Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My Computer Has Returned!

Faster than Gollum can say "My Precious", my computer was returned today by Dell. So far, it's working perfectly. And better yet, all of my old files are intact!! According to the repair sheet, they replaced my motherboard (again) and I got a new LCD display. As Borat would say: "Very Nice!"

Monday, January 29, 2007

Mount Doom Has Been Reached.

I received a dispatch from the Riders of Rohan (Dell's automated email system) that Frodo and Sam (DHL delivery truck) carrying the one ring to rule them all (my computer) have arrived at Mount Doom (Dell's Computer Depot).

What fate awaits my computer? Will it be thrown into the fiery cauldron of Mount Doom never to return or will it be repaired and returned by the great eagles.

Tune in next time for the harrowing conclusion. ...

Off to the Glue Factory Barbaro

It's sad. It's upsetting. I can barely type because my eyes are filled and my keyboard is wet with tears, but I cannot even fathom why the news of Barbaro's death today is big news. For months upon months, the constant state of Barbaro's health has been in the news - almost as much as the Iraq War or the recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

Why, is this big news? He's a horse damnit! He's not human. Horses are animals. Say it with me animals...

Horses are not athletes. When any radio or TV sports show comes up with a list of Greatest Athletes of the Decade, Century or History of Sports, a controversary always emerges on whether to include Triple Crown winner Secretariat's on the list. Of course, you know my view on this already. He's a horse. Athletes are HUMAN. Horses are not. Horses are for gamblers who bet on horse races. They are for horse shows. They serve as the basis for fruity JELL-O gelatin and sticky Elmer's glue.

So, I really can't understand why people are so fascinated with the constant multitude of stories that have cluttered the airwaves for the last year on the status of Barbaro's recovery from a broken leg. Sure, I am an animal lover like anyone and it's upsetting when an animal you love die. But this isn't an animal that anyone loved besides gamblers who made a quick buck on him.

I'll stop crying. I suggest you do the same and get back to eating your cherry JELL-O.

Friday, January 26, 2007

My Computer Lies in a Coma

I didn't get the chance to blog yesterday as a minature assassin - posing as 15-year old Dell technician - killed my laptop. After spending countless days of network problems, slow mouse movements and the dreaded blue stop screen, I called Dell and requested a savior. But instead of sending a savior, they sent me a minature assassin who struck deep into the heart of my computer's motherboard and left her for dead. Now, my laptop lies in a state of a coma on a DHL truck on its long journey back to Mount Doom -- a.k.a. Dell's Computer Depot.

The worst part about it is that I was only able to salvage a few important files before the assassin arrived. Hopefully my files will still be there when my computer returns.

In the meantime, I am completely and utterly lost without my computer. My entire life - sans my lovely wife and my beautiful cat - is on that computer. Every single file dealing with my professional and personal life is on that computer. Now, I'm forced to borrow another laptop in the office to work for the next two weeks. The mouse pad is in a different place. The keys are slightly raised making it awkward for me to type. I can already feel carpel tunnel setting in. Not to mention that I have to curtail my daily web browsing to because I'm using someone else's machine.

It's true that my computer will be back in my hands in Dell's words "5-15 business days" - a lifetime to me - but what will really will return? Will my lovely laptop return a shell of its former self? Will the hard drive and my files still be intact? Or will a brand new laptop, nothing like my lovely laptop, be staring me in the face tempting me like a new lover asking me to climb into bed with her. I will not be tempted again by the computer seductress.

I will back up my files in the future. All of them. I will not give my life to another computer again as I gave to this one. I will not depend on her like I would depend on real person. I will not be tied to her like a ball to its chain.

This incident only further leads me to believe that humanity is on its way down the same dark path as mankind in the 1984 movie Terminator. According to the movie's futuristic character Reese: "Defense network computers. New... powerful... hooked into everything, trusted to run it all. They say it got smart, a new order of intelligence. Then it saw all people as a threat, not just the ones on the other side. Decided our fate in a microsecond: extermination."
First the extermination of my Dell Latitude laptop. ...Next up....humanity!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Boulevard of Broken Dreams

I didn't watch the State of the Union last night. I haven't watched a Presidential Addresses since 2003. And in the past three years, I have really try to avoid any news that has President Bush, Iraq or Hurricane Katrina. There is nothing positive about any of them and they are all just way too depressing. Does this make me Un-American? Does this mean that I am rooting for the terrorists to win? Does this mean that I should be water boarded at secret prison camp in Western Uzbekistan? I think that the answer to those questions is pretty plainly no.

Instead of watching the State of the Union last night, I watched American Idol and afterward played the original Doom on XBOX 360 and was giddily entertained. Sure, I'm avoiding the cold, hard facts of the real world in favor of pure fantasy, but I did pretend though that Simon Cowell and the monsters in Doom were terrorists, so I guess I can still call myself an America.

Whenever something upsetting happens in the public spotlight, I try to avoid reading or seeing things about it at all costs. When the Giants got spanked by the Ravens in the Superbowl in 2001, I didn't read a newspaper or watch a sports show for weeks. When the Yankees were shocked by the Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS, I am surprised that I even left the house. When Bush was re-elected in 2004, I vowed to myself that I would never watch the man speak again during a State of the Union, Presidential Address, press conference or news interview.

I think it was pretty clear in November 2004 that Iraq was headed in the wrong direction and I think it's completely comical that the same people who re-elected Bush in 2004 because they said we needed the "same strong leader" in the War on Terror are the same people who are saying that this country is now headed in the wrong direction. We were headed in the wrong direction 1 1/2 years ago. We were headed in the wrong direction 3 years along. Nothing Bush has done since November 2004 should have changed your mind, so what has changed it now?

What it comes down to is that American embraces something for awhile. Like being united after 9/11. Like donating money to New Orleans recovery after Hurricane Katrina. Like sticking by their cowboy-hat wearing, regular joe president in times of war. Like Reality Shows like Temptation Island or Big Brother or thousands of others mutated from American Idol and Survivor. And when we get tired of these "fads" or causes, we toss it to the curb and forget why we ever liked or supported them. All we know is that we are onto the next big, interesting thing.
Alas, I digress. I simply cannot wait until November 2008 when a new President is elected. I don't care if it's a Democrat. I don't care if it's a Republican. I don't care if it's a monkey dressed in a clown suit riding a unicycle. I just want a leader to believe in again.
Tune in tomorrow for another fantasy-based blog posting on 24 or Prison Break or the latest videogame that I am playing to escape reality. I'm sure you'll appreciate it as much as I do.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Prison Break and 24 Back to Back!!

It's the return of Must-See Monday on Fox tonight as Prison Break returns after a long hiatus and 24 nestles into its 9 p.m. Monday timeslot after a gripping four-hour 2-night premiere last week. And I for one can't wait.

I thought the first season of Prison Break was definitely awesome and also thought that they should have ended the show after the first season. Alas big corporate networks like Rupert Murdoch's Fox does not put millions into a show just to see it end after one season.

I for one have always thought that shows like Prison Break, 24 and Lost would only work for a few seasons (if not, 1 season) and then the producers should end the show. That definitely hasn't happened with the three popular shows that I mentioned. Mind you, these three shows are my favorite shows on TV, so I'm one of the people who the producers are pandering for.

While I love those shows, I wonder whatever happened to the art of storytelling? It's simply been taken over by corporate America. In a just world: Jack Bauer would die after Season 4. Michael and Linc would either get captured at the end of Season 1 and go back to prison or simply escape and live the rest of their days on a carribean island. And some answers for Gods sake would be given on just what the hell is going on on the island of Lost. But I'm sure none of those things will come to their fruition and the networks will just cancel the shows after the drivel-ridden storylines become stale and viewership dries up. I just know I'm never getting any answers as far as Lost goes.

And I also know for a fact that there isn't a chance in hell that Jack Bauer is dying or quitting CTU in Season 6...or in Season 7. He may die sometime in Season 8, unless he gets his contract extended for another 3 years like he recently did. The age of the big bucks Hollywood contract sure has made Jack Bauer immortal. Maybe another three years of kicking terrorist butt will catch up to him.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Entertain Me with Nip/Tuck & Bore Me with Black Dahlia

Nip/Tuck -- Nip/Tuck is another example of a television show that was critically acclaimed, but one that I had never watched before. Being a member of Netflix sure has increased by TV watching horizons. The show centers around a plastic surgery business run by two doctors who couldn't be more different.

Dr. Sean McNamara, is a husband and father of two who thus far in the first 3 episodes of season one that I've watched is having some big marital problems.

His business partner and polar opposite Dr. Christian Troy is a complete womanizer and in my mind one of the scariest dudes in movies today. Dr. Troy is played by actor Julian McMahon who also plays Victor Von Doom of Fantastic Four fame. I'm a big fan of that movie so everytime I see Dr. Troy in Nip/Tuck, I don't think of a sauve womanizer, but rather a devious villian.

After 3 episodes, I'm definitely a fan of the show, but I don't think it holds a candle to some of the other dramatic TV shows that I love like Rescue Me and The Wire. Through 3 episodes, there's already a number of prevalent themes like how these plastic surgery doctors are improving the outer appearance of their patients to hide the real underlying lack of self esteem on the inside. Dr Van Doom anyone??

Black Dahlia - I can't even begin to explain this movie. And it's probably not fair for me to say a word about it since I only watched about an hour of the movie. What I did see what so convulted, contrived and non-sensical that I didn't even want to waste more of my time watching it. You know, my entertainment time is valuable to me, so I don't even try to watch something when I don't enjoy it or understand it.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Gamer Score = 5,485, Value = $0

In the past few days, there's been a number of studies out in the news regarding how people play video games because of the sense of accomplishment and joy they receive when playing video games. I think any study is pretty much a waste of time as the results are usually obvious before scientist even study anything. Needless to say, I definitely agree with the sentiment that I play games for the sense of self accomplishment.

I specificially wanted to write today about the amazing development by Microsoft of Gamer Achievement Points. As you can see in the top right of my blog, I currently have 5,485 gamer points. Yes, I'm a tremendous dungeon and dragon geek, but I love my gamer points and love showing them off. They mean absolutely nothing, hold absolutely no money value and mean nothing to anyone outside of the crazy gamer, but they definitely are important to me.

I've never been a big replayer of games. Once I beat a game, I pretty much put it up on eBay for sale and then buy another game with my proceeds. Well, with the development of Gamer Points, I have not sold very few Xbox 360 games on eBay. Now because of Gamer Points, I don't sell the game, but rather replay it on the harder difficulty just to get the extra gamer points. Again, MS Gamer Points hold no cash value whatsoever, but still I don't sell the games that I have been. And I know definitely that I'm not the only one with this philosophy, as I know a lot of other people who do the same thing.

It's crazy. It's insane. It doesn't make any sense at all. But still Gamer Points are the new fad. There are a ton of website and other blogs just dedicated to Gamer Points, so you know that I'm not the only crazy person out there.

Kudos to Microsoft for developing a great system that makes people want to buy more games just to get fake gamer points. I'm definitely not "cashing them in" for anything any time soon, so I'm at a lost on why they mean anything to me. But they definitely do. ...

Friday, January 19, 2007

Entertain Me! with The Office

I honestly believe the The Office is hands down the best television show on TV today. For those of you who know me, you know that I religiously watch 24 and Prison Break each week. Well, I really believe that this year The Office has surprassed 24 and Prison Break as a show that I need to watch when it's on.

My wife and I watched the first two seasons of The Office on DVD during the past few months and really fell in love with the humor of the show, its great scripts and its memorable characters like Michael Scott, Dwight Schrute, Jim, Pam and definitely our favorite Kevin. The Office was definitely one of the shows that we had completely written off during their original season runs. But like House, Arrested Development and The Wire, we're left wondering why we never watched them from the very beginning.

While Season 3 isn't as great as Seasons 1 and 2, I think it is definitely coming along and will turn out to be a great season because of a number of reasons. We just also recently borrowed the British versions of The Office and while we generally do not like British humor too much, I'm interested to see how that version compares to the American version.

Two big thumbs up for the American version of The Office. In my opinion, the best show in TV today.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

It's Tax Filing Season! Hurrah!

Am I seriously disturbed? The reason that I honestly look forward to doing my taxes every year. Isn't that nuts? Don't people usually hate to do their taxes? Don't people dread doing their taxes like they dread going to the dentist? In the words of the great and crazy Dave Chappelle in Half Baked: "Not me....not us....we were really, really high."

One reason I like to do taxes for my wife and I is probably because Turbo Tax makes it feel like you are playing a game...and anyone who reads my blog knows that I like to play games....Gone are the disturbing and government language riddled 1098 forms, replaced by easy to use fill in the blank questions. Because of the ease of use of Turbo Tax, I end up completely our annual taxes and receiving our refund before other people even start their taxes.

But most of all, one of the biggest reason that I like to complete my taxes early is of the fact that I always pay the government too much in taxes during the year and always end up getting money back giving my wife and I some extra cash to splurge. Hopefully we'll get a nice tax refund this year to allow us to go on vacation. Hawaii here we come? Hopefully we won't see the tax man coming this year...

But if we end up having to pay taxes this year, I might burn all of our files. ...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

24 Season 6 Begins!!

Each season, I expect the producers of 24 to come out with a horrible storyline or some ridiculous idea, but each and every season 24 surprises me. After watching the first 4 episodes of Season 6 of 24, I completely love Season 6 already. Jack is back, but he brought with him some emotional scars.

Season 6 begins with multiple terrorist attacks occuring across the United States. New President Wayne Palmer - brother of former President David Palmer - brokers a deal with the Chinese government to get Jack Bauer out of prison so that Jack can once again take down the terrorists. Jack has been tortured for the past 2 years by the Chinese government after Jack broke into the Chinese Embassy in Season 4. Needless to say, he is clearly a different person. Jack has cried before in previous seasons because of the stress of his daily life - clearly a daily life that is more stressful than most of us. But this season, through 4 episodes Jack is a clearly different person as he is emotionally and physically destroyed.

For the third straight year, my friend and I have a 24 bad guy draft. The way this draft works is that after watching the first two episodes, we picked "good" characters that we thought would turn "bad" by the end of the day. We define "bad" by someone who either is working directly with the terrorists, working with the terrorists under duress or is working go behind CTU's back to hurt Jack Bauer. So far, there's been about 14 characters introduced and here is how the draft went on Monday. The name of my team is Nadia is a Hot, Dirty Slut. I know, very juvenile, but hey, I'm juvenile. ...

My friend's team (To be named later)
1. Hamri-Al Assad
2. Walid Al-Rezani
3. Morris O’Brian
4. White FBI agent (name unknown)
5. Karen Hayes
6. Bill Buchanan
7. Audrey Raines

Nadia is a Hot, Dirty Slut
1. Thomas Lennox
2. Sandra Palmer
3. Nadia Yassir
4. Milo Pressman
5. Wayne Palmer
6. Curtis Manning
7. Chloe O’Brian

I hate my last two picks because Jack apparently kills Curtis Manning in Hour 4 after Curtis tries to kill a former terrorist who is helping CTU. And I despise my last pick because Chloe is secretly in love with Jack and would never do anything to hurt him, CTU or America. You never know though. Weirder things have happened in past seasons. The first four episodes of Season 6 blew by with plenty of action, cliff hanging scenes all tied up by a nuclear explosion. I can't wait to see hour 5.

Monday, January 15, 2007

I'm a Golden Poker God!!

Ok, I'm saying this half laughing, but I must say that some would classify me as a Golden Poker God after I fiinished in 9th Place in yesterday's Taj $100 poker tournament in Atlantic City. Ninety people played in the tournament and I finished just within the money, getting paid out $144. True, it's not a lot of money, but I consider it to be a great accomplishment that I finished in the Top 10 in a 90 player tournament.

Throughout the tournament, I played in total of probably 20 hands. When I wasn't in the big blind I played A,A; A,J (twice); A,9 (twice); K,Q unsuited; K,10 suited; A,Q suited. That's pretty much all I can remember, but I think that's it. Overall, it was probably the most disciplined and tight i have ever played before. I'm usually crazy aggressive, but for some reason yesterday I wasn't. I even folded pocket 3s and pocket 7s when people raised before me. There was one time I tried to bluff another player out of the pot. When he called my bluff, I didn't bluff anyone else again for the entire tournament.

We started out with 5,000 in chips and the most chips I had at one time was approx. 34k, which was good for near the top of the rankings for most of the time. Probably my biggest hand of the tournament was when I was holding K,10 diamonds. The flop came Q,Q,A and I bet 6k with the blinds 1k-2k. My only opponent called and the turn was lucky for me as I pulled a J to complete my straight. I bet 6k again and my opponent went all-in. I quickly called and my opponent turned over Q,10 for trip Qs. The river came up blank for my opponent and I took a sizable 20k pot home.

After that, I caught a string of bad cards and simply sat at the table constantly folding while players around me got knocked out of the tournament. After making the final table, I was one of the small stacks and started to get blinded out when the blinds went up to 2-4k with 500 antes. I literally didn't get one hand to play and went out with A, 3 when my opponent turned over A, 10.

It was quite a learning experience and while I think what might have been if I won the $2800 top prize, I am really happy with how well I played.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Poker day on Sunday!

My boy Smelmooo and I are going to AC on Sunday morning to play in a Taj Mahal poker tournament. There definitely is a big difference from playing freerolls online and actually feeling the cards at a real casino. The sights and sounds of a casino are definitely different than sitting home in your boxers and playing with your mouse and keyboard. Wish us luck.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Coughlin Gets 1-Year-Extension

The New York Giants announced today that they've given Head Coach Tom Coughlin a 1-year extension on his contract. It's apparent that the team did not want Coughlin to go into the 2007 Season as a lame duck, so they gave him a 1-year extension as a small vote of confidence. It was definitely evident today from Giants CEO and President John Mara's interview on WFAN today that Coughlin and his team needs to perform better next year.

I think it was the wrong move...but who the hell am I?

I've blogged before on how I think Coughlin should have been fired after the Giants disappointing 8-8 season and I'm going to stand by that statement. The Giants certainly were not a "team" this year as bad mouthing and name calling became a cancer in the clubhouse. It's true that there were a lot of big time injuries that hurt the Giants - namely Amani Toomer, Luke Petitgout, Michael Strahan and Justin Tuck going down for the season -- but I think it was much more than that. It was bad play calling. It was the inconsistency of Eli Manning. It was dropped balls in important times of the game. It was dumb false start and personal foul penalties. All of those things involve undiscliplined players, which to me falls on the head coach and his staff.

If the Giants are going to clean house on the staff side of things - with offensive coordinator John Hufnagel and possibly defensive coordinator Tim Lewis gone - why not fire Coughlin? Why are the coaches at fault, and Coughlin isn't at fault. Especially when Coughlin should be the main person who is accountable for how the coaches and players perform. I don't have an answer to that. Hopefully the Giants owners do.

It remains to be seen what's going to happen this offseason with the Giants as far as a new GM, coaching staff and new free agents/draft picks goes. It sure will be a long offseason....

Monday, January 8, 2007

New York Sure is a Fickled Town

During the first eight games of the NY Giants 2006 season, every sports media outlet announced that Eli Manning had arrived as the next great quarterback. He was a fantasy stud. He had better stats than his Pro Bowl brother Petyon. He was the new superstar QB. In the first 8 games, Manning had 14 TDs and 8 INTs to help the Giants get off to a quick 6-2 start.

Things turned for the worse though for Eli after his leading receiver Amani Toomer (32 catches, 302 yards and 3 TDs in 9 games) and starting left tackle Luke Petitgout were lost for the season to injuries.
In the next 8 games that followed, the media turned on the team and Eli as the Giants went 2-6. Manning's passer accuracy rating plummeted along with 10 TDs and 10 INTs in the last 8 games.

Now, the media classified Manning as one of the biggest busts in NFL history. He was also said to be the centerpiece of the worst trade in Ernie Accorsi's 30+ year as a GM. as he was traded for 3 Pro Bowlers in Philip Rivers, Shawn Merriman and Nate Kaeding. To even think that the Giants would have drafted Merriman and Kaeding and to equate that Eli had been traded straight up for 3 Pro Bowlers is completely ridiculous

It's also short sighted to say that Eli is the biggest bust in NFL history. It's NY's way of "what have you done for me lately" as Manning's stats were not bad in the least. He finished the season with 3,244 yards, 24 TDs and 18 INTs. They aren't great numbers, but they are on par with other NFL QBs. Manning's 24 TDs was tied with Marc Bulger and Tom Brady for 4th most in the league. Those are two pretty good QBs to share company with. His yardage total was 11th best in the league. His 57.7 completion percentage, while better than last year's 52.8 completion percentage was near the bottom of the league and that's one of the reasons that people see Eli as a bust. To put it simply, Eli Manning has shown steady improvement in his play in his last three years.
  • 2004 - 9 games, 95 for 197, 48.2 completion percentage, 1,043 yards, 6 TDs, 9 INTs
  • 2005 - 16 games, 294 for 557, 52.8 completion percentage, 3,762 yards, 24 TDs, 17 INTs
  • 2006 - 16 games, 301 for 522, 57.7 completion percentage, 3,244 yards, 24 TDs, 18 INTs
I'll admit that he gets rattled in the pocket a lot, no doubt due to the fact that Petitgout - the lineman who guards his blind slide - was injured for half the season. He makes inaccurate throws to receivers, but some of the time, his receivers like Jeremy Shockey drop balls that are thrown right in their chest.
After Toomer went down for the season in Week 9, Manning's WR options were Tim Carter (12 catches for 115 yards), Sinorice Moss (5 catches for 25 yards) and David Tyree (14 catches for 125 yards.) Those three receivers definitely aren't up to par with Toomer. As a result of the ineptness of these three #2 WRs, Manning was faced with forcing the ball constantly to Plaxico Burress who consistently double covered by NFL secondaries.

I know injuries are not the only reason for the poor way that Manning threw the ball late in the season. Needless to say, he has showed flashes on numerous occassions of the star QB that he can be during the past two years....Like his late game heroics last year against the Broncos, Cowboys and Vikings and his heroics this year against the Eagles in their first matchup this season.
I can't explain why he's not accurate all of the time, why he always sees the pressure and throws off his back foot. Maybe it's bad coaching, maybe it's his inexperience as a QB and maybe he will never put it all together. All that I know is that the pieces are there for a great QB and the NY media and fans should give this guy a break, considering that his stats are near the top half of the other QBs in the NFL today.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Not a Surprising Loss to the Eagles, 23-20.

I thought I would be upset about posting today, but what I'm about to say is what I've said all season long, so it's not that difficult. The New York Giants played an inept game today. Like the rest of the season, a game that they should have won. The Giants definitely had some chances early in the game after they scored their first touchdown and jumped out to an early 7-0 lead. The Giants had great field position three times in the 1st quarter when they had the ball on or around the 50 yard line and each time, they couldn't even get a first down. That's pretty much the 2006 Giants in a nutshell; not being able to capitalize on good opportunities.

It's definitely disheartening, but it definitely was the same as it has been all season for the G-Men. They have the talent, but when it counts they can't produce. The team definitely had a chance to win the game as Eli brought the team back for a late score in the 4th quarter. It proved to be for naught though as the defense yet again gave up chunks of yardage to the Eagles offense allowing Eagles kicker David Akers to kick a easy 38 FG to win the game for the Eagles.

It's upsetting, but hopefully this is what leads to the firing of Tom Coughlin and the rest of the Giants coaching staff. Needless to say, it was a really disappointing season for the Giants after they finished the regular season with a 8-8 record. It definitely is going to be a tumultous offseason with a new GM set to come in as well definite changes on the player and coaching side of things.

It's not the end of the world, but it's still upsetting.

Entertain Me with Arrested Development

There is a lot of television shows now and in the past that aren't watched by many people, but are critically lauded for their great cast, smart scripts and uniqueness that sets them apart from the rest of the crowd. One of those shows is The Wire on HBO.

I've blogged about that wonderful show before and the next show that I'd like to highlight that didn't receive a lot of attention from the general public when it was on network television is Arrested Development.

My wife and I finished up Season 1 and the first 6 episodes of Season 2 of Arrested Development in the course of a few days and we both loved the show. The cast led by Jason Bateman - of Teen Wolf 2 fame - is great, the scripts are laugh out loud funny and the show is just simply different and more unique than anything we've ever seen before. I highly suggest it to anyone looking for a laugh. One thing to note is that it seems like the type of show that would be hard to watch if you start watching midway through a season, as the episodes really seem to fit together nicely in terms of story lines. Maybe that's one of the reasons that the show really never caught on after 3 seasons on the air.

Using Netflix has definitely lead us to watch more TV shows and movies than ever before and maybe that's one reason that we gave a show like this a second chance after never watching it when it was on regular network TV. The wife and I are definitely looking forward to watching the rest of Season 2 and 3.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Big Football Sunday in New Jersey!!

It's a big Football Sunday in NJ/NY this week as both football teams are in the thick of things for the playoffs. Who would have thought before the season started that it would be the Jets going into the playoff with a far superior record and team than the Giants. It's pretty amazing, but it's true.

And that's where we find ourselves this upcoming weekend and I know for one thing that it definitely is going to be a hectic Sunday with the Jets going up against the Patriots and the Giants going up against the Eagles. I think both the Giants and Jets have a decent shot to win this Sunday. Maybe it's wishful thinking. One thing I do know though is the spreads - +8 1/2 for the Jets and +7 1/2 for the Giants is way too high.
If anything this year has taught me, it's the Vegas doesn't know what is going on with the NFL this year....as shown by the fact that underdogs are +39 wins over .500 against the Vegas spreads. That's ridiculous. Not that I'm going to put money on the games or anything. All I'm looking for is for both NY teams to win.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Bye Unit. We Hardly Knew Ya

Bye Randy Johnson. We hardly knew you, but we did find out that while you were a Yankee you were a giant SOB...

It was announced late tonight that the New York Yankees had completed the trade of Randy Johnson back to the Arizona Diamondbacks for 4 players (1 major leaguer and 3 minor leaguers). As you may have read in some of my previous blogs, I was happy when I heard about this trade.
Overall, I thought Randy was a decent pitcher and his win-loss definitely backed that opinion as he went 34-19 in two regular seasons with the Yankees. Still, he has a horrible ERA each year and for the most part won a lot of regular season games because of the Yankees high run scoring production. He also was on the DL a bunch of times with a bad back, never pitched well in the postseason (a time when all Yankees -- maybe unfairly -- are ultimately gauged), and always seem like such an ass because of way he treated the media (not a big deal), the fans and most of all his teammates, like long-time Yankee catcher Jorge Posada.

In the trade, the Yankees received reliever Luis Vizcaino and minor league right-handers Ross Ohlendorf and Steven Jackson -- not to be confused with star St. Louis Rams running back of the same name -- and shortstop Alberto Gonzalez. Again, an interesting trade by Yankees GM Brian Cashman who continues to practice fiscal responsibility and a new Yankee thinking by trading old, expensive former All-Stars for prospects. With it, the Yankees wiped another expensive contract off the books and further built their minor league system.

I wouldn't be surprised if Johnson wins less than 10 games next year as the D'backs certainly aren't a high powered offense and he definitely showed signs during the last 2 years that he is breaking down because of his old, creaky back.
See ya old man....We hardly knew ya!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Year in Review

My boy Smelmooo did a year in review piece and I thought it was a decent idea, so here's my 2006 year in review.

2006 saw my wife and I officially become adults as we purchased our first place: A 3-floor condo/townhouse. There definitely is the awesome feeling that you have when you realize that you own a place of your own. So far, we've had a ton of fun painting, cleaning and doing everything to make our place our own. Home Depot is also happy with our purchase as it seems like we were at the store spending gobs of mooney every other night after we moved in.

2006 was also a great year for work as I took on added responsibility and really feel like I made a breakthrough at work as I now feel more comfortable networking with others to build my business network.

On the personal side of things, I made new friends, developed a stronger relationship with my wife and saw my best friend marry my wife's cousin. So, it was a great overall year on the personal side of things.

Who knows what 2007 has in store, but I'm hoping that my marriage will continue to grow stronger and stronger and I'll continue to develop a better idea of where I want my life to go on the professional level.

Go Giants!

Monday, January 1, 2007

Giants Head to Playoffs Against Eagles

It's pretty amazing to me that the Giants are set for a playoff matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday after finishing the regular season with an extremely subpar, mediocre record of 8-8. The G-men took down the Skins on Saturday behind the career effort of Tiki Barber's 230+ yards rushing and 3 TDs. His performance definitely made me wonder where this Tiki Barber was earlier in the season when he was performing much worse than he did on Satursday against the Skins. It was definitely also a promising game of playcalling by the new offense playcaller Kevin Gilbride. Gilbride called some plays that you never would have seen called by the old offensive coordinator John Hufnagel. At a number of points in the game when the Giants were in a 3rd down situation with under 5 yards, Gilbride called runs for Tiki Barber. That's something you never would have seen with Hufnagel at the helm. Hufnagel would have definitely called passing plays for Eli and as we've seen on a number of occassions this regular season, there definitely is something wrong with Eli's confidence when the pocket breaks down and he gets under pressure. So after a superb game by Barber and some great play calls by Gilbride, you could say that I'm definitely in a positive mood this week with visions of going far in the playoffs. The one thing that still worries me is that our defense is still extremely suspect as shown by their subpar effort against the 5-11 Redskins on Saturday. But needless to say, I'm as positive as I have been in weeks. Can the Giants beat the Eagles? I think so....