The Daily Bongo

May 2006

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 -- Evening

I've been battling a cold for the past week, and I thought it was getting better today when the congestion in the sinuses starting draining down my throat. That's always a bad sign because usually in those situations, I develop bronchitis. So I broke down and got one of those sinus cleaning products. There weren't any Neti Pot type cleaners in my local drugstore, so I got the Ayr Sinus Rinse. The rinse has the basic premise of a Neti Pot, shooting warm saline water up one nostril and out the other to clear the sinuses. I was leery of trying it because I didn't think that it would work, but it actually did. Now you can't use it if you can't breathe (because obviously the mucus membranes might be swollen shut). All I know is that my breathing was freer after it, and the drippage was gone for a half an hour. It finally returned, but not at the same level. My own problem is that when I squirted the water into my nostril, it felt like my nose was packed, and I had a psychological feeling that I was going to drown or suffocate. I admit it was psychological, but it was difficult to calm my mind. By the time I finished the solution, I was starting to get control of the feeling.

The Buffalo Sabres won yesterday in an exciting overtime game (score was 2-1). So now the series is tied 3-3, and the deciding game will be tomorrow evening. I'm not a fan of the Carolina Hurricanes, and I want them to lose. It just tense to come down to the final game, because it really all depends on who is up that day, and good bounces with the puck.

Prince Albert of Monaco is going to admit to fathering yet another child out of wedlock. This time it is a 14 year old girl whose mother was a California waitress on vacation in Monaco. Personally I find this amazing. So the future prince of the realm is going around having sex with waitresses, air flight attendants, and gosh knows who else, casually, without any protection (since he is fathering children). You would think that in this day and age, Albert would have better sense. You would also think that he could at least pick someone other than a waitress--someone at his own social level. On top of all this, for years, folks have thought that the Prince was gay because he never has dated anyone for any length of time. That is pretty amazing for the leader of a country who is 48 years old. Especially amazing is that royalty need to have legitimate offspring to ensure their existence. This is especially true in Monaco because if there aren't any heirs to the throne, the country will revert to French rule. Fortunately for Albert and the people of Monaco, legitimate heirs extends to Princess Caroline and Princess Stephanie, and Caroline's son, Andrea Casiraghi is officially Albert's heir.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 -- Evening

According to Dean Richardson, Barbaro is going to keep his cast on for now. It appears that Barbaro is doing a great job of walking on the leg with the cast and resting his non-injured left leg. So the doctor thinks that it might be best to leave things as they are and keep his eye on the leg and cast. Originally he thought that the cast would loosen or there would be swelling, but so far, there is nothing. Richardson upped the odds to a 51 percent survival as opposed to 50 percent because there is still a ways to go before we know that Barbaro will be a-okay. As he said, Barbaro will not be able to gallop or do a dressage test. At the very best, he will have a "hitch in his giddiup." Just as with humans, the time when infection is most likely to occur is within the first 10 to 14 days after surgery.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 -- Afternoon

I have been into sudoku since last July when I was laid up for ten weeks recovering from foot surgery. I don't have as much time for it now as I did then, but I still do a puzzle a day. The craze for Sudoku keeps on growing, and there is going to be Sudoku Tournament at San Francisco's Exploratorium this coming Saturday and Sunday (June 3-4). The tournament is being called the First North American Sudoku Tournament. I know that at this point I can still do medium level puzzles, and if I had kept at my level of doing several a day as I did last summer, I would probably be able to easily do the hard ones. It's amazing how work gets in the way of pleasure.

Edgar Prado stopped by to visit Barbaro this morning, and it was quite a change to see the smile on his face instead of the frown of dispair that we saw on Prado's face when the two were last together. Barbaro is still doing fine and has an interest in his surroundings and seeing who is outside of his stall. As the doctor, Dean Richardson, said, you wouldn't be able to tell from looking at Barbaro through the open half of his stall that he was a horse with a broken leg. All of this is positive news, but we should know more after the vet examines Barbaro leg without the cast this week. Barbaro will never be able to race or gallop strongly, but he will be able to get around. Most importantly, he will be alive.

Monday, May 29, 2006 -- Evening

The latest news on Barbaro is that he is continuing to do well. He has spent the weekend quietly, munching on the carrots and apples that have been sent to him from well-wishers. It seems that Edgar Prado is going to visit Barbaro tomorrow. One of the most touching pictures that I saw was in the print edition of Sports Illustrated. The look of grief on Prado's face was heartbreaking. I've never seen a mouth with such a sad pout, and his shoulders were slumped. Very touching! Also this week, Dean Richardson, Barbaro's vet, plans on changing the cast and examining the leg to eee how things are progressing.

Monday, May 29, 2006 -- Early Evening

Today is Memorial day, the day when we should honor the people who have died fighting for our country. As my boyfriend says, we seem to concentrate only on the more current wars that the country has faced instead of all wars in the history of the country. I think that is just because it is so difficult to do something like that, and the majority of people really don't care about the past. However, I did spend some time today thinking of all who have given their lives so I could sit around in 2006 drinking expensive coffee drinks and watching television. If not for all of those in the past, life would be very different.

I have decided to add a soccer page in honor of the upcoming World Cup. I'll put in some stories about various soccer personalities, the games, and track the results with the help of a template from Microsoft. The World Cup will start on June 9. As for news stories, first up is that Ronaldo, one of the stars of Real Madrid, might want to play for a team in the US in the future. Of course, it wouldn't make much sense for him to do something like that now because he has a contract with Real Madrid, and really the fans and the money are in places outside of the US. Another personality in the news is Wayne Rooney, the rising English star of soccer. He has a broken foot, and isn't very likely to play for the England team that David Beckham is captaining. Originally, he was scheduled t travel with the English team to German on June 5 for the World Cup, and have a scan of his foot a week later (on June 14). However, it has been decided to move the scan up to an earlier date, June 7. The reason for the change is because the England team will need to know by June 9 if Rooney will be able to play for them, or if they will need to make a change. All team changes must be in by June 9.

Sunday, May 28, 2006 -- Late Afternoon

Sam Hornish used the draft from Marco Andretti's car to win the Indy 500. It was so close, and at one point, Marco, a 19 year old rookie and son of Michael and grandson of Mario, looked like he was going to win. However, Hornish used the draft in the final straightaway to win by 1/2 a car length. It was absolutely amazing that a 19 year old rookie could have almost won the race. His dad, Michael, was also in the race and finished third. Danica Patrick, unfortunately, finished eighth. Her problem was that she pitted twice before a yellow flag came out. Racing luck as opposed to anything that she did wrong, went against her.

Sunday, May 28, 2006 -- Afternoon

The Mars Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, are going to get a software upgrade that will allow them to make intelligent decisions about the data they collect. So when the robots collect images, for example, they can look for panaromas and send them back. The goal of all of this is to make the robots (and future missions) more autonomous. If the robots on the missions can make some decisions on their own, then they can don't have to wait to send something back to NASA and then get instruction from NASA on what to do. In a way, this reminds me of the premise behind the Terminator movies. I can just see the plot for the movie now--the robots on Mars mutate from their intelligence upgrade and declare war on Earth.

The Indy 500 is now in progress. Danica Patrick is still in the race and is currently in 8th place with 152 of 200 laps completed. The temperatures are quite warm today in Indianapolis, and it is probably going to have an effect on the race. So far, there have been a few accidents and some pit mishaps. In one case, Sam Hornish pulled out of his pit and the fuel hose was still attached to the car. The crewman was having trouble getting the hose off the car, and the crewman got his foot run over, and spilled fuel all over the pit. Hornish got a penalty and had to drive through the pits (which they have to do at 60 MPH, and then get back up to speed). There's not alot of race left. In fact, after the penalty, Danica Patrick was able to pull up into 6th place.

Saturday, May 27, 2006 -- Midnight

The Edmonton Oilers held off a frenzied three minute attack by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks to win the Western Conference and advance to the Stanley Cup. The final score was 2-1. The Ducks pulled their goalie with three minutes left because they had a power play over the Oilers. Even with a six on four that became a six on three when Chris Pronger was sent into the box for delay of game. Dwayne Roloson, the Oilers goalie, was great though, and held off all the flying pucks. This is the first time since the playoff rules were changed that an eigth seed team has made it to the Stanley Cup.

Saturday, May 27, 2006 -- Late Evening

Sanantonio Holmes isn't starting off on a good foot with the Steelers. It seems that Holmes was standing in the middle of the street in Miami at 2 am in the morning, and was told to get out of the street by the police. Instead of getting out of the street, he mouthed off to the police and was arrested. One thing that the Steelers have tried to keep away from are players who have have attitudinal or arrogance problems. Let's hope that Holmes shapes up and gets over this obvious juvenile behavior.

The Edmonton Oilers are playing the Anaheim Mighty Ducks this evening. Right now at the end of the second period, the Oilers are leading with a score of 2-1. If the Oilers win tonight, they will go on to the Stanley Cup.

The word on Barbaro is still good. He has been eating and displaying his usual feisty behavior. There has been a lot of discussion about the way folks are reacting to Barbaro's injury. I think that the key element of the reaction is that the injury happened in the public eye. Everyone who watched the race or was in the stands saw the injury and felt for this animal who had the potential to be truly great (a possible Triple Crown winner) and might lose his life. Yes, there are more pressing problems in life. However, sometimes you need to have a distraction from those global problems (like famine and civil war in the African nations). This was a more personal experience.

Friday, May 26, 2006 -- Late Evening

I just got home from the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game. Although the Pirates have not been doing well, and basically are in contention for yet another losing season, the game was an exciting one. In fact, I thought that the Pirates played fairly well. That might have been due to the fact that they won with a final score of 12-5 against the Houston Astros. It was also fireworks night, and that was fabulous. It was one of the best fireword displays that I have seen and the pictures that I have just don't do it justice. At the end of the game and before the fireworks, the Pirates introduced a new mascot. The mascot is a huge headed pirate with a patch over one eye. The guy doesn't have a name, and there is a contest for the kids to name him. The winner gets to attend a ball game as a guest of the Pirates. I wonder how the Pirate Parrot feels about having another mascot. Doesn't this still his thunder?

Barbaro is in excellent condition according to his doctor, Dean Richardson. It seems that everything is going well, and Barbaro has an excellent appetite. It seems that with each day, he is getting better than the previous day. One of the things talked about today was the shoe that was placed on the non-broken hind leg. The purpose of the shoe is to prevent Barbaro from getting laminitis in the non-broken hoof due to excess weight being placed on that leg if Barbaro favors the broken leg. The shoe helps with laminitis because it cushions the sole of the foot, it has a raise in it so that both hind legs are level (since Barbaro has a cast on his right leg, it is higher than the left), and has silicon and sulfter to help in preventing infection to the sole. The University of Pennsylvania released a diagram of the shoe that was patented by the University.

Thursday, May 25, 2006 -- Morning

The Pens have found a new general manager. Ray Shero is going to be named as the GM at a press conference this afternoon. Shero has been an assistant GM with the Nashville Predators for the past seven years. It seems that the Boston Bruins made an offer to Shero, but he turned it down because it wasn't enough money. I wonder how much the Pens are paying him.

The latest Barbaro update is still good. Barbaro is napping and crunching away on the carrots and apples that concerned fans have sent to him. It seems that people have been sending tons of flowers, cards, and food to the New Bolton Center. Because it is too much for any one horse to eat, the staff have been sharing it with all the horses in the hospital. Barbaro is getting his fair share though, or at least as much as the doctors will allow. Edgar Prado was devastated by Barbaro's injury and has cried many tears over the horse. As he said, Barbaro was such a great horse, and it really hurts to see one like that suffer such a fate. Granted it is bad for any horse, but it touches you more when it is a horse with the winning potential of Barbaro.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 -- Evening

Tonight was the final night of American Idol, and our American Idol the recap to find out.

Bernardini is not going to the Belmont Stakes on June 10. The owner of Bernardini, Sheik Mohammed, is going to get a break from racing, and won't be back until August. Bernardini is going to be pointed towards the Breeder's Cup Classic with a $5 million prize. A decision hasn't been made yet on the August race, but it will probably be either the Travers at Saratoga or the Haskell Invitational or Jim Dandy Stakes at Monmouth.

The Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes game was an exciting one from the bits that I saw. There was alot of excitement, fighting, and goal scoring. At one point in the second period, the Sabres were leading with a score of 4-1. With less than five minutes left in the game, the Sabres lead had been narrowed to 4-3. With less than two minutes to go, the Hurricanes pulled their goalie. The last 30 seconds were a frenzy on the part of the Hurricanes to tie the game. However, they weren't able to do it. Buffalo won. The arena was going crazy, and the fans were pounding so hard on the glass that it was waving. A very exciting game, and I am glad that I got to see the end. Practically everyone in the arena showed up in a white shirt. It was very impressive. The Sabres are now ahead in the series: 2-1.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 -- Afternoon

The latest news on Barbaro is that he is doing fine. Last night one of the doctors at the clinic checked up on Barbaro and found him lying down in the stall That's an excellent sign. It seems that Barbaro has been very comfortable with his leg. We can only hope that things keep on this steady road to recovery.

Eddie Olczyk has accepted a job with the Chicago Blackhawks. He will do color commentaries for the Blackhawk games. Chicago was the first team to sign Eddio O to a contract when he was a player, and he played for them for several years. Now that he has signed up for a job that's more in his league--being cute on television, he should be happier. The guy was just never cut out to be a coach. He can say until he is blue in the face that he loves coaching and that he has a knack for it. Unfortunately, his record says something else. Eddie O will be moving to Chicago.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 -- Late Evening

It was quite a Western Conference final game this evening. Going into the final period, the score was 1-0 in favor of the Edmonton Oilers. In the third period though, eight goals were scored by both Edmonton and Anaheim to lead to a thrilling 5-4 finish. Edmonton won, and pulls ahead 3-0 in the series. It's not looking good for the Mighty Ducks this year.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 -- Evening

Joey Porter hasn't been showing up for voluntary practice with the Steelers over the past week. There was alot of talk of possible reasons, such as the fact that Porter's contract would come up in the next two years. Well, now it seems that Porter has knee problems and will have knee surgery tomorrow. He worked out today at the South Side facility, but didn't attend the team workout. There aren't alot of details on Porter's surgery, such as the cause and which knee will be operated on.

I saw a news conference clip with Dr. Dean Richardson when I got home from work, and in it, he was saying that Barbaro was scratching at his left ear with his left rear leg. He also commented that Barbaro was lifting up his left leg in warning when someone came near him. These are really good signs because it means that Barbaro is putting the weight on his right rear leg. On the New Bolton Center web page, there will be updates on Barbaro's condition every day at 3 pm or as conditions warrant.

The final competition on American Idol, and Taylor did a much better job than Katharine. Will the Soul Patrol come through, and vote Taylor to be the new American Idol? Read the recap.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 -- Afternoon

Today's news on Barbaro is that he is doing even better than yesterday. He has a healthy appetite, is walking fine with weight evenly spread over all four legs, and has good vital signs (pulse, temperature, etc.). Things are still promising. It seems that the vet, Dean Richardson, miscounted the screws that were used in Barbaro's leg, and corrected the number from 23 to 27. That's a heck of a lot of screws in a small area. The goal, according to the owners, is that Barbaro have a painfree life. Dr. Richardson had to do some backpedaling today because he had commented that Barbaro was being "salvaged for breeding." As he said, he did not mean to imply that the owners of Barbaro would have had him destroyed if he was a gelding and not capable of breeding. The point that Richardson was trying to get across is that Barbaro would never race again. The only avenue left open to Barbaro is breeding. You can be angry at the concept, but that's what winning race horses do--race and then breed when they can't race anymore. The New Bolton Center has responded to all the questions and well-wishes for Barbaro with links on their website to send Barbaro e-mail get well messages and to support the Barbaro fun. If you are interested in other ways to express your thoughts about Barbaro, there is the website.

Tonight is the final competition on American Idol. It will be down to Taylor Hicks and Katharine McPhee. The voting will take place in the two hours following the live show tonight. The results will be televised tomorrow evening. It seems that folks have been trying to figure out the number of votes that each contestant has been getting. Since the three percentages were released in the show last Wednesday, folks have been trying to split up the 50 million votes into actual numbers. That could be a dangerous game because if you think that your favorite contestant is easily leading, you might not make your call. That's probably how Chris Daughtry got voted out. Folks thought that others were in more danger of gettting voted out than Chris, and the votes didn't go to Chris.

Monday, May 22, 2006 -- Evening

Since the biggest concern with Barbaro right now is risk of infection, I thought that the vets would probably be giving Barbaro antibiotics preemptively. Well, it appears that they are. Barbaro is under a 24 hour watch for any signs of infection or laminitis. I can only imagine how much this is going to cost. According to Forbes magazine, Dean Richardson said that the cost would in the tens of thousands of dollars. Fortunately, the owners have the financial resources to cover such a cost. There are no further updates on Barbaro's condition this evening.

Monday, May 22, 2006 -- Afternoon

Barbaro is still doing well this morning. According to his doctor, Dean Richardson, Barbaro is frisky, eating, and showing an interest in female horses which are all good signs. However, Barbaro still has a 50-50 chance of recovery even at this point because the chances of getting infection or laminitis in the rear leg that wasn't broken is still strong. Laminitis is inflammation of the bones in the foot that is getting more weight put on it. So if Barbaro doesn't put equal weight on both hind legs, the one that gets more weight put on it can get inflamed. That would not be good and could lead to problems that might result in Barbaro being put down. So even though the surgery was a success and things are looking positive, folks shouldn't think that Barbaro is out of the woods. Fortunately for Barbaro, the vets at Pimlico took the appropriate steps, and he was taken to the best equine facility in the country. The next hurdle for Barbaro will be the risk of infection. As Dr. Richardson said, it will be weeks before we know if Barbaro will make it.

Monday, May 22, 2006 -- Late Morning

Sweden won the Hockey World Championship yesterday. They beat the Czech Republic with a score of 4-0. The sad news is that the Canadian team lost the bronze medal to Finland. The Fins really blew out the Canucks with a score of 5-0. Sidney Crosby was chosen as the top forward of the Championship because he led the scoring with 16 points (eight goals and eight assists).

Sunday, May 21, 2006 -- Late Evening

More information on Barbaro and the surgery. The surgeon placed 23 pins and a plate in Barbaro's leg to stablize the multiple fractures. As you can see from the x-ray released by the vets, the ankle area is covered in pins. To avoid any problems with Barbaro waking from the anesthesia and flailing around with his legs and rebreaking the fractures, he was placed in a pool. This way, if there were any jerky movements, his legs would be protected. That worked perfectly for Barbaro, and once he was fully awake, he was led to his stall. According to Michael Matz, Barbaro practically jogged into his stall and started to eat hay. This is very encouraging news, however, we all have to keep in mind that Barbaro will not be out of the woods just yet. There are many complications that can still arise. The Barbaro story reminded me of Ruffian. She was an undefeated three year old filly in 1975. She had not raced in the Kentucky Derby that was won by Foolish Pleasure in 1975. So they decided to have a match race between Ruffian and Foolish Pleasure to see who would win. Ruffian was pulling away from Foolish Pleasure when there was a snapping sound, and Ruffian had fractured her sesamoid bone (one of the bones also broken by Barbaro). The fracture was repaired in an operation, but when Ruffian woke from the anesthesia, she started to thrash around (typical for horses) and rebroke the leg, injuring it even more. She was put down at that point. Ruffian is buried at Belmont Park near the flagpole. The situation with Barbaro was extremely reminiscent of the Ruffian injury, but we can all wish and pray for a different ending. And it is looking promising. Dr. Dean Richardson gave a news conference with alot more details about the surgery and prognosis. He described the raft device that held Barbaro in the water while keeping the leg dry while Barbaro came out of the anesthesia. As Richardson said, it is still a long road that will require several weeks of rehab at the New Bolton Center. Richardson has too much experience and knowledge of things that can still go horribly wrong to say the Barbaro will have a complete recovery. Michael Matz, Barbaro's trainer who observed today's surgery, is feeling more hopeful about Barbaro's chances than he was feeling yesterday.

Sunday, May 21, 2006 -- Evening

Barbaro appears to be out of surgery and in ICU. The surgery took seven hours, and the length of the surgery was due to the prep time with anesthesia and in bringing Barbaro out of the anesthesia. At this point, he is standing in the ICU unit. He is not out of the woods yet because there might still be complications with infections or laminitis which is inflamation of the bones in the foot. The fractures in Barbaro's pastern (the bone between the ankle and the hoof) was severly broken and in more than 20 pieces. At this point, the cannon, ankle, and pastern are stablized and Barbaro is comfortable. Blood flow was good to the ankle both before and after the surgery, so things are looking good for Barbaro. More updates will follow as I find out about them.

Sunday, May 21, 2006 -- Late Afternoon

Barbaro is still in surgery. It seems that the surgeon who is working on him, Dean Richardson, said "he's never worked on so many catastrophic injuries to one horse." The main reason for that is because horses who have suffered such injuries usually are destroyed at the track and never make it to surgery. At least Barbaro has been given a fighting chance. Although Barbaro has been in surgery for five hours, there is still more work left to be done to stablize the ankle as much as possible. The damage was even more severe than originally thought with a broken cannon, pastern, and a dislocated fetlock (ankle). Two factors in Barbaro's favor are that he is behaving very well and there wasn't any skin breakage at the time of the injury.

Sunday, May 21, 2006 -- Early Afternoon

Barbaro is scheduled to have surgery on his ankle this afternoon. He was transported to the New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania last night, and the surgeons will be looking at x-rays to see if the fractures were made worse by transportation. Right now, Barbaro's rear right land is heavily bandaged, and Barbaro has been sedated and responding calmly to his treatment. All of this is promising because it increases his chances of not reinjuring his leg post surgery. The question is really what the surgeons will find when they examine the x-rays taken immediately after the race and when he arrived at New Bolton Center. Barbaro has a fracture in his cannon bone above the ankle with multiple fractures in the long pastern bone and damage to the sesamoid bone. This image shows the location of the injury. This is a very worrisome injury, and there is still much concern for Barbaro's life. Hopefully, we will have some good news this evening.

Saturday, May 20, 2006 -- Evening

An event that should have been filled with joy and anticipation of a possible Triple Crown winner turned to sadness when Barbaro was pulled up a furlong into the Preakness Stakes. Barbaro suffered a fracture above and below his ankle on his hind right leg. Unfortunately, the sad thing is that this is a "significant injury" in the words of the track vet, Larry Bramlage, and might result in Barbaro being destroyed. It seems that the damage might be so severe that there might be damage to the blood supply to the leg. Unfortunately, horses can't just be kept still for six weeks at a time, so if during the surgery, the damage is found to be life threatening, Barbaro will be euthanized. A pall hung over the Preakness which was won by Bernardini by 5 1/4 lengths in a time of 1:54:65. Sweetnorthernsaint was second, six lengths ahead of Hemingway's Key. Brother Derek finished fourth again. Speculation is rampant at this part that Barbaro might have injured the ankle prior to the start of the race when he crashed through the starting gate, causing a delay to the start of the race. Bramlage said that he didn't think that had anything to do with the injury. According to Bramlage, the fracture above the ankle occurred first one furlong into the race when Barbaro misstepped, and then the lower fracture happened as Barbaro continued to put weight on the leg. Barbaro will have surgery tomorrow at the New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and we should know then if he will survive. Poor Barbaro!

In other news, the Buffalo Sabres won the first game in the Eastern Conference finals against the Carolina Hurricanes. The final score was 3-2. I am cheering on both Buffalo and the Edmonton Oilers, who also won their first game in the Western Conference finals against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. Final score in the Edmonton game was 3-1. Let's Go Buffalo!

Unfortunately, Canada lost to Sweden today in the semi-finals of the World Hockey Championship. The Canadians team managed to get close, but couldn't tie it, and the game ended with a score of 5-4. Sidney Crosby scored a goal in the game, but couldn't get the win. The Czech Republic beat Finland and will the Czechs will play Sweden in the final.

Friday, May 19, 2006 -- Afternoon

I have developed a new addiction. This time it is to the caramel cooler from Caribou Coffee. The cooler is basically a Starbucks frappuccino, only smoother. I could never understand why Starbucks doesn't blend their drink more so it isn't clumps of ice bits. The other thing that I like about Caribou Coffee is that they have a daily trivia question. If you know the correct answer, you get $.10 off of your order.

Tomorrow is the Preakness Stakes, and Barbaro is the talk of all the newspapers. Some seem to believe that he won't be well rested because his previous races have been farther apart. That has always been the problem with the Triple Crown races. They are close together and early in the year for a young three year old. That's why there aren't that many Triple Crown winners. I think that Barbaro stands as good a chance as any horse, and I think that Michael Matz did a good job of sending Barbaro to Fair Hills. It's a facility near the Pimlico racetrack where the Preakness is held. The place is quieter so Barbaro wasn't having media folks disrupting him. Also, he could be turned out intot a paddock to relax and Matz could do any sort of track training whenever he wanted to do it without having to follow Pimlico's tight structure. It seems from things that Matz has said, Barbaro has recovered well from the Derby, and I expect to see a good showing. The Preakness is a different race because it is a shorter race than the Derby, and the turns are sharper.

The World Hockey Championship is down to the semi-finals. Both semi-final matches are tomorrow and will feature the Czech Republic against Finland and Canada against Sweden. I am cheering on Canada because I think it will be great for the Canadian team to win the Championship to show Wayne Gretzky that selecting his geriatric buddies and criminals like Todd Bertuzzi over young talent was really stupid. Bertuzzi is the goon who sucker punched Steve Moore to intentional hurt him, and wound up leaving Moore with permanent injuries. Yeah, boo-hoo, Bertuzzi cried crocodile tears afterwards. He should not be playing in the NHL now or in the Olympics.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 -- Evening

I have been behind in watching Doctor Who, but I have the shows recorded, and watched the show titled Dalek this evening. This episode was an interesting one because it showed a human and emotional side to the Doctor. So far, it is my favorite episode of the season.

The Edmonton Oilers won last night and moved on to the Conference finals. Due to an unlucky draw, the Oilers will be playing the Anaheim Mighty Ducks tomorrow evening. The Buffalo Sabres will play the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 -- Evening

Tonight we found out who was voted out on American Idol. Kelly Pickler and Ace Young were on the sidelines and denied that they came as a couple. Over 50 million votes were place last night. It also appears that the difference between the three is very small. The only thing that was painful about the night was that the show was an HOUR long. They spent a good portion of the show on the trips that the three contestants made to their hometowns. Alot of people showed up in Hoover, Alabama, Taylor Hicks' home town. If all those people called in for him, he should make it in to the finals. Taylor sang Taking it to the Streets from the American Idol Season 5 Encores. The CD will be on sale next Tuesday. Katharine McPhee made some unfunny jokes about going back to visit her boring hometown LA. We didn't get to see alot of crowds showing up for Katharine. The kids from her high school got out of classes and were happy to be on television, so they showed up for Katharine. There were also a few people at her house. Katharine doesn't have alot of fans--at least in LA. It must be because she doesn't come from a small hometown. Katharine sang Think from the American Idol CD. Elliott Yamin went home to Richmond, Virginia. Elliott had alot more fans show up for his appearances than Katharine did. It's too bad that Elliott is so wooden because he does have a decent voice. Elliott also had a parade in his honor with alot of crazy and excited fans lining the parade route. Elliott, Elliott's mom, and Paula Abdul were crying after the video clip of Elliott's homecoming. Elliott sang Moody's Mood for Love which is also on the CD. Clive Davis came out onto the stage right before the announcement of who would be off the show. Clive Davis is past it as is evidenced by his poor selection of songs for the contestants yesterday. Clive talked about how the previous winners have done with sells. The final three gave him an award for all the work that he has done with American Idol. Finally! The results. Katharine has spent most of the time looking like dumbfounded. They showed the difference in votes. Number one got 33.68%, number two got 33.26% number three got 33.06%. That is a close result. Elliott Yamin got the lowest number of votes. That really sucks because Katharine McPhee deserved to go. The final two are Taylor and Katharine. The dumbfounded look came off of Katharine's face. I really think the girl isn't too bright. I am not a fan of hers, and I hope that Taylor wins the finale.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 -- Afternoon

I was just watching one of the NBA playoff games between the Miami Heat and the New Jersey Nets. Miami won the game and is moving on to the conference finals. Now, I'm not a big basketball fan, and rarely watch the games. However, as I was watching this game, I was struck by how many shaved/bald heads I saw on the floor. In fact, it became abit scary because it seemed like the majority of players' heads were shaved. My question is what is up with that? Is it a style thing, or do most guys who play basketball go bald?

I watched the post position selection for the Preakness Stakes this afternoon. The most exciting thing that happened is when Michael Matz, Barbaro's trainer, picked third and wanted to take post position 4 which was already taken by Greeley's Legacy. Matz decided to then take number 6. It seemed that Matz wanted post number 4 because positions 1 and 5 are loaded simultanously (then 2 and 6 and so forth). The picking of the post positions is done by randomly having a number assigned to each horse. A number is then pulled, and that number is unveiled on a board to show which horse that is. The trainer for that horse has 60 seconds to get to the podium and pick a position. Brother Derek, who had the number 18 post position has number 5 in the Preakness.

Sidney Crosby scored a goal today to lead Canada to a 4-1 win over Slovakia in the World Hockey quarterfinals. Crosby is scoring leader with seven goals and six assists in the tournament. I guess this is giving Wayne Gretzky a lesson in picking people for a future Olympic team.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006 -- Evening

The singing tonight on American Idol was not the best, but we were down to the supposed best of the bunch. I think that either Elliott or Katharine should go tomorrow. I think that Katharine McPhee was the weakest thought, and that Elliott deserves to move on based on performance. However, maybe her looks will get her into the next round. Read the recap.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006 -- Afternoon

Today is Lag B'Omer. The counting of the Omer is the counting of the days between the second day of Passover and day before Shavu'ot. The span of time is 49 days (Shavu'ot is the 50th day). Shavu'ot is the Festival of Weeks and is celebrated as the first day of the fruit harvest and the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. During the Omer you are supposed to be in mourning, but on Lag B'Omer, the 33rd day, you take a break from the mourning. This holiday is marked by huge bonfires and picnics in Israel. I won't have a cookout today because it is rainy and chilly, but I will have a mental picnic.

Simon Cowell is now picking Taylor Hicks to win it all in this year's American Idol. I think that Taylor is going to be a marketing nightmare. Yeah, he's entertaining as a novelty and in putting one to the man by voting for a hyperactive gray haired man, but that really doesn't sell records. Well, at least it doesn't sell records over time. Maybe the Taylor fans will rush out to get the first CD, but where does it go after that? The problem is that I don't see Katharine McPhee or Elliott Yamin faring much better. Tonight the final three will compete. Since Paula Abdul is picking Elliott's song, and I found out that Simon is picking Katharine McPhee's, that leaves Randy Jackson picking a song for Taylor. It will be interesting to see how they do.

Even though today is a rainy, chilly day, I find that I have been thinking of summer. Before we know it, summer will be here. Read my thoughts on summer past and future.

Monday, May 15, 2006 -- Afternoon

I found out some more details about Big Brother All Stars. It seems that 20 former Big Brother contestants have been picked to make up the 12 houseguests. We get to vote on which ones we want to see in the house the week between June 21 and 28. On July 6, all 20 will be sent to the house with their packed bags, and only the 12 who were picked by the fans will get into the house. It seems that the goal is be bring together the good and the evil from all six seasons. This sounds like it will be an exciting season. I hope that the producers have more twists up their sleeve, and that the twists are scattered throughout the season.

Sunday, May 14, 2006 -- Evening

Tonight was the finale of Survivor: Panama, Exile Island. Cirie did not win the tie-breaker even though the one preview made it look like she had a huge flame. She did get the huge flame, but was unable to keep it burning. Danielle wasn't done with her backstabbing and stabbed Terry yet again by not taking him to the final two. It was left to the two back stabbers, Aras and Danielle. Who wins? Read the recap.

I just saw a commercial for Big Brother All Stars. On Wednesday, June 21, America will get to vote in an America's choice to pick the people who will get to compete in the All-Stars. The hour long show will give us the details on June 21 at 8 pm. There are no details at this point of which contestants will be in the pool from which the viewers will select. Voting will start on the Big Brother web site on midnight ET on June 21, and will end on Wednesday, June 28 at 11:59 PM ET. It will be interesting to see who is will compete this coming year. The show starts on Thursday, July 6 at 8 pm. ET.

Carolina moves on to the conference finals with a 4-1 win over New Jersey this evening.

Sunday, May 14, 2006 -- Afternoon

The Steelers mini-camp started yesterday, and according to Willie Parker the atmosphere has changed in the locker room without Jerome Bettis. It seems that it is alot more quiet in the locker room wihtout Bettis. He was the instigator of practical jokes and seemed to keep things humming. Bill Cowher talked to the team and told that they should remember that they weren't the best team in the NFL last year--they just happened to be lucky enough to win the Super Bowl.

Saturday, May 13, 2006 -- Late Evening

The Buffalo Sabres defeated the top-seeded Ottawa Senators this evening to move on to the conference finals. Buffalo won 3-2 in overtime with the winning goal coming as the Sabres were shorthanded. In the other hockey game played earlier this afternoon, Martin Brodeur moved into third place on the NHL post season wins list when the New Jersey Devils beat the Carolina Hurricanes with a score of 5-1. The Devils were in a must win situation because they were already down 3-0 in the series. The Devils and Hurricanes are playing again tomorrow evening.

Friday, May 12, 2006 -- Late Evening

For next week's American Idol, the contestants are going to make a visit to their home towns. Taylor Hicks went home to Alabama, Katharine McPhee stayed in LA (her hometown), and Elliott Yamin went home to Virginia. Paula Abdul wants Elliott to win because I believe that she feels sorry for him being 90% deaf in his right ear. Next week the contestants will sing three songs each. One will be the contestant's choice, the second will be Clive Davis' choice, and the last will be the judges' choice. Paula chose What You Won't Do for Love by Bobby Caldwell for Elliott. Meanwhile Chris Daughtry's fans are trying to claim that there were problems with the phones lines and the votes for Chris weren't accurate because folks couldn't dial in. If that were the case, folks should have been complaining Tuesday night, and that doesn't appear to be the case.

Friday, May 12, 2006 -- Evening

People are still in shock over Chris Daughtry getting the boot on this week's American Idol. In fact, Simon Cowell now says that he doesn't know who will win the competition this year. The irony is that he is now going to be stuck with a threesome that will be hard to market. Elliott Yamin is a wooden, personality-less singer, who may at times be technically good, but just doesn't have that special something that makes him Idol worthy. Then there's Katharine McPhee who although very good looking, really is annoying with the facial contortions, and is just plain ordinary when it comes to singing. Finally Taylor Hicks' extremely hyper-personality wears thin after any exposure over 15 minutes. In fact, although I liked Taylor in the beginning, he just annoys the heck out of me now. It's going to be a promotional nightmare with this threesome. Now Chris may also have a genre singer--fitting more into the grunge rocker mold--but he had charisma. In fact, some think that the reason he didn't get votes may have been due to folks thinking Chris was a safe bet to make it to the finals, and voted for others that might not have been so secure. All of that doesn't matter though because Chris will be just fine. He is pondering his options, which include an offer from Fuel to be their lead singer. It seems that the group's lead singer left in February, and they were wowed by Chris' rendition of their song, Hemorrhage, earlier in the season. Chris is pondering whether he should just start his own band or join an established band.

The Steelers will have a mini-training camp starting tomorrow. The training camp is mandatory and everyone is expected to attend. Some of the local sportscasters have said that this it is a way for the Steelers to throw their weight around by forcing the players to come to a mini-camp on Mother's Day weekend. You know how the workplace can be, and the Steelers organization is a workplace for the players and coaches. They want to show who is the boss by making the players sacrifice. voluntary portions of the camp start in the middle of next week. On June 2, the Steelers will go to the White House and then later collect their Super Bowl rings. A limited number of individual tickets are available for the upcoming season. Those who are interested can request two tickets to two games and might have to take the best available which might be a single seat far from the person that you got the tickets with. This is a sucky offer. So you make a request for two games, but if those games are filled, they will just give you any two games, and unless you specifically say no substitutions, you are screwed. It's the arrogance of we will give you what we want to give you and you will be happy to get it that ticks me off.

Speaking of arrogance, Netflix is the master of arrogance. the company had a class action suit levied against them because they said that you could get an unlimited number of dvd rentals in a month. However, that really wasn't the case. Netflix had ways to slow down delivery if you were getting too many DVDs a month. Now they have made modifications to their policies saying that it may take some time to get things to you. So what is the resolution? Well, if you are a subscriber, you can get a free month of service. There's a catch though. If you opt to take the free month, you are dropped from the service after that month and have to sign up again. Scammers still scamming, obviously. The other option is to upgrade to get more DVDs for one month. For this offer, Netlix was going to charge you the higher rate of the upgrade after a month. So it was like you just upped your subscription and really didn't get anything for it. Now because of an uproar, you can take a free upgrade for a month and after said month will return to your earlier subscription level.

Thursday, May 11, 2006 -- Evening

I wonder if Hines Ward realizes what a jerk he is. Yeah, the guy is a competent wide receiver, but he really has issues. First of all, he has said that he will be more than glad to help any of the rookie wide receivers, but only if they come to him for help. It seems that Ward can't let go of the bitterness, and seemed to have some sort of problem with Plaxico Burress and Bill Cowher. It seems that Ward takes offense at the fact that the Steelers continued to draft wide receivers in the first rounds in 1999 and 2000 after drafting Ward in the third round in 1998. Ward claims to not have anything to say to Cowher "After what he did to me, after how he treated me, no. The numbers I put up? The seasons I had, for them to keep on bringing in guys ...?" The comments were made to Sports Illustrated, and now Ward is claiming that they were out of context. Ward also made some comments about Peyton Manning not reaping the glory of a Super Bowl win like Ward is. I think that Ward should drop the sour grapes because he did win the Super Bowl, and should let petty emotions go.

On Survivor: Panama, Exile Island we are left with a cliff hanger. Aras and Terry have words, and there is a great deal of tension between them in the camp. Aras says something mean intentionally to hurt Terry (that Terry talks down to women), and later apologizes to Terry about it. Cirie and Danielle are tied in votes and have to build a fire to determine who will stay and who will go. Read the recap.

Thursday, May 11, 2006 -- Afternoon

The San Jose Sharks lost in triple overtime last night against the Edmonton Oilers. It was the first triple overtime game of this season's playoffs, and it was the longest game that the San Jose Sharks played in their history. Shawn Horcoff scored just 2:24 into the third period. Awesome! The final score was 3-2.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 -- Late Evening

The Buffalo Sabres won in overtime to pull ahead 3-0 in its series against the Ottawa Senators. Final score ws 3-2. It is surprising how in this round, every winning team is 3-0. I wonder if San Jose Sharks is going to the same later tonight.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 -- Evening

The Baby Pens lost last night to the Hershey Bears with a final score of 1-0. That means that the Baby Pens' season is over. After the way that they started the season, it is abit of a let down. However, what else can be expected with Joey Mullen as a coach. Mullen is out of his league, and maybe with a new general manager, we will get rid of the players as coaches, and actually get people who can coach.

Meanwhile, over in the World Championships, Sidney Crosby, who wasn't considered "mature" (meaning geriatric) enough to play in the Olympics this year, has been scoring up a storm. Crosby had a goal in the 2-1 Canadian win over the United States yesterday. The Canadian team is unbeaten in the preliminary round. Makes you wonder if the Canadians would have medaled if Crosby was on the team.

Another one bites the dust on American Idol tonight. This week's Ford commercial was a cute one where the guys remove the junk from Katharine's garage and fill it with grass, plants, fish, and parrots. Kermit was in the car with Katharine. Cute. Then we saw a video clip of Priscella Presley showing the contestants around Graceland. Lisa Marie was there too--looking abit chunky. However, I can't get over the ugly thing that was going on with Priscella's mouth. I think that she has a collegen error with her upper lip. It looks horrifying--quite scary. Sort of like an ugly Mortica Addams. Rebecca Romijn was in the audience and had a request to hear Taylor Hicks sing Jailhouse Rock again. He did. Taylor Hicks and Elliott Yamin are in one group, and Chris Daughtry and Katharine McPhee are in a second group. Chris and Katharine are in the bottom two. I was feeling nervous before this. Simon said that based on last night, he felt that Katharine should go. Chris Daughtry was the one who was voted off! Chris admits to being alittle bit in shock, and it is surprising because all the judges seem to think that he would make it to the finals. The only thing is that Chris will do well, and should have a record contract. I started to get nervous when I saw Chris with Katharine. As he watches his good-bye clip, Chris seems very serious. He will do fine. Paula Abdul is crying alot. I am sad, but Chris will get a record deal. I'm sure of it.

The Carolina Hurricanes are 3-0 in their series with the New Jersey Devils. The final score was 3-2. Ottawa has tied their game with Buffalo. The Senators have Jason Spezza to thank. He scored both goals for the Senators. Oh, and Spezza was also not "mature" enough for the Canadian Olympic team. Makes you really wonder why geriatrics and criminals (Todd Bertuzzi) were considered good. Oh yeah, that's right, Canada didn't even get a medal because of their poor decision.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 -- Evening

We are nearing the end of American Idol with four contestants performing. Tonight's show had an Elvis theme and coaching from Tommy Mottola. The Elvis songs were interesting. Althought I was sure that Elliott would get voted off (and I still think that his performances were just okay), Katharine gave the weakest performance of the evening. I think that she may be voted off tomorrow. Her last song really annoyed me. Read the recap for more details.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 -- Late Morning

The San Jose Sharks beat the Edmonton Oilers last night with a final score of 2-1. The interesting thing about this round of hockey is that all the winning teams are 2-0 in the series.

Bluegrass Cat, Steppenwolfer, and Jazil are all going to skip the Preakness Stakes to concentrate on the mile and a half Belmont Stakes held on June 10. Steppenwolfer's trainer said that he would like to be the giant killer, just lurking there to beat Barbaro and stomp on his Triple Crown dreams. Meanwhile Brother Derek's trainer has come up with an excuse for Brother Derek's fourth place finish. It seems that Brother Derek lost a shoe on his front right foot before the race. Alex Solis, Brother Derek's jockey, claimed that the shoe might have come off in the post parade.

Monday, May 8, 2006 -- Evening

A great game between the New Jersey Devils and the Carolina Hurricanes. The game was tied at 1-1 as the game moved into the third period. No score until the last 20 seconds when Scotty Gomez scored for the Devils, allowing them to take a 2-1 lead. Things were looking good for New Jersey until the Hurricanes scored with three seconds left in the game to tie things up again and send the game into overtime. Goal scorer for the Hurricanes was Canadian phenom, Eric Staal. Three minutes and nine seconds into the overtime, Carolina scored to win. The goal was reviewed because it went off the skate of Niclas Wallin. The goal was allowed because there wasn't a distinct kicking motion. As the crowd chanted "goal, goal" the word came down that it was official. Carolina pulls ahead in the series 2-0.

Monday, May 8, 2006 -- Late Afternoon

Sidney Crosby is showing what he is worth by scoring four points yesterday in the World Hockey Championship. He had a goal and three assists, and the goal was described as "spectacular". He led Canada to a 7-1 win over Norway. He started the tournament with two goals against Denmark. There is just no stopping this Kid.

Now this is a real shocker to me! Pittsburgh was picked as one of the smartest places to live. The judgement was made based on economics, health care, educational options, housing, and cultural and leisure activities. Surprisingly, Pittsburgh ranked ninth in the listing that was created by Kiplinger's. The listing of the top ten in order is: Nashville, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Kansas City, Asheville (NC), Ithaca (NY), Pittsburgh, and Iowa City.

The Wilkes Barre Pens are sinking fast in the second round of the AHL playoffs. The Hershey Bears are leading the series 3-0 and can move into the next round with a win tomorrow. The Bears beat the Pens yesterday by a score of 4-1. The game tomorrow will be at 5:05 pm.

I am trying to put more thoughts into writing, and was thinking this weekend about how I wanted to be a jockey when I was a kid. Sometimes I hear of people who knew what they wanted to do since childhood, but that wasn't me. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. The only thing I do know is that I haven't gotten there yet.

Sunday, May 7, 2006 -- Evening

The Anaheim Mighty Ducks are really putting the pressure on the Colorado Avalanche. This afternoon, the Mighty Ducks won the second game in the series to pull ahead with a 2-0 advantage in the series. The score was 3-0, and it didn't look as if the Avalanche had anything in them. Yesterday, the New Jersey Devils were blown out by the Carolina Hurricanes. The final score was 6-0, and Martin Brodeur was pulled late in the third period. Brodeur had his lowest save percentage in the playoff season with a .829.

Saturday, May 6, 2006 -- Early Evening

Barbaro, the 6-1 race day favorite, won the 132nd running of the Kentucky Derby easily by 6 1/2 lengths. As I was watching the horse during the pre-event show on NBC, I was impressed by his calmness. Also, at this point, Barbaro was undefeated (5-0, now 6-0). The thing that irritated me the most is that NBC spent the entire hour prior to the race just talking about human sob stories as opposed to actually giving information on the horses and their racing records. So we heard about early favorite, Brother Derek's trainer, Dan Hendricks, who was paralyzed after having a motorcross bike accident two years ago. Then there was Brother Derek's jockey, Alex Solis, who broke a vertebrae in his back a few years ago. Finally there was the story of Michael Matz, the Olympic equestrian turned trainer, who was in a plane crash 17 years ago. He survived and saved three children who were flying alone on the plane on their way to visit their grandparents. Matz is the trainer of Barbaro. As you can well imagine, none of this helps in figuring out how to handicap the race. When the race started, the speed horses like Keyed Entry and Sinister Minister led a blistering pace with the first half in :46. Barbaro was behind the leaders in third place, and made his move on the final turn. At that point, he just breezed past and distanced himself from the pack. The time for the race was 2:01.36. For a comparison, the track record is held by the great Secretariat who ran the mile and a quarter in 1:59 2/5 in 1973. Second place finisher was Bluegrass Cat with Steppenwolfer third. Brother Derek was in a dead heat for fourth with Jazil. Lawyer Ron, the horse that I was favoring yesterday finished 12th. The odds on the horses were all pretty high this year because there really weren't any clear favorites. Even the bookies though that this was a race that might be up for grabs. Barbaro had an impressive showing, and I am going to be cheering him on to win the Triple Crown. The last horse to win the Triple Crown was Affirmed in 1978.

Saturday, May 6, 2006 -- Late Morning

Simon Cowell has given his opinion of who he thinks will be the final two on American Idol. Simon says that he thinks that Taylor Hicks and Chris Daughtry will be the finalists. Simon did say that Katharine McPhee could not be ruled out though. The interesting comment that Simon made was that his ego was the smallest of the show's regulars. According to Simon, Ryan Seacrest has the biggest ego, followed by Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and then himself. Randy Jackson recently renewed his contract with American Idol for an additional three years. Paula Abdul had done the same earlier in the season. Simon, however, has a five year contract that pays him $35 million a year.

Cesar Millan is being sued by the producer of 8 Simple Rules who claims that his dog was hurt by treatment at Cesar's clinic. Flody Suarez is claiming that a choke chain was put on the dog and it was made to exercise to exhaustion on a treadmill. Umm. Yeah, that's usually what Cesar does to dog's who goes to his clinic. Well, Suarez is claiming that the dog had to be hospitalized and will not be able to eat properly again because of the choke color. Suarez is suing for more than $25,000 for hospital bills and accuses Cesar of "breach of contract, fraud, animal cruelty and intentional infliction of emotional distress." The reason five year old Labrador was there was because he was afraid of other dogs and people. Cesar, himself, was not dealing with the dog, but other workers in his clinic. It sounds like a way for Suarez to get attention for himself, and to make a big deal out of a dog not being spoiled. After all, Cesar always puts the dogs on treadmills to wear them out so they can behave and be more responsive to acting in a submissive way. I think that folks tend to believe that their dogs are people, and really don't like anything done to the dog that isn't in accordance with that belief.

Friday, May 5, 2006 -- Evening

Jaromir Jagr is going to have shoulder surgery this coming Monday for a dislocated left shoulder. This was the injury that he received in the playoffs. Meanwhile, the hockey playoffs are in the semifinals for the conference. Tonight in the Eastern Conference, the Ottawa Senators are playing (and leading) the Buffalo Sabres, and in the Western Conference, the Colorado Avalanche are going to play the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. The Buffalo/Ottawa game was an exciting one with Buffalo tying the game with 1:37 seconds left in the game. Then with 1:13 left in the game, yes just seconds later, Ottawa rebounded to pull ahead again. Score: 6-5. Let's go Buffalo! With 10.7 seconds left in regulation, Buffalo scores again! The score was tied yet again! The game went into overtime. 18 seconds into overtime, Buffalo scored on a steal from a mishandled puck. Chris Drury scored the game winning goal. Let's go Buffalo!

Friday, May 5, 2006 -- Late Afternoon

Finally someone has come up with a theory that I have had for years! Some scientists are theorizing that the current Universe that we are in may be the child of an earlier one. Think about it for a second. The Big Bang happened. Why? What came before the Big Bang? The thing that makes the most sense to me is that the Big Bang was the end of a previous Universe's collapse of Big Death. This is not something that will be easy to prove, if indeed it can be proved at all. Right now, we can only imagine what happened at the Big Bang because all that we see around us is evidence of the Bang, or after-effects, if you will. It may just be that we are in a system that fluctuates between collapse and expanse, and right now we are just in expansion state. To me, this theory makes perfect sense. Isn't it more difficult to believe that out of nowhere and for no reason that we can discern, the Big Bang happened? Expansion and collapse is the way to go. The new theory was just released in Science.

Friday, May 5, 2006 -- Afternoon

Sidney Crosby is one of the three players in consideration for Rookie of the Year honors. Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, and Dion Phaneuf are the three finalist in competition for the Calder Memorial Trophy that goes to the best rookie in the NHL. The winner will be announced on June 22 in Vancouver along with the other post season NHL awards.

Meanwhile Marc-Andre Fleury has been playing with the Wilkes Barre Pens in their post season games to win the Calder Cup. The Baby Pens made it past the first round, and just lost their first game in the second round last night against the Hershey Bears. The hope was that having Fleury down in the minors and possibly winning some high pressure games will give him confidence. Fleury was in the net for yesterday's 5-4 loss against the Bears, but the coaches and management don't think that will get him down.

Lawyer Ron was sold yesterday. Before competing in the Kentucky Derby, horses are worth more because of the potential they have to be Derby winners. So if you are going to sell your horse, you want to do it before he runs in the Derby because if he loses, his worth will drop. Lawyer Ron is still going to race in the colors of his former owner (blue and white), who died a few months ago. A partial interest in the horse was sold to Our Legal Team LLC and Stonewall Stallions LLC (both of which are owned by Audrey Haisfield).

Thursday, May 4, 2006 -- Evening

Another episode of Survivor: Panama, Exile Island this evening, and I am just amazed at the level to which the alliance members will stab each other in the back. What is amazing to me is the level of stupidity because these folks don't seem to realize that they are backstabbing folks that will be voting on the jury. Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb! Terry is an amazing fellow though, and definitely should be the winner of this competition. Read the recap to find out what happened today.

Last night a new episode of South Park was on last night. It was a hilarious one entitled TSST!. That's the sound that Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer, makes to signal to dogs that he doesn't like their behavior. In this episode, Cartman, my favorite of the characters, is out of control and becoming a behavior problem to his mother. The school principal recommends one of the television Nannies. All can't handle Cartman. Then as a final resort, she goes to Cesar Millan. Cesar goes through his usual dominance thing, and gets Cartman to become submissive. It was hilarious, especially if you have watched the Dog Whisperer on the National Geographic Channel. I have to admit that I am a fan of Fatass, Eric Cartman. He is so obnoxious and outspoken. Sometimes I see alittle bit of myself in Cartman. It's nothing to be proud of, but it does make me laugh even harder at that shows. Besides, Trey Parker, the voice of Cartman, is such a hottie!

The pole positions were chosen for the 132nd running of the Kentucky Derby today. Brother Derek, who is the favorite, is going to be starting on the outside. He is going into the 18 post position out of 20. I think that this race is going to be a toss up. There are too many horses who have won a race or two, and I don't think that any of them have an edge. Also, I don't think any of them are Triple Crown possibilities. Right now, I am leaning towards Lawyer Ron as my favorite. It's just hard to get excited about any of the horses in this field.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006 -- Evening

Another contestant was voted off of American Idol this evening. 45.5 million votes were cast last night. Of course each vote doesn't correspond to one person. The five contestants sang We Are One together on the stage. I think that in general this group is much better than last year's. They don't sound bad at all when they sing together, and last year it was like torture to hear the group sing. The group are told that the remaining four will be flown to Graceland as soon as the show is over, and they will be working with Tommy Mottola. Paris Bennett is the first person put in the bottom two. Ryan Seacrest has her sing Kiss. Elliott Yamin joins Paris in the bottom two, and sings On Broadway. Who will it be? Paris is the person who is voted off. She manages to keep it together very well at the end considering how she cried for the others. And then there were four.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006 -- Late Afternoon

Today is Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day. The state of Israel was declared in 1948 on May 14 which is the fifth day of Iyar in the hebrew calendar. So even though it isn't the exact date in the Gregorian calendar, it is the right date in the Hebrew calendar. I was initially planning on going to an Israel festival today, but have since decided on a traditional cookout with my boyfriend. Beef ribs are on the menu.

This weekend is the annual Pittsburgh Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure Championship. It is going to be held at Soldiers and Sailors hall here in Oakland with prejudging on Friday evening and the award presentation on Saturday evening.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006 -- Evening

An interesting night on American Idol. The contestants were singing two songs tonight. One from their birth year and the other from the top 10 Billboard charts this week. Obviously the two on the bubble tonight are Elliott Yamin and Paris Bennett. Katharine McPhee is iffy too. I think that Chris Daughtry and Taylor Hicks should be safe for this week. Read the recap for more details.

Over in the hockey playoffs, the Buffalo Sabres look like they are breezing into the second round of the playoffs. At the start of the third period, the Sabres lead the Philadelphia Flyers with a score of 7-1. The thing that sucks is that the Carolina Hurricanes and the Montreal Canadiens game is tied in the third period at 1-1, and OLN is showing the fricking blowout Sabres game. They don't seem to understand how to handle excitement and which games might be of more interest to the viewing audience. If Carolina wins tonight, they move on to the next round. If Montreal wins, then there will be a game seven in this series for them. Buffalo moved on to the next round while Montreal and Carolina went into overtime. 1:16 into overtime, Carolina scored and won the game and the series with a 58 foot shot. Carolina won four in a row to eliminate the Canadiens. Cory Stillman scored the goal. Final score was 2-1. Mark Recchi scored the other Carolina goal.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006 -- Morning

The Detroit Red wings lost last night to the Edmonton Oilers and are now out of the playoffs. The Oilers were behind in the third period with a score of 3-0, but came fighting back to win with a score of 4-3. What is shocking about this is that Detroit has a great regular season. They had the best record this season and were awarded the President's Trophy. In comparison, Detroit had 124 points which was 11 more than any other NHL team, while Edmonton had only 95. This isn't the first time that Detroit has lost in the early rounds in the post season, and in fact, they seem to be making a habit of it. This is the third straight playoff season in which Detroit was eliminated in the first or second round. In the second round, number eight seed Edmonton will be playing anything dark horse, Colorado which is the seventh seed.

Today is Yom Hazikaron which is Israel's National Memorial Day. All of those who were killed in wars or in acts of terrorism will be remembered and honored today.

Monday, May 1, 2006 -- Evening

Streaming television shows and movies on the web is the way to go. ABC has some of its hits available online for viewing after the show has been broadcast. The nice thing about the ABC service is that it is free--for now. The trial period is going to be over the next two months. Once ABC has its data, it's probably going to find a way to charge for the shows. The BBC did the same thing last year, and found out that people tend to watch shows later in the evening then they are broadcast. No joke, Einstein. The Disney channel and CBS put their shows on iTunes for $1.99 each. The beauty of iTunes is that you have the show to watch whenever you want as opposed to streaming it only for the time period that it is available. Another source of older television shows is AOL. These shows are streamed for free, and has one of my favorites Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Another interesting resource for videos is YouTube which came into existence as a video storage area for folks with MySpace accounts.

Tomorrow should be an interesting night on American Idol. The five remaining contestants will each sing two songs. The first song will be from their birth year, and the second song will be from this week's Billboard's charts. It will be interesting to find out what the selections are and who will be leaving next. I think that both Paris Bennett and Elliott Yamin are the weakest of the remaining five, but then you can never tell what the fickle fans will do. Vote for the Worst is sponsoring Taylor Hicks as the worst singer. That's probably true, but the fact is that he has a fan base because of his antic behavior and grey hair.

Rain is forecast for Louisville on Kentucky Derby day so the trainers moved up workouts. Lawyer Ron had the fastest time for five furlongs of 58.76 seconds. Barbaro did the same distance in 59.48 seconds. Of course, the Derby is a mile and a quarter or 10 furlongs.