Friday, February 29, 2008

Soul Finger

Just another video for you. The Bar-Kays and the classic "Soul Finger"...

The Horse

I had no idea what I was going to write about today but, thankfully, YouTube has bailed me out by giving me this great video from Teen Time in 1968. The song is "The Horse" by Cliff Noble and it's a pretty awesome song. I am truly mesmerized by "The Horse"

I really don't think there's any more to say right now. I honestly am going to sit here and watch this video again. And I might even start doing that dance before the day is over...seriously. (Oh, and as an aside, the WVU pep band play "The Horse" at every home basketball game...I really might do that dance in the stands from now on...)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Oabama is a runaway train

It would appear to me that the Obama campaign is now a runaway train that Hillary has no chance of stopping. If polling is correct, Obama has now taken a 4-point lead in Texas. If Hillary cannot win Texas and Ohio, and win them in convincing fashion, there is little hope that she will be able to "take it to the convention". If Hillary does manage to remain in the race until the Democratic convention, she could splinter the Democrat party, causing a riff between those who are "exercising the will of the people" and those who have strong Clinton loyalties.

I don't see much hope for her. She's tried every play she has. The latest being a picture of Obama in native Islam garb. It hardly raised an eyebrow. If anything, low blows have backfired on Hillary's campaign. The whining about mistreatment from the press rings untrue considering the free passes Hillary had enjoyed during her reign as First Lady and Senator. There is little left the Clinton campaign can do. There lack of funds and lack of a sufficient gameplan beyond Super Tuesday has doomed them and they will soon be completely irrelevent. The only hope would be an absolute collapse by Obama, and that doesn't appear to be coming. I see this thing being over sooner than probably already is. Hillary just doesn't have the strength to tell us...

On a better note, I present the song stylings of the great Wilson Pickett:

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Two Things

No. 1 -- Please read this: -- It is definitely too good not to read because it is sooo darn true. Really, it sums up the true life of "The Computer Guy". Don't believe me, just ask the co-workers that I sent it too. They couldn't agree more. Thanks Greg...

No. 2 -- This one is more for the gentlemen. I hope all the lady-folks aren't offended but I have a request for all guys: Please, flush the urinals. I know, there's this rule about not have to flush a urinal but I don't believe that applies to the urinals that have standing water. Quite frankly, I don't see any reason not to flush any takes 3 seconds.

This request is being made because one of our integrators on-site has a really, really bad habit of never flushing our urinal. And, let me just say, this guy is really dehydrated in the mornings. I literally thought I was going to vomit this morning. It is one of the worst things ever...and it is so unnecessary. So, that is my plea for the afternoon. For the love of all that is good, flush the freakin' urinal. Do it.

Fed to Help Economy

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated today that the government will do whatever it takes to shore up the struggling economy. This includes pumping billions of dollars into a faltering housing market and cutting interest rates at an alarming pace to encourage borrowing. Sounds like a novel idea, right? Well, there are deeper problems that the federal government needs to take into account and, while it may hurt some, allowing the economy to correct may be better than holding off and making a larger correction later.

Lower interest rates always sound good to the consumer. It does encourage borrowing and, the more money people are spending, the greater the economic growth can be. The problem is that cutting rates also encourages inflation. Even with a slowing economy, the fed is projecting a higher inflationary rate than previously expected. In addition to lower interest rates, oil prices and food prices are leading the way to inflation. Continuing to slash interest rates will continue to push inflation higher.

It's really very, very complex and hard. Do you cut interest rates in hopes to grow the economy out of a possible recession or do you try to hold down inflation so buying power remains high? Obviously the fed is juggling both in hopes that the economy can recover. But it is going to be painful. Until the housing market recovers, it's going to be very difficult for everyone. I really have no idea what path we're getting ready to go down. I continue to have faith that this is a blip on the radar and the economy will be soaring again by 2009...but my hopes are slightly diminished compared to 6-months ago.

On a better note, check out Billy Preston. The drums behind him are amazing indeed...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hitting the Fan

When I wrote the subject "Hitting the Fan," I wasn't sure if I was going to write about Hillary Clinton, inflation or work. After 3 hours today at the office, it's easy to figure out that I'm going to write about work. Because, man, it is definitely hitting the fan here...and it's going to get really, really messy.

At this point in time, it takes me 4-hours to prepare a machine. That is slightly more than the 45 minutes to 1-hour that the vendor had promised. But, we're still working through issues, which makes that 4-hours acceptable. That is until they begin to back away from the project. It is very close to turning into a "us vs. them" type situation as they are now beginning to tell us that work from this point forward is "out of scope". Well, that's not really fair considering the project was a flat fee for certain work that it obviously not done.

Yesterday I spent over 3 hours on conference calls basically discussing grievances and where the project currently stands. That was internal staff only and our consultant who turned us on to the integrators we are using. We were supposed to have a conference call this morning at 10:00 a.m. with the integrators but they chose to delay the call until this afternoon. There is no doubt they are attempting to work out internally what they are going to say on this call. It should definitely be interesting. I just hope it doesn't turn into a gripe and finger pointing session. We are working our best to keep things moving in a positive direction. This afternoon's call will determine where it goes from here...should be pretty amazing to see what transpires.

On another front, my computer died last night. I'm pretty bummed about that. Luckily, I backed it up...a few months ago. Not sure what I lost yet but I know it can't be good. Hard drive clicks for the lose.

I cleaned my desk at work. Big box...sweeping hand. I guess you have to do that at least once a year just to keep things interesting. Everyone always enjoys the desk clearing. I'm just hoping there wasn't anything important that is now lost forever...

And, that's been about it for today so far. Still can't wait for this conference call later should be a real doosie.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Random Update

Again, I'll go with the random update because I don't have anything structured to discuss:

  • I was very pleased that Memphis lost to Tennessee. It was a good game...I'll give the Tigers some credit for that. But, for some reason, I just don't like Memphis.
  • I spent several hours in the office. We did prepare 8 pilot user machines but the "process is not complete". I found out that this process bothers me so much that I talk about it in my sleep...that is kinda scary to me.
  • It's matter how insanely crazy things get, there's always someone out there trying to stir the pot even more. That's my musing for today...
  • I was reminded over the weekend how much I really like the Dave Matthews Band. I really hadn't listened to them too much recently...but I feel a resurgence. The music is just completely amazing...enjoy:

  • I would recommend heading over to YouTube and watching some more of the stuff. It's pretty remarkable.
  • If anyone knows anyone trying to dump some Pitt tickets, let me know. I've got the word out at the office but they're increasingly difficult to come by. I guess I should have addressed this a few weeks ago...
  • I am glad that I do not have a giant, freak head.

I think that's about it. I saw a great left cross the other night but, other than that, the weekend was what it was...and it definitely was interesting. I guess it's back to work unfortunate as that might be. If we don't have a process figured out by Friday, I might explode...I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Rights Issue

Well, we took what I would consider a major step in our upgrade by migrating our users from their current Novell shares to new Microsoft shares. For those of you who don't understand, instead of reading their data from a Novell server, users are now reading their data from a Microsoft server. This was really a pretty substantial step because now we can actually begin shutting down pieces of our Novell system...which is pretty good.

Of course, this move couldn't occur without some major issues. One of the biggest is rights to directories, which was supposedly going to be handled by some migration software we purchased. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the software failed so as people logged in on Friday morning, they were greeted by not being able to access a major portion of data that would allow them to work efficiently. This caused some serious consternation among users as we frantically tried to restore rights. I ended up manually altering the rights to nearly 1,000 folders during the course of Friday. While it was not fun, it worked and it appears that users now have everything they need on a Microsoft server.

The worst part of Friday occurred when a page went out around the entire building that went something like this (and, you'll have to imagine the attitude): "Would someone from IT call 881 immediately!" I "immediately" picked up and the phone and the conversation went something like this:

ME: What?!?
HER: I can't get to X
ME: Yeah, I know...we're working on it. Why did you page?
HER: Because no one answered the phone.
ME: Did you call the help desk?
HER: Yes.
ME: No, you didn't or I would have heard the bell.
HER: Well, I called A, B and C and they didn't answer the phone.
ME: Well, you didn't call the help desk and everyone is trying to fix problems. Don't page.
HER: Ummm...well, ok.
ME: Seriously...don't do it again if you want help.
HER: Call me back when it's fixed.
ME: I'll get to it...

Well, that wasn't too bad but apparently for the 30 seconds I was on the phone with her, another IT guy was calling her too...and everytime it would beep to go to voicemail, he would hang up and call back immediately until she got off the phone with me and answered. While I was a bit short and blunt with her, I guess he was downright me. She was found later in the street crying...

It was a stressful day Friday. And I've been in to work today trying to get 8 Vista machines ready for our pilot users. They completed training on Friday and are going to be pretty disappointed if they don't have machines to use on Monday. The process for getting our machines working is tedious but I think I'm very, very close to actually having a working computer. I'll know more tomorrow. In the meantime, do NOT page the IT department if you want assistance!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Random Stuff

Oh, just a few random things for fun because I don't have anything else to ramble about:
  • If you're not listening to WFGM, 93.1, you're missing out. And, no, I'm not on payroll. But, man, I love that station. The Hollies, Diana Ross (with and without the Supremes), Aretha Franklin, 10CC, REO Speedwagon...just an amazing mix of all kinds of stuff. And, while there are obviously going to be repeats, it's not too bad because of the variety. And the music is good.
  • I have started out my last 2 weeks of work by listening to "Midnight Train to Georgia" by Gladys Knight and the Pips. I can't explain why but I like that song and the Pips are amazing.
  • WVU basketball. Ummm, well, Villanova is not that good. Devastating loss that could cost them a trip to the NCAA tournament. Kinda like that Cincy debacle. And with 3 of the last 5 games on the road, it's going to be tough. They need to win at least 4 in my opinion and at least 1 in the Big East Tournament. Otherwise, I think they'll be left out and defend their NIT Championship.
  • Oil prices are out of control. I hate to say it, but it looks like $4.00 per gallon gas this summer barring a real economic slowdown...or reversal.
  • Shaq didn't look horrible in his Phoenix Suns debut against LA. Yeah, the Suns lost but he wasn't nearly as bad as I thought he might be. Of course, I haven't seen a Heat game all year because they were just horrendous.
  • If Cuba could get it together, they could be the richest country in the Western Hemisphere. The first step is getting rid of Castro II and making me El Presidente.

I think that's about enough for this morning...and probably all day. I need to go image some computers. Woo-hoo for me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hillary, Hillary, Hillary

Poor Hillary. It's becoming increasingly evident that, barring an absolute collapse by Obama, Hillary will lose her bid for the Democratic nomination. She might make things pretty ugly but it's unlikely she'll be able to overcome the aura of the Obama. Barrack is representing everything for everyone without really representing much at all. That really has to eat at the Clintons. They've spent years controlling the Democratic party only to see their power die when they needed it the most.

But, I digress. Really, this entire post was just so I could show a picture...and, here it is...poor, poor Hillary:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Excitement, As Always

I don't even know where to begin. The past 5 or so weeks of my life have been an absolute roller coaster. Today, as I sit here, I feel like Kimbo has taken me out back for 43-seconds of ultimate fighting. And everyone knows that 43-seconds is more than enough time for Kimbo to destroy a person. Between work and the personal mini-dramas that keep popping up, I'm lucky to still be standing. So, let's quickly recap, shall we?

Workwise, I have worked everyday for the past 5 weeks...putting in at least 3 hours of overtime everyday. Sometimes that might be from home but usually I'm in the office. But, we're making some serious progress. Today we are training our group of 9 pilot users. These people will actually begin using Windows Vista on Monday. They will be attempting to run this new system. While I know there will be issues, I am cautiously optimistic that the issues can be quickly resolved and these people will actually be able to accomplish something over the 3-week pilot period.

I am looking forward to June when this rollout will finally be complete and I can finally relax. The amount of stress I have endured due to this rollout may be unequaled in my life. If it's not one issue, it's another. And, quite frankly, I don't like it that much. I am usually able to leave work and not think about it again until I walk in the next day. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case over the past few months. But I can see a finish line.

To add to my stress levels, things have not been exactly quiet on my personal side of life. I love my friends to death but a few of them have cost me some serious sleep time. I can't, and won't, go into details but let's just say I missed a few meals due to a complete loss of appetite. And, on top of that, I had to fight the freakin' flu for a solid week in the middle of the firestorm. And I've had some other things I really wanted to get done but I'm not making any progress on any of that either. But I think we're getting better on all fronts...

At the end of the day, I'm just saying it's been a rough month-plus for me. Yes, I'm whining but I needed to vent a little and, hey, I can write about whatever I want. I'm feeling better though. The days are getting longer. The weather is bad but I can see sunshine in the morning and, eventually, I will see it again in the evening. The problems will dissipate and everything will be good again soon. My optimism will return and Hillary will lose and all will be right with the world. At least it better be...I just want this upgrade to be over. Along with everything else...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Smalligan Factor

In case you didn't know, Jamie Smalligan is a 7'0" senior center for the West Virginia Mountaineers. Smalligan is easily the biggest man on the court for the Mountaineers. Next closest is Joe Alexander coming in at a measly 6'8". But Smalligan may be the smallest "big man" there could be. He gets pushed around on the inside and would much prefer to hang out on the perimeter and shoot 3's. (Remember, he was a John Beilein guy). I'm not saying this to knock Smalligan...he is what he is. What I'm going to talk about is how badly Mountaineer fans want Smalligan to actually succeed in the new Huggins system.

While attending the Seton Hall game today, no player quite generated the pull of the crowd like Smalligan. Everyone kinda cringes when he touches the ball, afraid he'll do something really, really stupid but they are definitely hoping he does something amazing. The guy behind me was very, very excited that Smalligan pulled down 3 rebounds early in the game and insisted that Smalligan was on his way to a double-double. (BTW, Smalligan averages 2.9 rebounds a game compared to Alexander's 5.9, Butler's, 5.5 and 6'3" Darris Nichols' 3.6).

Unfortunately, Smalligan did not get his double-double, only scoring 3 points but pulling down a solid 5 rebounds. And while that was a decent effort for the seven-footer, it is probably far from the game Bobby Huggins would want his center to have. Despite a rigorous off-season training program, Smalligan remains soft around the basket and awkward with the ball inside. His moves leave a lot to be desired and I would guess that Huggins won't be completely upset to the see the senior leave.

But Mountaineer fans have rallied behind Smalligan despite the obvious flaws he possesses in Huggins system. WVU fans want to see Smalligan miraculously turn into the "big man" and put together a monster game. I want that too. I just don't see it happening. But we still have a few games to hope and maybe, just maybe, Smalligan will live up to the potential everyone believed he had when he transferred from Butler. We can only hope...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Roger Clemens Before Congress

In what has to be categorized as a sorry debacle, Congress hauled Roger Clemens in today to find out if he really did steroids or not. Clemens denied. Some called him a liar. Some called McNamee a liar. Most people didn't care. I wondered if this is really why we elect politicians. But, it was what it was and there was a multitude of amazing quotes from the hearings. Here are a few that I found on the good ol' Inter-web:

• "Mr. Clemens bled through his designer pants."
• "Mr. Clemens, do you recall any bleeding through your pants in 2001?"
• "Those little band-aids for his butt, if it bled."
• "Mr. Clemens, according to your account, Mr. McNamee injected your wife in your bedroom without your knowledge."
• "That said there was a palpable mass on the right buttock of Mr. Clemens. On another record, it also noticed a similar mass on the left buttock.”
• "That was a hurried instance when we were in the closet."

Go get 'em Congress-people!

Here ya go...

Just a simple post for the moment...enjoy:

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Obligatory "You Are A Racist" Article

It was only a matter of time before some hack wrote the story about how everyone is racist even if they don't mean to be. Wray Herbert from Newsweek was the guy who decided to write "The Secret Haters" and basically declar everyone racist even if they don't mean to be a racist. And while he never mentions the word Obama, this is clearly the "if you don't vote for Obama, it's because you are racist" article.

I hate this type of thing. The only goal of such an article is to elicit guilt from the reader, especially if they have made up their mind to vote for the white candidate or the male candidate. I find it completely insulting that this twit believes all people harbor resentment towards certain segments of the population, even if they don't mean to.

If anything, recent events should show how far along in race and sex relations we truly are and should not be chided. We are currently in the midst of a historic campaign that will see either a serious black candidate or woman candidate for president. And both draw support from whites, blacks, men and women. Americans have shown an unbelievable ability, by far, to look beyond race and sex and look to the actual candidates to determine who they will support. Mr. Herbert obviously believes those intentions are clouded.

This article is nothing but a smear campaign against a majority to the population. Granted, there are still bigoted and ignorant people in this country but to lump everyone into that category as Mr. Herbert did is unfair to the vast, vast majority of Americans. It has been a long, bumpy road to where we are today but the progress is undeniable and I believe we are very close to seeing a country that doesn't identify people by race before they identify them by the person they are. Articles like Mr. Herbert's actually damage that progress and demeans all of us.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Right vs. John McCain

A lot of people want to know what John McCain did to conservatives to make them look at him with such contempt. Why is Ann Coulter vowing to campaign for Hillary Clinton if McCain is the GOP candidate? Why is Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and other conservative pundits piling on the presumptive Republican nominee? The answer is easy: John McCain is not a conservative.

McCain has long aligned himself with liberals in the spirit of "compromise." Case in point is the McCain-Feingold Campaign Reform Act, which is an assault upon political speech. McCain's recent proposals for amnesty for illegal aliens has also struck at the very core of the conservative movement and has further alienated him from the conservative base of the GOP. McCain has also shown a penchant for kowtowing for the media to receive positive press, which is a cardinal sin in the eyes of many conservatives who value true beliefs above popularity.

The bitter battle between McCain and Bush from the 2000 election remains on the minds of many Republicans and some of McCain's comments at that time have continued to haunt him. And the rumors of his flirtation to switch parties have persistented despite his denials. Regardless of fact, the mere rumors are enough to enrage most conservatives.

McCain will be the Republican nominee but his ability to rally the troops remains to be seen. It is acceptable for conservatives to question McCain's true colors and it is healthy to truly evaluate a candidate before throwing support behind him. The question is whether, after much searching, true conservatives will ever be able to throw their 100% support behind McCain. I think they may eventually get in line...but the lack of enthusiasm in doing so may doom the GOP's chances in 2008...handing the presidency to Hillary.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Rich Rodriguez Saga Continues

I have tried not to write too much on the Rich Rodriguez saga out of reverence for some friends and because I moved on from his departure relatively quickly. Those who had trouble moving on should have moved on following the Fiesta Bowl victory and the building of what I would describe as a compentent football staff.

However, this story just won't go away and, while I have tried to stay neutral to some extent, the fault lies with Rich Rodriguez himself. After seeing Rich cry on television last night, I am more convinced than ever that he only cares about numero uno and could care less what happens to West Virginia University and the fans that supported his Mountaineers throughout his tenure, including that atrocious 3-8 Year One.

Rodriguez's failure to pay the $4 million dollars he promised the University in his latest contract is what is fueling the contempt many West Virginians have for him. Despite numerous promises of a bombshell against the university, Rodriguez has only been able to produce minor complaints and the contents of an alleged conversation with now President Mike Garrison. A mere conversation does not render his signed contract null and void. And while he may have some complaints about the appropriations of some of his booster funders, he has yet to show any evidence that the funds were improperly handled or managed.

Rodriguez comes off sounding like a 5-year old, running around the University yelling "Mine, mine" and crying to anyone who would listen any time someone would say "no". The University and boosters have every right to demand the $4 million dollars that Rodriguez agreed to pay if he failed to fulfill his contract. That is not disputable. Rodriguez has a right to defend himself but he has yet to show any reason that he should not be responsible for paying the $4 million. If he has a legitimate, legal basis for claiming fraud or breach, he should present that evidence and end this charade of innuendo.

Until a resolution is met, the animosity West Virginians feel toward Rodriguez will not subside. If Rodriguez can prove the University wronged him, the anger directed towards him will be moved to the appropriate person. But so far he has done nothing to prove anyone did anything wrong other than him. Death threats are wrong and I believe they probably stopped long ago (Rich has no evidence of any recent threats against him...) but the vitriol Mountaineer fans have against Rodriguez is understandable and will continue for as long as he continues to live up to his obligations and bad mouths the University in the process.

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Bleeding Edge

A lot of people like to be on the leading edge of technology. And there's something good about being out there in the front. But there's also that line that you don't want to cross...stay up with the technology but don't be the first to try to use it. Well, unfortunately, we crossed that line with our ambitious upgrades and we are now on the bleeding edge of technology. Attempting to integrate programs that have never been used with Windows Vista into Vista and making them work. And it has presented some issues as you can imagine.

One of the biggest problems with Vista centers around rights. The Program Files folder is locked down completely and I haven't yet found a way to give permissions to even change an INI file as a user. Therefore, for programs that must make changes to the application and aren't Vista-compliant, we have had to install in alternative locations, especially the ProgramData folder. This appears to be fixing some issues. Thankfully, I have a scripting program to push down permissions to client PCs to fix our problems.

The other issue that keeps coming up is the UAC (User Account Control). This thing is just downright annoying...prompting every time an "untrusted" application attempts to run. And there's no way to add a trusted application that I have found yet. The only alternative appears to be to contact these small vendors and tell them to get Vista-compliant or turn off UAC completely. Not sure yet...

We have found that we are the first to try several products with Office 2007 too. It is never good to be the guinea pigs when you're talking about pushing to end-users in 1 week. There's a whole lot of work that needs done and I'm not sure there's enough hours left to complete it. Nevermind the fact that we haven't even finished setting up network shares or migrating data or rights from our Novell servers.

I sent a scathing e-mail yesterday questioning our preparedness for the move going forward starting the 18th. It seems to have stirred up some things here today with the integration group...they have been in a meeting for over 2 hours this morning discussing migration strategy and whether or not we are truly prepared to move forward. On a positive note, I have fixed 4 applications that were having problems this morning. On a not so good note, we still have at least a dozen to fix. And that, I'm afraid, may just be the tip of the iceberg.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


There aren't too many sporting events that raise my blood pressure quite like UNC/Duke. Sure, when WVU plays anyone in football, I get pretty excited. WVU basketball can occassionally bring up the pulse. But everything else pales in comparison to the UNC/Duke game for me. Especially when UNC loses. It's a very, very difficult pill to swallow. Especially considering the non-stop mouth of Dukie V. and the arrogance of Coach K.

Of course, I could make excuses for last night's loss by the Tarheels. Laweson being out of the game surely hurt UNC's chances. The unbelievable hot streak of shooting the Blue Devils got on won them the game. And the return of Dick Vitale can't be underestimated in helping Duke win against UNC. But at the end of the day, Duke unfortunately, again, outplayed UNC at the Dean Dome and walk away with bragging rights...again. It really makes me pretty sick to think about...but, what are you going to do? There's always next game...I guess.

Until then, I will continue just to make fun of Duke as much as possible...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Races Get Interesting

While McCain seems to be pulling ahead in the Republican nomination race, the Democratic side is just heating up. First, on the GOP side, McCain has enjoyed success largely thanks to Mike Huckabee's ability to draw conservative votes away from Mitt Romney. McCain, a pseudo-conservative at best, has been under serious fire from the conservative movement and it may be very difficult for him to build a strong Republican base...which could play into the hands of the Democrats come November. There's a building feeling in some conservative circles that it would be better to elect a Democrat to lead the country astray rather than allow McCain and his liberal policies have the same effect and hurt the party. I'm not saying I subscribe to those beliefs...but there is that feeling.

On the left, things seem to be getting more interesting. With Barack and Hillary splitting votes on Tuesday for the most part, neither seems prepared to concede. There's a good chance that it will become a bit of a bloody battle down the stretch, especially if Obama's momentum continues. There's little to no chance that the Clinton War Machine will allow Obama to quietly walk away with the Democrat nomination and end the Clinton monopoly on the party. It should definitely be an interesting battle.

All in all, Super Tuesday didn't clear the picture completely for either party. It did make it obvious that it will take a small miracle for Romney to win the Republican nomination but the Democrat victor is still highly in doubt. Should be an interesting few weeks coming up...

Monday, February 04, 2008

Bobby Huggins Pimpness

I know this is a little late to post, but I defy anyone to look at this suit that Bobby Huggins wore during the Cincinnati game and not agree with me that Bobby is nothing if not stud-tastical. Seriously...I challenge you to tell me something like that...

The Immortal Eli Manning

Starr, Namath, Bradshaw, Staubach, Montana, Elway, Young and now Eli Manning. Regardless of what you think of Eli Manning's body of work before last night, the simple fact is that he has now become immortal in the football world by leading his team to the world championship over the much-favored New England Patriots.

To proclaim Eli Manning the only reason the Giants won would be completely unfair to a New York defense that constantly hit and rattled the infallible Tom Brady. The Giant defense did a miraculous job in shutting down the big play receivers New England claimed to have. But at the end of the day the play between Manning and Tyree will be what is remembered most from Super Bowl XLII. The improbable escape followed by an unbelievable catch is what will be replayed for years to come, much the same way as the Immaculate Reception.

As great as the Giants accomplishment was, the Patriots failure also weighs heavily today. Obviously Bill Belichick couldn't handle the pressure and blew the game by wearing a red cutoff sweatshirt instead of the normal gray. He didn't even stick around to watch the final second of the game. But who can blame him considering his team had just pulled off one of the greatest choke jobs in the history of the NFL? Not since a man named Joe Willy guaranteed a Jets victory in Super Bowl III has there been such an upset (the Pats over the Rams doesn't count...especially if the Patriots were cheating).

At the end of the day, the Patriots finished the season 18-1 and left the 1972 Dolphins as the only undefeated team in the history of the NFL and Eli Manning has taken his place alongside some of the great Super Bowl quarterbacks. The patience the Giants have shown in both Manning and Tom Coughlin has been rewarded. And the retirement of Tiki Barber and injury to Jeremy Shockey only made the Giants better. What a great day...

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Wheeling Nailers Game / Shred-Rodriguez Night

I attended my first ever hockey game on Saturday night and it was definitely an experience. I had previously made arrangements to attend the game after my last trip to Wheeling and had purchased tickets but the announcement that the Saturday night game was also going to be Shred Rodriguez Night at Wesbanco Arena definitely raised the stakes of the entire evening. After having to pay for parking at our office and braving the cold weather to walk to the arena, we were met at the door by a person who was passing out papers with the picture of West Virginia's very own Rich Rodriguez on the front. Obviously, these papers were meant for the shredder...

Upon getting into the arena and following a quick news interview for Stanley, we found ourselves at the shredding booth, which was manned by "the coach" and had a mob of people standing around watching pictures of RR being shredded. When I had first read the promotion for Shred Rodriguez Night, I had the understanding that people would actually be able to run him through the shredder themselves. I had looked forward to the screams for help following a lost finger...but apparently they realized that people playing with shredders was a poor idea and on "the coach" could actually do the shredding. And there was a lot of shredding to do.

After watching the shredding became boring and a quick tour around the arena, including a visit to the rink floor, we moved into our seats to see the zamboni preparing the ice.

After what seemed an eternity, the Nailers finally took the ice, led by one of their mascots named Spike. As a sidenote, the Nailers play a lot of music during the course of a game...very loudly. I will probably mention that again...

From the opening face-off, I was in awe of the speed of the game. It really does move and you can only truly appreciate the speed in person. Most people say it and I now believe that television does not do justice of the game of hockey.

The Nailers got off to a hot start and scored the first two goals of the contest. Upon their first score, I was deafened for a short period by the airhorn the blasts throughout the arena. To say this thing was loud would be an understatement of monumental proportions. This thing was unbearably loud. As you can see from this picture, the lady in front of us had a minature tambourine and the gentleman had a cowboy. All in good fun...

During the first intermission, the Nailers featured a dodgeball game between West Virginia and Michigan. Obviously, West Virginia won. The disdain for all things Michigan were in full effect throughout the night as most people in the arena wore either West Virginia or Ohio State apparel.

The action, as I said previously, was very good. Lots of big hits, lots of movement. Again, they played loud music during every break...but the musical selections were good. There were some fans around us who were really into the game and apparently attend most of the Nailers games because they knew the players. It's always good when there are passionate people around. In the second period, a puck flew into the stands 3 or 4 rows behind us. I had previously predicted I would get hit by an errant puck before we left...thankfully, this was as close as I got.

During the 2nd intermission, Spike and Buck entertained the crowd and then they did this promotion for a local Italian Restaurant in which people who previously purchased foam pucks could throw them onto the ice and the closest to landing in the center (which was Rich Rod's face) won a free meal. Very cool promotion. Also during that second intermission, a blimp and hot air balloon they fly around the arena attempted to shred a picture of Rich Rodriguez that was attached to the blimp using the propellers from the hot air balloon. Sadly, they were only able to shred his crotch...take that for what you will.

Despite the fact the Nailers scored the first two goals, they were unable to hang on and lost the game 6-3, much of the chagrin of some of those around us.

Overall, the hockey game was pretty cool. Like most things, much better in person than on TV. Compared to other sports, hockey offers non-stop action. The only thing I would change would be the length of the intermissions (18 minutes x 2) and the volume of everything that was happening. Other than that, it was definitely an enjoyable experience considering the price. It was a lot of fun and I didn't even lose my eyebrows...or something...