Monday, March 31, 2008

Hillary Can't Surrender

Oh, the humanity. The Democratic Party is breaking apart before our eyes and Hillary is running the sledgehammer. The in-fighting is starting to get a little bitter as the pressure increases for Hillary to give up. Clinton grows more and more defiant as Obama takes a larger lead nationally. And all indications are that it will drag on even longer since Hillary should win Pennsylvania on April 22nd which will give her campaign more reason to fight on.

As this race grows more heated, each side will have a more difficult time embracing the other. Are Clinton supporters really going to be able to vote for Obama if he wins the nomination? And are Obama supporters going to support Clinton if she is successful in counting the votes of Michigan and Florida? I don't think so. These voters will either stay at home on Election Night or they will throw their support behind John McCain.

At this point, Clinton is in too deep to just give up. She's promised her supporters a fight to the convention and that's probably what she will deliver if she wins Pennsylvania. If she steals the nomination somehow there is no chance she can win the presidency. If she fights to the convention, she will pretty much rob any chance of Obama winning the presidency. Oh, the folly of it all...

Lastly today, I bring you Tina Turner and "Proud Mary". I have always wondered how in the world Ike Turner got his name before Tina. As you can see from this video, Tina definitely does all the work...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Don't Leave That Guy Open

WVU should have beaten Xavier. A Joe Alexander free throw away from an Elite Eight appearance. But instead, the game goes into overtime and someone leaves BJ Raymond open for a game-ending 3-pointer. Sound familiar?

If Alexander doesn't foul out, maybe WVU wins. If West Virginia makes some free throws, maybe WVU wins. The Mountaineers had many chances to win the game but just couldn't finish the job. Yes, it's very disappointing but who would have guessed WVU would be in the Sweet 16. I was going to be happy with any post-season play this year. And instead of sitting in the NIT or worse, Bobby Huggins led his team to the Sweet 16 on the strong play of Alexander and Mazzula.

So, what does the future for Mountaineer basketball hold? Probably not many more players like Ruoff or Alexander. Probably not many more players like Smalligan either. Instead we'll get some questionable characters that are going to be a little harder to cheer for but, as long as they win, we'll find a way. Is that right? Probably not but everyone likes winning. But I think we'll still miss the days of the Beilein players who were just plain likeable. Gansey, Beilein, Herber and, to a lesser extent, Pittsnogle seemed to be good people on and off the court. Traditionally Huggins' players haven't necessarily been that way.

Maybe Huggins has changed a bit and will look for players that can play basketball and also have a higher moral fiber. I don't think that will happen but I can hope. In the meantime, I can enjoy this Sweet 16 run and think about what might have been if only a free throw or two had fallen. And there's always North Carolina all can't be bad. Right?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Amazing Video

Really, this is just priceless and speaks for itself...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bridge to Something

Oh, that City of Fairmont is a smart one. As part of the Riverfront Development Project, the City is going to build a pedestrian bridge on what used to be the Low Level Bridge. The project will accomodate walkers and bikers who would like to cross the Monongahela River. Five years after the plan was initially hatched, a $200,000 West Virginia Transporation grant was awarded to the city to begin the project.

Not to knock the idea, but wouldn't it be great if there was actually a reason to cross the bridge? Wouldn't it be nice to have something near the river the east and west side of the river that would make people want to get to the other side? Is this another "if you build it, they will come" project? I'm not sure that building a bridge is going to motivate anyone to build near the river. I just think the money would be more wisely spent developing the riverfront first and then worrying about a new bridge. There is already ways to cross the river...there's just no reason to cross it. But, hey, once that waterpark is open and the minor league baseball team starts play, we may need that pedestrian bridge.

Monday, March 24, 2008

WVU, Bracket, Losing

First, the good news. West Virginia defeated Duke and goes to the Sweet 16 for the 3rd time in 4 years. That is pretty remarkable. There aren’t many teams outside of the "blue bloods" that can boast 3 Sweet 16 visits in 4 years. We come to expect those things out of UNC, Texas, Louisville and even Duke but WVU isn’t supposed to be traveling this deep in the tournament on a regular basis. It’s pretty nice. Add in the football success, soccer success, women’s basketball, rifle, wrestling, etc. and you have a small sports dynasty occuring in Morgantown.

I’m really not sure that most younger fans appreciate how unusual this success has been. Prior to Beilein and Rodriguez, WVU fans were just happy to make it to a bowl game every other year. The occassional appearance in the NCAA tournament was something to celebrate and an NIT bid was just fine. To make the NCAA tourney and be eliminated in the first or second round was to be expected. Now, anything less than a BCS bowl bid or a Sweet 16 run is disappointing. The last 4-5 years have been unbelievable. The question is whether this run can continue for years to come or not. I hope so but the odds are long. West Virginia still is West Virginia. But it sure has been a sweet run.

Not so sweet is my bracket. Oh, Oklahoma and thou hath foresaken me. It’s definitely not a banner year for my predictions. I didn’t have WVU in the Sweet 16, I didn’t have Tennessee advancing. I guess a positive is that there is no way I’m coming in last place. But it looks just as unlikely that I will win our bracket. At least UNC is still out there dominating opponents. If they win the championship, I will gladly toss my bracket out the window and be happy. Ditto for West Virginia (and, given a choice, I would prefer WVU for the simple fact that it has never happened before...)

And, to close out today, a song that you probably forgot about (or tried to forget about), I bring you Inner Circle and Sweat:

Friday, March 21, 2008

Work Update

Well, we have deployed the first week of computers and things are definitely interesting. For the most part our users are able to accomplish work without too much hassle. But this isn't to say that it works flawlessly. Obviously there are some issues that remain outstanding. Following a successful deployment of a Vista image we still must address a lot of extras on some applications. That's not a problem when you're deploying 8 machines in a week. But in 4 weeks we will be deploying 72 machines in one week. That should be interesting...

Other news, my bracket is suffering. I'm currently in 9th in a 14-person bracket. I take solace in the fact that I remain ahead of Jake and Steele. But the fact I'm losing to Stanley cuts me deeply. But I still believe Carolina will pull me through with a stirring comeback victory...similar to Duke's win over Belmont. (Trust me, I would gladly see my bracket fall to last if Belmont had beaten Duke).

Other than that, not much going on. Just trying to clean off my desk...which is easier said than done. And resolving issues at work non-stop. Should be an interesting next couple weeks...busy busy.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Osama Speaks

Osama Bin Laden speaks out and the world he rants about cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. He even accused to Pope of being part of a new crusade to mock the Prophet. The world waits for him to speak again and all he can come up with is a complaint about cartoons? Almost laughable...almost.

The problem is that there is a segment of our world that actually gets worked up about this complaint. There are people is this world ready to kill and be killed because someone attempted to draw a picture of the Prophet. There are people in this world who are determined that the rest of us believe what they believe or else we should die. There is no middle ground. There is no negotiation. Bin Laden and his believers cannot be reasoned with. There is only one way to live life and that is through Islam.

The world needs to wake up and realize that there is no way we can continue down this path. You cannot reason with a group of people who so strongly believe they are the only chosen people and the rest of us are but merely in the way. For Bin Laden and those who follow his message, the world must either convert to their way of life or perish for their sins. There is no middle ground and there is no negotiation.

Bin Laden's rant about cartoons and conspiracy could be funny. But not when so many people are willing to put their lives on the line for such beliefs. Therefore, Bin Laden's comments aren't funny but merely another reminder of how out of touch these people are. Bin Laden's comments are just plain scary.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

March Madness

Oh, tis the time when all eyes fall upon the brackets of the NCAA tournament for what one calls March Madness. Productivity comes to a screeching halt as everyone tries desperately to pick the winning teams and advance in office pools. It's an enjoyable time for most...a little stressful for some. Bragging rights will be earned by some while others suffer the agony of losing their Final Four in the second round. Always a good time...

I won't go into my picks because some people would steal them and that would be wrong. But I can tell you that a majority of my Final Four consists of #1 seeds. I just don't see anyone knocking off UNC or Kansas before then. UCLA could easily blow a game somewhere and Memphis really doesn't stand a chance. West Virginia could get hot and get past Arizona but I just don't see Huggins beating Duke (which is unfortunate).

As always, it will be an interesting tournament. Maybe there will be some major upsets but I'm not seeing any quite yet. I'll post results as they long as they look good for my bracket. Otherwise, I'll just ignore the tournament completely and hope it goes away.

With that, I will leave you with a picture of where I spent the last few days and wish I were today...because, it's rollout time here at work and that's not going to be fun...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ferraro: Obama Where He Is Because He's Black

Jake Tapper had an interesting little tidbit on ABC today regarding recent comments from Clinton campaign finance committee member, former vice presidential candidate, and former Rep. Geraldine Ferraro. Ferraro said "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."

Maybe there is a little truth in that. If Obama were a white man without an agenda and without a real platform, perhaps he wouldn't have the same free pass that he currently enjoys. And, without question, he wouldn't command the amount of black support throughout the country that he currently has. But who's to say that for sure?

First, it's a pretty nasty comment by Ferraro. Geraldine took advantage of her gender and race when she ran as vice president with Walter Mondale. Had she not been a white woman, I very seriously doubt she would have ever been selected as Mondale's running mate. Making her the VP candidate was all about press coverage and hoping to steal the woman vote from Ronald Reagan. Obviously, we all know where the Mondale campaign headed...

Second, where would Hillary Clinton be if she wasn't a woman? And where would Hillary Clinton be if she wasn't the wife of Bill Clinton? I don't believe she would ever be in a position to even sniff a nomination for President if it weren't for her gender and husband. Hillary's entire campaign is about getting the woman vote and riding the coattails of her "work" with Slick.

And yet here's Ferraro, working for the Clinton campaign, attempting to undermine the work of Barrack Obama by declaring him the "black candidate." It's very much like the way Bill Clinton tried to dismiss him as a Jesse Jackson-wannabe. Despite years of pretending to be the "progressive" party in race relations, many Democrat operatives can't help but show their true colors as this race gets more and more desperate. And they are revealing they are uglier than anyone could have imagined...

Friday, March 07, 2008

Gridiron Bash

In case you haven't heard, WVU is participating in the Gridiron Bash this spring. The Gridiron Bash is a live concert that will be held the night before the Blue-Gold game at Milan Puskar Stadium. The Bash is really a fan contest and the school that has the largest attendance will win $1 million dollars for their general scholarship fund. They're trying to turn the spring game into a "Midnight Madness" type event. This will also be the first time the Milan Puskar Stadium has ever held a concert.

So, you might be asking yourself, what big name performer is WVU having for this Gridiron Bash? Before I tell you, let me go through some of the other participants: Alabama gets Alan Jackson...sounds about right. Colorado gets the Counting Crows. I would definitely go see that. Arizona State - 3 Doors Down. Kansas State - Goo Goo Dolls. LSU gets Kid Rock (I'll pass) and Rutgers gets Fall Out Boy (ummm...not completely horrible I guess). South Carolina gets the Black Crowes...would go for that. Texas A&M gets ZZ Top...yes, indeed, I would be there.

Yeah...there's some stinkers in there...but I would probably accept any of those acts performing for the first ever concert on Mountaineer Field. Maryland gets Good Charlotte, Utah gets Maroon 5, Penn State gets Fergie. All relatively acceptable, I suppose. Iowa gets Kelly Clarkson and Kentucky gets Wynona and Dierks Bentley. Yeah...ok, I'll accept that.

So, what big act does WVU get to host? How about Dwight "Freakin'" Yoakam. Yes, you heard me correct...Dwight Yoakam. Now, I'm going to say this...he probably isn't the worst act in the list I just presented...but it's still Dwight Yoakam. And, not only is it Dwight Yoakim, but you get to pay $48.50 to see Dwight Yoakam. Is this really the best they could do? Why not get like Brad Paisley? I would consider Brad Paisley...I just don't know about Dwight Yoakam.

Maybe I'm being too hard on Dwight or thinking the other acts are really better when they're not. I mean, I would definitely go see Counting Crows and ZZ Top. Maroon 5 is cool and I could handle Alan Jackson. But, Dwight Yoakam? I liked Streets of Bakersfield...and he's done a lot of covers and has had a lot of hits...but it's still Dwight Yoakam. I just have a feeling the Gridiron Bash is going to be a huge bust at WVU...because, well, it's Dwight "Freakin'" Yoakam and that's really all it is.

Upgrade Update

Well, the pilot users have been working for nearly two weeks. Yes, there have been complaints but, surprisingly, they are actually be productive and work product is leaving the building. The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of changes for our image and we were able to get two more programs in the core image which greatly reduced our manual installs at each machine. As of today, I can think of only 2 core applications that are going to require a manual installation and those are both relatively small and quick.

As I have said before, Vista has presented several unique issues to our vendors and it has become obvious they were not prepared. Yes, their products work with Vista but actually getting them to deploy via a central solution...well, that was a different story. Rights issues still abound...Vista really, really doesn't want any user writing to the Program Files directory which greatly hampers a lot of older applications.

On my side, I finally allowed my e-mail account to be moved from Novell to Exchange...and that was a very, very poor decision on my part. As for 3:30 p.m. yesterday, I am no longer receiving any e-mail at all. Despite correctly setting up all the correct aliases in Exchange, my account is still unknown for some reason. I do have all my old e-mails...or at least it appears they are all there. But anyone who e-mails me now receives a kickback that the user is unknown. Everyone is going to think I left...which might not be a bad thing. I'm guessing we will have to completely blow away my account and recreate it...I might as well start archiving my e-mails now. Other than that...well, I guess that's a pretty big deal.

Lastly, I guess I have to say again that Brett Favre was a good quarterback...maybe a great quarterback...but I still think he whined a bit too much towards the end of his career. Yes, it was fun to watch him throwing all those interceptions (and touchdowns). That's not my problem with him. My problem was his last few years when he continually threw the Packers' organization under the bus without accepting any blame for poor play himself. No one in the Packers' front office was out there throwing interceptions at the rate Favre was and yet Favre accepted no blame for his poor play. I will admit that he wasn't necessarily surrounded by the most talented folks in the world. But, hey, if people want to keep the hatemail coming, feel free. I'm not sure which is worse...Brett Favre fans or Michael Vick fans...they're both coming up with about the same crap...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Kyle Korver Plays Defense

This is an amazing picture of Utah's Kyle Korver playing defense against former UNC player, Rashad McCants. That's some great defense:

(Photo Credit: David Sherman/NBAE/Getty Images)

Hillary Wins, Hillary Wins

Hillary Clinton finally put a stop to the Obama Express by winning Texas, Ohio and the Great State of Rhode Island. A 10-point margin of victory in Ohio probably gives her some hope of winning several more states down the road. But can she actually win the nomination? That's the question everyone is going to be asking this morning. It appears highly unlikely that Hillary can win a majority of the elected delegates. Obama's campaign would have to fall completely on its face for him to lose the rest of the states by a large enough margin for her to lead in elected delegates. That leaves the unrestricted "Super Delegates" to determine the Democrat nominee.

By all accounts, it appears Hillary is calling in all the favors her and Bill have lined up over the years to try to get these Super Delegates to throw their support behind the Clinton Attack Machine. Hillary is also attempting to get the results of Michigan and Florida included in the race even though it was clear at the start of the Democrat primaries that both states would be excluded for failing to follow party rules. Now the Clinton campaign wants to change the rules again...not surprising though.

Clinton hinted this morning on the Early Show that she and Obama could appear on the same ticket. She wouldn't get into who would be Top Dog but I would assume it would have to be her. I can't imagine that Obama would allow this to happen at this point considering he is most likely going to have the most elected delegates and a majority of voters. If the Super Delegates overturn the will of the Democrat voters and make Hillary the nominee, expect a battle in the Democrat party unlike anything ever seen before. I can't wait...

Anyway, with that all said, I bring you Aretha Franklin:

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Goodbye, Brett Favre. Maybe?

There are two stories I have written that continue to receive comments and hate mail so many months later. One is about Brett Favre being a princess. The other is about Michael Vick, you know, killing dogs. Michael Vick did kill some dogs. The jury is still out on whether Favre is a princess. And the jury is still out on whether Favre truly is retiring. Rumors are flying that perhaps Favre won't retire after all...or maybe he's looking at other teams. Or maybe this is just another story that proves my earlier point that Favre is a prima donna princess who has misplaced his tiara.

In defense of my position, I bring you the comments of Brett Favre's agent, Bus Cook, courtesy of

"I know he wants to play one more year," Cook said. "I do not know much conversation there was and I don't think anyone forced him to make that decision. But I don't know that anyone tried to talk him out of it."

"I think he wanted to play," Cook said. " I think he's still got it. He knows he's still got it. I think he felt he could play one more year. I don't know if they told him they really wanted him to play. That's just the feeling I got."

Asked whether Favre could be talked into returning, Cook said, "I don't know."

Sounds a whole lot like a couple years ago when Favre complained about the commitment of the Packers organization to...him. Sounds like last year when Favre cried about the Packers not agressively pursuing Randy Moss. I don't know if Favre is really retiring or not...this could turn into another instance of him attempting to hold the Packers organization hostage. And the words of his agent will anger Packers fans and probably cost some front-office people their jobs.

Listen, I know I'm hard on Princess Favre but that's only because he has played this game for too many years now. Yes, he was a great quarterback and, yes, he had a great resurgence last year but his public complaints about the organization that pays him good money hurts everyone. Yes, he deserves to be surrounded by talent but, let's face it, there's only so much money around for the Packers to spend. I honestly believe that no move by the Packers would be greeted warmly by Favre and he always wanted to be the guy who fought the "man" no matter how much the Packers gave him.

Obviously, there's two sides to every story. Unfortunately, no one will ever care what the Packers side of the story is because everyone will be too busy bowing to the alter that is Brett Favre. I, for one, cannot and will not follow that crowd.

Backyard Brawl: Basketball Style

Attended last night's version of the "Backyard Brawl" at the WVU Coliseum and, well, it wasn't nearly as competitive as I had envisioned it being. Apparently some tickets had been returned by someone or something and I was able to snag a couple from the ticket office, which were waiting at will call. Arrived about 30 minutes before tip and was actually able to find a parking space at one of the nearby churches. After a quick journey and a tour for Stanley and I around the perimeter of the Coliseum to find the Red Gate, we finally had tickets and headed into a pretty rowdy atmosphere.

The tickets were obviously not great. Sitting in the Jerry West section sounds good...until you actually get in the Jerry West section and realize you are actually on top of the Coliseum. But, I could see the court without my glasses and I could definitely see the horrendous officiating of the dynamic duo: Tim Higgins and Jim Burr. A classic, hideous combination.

Other than the classic chant for Pittsburgh to dine on....ummmm, not such good stuff, the only good cheer the student section had going was for #2 Levance Fields. Every time Fields touched the ball, shouts of "Taser" filled the Coliseum. Apparently Fields had been involved in an incident in Pittsburgh that involved him being, you know, tasered. Some bright individual even made a cardboard cutout of a giant taser to attempt to rattle Fields. It didn't seem to work as Fields as Pitt's leading scorer. But it was funny nonetheless.

But Levance Fields and the rest of his Pitt brethren had no answer for Joe Alexander, Darris Nichols and the rest of the Mountaineers on Senior Night in Morgantown. WVU took control of the game early and just pounded on the Panthers all night long. WVU won the game by 14-points but it really wasn't even that close. WVU dominated every aspect of the game, including out-rebounding Pitt 35-30.

Following the performance, Stanley and I headed over to Damon's to get, you know, food and watch a little basketball there. Then, without warning, the room burst into applause as senior guard and all-time starts leader for the Mountainners, Darris Nichols, came in to also, you know, eat. Stanley congratulated him and that was about it I guess. Nichols has definitely had a solid and stellar career as a Mountaineer and is probably very under-appreciated for all his efforts.

At the end of the day, it was a good day for the Mountaineers. This win, coupled with a win at St. John's on March 8th, should assure WVU a spot in the NCAA Tournament. If, for some reason, the Mountaineers collapse against St. John's, they'll probably need at least one win the Big East Tournament. But an 11-7 record in the Big East is pretty solid and should get them in...big, big win on Monday night. And on national television at that. Great day...

Monday, March 03, 2008

Super Tuesday - Part Two

Well, this could be it...if Texas and/or Ohio go Obama, the Democratic primaries could be over. And after the past few weeks, it would seem very likely that at least one of those states would switch over to the Obama bandwagon. But, I say "not so fast my friend." I am predicting Hillary will win both Ohio and Texas and this primary battle will continue. And the reason is the American media.

I think I have detected an ever-so-slight change in momentum over the past week. This change has been fueled by the media's new coverage of Hillary and her campaign's desperate attempts to get back in the race. The media definitely wants Hillary to win Ohio and Texas to keep this primary going. This is a major story for them and, let's face it, the news is about ratings and money and having a major story like a competitive Democrat primary is money in the bank for the media.

I believe Obama will eventually be the Democrat nominee but the media is going to do everything in its power to keep this race competitive and milk every last possible story out of it. That's what they do. Things will definitely get interesting from this point forward. But if Obama pulls off an upset and wins Texas or Ohio, expect the chorus of people telling Hillary to leave the race to grow exponentially. I don't think she'll have any other choice at that point...

Anyway, with all that said, I now bring you Bill Withers:

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Another '60s Tune

Yes, I'm stuck on, I bring you Friends of Distinction with Grazin' in the Grass. I can dig it, he can dig it, she can dig it, we can dig it, they can dig it, you can dig it.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Islands in the Stream

Since I previously admitted my fondness for Islands in the Stream, I figure I might as well post it for all to, enjoy?'s an awesome performance between two really good entertainers. Seriously...give it up. How can you not? Sail away with me to another world...come on! And they don't lipsync...which, is impressive. Anyway, I'll try to get back to real posts soon...

Kenny Rogers & The First Edition

Continuing with some music today that you may have forgotten about, I bring you Kenny Rogers & The First Edition. Yes, this is the same Kenny Rogers that was "The Gambler" and sang "You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille." Also the same Kenny Rogers that sang "Islands in the Stream" with Dolly Parton...which, don't tell anyone, but I kinda like. Anyway, check out the awesome bed and young Kenny...