The Daily Bongo

August 2006

Thursday, August 31, 2006 -- Evening

Tonight is the highly anticipated live eviction, HOH, nomination, POV, and second eviction episode on Big Brother All-Stars. Read the recap for all the exciting details.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bob O'Connor is not doing well at all and was given the Sacraments of the Sick today. That used to be known as the Last Rites and was given to people who were near death. Everyone in the news media is in agreement that we are basically on a death watch right now. I feel really sorry for Bob. He was truly a nice guy, and a fellow Squirrel Hill resident. In fact, he lives just a two minute walk from my apartment. You could always see him walking the streets and getting coffee at the local coffee shops, and he frequented them all. He was always approachable and friendly, and even answered some of my boyfriend's questions about the political scene a few years ago. While he was running for Mayor, I saw him on the street in a powder blue jogging suit, straightening out one of his campaign signs. As he said, he needed to keep on eye on them to make sure they were still properly placed. A nice, good guy, and a real shame that he is so ill and had such a short term as Mayor. As so many people in Pittsburgh, I am going to mourn the loss of a kind soul.

The Steelers are playing the Carolina Panthers in the final preseason game. None of the starters are playing in the game, and in the first few minutes of the game, it is looking like it is going to be one of those painfully, poorly played games.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006 -- Evening

Interesting news from the Steelers today. They signed Willie Parker to a four year extension. That means that Parker should be playing with the Steelers until 2009. The question that i have is what role does Duce Staley play with the Steelers. Most of my friends have been saying that they seem he as a third string player. I don't think that he has really shown much over the past two regular seasons or the pre-season. I really wonder if he is going to be let go by the time the roster cut happens September 3.

Santonio Holmes's trial was postponed from today until December 4th. The story is that Holmes will probably get off with just counseling either from the Steelers or the NFL. It makes it hard to do anything with HOlmes legally when his girlfriend refuses to testify against him.

Joey Porter is on this week's cover of Sports Illustrated. Porter is called the most feared and physically intimidating player in the NFL.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006 -- Early Afternoon

The Pens may not have a buyer after all. It seems that Sam Fingold's letter of intent may expire because he hasn't been able to find the financial backing for his $175 million bid to buy the Pens. We should know what is happening in the next several days. The Pens were hoping to have a new owner by the start of the new season which is in five weeks.

There won't be any need to stay up late on Thursday to find out what is happening on Big Brother All-Stars. It seems that KDKA's sister station, the new CW will show the episode at its regularly scheduled time.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006 -- Evening

Tonight's episode of Big Brother All-Stars was interesting because we saw the Janelle POV win and the nomination of Danielle. Chill Town has just blown through this season with their charm and charisma and remain the only alliance left in the house. Read the recap for more details on the episode.

Barbaro's cast was replaced on Sunday after a small crack was noticed in it. The leg is doing very well, and it appears that the short pastern is totally fused and there is only small healing left on the long pastern. The cast that is on now is expected to be on for a while, and the bone looks so good that they may keep the cast off with the next removal. There is also no sign of infection. As for the laminitis, it appears as if the hoof is growing back. However, the problem is that it will take several months before it is certain that the hoof will fully grown. Barbaro was on the CBS Morning Show last week, and he looks really good. Check out the video. Barbaro appears to be full of spunk and energy. Dr. Dean Richardson is getting dragged around by Barbaro as he goes to eat grass. As Richardson said though, before the accident, it would take 3-4 people to hold Barbaro.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006 -- Morning

Pittsburgh Mayor, Bob O'Connor, has suffered another setback in his bout against brain cancer. This is the saddest story because O'Connor has wanted to be Mayor for years. He has run before, only to lose in the primary to someone else, and now he had his big chance. He was in office for only abit over six months, when he went to the hospital with flu-like symptoms. He was probably thinking that it was something minor--get some drugs, maybe one day enforced rest in the hospital--and then it turns out that he has primary central nervous system T-cell lymphoma, which is really rare, and usually deadly. Supposedly, they were going to start treatment and then send him home, but he hasn't been home since the beginning of July. Then they found out that the chemotherapy drugs weren't working and the tumors were spreading. Last week, they put a shunt into his brain to drain excessive fluid, and then started radiation therapy. Late yesterday, his condition was downgraded from stable to serious. He has an infection from the shunt, and it was replaced late yesterday afternoon with another that has been treated with antiobiotics. He is also being given medication for seizures. Now they had to test for the seizures and aren't commenting on O'Connor's level of consciousness which leads me to believe that he is not conscious. The other news that is unsettling is that the seizures might not be caused by the infection, but from a worsening of the cancer. Poor Bob's travails have really made me think about life. The guy has wanted this job for so long, and after having it for such a short period has such problems. The only thing that is good is that he did make it to his dream. Imagine what it would be like to never realize your dream--to live life without making the attempt or succeeding. At least he had a few months. I'm hoping that he has many more, but it is not sounding good at all, and I'm preparing for the worst.

Lighter news--this Thursday, the local CBS station is going to be showing the Steelers game, so I won't get to watch the action packed Big Brother All-Stars episode until 2:05 am Friday morning. Of course, I could also watch it after midnight via Innertube. It's available after midnight because that is when the show is over in the Pacific time period.

Monday, August 28, 2006 -- Afternoon

Yippee Kiaya! My cast is off. No more heavy orange blob on the end of my left leg. Now I have a big black heavy boot. I don't care though because this boot will allow for weight bearing. I've already been walking around abit. My foot feels like pins and needles, and my ankle feels weak, but give me a few days!

Bluegrass Cat was retired yesterday. Bluegrass Cat was lame on Sunday, and when they checked his right rear leg, they found that he has a non-displaced fracture of the pastern. Bluegrass Cat had an excellent 2-year-old season, and wasn't shabby as a three-year-old with seconds in the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, and the Travers (on Saturday). The owners thought it was best at this point to retire him to a stud career. You have to wonder when he broke the bone, and if he did it during the race, how much it affected the outcome.

Sunday, August 27, 2006 -- Evening

There was an episode of Big Brother All-Stars on this evening. Basically the show is the Dr. Will Kirby show. The guy has such charisma. I have to admit that he and Janelle are my two favorites and the ones I would love to see at the end. Read the recap for all the details.

Sunday, August 27, 2006 -- Early Afternoon

Janelle is something else. Even thought the live feeds were still at flames when I went to sleep last night after midnight, I found out this morning from Jokers Updates that Janelle won the POV. The question is can Will convince Erika to put up Danielle in Janelle's place? The other thing that I wonder is what is going to happen on Thursday's live show on Big Brother All-Stars. I am imagining that they are going to do the HOH, veto, POV, and eviction nominations immediately after this week's nominee goes. The thing is that I don't know how they can do that live when it takes them so long to set up and do the competitions on the feeds. We shall see. At least for now, Janelle is safe.

Bernardini won the Travers Stakes yesterday. In fact, all the hype about the match-up between Bernardini and Bluegrass Cat was for naught because Bernardini won the mile and a quarter race easily by seven and a half lengths in a time of 2:01.60. Bluegrass Cat finished in second place six and a quarter lengths in front of Dr. Pleasure. Bernardini is a strong contender for Horse of the Year, and you just have to wonder what would have happened in the Preakness if Barbaro didn't break his leg. It would have been interesting to see a summer of matchups between those two.

Zara Phillips, daughter of Great Britain's Princess Anne, won the gold medal in the World Equestrian Games in Germany. Zara is her mother's daughter. Princess Anne represented Britain in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.

Saturday, August 26, 2006 -- Morning

It seems that the Pirates got so much negative feedback from the performance of Me First and the Gimme Gimmes that they cancelled their performance in the firework displays yesterday and tonight. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were marked as Starburst nights with a fireworks extravaganza planned. Instead, last night there was just recorded music and fireworks.

The Steelers played the Philadelphia Eagles last night in their third pre-season game. The team lost their third game in a row with a final score of 16-7. Ben Roethlisberger was constantly under pressure, getting sacked, throwing an interception, and finding his backside on the ground alot. The game announcers were commenting that Roethlisberger needed to play more than the few series that he did. The team has not been playing well together at all. There are a few players who have been putting in good performances, but as a whole there appears to be a lack of gelling together. Hopefully this will clear up when the regular season starts. If it doesn't, I don't think that the team will manage to pull off a winning season.

Friday, August 25, 2006 -- Evening

Last night, tonight, and tomorrow night the Pirates have a huge fireworks extravanga. Last night the Pirates won the game against the Houston Astros. Then they setup the stage for the show. They even televised it because it was supposed to be such a hot deal. They brought in this group called Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, and they stunk up the whole city. The group is this really atrocious cover band. So the group played a song, and then they played a recording of the song from the original group. While the recorded song was playing, they would shoot off some fireworks. Watching any sort of fireworks display on television is lame, I will admit, but my opinions were limited because of my non-weightbearing cast and crutches. But Fox Sports Pittsburgh did an awful job. They focused on the smoke that was left from the fireworks and did closeups of buildings. I did hear though from local sports talk shows that even the people who were there thought the whole display was lame. Yeah, there were two tons of fireworks, but it was spread over a half an hour so there were skimpy periods and downtime. Mix that in with Me First and the Gimme Gimmes being so bad that folks were booing them, and you come up with a huge disappointment.

The controversy over Pluto still hasn't abated. It appears that there are quite a few who are up in arms because the vote was held on the last day of the International Astronomical Unit's General Assembly, and only 424 astronomers participated in the vote. Of course, this doesn't overturn the decision, and if the atronomers were so concerned about the situation, they should have stuck around. They knew that the vote for planetary status was going to be on the schedule. The only thing that I take issue with is the criteria that a planet "clear its orbit" of other objects. Pluto didn't because it crosses the orbit of Neptune. I would say that also take Neptune out of the running but hey! Whatta I know! Pluto's orbit is also not on the same plane as the other planets which was an additional reason to remove its planet status. This is all so arbitrary though. A planet is a word that we use to define something and has nothing to do with actual reality.

Horse racing news. 4 year old sprinter, Lost in the Fog, was diagnosed with inoperable spleen tumors last week. He was given only a few weeks to live because there were additional tumors in his body close to the spine that were inoperable. Since last week though, he has been on medication to reduce the size of the tumors so they can be removed. Lost in the Fog is doing well, still his old chipper self, and in fact feeling better because he is taking a low dose of pain medication which removes some of the colic symptoms. Things are necessarily as bleak as everyone originally thought, and Lost in the Fog's trainer, Greg Gilchrist, is not letting anyone give in to negativity.

Tomorrow is the Travers Stakes at Saratoga. The race is shaping up as a battle between Bernardini, the even-money favorite, and Bluegrass Cat, who finished second in the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. Bernardini does appear to be the one to beat, but horse racing can be unpredictable. All you need is for Bluegrass Cat to have a good day, and Bernardini to be off, and the favorite can be unseated.

Thursday, August 24, 2006 -- Evening

Tonight was eviction night on Big Brother All-Stars. James is voted out and Erika becomes the HOH. Next week there is going to be a live double eviction. I was figuring this morning that they have to start getting people out two a week now because the show ends on Sept. 12, and that is just a little over 2 weeks away. Read the recap.

Thursday, August 24, 2006 -- Late Morning

Poor Pluto! It has been demoted from a planet to an object that orbits the Sun. Astronomers met today at the International Astronomical Unit's General Assembly. Most of the astronomers applauded the decision, while others were saddened at the loss. Starting today, there will only be eight planets in our solar system, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Pluto and other objects like it will be referred to as "dwarf" planets.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 -- Evening

Hines Ward has been having alot of problems with his hamstring of late, and he is not alone. It appears that a few other players in the NFL have been having the same problem--most notably Terrell Owens. Ward is going to miss the Steelers game on Friday because of the injury, and it is really starting to worry people because he has been missing so much practice and pre-season games. My boyfriend doesn't understand how the hamstring can cause so many problems, but I have always had issues with straining my hamstring. I'm not very athletic, but sometimes when I run alot without warming up properly, I really get severe cramps in my hamstring. So I can sympathize with Ward and Owens, and hope that both are playing soon.

It seems that Survivor is stirring up some controversy. The news season which starts on September 14 is going to break up the teams based on ethnicity. The groups will be white, Afro-American, Hispanic, and Asian. Now some people are up in arms over this, but I think that it could lead to some pretty interesting situations. Yeah, there might be some racial overtones, but it will be interesting to see how the different groups react and resolve some of those differences.

I have been having alot of problems with my laptop burning my legs. It's awkward to put a pillow on my legs. Because the laptop has gotten so hot, I've only been able to compute for short periods. When I move the laptop off my lap, my legs are bright red and wet. It was getting unbearable. My boyfriend recommended that I investigate some laptop pads. I ordered the Chinook from LapLogic. I've just been using the lap pad this evening, and I have to admit that the bottom of the laptop feels really hot, but there isn't a sound of the fan kicking onto high. Also, it is nice to not have huge red, sweaty burns on my legs. The nice thing about the pad is that it has a non-slip surface, so you don't have to worry about the laptop sliding off the pillow or lap.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 -- Evening

Saying of the day: What looks big in the pot isn't always big in the belly.

Big Brother All-Stars was on this evening. The fight between Janelle and James for the doll in the POV competition was classic. James dramatized the event, and Janelle had a broken nail. She is the Queen Bee. Read the recap.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 -- Afternoon

Poor Alcor! The polar bear from the Erie Zoo died after his surgery last night. Dr. Dean Richardson had set the broken bones in the animal's leg, and Alcor was on his way back to his home zoo and waking from anesthesia when he died. An autopsy (necropsy in animals) is planned for Alcor to determine the cause of his death.

I just finished reading The Messenger by Daniel Silva. It is the sixth and latest in the Gabriel Allon series. The book was one of those that I had difficulty putting down. I devoured the book in just a few days. I highly recommend this one to anyone who likes thrilling spy stories. Read my review.

Monday, August 21, 2006 -- Evening

As was to be expected Marion Jones is denying that she has ever taken performance enhancing drugs. She says that she won't make any comments until the results of the B sample come back. I suppose that she needs some time to come up with an excuse for the EPO in the sample. You have to wonder why an athlete would take something, knowing there will be a test for the substance, and he/she would be caught with the hand in the cookie jar. Is it the arrogance that they won't get caught, or that they can talk their way out of anything? You have to wonder.

Dr. Dean Richardson has begun the operation on the Alcor, the polar bear from the Erie Zoo. The surgery began around 11 am this morning, and was still going on at 5 pm. There hasn't been a news release yet, but Alcor fractured his right ulna in two places and shattered his radius. If anyone could help Alcor, it is Richardson.

Sunday, August 20, 2006 -- Evening

We finally get to see the Howie eviction on Big Brother All-Stars. There was alot of drama in the show because we got to see how everyone kept on barraging poor Chicken George and threatening him the entire time. It was sad to see Howie go, but maybe sometimes things are for the best. Read the recap.

Sunday, August 20, 2006 -- Morning

The Steelers lost their second pre-season game last night. This time they were playing the Minnesota Vikings, and the final score was 17-10. The score really doesn't represent the game because it looks like it was closer than it was. The team just doesn't seem to be jelling together very well, but then again this is the pre-season. Ben Roethlisberger did play in the game despite the stubbing of his thumb earlier this week, and he actually did a decent job for the few plays that he was involved in.

Saturday, August 19, 2006 -- Early Evening

I suppose that it is human nature to lie and cheat. For some reason, athletes excel at the lying and cheating part of nature. Next up as ace cheater and liar Marion Jones. She has always denied that her amazonian appearance and performances were due to the performance enhancing drugs. We all questioned it because both of her track racing husbands were caught doping, and her name was tied to the BALCO investigation. Well, after winning the 200 meter race at the US Championships in Indianapolis in June, her A blood sample tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO). If her B sample comes back with the same result, the 30 year old Jones will be banned from athletics for two years. EPO increases the amount of oxygen that can be carried by the blood, and this in turn helps in aerobic activity, like running or bike riding. EPO has been associated alot with the cycling world. So in the end, we are confronted with another liar and a cheat--a person who was incapable of achieving her goal with chemical assistance. Now her entire career is smudged in my eyes. I wonder if we will ever go back to the era where sports heroes achieved the unbelieveable due to their own natural talents and hard work? I doubt it. Whenever I see someone now--in any sport--I wonder if drugs are the impetus behind the performance. It's the loss of naivete and the jading of our culture.

Friday, August 18, 2006 -- Evening

Today was a sad day on Big Brother All-Stars. Howie was evicted and sent to sequester. Janelle was sad because Howie was voted out, and because she thinks that everyone in the house hates her. Will is acting as chief consoler, and it really sucks that folks are making someone feel bad just for being a good player of the game. Boogie is the new HOH. Read the recap for details and feed captures.

Evgeni Malkin has given an interview to TSN about the situation with Magnitogorsk. They seemed to be putting alot of psychological pressure on him every day, and that he worried about what would happen to his parents if he didn't sign with Magnitogorsk. Malkin said that he really wanted to play for the NHL. Malkin says that he is not in shape at this point, but that he hopes to be in playing shape soon, and playing with the Pens this coming season. I am excited again. I have full season tickets, and I hope to see some exciting games.

Barbaro's surgeon gets around! Dr. Dean Richardson will be operating on an eight year old polar bear from the Erie zoo. Alcor was playing with his brother, Mizar, on August 11, when it was noticed that Alcor was not putting weight on his right front foot. It appears that somehow during the play, Alcor fractured his leg. After reviewing x-rays, the first opinion of the vets was that Alcor would have to be euthanized because there was no way to secure the break since it was very near the paw. It was also thought that Alcor couldn't get around on three legs like a dog because of his weight (750 pounds). Dr. Richardson was called in on the case, and he believes that he can help the animal. There is no word on when the operation will happen or what will have after the surgery. I'll keep my eyes open for more information.

Thursday, August 17 2006 -- Evening

Eviction night on Big Brother All-Stars, and Marcellas had his whiny, princessy self sent to sequester. Yep, it is the first eviction to the jury. Surprisingly, George won the HOH competition, and it is double eviction night, and he had to quickly put someone up, and he put up James and Erika. Read the recap for all the shocking details!

Thursday, August 17, 2006 -- Late Afternoon

It has all the earmarks of a cold war era spy novel. Young, talented Russian wants to come to escape the oppression of his country to come to the US. He plots the first opportunity to race to freedom and takes advantage of it while his compatriots search for him. That is the story of the flight to freedom for Evgeni Malkin. He alerted his agent that Finland would be the first location when he would have access to his passport. It seemed that Magnitogorsk controlled his passport and would not let him leave. As soon as Malkin received his passport in Finland, he slipped away from his team, met his agent, JP Barry, and hid away while the American visa was obtained. That happened yesterday, and it seems that Malkin is now in Los Angeles with his agents trying to find out how he can join the Pens. It will be fascinating to hear Malkin's story directly from his own lips, and that first Pens' press conference will be a winner!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006 -- Early Evening

It seems that Evgeni Malkin is still in Europe, but that he should be escorted to the US within the next 24 hours. The big news is that Malkin has tendered his two week notice to Metallurg Magnitogorsk that he is quitting the team. That is supposedly all that he will need to get out of his contract with them, according to Russian law. This doesn't mean that Malkin will be playing with the Pens because Metallurg is going to sue for Malkin's loss. This is bigger than just the Pens because the Russian league wants a better deal from the NHL.

Ben Roethlisberger hurt his thumb in the next to last play in practice this afternoon. It was just announced on the local newscast, and there isn't any word on how severe the injury is. Roethlisberger was shown going to the medical office to have the thumb iced and x-rayed. New word is that the injury is probably just a stubbed thumb after Roethlisberger knocked his hand off the helmet of a linesman.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006 -- Afternoon

Astronomers have come up with a proposal for planet classification in our solar system. The proposal by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) will allow Pluto to keep its planetary status as a "pluton". The plutons are bodies which are round, but too small to be considered a classical planetary type. With the new definition, the number of planets will move up from nine to 12. New planets will include: Ceres, the largest asteroid in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, Pluto's moon, Charon, and the newly discovered UB313. The new definition proposes two criteria for an object to be considered a planet.
  1. The object must orbit a star, but not be a star.
  2. The object has to have enough mass so that the object's own gravitational force will cause the object to form in a spherical shape. All oddly shaped object, such as the potato shaped Martian moon, Phobos.
The new definition will be voted on by 2500 members of the IAU at a meeting in Praque on August 24.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006 -- Afternoon

"Where, oh where, has Evgeni Malkin gone? Oh Where, oh where can he be? He left Finland with his baggage you see, oh where oh where can he be?" (sing to "where oh where has my little dog gone?"). That's the song that the Russian team, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, is singing today. They are accusing the Pens of the crime of the century in stealing Malkin from them. The thing is that there are alot of fishy things going on in the Malkin case. It appears that when Malkin recently signed the one year renewal with Metallurg, he did it at 3 am in the morning because as Malkin's mom said, they made Malkin an offer he couldn't refuse. Gosh knows what sort of pressure the team was putting on this 20 year old, but according to his father, Malkin finally snapped. The rumor now is that Malkin is in Toronto where the offices for his agents, Pat Brisson and J.P. Barry, is. A report out of Finland was that Malkin left on a plane for New York.

The other huge local sports story is that the Steelers and Bill Cowher have ended their contract negotiations. Cowher has two years left on his contract, and the talks now are for an extension. This is lending credance to the comments made by Jerome Bettis that it was obvious that Cowher was not going to be with the Steelers much longer. Cowher was a tad ticked by the comments and told Bettis that he shouldn't have talked about the situation. However, with Cowher buying a house in North Carolina and moving the family there, everyone has been speculating that the end of his time with the Steelers is near.

Monday, August 14, 2006 -- Evening

Tonight was the final episode of Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen. The person that I disliked the most wound up winning. Heather was the most annoying person, and just rubbed me the wrong way, but Virginia took the loss well. Read the recap for all the details.

Monday, August 14, 2006 -- Late Afternoon

Things have been going so well for Barbaro lately, that Dr. Dean Richardson has approved trips outside of the ICU unit. Barbaro has been taken into a little paddock just outside of his barn, and have been given the opportunity to pick some of his own grass. Dr. Richardson said that Barbaro has been going out for the past few days (as of Aug. 11). When Barbaro first went out, he was abit in culture shock of getting sunshine and fresh grass. Watch the video of Barbaro outside.

Sunday, August 13, 2006 -- Evening

Tonight on Big Brother All-Stars was the redo on the HOH competition that Janelle won. Danielle and Erika are nominated, but we know that Danielle gets the POV. The Veto ceremony is going to be tomorrow, so we should know who goes up in Danielle's place.

Long shot, Cactus Creek won the Adios at the Meadows race track here in Pittsburgh. The race is for pacers, and it seems that the winners of the three heats that were raced earlier in the day, just faded in the final. Cactus Creek paced the mile in 1:50 2/5. Western Ace was second and Total Truth was third. The favorite, Sandro Hanover, finished sixth in the final after winning his heat earlier.

Saturday, August 12, 2006 -- Evening

The Steelers ended just as I was leaving the house for dinner. The game was a typical pre-season game. The Steelers didn't play as well as everyone would want to see in a regular season game, and the Arizona Cardinals played well. Since it was the very first time that the Cardinals stadium was used. The new stadium was built so the city could host a Super Bowl, and the neat thing about it is that it has a real grass field that is on a tray. The field stays out in the sun, and then is pulled into the stadium (which is domed) for the game. So they can actually have real grass in a domed stadium--neat! The final score for the game was 21-13.

Now at this point, it is only rumor, but it seems that Evgeni Malkin left the training camp for the Metallurg Magnitogorsk Russian team. The team was training in Finland, and Malkin supposedly left with his clothes, some personal items, and his travel papers (passport) and is supposedly headed to North America. I believe it when I see him here in Pittsburgh.

Saturday, August 12, 2006 -- Late Afternoon

I won't be able to see this because of lack of mobility with my broken foot, but if you have the chance, make sure to go outside and look for the Perseid meteor shower. The Perseids can usually be seen at this time of year. It usually starts in mid July and peaks around now. Tonight should be the night when you will see the highest amount of showers. The meteors that make up the event come from the tail of the Comet Swift-Tuttle.

The Steelers are playing their first pre-season game right now against the Arizona Cardinals. Ben Roethlisberger played only for the first series (first four downs). He actually did pretty good and scrambled to avoid a tackle and got a sack. So far in general, the team isn't looking that good. The defense seems to be having issues stopping the Cardinals and the offense isn't moving the ball down the field very well. It is pre-season which really doesn't mean or tell much.

Friday, August 11, 2006 -- Evening

When I was a kid, I would come home to find my mother watching soap operas. I would eat my snack and wait for my favorite show. No, it was the bevy of reruns; it was the Mike Douglas Show. I loved watching Mike or the guests singing and hearing what the guests had to say. It was entertaining and Mike Douglas was one of those regular sort of guys--the type you would imagine living next door, or being your dad, who came across as just a nice guy. He was more concerned with making his guests looking good, and in entertaining us with a song. Mike Douglas died today--his birthday--at the age of 81. The cause of death was not really known at this point, but he was in the hospital affter becoming dehydrated while golfing a few weeks ago. Mike is survived by his wife of 62 years, Genevieve. RIP, Mr. Douglas!

Friday, August 11, 2006 -- Afternoon

Great news on the Big Brother front. It seems that there were technical difficulties during the HOH competition yesterday. We noticed something about it when Howie said that he pushed his button, but it didn't record his vote. Well, it seems that they had to redo the competition, and Erika is no longer HOH. In fact, Janelle won HOH. Now we can only hope that someone doesn't guess the clues to get the phrase to unseat Janelle as HOH. Read the recap for more information.

It seems that David Beckham's career as a player for England is over. He was left off the squad of the team that the new manager, Steve McClaren, formed for a August 16 friendly against Greece. Beckham said that he knew that the manager would want to form his own team. Supposedly, McClaren could call Beckham up later, and this does not necessarily signal Beckham's retirement from international play at the age of 31.

Thursday, August 10, 2006 -- Evening

Ben Roethlisberger has gotten his wish, and he will be starting in Saturday's preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals. All Bill Cowher would say is that Roethlisberger will play for a short period of time. It's amazing how quickly Roethlisberger has recovered. I think that he should be playing. If the doctors say that he's ready, then he needs to get some practice facing the music of folks trying to knock his newly reconstructed block off.

Eviction night on Big Brother All-Stars. Poor Kaysar was voted out and he was stunned at the duplicity of James. Read the recap.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006 -- Evening

Barbaro's cast was replaced late yesterday, and the leg under the cast is looking very good. This seems to tie in with the blood work results which have been steadily improving and aren't showing any sign of infection. The wrapping on the left leg are changed daily, and it also looks good. The hoof area is dry and there is "excellent early regrowth at the coronary band, according to Dr. Dean Richardson.

After a great deal of excitement here in the 'Burgh generated by the Russian League having an agreement with the NHL, the bubble was burst when news started to spread that Evgeni Malkin would not be coming to Pittsburgh. Sergei Gonchar talked to Malkin and says that Malkin has no plans on coming to Pittsburgh this season. So now the Pens are going to have find someone to fill the spot that Malkin would have taken on the team.

Someone needs to give Floyd Landis a good talking to on how to be a man, because he obviously isn't acting like a mature, honorable man. Landis was caught cheating. His answer has been to find excuses that range from drinking beer the night before to blaming the system for having an agenda against him. What agenda there would be against a name that as far as the general public was concerned was unknown, who knows. But Landis isn't one for accepting that he was caught with his hand in the cookie jar. "I don't know if it's somehow or some way I ingested something that caused the tests to be that way," Landis whined to Jay Leno. According to Landis there are so many ways to natural fail the test, that the results should just be thrown away. If that were the case, and the test weren't capable of finding a cheater, why do you think the tests were in place? If the tests were so flawed, they would throw out the test so they could come up with something that would catch the cheater. The thing is that they did. Landis is a cheater. He's the child covered in cookie crumbs and chocolate around his mouth who denies eating the cookies. Memo to Landis: Don't insult our intelligence with your comments. You did the crime, and you got caught. Shut up and pay the price!

It seems that there was some excitement in the Big Brother house that I missed today. It seems that Bunky may have been in the house filming something for Thursday's show. Bunky mentioned something about it on today's House Calls show. There are lots of rumors about what will be happening, but I haven't heard anything definitive. Either it is the Coup d'Etat twist where the HOH is immediately overthrown. Will is spreading the rumor that there is going to be an immediate eviction. I guess we will just have to watch tomorrow to see what happens. I am really disgusted with Marcellas. He is acting like a spoiled princess, and he is about as loyal to his friends as the Moon is made of cheese. I think that it's sad that someone like Kaysar is probably going to be voted out while Marcellas gets to keep his butt in the house.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006 -- Evening

Big Brother All-Stars was on this evening. All I have to say is that I love to see the interactions between Will and Boogie and I love the way both are playing the house. I have to admit that I would love for the final two to be Will and Boogie. Read the recap for all the details.

Barbaro had another cast change today. There hasn't been a report on how that went, and there is not expected to be a news release until sometime tomorrow.

Monday, August 7, 2006 -- Evening

Evgeni Malkin claims to want to play in the NHL. However, the Russian team that he plays for said that Malkin signed a deal that would turn his three year contract into a one year contract. That means that Malkin would be playing for the NHL in the 2007 season.

Only three people were left at start of Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen this evening. At the end only two were left. Read the recap to find out who left today.

Sunday, August 6, 2006 -- Evening

Tonight's episode of Big Brother All-Stars reveals to those without live feeds who won HOH and who was nominated. For those who have the live feeds, or who have been reading my Big Brother page, it is common knowledge that Danielle won HOH and nominated James and Janelle. Read the recap for details that were only on the show.

Bluegrass Cat won the $1 million Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park today. He won by seven lengths. Praying for Cash was second and Strong Contender was third. The time for the 1 1/8th mile race was 1:48.85. Next up for Bluegrass Cat is a meeting with Bernardini in the Travers.

Saturday, August 5, 2006 -- Evening

Great news on the Big Brother front. Janelle won the power of veto today. She will obviously use it on herself and be safe for another week. Now my hope is that James is the person who gets voted out. It seems that the competition was similar to the Chicken George veto win. The contestants were asked if they would do certain things and the person with the fewest points won the veto. Fortunately it was Janelle, and I think that might put a monkey wrench in Danielle's plans, and might lead to James being the person who winds up leaving. James is hoping that Kaysar will be the person who is put up and leaves. However, Boogie and Will want Howie to be nominated and to be the person voted out. That would be interesting because the stronger players would remain in the game. Janelle is campaigning to get Marcellasa put on the block in her place. It's funny because after that, we see Marcellas trying to make nice with Janelle.

Marc-Andre Fleury signed a deal with the Pens today. The deal is for two years and the financial details were not released.

Astronomers have found two planets that orbit each other rather than a star. Astronomers are not sure how the dynamics works and are confused by the existence of the planets. Duh! That's not news to me because I think that astronomers and scientists really understand very little of how the Universe works. I think that most of it is guess work and only some of it is right. The objects are called planemos are have 1% of the mass of the Sun, are more than six times more distant from each other than the Sun and Pluto, and were formed around 2 million years ago. More confusion to follow, I'm sure.

Floyd Landis' B sample was also found to be positive, and it looks like he will be losing his Tour de France title. Oscar Pereiro has declared himself the winner. Landis is still trying to claim that the the ratio difference in his testosterone level is due to natural causes. So far, he has offered several excuses, none of which is plausible. First it was because of a cortisone shot, then it was because he drank beer the night before, and then it was because he was dehydrated during the stage (even though he led, was close to his support car, and was drinking the entire time). Also, it is was natural, it wouldn't explain the other negative tests. Surprising that he has a positive result on the day when he did the unbelieveable, and negative when he was not doing as well. Yeah, I'm sure that it's naturual. The guy was a cheater, and he got caught. He's probably not alone. The tests are getting more sophisticated and are catching the cheaters.

Friday, August 4, 2006 -- Early Morning

In a disappointment for Chill Town and BB6 fans, Danielle won the HOH endurance competition last night. For more details, check out my Big Brother page.

Ben Roethlisberger is doing better than expected in training camp. According to Roethlisberger, he thinks that he is well enough to play in the first preseason game which is August 12. As Roethlisberger said, they will have to hold him down to keep him out. Roethlisberger lost some weight from last season, and tips the scales at 235 pounds. He was 250 last year at this time. The good thing is that he didn't lose that much weight, and in fact, everyone thinks that he will be better lighter. As for the new helmets that he tried out, he didn't like any of them, including the Revolution helmet that is supposed to give more support to the jaw and protect from concussions. Linesmen use it alot, but Roethlisberger said that it hindered his vision, and he is keeping to his tried and true helmet style. I can understand that because if you are used to something, it's hard to switch to something else.

Thursday, August 3, 2006 -- Evening

It was eviction night on Big Brother All-Stars. Diane was evicted by a vote of 7 to 1. Now there is an endurance competition going on. The houseguests are on a spider web and have to hang on while they are having webbing shot at them periodically. Read the recap for all the details of the show, and check back later to see who won HOH.

Barbaro is improving, slowly. It seems that his left rear hoof is showing evidence of regrowth. There is still a long road to go before Barbaro is totally out of the woods.

Thursday, August 3, 2006 -- Afternoon

Mike Lange has agreed to be the play-by-play guy on the radido for the Pens.

I am not alone with a fracture in my left foot. It seems that Katharine McPhee fractured her left foot by tripping backstage on Tuesday night. It seems that she will continue with the American Idol tour. I'm starting to feel jealous because I think that means she probably didn't get a cast on her foot. Hrmph!

Tonight is eviction night on Big Brother. It seems that the eviction may come down to a tie. The reasoning that some folks have on the Internet is the Howie, Kaysar, Will, and Boogie will vote to evict Diane, and that Marcellas, Danielle, James, and possibly chicken George will vote to evict Erika. If that happens, it comes down to Janelle, and she will probably get rid of Diane. The question is who will win HOH tonight. If it is James, Danielle, or Erika, they might nominate Janelle. I'm really not sure about Marcellas because he has bonded with Janelle. I don't think that Chicken George can do anything more than float through the game. That's why I would get rid of him. I wouldn't want him floating while the strong players take each other out because at the end he wins. James went along with that strategy last week, but now seems to have done a flip-flop. I thought James was such a hypocrite when he asked the others why didn't Kaysar put up Chill Town. The question becomes why didn't James? He put up Jase instead, and says it was because of BB6, but now he has seen the evil of their ways. Whatever!

Wednesday, August 2, 2006 -- Evening

There hasn't been alot of news about things that I am interested in. The folks in the Big Brother house are on the boring side today. The floaters are whining that the floaters are targets and say that they will target the BB6ers. What I think is funny is they were saying that from the beginning, hence the urge for Janelle and Kaysar to target the floaters. It seems that Diane has been really campaigning to make certain that she stays in the house another week. Will it work, or has it worked (since they should have voted or finished the voting by now)? We won't know until tomorrow evening.

I haven't been very active for the past few days. Why? Because I broke the fifth metatarsal in my left foot. Yep, the same foot that had the bunion surgery last year at this time. I stumbled on the steps at work and missed the next to last step this past Friday. I knew that something bad happened and went to the ER right away. Here's the picture of the lump that appeared on the side. They found a fracture in the bone, and a chip in the bone next to it. I had to wait until Monday to see an orthopedia surgeon, and he said that I had to put a cast on my foot for four weeks with no weight bearing. It sucks. The temperature is hot--upper 90s and really humid, my ankle itches, and I feel miserable because my stupidity of not looking where I was walking got me into this condition. At least the cast is orange.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006 -- Evening

Big Brother All-Stars was on this evening, and covered the stuff we already know from the live feeds. Read the recap.

Barbaro is doing much better. In fact, Dr. Dean Richardson said that if Barbaro did not develop laminitis in his left rear leg, he would be out of the cast on his right rear. It seems that his right leg is in really good shape and healed enough that the cast could come off and he could just have a splinted shoe. However, because his left leg is so sore, they don't want to risk laminitis now in the right, so the cast stays on.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006 -- Early Evening

The lastest news about Floyd Landis is that the testoserone found in his body was synthetic. It appears that the urine sample that was tested by a French lab said that the testosterone could not have been found naturally in the body. The test results on the B sample should be in on Saturday. So far, the word from Landis' camp is that they will show that the change in the ratio between testosterone to epitestosterone is natural. The thing that just reeks of dishonesty is that the changes were found after Landis won the stage and had moved from 11th place to 4th overall. The question that I have is if it were natural, then the same result would show in all the tests taken, and not just the one where he had a burst of speed and endurance.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006 -- Early Afternoon

Dominik Hasek has resigned for the third with the Detroit Red Wings. The contract that the Dominator has with the Red Wings is $750,000 for one year. Even though Hasek is getting older, I still think that he is the Dominator, and obviously the Red Wings think that he is just the ticket to take them to another Stanley Cup.

Meanwhile, the Pens still haven't heard anything yet about Evgeni Malkin joining them in the upcoming season. At this point, there is really nothing that the Pens can do. They have to wait to see what the Russian league is going to do, and if they really will let Malkin go.

A song that has taken off in France is a song that mocks the whole Zinedine Zidane head butt incident. The song called Coupe de Boule was originally started as a joke, and took only 1/2 an hour to write. I have to admit that the song really does have a catchy tune. There are alot of headbutt moves in the song video. Check it out on YouTube.