Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hillary Begins Falling Apart

Up until now, Hillary was able to ride both sides of an issue without challenge. No one on the Democrat side was willing to challenge Hillary as she talked out both sides of her mouth. Well, that changed last night as her Democratic rivals ganged up on her during a two-hour debate. They finally put Clinton on the defense on a multitude of issues...but Hillary still wouldn't give any specifics in the debate, rather attempting to deflect every question towards the "failures" of George Bush.

Hillary became especially testy when prssed on whether she agrees with a proposal in New York to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Clinton first supported the idea until Dodd objected and then she said she didn't think it wasa very good idea but that she understood what the governor was doing. In response, John Edwards said, "Unless I missed something, Senator Clinton said two different things in the course of about two minutes. America is looking for a president who will say the same thing, who will be consistent, who will be straight with them." Barack Obama added, "I can't tell whether she was for it or against it."

Sounds like the Democrats are going to use the GOP/John Kerry approach of painting Clinton as a "flip-flopper" who will say anything to be elected. And then the Democrats questioned Clinton's electability:

John Edwards - "Will she be the person who brings about the change in this country? You know, I believe in Santa Claus. I believe in the tooth fairy. But I don't think that's going to happen."

Barack Obama - "Part of the reason that Republicans, I think, are obsessed with you, Hillary, is because that's a fight they're very comfortable having."

Chris Dodd - "Whether it's fair or not, the fact of the matter is that my colleague from New York, Senator Clinton, there are 50 percent of the American public that say they're not going to vote for her."

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Clinton clearly failed last night. While her opponents are attacking her and running a campaign against Hillary, Hillary is running against George Bush. Last time I checked, George Bush is not running for a third term.

Lastly, Dennis Kucinich admitted to seeing a UFO last night. The only surprise was that he didn't say he had been abducted...I can see Kucinich being abducted.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hurricanes and Global Warming

Remember Hurricane Katrina? Remember the dire predictions of extreme storms that were going to batter the U.S.? And all because of global warming...

Well, the Florida State University climatological division stated that 2007 will most likely rank as a historically inactive year for the Northern Hemisphre. Since Hurricane Katrina, there have only been ten Atlantic hurricanes. Yet the predictions from the global warming folks was that we would have Hurricane Katrinas year after year after year because of the rise in the earth's temperature. Yet, the hurricane seasons have been average, at best.

What is amazing is the fact so many people are willing to believe that any major event or unusual event is caused by global warming. Big hurricane? Global warming. Drought? Global warming. Flooding? Global warming. Declining dollar? Global warming. Lost keys? Global warming. Delayed technology rollout? Global warming.

But, and this might be a shock to some, the world has had flooding and drought, hurricanes and tornadoes, earthquakes and tsunamis before man even walked upon the Earth. The world's climate is far too complex for man to understand. We cannot control the climate and we cannot control hurricanes and we cannot control weather patterns.

And that's why so many people want to believe in this global warmining phenomenon...they want to at least feel like they have some control over what is going on around them. Even if they're responsible for bad things occuring, at least they had some part in it. We want to feel as though we can make a change if we would all do things differently. But that's not the case. Hurricanes are going to occur whether you are carbon-neutral or not. Droughts and floods are a way of life. We cannot control these aspects of nature and that is what scares people.

I don't see it changing. People are going to make dire predictions that either come true and their hailed a genius or don't come true and they pretend they never made the prediction. But all they are doing is making guesses at what might occur. The fact is that the Eart is way too complex to try to predict what is around the corner.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Rutgers Trip - Pt. 2 I pretty much explained the game. It was wet and entertaining. West Virginia dominated and still managed to drop a spot in one of the polls. But that's alright, there's still a lot of football left and anything can happen. West Virginia at least controls its own destiny now thanks to the USF loss. And has WVU playing in the national championship game after all is settled.

Anyway, here's some more observations from the trip up to New Jersey...
  • West Virginia's Fall Foilage far exceeds that of Maryland and New Jersey. Once you hit Garrett County, Maryland, most of the trees are dead. It's pretty amazing...
  • Lots of fog and rain. Especially around Cumberland...which reminded me of a story one of my co-workers told me. She was serious and I'll just give the final sentence. "It was so foggy out that my mother had to get out of the car to feel the road to make sure we were still on it..."
  • Passed a pretty nasty wreck on Sideling Hill.
  • Traffic was stopped at one point in the trip which reminded me of my trip to Charlotte for the Continental Tire Bowl back in 2002. We entered Virginia and sat at a standstill for what felt like hours. What should have been a 6-hour trip turned into about 10. Wytheville, if I remember was bad. Still got to Charlotte around 10:00 I think...
  • I thought about calling John Veasey for this one...gas is only $2.57 in New Jersey and it is full-service. What's up with that?
  • It rained the entire first half. Thank goodness for the Bass Pro Shop raingear my boss gave me. Yes, I wore green Bass Pro Shop gear for the WVU/Rutgers game. A little out of place but I was sure dry...
  • It really turned into a monsoon at times. I hadn't sat through rain like that for a football game for awhile. At least it wasn't cold though. I do recall getting hailed upon at Lane Stadium for the WVU/Virginia Tech game once.
  • On the way back from Rutgers, we ate at Arby's. Upon leaving Arby's we missed the road we were supposed to get on and got stuck in the middle of some Halloween Festival in Valero, PA. Luckily, we managed to get out before they completely shut down the road...not sure what was going on there.

So, that was about it. I still can't get over that gas in New Jersey was on $2.57 and it's full service. Where's John Veasey? What a scoop this would be for the Times...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Trip to Rutgers - Pt. 1

I'm not exactly sure where to start so I'll go backwards and make this a two or three part series and start with the actual game itself and work back from there. Obviously West Virginia annihilated Rutgers...and that was awesome. It wasn't even much of a game...West Virginia dominated. And that's the way it should be.

So, let's get to Rutgers Stadium and talk about the game and what I saw while there. It rained for several hours before the game and the entire first half of the ballgame...which brings up the fact that Rutgers desperately needs to do something with the mud issue around the stadium. Everyone is expected to use the paths they have to the stadium but they aren't even paved. There is mud everywhere.

As you can see, they also park people in the mud at the stadium. We saw several people stuck in the mud on the way out of the stadium area. There was a BMW tire deep that was waiting for a tow truck to hook it up. What an absolute mess. But somehow we braved the mud and made it to Rutgers Stadium: The Birthplace of College Football.

As we're approaching the gate, there is this large blue dot heading to the ticket office. As you can see, The Dot not only got tickets to the game but he was able to wrangle himself up a couple Rutgers girls as well. What a man that Dot is!

Besides The Dot, I saw a few other celebrities at the game:

I believe that's Sylvester Croom heading down the steps there. I'm not sure what he was doing at the WVU game since Mississippi State was beating Kentucky at the time but I still appreciate the support. And then there's the world famous DJ Yoshi. DJ Yoshi was rocking the mic during pre-game. That boy is gonna blow up something big soon...just watch. And then there's the dude who stood there in the bushes for the entire game. Keep on keepin' on, dude.

The highlight of the game for Rutgers was when they entered the field and the rains started coming. This really was the high point for Rutgers the entire game (oh, and The Pride of New Jersey doesn't touch the Pride of some other school that royally whipped Rutgers this weekend...)

West Virginia also knows how to run on the field...

This is the opening marked the beginning of the end for the Rutgers fans. But, let me throw this out there now...I was really impressed by the fact that the Rutgers fans showed up. When I say it rained, it really, really poured down the rain. Lucky for me, my boss let me borrow his Bass Pro Shop rain gear and I stayed dry...but it rained hard. And Rutgers' fans showed up and stayed for a majority of the game...I was surprised...

This guy...and I can't think of a good name for him...antagonized the entire Mountaineer section for over 3 quarters. Non-stop. He ran his mouth, he made gestures (nothing obscene from him actually...his friends, yes, but not him), he mocked, he laughed. He was the great annoyance in the side of many, many Mountaineer fans on Saturday. And, I must say, "Fine show, ol' chap." Seriously, this guy went non-stop for almost the whole game and I have a great appreciation for an antagonist who can maintain his level without resorting to profanity or other obscenities and then is willing to take it back. He took a lot during the 4th quarter and took it with much humility...good show, indeed...

After the Teel interception in the 4th quarter, the crowd quickly began departing Rutgers Stadium and emboldened the feisty Mountaineer crowd. I should throw in that the rain stopped at halftime and the sun actually made an appearance or two before the end of the game.

The poor cannon guys didn't get to shoot too much on Saturday...thankfully. The first time they show that thing off I just about had a heart attack. They won't let the Mountaineer shoot his gun but they'll fire a 300-year old cannon. Yeah...whatever. Final score: 31-3. Domination.

And, so another Mountaineer celebration. No, it wasn't 80-7 but this game wasn't close. And the Mountaineers decided to come over and thank the Mountaineer crowd that came to New Jersey. West Virginia travels's pretty amazing. There was a great representation of WVU at Rutgers and it turned out to be a pretty nice day.

Overall, the trip was pretty nice. A few Rutgers fans needed police escorts away from the Mountaineer section before all was said and done but I couldn't hear exactly what was going on. Everyone was rather pleasant that I encountered. Even the Rutgers street vendor who called me a wisenheimer did so with a laugh (I was trying to get discounted Rutgers' gear). So, WVU is now 7-1 but probably still #6 or #7 because no team ahead of us lost. But, if they win out, they will be in the BCS bowl and will represent the Big East as conference champions (thanks, UConn). More details on the trip later...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

City of Fairmont Launches Web-Site

Well, the City of Fairmont has finally gotten around to updating/changing their web-site ( -- and, well, it's not too bad really. The slogan could use a little work: "Spend a day... Spend a Lifetime." What's that mean really? If you spend a day in Fairmont there's a good possibility you will be kidnapped and held here for the rest of your life? Spend a day in Fairmont and you won't live any longer? I'm not sure...I'll take it to mean that if you spend a day here you'll want to move here. I'm guessing that's what they're talking about...

I'm hoping they are planning to expand the site a bit. "Our History" contains three old bridge, an old coke plant and some old hotels. I think they can probably come up with a little more history than that. On the other hand, the future looks bright...a road, a waterpark and riverfront development. In other words, the future is a road no one likes anymore, a waterpark that may or may not be built and a riverfront development project that will probably take 50 years to complete. Not that I'm pessismistic about it or anything...

My favorite part might be under Visitor and Entertainment & Activities. Can you guess what is there without looking? Valley Falls, of course. Pricketts Fort, yep. And, well, the other four aren't quite attactions...well, I wouldn't consider them attractions necessarily.

But, anyway, the new site is really nice. I hope they expand on it a little bit. There's probably a lot more to Fairmont's past than a road and a couple buildings. Maybe not...but I think there probably is.

In other news, VH1 presents Rock Docs: Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who on Saturday, November 3rd at 9:00 p.m. I would encourage everyone to watch the amazing journey of The Who.

On the flip side, I encourage everyone to boycott FrankTV. It might actually be a good show but TBS has ruined any chance of me ever watching it thanks to their non-stop commercial blitz. I can't even watch Seinfeld in the evenings without being bombarded with Frank pretending to be Jack Nicholson or John Madden. It is infuriating.

Let me close by saying that I'm not watching the World Series...nor do I want to hear anything about the World Series. I don't believe I can stand another Red Sox victory and the pomposity that will sure ensue. It is quite disgusting to watch. "Manny being Manny" and "Big Papi" and "Bloody Sock Schilling" -- all make me physically nauseated. And don't even get me started on Terry Francona...there's just something about that guy I really, really don't like. Can't put my finger on it but not a fan.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Another Day, Another Bomb Threat

It's getting to the point of ridiculous. I think I wrote last week that Marion County, and all school systems, need to crack down on students since the bomb threats and security risks are seemingly getting out of control. East Fairmont released early yesterday due to a bomb threat. This follows a major scare last Thursday when a cellphone was found attached to a couple erasers that could be easily mistaken as a bomb-like device.

Here's what I would do: 1) No backpacks allowed. Find a way for students to work online for homework assignments or give them printouts (yes, I know the county has no money for paper but find it). 2) No driving. Everyone has access to a bus or their parents can drop them off. No students should drive. 3) Lock all entrances. Even the main door. Keep it open in the morning and then lockdown from that point. If someone needs in after first period begins, they can ring a buzzer and someone can let them in. All other doors are on lockdown.

I would also make students turn in cellphones at the beginning of the day and hold them to the end. 1) They don't need a cellphone during the course of the day. There's an office phone they can use if there is an emergency need. 2) In the event of an actual school-wide emergency, if students contacted their parents, it could lead to a logjam of vehicles blocking the only artery to the school and prevent emergency vehicles from arriving promptly.

Something has to give. The threats and what-not are becoming a real nuisance. And it's not necessarily the loss of instructional time as much as it is the worry that associates these threats. If students are pulling these "pranks," someone needs to step up and turn in these hooligans because it certainly isn't funny. Something needs to be done...soon.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Michael Vick Update

I think it's time for a Michael Vick update. The reason for this update is that every 2-3 weeks I get a comment or e-mail or something from a Michael Vick fan saying that Michael Vick is the best (well, da best) and curses me for disrespecting him. Yeah...whatever.

Anyway, things look bleak for the former Virginia Tech standout and NFL bust. Not only has he been indefinitely suspended from the NFL and facing jail time, an arbitrator for the Atlanta Falcons recently ruled that the team is entitled to recoup $19.9 million from him. Do you know how many times you have to correctly guess the winning dog to make them kinda bones?

Of course, Vick is taking it all in stride, continuing with his normal activities despite the increased scrutiny on his every move. That is why he got busted for smoking marijuana back in September. Oh, that Michael Vick sure is a smart one.

Lastly, several banks are suing Vick. Despite the highly touted "highest paid player in the NFL" position Vick held, it is very likely he'll be declaring bankruptcy in the near future. 1st Source Bank, based in South Bend, Indiana, claimed in a federal lawsuit that it had suffered damages of at least $2 million as Vick and Divine Seven LLC of Atlanta had refused to pay for at least 130 vehicles.

And Wachovia Bank filed suit in U.S. District Court in Atlanta seeking about $940,000 from Vick and Gerald Frank Jenkins, a business partner and their Atlantic Wine & Package LLC. The bank claims the two have defaulted on a May 2006 loan of $1.3 million to set up a wine shop and restaurant and have not made scheduled payments since his federal indictment in July.

So, there you have it. An update on Michael Vick and his historic fall from grace. I will be the first to admit that I never was a Michael Vick fan. He played for Virginia Tech and ran a lot but never was a great quarterback. Quite frankly, I always thought he was overrated and a bit of a thug. But I never foresaw all of this. It's all pretty surreal.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Rushing the Field

Last year, Rutgers fans rushed the field following their win over #3 Louisville and ESPN played the scene many, many times with gushing enthusiasm. Last night, Rutgers defeated #2 South Florida and the ESPN announcer described it as "a great scene." So, why is it that when Rutgers fans rush the field at Rutgers Stadium it is a great scene but when Mountaineer fans rushed the field after defeating #3 Virginia Tech, it was played as a bunch of hoodlums taking the field?

I'm positive that this isn't the first time I've brought this topic up but it's one that continues to irk me. 95% of the time when fans rush the field ESPN eats it up and talks about what a great moment it is for that school. Later, however, the will devote entire shows to the "epidemic" of fans rushing the field and talk about what a danger it is to the athletes and to the fans. ESPN is with this topic, as with many, completely hypocritical. If they wanted to take a real stand on fans rushing the field, they would refuse to show the scene and cut away like they do when a fan interrupts a game. By showing fans on the field, they promote it and then use that promotion to give their talking heads on shows like "The Sports Reporters" something to condemn. It's ridiculous.

My feeling on rushing the field is pretty simple...for a school that isn't big time to beat a top-ranked opponent, I can understand rushing the field. Kentucky beating LSU is a rush the field moment. Rutgers beating Louisville last year is a rush the field moment. However, for schools like USC, Florida, LSU, etc., I don't ever see a win that would call for rushing the field. And I don't see any rush the field moments in WVU's near future. And there shouldn't be. If you truly are an upper-tier program, there's no need to rush the field like you haven't been there before.

I don't like people rushing the field. But it's a good moment when it happens at the right time. What I don't like more is ESPN's approval followed by condemnation. Once again, the World Wide Leader publicizes an issue just to give their people a story to talk about. But, then again, that seems to be what ESPN is best at these days.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Football Predictions

Instead of boring everyone with my work today, I will just make some football goes:

Wheeling Park 28 - Fairmont Senior 21 - Fairmont is probably a better football team but it's up at Wheeling Island and I just don't like the way it looks.

Morgantown 24 - John Marshall 13 - Mohigans will get their "swagger" back before the MoHawk Bowl.

Bridgeport 35 - Nicholas County 24 - Could Bridgeport compete for the AAA championship this year? It's a good possibility. It wasn't very long ago since I was chiding them for trying to stay in AA just to have an easier path to the state playoffs. Looks like their move up to AAA hasn't hurt them that much.

RCB 45 - Parkersburg South 20 - No idea how good Parkersburg South is but I've heard their not very good. RCB is.

East Fairmont 32 - Buckhannon 18 - Bees need this one to keep homefield advantage hopes alive. There is a major showdown looming on November 2nd at East/West Stadium. Get by this one and things start to get interesting.

Rutgers 24 - South Florida 14 - South Florida has never been this highly ranked. Rutgers needs a big win at home. South Florida blows it. Rutgers puts WVU back in the Big East driver's seat.

Kentucky 35 - Florida 28 - Florida isn't as good as they were last year and Kentucky has enough confidence to beat Florida down in Gainsville. (Honestly, I don't believe Kentucky has any chance of winning this game but that is precisely why they will...)

WVU 42 - MSU 24 - Pat White or no Pat White, WVU needs to open a can against MSU. The Bulldogs have some good wins this year and aren't nearly the patsies they were last year. Slaton needs a big game and the WVU defense had better continue their dominating performances. Coach Rod doesn't like this SEC game in the middle of the conference schedule...quite frankly, I don't either. Tougher than people might think.

On a sidenote, some media outlets still think WVU has an outside shot for the BCS championship game after all the upsets. So, they need to win big. There's also talk that if they make the BCS as an at-large, the Rose Bowl could come calling with their first pick. How awesome would that be?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What Is Going On?

North Marion High School was evacuated yesterday following a bomb threat. Five students were arrested following a fire at Fairmont Senior High School. The Doddridge County Board of Education is offering a $500 reward for information leading ot the arrest of people making threats against the high school there. Fairview is evacuated following a bomb threat in Texas. East Fairmont is holding random drug searches and catching multiple people. Every week it is something new with local schools. And it's not good news.

What is wrong with people? It's actually becoming an epidemic. I guarantee someone knows who made the threat in Doddrige and they need to turn them in and collect their $500. The Fairmont Sr. students were caught and need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible. The students caught at EFHS needed expelled and never returned to the Marion County school system. A bomb threat used to just mean an hour out of class but with the climate today it presents serious issues for school officials and action must be taken to the fullest extent possible. And those punishments need to be publicized vigorously to discourage others from following the same actions.

In other news, the West Virginia "Welcome Message" vote is underway and you can vote up to October 29th. This may be the dumbest thing I have ever seen. But what a way to engage the great people in West Virginia. Or at least I'm sure that's what the governor is thinking. You can vote at West Virginia's Welcome Message site. Have fun with that...

Monday, October 15, 2007

That Little Israeli Strike

It amazes me that the American media hasn't picked up more on the recent Israeli incursion into Syria. But the American and Israeli governments have been virtually silent on the recent air raid, only acknowledging one had been made. The New York Times recently wrote an article on the attack and cited officials as for the reasoning for the attack: Syria was constructing a nuclear reactor modeled on that of North Korea's.

Does no one in the American media think this is big news? Syria is attempting to create a nuclear reactor...and they have obtained the know-how from North Korea. I would think this would be huge news considering the obvious ties between the Syrian and Iranian governments. If Syria is attempting to create any type of nuclear device, it is most likely doing so under the direction of the Iranian government. I don't believe that is a stretch at all to say.

Additionally, since we know North Korea already has nuclear weaponry, there has to be some question as how much technology and intellect has been passed from North Korea to Syria (and eventually to Iran) or if there is a direct North Korea/Iran connection of the passing of this information. Not examining these questions is a major faux pau. But, truly investigating these connections would be counter-productive to the assertions that no country in the Middle East is a danger to American interests. A true investigation could prove the dangers are larger and more pressing than we had previously imagined.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Al Gore, Global Warming and Bill O'Reilly

I must admit that I'm a little (or a lot) turned off by politics at the moment. It's campaign season and we still have over a year before we elect a new president. The candidate aren't really attacking one another...Hilary is running away with the Democrat nomination because Obama is too afraid to take a stand on an issue and the Republican candidates are just...well, boring. But I digress....

Just happened to catch Bill O'Reilly on Jay Leno last night and, of course, the subject of Al Gore and his recent Nobel Prize win came up along with the topic of global warming. O'Reilly congratulated Gore and then expressed his view on global warming and it matches with mine pretty much, here goes:

The world temperature has gone up. Now, the question is whether you believe this has been caused by man or by normal weather patterns. But regardless of what you believe is causing the warming, the campaign by Algore is something you can't fight. Who is against a cleaner environment? Who wouldn't enjoy decreasing our dependency on oil and other natural resources? Everyone wants a cleaner environment for all to enjoy.

But Gore's campaign causes trouble because they've turned it into a purely political issue. Al Gore spends his time blaming Americans and the United States for the environmental problems while ignoring the increasing pollutants coming from China and India. Al Gore dedicates his time to blaming Republicans because we won't shut down businesses or pass unrealistic environmental standards. Instead of proposing real options for change and improvement, Gore is too busy assigning blame without solutions. And that's where the divide occurs.

The simple fact is everyone should be able to stand behind a cleaner environment. I enjoy clean water and clean air. And I don't know anyone who doesn't. But you have to work with people instead of wasting your energies trying to make people feel guilty and resentful of your cause. If Gore truly cares about the environment, he should work with everyone to create initiatives that reach out to all instead of using it to divide Americans and win points for his liberal brethren.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Football Predictions

Before I begin, just want to express how much I enjoyed watching Wake Forest defeat Florida State last night. What happened to Florida State? Are all their good quarterbacks in jail? And you can see that Rick Trickett really made the right decision by leaving WVU to go to Florida State. Congratulations!

Anyway, on to the predictions for this weekend's football extravaganza:

East Fairmont 31 - Preson 13. Hey, it's homecoming...and should be a pretty easy game.

Fairmont Senior 35 - Elkins 20. Could Fairmont Senior/East Fairmont determine the winner of the NCAC?

Tyler Consol 17 - North Marion 16. Hmmmm...

Morgantown 27 - Parkersburg South 6.

Cincinnati 56 - Louisville 42. I really don't think Louisville is all that good this year. This really will be their final chance...

LSU 24 - Kentucky 10. Sorry Wildcats...there just isn't any way you're beating LSU.

Patriots 0 - Cowboys 0. I don't care who wins...I want them both to lose. I don't like any of them...seriously. There is no redeeming quality on either team. A 0-0 tie...just so ESPN can dedicate another entire week talking about what an epic clash between two titans this game was. My only hope is that Randy Moss and Terrell Owens gets into a fight and the league expels both of them...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dave Wannstedt Wants To Get Fired

The only conclusion I can come up with is that Dave Wannstedt really hates Pittsburgh and wants to get fired from his current head coaching gig. Unfortunately I watched the Pittsburgh / Navy football contest last evening. What a dismal display of football from Pittsburgh.

In the back and forth affair, Pitt could do nothing to stop Navy's running game. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Navy could do nothing to stop Pitt's running game. So you have two teams slugging it out...with no real defense. Thanks to a last second missed field goal by Navy, Pitt is able to take the game into home.

So, both teams score touchdowns on the first possession. Sounds about right. On the second possession, Navy is held to a field goal. Now is time for Pitt to cram the ball down Navy's throat and win the game; right? Wrong...

Facing 3rd and goal from the 2-yard line, Wannstedt has his freshman quarterback attempt to throw for the victory despite the fact Pitt's offensive line is much, much larger than the Midshipmen's defensive line. Incomplete pass...4th and goal. So, the genius of Wannstedt decides to try to win the game now...don't kick a field goal and go into overtime #3. Okay...that's some guts. Obviously you're going to line up your fullback and tailback and power this thing into the endzone; right? Right?

Wrong...Wannstedt attempts a fade pass that falls incomplete. Pitt loses. Pittsburgh has now lost 4 games in a row, including a 30-point blowup at the hands of Virginia and a 20-point laugher at the hands of UConn. And now a double-overtime loss to Navy thanks to very, very poor play calling.

Don't get me wrong...I hope Wannstedt coaches Pittsburgh forever. Everyone talks about his great recruiting. Well, I see the 2-4 record that great recruiting has gotten them. And this will be the 3rd year in a row Pittsburgh doesn't go to a post-season bowl. They are horrible. And, if anyone in Pittsburgh cared about Panther football, he would be long gone before this season is over.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Farewell, Joe Torre

Expect some serious changes in New York following last night's defeat to the Cleveland Indians. It's almost impossible that Joe Torre will be back next season. Rivera, Clemens, Pettite will probably all be gone. Posada could opt out. There's talk of A-Rod leaving the Bronx. But maybe that's not a bad thing. I like Joe Torre and I like the Yankees lineup but the pitching has been shaky...and that's obviously what killed them in this division series. There seems to be some homegrown prospects that could actually pitch as long as the Yankees don't try to sell them for some magic (old) beans between now and next season.

I'll be anxious to see a slightly altered team under a new manager. I think there is a core that will remain in New York that can be highly successful next year despite the absence of Torre and maybe some other big names. In the meantime, I'm the biggest Cleveland fan there can be...

Oh, and last night's football game between Dallas and Buffalo was sickening. I think I threw up a little when Dallas made the last second field goal...twice. It was just disgusting. I felt really bad for the hapless Bills fans. And, boy, do I dislike the Cowboys and Jerry Jones and T.O. and Tony Romo and...

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Reflections on a USC Loss

I will now take a moment to reflect on the USC Trojans loss. *snickers...into a full blown laugh* *wiping tears from face from laughing so hard*

Okay...I'm done. All I can say is that it is about time some undeserving opponent beat the Trojans. They barely snuck by Washington. But they blow out Nebraska. And Washington State. But over the past several years, USC has made their living by playing down to the level of their opponent and breaking their hearts at the last moment. Not this time though...a 41-point underdog finally made them pay for overlooking their weaker opponents. And I couldn't be more happy.

So, with USC having a loss, it's time to look at some other teams who could play for a national championship:

LSU - Florida was their toughest game but they still have Auburn and Kentucky on the schedule. And keep an eye on November 3rd when they visit Alabama and former god-like coach, Nick Saban. That should be an amazing game. And there's that little matter of an SEC championship game.

California - Oregon State, Washington State, Arizona State and USC is still on the schedule. I would say UCLA is on there but obviously UCLA is horrible. If they can navigate through the Pac 10 undefeated, they definitely deserve a shot over...

Ohio State - The Big 10 is not better than the Pac 10. Michigan lost of Appy State. Penn State was overrated. Watch out of Wisconsin and Illinois back-to-back. Ron Zook might spoil the Buckeyes hope this year.

Boston College - UGH! I hope not. At Virginia Tech, at Maryland and at Clemson should prove a dagger for BC. They also have Florida State on November 3rd. And close the season with Miami. Surely someone will beat them. Please?

South Florida - Well, they play at Rutgers on October 18th. Probably not real cold then. They get Louisville and Cincinatti at home, which could give them a major advantage. If they are undefeated heading into a Pittsburgh on November 24th, that could be interesting. Snow and cold weather...and, by that time, Dave Wannstedt will be playing for his coaching job because surely, by then, most Pitt faithful will be trying to chase him out of town. I think they'll blow one somewhere...

Lastly today, Oklahoma - Might be the best team in the country. Sure, they lost to Colorado but I have to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they were looking foward to Texas. Schedule looks pretty easy to navigate if they can get by Missouri this weekend. And they are definitely in the best position of all the 1-loss teams. And they'll have that Big 12 Championship game to worry about...but Oklahoma is clearly the power of the Big 12.

(Oh, and West Virginia could sneak back in...but a lot of things would have to break the right everyone lose...a couple times.)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Example of Stupid Announcer

With around 3:00 minutes remaining in the Virginia Tech/Clemson game and Clemson losing by 11 and Virginia Tech in possession of the ball, Tech's Brandon Ore fumbles the ball deep in Clemson territory. After a scuffle for the ball, the refs declare Virginia Tech has recovered despite the fact Ore is at the bottom of the pile with 3 Clemson players. Tommy Bowden challenges the play and I thought Mike Patrick was going to have an aneurysm.

"You can't challenge that," Patrick yells out. "What is there to challenge?" He goes on to express that it was stupid to waste the timeout and that he doesn't understand what they are challenging. Apparently he doesn't believe a fumble recovery is challengeable. He questions whether they are challenging if there was a fumble. But what makes the difference if Virginia Tech recovered? Todd Blackledge remains silent throughout this entire embarassing episode.

Here is why Patrick is an idiot: 1) Clemson is down by 11 with only 2 timeouts and under 3 minutes remaining in the game. The clock would continue running if Ore recovered so Bowden needed to save time and call a timeout anyway. 2) Ore was surrounded by 3 players and the replay shows the ball ended up in Ore's legs. Perhaps the replay could show a Clemson player in clear possession and Bowden challenged before Virginia Tech could run a play since the replay booth clearly didn't have time to see it yet. 3) Clemson was desperate anyway. Maybe they get lucky. What's the harm?

I was just amazed by how adamant Mike Patrick was in his criticism of Bowden. And I believe he was completely incorrect in what he believed was not a reviewable play. If replay clearly shows possession by Player 1 and Player 1 is down and the ball is stripped from him after he has possession and is shown down, then Player 1's team would have possession of the ball. I don't believe Patrick even considered this in his diatribe. But this once again illustrates my belief that announcer's 1) don't consider other views; 2) don't pay attention to the game; and, 3) don't understand the rules.

I am sick of...

I know I'm missing things...but here are some of the top things I am sick of in college football:

Beamer Ball. Sick of hearing about it and being educated on it every time I try to watch a Virginia Tech football game. I don't like Virginia Tech and I'm not a big fan of Frank Beamer so it takes a lot of effort to even watch them play. The talking of Beamer Ball makes it almost impossible.

Owen Schmitt's face masks.'s cool that he has broken 9 face masks. But do I have to be reminded of it every time he touches the ball. I think I could get beyond the mention of it if they didn't also bring up a stat bubble like it is an official statistic. I believe today's said something like "Holds WVU record for broken face masks (9)." Is that necessary? And who researches that? I think Sam Huff might have something to say about that record.

Annoucers who don't pay attention to the game (or don't know the game). I believe it was the Kentucky game when some announcer chastised the coach for using a timeout. He acted as though the clock was going to be stopped if the coach didn't call the timeout. That was incorrect. There had been a penalty on the play but it was declined...therefore, since it had been a running play that ended in-bounds, the clock would begin running with the whistle. Therefore, to stop the clock, a timeout must be called. So, the coach made the correct call. The announcer was a complete moron and either the other announcer was also a moron or was too embarassed to correct him. Watch the game nad know the freakin' rules. And, if you don't know for sure, keep your fool mouth shut.

Announcers who can't pronounce names. Along the same lines as the previous. If you are working a game, learn to pronounce the players names. Especially the playmakers. Ray-nard? I heard it more than once. There was several mispronuciations during the game...that's just the one I remember being repeated over and over. I can forgive calling him No-el or Nol...that could be a local dialect thing. But it is definitely not Darius Ray-NARD.

Heisman talk. Why do we have to start the Heisman watch in August? Seriously. I am sick of the ESPN announcer who takes a player off his Heisman list every week. Slaton last week. Pat White this week. Like they can't play their way back on? And it's amazing the people they add after one good week. Okay, Slaton only runs for 80 this week so he's off and some guy who threw for 400-yards is tops. Give me a break.

Lou Holtz. Where to begin? The pep talks? L-A-M-E. His predictions? Weird. His talking? Confusing. He's like Professor Farnsworth from Futurama. Hard to watch...but harmless. Sometimes completely unlikeable but senile enough that you feel bad for him. I just can't believe this guy is helping ratings.

Kirk Herbstreit.'s Kirk that is really getting on my nerves. He's become a bigshot. He talks about THE Ohio State University too much. He can be downright mean with his predictions. He used to be the likeable guy on GameDay but now I almost prefer the asinine rantings of Lee Corso. (Don't get me wrong...I still don't like Lee Corso but he has no credibility. Unfortunately, Herbstreit still does.)

GameDay. I will like it again when they come to Morgantown. I think they're scurred.

ESPN's Hype Names. Last Saturday was Upset Saturday. So, this Saturday was Redemption Saturday or Gut Check Saturday. Yeah...ummmm, about that...

Other things I just plain don't like: USC. Pete Carroll. Notre Dame. Charlie Weis. Pam Ward. Polls in August. The SEC (I like the teams...I'm just sick of hearing what a superior conference they are.) The ACC (I don't like the teams or the conference and they definitely are not a superior conference.) Notre Dame apologists (way too many.)

I'm sure I could go on...and I probably will later. The more I watch, the more I find. College football, in my opinion, is the greatest sport. The games are great and the passion is unbelieveable. I'm afraid ESPN could kill it with their over-the-top coverage...but, so far, it's still the greatest show there is. Maybe I'll go into all the great things later...or maybe not. Who knows? Until then, I remain...yada yada yada.

Interesting People

Well, I attended the Fairmont Senior/Buckhannon-Upshur game last night. Let's just say it wasn't pretty for Buckhannon. West Side winning was a foregone conclusion about 3 minutes into the game. The real question was whether the Polar Bears would score 100 points. By halftime. They didn't...but it wasn't much of a game. Which gave me plenty of time to observe the interesting people around me. Boy, do I wish I had a camera.

The highlight of the evening was a gentleman in front of my posse who had a lovely doo rag and red. Very nicely tied in the back. He had a very nice traditional goatee...looks like he'd been working on it for a while. Cutoff t-shirt. Really a traditional "biker dude" I suppose.

Anyway, he and his lady friend had lost interest in the game by the 3rd quarter and began getting a little close. Obviously many jokes ensued...but all subdued as we didn't want this man to destroy us. A little kissing...a little touching. I'm not going to guess what type of exchanges were being made...but they were tight. Anyway, at some point this woman gets up and leaves and the biker man moves over a seat next to the next woman. Now, there was no hanky-panky occuring with this new woman but he moved in very, very close. Like, leaning behind her pretty much.

So, he sat like this for 10 minutes or so when the first lady returned. And she sat on his other side now so hew as surrounded by his women. I'll leave it at that...draw your own conclusions. I just wish I had taken my camera...

Anyway, Mountaineers destroyed Syracuse. Wisconsin lost. Georgia is losing. If Florida loses tonight, West Virginia should move back into the Top 10 in tomorrow's polls. That will be nice...more later.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Football picks

I'm going to think about the West Virginia secession idea and let that stew and write a little more about that later. In the meantime, I will give my football picks for this week:

Fairmont Senior 27 - Buckhannon-Upshur 14. I feel pretty confident I will go attend this game since there's nothing better to do...

North Marion 12 - Morgantown 37. Poor, poor North Marion. I'm looking for words of encouragement but there just aren't any. least you guys still come to the games. Maybe they turn it around this week...Morgantown isn't great. But still..

Unversity 14 - Brooke 17. I don't know why...feels like Brooke should win. Maybe repercussions from University losing to West Side.

Better Games Now:

Rutgers 14 - Cincinnati 24. Upset special I guess. I think Rutgers is going to be reeling from the loss to Maryland and I think Cincy is a better team than people think. Defense can win games and the Bearcats are going to prove it.

LSU 27 - Florida 14. Sorry...LSU is just that good.

Steelers 31 - Seattle 17. I hope anyway. They've looked good but Ben has to get rid of the ball in a timely fashion instead of running around, hoping to get away from defenders.

And, lastly - WVU 56 - Syracuse 18. Statement game. Or it should be anyway. You're coming off your first loss and your elimination from the national title hunt. They better come out swinging to prove a point. The Big East Championship and BCS bid are still out there. That's something to fight for...I would think anyway. If this is anything but a blowout...well, I won't be happy.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Should West Virginia Secede from the Union?

Inspired by Secessionists meeting in Tennessee, the question has to be asked whether West Virginia should secede from the Union. The simple answer is probably not. Look how many people in this state depend on the federal government for assistance. There probably isn't enough money in this state to actually support those people.

But, the thought of being an independent state is appealing. Maybe setup a lower tax rate hoping to draw in more business. Legalize some things to attract vacationers. I have said for years we can probably survive. But the welfare class in this state would be SOL. At least for awhile...until the economy started roaring. And then you would find those people jobs...not make them a burden of the state.

I've long advocated a look at it. I'm not really recommending secession but the possibilities of getting a chance to start over do look appealing. Especially considering the state of today's federal government and dependencies they have created. And the taxes I have to pay to take care of those dependents. Oh, the possibilities....

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Hilary? Really?

As the new fundraising data comes in, it's becoming pretty apparent that Hilary Clinton is going to be the Democratic nominee for President. All I can say is, COME ON! Are you serious? I thought the Dems would at least put up someone with some charisma and charm...and someone who is likeable. I don't agree with a lot of what Barack Obama says...but, hey, I like the guy. Hilary though? The screaming banshee?

I will be the first to admit that I am completely bored to tears by the Republican candidates. I figure Mitt Romney is a nice guy who would make a terrific president. Guiliani is pretty dry. John McCain...the maverick? Bleh. Shoot, I was hoping Fred Thompson would run just to bring a little energy to the ticket. It's a shame Fred Thompson is 123-years old. I don't know who the nominee will be. If it's Guiliani, the Christian Right will splinter. If it's Romney...well, I don't know. If it's McCain, well, it won't be McCain. But there's one person who can reunite the Republican Party...and that's Hilary.

So, knowing the Republican party is boring and on the verge of splitting, you would think the Democrats would try to run someone who would appeal to everyone. Instead, they find the most polarizing candidate they can find and run Hilary Clinton. I'm just amazed. If the Democrats lose this election next November, they can look to their candidate and their unwillingness to look for a real candidate who can actually appeal to most Americans. And don't be surprised when it happens...

And the schedule dies...

Up until last Friday, our entire enterprise upgrade was on-schedule. And then it died. A holdup in the final release of our Document Management System has completely thrown our schedule into chaos. I am currently sitting on a conference call...trying to hash out a new schedule. 4 week delay? 6 week delay? It's not looking good. So, this upgrade that was scheduled to drag on until March now will drag on through April. And that's really, really disappointing to everyone.

It's amazing to watch how everything depends on everything else to work. One snafu and the whole project is railroaded. It's very difficult to stay motivated when there is a 6-week delay in work. I'm not sure if we continue in low gear or just stop and pick back up in 4 weeks and try to get it cooking again. I'm aiming for the low gear approach. Continue working but at a slower pace so people don't forget where they stand on each project.

Regardless, it now looks like this rollout is going to begin around Christmas time. Ah, I'm not pleased with that. But, what are you going to do? It's just the way things go sometimes...I guess.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Ever-Diminishing Dollar

The US Dollar continues to plummet in the world market at a somewhat alarming pace. And, with that drop, the buying ability of the American public drops. So, you ask what does that mean? Well, let's see....

One of the main factors for the weakening dollar is the decreased interest rates we have been paying. While everyone seems to enjoy low interest rates, it weakens the dollar because investors who buy Treasury bonds priced in dollars get a lower return. While the weaker dollar helps American businesses because it makes exported goods cheaper, it hurts American's who might be trying to buy from foreign businesses. Therefore, it helps the trade deficient by making American good cheaper and international goods more expensive. Sound good? Yes...until...

All those dollars come back to America. Countries with extra dollars have been happy to lend them back to us — buying up hundreds of billions worth of government debt. All this is fine until those overseas buyers lose interest in our Treasury debt. To keep those investors buying, the Treasury pays higher interest rates and that raises the cost of all forms of borrowing for Americans. And then you get some serious inflation. Not so good...

I guess what I'm getting at is that the dollar works on a very complicated system of checks and balances and, for the most part, the global economic system has worked its way through many bumps. Yes, the dollar stands at all time weak levels but that should help American business. And as business grows, the dollar will get stronger. These things happen and it's no reason to panic like the media would have you believe. It's just part of a big cycle...hopefully.