NFL Week 11.

November 25th, 2004

Another boring week of football. Maybe it's just me. I'll admit I'm ready for this season to be over. Perhaps I am just that excited about hoops, who knows? Anyway, down to business.

There were really no big surprises this week, maybe that is what is making these games unfun to watch. Of course, if Peyton Manning continues to play as he's been playing thus far, consider most if not all single season QB records shattered.

I guess there were two things that slightly stand out of the pack from this week.

-The Buffalo Bills are winning games. After starting the season as competition with the Miami Dolphins for bottom feeder of the year, the Bills have found a rhythm. Kudos to Willis McGahee for sparking this offense.

-Bill Parcells gave us our first taste of former Michigan Wolverine quarterback Drew Henson. After only a few weeks prior when Parcells said he would not start Henson since he was still yet to give up on this season, look for Henson to start in week 12. Infer from that what you will.

I cannot say enough about Eddie Drummond. This could be because his kick/punt return choreography overshadows all other news reported on the rest of the Detroit Lions, it could also be because he has emerged as one of, if not the single best return man in the league. Drummond was untouched this week as he took the opening kick off against the Vikes to the house (Lions lost).

Make a Wish

November 24th, 2004

An annual offer made to our employees is this: for $2 a day, you can "dress down" each day from Monday until the end of December (20 days in total). Fridays are already casual days here, so they are not paid for by the employees. All proceeds from this program go to charity.

A memo went around yesterday indicating we had the chance to vote for two charities to be the recipients of this year's donations.

What little I know about charities, my favorite was picked as one of the two. My $40 will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Book of the Month - December, 2004

November 22nd, 2004

The Christmas Train by David Baldacci

The Christmas Train by David BaldacciTom Langdon, a weary and cash-strapped journalist, is banned from flying when a particularly thorough airport security search causes him to lose his cool. Now, he must take the train if he has any chance of arriving in Los Angeles in time for Christmas with his girlfriend. To finance the trip, he sells a story about a train ride taken during the Christmas season. Thereupon begins one of the most hilarious-and heartwarming-journeys ever told. Along the way, Tom encounters a ridiculous cast of characters, unexpected romance, and an avalanche that changes everyone's Christmas plans. As the mighty Southwest Chief chugs along, Tom learns what really makes the holiday special in a remarkable novel that will charm all who read it.

Buy The Christmas Train $5.39

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The Incredibles

November 21st, 2004

The IncrediblesI always have a relatively high level of anticipation for the new Dreamworks and Pixar movies. The Incredibles from Pixar was no exception.

This movie was good...when you consider the following: you will not fall out of your seat with laughter, you will not be blown away with plot line, you will not walk out of the theater thinking this was the best movie you've ever seen.

Was this a wake up call for movie goers? Are Pixar creations no longer synonymous with cute kids movies that'll make you giggle? The Incredibles had some cute moments, it had some humor, though not in the supply one might expect. There seemed to be no appeal for children in this movie aside from the fact that it was a) animated and b) about super heroes. There were more adult themes and language used in this movie.

In talking to a friend (Doug) the other night, he told me this movie "was no Nemo." I told him that I long for the day when that is no longer an estimate of enjoyment in a Pixar film. Can't a movie be good or bad in it's own right? Why do they all need to be compared to Finding Nemo? Will we see one that good again from Pixar?

The Incredibles was good in it's own right. I will not deny that fact. I enjoyed it, though I did not love it. And no, it was no Nemo.

Each Pixar film is prefaced with a short film. The highlight of my movie going experience today was Boundin', not The Incredibles.

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I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

November 21st, 2004


I'll Sleep When I'm DeadDirected by Mike Hodges, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead is a psychological crime-drama that features an all-star cast including Clive Owen, Charlotte Rampling, and Malcolm McDowell and asks the question: what is the price of vengeance?

Ex-gangster Will Graham (Owen) thought he had gained back his soul by leaving the hard-boiled life of the criminal underworld behind him and taking on the life of a drifter. When he learns that his younger brother is found dead of a gruesome suicide, Will comes back to town and discovers that his death was motivated by a shocking event involving a local car dealer with a violent habit.

To get vengeance against the man responsible, Will must deal with the unfinished business of his old life which includes a feud with the local crime boss and lingering feelings for an old flame.

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead reunites Clive Owen with Director Mike Hodges. The two worked together on a film that I like a lot: Croupier. Both movies employ a narrative overlay from Owen that gives depth beyond the action.

This movie has the feel of many different genres, though never really settles into one category. All I can tell you is that if you like Clive Owen, independent movies, and/or intellectual thrillers you might want to make time for I'll Sleep When I'm Dead.

Buy I'll Sleep When I'm Dead $22.49

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Last night in Auburn Hills.

November 20th, 2004

Tempers were high last night as the Detroit Pistons hosted the Indiana Pacers in the first match up since Detroit advanced past Indiana in the Eastern Conference Finals just six months ago.

It is no surprise that the intensity level was through the roof the entire game. The game was, however, relatively tame until there were only about 48 seconds left in the game. Indiana sat atop a comfortable lead when Ron Artest fouled Ben Wallace from behind on a lay up. The foul was not incredibly hard, though it was unnecessary when up with the game in the bag.

Wallace responded to the foul with a shove to Artest's chest. Ben Wallace overreacted. I can admit this. He should not have taken his aggression out on Ron Artest. This move caused a scrum of all players on the court. Both teams were most likely both mentally and physically exhausted at the end of such a potent rivalry.

Soon the players were pulled apart after a minimal amount of pushing and shoving. What escalated the situation in Auburn Hills was a fan throwing a cup that hit Ron Artest in the face. Artest was laying on the scorers table in an uncharacteristic attempt to stay out of the fire. Once the cup hit him, however, he took off into the stands after the STUPID patron who threw it. Pacer Stephen Jackson was not far behind in the rush to the stands.

The players were soon pulled back to the court though the brawling was incomplete as some more people still felt the need to walk onto the court. They paid the price.

These people who became involved with the players were in the wrong. I will not call them fans. They paid to see the game, some wore Pistons merchandise, but they are not fans. Pistons fans, NBA fans, sports fans would not conduct themselves in this manner. There is no excuse for how those in the stands handled themselves during this situation last night. I am not siding with the Indiana Pacers. I am a Detroit Pistons fan. Choosing sides here is not between the two teams, it is between class and no class. The people who assaulted the players showed no class and I am embarrassed to root for the same team as them.

I honestly hope that no one applauds the efforts of the guy who threw the cup at Ron Artest. He was the catalyst in what is a scar against a reputation the Pistons fans have earned throughout the league as the best fans. Do not judge the rest of us by the actions of one idiot. What happened last night was not funny. What happened last night was unfortunate. When you attend a sporting event of any variety you are not a participant, you are merely an observer. What went on on the court may emotionally charge though, though you have absolutely no right to act out.

Why would you do this? What could you possibly gain from this? I just cannot understand.


November 19th, 2004

Went to see I Heart Huckabees last night and encountered technical difficulties so we had to opt for a different movie. After some deliberation we decided upon Saw (Cary Elwes, Danny Glover).

Scary movies are very difficult to pull off, in my opinion. To make a truly scary movie it takes more than sudden cut scenes and loud sounds during quiet moments. A good scary movie is one where you can lose yourself in your imagination; one where you can become engulfed in the movie.

I can say that when I got home last night, I was looking over my shoulder. That is the main thing I look for in a scary movie.

When we left the theater last night after the movie and tried to talk about the movie, I was unable to say whether or not I would recommend Saw. It wasn't until this morning that I was able to realize that I would. If you are a fan of scary movies and do not mind a little blood and gore in a film, then I think you should check out Saw. I will say that there was one point towards the end when it appeared that they were basically just going to end the movie and I was furious. I had questions and had no answers. This was going to be the weakest ending to a movie I had ever experienced. Ultimately I did get my answers, so this crisis was narrowly averted.

My only hang up with the film is one brought up by the friend I saw the movie with last night. It truly is sick that someone was able to come up with a story like that. That may have been the scariest part of the movie.

(Also, the more and more I think about it, there seems to be a significant relation to the movie Seven, starring Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, and Kevin Spacey.)

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Question for the carb-conscious.

November 16th, 2004


I went out to lunch today and at the restaurant we were told the daily specials. One was a chicken wrap. Chicken with lettuce, tomato, cheese and ranch dressing in a low-carb something-r-other flat bread type thing. Then the server adds, "That is served with a side of fries."


Here is your low-carb meal with a side of carbs.

Does this make sense to everyone but me? Why pitch the sandwich as low-carb if you are going to only go halfway? Consider that I am biased against the carb-cutting world to begin with so maybe that is why I can't fathom this menu item. Sure someone near and dear to me has cut his carbs and is doing very well with it, though if I never see a carb-conscious menu change commercial again I'll die a happy man.

Is this just an attempt to allow people to feel better about themselves to say that they ordered something low-carb yet retain their dignity in the face of their friends? "But honey, I had the low-carb chicken thingy for lunch."

Explanations welcome/encouraged?

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NFL Week 10.

November 16th, 2004

Finally the powers that be listened to my pleadings for exciting football. Three games this week went to overtime (each at 17-17 actually) as well as a few others that came down to the wire. It is nice to not feel as though you wasted your Sunday afternoon from watching mediocre football. My time in week 10 was well spent.

One of those overtime games was Lions v. Jaguars. Let's hope this isn't a contract year for Eddie Drummond or the Lions organization may have to shell out some significant cash to keep this guy. Both Lions touchdowns were scored on punt returns by Drummond in the 4th quarter to force overtime. If Joey Harrington used up all of his confidence in the first 4 games of the season then at least I have an explanation for lack of production. If, however, he has any left...let me be the first to tell you, Joey, we're ready for you to use it. Blame the offensive line if you want, though you'll only be partially correct. Joey has time and whether he is overanxious or not he is off his mark recently. This is the Joey we're used to, though not the one the Lions thought they were drafting. He is a very capable quarterback and one used to pressure (on and off the field) so he should be able to perform. We had one Andre Ware, please do not be the second.

More evidence this week of how the Steelers are simply a machine running on all cylinders. Ben Roethlisberger had a pretty poor game considering, though other players stepped up to the plate and made plays. Kudos to Jerome Bettis for dominating opponents he faces on the field, and also his critics in the press who said he is too old.

Welcome back to the season, Daunte. Thank you for showing up this week. Dare I say that it actually looked like you were having FUN on Sunday?!?!?! Weird to think that making plays could feel so good. He may have seen now that though Randy Moss is a beast, Daunte can still get the job done without him if he relaxes and does what he does best, and making it look effortless in the process.

What is there to say about the Dallas Cowboys? They need a change. What will that change be? Coach Parcells has already said that we will not see Drew Henson quarterback this struggling team as, he is not ready to give up on this team. That is not a direct quote, though it was not far off what he said about the matter. Does that mean that Parcells is now stuck with Testeverde just because he cannot start Henson without giving the impression now that he has given up? After being abused by a highly efficient Eagles offense on the Monday night stage, maybe he should be look into starting Henson after all.

Can Peyton Manning be anything other than a Super Bowl? Or could this be the year that he proves his "curse" untrue? Maybe he is just showing off to make young Eli fill even bigger shoes as he will see his first start in week 11. We'll have to wait and see.

My secret is no longer safe.

November 15th, 2004

I have been discovered. No longer am I able to walk amongst normal people. Today I am wearing shorts, as I have been every day since last Tuesday when I hurt my ankle. What is different is that we are being visited by a potential client, so today I have added a tie to my get up. To give you the full visual, I have a long sleeved oxford shirt, tie, cargo shorts, and one shoe.

I put the tie on after seeing my boss for the first time, so when she saw it she turned to the coworker I was with and said while laughing, "He looks like a dork." Apparently wearing a tie with an outfit that involves shorts is a faux pas. And here I was simply trying to go the extra mile to look nice for potential business.

Sure we can play the game that she never said I am a dork...just that I look like one. Understand that in the great scheme of things this matters little.

I feel as though I had her fooled for so long, though no more.

Secret's out...