Monday, March 29, 2004

On The Road Again

Just letting you know that I'm heading off to Louisville, KY today for a quick training class tomorrow.

This is the first of many trips scheduled for April. And, since I haven't done any travelling since November, it's going to take a while to get the family re-adjusted to this.

So is anyone knows of a great restaurant in Louisville where I should go tonight, shoot me an e-mail or post a comment!

Have a great day all!

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Dream Job Finale

Before I get into the Dream Job finale, I want to say thanks to the Kansas Jayhawks and Coach Bill Self for a great season of basketball. The season came to an end today when they lost to a talented Georgia Tech team. After one of Georgia Tech's best players hurt his ankle in their game on Friday, it seemed that everyone in America was picking the Jayhawks to win today's game. That almost never turns out to be a good thing for the Jayhawks. And, today it didn't either.

I won't bore you with the details you can find at ESPN, but at least they managed to force overtime. As a result of the overtime, though, I ended up missing K's entire first softball practice. She was cool about it, but I did feel kind of bad. I'm going to miss tomorrow night's batting cage session as well, but this time it's for work reasons.

Dream Job Finale

Last week, I predicted that, since America would make the final decision this week, that Zach Selwyn would win. I figured his quirkiness and clever writing would win everyone over. What I didn't know at the time was that America only got to decide between the final two. You see, with the finale being a two hour show, the judges got to vote off two of the four people at the end of the first hour and THEN America could vote off the final person, leaving the winner.

With that bit of knowledge, I would have picked Zach to be one of the first two cut, solely for the reason that the ESPN execs wouldn't want Zach to win because they don't think it's really his "dream." Based on my previous opinions, Maggie should be the next one voted off, but who really knows with the way this thing is going?

Turns out, I was right. Maggie and Zach were cut, but let me say for the record that Maggie was far improved over any of her earlier appearances. For this week's show, each of the contestants were given $1,000 to spend as they wanted. Mike and Aaron each got new suits, Zach got a facial and Maggie had her hair colored, which I'll admit, made her more appealing on the show.

After Maggie and Zach were cut, Mike and Aaron each did a full SportsCenter segment with a "real" SportsCenter anchor. Mike went first with Karl Ravech and handled it like a pro. As part of the exercise, they both had random things thrown at them...breaking news with new shot sheets, live interviews, technical problems, etc. All of it a test to see how they come across on camera.

Mike did great and handled the intro without the TelePrompter almost flawlessly. He also had a good interview with Peyton Manning.

Aaron paired up with Linda Cohn and also did well, but I didn't think he did quite as well as Mike. His interview with Carmelo Anthony was a little choppy.

To make a long story a little bit longer, Mike Hall ended up winning the whole thing with 60% of the people voting to cut Aaron.

Other parts of tonight's show included another sports trivia segment between Aaron and Mike. (Aaron kicked Mike's ass!)

All four of the finalists did a real PTI segment with Tony Kornheiser. That was probably the most fun segment of the night. And, to start off, each of the finalists did play by play of a major sporting event.

If I'm inspired later this week, I'll post a more detailed review of what they did.

One final note on tonight's show was that judge LaVar Arrington wasn't there tonight due to a Redskins mini-camp. I don't think his vote would have affected the final outcome, but it was a bit strange going from four to three judges.

That's it for this season folks, and I'm off to bed.

Talk to you tomorrow.



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Saturday, March 27, 2004

Soccer & Swimming Saturday

Man today's been busy!

K's sleepover didn't go as planned and she called at about 9:30 wanting to come home last night. That was fine, so she came home and went straight to bed. I watched KU kick UAB's ASS last night by 30 points! I thought we could win, but didn't expect it to be so dramatic.

Today, the NCAAs have been kind to my bracket, but I'm playing catch up, so I think I'm better off if I just root for the Jayhawks.

K had her soccer game today and did absolutely GREAT! She didn't allow a goal during her time as goalie. She scored two of her team's three goals on her own and had the assist on the third. Her coaches were VERY pleased with her effort and so was I. The goals were great and all, but what impressed me most about her performance today was how hard she tried. You could tell she was running out of gas, but she kept on running and playing hard. I told her afterward that today I was most impressed by 1) the effort she gave 2) the assist on the goal for her teammate and 3) the two goals she scored. I didn't even get to touch on her goalie efforts. She's not the best athlete on the team, but she sure played her little heart out. I am so proud!

Then, 90 minutes after soccer, she had a swimming party to go to. Gee...think she'll sleep ok tonight?

Despite scattered rain showers today, I was able to find a break in the weather and grilled some boneless ribeye steaks for the family for dinner. Throw in the salad and some baked beans and we had ourselves a pretty good meal. I love grilling in the summertime.

That's all the time I have for today's post! Now I'm off to have some lemon meringue pie!

Hope your day's been as good as mine!

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Friday, March 26, 2004

Enough Already!

I'm embarrassed that I've had the blogrolling post up there for this long!

So today is Friday...what can we talk about?

There's no Friday Five today.

The NCAAs are going well for me in terms of the pool. Tonight I face a no-lose situation when Kansas plays. Let me say first, that I definitely want KU to win. I will never let my gambling interests take precedence over rooting for my alma mater.

That being said, if KU loses, I'll get rid of one of my toughest competitors in the bracket with my friends and also all the people who picked KU here at work.

Alabama beat Syracuse last night, but I don't think anyone in any of my pools picked either one of those teams to make it this far and certainly not Alabama. Oklahoma State and Connecticut also won. And so did St. Joseph's, which a lot of people picked as the weakest #1 seed in the tournament. I had them winning that game last night against Wake Forest and I think I'm the only one in my pools who had them alive this long. I do have them losing in the next round though.

In Other Sports News...
Given the fact that my blog has a sports-related name, I figured it was about time I spent a little bit of time on this subject.

Tiger Woods faces the very real possibility of missing his first cut in 6 years today at The Players Championship at Sawgrass. I was closer to 25 than 30 back then! And now I'm closer to 35! :(

On the positive side at that event, John Daly is currently tied for 4th. Daly is having a banner year after winning for the first time in nine years earlier this season.

Surprise Babe O' The Month
I couldn't resist. Last night, while making what seems to be my nightly run to 7-11 for more milk, I picked up the latest copy of Maxim solely for who was on the cover. I couldn't wait to take it home to show my wife.

So, "Who was on the cover?" you might ask!

None other than the sexiest yellow woman I've ever seen -- Marge Simpson.

Click on the Maxim link and click on the picture of Marge for more info.

I can't think of any way to top that, so have a great day!



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Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Blogrolling

Is anyone else having problems with their blogroll today?

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Fun, Fun

OK...that might be an exaggeration.

I failed to get up early this morning. As I mentioned to Dew in an e-mail, it generally helps to actually set the alarm if you want to get up early in the morning. (The word "want" in the previous sentence might be a bit strong.)

So anyway, I ended up working from home while the plumber came out this morning and went to the gym to play basketball after that. I ended up playing for a good hour or so, which I desperately needed. I may go back tonight or I may head to the mall to get new glasses.

Speaking of the plumber, I think we have a winner! If anyone here lives in KC and needs a plumber, I'd recommend Rainbow Plumbing. I think you can find them on Switchboard if you need the number. This guy fixed our toilet, fixed the water pressure in our kitchen sink and installed a new shower head that I've been waiting too long to do...all for $89.

Any time I can have a service call under $100 and actually feel like they did good work, I'm going to be pretty happy about it. So there's Rainbow Plumbing's free promo o' the day.

And, let me just say, it's a good thing it's under $100, because I found out that my company screwed up and didn't get my last commissions onto this week's paycheck like they were supposed to. My boss is trying to fix it, but I'm seriously doubting that I'll see that money until another two weeks from now. Dammit!!!

Soooo....on that happy note, I think we'll call it a post and be done with it.

Have a great evening all!

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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Renewed Resolutions

I've finally managed to tear myself away from the games I've been playing lately and am ready to do something much more productive, like updating my blog.

OK...so it's not THAT much more productive, but I'll feel better about myself for doing it.

And while we're on the topic of feeling better about myself, I feel the need to publicly renew my New Year's resolution to get in shape, work out more, and ultimately lose weight.

I'm exercising more than I have in the past three years, albeit not on a regular basis. When I do exercise, it's running while playing basketball. But, honestly, that only happens maybe once per week lately. It's not great, but I've been feeling good about it.

Add in the fact that I've given up soda for Lent and am drinking a lot more water instead and it sounds like I should be dropping at least a few pounds.

Well...you'd be wrong. Instead, I've gained about 10 pounds in the past two months. And I'm really not sure how it's happened. I'm not eating great, but certainly no worse than I have in the past two years. I really can't figure it out.

So, I'll do what logic tells me to do and try getting to the gym more frequently and hitting the treadmill or elliptical trainer instead of just playing basketball. I'm going to attempt to take the first step tomorrow morning, by setting my alarm for 6, getting to the gym by 6:30, working out for 30-40 minutes and then getting home by 7:30 so I can take a quick shower and be connected to work by 8. (I'm working from home in the morning so I can be here when the plumber comes in to figure out why the hell our hot water pressure has become so inconsistent and weak at times.)

So it's 10:30 now, I'm off to read my Blogroll blogs, checking my e-mail and getting to bed before 12....hopefully 11:30.

Sorry for the lack of links. I'll try to do better next time.

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Still Alive

I'm here...just been a little busy and playing too many games over at pogo.com. Damn them!

Time to go to soccer practice!

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Sunday, March 21, 2004

Dream Job Parting Shot

I'm glad I didn't turn off ESPN in disgust after the results of Dream Job tonight.

If I had, I'd have missed what was, quite possibly, Kelly's and Casey's finest moments during this whole show.

Kelly and Casey were given the opportunity to do a hockey highlight on SportsCenter and they both were great. I think they did better tonight than they had during the whole show! Probably because the pressure is off now and they were cruising.

They both looked like they were having fun.

Kelly got in a little shot in their opening as he introduced the two of them, "He's Casey Stern, I'm Kelly Milligan and we're both cut."

They aced their highlights and I'm sure they'll be using these in their own personal highlight reels for years to come.

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Dream Job Diary

Tonight they make the final cut to four before next week's last show.

Sounds like a lot of tough stuff is on tap for tonight: last minute highlights...and a sports quiz by Al Jaffe.

For some of these they've been given their "shot sheets" but haven't seen the video...the other piece, they haven't seen anything.

First up tonight...Mike Hall. This marks the first time during this entire contest that Kelly Milligan hasn't gone first.

His 2nd game is Xavier vs. Mississippi State...he already has the first shot sheet.

He did ok with the first one, and the second one was a little rougher. He said, here's the second shot sheet, which he probably shouldn't have said.

The judges went pretty light on Mike...he did an ok job overall. He did mispronounce Xavier, by saying "Ex-zavier" and got called out by Jaffe for that.

Next up, Kelly Milligan. I thought he did a great job! Two minor flaws...said first quarter, but corrected himself to say first half. Smooth transition to the second set of highlights for Kelly. He called one three-pointer just a little early, but did an ok job of stalling.

All in all, I think Kelly really did do a good job (and I'd have said that if he wasn't a friend).

Here's what the judges had to say.

Al called him out on two mispronunciations...Valparaiso and Violette. Kornheiser thought he didn't give the Xavier upset of Gonzaga enough play...thought he should have made a bigger deal about it. Kit and LaVar both thought he talked too fast and I'm guessing Kelly might agree with that.

I think he'll make the cut.

Next up: Aaron Levine.

Aaron had a scoring error in the last set of highlights, which I'm sure Al will nail him on. He also spoke kind of fast, but not too fast. He didn't seem to have a real smooth out from the last bit.

As expected, Al nailed him on the score error. Tony thought he was fine until the end when he really stumbled and Kit said the same thing. I missed LaVar's comments though.

Al's Sports Quiz was brutal...Kelly and Casey only got one each. They were all very tough. Kelly got ripped by the critics and now I'm getting nervous. This could be enough to cost him in the voting process, but I hope not.

Interesting occurrence after the Quiz.

Stuart Scott called Maggie and Mike up to the podium to ask them if reports from the New York Post were true that there was a romance brewing between the two of them. Maggie played it off rather cleverly, but they didn't exactly give an answer.

I'm really hoping that two of the next three really struggle. (Nothing personal guys.)

Casey's up now. Sounds very bored as he's giving the highlights. Almost screwed up the final score. Not impressed so far.

Next set is hard...he's off on timing. He mispronounced another name. He's really struggling with this one. Time to see if the judges see this the same way that I did.

Al's up first...liked his intro...had an error on the fourth quarter. Tony called him out on the name mispronunciations and faulted him for not making a bigger deal of the #2 upset. Kit was pretty nice to him. LaVar was pretty tough on his openings.

Maggie's going now...her lead in was alright. She said "Omigosh"...I just don't like that in my highlights. She called it the end of the first half when it was really the end of the second half.

And the judges say...it's time for a commercial!

And we're back!

Tony raved about her intro, but she stumbled through the highlights. Kit liked her writing as well, but was critical about the rest. LaVar didn't like including "stupid" in her opening, he nailed her sniffling during her highlights. I caught that too, but let it slide. Al was very nice toward her and not very critical at all.

Now, the moment most of America has been waiting for...Zach Selwyn. He had funny comments about the IFB (earpiece)...to the highlights.

Zach did a good job on the Syracuse/Maryland game and did alright with the second set as well. He stumbled here and there, but overall did pretty good.

Next up...it's vote time...and I'm scared to death...no one really separated themselves tonight from the rest and I'm afraid the sports quiz could come back to haunt him.

Here's to hoping I'm wrong about this.

Commercial Break

DAMN!!!! Kelly and Casey are out...this sucks. The quiz really played a huge role in tonight's show. Casey and Kelly only got one right each and they were voted off by the public. The judges pretty much voted the same way. Kelly and Casey each got 4 votes and they're done.

Nothing more really to say on this right now...I'm going to go shoot an e-mail to Kelly and his wife.

Thanks to everyone for supporting Kelly during this whole thing. I'm sure I'll be watching next week, but with a lot less interest.

Blogger's Note: Please forgive the scattered nature of tonight's post. I didn't edit the post at all tonight and just put it out there for all to see.

For a more put together perspective of Dream Job, check out these posts from Tony Nitti over at eSports Media Group.

The Lowdown on ESPN's Dream Job (Part 1)
The Lowdown on ESPN's Dream Job (Part 2)
The Lowdown on ESPN's Dream Job (Part 3)

As soon as Tony posts his review from this week, I'll put the link here. Thanks again all!

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Saturday, March 20, 2004

Live From Kansas...It's Saturday Night!!!

I only wish it was that exciting.

My parents just left to drive back to Topeka. They came up for K's first outdoor soccer game of the season and, may I say, she played very well and even scored a goal. I must tell you, though, that she was crushed to learn that this year's rules state that slide tackling is not allowed.

I'm not kidding! My 7-year-old girl's favorite part of soccer is making slide tackles. She was literally in tears after I told her. (Sadly, it doesn't take much to move her to tears...she throws fits easily, tears included.) Fortunately for her, those same rules also state that offsides will NOT be called this year. She is pretty bad about that, so this is a good thing.

After the game, we came back home and watched the NCAAs with all of the upsets (#2 Gonzaga and #1 Stanford lost today) and a little bit of golf as well.

We then went out for an early dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse and I had the Filet & Salmon. (Thanks Mom & Dad for picking up the tab!)

J & L were so tired at dinner that L tried laying down on her chair with her hand occasionally creeping over the edge of the table to try and grab a french fry. After we ate and were waiting to pay the bill, J was leaning against my wife's arm and was asleep by the time we left. He got his second wind though and is still going strong.

L, on the other hand, fell asleep on the way home and woke up when we brought her inside, but proceeded to walk straight to our oversized chair and fell right back asleep. I ended up carrying her up and putting her to bed at 7:00. We could be paying for this in the morning.

Insert Commercial Break Here

I had fully intended on posting my comments about the KU game and the rest of the Day 2 activity last night after KU played, but I was beat and was asleep by 11:30.

KU did indeed win and by quite a bit, so that was all well and good. I didn't fare near as well with my Day 2 picks or some of the upset picks, but I still have a chance at winning my pools (I think).

New Blog Update
I think I'll be adding the first blog of a famous person to my Blogroll later tonight. That blog is the one for NBA owner Mark Cuban. Apparently, he's using it to comment on officiating and is probably hoping he'll get in less trouble than spouting off in front of the cameras.

He's also using it to promote his upcoming reality series on ABC called, "The Benefactor." On this show, a set number of contestants will be selected and Cuban will, in the end, give one of them $1 million. There are no set rules and who wins is entirely at Cuban's discretion. He'll make up the rules, the games, etc. Should be interesting. I thought about applying, but probably won't do it.

Back to the point, though, Cuban's blog could be a fun read if you're into the NBA and especially if you like the Mavericks.

That's it for me. Time to put the remaining two kidlets to bed before I watch the rest of the Carolina/Texas game.

Have a good night everyone!

And don't forget to watch ESPN Dream Job tomorrow night and vote for somone like, oh, say, Mike Hall to get cut. (If friends of Mike are reading this, it's nothing personal...just looking out for the best interests of Kelly Milligan.)

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Thursday, March 18, 2004

NCAA Tourney Update

Wow...what a way to end the first day of the NCAAs!

DePaul just took double OT to beat Dayton to wrap up the day's events.

And...as an added bonus, I'm pleased to report that in my office pool I've only missed two games so far...Arizona and Southern Illinois. I can certainly live with that, especially since I don't have either one going past the next round anyway.

My friend Dave, on the other hand, had quite possibly the worst first day in an NCAA pool that I've ever seen from someone who knows what they are doing.

Not only did Dave's alma mater lose (Arizona, who I really wish would've won), but he also lost not one, but TWO of his predicted Final Four teams in Michigan State and Florida.

Dave is currently under surveillance for fear he might hurt himself.

It's been a long day everyone...I'm going to go read a few blogs and hit the sack.

Look for the Day 2 Review later tomorrow night!

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Wednesday, March 17, 2004

'Sup Dawg?

Man, it annoys me when Randy Jackson says that on American Idol!

Speaking of AI, K (wife) and I watched the results show tonight and I have to say that these things are starting to piss me off. I really enjoy the main shows on Tuesday nights, but tonight they managed to squeeze an hour and twenty minutes worth of ads into a results show that should have taken 10 minutes tops. It was bad enough when they stretched it out into 30 minutes and now they're doing an hour??? You have to be kidding me!

As for the results themselves, they finally announced the three lowest vote-getters and somehow Jennifer Hudson was one of them. How that happened I will never know. She was easily in the top six of the 12 performers last night. There are some days that I just don't get it.

Fortunately, though, Leah LaBelle (who looks nothing like Patti) was cut, which is fair based on last night's performances. She was easily the worst of the group.

At least now I can go another full six days without looking at Ryan Seacrest again. Yay me!

Oh yeah...Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

I completely forgot about that this morning, so my oldest daughter, K, was overjoyed with the fact that she got to pinch me when I came home from lunch.

At least someone was happy about lunch today, as the only green that I had, I ended up giving away to the mechanic to fix my water pump...grand total $460. Damn.

Speaking of car problems...if anyone knows a good body shop in Maine, be sure to let Dew know.

You see...last night, I innocently enough responded to Dew's post about the forecasted snow by asking how much snow they ended up with. He kindly responded (as he always does) with the less than happy response that it was enough to get in an accident this morning. I didn't get anymore details than that, but seeing as how he was blogging and responding to e-mail, I'm assuming he's alright.

Work was busy as hell today, which left me no time to blog at all. Combine that with the goddammned WeBOGGLE that Natalie got me hooked on the other night and I've barely checked out any blogs and have definitely not been commenting as much as I should.

So tonight I am committing myself to at least 30-45 minutes of quality blogging time and posting at least five quality comments.

Tomorrow will be full of NCAA Tournament talk, but I promise to try to mix in some non-sports stuff for those who don't care about that kind of thing.

See you around the Blogosphere everyone!

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Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Dream Job Week 4 Update

OK...so I got a comment from a reader who didn't think I wrote enough about this week's Dream Job episode. The sad thing is, he's right.

So if there is one thing that I strive to accompish with this blog, it is to be responsive to the few readers and commenters that I have.

Let me preface this week's review by saying that it was tough to pay as close attention as I would have liked as I was a) at the in-laws b) watching it on a 13-inch TV from across the kitchen and 4) trying to play spades at the same time.

Nevertheless, I feel I am up to the challenge.

Before I dive into the recap though, let me say at the outset that based on earlier performances, I was convinced that Maggie Haskins and Chet Anekwe would be the casualties of this week's show. Neither one of them had impressed me so far and doubted they could outshine the other six that were left.

Now, on to the show.

This week's competition once again featured teams, but really it was for the sole purpose of being able to get through two contestants' stories at once. There was really not that much interaction between the individuals on set.

The focus of this week's episode was to test the contestants' reporting, interviewing and editing skills. Everyone was sent on location earlier in the week to spring training at various Florida locations. Kelly Milligan and Zach Selwyn were paired up and covered the Florida Marlins camp. Chet Anekwe and Casey Stern (I keep wanting to say Casey McCall like the SportsNight character) were sent to the Cardinals camp. Aaron Levine and Nick Stevens covered the Houston Astros Grapefruit League activity. And Mike Hall and Maggie Haskins were reporting from the spring training home of the Cleveland Indians.

As you could tell from the opening footage and sound bites from the contestants before they did their stories, these guys were almost as popular as the players were when they made their spring training appearances. Several of them were asked to sign autographs themselves, which had to be more than just a little surreal for them.

Apparently, though, it wasn't too surreal for Zach as he made himself a focus of his story. I couldn't hear his whole piece, but as I was watching it, I knew he was going to get ripped, at least by Al Jaffe, for trying to make himself the story instead of reporting the story. He was far too prominent in the video (B-roll as it's called) when, in my opinion, the only time a reporter should be on camera is if it's showing him asking a question, reacting to an interviewee's response or doing a stand-up in the middle of the piece.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still very impressed with Zach's writing style and delivery. It's just that I think he's really hurting himself in the eyes of the judges and still hasn't convinced them or me that this really is his "dream job."

Kelly, along with Zach, opened up the show, which makes it the third time (out of three) that Kelly has lead off. I'm not sure if that has any significance, except it allows people more time to respond to his performance (and possibly vote negatively) than they have to respond to the group going last.

Anyway, Kelly's piece was strong and well-reported. He got some criticism for appearing too tense during his stand-up in the middle of the piece, but overall I think he came across as far more relaxed this week than he did last week. He still doesn't look as comfortable and relaxed as he did during the casting special that aired on Monday night. But then...the pressure's a lot greater now than it was back then too. It's easy for me to say how these guys need to relax more on camera.

Bottom line: After Kelly and Zach had their turn, I was confident that both of them would make it through to the round of six.

Next up were Nick Stevens and Aaron Levine. Now, I've thought that these were going to be two of Kelly's toughest competitors since Day One (along with Casey and Zach). For some reason, though, the judges have not been kind to Nick. I, personally, like his style, but Kornheiser thinks he's smug and has made a big deal about said "smug factor." If that's the case, then this week he was the Anti-Nick. He seemed so self-conscious about appearing smug in his story that he was almost excruciatingly bland. He came across a little flat, which is something I never thought I'd see coming from Nick.

Aaron's another tough competitor for Kelly. He's VERY smooth in front of the camera. He's even got the subtle, understated hand gestures down pat as he's talking about a story. The only possible negative I see from him is his babyface and how young he is. I know that shouldn't matter, but he looks like he could still be in high school at times.

The third duo was Mike Hall from Mizzou (who just lost to Michigan in the NIT by the way...sorry had to get that in there) and Maggie Haskins. I thought this gave Mike a potential advantage in the evening's competition as he really had a chance to shine in comparison to Maggie who I thought was almost as bad as Chet. Unfortunately, he just didn't do anything to impress me or the judges this week. He wasn't terrible, but he just didn't get me to care about the story.

Maggie? What can I say about Maggie? Well...she bugs my wife because she doesn't think Maggie has an upper lip. For me? She is just too damned fidgety! To quote Dan Shanoff (link to come later), she's "The Bobblehead Anchor." I can't come up with anything better, so let's leave it at that. She just doesn't appear confident, and as a result, credible, on camera, whether it be at the anchor desk or in the field reporting.

This brings us to Chet Anekwe and Casey Stern. I'm going to save Chet for last because, hey, it'll just be more fun.

Casey is another guy who I think is incredibly smooth and sharp with his writing and delivery. Or at least he had been up to this point. This week he didn't seem to bring his A-game to the reporting part of the competition. The judges were pretty brutal on him considering he's been one of the stars of the show to this point. He's also very young and definitely was rattled by the criticism he received. (Again, I'm sure I'd have been rattled too, but these anchors have to be poised and handle whatever comes at them.)

(Gee...can you tell I've been blasted for being a critic without having the guts to go try this myself?)

And then there was Chet. I've been waiting all week for him to blow up. How Tony Kornheiser can sit there and say that Nick has an annoying "smug factor" but not say a word about Chet's smugness still continues to amaze me. Since I first saw him, I liked his first reference of "The right way...the Anekwe." But it's been all downhill from there. He just seems so cocky and has always been tough for me to understand.

Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), I was very pleased to see him do a poor to mediocre job at best with his story.

Based on what I'd seen in those pieces, I was confident that my pre-show prediction of Maggie and Chet getting the boot was going to be right on.

As a side note, they did break up the reporting pieces with another group of one-on-one discussions about the just-released NCAA Tournament. As usual, Nick and Maggie both rambled and had "time" called on them. (Man, that's just gotta hurt.) Kelly's lawyerly side helped him out here again as he was compelling and to the point. Casey and Aaron did fine here as did Zach. Chet and Mike however were less than brilliant. (And I'm being kind to Chet on this one.)

This, of course, brings us to the (flawed) voting portion of the show.

First, they revealed America's vote, and my earlier suspicions were confirmed as Chet and Maggie were voted out. Next up, Tony Kornheiser, same result. (Man, I'm brilliant!)

Batting third, Kit Hoover. (How they chose the judges for this show is going to be the subject of an ENTIRELY different post.) Kit also cut Chet, but threw in the surprise vote against Nick.

Then, there's LaVar Arrington (that my wife (who I love dearly) called Levar Burton (blind guy from Star Trek and non-blind guy from Reading Rainbow)). He and Kit will be the primary focus of the previously mentioned future post on the judges. Now, I can understand why someone could vote for Nick this week or possibly Casey. Hell, after TK voted for Kelly last week, anything is possible. But how someone could even possibly vote for BOTH of them and NOT vote for Chet??? You've got to be kidding me!!!

Al rounded out the group by cutting Chet and Nick. I know the judges didn't like Nick, but I'm still not comprehending why they think Maggie is better than him.

So the final tally had Nick and Chet getting cut. (Is it in bad taste for me to say "Yay!" about Chet again?)

Now, I don't want to get all four of my female readers mad at me, but I can't think of any other logical explanation for keeping her on other than the fact that she's the only woman left. (Before you get mad at me, promise me you'll watch either a re-run of this week's show or just watch next week's episode...you'll see what I mean.)

Well...that's all I've got and I promise to pay more attention to next week's show where they'll cut to the final four. (I wonder how many search engine hits that'll get me this week.) What they'll do in the final week to get it down to the winner, I have no idea.

If you want to read a review by someone who paid more attention and is paid to do so, you can head over and check out ESPN.com's Dan Shanoff's review for this week.

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Monday, March 15, 2004

There's No Place Like Home

Yep...I'm back in Kansas after spending an extended weekend down in Bella Vista, Arkansas, where my retired in-laws live.

I took Friday afternoon off so we could pick K up from school early so we could get down to the in-laws by dinner. We got a slightly later start than expected, but managed to make the entire trip without stopping for food or restroom breaks which is a minor miracle, so we got there in right at 3 hours.

All in all, the weekend was good except for the rainy weather, but the kids were the best behaved that they've ever been for a trip down to the in-laws, so I was real proud of them for that. We really didn't do much except watch college basketball, played some spades and I finished Brad Meltzer's latest book, The Zero Game, which I then left for my mother-in-law to read. The book was good, but probably my least favorite of his, but still a good read. Next up for me is Grisham's The Last Juror.

Oh yeah, this weekend I also played computer guy and installed a new CD drive and picked out a new printer and set that up for the in-laws. I definitely scored some brownie points this weekend which are tough to come by.

Got home today around 5:00 after ANOTHER non-stop trip which was even more remarkable, so that was nice. We got a REALLY late start today due to problems with the aforementioned newly installed printer.

After we got home, it was a pretty laid back evening, which was exactly what I needed.

I just got done watching the ESPN Dream Job casting special and Kelly came across well on there too. Not that it will affect the voting, but I hope it helps.

Speaking of Dream Job, we did watch that last night while playing spades and I thought Kelly did a great job this week. Definitely better than last week's performance. So now he's made it to the final six. I'm guessing two more people will get voted off next week, leaving four for the final show. I have no idea how that will work.

This week, Chet Anekwe and Nick Stevens got voted off. I wasn't surprised at all by Chet getting cut, but I really expected Maggie Haskins to be the other one let go. I thought Nick was going to be there a lot longer, but the judges didn't agree with me, which is fine by me. I'm pretty sure Nick will land a gig somewhere else. I don't think this is the last you'll be seeing of him.

NCAA Tourney Update
On Sunday, we did also watch the NCAA Selection show to see KU get a pretty sweet draw considering the season they had. They get to play their first round games at Kemper Arena here in KC, which is essentially a home arena for them. (It's where they won the national title in '88.) If they can get through there, the second round games will be played just across the state in St. Louis...again, not too far from home.

Now, do I think they'll make it that far? Doubtful. If they get to the Sweet 16 and the seeds play out as expected, then they'll have to play Kentucky in the round of 16. That's a tall order to expect a win for them in that game. In fact, when I fill out my brackets tomorrow, I'll probably be penciling in UK instead of KU.

That's all the energy I have for right now and I'm going to go read a few blogs to see what I've missed out over the weekend.

Have a great one!

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Friday, March 12, 2004

A Great Half-Day!

Hey all...I'm happy to report that my day's been going really well so far!

First, I actually went to bed at midnight last night. (I know that's only barely today, but give me some room on this one.) So, I'm more rested than I've been in a while.

Second, I had requests for two proposals that our sales reps needed by next week and I've already finished one of them and sent it back to the rep.

Third, a proposal of my own that I'm drafting for one of my own leftover clients got a positive review from my boss, so I sent that out to my client this morning.

Fourth, the big boss of our sales team pulled me aside to tell me that my position is being morphed into a more defined Product Sales Specialist role rather than just the generic support role that it is today. This means more opportunity for incentive income, more true sales opportunities for me and I'll still be able to visit clients on-site on occasion. With the exception of getting my old job back, this is about the best news I could have received today. My mood about work is greatly improved! :)

Fifth, I'm only hear for another 45 minutes before I go to the gym for a quick workout (read: play basketball) and head home to get ready to drive to Arkansas to the in-laws. We're not coming back until Monday, so no work for me until Tuesday!

So, with that being said, I won't be posting over the weekend, so go Jayhawks in the Big 12 tournament and I'm only hoping they will be carrying the games on TV down there.

Have a great weekend all!

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Thursday, March 11, 2004

Bad Habits Revisited

Man...I'm back in a not-so-good pattern of behavior. It's not like I'm taking drugs or anything, but I have to start doing SOMETHING to get back in shape and just boost my energy overall.

I've been going to the gym once or twice a week to play basketball, but have NOT been doing the elliptical trainer or walking on treadmill, etc. Since I've been doing basketball only, somehow my weight has climbed to an all-time high which I am not happy about at all...rather depressing actually.

How can someone increase their physical activity, generally improve what they eat (although I've been having too many sweets lately), and yet gain weight? This makes no sense to me. I've even cut out soda for the past two weeks (gave it up for Lent) and have only been drinking water, OJ, milk, tea and lemonade. Probably the worst thing has been the chocolate milk that I succumb to from time to time.

On top of all that, I'm back to my staying up entirely too late habits. Two nights ago it was 2:30 and last night it was 1:30. (I swear I thought it was only 12:30 before I looked at the clock.) All in all, I'm not doing myself any favors, that's for sure.

This was going to be a longer post, but work got in the way, so I'm sure I'll have more to say about this later.

Until Next Time...

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Wednesday, March 10, 2004

On A Roll

I'll see what I can write in the next two minutes before this meeting is supposed to start.

Last night, I'm not sure why, but I was possessed to actually clean the house! I managed to get the kitchen and entire family room cleaned up, dishes done, etc. Since we're going out of town on Friday afternoon, I didn't want to be rushing around on Thursday night trying to get things cleaned up.

So we're definitely off on the right foot. Now, if I could only finish up all the laundry!

Tonight, instead of going to the gym while K is in CCD, I'm going to take the van to the "good" car wash and get the inside all vaccuumed out, wiped down, etc.

So now, I'll be going to the gym at lunch to play basketball instead of tonight.

Boy...this was a really boring entry...but hey...it killed those three minutes!

Until Next Time...

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Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Look and Feel

No, not me personally you freak! I'm talking about the look and feel of this site.

Can I just say that I'm not a big fan of it? I started out with this template because I liked the navigation style and where those pieces were located.

But now, I'm tired of the first-grade or senior citizen-size fonts. I hate the fact that I can't post pictures if I want to. My biggest complaint is my inability to switch from one template to another without losing all of my old posts.

I'll be the first to admit that I know nothing in the ways of creating a Web site, but I do know how I like things to look. Buddha, Buzz, Dew and Pete (in alphabetical order) have cool sites. I also like what Doc has going on. (By the way, I don't even know if he likes being called "Doc" or not, but I think it's cool so I'll wait until he tells me otherwise.)

I know I need to move this thing over to Moveable Type or TypePad (more likely) at some point, but just haven't pulled the trigger yet. Let me ask those of you who know more about this than I do, though...are those systems any better than Blogger about letting you switch your template, but maintaining all of your old content?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

By the way, I also picked this template for the orange color. (Go Orioles!)

Thanks for swinging by!

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Monday, March 08, 2004

Search Engines Are(n't) My Friends

Just earlier today, I commented on this post over at Adelle's.

In case you didn't have the energy to click on over there, someone had asked for how to block your site from appearing in search engine results. My comment basically said that if it weren't for search engine hits for ESPN Dream Job, I wouldn't be getting any hits or referrers at all.

So tonight, I headed over to check out my stats and noticed that, sure enough, I've set a daily record for traffic to my site (67 unique hits...stop laughing Pete) and virtually all of it is from people looking for info on Dream Job and/or a specific contestant. In the last 11 hours, I've had 44 unique hits coming from search engines.

The flip side to this, though, is that NONE of these people leave any comments or any trace that they've been here. It's not like I'm paying for the site or anything like that, but I'm wondering if these people are finding what they want when they get to my site or end up going to find the information somewhere else.

Anyway...these are just the thoughts rambling through my head so I thought I'd share with you all.

Thanks for reading!

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Sunny and 60s!

And I've been working from home all afternoon. I'd rather be out playing golf, but this'll have to do since my youngest daughter L is sick.

The whole working from home thing is great for me as I can still take phone calls from clients and do just about everything here that I can do from the office. I'm getting the feeling, though, that the head of our sales organization might see things differently. Maybe I'm being oversensitive or paranoid, but when I sent out a courtesy e-mail to the rest of the sales team that I'd be working from home this afternoon, I got an "Are you ok?" e-mail from him.

If this were one of the sales reps (which I was just last year), he wouldn't have thought twice of it. In fact, half of our reps work from home every day.

This is yet another level of frustration I'm feeling with this change in my position. I'm feeling more and more like a second-class citizen in this organization. Maybe I am, but I don't have to like it.

Anyway...I really have had a good day so far, so I should get back to it for the last 30 minutes of the day.

Later all.

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Sunday, March 07, 2004

Whew!

Man...tonight's ESPN Dream Job was closer than I'd hoped.

Kelly Milligan again led off the competition with co-anchoring partner Nick Stevens. Now, admittedly, Kelly didn't have his "A" game with him tonight, but after seeing some of the other competitors, I thought for sure he was safe. Unfortunately, he was given the first cut vote by PTI host Tony Kornheiser.

I'm not sure I believe that Tony really thought Kelly was one of the two worst people out there, but he did succeed in sending a warning shot of sorts to all of the contestants that they won't be able to breeze through based on previous efforts. I actually really like Kornheiser's radio show and will be disappointed when he has his last show on March 26th. That being said, though, I sure hope he doesn't vote for Kelly again.

As expected, Michael Quigley (aka Quigs) got the boot after he hit a really rough stretch and struggled to regain his composure. I really felt bad for Quigs as he seems like a nice enough guy and you could tell he wanted to succeed SO badly, but it just wasn't meant to be.

After all of the judges had voted, that left one person to be voted out and the "leader" heading into America's vote was Lori Rubinson.

In what I thought was an unlikely random pairing of the two women contestants on the show, Lori paired up with Maggie Haskins and, honestly, I thought Lori did the better job of the two. But I still thought there were others on the show (Chet Anekwe to name one) that weren't as good as Lori and Maggie.

Heading into America's vote, though, Lori had two votes, while Kelly, Nick and Maggie each had one. If one of those last three got one of America's vote it would have gone to the red phone. Fortunately for Kelly, Lori got that third vote and she is out and Kelly is moving on to the next round.

It's only going to get tougher from here folks. There is some real talent left in this competition and Kelly definitely has a tough battle in front of him.

I think Kelly's toughest competition are:

Mike Hall (Those damn MU Tigers...at least KU beat them today in their last game in the Hearnes Center)
Aaron Levine (His writing and delivery are really strong...I think his youth could hurt him though)
Casey Stern (He's the short one, Aaron's the Asian one, which is exactly how they described each other as they co-anchored tonight. Anyway, I still think Casey's height could be a factor, but he's a great writer.)
Zachariah Selwyn (Zach cut his hair like Al Jaffe asked and, again, his writing, delivery and interview skills were great. He even wore a real suit this week.)

That leaves Maggie Haskins, Nick Stevens and Chet Anekwe.

I think Chet and Maggie will be the next two out. Although Nick seems to rub the judges the wrong way, I think he does a pretty good job. Chet just annoys me and Maggie isn't polished enough in my opinion.

So there's my Dream Job Review O' The Week.

Tune in next week for more of the same.

Thanks again to everyone who supported Kelly this week by voting for someone else.

Until Next Time...

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Your Weekly ESPN Dream Job Reminder

Hi all...just a friendly reminder to watch ESPN Dream Job tonight and root for my friend, Kelly Milligan.

Remember, though, when you log on to vote, you vote for who you're wanting to CUT. In other words, don't vote for Kelly!

Thanks for stopping by and for all of your support!

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Saturday, March 06, 2004

Home Early

That didn't go like I'd planned.

I'm back far earlier from Poker Night than I'd hoped. I actually think I played well, but had some REALLY bad luck at the end.

If you're not familiar with Texas Hold 'Em, here are the basics. Each player is dealt two cards face down and everyone bets or folds. (In my last hand, I was dealt Ace-9...good enough to stay in.) Then, three cards are dealt face up. This is known as the flop. The flop was Ace-9-3 so I had the top two pair. It was down to me and two other people and I bet all my chips (aka "going all-in"). I figured I would surely win. The guy next to me though called my bet and we flipped our cards to show he had Ace-Jack. I was still ahead. The next card turned up is called "the turn card" and it was a 7, I'm still in good shape. The only card that can beat me with the last card (aka "the river") is a Jack.

Well...since I already told you this was my last hand, you now know what the river card was...a Jack and I freaking lost. Dammit!!!

So now I'm home and am going to try to redeem myself by playing online for play money.

Have a good night all.

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Poker Night!

Man...I've been waiting for this day to get here for quite some time. Tonight, I'm going to play in my first Texas Hold 'Em Tournament at the house of a former co-worker. It should be pretty fun...especially if I win. The entry fee is $20 and there are about 30 people signed up to play. It's not winner take all, but it should still be pretty good.

The weekend's been pretty good so far. I took yesterday afternoon off from work to go to an interview. The interview went well and I'm pretty confident I could get the job if I want it, but the money just isn't where I want/need it to be, so I doubt I'll accept their offer for another interview.

This morning, my oldest daughter K had her last indoor soccer game of the season since we'll be heading off to Arkansas next weekend when the team's official last game takes place. I'm glad the girls had fun despite getting beat almost every week. Today was no exception as the ref stopped posting the other team's goals when they hit 13 and we had 0. Ouch.

After we got home from lunch at McD's where K and my boy J played at PlayLand, they each got their baths and J took a nap while K and I played checkers. Unfortunately, my other daughter, L, has a fever today, so hopefully she'll be feeling better soon.

That's enough for now...I need to go throw some chicken breasts in a teriyaki marinade so I can grill them in about 90 minutes.

Have a great night everyone!

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Thursday, March 04, 2004

Not Working From Work

I HATE it when that happens! I was able to get out of the house to go to my favorite pizza place to meet my co-workers for lunch. Small problem...they changed their mind and went somewhere else and apparently didn't read between the lines in my e-mail indicating that I was going to try to meet them.

Damn.

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Working From Home

Yep...that's what I've been doing this morning. See...this is a great example of how much more productive I am when I work from home vs. working at work. It's now after 11:00 and I've only read one blog so far and that's because he sends me a link when it's ready. I've only been out to MSNBC once today and only checked Yahoo Mail once.

Usually, when I'm at work, I've checked out 5 or 6 blogs by now, caught up on the Washington Post discussions for the day (free registration required) and been in and out of Yahoo mail 3 or 4 times.

The big negative is that I just found out that the guys at work are going to my favorite pizza place for lunch. I'm hoping to meet up with them there once the wife gets home with the kids.

Anyway, the whole point of this is that I could get so much more work done from home if they'd let me.

One other side note...go check out Charlie's new place! (Just don't expect to look much different from the old place...you'd think he could have painted or something!)

Until Next Time...

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Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Man, I Feel Good After Going to the Gym

So why don't I do it more often? Tonight, I took my oldest daughter, K, and her friend from down the street to CCD and headed straight to the gym where there's pickup basketball games going every Wednesday night.

Unlike last week, I didn't score any points, but I played two games and didn't get TOO winded. I played some pretty good D with a few steals and a few assists as well.

I feel so much better about myself after doing something like that, as opposed to doing something like playing Madden '04. (Speaking of Madden '04, I have that bug out of my system for a while after taking the Falcons to a perfect season and winning the Super Bowl last night. Michael Vick is God in that game.)

The other good thing about getting in some exercise is it gives me a little energy boost to catch up on other people's blogs, which I'll be doing momentarily.

Oh yeah...after I put the kids to bed tonight, I headed over to my local 7-11 to get my PowerBall tickets and there was a new scratch ticket game there. (How sad is it that I realize when they get a new kind of scratch ticket?) Now...I'm proud of myself for greatly reducing the number of scratch tickets I buy. I pretty much only buy a ticket or two when a new game comes out. The last time I did that, I won $75 on the first ticket I bought. That trend continued tonight when I won $30 on the first ticket I bought on the new game. Yay!

Let's see...what else?

Tomorrow, a few of my co-workers are heading to Cabo San Lucas for a week as a reward for exceeding their quota last year. I am SOOO jealous!!! While they are off soaking up the sun, scuba diving, playing golf, or whatever, I'll be sitting in the office trying to work diligently. (Yeah...like that's going to happen.)

That's enough rambling for now...talk to everyone later.

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Tuesday, March 02, 2004

More Kelly Milligan/ESPN Dream Job News

Dan Shanoff over at ESPN.com's Page 3 has pegged Kelly as the early favorite. I know there's a long way to go, but things are looking good for Kelly.

Thanks again for everyone's help!

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Music Meme 2: With A Twist

OK...I haven't seen this modified idea anywhere else, so I'll take credit for it. It's the same music meme as I posted last week with your mp3 player/media player/iTunes set on Random/Shuffle, list the first ten songs it plays, no matter how embarrassing.

Now for the twist...you have to make a narrative of some sort out of all of the song titles in order. Come on...you can do it!

Here's mine for today (and I've added the album name in parentheses).

(The rules again)
Step 1: Open your mp3 player.
Step 2: Put all of your music on random.
Step 3: List the first ten songs it plays, no matter how embarrassing.

Here are mine:

1. Jeremy - Pearl Jam (Ten)
2. Let 'Er Rip - Dixie Chicks (Wide Open Spaces)
3. Keep It Together - Guster (Keep It Together)
4. Time To Time - Cary Pierce (Live at Schuba's)
5. Dreaming With My Eyes Wide Open - Clay Walker (Greatest Hits)
6. When The Stars Go Blue - Cary Pierce (Live at Schuba's)
7. Kitchen Song - Edwin McCain (Honor Among Thieves)
8. Sweet Ocean - Cary Pierce (Live at Schuba's)
9. Your Body Is A Wonderland - John Mayer (Room for Squares)
10. Exit - U2 (The Joshua Tree)

OK...before I move on to the narrative, I have to tell you how odd I think it is that three songs from one CD came up on random out of a total of 974 tracks in my Windows Media Player. I will say, though, that this is a pretty accurate reflection of my listening habits.

On to the narrative!

Jeremy, there are times when you just have to Let 'Er Rip. But you also have to Keep It Together from Time To Time. That way, when I'm Dreaming With My Eyes Open, I can actually see When The Stars Go Blue.

Or, if you really feel like trippin' out, you can try to see all of the utensils break into their moving rendition of, "I Love The Kitchen" Song.

But, at the end of the day, nothing tastes quite as good as the Sweet Ocean. (You always thought it was kinda salty, didn't you?)

And while you're on that exciting journey, you can always end it by getting off at the Your Body Is A Wonderland Exit.

Sounds like fun to me!

(EON - End of Narrative)

I also thought it was pretty cool that the 10th and final song on the list was called Exit.

Go ahead...you try it. I gotta say, if you get a bunch of titles like "Kitchen Song," it ain't gonna be easy.

Until Next Time...

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Monday, March 01, 2004

I Won! I Won!

I finally beat Charlie at something involving creativity! Yea me! (Sorry Charlie...ok, not really.)

You see...Andy picked my title as the winner of his contest for titles for his Facial Hair February endeavor. (I'm going to make you go over to his site to see my glorious idea in all of its splendor.) Now that March has come in like a lion, Andy's mass of facial hair is gone.

Even still...you should head on over and say hi.

Thanks again, Andy!

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Funny Wedding O' The Week

OK...I'm not promising a good one every week, but in yesterday's Kansas City Star, I found the Hart-Lung wedding.

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Top 10 & Bottom 10 Teams/Athletes

Thanks to Charlie for this idea today.

Basically...who are your 10 favoritest teams (or athletes in individual sports) that you like to watch and then, who are the 10 teams you love to hate?

Let's start with the haters and work our way up to the good stuff. (These are in no particular order...I just don't have that kind of time to put into this right now.)

The 10 Teams/Athletes I Love to Hate

1. Indianapolis Colts (for the 10 years after they abandoned Baltimore in the middle of the night)

2. Duke Basketball (how does anyone actually like these guys???)

3. Missouri Basketball (I'm a Jayhawk...is there really anything else I need to say on the subject?)

4. New York Yankees (As a lifelong Orioles fan and more recent Royals fan (when they're not playing the O's), these are the guys to hate.)

5. Chris Barnes (He's a pro bowler that I bowled against in college...for some reason it's just fun to root against him.)

6. Dallas Cowboys (the Jimmy Johnson/Barry Switzer years)

7. Kansas State football (see #3 above...of course, with the beating we give them in basketball, it's almost bearable)

8. Nebraska football (Their domination in the 70s, 80s and 90s got old really quick.)

9. Any team coached by Steve Spurrier (He seemed like such a whiner at Florida.)

10. Mike Tyson (The man is a nut job!)

OK...now on to the more positive vibe.

Top 10 Teams/Athletes I'll Pull For No Matter What

1. Baltimore Orioles (They've been my favorite team for my whole life.)

2. Tiger Woods (The guy is just so damned good and makes the game look easy...and his new Caddyshack-themed American Express commercial is pretty damn funny.)

3. Andre Agassi (I liked watching him play when I was in high school and to watch him enjoy the success he's had in recent years has been great.)

4. KU Basketball (See # 3 from the bad list.)

5. Kansas City Chiefs (I'll admit to not being a fan of theirs when they sucked in the 70s and 80s, but it's been a great time since the early 90s.)

6. Tom Watson (He's a Kansas City guy and super nice.)

7. The original Olympic basketball Dream Team (Man they were good!)

8. The Kansas City Royals (This has been a recent addition as of say five years ago when I found myself rooting for them even when they were really, really bad. The longer I live in this town, the stronger my ties have become to the Royals.)

9. Amleto Monacelli (Pro bowler...I don't even know if he's still bowling these days, but he did in the late 80s/early 90s. I think it was a combination of his unusual name and his unorthodox backswing that made me a fan.)

10. John Daly (The ups and downs this guy has gone through have been pretty amazing. It was GREAT to see him win a tournament a few weeks ago.)

Now, if we're just talking about who our favorite athletes are, I'd have to throw out this list (again, in no particular order).

1. Brooks Robinson (Hall of Fame 3rd baseman for the Orioles)

2. Cal Ripken (Future Hall of Fame 3rd baseman/shortstop for the Orioles)

3. George Brett (Hall of Fame 1st/3rd baseman for the Royals)

4. Frank White (Should be in the Hall of Fame 2nd baseman for the Royals)

5. Tiger Woods

6. Danny Manning (former KU/NBA star, current KU assistant coach)

7. Shaquille O'Neal

8. Johnny Bench (catcher for the Reds)

9. Mike Mussina (This violates the Yankee-hating rule above, but he started out as an Oriole and graduated from Stanford in 3-1/2 years for crying out loud.)

10. Mike Sweeney (Current Royal...he's a great player and seems to be a stand-up guy. I loved the contract he signed with the Royals two years ago. He could have signed for WAYYYY more money somewhere else, but decided to give KC another chance, but he gave himself an out in his contract that stipulated the Royals had to finish at .500 or better in one of the following three seasons or he could walk. It forced the Royals to make more of an effort to putting quality players on the field and getting a good manager. They did both of those last year and finished two games over .500, thereby locking in Sweeney for another four or five years.)

I didn't plan on that being 10, and I may add more later, but there you go.

Thanks Charlie!

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ESPN Dream Job Week 2 Review

I have to say that Kelly Milligan came through in the clutch last night. He was the lead-off guy with the most pressure on him to get the show off to a good start and he did a bang-up job.

Kelly was followed by Chet Anekwe (pronounced uh-NEK-way) whose tagline was something like, "It's not just the right way...it's the Anekwe." Pretty catchy, I thought, but he didn't really deliver with his performance. I had a hard time understanding him and don't know if it was a trace of his Nigerian accent or what...just didn't cut it for me.

After Chet was Shaggy (aka Zachariah Selwyn). Now Zachariah's writing and delivery were very good I thought, but I think his look could hurt him. Personally, I agreed with Kit Hoover and kind of liked his different personality, but when going for the broadest appeal, it definitely didn't do anything for the other three judges on the show. If he cleans up his appearance, though, he could give Kelly a run for his money.

As was the case last week, they broke up the My SportsCenter highlights with a competition of sorts...last night's was "Fact or Fiction" where they are given one statement and the first person gets to decide whether or not it's a true statement or false statement and then has to argue the merits of his/her position with the second person being forced to take the opposite viewpoint.

Kelly couldn't have asked for a better scenario. As a debater since high school and a corporate attorney now, he was born to make compelling arguments. He was up against Chet Anekwe who really didn't have much of a chance against Kelly. He even pulled, what I thought to be, a low-brow move by using Kelly's line in the first argument in their second debate. I think the only thing that could have been better for Kelly was if he'd have had the chance to go head-to-head against Casey Stern and just annihilate him. All in all, though, it was a great event for Kelly.

The second group started off with the second woman in the group, Lori Rubinson. Now let me start by saying that I have NO problem with female sportscasters...I've always liked Suzi Kolber (not in a Joe Namath kind of way) and I think Linda Cohn does a great job. But I just didn't think Lori was that good. Of the two women on the show, I think Maggie Haskins has a better shot long term if she can build her on-camera confidence. I don't expect Lori to make it much farther than the next one or two rounds.

Next up was Wendy's Wild Card, Alvin Williams. I pretty much knew before the show even aired that he'd be eliminated last night (which he was). I mean, really, what chance does a random winner have against people who truly have the passion and skill for this stuff? He gave an admirable effort, but it was obvious that he just wasn't meant for this. I felt kind of bad for the guy as everyone voted against him, which they should have, but still he seemed like a nice guy.

Finishing up the night was Casey Stern. From an on-camera perspective, he pretty much nailed it. His writing was solid and entertaining and he got his camera cues right. Fortunately for Casey, the anchors do usually sit behind the desk which makes his 5'3" stature a non-issue for the most part. However, for those rare instances when they stand up side-by-side to intro a piece, he could be in for trouble.

From a writing and performance perspective though, I think Kelly and Casey were easily the highlights of the night.

So from here on out, there will be two people cut every week. And here are the next four that I see being cut (in no particular order): Michael Quigley, Chet Anekwe, Lori Rubinson and Zachariah Selwyn (if he doesn't clean up his appearance)...if he does, then I think that Maggie Haskins may also get cut.

It will be an exciting show next week and I can't wait to see it!

And thanks to everyone for supporting Kelly on the show!

Until Next Time...

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