2004-10-24



Dear Boise State,

Congrats on the great season you are having. Like so many mid-majors before you, by now you are probably wondering what it's going to take to get a little respect around the NCAA.

Ummm, how about ... a green field!

I know. I know. It sounds silly, and you may think me a turf bigot. So be it. I've been watching College Football for a while now, and I know what works for me.

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Hats off to Sylvester Croom. After his MIssissippi State team posted just their second victory of the season in beating the Florida Gators, Croom will hopefully be able to shed his "first black head football coach in SEC history" title and just be the MSU coach. At very least he may well be the guy who dealt Gators' coach Ron Zook his death blow.

Hey! Steve Spurrier is unemployed. This constitutes a short leash for all but a handful of Major Div I coaches. Will Spurrier wind up back with the Gators? I don't know, but he does seem to be one of those guys who belongs in one place, and one place only. Like Coach K at Duke, Bobby Bowden at Florida State and Tom Landry with the Cowboys (when he was coaching), Steve Spurrier belongs in Gainesville. Now, if only his head would get the picture.

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2004-10-23



Snooooze. Miami pounded NC State. We've been in "garbage time," with NC State facing Miami's "B" defense, for a quarter and a half.

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Big news from Hawaii!

First, the Rainbow Wahine, U of Hawaii's Women's Volleyball team is undefeated and ranked #3 in the country. Both the Hawaii Men and Women are short on Championships, but long on continued success in the sport of Volleyball.

- B -


So much for the expected but exciting ... on to the unexpected and surprising: The Honolulu Advertiser finds that Kerry and Bush are tied in Hawaii. Granted, in the grand scheme of things this means nothing, and when all is said and done I still wouldn't be surprised to see Kerry take the Aloha State.

But, the fact that it is even close enough to post such a story at this juncture is huge. Hawaii is not the nation's liberal freak capital because they are tiny, effectively a foreign country, and almost as far away from New York as Japan. On ideology alone they make Sean Penn look like a choir boy.

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Following this tip at PowerLine, the bloggers are urging everyone to watch for a major newspaper to break a story that will call into question Kerry's truthfulness.

And of course if it calls into question Kerry's truthfulness, you'll have to keep a very close eye out because it will be largely ignored in the mainstream! And, I should add, it will be a question for some ... while for others there is already not a shred of doubt.

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Time for another lesson in what is not seen.

It shouldn't have to be said, but capitulation is a recipe for disaster. Case in point: humanitarian aid worker, Margaret Hassan who is currently being held hostage in Iraq. Or take half of John Kerry's ideas if you like.

In a nutshell: Britain getting ready to re-deploy troops to Iraq prompted Hassan's capture. The implication is that the ransom for Hassan is not sending the troops.

Here's the problem: On the surface it seems so easy. If we don't send the troops we can save Hassan's life. If Spain doesn't want another railway bombing they'd better vote for the party that will keep out of Iraq. If you want to save the lives of American soldiers, vote for Kerry who will get them out of that "quagmire." People "understand" this kind of thing when they hear it in a 15-second bite on CNN.

It seems equally logical, though apparently it isn't, that if you give in now, the next time the terrorists want something from you, they'll kidnap someone else, or set off more bombs, etc. Even more basically, when you give in to terrorists you embolden them. And, again, they are terrorists. When they are emboldened they terrorize more. In saving one or two lives, you cost many more their lives. But to see that one must put their brain to work and think about it, which is a lost art these days.

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2004-10-22



The first BCS Standings came out this week and didn't waste any time in provoking my annual BCS rant.

The sports pundits are in an uproar. The problem: Miami, not Oklahoma is #2 behind USC. Why should Okalhoma be there instead of Miami? Because Okalhoma is the consensus #2 team in the polls. As usual, my fury is not with the BCS as much as with the manner in which the system is treated by many who should know better.

Still, in trying to be open-minded I'm searching for a reason, any reason, that Okalhoma should be ahead of Miami. And no, the fact that a bunch of self-important writers and coaches whose heads are necessarily buried in their own team and own team's opponents at this time of year think so doesn't count.

Let's see ...

W/L Record: Oklahoma: 6-0, Miami: 5-0. The difference is irrelevant. By the end of the season both will have played 11. Both are unblemished.

Wins over ranked opponents: Oklahoma: #8 Texas, Miami: #5 Florida State, #15 Louisville. This is dealing exclusively with polls, and their built-in Big 12 bias. Like Okalhoma, Texas doesn't show as well in the BCS Standings which include with polls, some factors that are subjective. Texas is #8 and #9 in the human polls, but #11 in the BCS Standings. So, is Miami a Florida State caliber win ahead of Oklahoma, or a Louisville caliber win ahead of them? I suggest that it is closer to the latter, but to be fair let's split the difference. Texas is clearly not on par with FSU this year, but I'll be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they are better than Louisville.

What do computers know?: OK, this is the one used by those who somehow feel like human beings know any better. Fine, let's toss out anything objective and have a look at the thing.

Oklahoma: Opponents combined W/L (19-17). All home games except last weekend's victory at Kansas State (2-4). And really, the only game you can point to to argue that Oklahoma is the bomb is the Texas shut out. Oregon looks good on the surface because the Ducks were once BCS quality. This year they are 3-3 in the weak Pac 10. Ditto for K State. This year they are 2-4 in the laughable BIg 12 North. The 2 wins ... Western Kentucky and Louisiana-Lafayette.

Miami: Opponents combined W/L (17-12). 3 Home Games, and 2 Road. Admittedly, their two key games, FSU and Louisville were played in the Orange Bowl. However, Georgia Tech in Atlanta counts as a reasonably strong road win for which Oklahoma has no match.

Here's the rub with Miami: They beat Florida State in overtime and Louisville in the last minute of the game. You can't totally discount the quality of the victory. Again, Oklahoma hasn't played anyone that rivals Florida State, and they struggled with Kansas State. If you want to go there you have to weigh quality of win and quality of opponent for both teams. You can't just say "Miami struggled with Louisville so Oklahoma should be #2."

And that brings us to the core of the issue. The sports talking heads are so hot for the Big 12 that the concept of a BCS Standings without Oklahoma, Texas or Nebraska (LOL) in one of the top two spots is inconceivable and amounts to a national emergency.

You think Oklahoma should be #2 over Miami, fine. Tell us why. And the fact that they are a consensus #2 in the polls that you are part of doesn't count. "Because we said so," isn't good enough.

It has become fashionable to bash the BCS because of very direct injustices - teams being passed over by opponents they had beaten head-to-head, and teams making the BCS championship despite not playing in, or being annhilated in their conference championship game (eg. OKLAHOMA and NEBRASKA!). I guess we should also include teams being invited to BCS bowls because they are Notre Dame. The point is, there is no direct injustice here. You can make a case for either team. I maintain that it is easier to make Miami's case, but that is somewhat subjective.

Finally, the enlightened talking heads calmly explain that this problem will work itself out. Again, the implication that there is a problem to be worked out. But beyond that, one has to ask, "How?" Miami still has games against ranked teams Virginia (#14), and Virginia Tech (#23) remaining, along with respectable games with NC State and Wake Forest. Oklahoma still has Texas A&M (#17) and Oklahoma State (#22) along with Kansas and Nebraska who are .500 or better so far. Everyone points to the Big 12 Championship game, but with the way the North Division is going, there is no guarantee that that will help Oklahoma's cause this year. The remaining schedules don't seem to offer one team a distinct advantage over the other.

I've never understood this year's BCS tweak: let's get rid of the objective strength of schedule element so that the human factor can be more prominent. Humans came up with this train wreck to begin with, and humans continue to believe, despite annual evidence to the contrary, that with the right adjustments it can somehow work.

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2004-10-21



Do you ever wonder if Theresa Heinz-Kerry is purposefully trying to stake out Hillary Clinton's former turf? I mean, she is definitely out-Hillarying the former First Lady!

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Drew .... er, John Kerry went hunting today. The camo-clad hopeful trudging through a field with a shotgun cradled over his arm was a great photo op, though one has to wonder how this will sit with the gun control / PETA corner of the party. Still, how real. The plastic smile was there, but unfortunately, while holding a gun it's impossible to do the "can you tell my butt-cheeks are clenched?" thumbs up spasm that has become Kerry's signature.

Anyway, the results of the hunt? A thumbs up gesture. "Everybody got one. Everybody got one." As to why the Senator wasn't carrying "his": he was "too lazy" and "still giddy over the Red Sox ... it was hard to focus."

Translation: Kerry at his finest. He's staked out both sides of even this. First of all, he didn't shoot a goose. But, we can't have anything but the most positive result in anything for Kerry. So, this evasive, though nonsensical, answer is constructed to somehow feel not dishonest. And, he managed to work the Red Sox in ... double the real guy-ness; hunter and baseball fan. I know that when my team does something exciting I find it difficult to lift dead, 10 lb. objects for days afterward. Or perhaps that should be: I know that when I'm too giddy to lift dead 10 lb. objects I like to take to the misty woods with a loaded gun and several human beings.

As for both sides ... you have Kerry hunting in an attempt to play to the NRA crowd (and really a swipe at them, as if they were so stupid that one picture could overcome 20 years of Congressional voting). But at the end of it, the bloody, dead bird that we are to believe is Kerry's is nowhere near him so as not to alienate the aforementioned PETA crowd by too closely linking him to the violence that is hunting.

- B -


And in our coming attractions ... "Kerry plans to deliver a new speech on faith this weekend in Florida ... The fact that Senator Kerry is a person of faith is something that might help voters who are undecided,'' adviser Mike McCurry said. Well, I don't know if it will help them decide, but the fact that Kerry is a "person of faith" will certainly be news to them.

Depending on your perspective, that one will either be entertaining or excruciating.

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This was the first day of the week that I wasn't simultaneously sweating, shivering, cranking up the furnace and opening all the windows. Now I'm trying to beat the sore throat and launder the stench of illness out of my bedding.

I still say flu shots are over-rated though. These days I average one 2-3 day sick spell each winter. Back in the Navy when I had a flu shot every year, was in better shape and lived in a much more favorable climate I got sick at least that much.

Uggh. As evening approaches, the cruddy feeling is returning. Time to lay down. I think I've seen every Law and Order SVU twice in the last three days!

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2004-10-17



The Wisconsin-Purdue game certainly lived up to its billing. Wisconsin in a squeaker of a game, but honestly that result is more the result of when the clock ran out than of who was the better team. Still, Wisconsin's unblemished record continues.

So what now in the Big Ten? Wisconsin and Michigan are tied atop the league and will not play each other. Wisconsin still has work to do. Before today I it seemed that Minnesota was the Badgers' toughest remaining test. Perhaps Wisconsin's season-ending visit to East Lansing should be their greatest concern.

Michigan definitely has the tougher road with a visit to Purdue coming up next weekend (think the BMakers will be up for that one?), and games remaining against Michigan State and Ohio State.

Purdue and Minnesota have one Big 10 loss each, but can either avoid a repeat of this week?

After that, the Big 10 teams have prohibitive overall records, but good enough conference records to make the race a real mess.

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2004-10-16



Apparently this is not going to be the average conservative's commentary on this subject.

So first let's get the basics out of the way. John Edwards and John Kerry both saw fit to bring up VP Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter in their debates this week. For Kerry this was uncalled for and way out of bounds. Invoking Mary Cheney added nothing to what he was saying. Edwards scores a slightly less than sleazy as the matter and his handling of it weren't quite as over the top during his debate.

The sad thing is that somewhere along the line, someone in Kerry's campaign decided to push this button. I'm not quite sure what they thought they'd accomplish with this. And as for the spin-meisters trying to clean up this mess ... these were calculated (albeit poorly), intentional attacks. Yes, there is a way that someone might have brought Mary Cheney up in a constructive, well-meaning way. Clearly that was not Edwards' and Kerry's intention, so save your breath.

With all of that said, I'm almost equally put off by the overboard reaction on my side of the aisle. Normally I respect Hugh Hewitt as a conservatie commentator who is above the blind emotional swings on such issues. Over at his site right now, I had to "page down" 11 times to get to an item that wasn't lesbian-gate, and eight more times after that item to fully get past his coverage of this issue.

I'm not suggesting that we totally ignore this issue. But we must understand that despite the exaggerated efforts to keep this item on life support, it will have faded by Monday and will be a distant memory by the time America heads to the polls. This is not the silver bullet that will bring the smooth-talking, substance-less Kerry/Edwards team down. So speak your piece and move on.

My guess is that the right's furor stems from their joy at finally having a simple, black-and-white instance of Kerry's gratuitous nastiness to seize upon. Kerry's constant condescension, self-contradiction, and lack of any true substance are frustrating. Kerry will say and do anything to get elected. For months we've had to endure day after day of exaggerations, nonsense, and outright lies in relative quiet.

You see, Kerry is a lot of nasty things ... stupid isn't one of them. Fortunately smart isn't one of them either. But, most of the time we can dissect his statements and comment on his twisted, but normally it takes more than two sentences to bring Kerry's foibles to light. At that point you've long since exhausted the attention span of the astute political minds who've somehow managed to remain undecided after going on a year of all this crap. In essence you wind up preaching to the choir most of the time.

Not that that isn't therapeutic in a sense. I enjoy the chance I get to simply vent via my blog even when the choir's gone home and I'm preaching to no one. But sometimes it's so frustrating to see this obvious ridiculousness and then to look around and realize that not everyone sees it - that some are actually buying in.

So to finally have something so blatant that no one can miss it is refreshing. You just want to seize it and not let go.

But I feel that if we don't resist the temptation to overdo it, we're no better than those who overdo it on the other side. That Kerry is sleazy and nasty is nothing new. We accomplish nothing by answering with sleazy and nasty.

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2004-10-14



OK, I'm watching "Behind Enemy Lines" right now. It's definitely an above average military thriller. At one point I had to laugh at some of the devices that Hollywood comes up with to keep a story moving.

Now, we have some amazing technology at play in the field of warfare. But I'm guessing even the top military "spooks" would be surprised at some of the equipment attributed to them.

From "Behind Enemy Lines": There is the scene where Burnett (Owen Wilson) cuts short his communication with the Vincennes in order to flee his pursuers. Luckily the ship's CO (Gene Hackman) is able to move to a secret inner compartment where he can follow the chase on big screen. The figures of Burnett and his pursuers can be seen in glowing green, allowing the Vincennes crew to follow every move in real time.

This reminded me of the special sonar on the Boomer, USS Alabama in "Crimson Tide." When a pesky Russian attack sub arrives on the scene, the Sonar Techs see on their scope the boat's Akula silhouette. Also, conveniently, weapons in the water appear in red as compared to the vessels' flourescent green hue.

These are the two I thought of off-hand. Probably because they are similar or perhaps because they are both Hackman films ... who knows? Anyway, there has to be a thousand more examples out there. What's your favorite?

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Google is taking over the world, one helpful app at a time.

The latest offering: Google Desktop Search. Google is now applying the same magical search algorithms, which have been the key to their internet search success, to the files on the user's computer.

Right now GDS covers .txt, Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, web pages that have been viewed in MS Internet Explorer, Outlook and Outlook Express e-mail, and AOL and AIM chat files. Knowing Google, this list will grow quickly.

Basically this is a substitute for Windows' built-in slow and clumsy search app. I can't count how many times that one has failed me, so Googles entry is welcome.

Props to Slashdot for pointing this one out.

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I don't know how long it is going to take the media, or Kerry's handlers for that matter, but John Kerry is not a "regular guy." Nothing seems to underscore that point more than those photo opps designed to try to make him look like a regular guy.

Way back when Howard Dean was a front runner Kerry rode a Harley onto the set of the Tonight Show. Who knows what anyone was thinking on that one? No one else rides a motorcycle onto the Tonight Show. Granted, "regular guys" don't usually get to visit Leno, but if they did, the best guess is they'd just appear from behind the curtain like everyone else.

Then Tuesday we get the reports that Kerry is going to stay put for the night because he wants to watch the game. Wow. What a "regular guy" thing to do, watching a ball game. Thing is, the Bosox have played 165 games since Kerry became the challenger designate. All of a sudden he's a huge fan? Thankfully Boston is getting spanked so Kerry should lose this ploy in short order. I'm sure he had visions of a miraculous Red Sox pennant run and all the parallels he could draw in speeches.

Finally there were the media bites of Kerry throwing the old pigskin around at the airport while waiting to depart Arizona. Ahhh ... how many times have I headed out to the back yard to toss the football, but first rolling up the sleeves of my dress shirt, flipping my tie out of the way, etc. And you'll notice that they showed the throwing motion, but no long view of the throw. From watching his wrist I'm guessing that "wounded duck" would have been a compliment.

In short ... Kerry is not a regular guy!

There's no shame in that. Neither is George Bush. They have no idea what my life is like and I have no idea what theirs is like. That's a given. What I hate are the shameless, condescending attempts to convince me otherwise.

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... to change a team's station in the MLB natural order of things?

Apparently more than two. Coming into the ALCS, Boston was favored on the strength of their pitching. Facing Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez twice each seemed too much even for the Yankees. So far New York has seen each of them once, and the Yanks have taken a commanding 2-0 lead in the series.''

Boston may have Schilling and Pedro. But what some seem to have forgotten is ...
THEY ARE THE BOSTON RED SOX!
They will lose because, as surely as birds fly south, that is what they do in Fall.

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2004-10-12



John Kerry strikes again, and Kevin over at WizBang is on it.

It seems this time Kerry got a phone call from the now-deceased Christopher Reeve on Saturday. Probably call waiting'ed him during Kerry's conference call with all those foreign leaders who will love the US once Kerry is in charge. Anyway, the only problem with this very motivating story is that Reeves went into a coma on Thursday.

You know, Bill Clinton spoiled us. It's not that Kerry lies that is so annoying. It's that he's so stinking bad at it, and so patronizing about it. If you're going to lie to me, at least put a little effort into it.

Hang on ... I've got Elvis on the other line. Probably wants to finish our conversation about how much he approves of the way Bush is prosecuting the War on Terror. This could take a while. Somehow we got onto Kurt Cobain and the whole story has him all shook up!

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Wow! Catholic Archbishops weigh in on the election. Thanks to Hugh Hewitt for pointing this one out.

Not much commentary right now - I still need to process this. It just seems like something everyone should read and think about.

Public figures weighing in on the election is no big deal. But those who use their authority to define sin and be taken seriously toward this end need to be careful.

At issue: What is the Christian's civic duty? Must he vote? Must he vote for the "right" candidate? And good Lord, if that's the case, how on earth do you figure out who is the divinely ordained candidate?

I'm not necessarily convinced of this, but I could at least make a good case for voting being a part of our participating in the stewardship of what God has given us. But to say that "God wants you to vote for __?" I couldn't say that, and I don't think I'd take too kindly to hearing it from one of my religious leaders.

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Wizbang has this on a proposed Colorado ammendment and issue that could bring turmoil to the coming election.

Unfortunately this is simply the tip of the iceberg. Already we've got cable news "experts" analyzing ballots to be used in November, square inch by square inch. And, in any state that may turn out even remotely close, there are armies of lawyers standing by, ready to continue the fight.

Over the weekend I both said and heard (many times), "I can't wait until Nov 2nd is over!" Perhaps we will consider ourselves lucky to have the issue resolved by Christmas!

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The death of Ken Caminiti is a tragedy, and I feel for his family. Still, I'd hope that a 41-yr-old dying of a heart attack would bring home to many the consequences of steroid use. Unfortunately Caminiti also used cocaine which could cloud the issue. I mean, Coke and Steroids are both bad. But only one will get you NL MVP.

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Well, once again, the Braves post-season has ended early. I previously blogged, and still maintain that having won their division for 13 straight seasons is amazing in its own right, and that we Atlanta fans should appreciate such longevity. That doesn't make this moment any easier. What little interest I had in the MLB Playoffs has gone.

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2004-10-10



Reports of John Howard's demise were greatly exaggerated as the Australian Prime Minister was re-elected this past week. A few choice comments from Reuters:
"...gave him what looked certain to be an increased majority."

"Saturday's vote gave him a powerful mandate to pursue his conservative agenda."

Hmmm ... so much for the alarmist "Howard's in trouble!" stories meant to imply that Bush is in trouble. And so much for the campaign skills of Teresa Heinz-Kerry, who went to Australia to briefly stump for Howard's opponent, Mark Latham.

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2004-10-09



Where does Texas go when it comes time to play Oklahoma? Granted, they aren't as good as everyone says, but neither is Oklahoma, and
-B-

Man! I would love to be on the creative team over at Fear Factor. I've been watching the re-runs lately and it seems to become more and more diabolical with each show. Being paid to think of the absolute most disgusting thing you can imagine ... Wow!
-B-

Again I say: If you don't already know where you stand on this election, what on earth do you expect to get from the debates that will help?
-B-

Finally, my puppy is potty-trained. And, she gets a bonus for level of difficulty. In a house, you open the door, the dog takes a few steps and she's in her spot. Here in the Condo we have to go out the door, down the stairs, out another door and across the parking area. There are a lot of distractions for a little dog in that trip.

Now there is a new problem. I have some bells hanging on the door which she uses to let me know it's time to go out. But, she's really starting to like this game, and so we're making many unnecessary trips. Still, it's better than the alternative.

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2004-10-07



Time once again for the annual All-Overrated Bowl. Or should we call it the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Invitational, as in ... "if we're the only good team on each other's schedule, does that mean we're good? The lucky winner of this tilt gets the honor of having their stature remain unquestioned until they get pounded in one of the BCS Bowls.

The other "landmark" game this weekend: USC-Cal. That's right ... this is USC's proving ground - the Cal Bears. Granted, Cal is no slouch these days, but they are also hardly a test of legitimacy.

Regardless, get ready to hear all the Oklahoma and USC superlatives following this weekend's action.

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2004-10-05



The wave of reality shows has, in its own unique way, highlighted the stupidity of man.

Case in point: Fear Factor. I can never understand it when they get to the second challenge which invariably involves exposure to, and often eating, something really, really disgusting, and one or more of the contestants won't even try because it is "too gross." Another case would be the morons who show up on Survivor and it takes them a week to figure out how to start a fire.

Now this is not to suggest that eating a piece of "pizza" composed of coagulated blood sauce, fish eyeballs and red worms would be easy. I doubt I could keep it down. But, I'm not about to enter Fear Factor either.

The point is, each edition of Fear Factor will almost always feature certain things: altitude - there will always be at least one challenge that requires the players to climb to or perform at a level high above the ground. upper body - speaking of climbing, there will almost always be something that requires a player to pull, climb or somehow stress their upper body. water - Very often one or more of the stunts will put players in a body of water. And finally, grotesqueness - you're almost always going to have to swallow something nasty, or at very least allow nasty things to crawl all over you.

Back to Survivor: It can go many different ways, but one of the big basics is: You aren't going to start out with a lot, and you will need water and food. That's not just Survivor, it's life. The thing is, you know you aren't going to start out with fire (unless your personal item is a flamethrower), and you know that fire is a big key when it comes to having potable water and tolerable food. Further, you know that every time out, at least one of the groups has been severely handicapped by their inability to start a fire.

So ... why on earth would anyone agree to participate in these shows while being not ready or not willing to meet the challenges they will certainly face? As I understand we have this thing that's called a brain, and I believe we're allowed to use it.

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A hand from the WSOP Tournament of Champions: Phil Helmuth is all-in against Johnny Chan. Talk about a clash of Titans! A turn of the hands shows both men with pocket pairs and Chan trailing. The flop gave Chan a set, and the turn also gave him four cards to a flush. There were only two cards in the deck that would give Helmuth a higher set than Chan, but only one of them would do so without giving Chan his flush.

On the river ... Helmuth got the one card in the deck that could give him a win. Appropriately, but uncharacteristically for Helmuth, he apologized to Chan. It was one of those hands ... by all rights Helmuth should have lost. The win was nice, but he realized he had gotten lucky at Chan's expense.

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2004-10-01



Sweet! I finally landed a GMail account through my bro-in-law. He's connected in the IT Mafia, you know. Anyway, for those who have somehow missed it, GMail is Google's much ballyhooed e-mail service which is still in beta-testing, and right now the invites are a hotter ticket than ... crap! I don't even know who's hot right now. Anyway, I missed out on an invite last spring by one day. One day! One of the tech blogs I read had a piece on where you could get an invite, but the offer had expired the previous day. Gotta keep up with that blog-reading, folks.

So anyway, I'll be looking forward to exploring GMail's features and seeing if it is all that or just a bunch of hype.

-B-


You know, I'm not a huge fan of either team, but how intense is this: Oakland and California play begin their weekend series (the final three games of the season for both teams) tonight with identical records, tied for the lead in the AL West. Wild Card is not an option. The team that wins this series goes to the playoffs, the loser goes home. You want drama, catch tonight's game, and Sunday's if they split today and tomorrow.

-B-


OK, the posse has finally caught up to me. The original (ok, rev 1A) Terrible Swift Word over at TypePad is coming down this weekend. Once again I say, TypePad (the front for Moveable Type) is awesome. If you're a blogger and can afford a small amount per month (it really is a pittance, but I'm in "every little bit counts" territory right now), I think you'll be pleased.

On the other hand, Blogger (and blogspot) is no slouch either. I miss the categories, but other than that, through Blogger and other 3rd-party apps (see my previous entry on this I've been able to nearly match the functionality of TypePad.

While we're on the subject, let me also prop WordPress. This is a free, open-source blog app that you install into your own website. I'm using it on the youth group website and it is nice. The best WordPress example that I know of is James over at Outside the Beltway. That is one fine blog. There can be a cost involved in securing your own website. Let me make that ... there SHOULD be a cost involved in securing your own website. Is there anything more obnoxious than a site hosted at a free host?

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James Lileks has also gone the route of commenting on the debate without dissecting the transcription line by line.

He's a little long-winded but every paragraph is well worth the read. Man, I wish I had his word-crafting skill!

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Hopefully this will be my only coverage of the debate. If that's what you're looking for, scout around to some of the other blogs. I'm sure you'll find one or two that might have something to say about it. Seriously, as usual, Hugh Hewitt has solid coverage and plenty of links.

As for me, while I watched the debate (after I got home from a late meeting), it didn't do anything for me. Not that I expected it to.

I was a Bush supporter going in and I'm a Bush supporter coming out. I fail to see how tonight's hour and a half should have changed anything, and I'm a little concerned about the "I'm going to wait and see how they do in the debate before I make up my mind," crowd.

First of all, did you come away knowing anything new? There was little revealed tonight that even a passive observer of the election shouldn't have already known.

Second, and more important, it is impossible to foresee and get each man's plan for everything that will come up in the next four years. Not a lot of questions on terrorists attacking us by flying commercial jets into our landmarks during the 2000 debates, were there? So, I'm less concerned with questions on specific current hot spots. Besides, once again, these have already been hashed out plenty. If you don't already know where they stand on these, it can only be because you don't want to know (or you've exclusively been following Kerry).

Instead, I want to know the core of the man. And no, the debates don't reveal that any more than the conventions do. When some new country heats up next year, or when some new terrorist attacks, I want to know what will be the foundation behind our President's decision-making. I can trust the decisions that come out of the decision-making process if I trust what is going into that process.

When you focus too much on the specifics you get all bent out of shape because no WMD's have been found in Iraq. When you're satisfied with taking the long view of the situation you have no doubt that Saddam was a menace, no doubt that the world is a better place with him behind bars, and though stockpiles of WMD's have not been found, you have no doubt that Saddam had them, would have continued to thumb his nose at the mighty UN, and would have held on to and used them had he not been stopped with force. Exactly how much more history do you need on this?

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