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Thursday, December 30, 2004

Am I the only one who does this?

Whenever i receive holiday cards, I always arranged them on the mantle. However, a couple of years ago, I decided to have some fun with it. Now, my fiance and I rank them from best to worst on the mantle.

A few things can get you automatically to the bottom of the ranking

1) inclusion of any yearly update letter. We got one this this that was 2 pages front and back designed to read like a newspaper. I know they mean well, but if you didnt mention it to me over the course of the year, I really dont care about it now.

2) The use of any pictures on the front of the card. Usually it is just kids, but we are seeing more and more couples with their pictures on the cover. It looks cheaps and sometimes I even lay the card flat so i don't need to look at your ugly mug.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Most Thankless Job In America

In an effort to be more family friendy, the Chicago Bears (as well as I am sure many other professional sports teams) have created a "Family Section." In this section, no consumption of alcohol is allowed.

Now how is this enforced, you may ask. Just have people checking for cups of beer. Sure, but that is just the beginning. They also have observers who monitor, every time anyone drinks anything to ensure noone is sneaking anything in. If you make the wrong facial expression after taking your sip of Mr. Pibb, you make be booted.

Now what type of person volunteers for this job? Someone bullied as a child, who are looking for authority in the strangest of places or radical who wants to return to prohibition?

Most awkward situation ever...

can anyone top this?

Being stuck alone in a room with your fiance's father watching Sex In the City. Keep in mind the father is a strict catholic and I am living in sin with his daughter.

I visited this past Christmas and learned of his newfound obsession with the show Sex and The City. So my fiance and I decide to give him a copy of our early season DVDs. In the three days, we were there, I believe he watched 14 episodes. The moments when he laughed over dirty jokes, which i am pretty sure he did not comprehend were some of the most awkward of my life.

Friday, December 24, 2004

NFL picks

broke even last year, building some momentume (sure)

  • best bet: Washington -2 over Dallas. If the Redskins can make the playoffs, they will make the Super Bowl. They are the best team in the NFC right now
  • Ravens +5.5 over Pittsburgh. Big Ben gets worse and worse every week. He will need a big game over the Ravens defense
  • Cardinals +7 over Seattle. Just because Seattle has to win, doesn't mean they are going to win. No serious reason Seattle should be this big of a favorite

Bowl Pick

Cal -11 over Texas tech. I would probably pick them if the line was 30. Teams that are upset about being snubbed usually come up huge.

Happy Holidays

And for those who I have not offended yet, Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

West Wing/ Sports night part 2

for more on similarities between West Wing and Sports Night, check out this link


I got a great question from Question Wonderland today—“Will Hilary be the next President of the United States?” I gave a short answer in the comments section but felt this important issues deserved a longer answer.

First let me put a few issues on the table. I voted for Bill Clinton in his second term and I would have voted for him in his first term if I was old enough to vote. I also voted for George W. Bush twice as well and am glad that I did.

I am not even sure if the Democratic Party would want Hilary to run. She would be a great fundraiser but would not help Democratic in areas where they are not already strong.

My biggest problem with Hilary is the way she consistently changes her views. She had always been against the US involvement in foreign countries, however, over the past few votes she voted for the funding so that she could not be called soft on defense. Less than a week after the election, she gave a speech at Tufts University about the importance of prayer. This is from a democrat? Wasn’t this the same Hilary who opposed references to God in public schools.

But I haven’t answered the original question—Will she win? A lot of it depends on who she runs against. If it is just ultraliberal Howard Dean, then Hilary will have a chance to play the moderate card. However, if Evan Bayh, the popular moderate governor of a traditionally Democratic state enters the primaries, Hilary will have a problem. She will have trouble supporting her political record.

Bayh would also be a more electable in the general election as well. For a democratic candidate to have a chance, they need to be able to win the Midwest as and the southwest. Evan could help to deliver the Midwest, much better than Hilary. I am not even going to address whether John Kerry might run again. The past campaign showcased his complete lack of political record and inconsistency on issues. Kerry has no chance.

Who will the Republicans. I think the most likely candidates are John McCain or Bill Frist. McCain has great crossover appeal and a tremendous military record. If McCain runs, I can’t see anyone beating him. He could sweep the South and Southwest and easily win. Frist would be very strong with the elderly as well as the South. Hilary could have a chance against him.

So will Hilary win? Probably not— Thank god.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Chasing Liberty

If you are in Philly anytime soon, check the Liberty Bell for another crack. With Terrell Owens out for the rest of the season, Phily's own demons should return.

Having living there for about 5 months this year, Philly is the ultimate city with the chip on its shoulder. Its not as big as New York, and doesnt have the culture or recreational options. also, their sports teams havent won a title in a long time. Now with their inreverent star out for the season, their perenniel collapse in the NFC championship game seems inevitable again.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Another sign that the apocalypse is upon us..

If anyone ever meets anyone who has purchased Donald Trump: The
Fragrence, please let me know...

Question wonderland

Stolen from Kate

First, recommend to me:
A) A Movie
B) A Book
C) A song/CD/band

Then: Ask me three questions ... anything you want ... don't be shy ... and I will answer in the comments section.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

my favorite one liner

I have a question, Mark?

No kidding, I have a semi colon.

am i asking too much...

those of you who know me well know that i am a stickler for good grammar. One particularly big mistake for me is people who don't know the difference between less and fewer. However, I understand that some people just didnt get a good education. However, WHEN A LARGE COMPANY gets it wrong, i just go ballistic.

At Dominick's yesterday, a large grocery store chain, I notice a sign over the express lanes. "15 items or less" How did this happen? are you telling me that noone in the organzation knows a fundamental point of grammar. Or is the story intentionally appealing to the least common denominator.

I'm not sure which is worse.

NFL picks...

maybe Saturday games will be a good start.

Last week was 1-2, however, my Best Bet won so i count that as 2-2. I picked lots of underdogs even though big favorites cover at 70% in December. This week I will be much more on the side of trends.

  • Minnesota and Detroit Under 49
  • Washington - 5.5 Joe Gibbs finally has this team moving and should finish the season with some momentum
  • Jets -5.5
  • Carolina/Atlanta Under 42
  • Seattle/ Jets Over41
  • Pittsburgh -10.5
  • Bears/Texans Over 35 The Bear's defense is really bad and without Urlacher it is a complete joke. The Bears have noone who can come even close to covering Andre Johnson. Also, Chad Hutchinson (having successfully recovered from his Hard Knocks karoake performance with Richmond Flowers) will play some vertical football and this should be an easy cover.
  • Atlanta -3.5

First Bowl Picks of the Year

Georgia Tech -5. I really love this game. Syracuse is just horrible and Ga Tech will use this game to build for next year where they can beat anyone in the ACC. Reggie Ball's Heisman campaign will begin in the Citrus Bowl

Its been a while

with really no good reason for posting. Really didnt do very much this week. That's what happens when you really have nothing to do.

I have, however, turned into a night owl for no good reason. I stayed up watching tv or being online until 2 am then waking up round 9. By the time I am read the paper and taken a shower, it is noon. Then I go out for something and it is 2 or 3 and i am tired from a long day. Also, West Wing reruns are the crack of daytime television. Even if i know almost every line I still want to watch. I also spent this weekend once again watching the entire run of Sports night. It is amazing the crossover between the 2 shows. Here is a partial list from what i remember

  • Josh Malina
  • Lisa Edelstein (sam's hooker friend in west wing and dan's 1 night stand in SN)
  • the actress who plays the substitute anchor was Mrs. Barlett's chief of staff
  • Janel Maloney plays the assistance wardrobe director in an episode
  • Timothy Busfield directs a SN episode
  • Felicity Huffman was on WW for a few episodes of the majority leader's COS

I know there must be more. anyone?

Saturday, December 11, 2004

nfl picks... exercise in futility

all year been doing well on college, poorly on the NFL. And i already love some bowl games. But maybe since I can focus all my attention on the NFL this week. Things will be better. I didn't pick any favorites which is normally a good thing. Plus I went actually early money and took 2 NFC team in interconference battles.

  • Best Bet: Cincinnati/ Pats Over 44. I think Cincy has a chance to win this game and both offenses have been so good. Carson Palmer is showing why he is a number one pick and Chad Johnson is one of the best 3 WRs in the NFL.

  • Bears +7.5 over Jacksonville. I think the real value might be on the money line in this game. But the Bears have always been a QB away from being a top team and Chad is the second best Chad QB in the NFL and that should count for something. Plus the Bears are 7-1 vs. the spread when Urlacher is healthy.

  • Tampa + 6 versus San Diego. San Diego's Super Bowl was last week. They basically clinched the Division. They alway tried to give the game away. TB's defense will show how inexperienced Brees is plus Brian Griese is getting better every week. Also, my friend Kristin was in love with him during college and called him Big Strong Man Hands. That should count for something.

before i Go on tilt
Posted by Hello

Pink socks

my fiance has about 20 pairs of shoes (even by my own admission not that much) Most of them have been purchased in the past few years. We even got new closets so they fit in all nice. However, she also has a couple pairs of pink socks which are almost as old as I am. She got get in the sixth grade and still wears them and won't get any other pair.

They are really ratting, with some strings at the top (though no holes). I think it is strange that she has so many pairs of shoes on the outside (which everyone can see) but her socks are really old. Maybe it is that she takes comfort in them. Or maybe she thinks it is more important to look good for the outside world. (These socks rarely venture outside the house).

Sunday, December 5, 2004

sunday bloody sunday

went to a really bad italian restaurant last night. Its located on the old school of Papagus, which i can't believe closed since i really liked its food. Can't remember the name, just three italian words. Don't think remembering it will need to be that important since i doubt it will be around that long.

The concept was simple enough-- have a fixed price menu sampler various italian cuisine along with your main course. the meats and cheese were OK, but everything else was very below average and the service was horrendous. Not only was it slow but the waitresses constantly matronized me. (example of matronization: "oh darling, since you waited so long i'll give you two pieces of bread.") A meal that started just after 8 didn't end until 11:30.

Beyond the crummy experience was my perception of the horrible business model. (This is probably my inner MBA speaking). We sat at a huge table so you could barely hear someone on the other side and were serviced by at least 5 or 6 different service personnell. If I covered the food service industry, i would downgrade this restaurant in a second. They make poor use of space, have too many wait staff and can't turn tables. Hopefully, this will enable the restaurant to go out of business even sooner. So if you are ever in chicago and are thinking about going to the new italian place on state and ontario, please think again.

On to happier thoughts-- big NFL day today. A bit scared because i like so many favorites today. But here goes nothing

- Minnesota -8 versus Chicago. Chad Hutchinson is starting at QB for the Bears. Read that last sentence again.

- Atlanta Pick versus Tampa. Mr. Vick and Mr. Crumpler with have Hotlanta partying. The bucs have been hot lately, mostly because of great play of Brian Griese. However, this was against teams like the Saints. if past experience means anything, then Bri will be choking big time against a good defense.

- Baltimore -7 versus Cincy. Todd Heap is back and Boller is playing quite well. I also have a funny feeling that Carson Palmer won't be putting up 58 against Ray Lewis. In fact, 58 yards might be an accomplishment. And if Chad Johnson tried to dance on Ray Lewis, we'll have a Jingle Brawl on our hands.

Saturday, December 4, 2004

Online poker is so fun...

I think i am getting to good, or at least too knew. I've finally spent some time learning how to play stud. I've always loved stud 8 but stud high is going well which should suit me well since it is easier to find in brick and mortars casinos. Anyway, I am up around $500 over about 6 hours playing 5/10 over the past few days. And it is always the same 10-15 guys in the game. Now whenever I join a full/nearly full ring game, it is down to 2-3 players about 5 minutes after i arrive. Am i really that intimidating? Or better yet, do the players who i assume have much more experience know something that i don't?

Thoughts on football

Kinda sacreligious to bet on the army/navy game but i will. Navy has too much talent, they should easily cover the 13.

Also, I like Colorado and the 23. alot of people like OU because they think OU will run up the score for the voters. But CU is the second most talented team OU will face all year (texas is the first). CU will score alot of points and keep it close.