April 6th, 2005
The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one on a rainy day who doesn't know how to read.
- Benjamin Franklin

One Shining Moment.

April 5th, 2005

There is nothing in sports that can rival "One Shining Moment". When the crew signals the conclusion of their broadcast and signs off for the end of the tournament and Luther Vandross' piano comes to life, you are taken to a special place. When he hits that first key you get chills. Last second shots, dunks, long range three-pointers, blocked shots, key fouls, triumphant celebration...and tears; One Shining Moment has it all.

Where else do you see the ups and downs of so many teams involved? At that moment (no pun intended) the celebration is not just about the national championship team, but all 65 teams who were invited. The celebration is of so many games played. So many dreams come true, and so many hopes dashed. Giants prevail, underdogs tough it out. Winners move on, losers go home. For a few short minutes, whether they make the video or not, each team is enshrined in one final tribute.

With 52 weeks in the year, is it hard to decide which 3 are the best? No, certainly not. College basketball and the NCAA tournament bring to life the spirit of hard work and epitomize competition.

Kudos to CBS for keeping up with their own standard; a bar they have set high. Year after year, whether you win your pool or not, whether your team wins or not, One Shining Moment ropes you in.

There is no watching the video. There is no listening to the song. What there is, however, is experiencing that "One Shining Moment".

And to think, next year I get to do it all over again.

Springing forward.

April 3rd, 2005

I happened to glance at my cell phone while lying in bed this morning (ok, so it was this afternoon, quit being so picky). The time on my phone is updated via satellite and apparently it was not until this moment that it received the updated time. As I watched, the time switched from 12:37 to 1:37. At first this came as a self-diagnosed sign of growing lunacy, though upon further consideration it was lessened to a realization of the time change.

What is it that causes today to be such an incredibly short day? Sure we lost an hour. One hour. That is all. In the grand scheme of things it is not so much to lose. In fact, we will even get it back in a few months.

So what psychologically makes today pass so quickly? (Please spare me the quips about wasting the day by not rolling out of bed until it is more than half over.)

I had heard just the other day that the time change was coming soon, though I did not know when. Daylight savings is just not something that has made it onto my list of things to remember.

Wow today is almost gone already. Well, aside from my feeling uncomfortably unproductive today, I have to say it was a good day. Would that hour have made some huge difference? Some huge difference other than making today pass in the blinking of an eye, that is.

You can tell me that the lost hour today is but a small price to pay in the long run of warm weather and sunshine that is now on our seasonal horizon, but it still hits so suddenly. Maybe if we could work our way into it. Say: springing forward 10-15 minutes each day over the days necessary to equate to the full hour.

Think about it. Get back to me; there is no rush.

New Features @ G-mail

April 1st, 2005

In case you never click on the "New Features!" link when it appears at the top of your G-mail inbox, here is the latest news.

G is for growth
Storage is an important part of email, but that doesn't mean you should have to worry about it. To celebrate our one-year birthday, we're giving everyone one more gigabyte. But why stop the party there? Our plan is to continue growing your storage beyond 2GBs by giving you more space as we are able. We know that email will only become more important in people's lives, and we want Gmail to keep up with our users and their needs. From Gmail, you can expect more.

We're not in the plains anymore
Fonts, bullets and highlighting, oh my! Gmail now offers rich text formatting. And over 60 colors of the rainbow. Discover a land of more than just black and white.

It was weird when I logged in last night and saw that my inbox size was 1281MB and today it was 1335MB. This explains it. And it was just yesterday that I was wishing I could italize part of what I was sending. And *poof* today I can.

Where will you be when Google takes over the planet? I will most likely be sitting on the couch.

Villanova Wildcats

March 27th, 2005

I really look forward to seeing the maturity of freshman guard Kyle Lowry and sophomore forward Will Sheridan. These two players have already far exceeded my expectations and done so in such a short time. It is hard to say where this year's team would have been without these two. The heart, the drive, the never-give-up attitude, young players seemed to be the spark behind this sweet 16 appearance.

I do not mean to downplay the fab four recruiting class of three years ago. It is great to see Randy Foye, Allan Ray, Curtis Sumpter and Jason Fraser finally get some respect. Things had not gone to plan for the now juniors and with the final, senior season left it should prove fun to watch.

We can always play the "what if" scenario surrounding Curtis' torn ACL against Florida. Maybe things would have turned out differently against North Carolina. But maybe they would not have.

No offense to Marcus "Big Dog" Austin and Chris Charles, but I do not feel as though we lose much from this team to graduation. The only thing I would see is missing some bench relief for our post play. I have not seen any recruiting notes, however, so I cannot fully assess the damage.

For now, all we can do is say how absolutely proud we are of this team and look forward to next season. Best of luck and wishes of the quickest recovery possible to Curtis.

Go Cats!

Mamma Mia!

March 24th, 2005

Mamma Mia!This was the first time seeing Mamma Mia! I had heard such great things as amongst many other things, it is my dad's favorite show. Having seen it now at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, I will tell you that I did like it, but it is not my favorite. I would love to see it again, however.

I am familiar with most of the songs, but can not claim to be an ABBA fan. If you are unfamiliar, many songs by the band ABBA were chosen and a story was written around them. There is a story, but for this musical it is secondary to the singing and choreography. The songs were fun, the singing was fantastic, and the dancing was enjoyable to watch. It was those things that you go see Mamma Mia! for, not the story around which those things are wrapped.

I thought casting for the show was questionable for rolls of Donna (the mother) and her three male suitors. Those were the only four parts that bothered me; Donna most of all. But I will say one thing, she could sing.

I had heard that based upon the love for ABBA, many women older than I could be expected to rock out and dance in the aisles. This did not happen at the show I attended which came as a huge disappointment. I think that would have added tremendously to the experience and only served to make me like it more.

Maybe next time...

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Green Beer

March 18th, 2005

It is with great remorse that today I come to you to say that my goal to never imbibe green beer is now unattainable. In a fit of poor judgment last night after our league basketball game we got a drink as a team. When asked if I would like my Labatt Blue to come to me green, I said "Sure". I am sure there are some Canadians rolling over in their graves at my actions.

Understand that it was my apparent misconception that led to my aversion to the "St. Patty's Day" ale. I had always figured that they simply had some vat of cheap beer that had been colored green. When given the option to take a beer that I hand selected and dye it in festive fashion the whole idea does not seem as disgusting. Disgusting overall? Yes. As disgusting as before? No.

I will simply chalk this up as an experience that I can say I have had. It is not one I need to repeat.

Paint my chest: A tale of free tuition.

March 10th, 2005

While we were at the Villanova v. St. Johns basketball game last Saturday afternoon we witnessed a pretty interesting event. Apparently St. Johns has a pretty good program for students who attend the games. Although I am unsure of the criteria on which the competition is judged or who does the actual judging, but Saturday they chose their "fan of the year". The young man who was selected happened to have pom-poms on his knees, a crazy shiny red wig, an upper body covered in red paint and an easy-to-tear-off shirt. One might assume he dressed like this frequently when in attendance at Madison Square Garden for Red Storm home games.

His prize you ask? What could entice a group full of basketball fans to do crazy stuff in an attempt to cheer their team to victory? Offer to pay for school. This kid won a semester of free tuition.

One full semester paid for. I believe St. Johns is not a state school; one semester of tuition is a huge prize. Sure I expected to see more fans donning crazy get ups for the game based on the reward, but perhaps they did not know what the prize was. Either way I think it is a great way to get a rowdy group of students to support the team.

Do other schools do this? Do other schools do anything similar? I would be curious to know.

Jersey City, NJ

March 9th, 2005

As already chronicled in my post of frustration with the Newark Airport, I had a hard time getting to New Jersey. Despite one 1 hour delay on my return trip, it was the fun that I had that made it hard for me to get home.

I can't necessarily say that my trip to New Jersey was less fun than my trip to D.C. the week before; I don't think that's fair. It is fair to say that it was just a different trip. It is not an apples to apples comparison. They were both fun in their own right. New Jersey was a chance for me to go out to the bar and hang out with college buddies like we use to...when we were in college.

I think my hosts (Doug, Rich, Niles) were surprised when I said I was up to going to NYC Friday night after my long afternoon at the airport, but I was ready to go. They, however, decided they didn't want to go, so we went out down the street in Jersey City instead. They picked the bar, I was just along for the ride.

I asked, "Will there be any girls at this bar?" No, we all know I would not talk to them, but at least let me ogle them from afar.
"I think we saw one there once." You might think this a sarcastic comment, understand that it was a serious one.

The night was spent with hurricanes in hand. [sarcasm]This isn't odd is it? If I had desire to open a New Orleans style bar, what better place than Jersey City? Talk about the perfect marriage between bar and location.[/sarcasm]

At least we were able to return back to the apartment to find some delicious chocolate cake. Well, I hear it was delicious. Rich was the only one who had any Friday night. He did leave a nice note for Katie thanking her for making it though. What a considerate young man.

Scottie came up for the weekend and he left with Rich and Katie and Niles early Saturday morning to head to Hoboken for a day of "St. Patrick's day celebration" (see also: drinking). I stayed in bed...nay, in couch and rested up for the day. Doug's mom and Matt met us at the apartment around 12:30 before we headed into the city. 2pm was tip off between our beloved Villanova Wildcats and the other guys.

I believe the bar we went to post game was called Mustang Harry's. This was the highlight of the trip for me as I was able to hang out with friends and their families. It was great to be able to spend time with Doug's mom and Matt's family. I used to go with Matt's family to their beach house in Deleware for Easter weekend and spend a few days with them. It was like old times as we yelled at each other and told embarrassing stories. Oh, and I know what you're thinking. Call it selective amnesia, I can't remember a single one...

Saturday night in Hoboken was arguably the most overrated bar night since the invention of either St. Patrick's Day or celebrations. Turns out the ones who were really celebrating were the bar owners as they all but one set a $10 cover charge (the odd man out charging $20). After running around to find a place to go we settled on a hole in the wall place that at least had enough room for all of us. I was excited that Andrew and Katie came and joined us at the bar (and even brought Harley). We then hung out, made friends and had a good time.

Doug, Rich, Niles, Scottie and I all went to lunch on Sunday before I left town. I am not sure if a meal at Chili's could ever be more fun.

(Any stories I may or may not have left out are for your own good...or just my c.y.a.)

Steroids: The Rant

March 9th, 2005

Can this please go away now? I am so disgusted by and sick of all of these steroids stories. I am tired of turning on ESPN's SportsCenter which has turned into SteroidsCenter. Clips of press conferences and interviews with players that don't matter.

"What is it like being a teammate of a guy who may have taken steroids?"

Come on. Do you really think you're going to get a juicy response? Is one of these guys, who knows he is going to be shown nationally, going to say something like, "Good god he is a monster. He has terrible fits of rage, especially when we are in the gym. I am often afraid for my life"?

Every player, every former player, even celebrities are asked what their thoughts are on allegations of performance enhancing drugs.

"Did you ever use them?"
"Did you ever see any teammates use them?"
"Did you ever hear about any teammates using them?"
"Do these pants make my butt look big?"
"Should any records obtained by the accused be taken away?"
"Should those records have an * after them in the books?"
"What is the average air speed velocity of a laden swallow?"

WHO CARES?!?!

This is an issue for Major League Baseball to deal with. Let them deal with it. They will make their investigations, they will take action in any case where they find violation of league rules. We'll find out about it then. None of us are going to be surprised.

Does Congress really need to get involved? Would the House of Representatives not have something more important on their docket than sending subpoenas to players? How is this an issue of National importance to the point where the Government needs to intervene?

Let's not forget the idiot who went and wrote a book about it. I understand you probably are on the brink of Chapter 7. You probably thought your career would last forever. And why shouldn't it? Your stats were easily mediocre at best. On the off chance any current and/or former players still talked to him, I hope they disown him. What an awful thing to do by lobbing accusations around the league. Stay out of it!

Again, let Commissioner Bud Selig and his boys take care of it. Attempting to watch sports highlights now is like watching in the summer when no leagues are in play except baseball. You know that college basketball is raging on right now? Can I see more than 2 seconds of a game please? They are showing scores with no footage for top 25 games, is that because they are devoting too much time to this substance abuse garbage?

It is a serious problem, I know. Steroids are serious. I am also serious when I say, "Take it off the air!"

I hate the media.

*UPDATE* From ESPN.com

This poll from ESPN.com blows my mind.