Pittsburgh Panthers. There are alot of high expectations on Dave Wannstedt, and folks are hoping that he will have the team winning more and making it to a bigger bowl game this coming year. Tonight we are going to be playing Notre Dame.

Tonight is also the Big Brother episode were we find out what has been going on since the feeds are down. I am hoping that it is Ivette or Beau. That would just be great--unless they backdoored Maggie. I think if they did that that April would stop pairing with Ivette and Beau and would be teaming up with Howie and Janelle. At least if she were smart she would.

I spent a portion of the afternoon photocopying stories that I have to read for a class that I am taking. I decided to register at Pitt and take some writing courses. It would definitely be to my benefit to improve my writing skills and to get some perspective on the mechanics of doing things. The class that I am taking now is an itroductory fiction writing course, so we will be reading short stories and short essays on how to write. I'm not sure how I feel about the teacher. The thing that I have learned from taking English classes, be they literature or writing, is that the teachers have an opinion that they want the students to spout, and that contradictions to that opinion are not welcomed. It will be interesting to see what sort of rants I come up with after spending more time in the class. I'm sure just from the first experience that I won't see eye to eye with the teacher. However, the goal is to just regurgetate what she says. I hope that I can do that without compromising any of my own beliefs and philosophies.

Saturday, September 3, 2005 -- Morning

Montour won its first game last night. It was the second game of the season, and Montour was playing a team from a high school in Uniontown (the Albert Gallatin Colonials). The final score was 38-14.

There is alot of discussion about the Steelers first line offense. According to the folks at the team, the fans are overreacting. The first line really hasn't had a chance to play much in the preseason games to get any sort of rhythm going. Then what is the point of the preseason games? If the players that need the experience don't get the practice in the games because the coaches are afraid that they will get hurt, why have the games? Supposedly alot of teams are out there stinking up the place. I think that the only thing that concerns me is that we have seen nothing in the practice sessions that were open to the public and the media or the preseason games to recommend Ben Roethlisberger as a starter this year. It seems that the best quarterback in practices has been Tommy Maddox. I say that he should get the starting position (even though I am not a fan of his) because the position should go to the person who is performing the best at that time. You don't let your second year quarterback be the starter even though he isn't performing because you have sentimental reasons to keep him in that position. That's the only thing that I can thing is happening in this case. If the Steelers start with Roethlisberger and he plays as poorly as he has in the preseason, I will have no respect for Bill Cowher. Take emotions out of it and use your head. I was reading an article in a magazine a few months ago about this kid who makes predictions about how the football teams will do. He said that he didn't think the Steelers would do well this year because Bill Cowher was unable to put together two winning seasons in a row. Meanwhile, it seems that Brian St. Pierre will be cut from the team today. Charlie Batch, on the other hand, has shown that he is someone that we should keep, and maybe alternate in starting with Maddox. I would bench Roethlisberger for now because the important thing is win games, not to make players feel good.

Spirit, the Mars Rover, has made it to the top of the hill and has sent back some spectacular pictures. The scientists are studying the pictures that are being sent back to determine where they will go next.

Friday, September 2, 2005 -- Evening

I have another pet peeve from the recent events with the flooding of New Orleans. This one is the use of the word refugee in describing the people who are evacuating New Orleans. In fact, I just saw a caption on a photo on FOXNews that describes a person physically still in New Orleans as a refugee. When I think of refugee, I think of someone who has left their country for political reasons or because they were frightened for their safety. I think of these people as evacuees--like the children in Britain who were evacuated from London for a few years for their own safety. In fact, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agrees with the definition. I think that part of the problem with the situation is the media. They go into these areas to record the event, but do nothing to help the people. They knew folks didn't have supplies, but I didn't see any of them trying to do anything about it. Also, I didn't see the media folks helping anyone out of the water. They would be there waiting to question the person, but I seldom if ever saw a finger lifted to aide anyone. The only person that I saw doing anything was Geraldo Rivera who went up in some helicopters and helped in getting people out. Anyway, getting back to my pet peeve, lets call the people evacuees. I know the goal of the media is to create imagines in people's minds and that refugee is a politically charged word, but it really annoys me because it is not being used appropriately.

The other thing that is annoying me is the number of complaints saying that the federal government didn't react quickly enough. I would say that whenever the federal government does anything, it is done at a snail's pace, and obviously it is going to take a few days to coordinate troups and supplies because they just don't casually have such things ready at hand. If anything, I would place more of the blame on the city government for never anticipating a problem when they should have, and the state government for not having some supplies close at hand. The problem here though is that the city was under sea level and was built in such a way to doom it. You can't say, I built my house on the beach on low tide, and when high tide came in, it got flooded. Now we have to get the people out of there, but then we have to decide what was wrong (and there was plenty) and not duplicate it. Maybe they won't build low price housing right beside the levees that will leave the poorest people who will be unable to leave the first victims if something goes wrong. Maybe the city will plan a better way to evacuate when the next hurricane comes. In this case, it wasn't a matter of IF, but a matter of WHEN, and the officials in New Orleans were asleep at the wheel, living in a complacent fairy tale thinking it wouldn't happen to them.

Friday, September 2, 2005 -- Afternoon

The Steelers cut six players today, and still have to cut twelve more by tomorrow at 6 pm. The guys who were let go today were not any names that I recognized.

An interesting artifact was found at the Temple Mount recently. The artifact is a cross shaped bronze pendant with a hammer, nails, and pincers on one side, and on the other, a sun, an altar, and the Holy Grail on a crown of thorns. Some are saying that the artifact is linked to the Da Vinci Code. The only comment that I have to make about that is that the Da Vinci Code is fiction, regardless of how much folks would like it not to be.

Researchers at Cornell and Tel Aviv University have come up with a computer algorithm that will allow a computer to form grammatically correct sentences in any language. The way it works is that a piece of text is scanned into the computer in a language such as English or Chinese. The text is analyzed with the algorithm, and the program can then construct new sentences that are grammatically correct. This new algorithm is called Automatic Distillation of Structure (ADIOS) and it basically does its job by realigning the sentences over and over while it looks for overlapping parts. Using a statistical method, the algorithm looks for patterns and structural setup.

I just got home from my therapy and lunch, and the feeds are down. This time there is a message and no fish. It says that the feeds will not be available until after the show on Saturday. If you have the live feeds, you know that you get four camera angles. You can pick one of the four, or watch all four at the same time. What they are doing this time (instead of the fish), is showing a variety of House Calls shows. On the first camera, they have evicted guests. On the second camera, they have special guests (like the producer). On the third camera are a variety of the latest House Call episodes. The fourth camera is fish cam. At least this is better than just seeing fish non-stop. Granted you can always watch House Calls on its archive page. So we won't know who won the veto or who is evicted until tomorrow.

Friday, September 2, 2005 -- Morning

The Big Brother was recorded last night, and here's what happened. As usual, we had a recap of the past week with April winning the HOH competition and backdooring and nominating James. The day is 61 in the Big Brother house. We find out at the beginning that this is another double eviction week. The assumption is that Howie will be HOH only for 48 hours. We then see April removing Janelle from the eviction block. April said that her ultimate goal was to backdoor James. James was surprised that April left Howie up on the block and said that April helped herself by taking Janelle off, but that it was a bad move for the team--dumb in fact. James thinks that if Howie got HOH that Maggie and Ivette would be up. Howie tried to make some jokes about trying to get James off for seven weeks and saying that at least James gets to pack with him. James then says that it's time for jokes later, and Howie apologizes. Meanwhile the only people left as Howie and Janelle walk away are James and Ivette on the nomination chairs. James tells Ivette that he thought he had a chance against Janelle, but not against Howie. Then Ivette practically lies across James and starts kissing him. It was weird. Maggie came up at that point and saw them. In the DR, Maggie admits that James and Ivette have this weird bond. Maggie comments on how Ivette wanted to hold and comfort James after the veto ceremony and that Ivette should realize that isn't a very smart or strategic move to keep on holding on to James. James says that this is his worse case scenario. Ivette says that she hates Howie and hates him more AND more every day. James then tells her to convince Maggie and Beau to vote off Howie then. James says that since Sarah left, his relationship with Ivette grew, but her loyalty remains with the Maggots, so he is using her as his liasion to soften them up and to find out what to do. James doesn't understand why he wasn't up against Janelle. James tries to find out if it was April's decision or the group's decision. Ivette says that it was discussed and that you don't disagree with the group, you just go along with it. Geeze, what sort of group is this where the members don't feel they can express themselves because of fear of what the head Maggot will think? James tells Ivette that she needs to convince Beau and Maggie to vote off Howie and then next week they will go after Janelle. Ivette says that she relates to James and that James told her that she is the only one he can trust. Maggie and Ivette go off to talk in the exercise room. Ivette takes James side and says that she will admit that James played the game dirty. (I guess that dirty means that he won veto competitions and tried to play both sides--which is what you should do in this game.) Ivette then tells Maggie that James is good company. Maggie says that she would much rather have James win than Howie and Janelle. Maggie says that James has three days till the voting. Maggie says in her DR that she constantly told Ivette how she feels about James, but she can't keep on repetitively telling Ivette negative things about James. So Maggie tells Ivette what Ivette wants to hear. The next scene shows James and Howie talking about who holds the most passing yards. James said that some guy thought that it was Elway, and the guy was stupid like Howie. Howie starts to say something in reply when there is this loud shhhhing noise for upstairs. It seems that Ivette was trying to nap, and Howie was talking too loud for her. Maggie then says that you can't nap when Howie is around. Howie says "god forbid that I wake someone up at 3:00 in the afternoon from their nap while the sun is still shining." James then says "if anyone wants any sleep, you know how to vote on Thursday." Maggie laughs and so does Howie. Howie realizes that James is campaigning against him, so he starts campaigning for himself, and reminds everyone that Howie hasn't won a veto while James can win the vetos and just get himself to the end of the game. James tries to say that maybe Howie is just pretending that he's a dumb, uncoordinated, middle aged man. James says that if he can convince Ivette and Beau to vote for him, and if he can convince Janelle that she and James would be alot stronger than her and Howie, he might be able to stay in the house. James is talking to Janelle in the gold room, and says that he thinks that he can get Ivette to vote for him and that he hasn't talked to Beau. Then he starts whispering about how Janelle should vote for him and that no one would believe that she voted for him. Janelle says that she feels sorry for Howie. James then says that she and Howie deserve each other. Janelle admits in her DR conversation that she would probably go further with James because Howie has been slack on the competitions lately. Janelle just doesn't know if she could live with herself if she voted against Howie. James then claims outside with Ivette that Janelle picky swore that she would vote for him. That didn't happen in the scene that I saw. James admits that he lied because his goal was to give Ivette misinformation to sway her vote. James admits that he is going to keep on working on Ivette to get her and Beau's votes. He really is working, and you could see Ivette's little pea brain trying to swirl around this information. You can tell that it's hard for her to strategize and that she probably won't be in this game. We now go to the living room. Julie asks Janelle about the phone call from Michael. Janelle said that it was wonderful and says that it was great to hear that he is still thinking of her and will be waiting for her. Janelle thanks the viewers again because the call really meant alot to her. Julie has more questions from fans. Now questions for the houseguests. Maggie is first and folks want to know what she has been doing to lose weight. Maggie says great (yesterday after the show she was complaining about the question). Maggie says that she has been running every day and working out, and just being around these wonderful people has really helped. Then Ivette. If she wins HOH, what is the one thing she wants waiting for her in the room. Ivette says a picture of her beautiful girlfriend whom she misses more than anyone can imagine. Then Beau. Which fellow houseguest would be the worst permanent roommate. Beau says Howie and then switches to Janelle because she has stuff scattered all over the house.

When we come back from break, it's all April. We get to hear from family and friends. We hear April's phrases--saying "the bottom line", "the deal is" "you know what I am saying" over and over. I like how she says "all we do is repeat ourselves." Then we hear Jennifer telling April she talks too much. Then we see two of April's sorority sisters. Oh my god! April was a really ugly girl when she was in the sorority. She obviously had some plastic surgery done on her face, especially the chin area. They claim that April is extremely intelligent. They also say that April should shut her mouth sometimes. Then we see April's husband. He says that he can understand teaming up against one person. Matt says that he liked Howie at first because he seemed fun, but then he didn't like the dark side--the Busto era. April's husband says that he's big boned, but he's not fat. Hmm...that's what all the fat people say. I hate to tell them this, but their bones aren't much bigger--that's fat around them thar bones. Then April's husband shows us his big belly and his out of shape body and asks if Howie wants some of this. It is so hiliarious because I think that I could take the guy. Then we see Pepperoni--a cute miniature schnauzer. Matt (the husband) says that he was very happy to see April winning. Matt doesn't think that April is a weak player and thinks that she has a shot. Then we talk to April in the HOH bedroom. Julie asks is it was strategy to be under the radar, and April agrees that it was. She said that she was there for Jennifer, and wanted Jennifer to do well. April repeats that she has a wonderful life outside of the house. April says that she stepped it up and that's how she won. Julie asks if Maggie is her new partner. April admits that Maggie is and they are trying to keep it underwraps. As April says, if James leaves then they will be three pairs fighting each other. Julie then asks about Ivette and questioning her loyalty. April says that she loves Ivette to death. April claims that Ivette cares for James because of Ivette's huge, huge heart and that Ivette is loyal to the Maggots. Up next a look inside the jury house.

After the break, we go to the jury house. It looks like it is out in the middle of farm land. It looks like a western ranch house and is right on a very nice large lake. It looks beautiful, and the complete opposite of tropical. Jennifer says that the last few days in sequester have been fun and like being on a vacation. Jennifer admits that after vacationing for a few days, you wonder what is going on in the house. Jennifer hopes that it is someone from the other group, but she hopes it isn't Rachel because she is so boring (she says it with a sneer). Jennifer admits that Rachel is the one she wants to see least. Then we see Jennifer waiting for someone to walk down the windy garden path, and it is Rachel. They hug. Rachel admits that she and Jennifer never got along in the house, and it was interesting to see Jennifer's reaction. Jennifer gives Rachel the tour of the house. It has a very nice pool, and there are fish in the lakes. Jennifer took the biggest room in the house. Both then drink a glass of champagne. Rachel brough a tape of what happened over the past week minus DR converstations. Rachel rolls her eyes at Jennifer's comment that it is so colorful and that it's funny seeing it in color. Which is weird because wasn't Jennifer seeing it in living color before? We see Rachel not answer her question right, and Rachel said that she knew it was going to be two to which Jennifer replies if you knew that it was going to be two why didn't you say that then? Rachel says "funny". They really hate each other! Then Jennifer squeals when Beau wins and says "it's all coming together." Jennifer saays she misses April. Then Rachel makes a remark wondering why April went all the way to the back of the pool because it slowed her down alot. Jennifer rolls her eyes then. Jennifer then wonders why they zoom in on Kaysar every five seconds and that she must have really caused some ruckus by getting rid of him with America. Rachel says it wasn't very nice about what happened to Kaysar and that got Jennifer where she is. As they continue with the tape and see the veto ceremony, Jennifer says that she loves her group. Rachel then hopes that Jennifer gets some more friends here very soon. Jennifer then says that she knows what went on with her group and she is happy with it. Rachel says "good. Let's see what happens next week." It's going to be a tense week in the jury house. Now we see diary room discussion. Maggie says that both James and Howie have the ability to take people out of the game and she sees them as equal threats. Beau says James is in good with Ivette and would protect him and Ivette. Ivette says that she thinks that James would take her and Beau to the end and that there are 101 reasons to keep James in her book. Janelle says that she thinks she could go far with James until he sold her out. Janelle says that even if she told Howie that she voted him out for strategic reasons, he would be really hurt by that. Beau then says that he and Howie have a good relationship. Ivette says that Howie's only strenght is that he can get along with people, but even that can get annoying at times. Janelle says that lately Howie hasn't been doing well in competitions, but she thinks they can beat the Nerd Herd. Maggie then says that if James ends up staying in the house and Howie goes home, she's in big trouble.

It is now time for the vote. Howie talks first. He thanks Beau for his hair and wardrobe. Howie says that he is no longer Hurricane Howie and is now Harmless Howie. He says that he is a waste of a nomination, and that he is a good motivational speaker because he inspired April to win. Also he says five vetos to zero vetos--come on! Everyone is laughing at him. Then it is James turn. He thanks his friend and family, and thanks the houseguests for coming after him week after week after week. He then thanks them all for making it easy for him to get the vetos. (he says that he is kidding). He says that he knows it is a strategic move and nothing personal. First up to vote is Maggie. She votes to evict James. Then Beau. He votes to evict James. Then it is Ivette's turn. She votes to evict James. (she covers her eyes as she says that.) Finally it is Janelle's turn, but James is already out. Janelle votes to evict James. James is evicted. He hugs everyone. Ivette gives him the longest hug. James goes to talk to Julie. Ivette goes into the bathroom to cry. Julie asked how James survived this long. James said that they screwed up more than he did. James says that he thought that it was personal because they kept on coming after him. He knew that with April it wasn't personal though because she had more issues with Howie and Janelle. Julie then asks him about the Howie HOH nomination of James and Sarah. Would James have stayed loyal? James says completely. James said that when he went to that side it was because Eric was going after him. Julie asks if the relationship was sincere or strategy. James says that it is sincere and that he will stay in touch with her and looks forward to seeing her again. Now the good-bye messages. Ivette is sorry that she can't give him a sympathy vote and that she couldn't save him. Janelle says that she probably could have made it further in the game with James but is better friends with Howie. Howie says that James is dangerous and awesome. April says that he played the game very well, and those folks wind up leaving. Beau says it took five weeks to get him out of there. Maggie says that she is an ER nurse. James also says that Maggie is an awesome person and he will keep in touch with her.

It is now time for the HOH competition. Tonight's game is called Playing it straight. Each has two turns to roll their bowling ball down the narrow beam. There are holes on each side that are given point values. It you make it to the end, you get ten points. Whoever has the most points from the total of both throws is HOH. You get zero points if your ball falls right before going it. Maggie's first roll is 2 points and 5 points for the second for a total of 7. Beau is next. His first throw is 5 points, second is 6 for a total of 11. Ivette is next. First throw is 5 points, second is 4 for a total of 9. Beau is still in the lead. Then Janelle. She gets 6 for the first roll, and 2 for the second for a total of 8. Last up is Howie. He has to beat 11 points. First roll is 6 points. Second roll is 6 points. Howie has 12 and is the new HOH. Only Janelle and Howie celebrate. April gives him the key and he gives her a big hug. Howie said they stuck a fork in him to see if he was done. Janelle says, you aren't done.

Another break. Then we have the houseguests in the living room, and everyone gets the news that it is a double eviction week. Julie asks how Howie feels to be the new HOH. Howie says that the only person he has been beating is Maggie and he thanks April for putting him up and motivating him as he did for her. He says that it feels awesome and that he is the first repeat HOH. Then Julie asks Howie that a fan wants to know what Howie is looking for in a woman that would met his needs for a long term relationsip. Howie says one of his houseguests. He says you just know when it's right, and he can't put it into words. Julie then has another question for Beau. What would he do with $1 million. He says that he would give it to a charity, some to his mom, and then travel. A question for April. What is the one thing you wish you had brought from the outside world. April says her doggie, and Julie says "not your husband". April then says she wants both. Julie then asks Howie without revealing names is he already thinking of whom he would nominate. Howie says kinda. Howie then says, "do you have a double eviction week again Julie?" She then admits that Howie took the words right out of her mouth. Howie then has to stand up and Maggie has to vacate the chair. Howie has to make his first nomination. He puts up Ivette saying that he loves her. Then he says that he loves Beau. Beau says it's all right. Julie then says good night to everyone. There is also supposed to be a surprise guest on the show on Saturday. We now listen in to the houseguests. Ivette is looking ill, and Maggie is consoling her while April sits by Beau.

Now for a note about the football game yesterday. The Steelers wound up winning 21-17. But it had nothing to do with the first team. Roethlisberger sucked, and the hero of the game was Charlie Batch. I wonder if anyone on the coaching staff is concerned about Roethlisberger's performance because they should be. I don't know if I would be getting rid of Batch which was the rumor from a few weeks ago. I think that I would keep him because he has been doing a good job in the preseason.

Thursday, September 1, 2005 -- Evening

The live eviction episode of Big Brother was not on here in Pittsburgh this evening. It is going to be broadcast around 2:05 am, so I will be recording what happens in the show first thing tomorrow morning. However, I went and checked out some web sites and had a hallelujah moment. It appears that Howie won the HOH contest (James was evicted, but I think that we all knew that was going to happen). It also appears that Beau and Ivette are up for eviction. Yet another hallelujah moment! All in all, it must be a wonderful episode, and I suppose that I will have to wait to savor all the juicy happenings. It seems that it is double eviction week. I didn't see the episode, so I'm not sure what is going on, but the houseguests are talking about how Howie wasn't told that he would be HOH for only 48 hours. So now they are wondering if that means that Howie will be HOH for both evictions and will get to make two sets of nominations. Again, hallelujah!! April made a comment about evil triumphing, but if that were the case, wouldn't the Maggots be ahead. :-) How wonderful it will be to be rid of one of the two hypocrites this weekend. I think that I would like Ivette to go first, because I know that Beau does not have the support of April and Maggie so he would probably follow soon after.

The reason that Big Brother isn't on at its usual time tonight is because the Steelers are playing Carolina this evening, and doing a horrible job. Ben Roethlisberger made some really bad throws in the little bit that he played. It's the first time that I saw a football thrown by a professional quarterback where the ball flew through the air end over end. It was the type of throw that an unathletic girl (like me) would make. In fact, I think that I've thrown the ball better than that. I think that we are in for a long season. This is probably not the politically correct thing to say in this city, but I wonder if Roethlisberger should be our starting quarterback. I don't think so, and I think that if he starts the season that way, we will see a quick change later on.

Thursday, September 1, 2005 -- Afternoon

I have to admit that I have a pet peeve. What is it? It's how the newscasters and others are referring to the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. First we have the mayor of Biloxi referring to the event as "our tsunami. Okay. Both events do have something to do with water flooding an area. The only difference would be that at least with a hurricane, people get enough advance notice so they can evacuate the area, and take fate in their own hands if they choose to stay. Then we have the governor of Mississippi, Haley Barbour, likening the devastation to Hiroshima. "I can only imagine this is what Hiroshima looked like 60 years ago," Barbour gibbered. Considering that Hiroshima's devastation was caused by man, and everyone near the area was either killed instantly or wound up suffering severe burns and cancer, I can see where someone might consider the damage done by a hurricane the same as that from dropping a nuke on a city. Others, including the President, compare the hurricane to the attacks on 9/11. Similarity? Buildings destroyed, people dead. Using that analogy the residental apartment fire is "9/11". This is really getting on my nerves. I don't mean to diminish what has happened in New Orleans or Biloxi. The devastation is great, and there has been the loss of many lives. Recovery is going to take some time. I am annoyed and disgusted with the comparisons to other events that really have nothing to do with the event at hand. Yes, it is awful, but it isn't Armageddon. Let's call it a hurricane. Let's say that New Orleans was ill-prepared for something that they should have handled much better. There have been threats of strong hurricanes in the area before. Just because the hurricanes haven't hit the area doesn't mean that someone shouldn't have thought of what to do if the levees give way, and that someone shouldn't have come up with some sort of worst case scenario of what if..and planned accordingly for evacuation, notification systens, and emergency supplies. I have heard non-stop since 9/11 how communities are planning evacuation and emergency response plans for their cities. Obviously New Orleans didn't make any plans for something happening to their levees with through terrorist act or the more likely natural disaster. Let's stop trying to come up with analogies for the devastation of New Orleans, and let it stand as what it is instead of trying to make it something that it isn't. Donate to the American Red Cross to help the victims. Contact your local government to see if they do have a viable worst care scenario plan for catastrophic emergency. And please, stop the analogies!

The other thing that gets to me is that Congress is coming back to pass emergency legislation for the victims of Katrina. My question is why does emergency legislation have to be passed? Why don't we already have something on the books to handle such situations? This is not the first time a hurricane has hit our shores. Granted it is the first time that a whole major city has been devastated, but still you would think there were already be something on the books to take care of the victims. The fact that it isn't means that assistance is slowed down. It is at times like this that you realize that all the plans and discussions about response to disasters has obviously not amounted to much. I'm sorry to say that things still won't change, and that's the thing that we really do need to address.

On the lighter side, the Penguins have signed Ryan Malone. The details have not been released, but he will be staying with the Pens for now.

Yesterday while Serena Williams was playing, I noticed that she had these big ass earrings on. I just didn't realize that they were worth $40,000. The earrings are a distraction when you look at her in close-ups. They just don't see the sort of thing that you wear on the tennis court. I can imagine them at a gala, but not during a competition. That's the Williams sisters for you though. Every year, they come up with a new way to generate gossip at the . Andre Agassi is still battling it out right now. He is playing Ivo Karlovic and the score is 4-4 in the first set. People have been talking about Agassi retiring for awhile now, but he's like the Energizer bunny who just keeps on going.

The usual Thursday cleaning is going on in the Big Brother house. They do this every Thursday so the place looks good for the live cameras. Janelle is still sleeping, because she does anything to avoid cleaning and work. She gets away with it too. The others are annoyed at it, but what are they going to do. Well, what they do is whine, whine whine about it. I have come to a realization in the past few weeks that I really hate whining. I think that a part of it has to do with the houseguests incessant whine-a-drome.

Thursday, September 1, 2005 -- Morning

I have just been watching the news this morning, and there are reports that shots are being fired from the Superdome in New Orleans at helicopters that are coming in to help evacuate people. At this point, evacuations are halted. For one, I don't know how people have guns in the Superdome because supposedly they were taken through metal detectors before being allowed to enter the Superdome. Perhaps it was someone just outside the Superdome. For two, why would you shoot at something that is coming to rescue you. It seems that things have really gotten out of hand in New Orleans. I could understand if people were breaking into grocery stores to get food. After all, if I were there with my child, and there was no prospect of getting food or water, I would break into a closed grocery store to get something for me and my child. However, these people aren't looting grocery stores. They are looting other places and taking items like clothing, jewelry, televisions, and guns. Hospital vehicles are being held up by gun point, and some hospitals are requesting evacuations because they don't feel that it is a safe atmosphere from gangs roaming the streets. The police and rescue teams have had to stop rescuing people and collecting the dead to deal with hooligans that are marauding the streets. This says something about the city of New Orleans because some looting can be explained, especially of food. But these people are really acting viciously, and it really does make you what crime was like in the city before the hurricane. It appears that it wasn't that great of a place with crime rates about the national average.

It appears that others are questiioning the rising prices of gasoline. The prices for gasoline jumped immediately, as soon as Katrina hit. Now the prices are spiraling out of control, even though President Bush has released oil from the emergency reserves. How can you explain that? Supposedly, gas stations are NOT supposed to raise their prices until they get a new shipment of gasoline. The thought is that if you have a tankload of gas, you paid a certain price for it, and raising the cost per gallon on that means that you are just gouging the consumer and trying to make a profit off of an emergency situation. Well, it looks like oil companies and gas stations are doing just that across the country. If you notice any suspicious price changes at your local gas station, the DOE wants to know. Fill out the form to report price gouging and stop this atrocious behavior. As my boyfriend was saying yesterday, it's amazing that the costs leapfrog as soon as the Hurricane hits, but it takes months for it to come down after oil is released? How can the injury be felt so quickly and the fix take so incredibly long to help? It's because of price gouging! Let's fight back and not except this behavior!

OLN Network has released its hockey schedule for the coming season. It is subject to change.

Tonight is another preseason game for the Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger is saying that he can handle the pressure. As Roethlisberger says, he puts pressure on himself because he wants to perform his best. Coach Cowher, however, doesn't want the pressure to get out of hand. Cowher knows that fans are looking at every interception and failed pass that Roethlisberger throws, and he doesn't want Roethlisberger to crack under the strain and do an ever worse job. It's not such a bad thing to have a bad preseason. After all, the preseason doesn't count in any rankings, and it is just an opportunity for the team to get some practice, identify weak and strong points, and to work on those elements.

Tonight is live eviction night on Big Brother, but I won't be able to see the show until tomorrow morning. It is not being broadcast until the early morning hours. The exact time will depend on when the football game ends and how far behind it pushes the shows. What I don't understand is that last time a football game was on CBS, they moved the show to the other sister station. Well, I guess because they have Smackdown Wrestling on the sister channel, they don't want to cause any disruption. Geeze Louise! Meanwhile Howie has been walking around the Big Brother house practising for the HOH competition. I really hope that either he or Janelle wins. If they don't, then one of them will be going home next week, and it will really consolidate the possibilty that Beau and Ivette will make it to the final two and I really can't stand either of them.