Saturday, September 30, 2006
This is Not a Gambling Site.....
..... (I)t's not legal to make or accept bets from other people, but it's legal to buy as many scratch cards or lottery tickets as you want, and it's legal to gamble online ..... (I)t's not legal to make or accept bets from other people, but it's legal for newspapers to run the lines for every sporting event ...... Why run these lines if it's illegal to wager on them? Isn't that like posting the local street value for cocaine and heroin every day?
I don't know if it's like cocaine or heroin (I stay away from both, especially heroin, because I hear it can lead to more dangerous drugs....), but gambling, even fake gambling, is highly addictive. Being a compulsive person as is, I know the dangers for myself. And I have been know to place the occasional bet.
I haven't made an actual bet, legal or otherwise since I bet on the Sacramento Kings over the LA Lakers in the NBA playoffs a few years ago. Even did a two team parlay, taking the underdog Kings and the under. Since the game went to OT, I obviously didn't hit the under, and then the Lakers won outright and covered. I always say that if you miss one half of a parlay you might as well miss them both.
I have a great gambling story about one of the best days of my life, staying at the Hard Rock in Vegas, but since the next day was September 11th, 2001, it sort of put a damper on my joy. That said, I am 1-0 all time when betting on the Broncos.
Just remember, this site is for entertanment purposes only. No actual money changes hands. It's still a lot of fun though......
Friday, September 29, 2006
I'm Rich, Baby!!!!
From the email In Box:
I pray that this email reaches you in the best of health. Please do not take this for a junk letter though it may come to you as a surprise due to the fact that we have not yet met.
The message could be strange but it's real if you pay some attention to it. I want to notify you about it at least for the sake of your integrity.
My name is Mr. Michael Mathemba and I work with a Commercial Bank here in Johannesburg, South Africa. We had a customer that had a deposit of 15 Million United States Dollars, before he died in a plane crash with his wife and only Child about 4years now (January 30,2001) and since he died, we in the Bank here have been expecting his/her next of kin/relative(s) for the inheritance of the deposit, but none has surfaced.
The policy of the Bank however stipulates a limited time period for such inheritance to be made or the fund will be written off going by the record of the incident, the time limit for the claim is closing up. In this consideration, I am contacting you to seek for your kind understanding and sincere co-operation to claim this inheritance for our mutual benefit in view If you can stand as the next of kin in this project, success is assured because I am in possession of the personal file jacket of the deceased which contains every needed information about the deceased account, you and I stand no risk of any kind because I have enough information to support you in claiming the inheritance.
The proceedings of the transaction will be shared 75% for me and 20% for you, while 5% will be for expenses incurred during the course of the transaction. Kindly indicate your willingness and we shall proceed with the initial step for the claim.
Please reply me on this Email: withheld by boj or call me on my direct line on withheld by boj. for more detailed information.
Mr. Michael Mathemba.
Gotta get on the phone right away. Guess I won't need to go to work today since I'm about to get rich by doing nothing.
Work is for suckers!
Could it Be?!?That's Right Folks!
A Plethora of Fake Gambling!
Same BOJ time....
Same BOJ channel.....
Predicted winners in BOLD:
Week 4 Stake: $1600
Week 4 Wagered: $900
Total Amount Remaining: $700
Buffalo is playing a lot better than I expected, so is Minnesota but they dropped a heartbreaker to the Bears last week. The Saints are comming off of a highly emotial win on Monday night. They're not as good as the look and Carolina is just starting to put it together. I like to think that Miami is putting it all together as well, and I've put my fake money where my mouth is a couple of times now, if they don't come through this time, I'm done with them. I've been advised to take whoever is playing Oakland regardless of the spread. Not taking that advice has cost me faux cash, so, before the bookies catch up with this practice, I'll take the Browns this week. Taking the over is not intended to show my confidence in Cleveland's offense. I just don't see how Oakland's D (which is decidedly not Tenacious) can hold anyone under 4 or 5 touchdowns.
Remember, this is NOT a gambling site.
Sue Foley Photo Friday
And while I always knew that Sue is a great musician, watching her in performance makes me say the same thing I always say when I see a great guitarist, "She makes it look so easy!" And it's true. Listening to her is one thing. Watching her play is something else entirely.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Pointless, Pointless Shit
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
I Know it's the MBW
Hold Your Horse, I'll Get to It
I got to thinking while watching the DVD. When I was in college I knew (not very well, mind you) a theater major and his wife. This guy was a good actor but I always thought his strength was fight choreography. He did a sword fight in a production of MacBeth that was not only compelling but humorous. This was years before Jackie Chan and John Woo hit the consciousness of the american public, so it was fresh and new to us.
As a sideline, he and his wife did mime. That's right, mime. They were a performing mime troupe. You read that right, mime. They were trying to make some money on the side by performing mime. As you can probably tell, I thought the idea was ridiculous.
I respect mime. I always saw it as a tool. Every actor has to be able to emote without using words. Mime, of course, takes all vocalization out of the equation and forces the practitioner to get a message across in other ways. So I saw it as useful, a step along the way to becoming an actor.
But to get caught in one exercise, it just seemed laughable to me. I've since seen some pretty good mime, Billy the Mime's (aka Steven Banks) performance in the documentary The Aristocrats had me rolling on the floor (well, not literally, but you know what I mean) because it was good mime taken in a completely odd and perverted direction. Banks did some interesting mime things on his show The Steven Banks Show which nobody but me seems to remember. OK, so maybe I only like one mime, but at least I got passed looking at it as just a step on the way to becoming a good actor or actress.
So I'm watching Sue Foley Live in Europe today and she plays a cut from her Love Comin' Down album. Mediterranean Breakfast is a wonderful instrumental, but I never found it all that bluesy. The whole album actually takes a decided turn away from the blues as did her next album Where the Action Is. Now I like both of these efforts, but I was a little saddened that one of my favorite blues guitarists seemed to be, if not turning her back on the blues, at least distancing herself from it. Never fear, Change and New Used Car are both solid blue efforts.
I had a drummer friend when I lived in Vermillion. He was in a couple of bands, one a straight up (and excellent) blues band, the other with a friend of his from high school that was a punk sort of thing. I was completely into the blues at the time and asked once why that didn't do more of that. The friend pointed out that he didn't really like blues. He'd read Robert Palmer's Deep Blues while in high school, really got into the blues for a while, learned a lot about song structure from the form but became bored with it and moved on to other musical styles.
I couldn't believe it. How could someone get bored with such a fine form as the blues? It's beautiful in its simplicity, limited chords, a very structured format with rules that need to be followed most of the time to make a good song, but that forces a songwriter to be witty, it allows for solos easily because its structure means that allows someone to sit in and improvise to a song he's never heard before.
Today I thought about mime and the blues. Both can be seen a merely learning exercises for an actor or musician. But both are fine, stand alone form on their own merits. No, I don't really care for mime in general, but when it's done well, just like most any style of music, I can enjoy it.
Then I think about myself. I'm a harmonica player who first picked up the harp because he had $13 dollars in his pocket and wanted to play the blues. The first songs I wrote were pretty much straight up blues songs. I used the blues as a learning tool in my songwriting education, learning song structure, what will work and what won't. When I started performing I sort of turned my back on the blues. I still do a blues song or two, but I haven't written a blues song in over ten years. The lessons I learned while trying to sound like Willie Dixon, Little Walter and Muddy Waters stuck with me, but nobody would mistake what I do for the deep blues of the Mississippi delta.
I've thought less of a person because he was stuck at a point in the educational process of their craft. I thought less of a person because he zoomed past a point in the educational process of his craft, one I happened to really enjoy. I zoomed past a point in the educational process of my hobby but didn't even really notice it until today.
So today's MBW is about me an what a friggin' idiot I can be. How I get judgmental about other people and then find myself doing the same damn thing myself. Every day I try to open my eyes a little wider and see, actually see the world around me. I try to see my actions through the eyes of others. More often than not I don't measure up to my own standards, I don't do myself what I expect of other people.
All I can do is try, I tell myself, to be a better person. Even then I find myself failing to give other people a break for stuff I know I've pulled myself and expect people to forgive me for. Jeez, I can be such an asshole sometimes.
I like to think that everyday I'm a little bit better at being a human than I was the day before. I know that isn't always the case in actuality. And I know that I'll never achieve my goal, I'll never be the person I really want to be. I'll continue to piss people off along the way for stuff I do and for stuff I don't do.
I'll try to do better tomorrow. Not just on this blog.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Completely Fake Gambling Results
This weeks results
Week 3 Against the Spread: 2-0
Week 3 Over/Unders: 0-1
Season Against the Spread: 6-2
Season Over/Unders: 1-1
Balance for Week 3: +$100
Total Amount Remaining: +$1600
I hope somebody is actually betting my picks. That's what I'm doing wrong, of course, I'm not betting any actual money. Rest assured, that if I actually wagered any of the money I do have on any of these games that I'd be horribly in the hole.
Remember, this is not a gambling site, but if you call today I'll give you my five-star NFL lock of the year, or you can get that pick free just by purchasing one transcript of this blog. Offer void in states where sports wagering is prohibited by law.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Broncos 17 Patriots 7
Tatum Bell was featured at running back against the Pats, running the ball effectively, picking up tough yards as well as busting off the big gainer from time to time. Javon Walker had another fine game, catching to TD passes for the Broncos 2nd and 3rd touchdowns of the young season.
But it was the defense, effective in the first two games but bending more than I would like, who really stepped up in this game. The New England running game was stymied all night, veteran RB Corey Dillion was ineffective before he left with an injury and rookie Laurence Maroney didn't fair much better. QB Tom Brady threw for over 300 yards, most of it on two desparation drives late in the game, the Pats aerial attack not fairing much better than their running game.
Much maligned Broncos QB Jake Plummer had a solid game, throwing two TD passes against no interceptions. While his numbers were not stellar, Jake avoided the mistakes that were particularly costly in the first game against the Rams. Broncos fans, stop calling for a start by Jay Cutler. It's not going to happen. This is a good Broncos team, too good to hand over to a, admitedly very talented, rookie QB. Jake took this team to the AFC Championship game last year and while his starting doesn't gaurentee and return to that level of excellence, Plummer makes that more likely than starting any rookie QB could ever do.
To me, the bright point of this game was the coaching. I have always loved watching New England coach Bill Belichik coach. In my opinion he is the best pure X's and O's coach in the game. And while I won't say the Belichik was outcoached by Shanahan (that rarely, if ever, happens), the two coaches were evenly matched. Both coaches had to deal with injuries, the Pats' obviously more serious than the ones the Broncos had to deal with. Both coaches disuised weaknesses caused by this extrmely well. These are two coaches that always put their players on the field in the best position to excel. That's refreshing in the world of NFL coaching.
Two pass interference penalties on the Patriots were, in my mind, a bit questionable. Neither had a huge impact on the game, however, and the game seemed to be pretty well called by the officials. The Broncos, after commiting no penalties the previous week, were called for several infractions, most notably on the offensive line. I'd like to see less of this in future games.
A final note to Darrent Williams: Never, EVER field a punt inside the 5 yard line. If you should do something that stupid ever again, don't take your first step backward. You were very lucky to get away without giving up a safety. Giving up two points and the ball at that point could have been bad. How bad? You were playing against a Bill Belichik coached team. You had the lead. Don't give him a chance to put his players back in it.
In short, a much more satisfying victory than last week's overtime victory over the Chiefs (even if it was the Chiefs). A solid effort generally by every unit by the good guys. Let's see more wins like this one..
Happy Birthday Julian!!!
I'm 41 and thinking about my own mortality lately. I'm thinking about my parents' mortality a lot. I never knew a great gradparent, they have two great grandchildren. It seems odd to me and makes me think about photos of my ancestors, people who look a little like me but died long before I was born. That's what a great grandparent is to me, not someone who jumps in the car to go to a child's second birthday party.
More than thinking about their mortality, though, I smile a lot when I see Julian enjoying his time with Papa and G-G-Ma. They're extremely lucky. He's even luckier. And I'm lucky to be a wittnes to it all.
I wish many happy more years to the Birthday Boy, but also to his great granparents, grandparents, parents, aunts, unlces and everyone else who knows the special guy. Happy Birthday Julian, we're all lucky to know you.
Great Uncle BOJ
Friday, September 22, 2006
Completely Fake Gambling
Week 3 Stake: $1500
Week 2 Wagered: $300
Total Amount Remaining: $1200
I know, it seems like I've wussed out this week, but nothing really stands out for me this week. I actuall don't like any of these picks. I picked New Orleans? I picked a 'dog on the road against the Steelers? What the hell am I thinking? I don't even like the over in the Baltimore/Cleveland game, but 33 points is really low for an over/under. At least I only stand to lose $300.....
This is not a gambling site.
Completely unscientific analysis shows that readers of
this blog don't enjoy Sue Foley Photo Friday as much
as I do. It's still not going anywhere.....
Other tidbits, you seem to be concerned about safety from DHMO which is encouraging. And you seem to like this blog better when I'm positive rather than when I'm bitching. You even like Pointless Shit better than when I'm bitching. I always thought that bitching was my strong blogging suit. Live and learn.
I realize that the sample is ridiculously small and that I dropped the features for a while in there, but it's a good place to start. Analysis will continue, but I'll do whatever the hell I want when all is said and done.....
Sue Foley Photo Friday
I know what some of you are thinking: "BOJ, the photo is in black & white. How can you tell if she's a redhead?" True, that is one of this photo's failings. On the other hand, a fine lookin' woman is a fine lookin' woman, hair color don't really matter. Except when Sue went blonde for the Love Comin' Down album, that was just a travesty, and yet she was still quite arousing to me. I'll have to find the cover and use it on Sue Foley Photo Friday sometime in the future. Until then, enjoy this fine B&W offering.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
|Source||Name of fermented beverage||Name of distilled beverage|
|barley||beer, ale||Scotch whisky|
|rye||rye beer||Rye whisky|
|corn||corn beer||Bourbon whiskey|
|wheat||wheat beer||Wheat whisky, Korn (Germany)|
|rice||sake, sonti, makkoli, tuak, thwon||shochu and awamori (Japan), soju (Korea), Huangjiu and Baijiu (China)|
|juice of fruits, other than apples or pears||wine (most commonly from grapes)||brandy, Cognac (France), Branntwein (Germany), Pisco (Peru/Chile)|
|juice of apples||("hard") cider, apfelwein||applejack (or apple brandy), Calvados, cider, lambig|
|juice of pears||perry, or pear cider||pear brandy|
|juice of sugarcane, or molasses||basi, betsa-betsa (regional)||rum, cachaça, aguardiente, guaro|
|juice of agave||pulque||tequila, mezcal|
|juice of plums||plum wine||slivovitz, tzuica, palinca|
|pomace||pomace wine||tsipouro, raki, tsikoudia (Greece), grappa (Italy), Trester (Germany), marc (France), zivania (Cyprus)|
|honey||mead||distilled mead ("mead brandy" or "honey brandy")|
|potato and/or grain||potato beer||vodka: potato mostly used in Poland and Germany, otherwise grain or potato. A strong drink called aquavit or brännvin in Sweden, akvavit in Denmark and akevitt in Norway, and brennivín in (Iceland) is made from potato or grain. In Ireland, Poitín (or poteen) is a recently legalised drink made from potatoes. shochu (Japan)|
Info, once again courtesy of Wikipedia, which, as we found out last week, apparently rules.
I don't know why the tables always drop so far on the page, they don't do that when I preview. I really should learn how to write som HTML, or something.....
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Stop Blaming Alcohol, Damnit!
Yeah Mel. That makes it all better....
Then Mel Gibson gets drunk in Malibu, attempts to drive home (or wherever) and is pulled over by sheriff's officers. Belligerent, the following is reportedly said to an officer by Mel Gibson:
Fucking Jews... The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world. Are you a Jew?
He later remarked to a female who was videotaping the scene:
What the fuck do you think you're doing? What do you think you're looking at, sugar tits?
Obviously, unsolicited anti-semitic remarks, really, any anti-semitic remarks, aren't good for Mel Gibson's professional image. As an actor, really all he has is his image, and he had, in one arrest damaged it pretty badly.
Mel Gibson apologized, of course. What else could he do? The general reaction to the incident and his apology seemed to be, "Well, Mel was drunk, he never would have acted like that otherwise."
I'm better at accepting apologies than I used to be, I'm a lot better at forgiveness. We can't let Mel off with the "he was drunk" excuse.
In short, I am really tired of alcohol taking the blame for people's actions. Alcohol isn't the problem. Alcohol is neutral, all it does is lower people's inhibitions. Alcohol doesn't make up feelings or opinions. Alcohol doesn't create desire. Alcohol just drops the level of a person's control and simply allows pre-existing feelings to come to the surface.
I'm not above it, hell no. I've said and done a lot of things during or after long sessions of drinking that I wish I hadn't done. Most were things that I wouldn't have said or done in a completely sober state. The alcohol didn't put me under a spell and make me take a girl home from a party or tell an old girlfriend exactly what I thought of her. Those were all thoughts or actions that were already in my brain, allowed to flash into reality because my inhibitions were greatly lowered. And, actually in both of the cases I cited, they probably turned out for the best.
I've been the victim, too. I've had people say things, act in certain ways around me that they swear was because of the alcohol. I'll accept the apologies, but I know that anything said or done was deep (or not so deep) in that person's psyche. Would they have come out without alcohol? How the hell would I know? All I know is that everything a drunk person has said or done to me was something that they were thinking but afraid to say or do. And I file it away for later use.
But I'm tired, fucking tired, of alcohol taking the fall. Mel Gibson did not spout off about "Jews causing all of the wars in the world" because he was drunk. That was already in his head, he wouldn't have said that when sober, but he believed it, maybe in the most infinitely small way, but he believed it.
As for calling a woman "sugartits," well, I can identify with that a little more (he sent her flowers, by the way). Believe it or not, I'm actually a pretty reserved guy. I have a hard time telling a woman I find her attractive, I feel it gives them some sort of hold over me if they know that, so I keep that information pretty secure. Except when I'm drinking, then it comes out. That's not to say that I was lying every time I told a woman she was beautiful when I was drunk. Quite the contrary. It was probably a lot more honest than I would be otherwise.
So stop blaming alcohol. There's nothing wrong with alcohol. If you think you did something wrong when you were drinking, fess up. The alcohol may have lowered your inhibitions, but you're the one who did or said the thing that you regret now. Me too.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
The DVD is in the Mail
It's on its way!
Not this time. Unless Sue has unknowingly switched styles to death-metal, I am really going to enjoy receiving this in my mailbox.
Positive About The D!
Trailer for the new D movie!!!
I'll admit that I've always liked novelty acts, I like "Weird" Al and Jon Valby, as both not only do song parodies, but they write odd novelty type songs. I actually find "Weird" Al a fascinating songwriter, and i'll admit that he's an inspiration. I've also liked some vanity projects by actors. The Blues Brothers, of course, comes to mind right away. John Belushi truely loved the music he was performing, Dan Ackroyd was passable on harmonica and the Blues Brothers Band, arranged by Paul Schaffer, was unbelievably good. I guess my point is that if I'm going to listen to a novelty act or a vanity project, it had better be well done.
Fan photo of Kyle Gass (L) and Jack Black(R)
Collectively the are Teancious D: The Greatest
Band on Earth!
Tenacious D comes off as a pair of guys who are convinced that they're the greatest band in the world. The music is a bizzare mix of heavy metal performed with modified folk music sensibilities and instrumentation. They get points for simply trying to pull of a metal sound on two acoustic guitars. And, strangely, they actually do make it work.
I've got a couple of D bootleg CD's and they do a lot of covers (everything from Guns 'n Roses to Neil Diamond - I'm not kidding), but what makes the D special is the songwriting. Songs like "Tribute" and "Double Team" are all time favorites and "Fuck Her Gently" is so obviously oblivious, trying to be nice but doing it in a very offensive way:
That's cool with me
It's not my favorite
But I'll do it for you
What's your favorit dish?
I'm not going to cook it
But I'll order it from Zanzibar
(bootleg: "order it from Pink Dot)
And then I'm gonna love you completely
And then I'll fuckin' fuck you discreetely
And then I'll fuckin' ball you completely
And then, I'm gonna fuck you hard
In my weaker moments, I actually feel bad about liking that song so much.
Of course, none of the fine songwriting would matter if the D couldn't perform. I saw Tenacious D live in 2002 and I was amazed at the guitar work by both JB and KG. The arrangements are uniques, both vocals and guitars, nothing is ever in unison, which you'd expect from a vanity project. Jack Black has amazing stage pressence that can't be duplicated on a mere recording. Oddly, this is sometimes acheived by being a rockstar diva, fighting with KG, insulting the audience and annoying the roadies by knocking over his mic stand at every possible opportunity. I'm not sure how, but it actually works and you can't help but love JB on stage.
If I have a problem with the D, it's their first album. The songs are wonderful, the comedy bits are hilarious, musically it's spot on. It's over done, though, in that it's produced by the Dust Brothers and Dave Groel. Songs are done with a full band arrangements and electric instruments backing up the D. The Tenacious D I like is the acoustic duo sound of the TV show, the bootlegs and the concert I saw. Check out the album, I guess, but the HBO series will give you a better idea of what they're about muscially.
Soon you will be able to check out Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny in a theater near you:
Enjoy the trailer. Enjoy the D.
Monday, September 18, 2006
So check out Too Lazy To Be Evil. And in case you forget the address, I'll add a link on the side bar, right under Broken Machines. The operators of these two blogs may joke about this as they see fit.....
I'm a Great Guy
The Politics of DHMO
Imagine for a moment that a flat tax was enacted. Overnight millions of goverenment workers, tax attorney, accountants and the like would be out of work. Simply put, the tax bureaucracy employs too many people, lines too many pockets for our government to do away with it.
It's the same with DHMO. Government agencies are charged with researching DHMO for industrial,agricultural and military applications. They make sure that there is an ample supply of DHMO, that the DHMO have access to is clean enough for so called "safe" consumption.
Take the following map, for example.
The darker areas show the supposed low levels of naturally occuring surface DHMO. The most interesting thing about this map, to me anyway, is at the very top. It's the date. This map was prepared yesterday and I found it on the web today. It was prepared by a government agency, the USGS. A government agency prepares and publishes work ON A SUNDAY?!?!? When is the last time you saw a government agency do ANYTHING of importance on a weekend?
The DHMO bureaucracy has entrenched itself into our government even deeper than the IRS. Can you file your taxes on a Sunday? Can you find out about DHMO availability on a Sunday. The DHMO beast is threatening to overtake our government, they find DHMO even more important than revenue.
DHMO has proven deadly. Thousand die every year as a direct result of exposure to DHMO. Yet our government has created a bureaucracy to ensure we have "enough" DHMO instead of working to get rid of DHMO. A bureaucracy that is now too deeply entrenced in our governement to ever hope to get rid of it.
That means it's up to us. Good citizens need to rise up. Do your part. Boycott DHMO whenever possible. Support those working so hard to protect us from this global scourge, like the Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division and The Globex Corporation. Buy a transcript of this blog. My pledge to you, ALL monies earned through transcript sales will be used to fight DHMO in our country and around the world.
I get so angry when I think about this. I need to relax and take a shower.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Broncos 9 Chiefs 6 (OT)
New Broncos wide receiver Javon Walker hauled
in five receptions for 79 yards in the Broncos' 9-6
overtime win over Kansas City (AP)
Faced with a tough RB in the Chiefs' Larry Johnson (126 yards rushing), the Broncos D bent but didn't break. Johnson constantly picked up yards, big yards, but not when it really mattered.
Jake Plummer was adequate (and I'm not one of those guys calling for Jay Cutler to start any time soon), not making any big mistakes, protecting the ball and settling for nothing when nothing was all that was available.
Though not a stellar offensive or defensive showing by the Broncos today, the good guys didn't commit any penalties and only allowed one turnover. They also allowed the Chiefs only 3 conversions on 14 third downs. These are the kinds of things that allow a team to win tough games even when the offense isn't clicking.
The most notable performance on offense was WR Javon Walker. After a couple of drops in week one, Walker caught 5 balls for 79 yards. His grabs were particularly timely with Rod Smith being unavailable for a big portion of the game. The running game, though not as dominant as it was against the Rams managed good performances from both Bells, Tatum tallying 69 yards and Mike adding 44.
In the end, though, the Broncos were lucky to come away with an overtime victory against a Chiefs team missing their starting QB.
The food was good down at Tim's, though, and I provided Chicken Feta Pizza. Amy was there as well, and though her pressence was welcome, she did find the need to flip me off once. I was drinking pretty heavily at the time so I don't remember all of the particulars, but I'm sure I said something that warrented said response from her.
Fake Gambling Results
Two weeks down, fifteen to go. Some interesting matchups next week, we'll see what the spreads give us to deal with.
Season Against the Spread: 4-2
Season Over/Unders: 1-0
Balance for Week 2: +$200
Total Amount Remaining: +$1500
Trying to Get Out of My Living Room
From The Rapid City Weekly News:
Doug Jungemann, left, performs with Mike Reardon
during an open mic night in October. Reardon has
helped create a musical community in the city that
embraces and encourages diversity in all fashions
I did join co-worker Jack and his wife on stage the first weekend I was in town. I've played out in Holliday Park a number of times, starting this past spring. And I've played in the front yard of my apartment once during a cookout. I'm playing a lot more guitar than I did in the RC, being spoiled by being associated with two really fine guitar players. I'm still not to their level, but I'm better than I was 6 months ago
I miss playing for people though. Most of the experiences playing here have been great, but no greater than what I used to experience a couple of times a week. Yeah, I have less time to do those sort of things now, but I'd make time if the opportunity were there.
A guy at worked asked me when the next time I was playing was since he wanted to come and see me. I had to tell him that it's been a really long time since I've played. I've learned quite a few new songs, perfected some of the ones I've written, I'm up to my elbows in a new song right now (I worked through the subject matter in a blog a while back). I haven't given up music, I just don't have the opportunity that I used to have.
It's tough. When I went through my pissy week a couple of months back, it was playing at an open mic that really brought me back. When I was flat on my back a few weeks back, I couldn't play guitar. It was that as much as the blinding headaches that depressed me. It was fighting through the headaches and sitting upright long enough to play guitar that really helped ot bring me back.
I can't give up music. I've tried and I can't. I'll continue to play, wherever and whenever I can. If people are around, well that's a bonus. I'll make the occasional show in Ft. Collins, or Laramie, or Boulder or Denver when I can. I've actually met some really great folks at these shows. People that confirm that I can play and that I can write a compelling (if odd) song. People I've never met before. People who've never seen me before. That's a thrill that can't be duplicated in my living room.
Onion Radio News
Report: Poor People Pretty Much Screwed
Listen to the story here.
Almost too true to actually be funny.
Labels: Stuff From The Onion
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Open Mic Ettiquette
For me, though, the best part of the compilation is the 6 fifteen minute HBO episodes. Incredibly odd, but just plain funny and containing really great songs to boot. All of the episodes began with the D on stage at an open mike (hosted by Paul F. Tompkins). On entering the club one time, they passed a sign that said:
LEARN TO PLAY GUITAR
IN FRONT OF A
It's a funny line, but even funnier to me because in a way that's the way it happened with me. I learned to play guitar when I was in junior high, but I stopped in high school and concentrated on trombone. I even played trombone for a year in college. When I got a guitar for Christmas in 2002, I started playing again. I had picked up harmonica while in college, and realized that I could make a whole lot of noise for just one guy.
After moving back to the RC in 2003, I started looking for places to play where I could be in front of people. I thought I was pretty good, but my first evening at Knight's Cellar in Spearfish only served to show me how much I really needed to learn. I attened a show at Cheers in Rapid a few weeks later. SMB made me do about an hour my first night because practically nobody was there. I learned even more that night. I hooked up with a couple of guys named Andy a couple of weeks later and we started Patient 957. That's when I really started learning. I was forced to learn to make the harp fit in (I had pretty much given up playing guitar with these guys, they were a lot better than me). We got better and better, got a few paying gigs, but continued playing open mics.
When 957 broke up, TSA and I kept playing open mics. For a while, we were playing two shows every week. I started playing solo a bit, I'd play at Steve Thorpe's open mic in Piedmont, Joe Buchholz's show at Borders and a few other shows when I got the chance. I sort of relearned to play guitar a third time.
The point is, I did learn to play guitar, to play harmonica and sing in front of a real audience. I learned to beat the nerves. I learned to open up a little bit and I learned to deal with an audience. I owe all of the open mics I attended, their hosts and the businesses that allowed them to operate a huge debt of gratitude. I am who I am today, for better or worse, in a large part because of open mics.
I've always had some pet peeves about attendees to open mics. I find some of the behavior to be really poor. I always attended open mics as much to hear the other performers as I did to play myself. I've always found that if I actually listen to people I can actually learn something.
I found a post about this at OpenMikes.org and followed it to a myspace blog post by Marissa "Con Gusto" Meizel, an open mic host. She offered the following Open Mic Ettiquette tips on her blog:
1. ALL THE RECORD EXECUTIVES I INVITED TONIGHT CANCELED AND ARE NOT COMING, SORRY. You're probally not going to be discovered tonight. So, relax and enjoy yourself.
2. YOU DON'T GET ENCORES AT AN OPEN MIC. Any exceptions are for good reason. You will have to take my word for it.
3. TELL YOUR FRIENDS TO SHUT BE QUIET. Unless you want us to talk through YOUR set, can it.
4. TELL YOUR FRIENDS TO JOIN US, PLEASE. We're there for each other. LISTENING ROOM. Not "LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME NOW LETS GO OUTSIDE AND SMOKE" room.
5. GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER. Get onstage and offstage quickly. In tune. No playing around. No special requests WE DO NOT HAVE TIME.
6. WATCH YOUR VOLUME. It's a FRIGGEN coffee shop.
7. DON'T BE A DIVA. We can't perfect your sound IT'S AN OPEN MIC NIGHT, THERE IS A LINE.
8. BE NICE. The host/ess a great deal of the time gets NOTHING and even when they do get money, it will barely cover gas.
9. DO NOT TELL THE HOST/ESS ABOUT HOW MUCH OF A BETTER JOB YOU WOULD DO. Suggestions are different. There is one major difference between the job YOU could do andthe job THEY are doing... THEY'RE DOING IT AND YOU ARE NOT. Might I add they do it EVERY WEEK.
10. RESPECT YOUR FELLOW PERFORMER. If your ego is so big that you see fit to make fun of other performers, that same undeserved ego is like a big fun house mirror, blocking the true view of your own talent. Like your own window label, "TALENT VIEWED IN EGO MIRROR IS BIGGER THAN IT ACTUALLY APPEARS."
11. WHEN I SAY UNDER 8 MINUTES I MEAN UNDER 8 MINUTES. Stick with the time people. I am going to invest in a hook to drag people offstage from if this continues.
12. ACTING LIKE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS NOT THE SAME AS KNOWING WHAT YOU ARE DOING. Okay, now this should probably just go under the "don't be a diva" thing but I must say self-confidence is wonderful and necessary. Sometimes we must pretend... but I'm not talking about that. I am talking about getting onstage, throwing a fit about the sound or your mic, or whatnot... and then being out of tune or off-key.
13. To the kids: I'D WATCH YOUR ATTITUDE TO THE "OLD GUY" YOU'RE IGNORING. You don't have to be young to be talented or interesting or for that matter have incredible experience.
14. TO THE ADULTS: Well, I would tell the adults to respect the kids because they're just getting started but you know what? They've always been respectful.
15. BUY COFFEE. How else is the place supposed to survive?
I honestly couldn't have said any of this better myself. She pretty much hit on all of my open mic pet peeves. Thanks.
Friday, September 15, 2006
Look at Me, I'm a Cowboy!
It all comes back to the Far Side, I know. Best comic ever!
More Fake Gambling
Week 2 Stake: $1300
Week 2 Wagered: $600
Total Amount Remaining: $700
Remember, in any gambling endevour, money management is the key.
This is not a gambling site.
Sue Foley Photo Friday
I'm about a week away from the delivery of my Sue Foley: Live in Europe DVD. I even bought a new DVD player to watch it on. A small crimp in my plans, I'm heading back to the RC for a three day weekend, attending a party for the second birthday of my great nephew (photos of the guy available here), Julian. I don't want to miss this as he seems pretty aware of what's going on. If that means I don't get to watch my new DVD for a couple of days, well, that's the way it goes. I'd watch it with the family, but, well, I doubt that they'd get it, and I will have the sound pretty loud when I listen to it here.
The neighbors have been notified.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Presidential Pointless Shit
"A bachelor man who
never got him any"
...In 1819, Buchanan was engaged to Ann Caroline Coleman, the daughter of a wealthy iron manufacturer. However, she abruptly broke off their engagement and died from an overdose of laudanum several days later. After his fiancée’s death, Buchanan vowed he would never marry. He lived with Alabama Senator and former Vice President of the United States William Rufus King for sixteen years in Washington, D.C., but King died four years before Buchanan became president. Rumors and speculation circulated that the two had a homosexual relationship, with references to Buchanan's "wife" and "better half," and former President Andrew Jackson referred to King as "Miss Nancy."...
It must be true, it's on the internet. Continuing on with more stuff your really didn't need to know about James Buchanan.
|Vice President||John C. Breckinridge||1857–1861||Secretary of State||Lewis Cass||1857–1860|
|Jeremiah S. Black||1860–1861|
|Secretary of the Treasury||Howell Cobb||1857–1860|
|John A. Dix||1861|
|Secretary of War||John B. Floyd||1857–1861|
|Attorney General||Jeremiah S. Black||1857–1860|
|Edwin M. Stanton||1860–1861|
|Postmaster General||Aaron V. Brown||1857–1859|
|Secretary of the Navy||Isaac Toucey||1857–1861|
|Secretary of the Interior||Jacob Thompson||1857–1861|
Table stolen directly from Wikipedia.
I'll try to be a little more pointless next week.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Report: Majority Of Americans Unprepared For Apocalypse
The study examined nearly 1,200 doomsday scenarios and detailed the most glaring gaps in average Americans' ability to survive them. One of the few survival measures that fulfills the Institute's recommendations for most catastrophes—natural, manmade, or spiritual—is a mile-deep, lead-lined subterranean vault built to shield a pre-selected breeding group of humans until they can safely return to the planet's surface. However, only two American citizens, both in Idaho, were found to have begun even the most cursory planning stages of this kind of race-preserving chamber.
Hard-hitting stuff. I implore you, for the sake of yourself and those that you love, prepare. The best way to start your preparations is to read The Onion.
Labels: Stuff From The Onion
The MBW Goes International
Some Mexican TV nework called TV Azteca is producing, in fact has been producing for the past 5 years a piece of crap called La Academia.
Unlike Mexican professional wrestling, Mexican reality TV is definitely NOT better than it's American cousin. Think a bizzare combination of Big Brother, American Idol and really bad small town cable public access TV. La Academia gives all of these a bad name, I'm sorry to drag them into the muck with this show.
OK, I'm sure not speaking spanish makes it impossible for me to pick up the subtle nuances that La Academia is undoubtedly full of. And it's probably not fair of me to hold TV Azteca to the high standards that I expect from cable public access TV. Maybe it's quite acceptable for the screen to be black for thirty seconds in Mexican TV. Maybe not having audio for 15 minutes or showing the TV control room on camera when nothing interesting is going among the competitors is acceptable south of the border. I just don't know.
You see, unlike American reality TV, La Academia runs 24 hours a day. In a way, I admire this. In another, more realistic way, it's the stupidest idea in the history of television. Filo T. Farnsworth must be rolling over in his grave. Twenty-four hours a day, every day. And, you guessed it, when they're sleeping in Casa de La Academia, you get to watch it. Eight hours of watching people sleep. Now that's riveting television!
So, an apology. I've seen what the rest of the world has to offer in the reality TV arena. I'll shut up and watch the next season of American Idol. We very seldom get to watch people sleep for eight hours on that show. Might be an improvement, though.....
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
The Triumphant Return of Positive Tuesday
A year contains 12 months. I never really liked this as it's not a tidy round figure. Add in to that that not all months contain the same number of days and February is particularly screwed up. That's the system that we live with, though, so I really don't have any choice to adjust, I simply have to.
Payments on most things are due monthly. I have rent due on the 1st of the month, along with credit card bills, utilities, insurance, telephone/cable/internet, and other monthly bills that come at different times of the month. Being good at budgeting, I've worked it out so that certain bills are paid with different paychecks. The first paycheck of the month covers rent and usually the utilities. The second covers the rest. Groceries are puchased on both paychecks usually and a tidy sum is put away each paycheck for unexpected expenses and just plain fun.
A crimp gets thrown into this plan occasionally, actually two times a year. Don't worry, it's a good kind of crimp. My budgeting allows for two "Payment days" every month for a total of 24 "Payment days" in any given year. The great thing is that a year contains 52 weeks (plus one or two days depending on the year, so untidy....) which means I get paid 26 times a year.
And that, in turn, means that every year there are two paychecks that come that are completely mine. They are unclaimed by anyone, they go straight into the bank. Being a good budgeter, these always sort of catch me by suprise. Because of the way our system of counting time in month for works, these extra paychecks can come in any month, making them even more suprising when they occur.
I wish all of life's blindsides were so pleasant. September is an extra paycheck month for me. All of my bills were paid by my last paycheck, I get paid on Friday (unless I was Tim, who for some reason, gets paid tomorrow - I still don't understand that) and no biller gets any of it.
Actually I have some unexpected bills this month, so a lot of it will be spoken for. Still, I'm not having to take all of that out of my monthly budget. I try to never look ahead and don't try to figure out which two months I'll get an extra paycheck. I like to be suprised.
Even cooler, when I worked at DirecTV in California, I got paid every week. That meant my budget was split into a weekly basis, the first pacheck was rent, the second was car payment, etc. It also meant that instead of getting two extra paychecks a year, I got four. My life at that company was, for the most part, a living hell, but they paid me well and often. Can't complain about that.
All of this is nice, but being the tidy sort, I'd like to revise our system of months. I could go into a long diatribe about where the system of 12 months came from , but forgoing all of that I propose a system of 10 months, each containing at least 36 days. Five would have to contain 37 days, of course, to allow for 365 days (I will not allow "leap months" as contained in a lunar calendar like the Jewish one). And I will allow even more justice ro the lowly second month, given less days than the rest of the months for centuries. It would be one of the months with 37 days, plus it would retain it's leap day every four years, occasionally giving it 38 days, making it the greatest month on the calendar.
Also to tidy things up, the names would be changed on months that require it. For instance, September, October, Novemeber and December would not have to change their names as their names literally mean the seventh through tenth months. Months at the beginning of the year would change their names following that format. The first month would be "Untember" and we'd follow that format. July and August, named for Julius and Agugustus Caesar, would cease to exist. They were Roman Emperors, what the hell are they going to do about it?
I suppose weeks would have to have nine days, so that there would be exactly four weeks in every month. I also propose six day work weeks with three day weekends. Five months would have weeks that had one additional day. I'd make that one part of the weekend as well. I haven't crunched the numbers on this, maybe I've screwed us all into having to work extra days every year. Even so, the constant three day weekends would make up for that.
Here's hoping that the "Blind Orange" Julian Calendar catches on!
Born on the 20th of Dutember, 1965.
I propose we make it a holiday honoring
the man with the forsight to make some
sense out of our Calendar....
Monday, September 11, 2006
Weekend Fake Gambling Results
Balance for week one: +$300
Total amount remaining: $1300
We'll see what week two brings.
Pointless Video that I'm Not In
Apparently the star of this spot was the host of some PBS kid's show but they canned her after this started making the rounds on the net. I don't know, seems kind of tongue in cheek to me, but I've been known to miss the point before.
Onion Radio News
Australia's 'The Stingray Hunter' Says 'It Should Have Been Me'
Listen to the story here.
Labels: Stuff From The Onion
From Today's Mail
Hope somebody out there get's some use out of this. I'll even help you with this Hyperlink. Be a Locomotive Engineer today!
DHMO on a Plane
Suspicious Liquids and
the Department of Homeland Security
Kudos are in order, however, for the Department of Homeland Security. They have banned DHMO on all flights. Do not think the Homeland Security is looking out for your health concerns, though. The following is from WSOC-TV in Charlotte, North Carolina. Special thanks to Vern at Broken Machines for bringing this to my attention:
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Air passengers from Charlotte to Little Rock, Arkansas, had to hurry off their plane Friday after someone found a suspicious liquid on board.
The flight landed at Little Rock as scheduled Friday afternoon. But about seven miles before it landed, a crew member reported two passengers with two bottles of liquid. Police, firefighters and the bomb squad were called in, but the liquid turned out to be DHMO.
Italics added by The Globex Corporation for emphasis
DHMO is banned from flights, not because the Department of Homeland Security is concerned about your health, but because DHMO, or substances that may be mistaken for DHMO, can be used in the manufacture of explosives.
While they seem to have missed the point, a government agency is paying some attention to our National DHMO scourge. I applaud the DHS for being the first governement agency to, in any way, ban or restrict usage of this dangerous chemical compound.
Department of Homeland Security down, Deprtment of Agriculture to go.
The Globex Corporation will not rest until our great nation is DHMO free. We will fight to our last breath, yelling in the streets until are throats are parched. This country deserves nothing less.
Join the fight.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Consider the Possibilities, or Don't
While married we had a sort of different living arrangement. My job kept me in Sioux Falls year round. Hers required her to work in the field in the summers. So from late May to sometime in August or September, I was sort of on my own. I think back on that time, I was a male in my mid twenties, women generally seemed to like me and I lived alone in an apartment that made me look like a guy who was doing quite well. My friends would sometimes remark that I could be fooling around and the wife would never know.
That's just not the kind of guy I am. I was married, happily married, and while I still had the urges that guys get while we were apart, I never acted on them. In a way, that probably made me more attractive to single women since I didn't project a desperate vibe the way I did after the divorce was final.
One summer night in 1990 I got a phone call. The wife had been in a car accident in Chamberlain, on the Missouri River. I got in the car to retrive her as she couldn't travel any more with the car in the condition it was.
I jumped in the car. Needing to gas up first, I hit a local convenience store. I wasn't thinking completely straight, and wanting to do something for her, I bought a bottle of her favorite soda. I still had over two hours to drive, buying that was pretty dumb, but I was basically in shock. I didn't really know what I was doing at that point.
When I got to Chamberlain, I picked her up at the police station. I gave her the warm soda and we loaded her belonings into my car. She told me the details of the wreck on the drive back to Sioux Falls.
She was coming east on I-90. At Chamberlain, the Interstate crosses the Missouri River. It was raining. The Honda Civic she was driving hydroplaned, getting sideways on the bridge and she was broadsided by an SUV, spun a couple of times and hit the guard rail where the car finally came to rest. She remarked at how safe she felt in the car, but I was shocked. The car could have easily ended up in the river.
I later saw the car as she headed back out west for work. We had to get everything out of the Civic as it had been totalled by the insurance company and was being taken off to a junk yard. The car was a mess, and I started thinking about how things could have turned out differently for the ex-wife. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how easily she could have ended up dead in the accident. She could have been killed when the SUV plowed into the side of the Civic, the Civic could have ended up in the river, drowning her as the car sunk to the bottom.
I was quite thankful that she was OK. Even today, after everything that's transpired between us, I'm happy that she was OK.
In 1990 I was quite happily married, in 1991 I wasn't. It wasn't a banner year in our household. It's when things started to go wrong in our relationship. We took a pretty serious financial hit with the totalled car, the insurance not covering what we owed on it. Other bad financial things happened as well and in August of 1991 I lost my job at the shitty TV station I was working at. By September, the woman I fell in love with in college, the woman I had married less than three years earlier truely hated me. It was part of a horrible downward spiral for me.
In 1990 my ex-wife didn't die in a horrible car accident on a bridge over the Missouri River. I am truely glad that her life was spared that evening.
I had a cousin who died at about the same time. He was about to turn 18 and died when a truck he was driving overturned. That was over 15 years ago. When I think of him, I think of him as an 18 year old. I think of him as a kid with his life in front of him, with the hope only an 18 year old can have. I don't think of him as 30+ year old that he would be today, I don't think of the troubles that he may have had in his life over the years that have passed. He'll always be 18.
When I think of how my ex-wife might have died in 1990, I think of how much we were in love at the time, the hope we had in our lives. Things weren't perfect, but we were getting by. If she had died in 1990, I'd remember her as a woman who loved me, as a woman who I loved more than anything in my life. My memories wouldn't be of the petty arguments over money and sex we had in 1991. I would be sure that I'd lost the one true love in my life. Maybe I'd have recovered from that, maybe I wouldn't have. If she'd have died, I'd still be in love with her today.
In a way that would be easier, I'd have to deal with loss, not failure. I wouldn't have to look in the mirror and try to figure out what I could have done differently, how we should have sought help, how I should have accepted help.
I suppose considering these kind of things is kind of pointless. Life took the turns for me that it did. I'm where I am now, good or bad, because of everything that's happened in my life up to this point.
It doesn't matter whether I'm pining over a dead wife or lamenting the bad choices (by both of us) that made us have to split up. What matters is that I'm living life as it's come to me. I'm living today. I'm doing the best with the cards dealt me.
It's still not perfect, but I'm getting by.
GuitarBot from Broken Machines
But that's OK because I find cool suff like this at Broken Machines. Play the video, it's really cool!
I can't help but wonder what a HarmonicaBot would look like.....
Rams 18 - Broncos 10
Broncos RB Mike Bell holds onto the ball as he
goes up and over the Rams defense to score on
a 1-yard run. (AP)
The Defense The Broncos held the high powered Rams offense to no touchdowns, stopping them each time and forcing them to settle for six Field Goals (on seven attempts). While the Rams obviously had the ball far too often in Broncos territory for my liking, buckling down and keeping them out of the end zone each time is worth something. They were also good on third downs, allowing the Rams only three conversions in fifteen tries.
The Running Game The Broncos ran for 161 yards, with both Bells having nice games, each tearing off a 30+ yard gain. Mike Bell ran with the same toughness he showed in the preseason. Tatum Bell exhibited the explosiveness he showed last year, and a bit of durability that he hadn't shown until now. Let them share the load this season. It worked last year, and it should work well this year as well.
But, as always, there were negatives in a loss:
Turnovers This is the Jake Plummer I remember in Arizona. He completed a pass with his left arm early in the game. I like the competetiveness, but stuff like that won't fly in this league on a regular basis. Plummer was responisble for 3 interceptions and 1 fumble. Tatum Bell fumbled as well. Give your opponent 5 more chances on offense than you are getting is no way to win ballgames. Plummer only threw 7 INT's last year, he's nearly half way to that total injust one game.
Pass Protection It wasn't all Plummer's fault. Sacked 4 times and hurried numerous others, Jake was forced into some bad decisions. This is a good offensive line that is capable of a better performance than Sunday's. Mike Bell's one really bad play was, when in for pass protection, he was thrown aside by Rams DE Leonard Little. Boy was that ugly.....
Javon Walker's Hands Hopefully this won't continue, but new arrival Javon Walker dropped a number of passes he should have caught. He was open quite a bit on Sunday, but that doesn't do anybody any good until he catches the ball. I'm not worried that this will continue, but it did on Sunday.
Turnovers This was so bad it bears mentioning twice. Please Jake, be the QB you were last year, not the one we remember from Arizona.
Something to Give Me a Special Feeling on a Sunday
Boisvert Lingerie - video powered by Metacafe
.....And no, we don't.....
Remember, This is Not a Gambling Site
I'll be using the pointspreads found at Vegas.com. I will be using the Caesar's-Hilton line primarily, but, being a good shopper, I reserve the right to use any of the lines listed at Vegas.com.
For simplicity's sake, I won't be figuring the juice, if I win any given game, I double the money wagered, if I lose, I lose it all. Additionally, I won't be betting parlays or doyles, just straight bets. I will occasionally bet over/unders, but nothing intrigues me on that this week.
Those are my rules, here come this week's wagers (predicted winners in BOLD):
Total amount wagered: $500
Total amount remaining: $500
Wish me luck, I'll need it, I've never done that well with the sports betting.
Friday, September 08, 2006
5ives is a compilation of lists of 5 things that may or may not have a point of some sort. A recent favorite:
Five kitchen tools that sound kind of dirty
1. chocolate fountain
2. melon baller
3. meat baster
4. boning knife
5. corn holders
Enjoy 5ives today!
Sue Foley Photo Friday
Thursday, September 07, 2006
New York Giants Philadelphia Eagles Dallas Cowboys Washington Redskins
There's really not a great team in this division. Look for Eli Manning to have a big year. The Eagles will be better than last year. The Cowboys may play well, but will eventually implode with Terrell Owens on the roster. Washington is aging quickly, a replacement needs to be found for Mark Brunell as soon as possible.
Chicago Bears Detroit Lions Minnesota Vikings Green Bay Packers
Every team is flawed here. The Bears have a great defense but will struggle offensively unless they find an answer at QB. The Lions can't help but be better. I despised Mike Martz in St. Louis, but he has tools to work with in Detroit and could put up big offensive numbers with this squad. The Vikings continue to have character problems. Please, please, give Brett Favre something to work with before he gets killed out there!
Carolina Panthers Tampa Bay Buccaneers Atlanta Falcons New Orleans Saints
The Panthers are the class of the NFC, enough offense and a great defense. They'll run away with the south. Chris Simms will get a chance to start for the full season in Tampa. We'll see if he's up to it. This could be the season that we decide what kind of QB Michael Vick is. The tools are all there, he needs to prove himself as a winner. Reggie Bush just isn't enough to make a difference in New Orleans. I can't help but wonder how much he's going to play anyway with a similar type of player already starting in front of him.
Seattle Seahawks St. Louis Rams Arizona Cardinals San Francisco 49ers
I know all about the curse befalling teams that lose the Super Bowl, but Seattle doesn't face a lot of competition in the West. Everyone else should be better, but not good enough to catch the Seahawks. If the Rams learn to play some D, they'll improve markedly, but don't count on it. The Cardinals always seem to have the talent to win, but always seem to screw it up. I guess that's Denny Green's MO. The Niners are simply dreadful.
Miami Dolphins New England Patriots Buffalo Bills New York Jets
The Dolphins will be the suprise team on the NFL. They were good when Nick Saban took over last year, but now they have a ton of extra talent. This is a dangerous team. At some point, the Pats have to pay for all the coaching talent that's been shipped off around the football world. This could be the year. Buffalo is third only because the Jets are probably the worst team in football. Questions at QB and nobody to run the ball aren't the ideal way to start rebuilding.
Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers Baltimore Ravens Cleveland Browns
People seem to forget that the Bengals won the North last year. If Carson Palmer is really back, they'll win it again. The loss of Bettis hurts the Steelers more than anyone realizes. He was a leader and great in tough yardage situations. Duce Staley won't be able to fill his shoes. The Ravens are better with McNair at QB, but "offensive genius" Brian Billick always manages to have a crappy offense. He owes his job to the defensive squad and their coaching staff. Charlie Frye makes the Browns fun to watch, that doesn't translate into many wins though
Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars Houston Texans Tennesse Titans
The Colts will need to find and answer at RB, but if they don't, another Manning could have a HUGE year. The Jags play good D, can run the ball and have a competent QB, that puts them in the top third of NFL teams. I'm out on a limb with the Texans, David Carr needs to step up. He also needs to spend a lot less time on his butt. Gary Kubiak will help both of those thing occur. Two words about the Titans - Kerry Collins????
Denver Broncos San Diego Chargers Kansas City Chiefs Oakland Raiders
Note, I am a Broncos fan. Every year we wonder who is going to be the starter at running back in Denver and every year someone we haven't heard of runs for 1,000 yards. Mike Bell? Tatum Bell? It doesn't matter, Denver will run the ball. Phillip Rivers will have a nice season in San Diego, Chargers fans will forget about that guy who's now stuck in New Orleans. The Chiefs needed to improve defensively in the off season and simply didn't. Larry Johnson will be big but it won't be enough. Randy Moss and Joey Porter play on the same team and no one on this roster can get them the ball. Long season by the bay.
Denver vs. Carolina in Super Bowl XLI. Make your plans now.