Thursday, June 30, 2005

Pirates/Nats Series

I never thought that I would get tired of going to baseball games, but I'm ready to take a break. It's not the games themselves (although I'll get to them shortly), but the hour (or more) it takes to get to and from the stadium and the 2+ hour rain delay in last night's game can be really exhausting. Here are my notes from the past three games, where the Nats won all three:

- As with any Pittsburgh game, there were many Pirates fans throughout the series.

- While I support Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon and defended him in a discussion with a friend who does not like McClendon on Tuesday night, I realize that my friend makes some valid points, particularly after this series. In the three games, the Pirates started three different catchers and three different third baseman. In fact only Jason Bay in left field, Daryle Ward at first base and Jack Wilson at shortstop started in the same position all three games, and only Jack Wilson batted in the same spot of the batting order in all three games.

- I actually liked seeing McClendon get ejected in today's game. Kip Wells and David Ross were both extremely frustrated with the umpires calling of balls and strikes and Lloyd was sticking up for them. How he got ejected was even better. When walking towards the dugout after visiting Wells on the mound, he said something (who knows what?) that really upset the ump, who promptly kicked him out of the game. Then came a heated argument and that was that.

- The Pirates managed to have a player thrown out at home plate in all three games. Is this a record?

- As Dejan Kovacevic of the Post-Gazette wrote, "The grounds crew at Washington, so clumsy its work...had failed to spread the tarp over the entire third-base line during the long rain. When the delay ended, they poured bags of sand over it to try to compensate. It apparently was not sufficient." This probably caused Rob Mackowiak to be thrown out at home.

- RFK stadium has to work on the in-between innings entertainment. Not only do they have a car race on the scoreboard between George Washington, Abe Lincoln and Alexander Hamilton (there are only three races programmed, so either Washington is going to spin out, Hamilton is going to stop at an ATM or Lincoln is going to stop to take pictures), there is also a scoreboard race between a bottle of Miller, Miller Lite and MGD. Not very exciting.

- I'm getting hungry so it's dinner time. Maybe the Pirates will get better. Maybe not.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Items That Should Be on a Scoreboard

During Tuesday's Nationals/Pirates game, I was really hoping that the scoreboard would read the following for Nats Outfielder Marlon Byrd: "Had Cadillac Escalade stolen in RFK Stadium parking lot during last Nationals road trip." I think this may make the game a little more interesting for the casual baseball fan.

By the way, Byrd's car being stolen as well as other players having their cars broken into at the RFK parking lot is a true story.

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Law Firm

There are several lawyers who read the blog, and would like to know their thoughts about The Law Firm, another reality show that debuts in July. Here's what NBC says about the show. "Real lawyers. Real cases. Real consequences. Executive producer David E. Kelley (The Practice, Ally McBeal) brings a real legal drama to television. Trial attorney and legal analyst Roy Black will manage 12 actual lawyers competing against each other while trying real court cases with judges and juries, resulting in outcomes that will be final, legal and binding. Each week, one legal eagle is eliminated and the top attorney will receive a prize of $250,000. With plenty of drama inside and outside of the courtroom, the result is riveting entertainment. The compelling cases range from First Amendment issues to neighbor disputes to wrongful death. Distinguished judges will decide some of the cases, while a jury determines the others."

So do the lawyers on the show already have jobs at law firms? Will they stay with the firm after the show or start their own firm? Can (or will) someone lose their job or get disbarred for how they act on the show? How exactly does a First Amendment case work on TV where the lawyers are competing against each other?

Sunday, June 26, 2005


We rented Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story last night, and while I would never say (or write) that Dodgeball is a good movie, there were funny moments and it was (mildly) entertaining. I will give Dodgeball a lot of credit for its cameos including Lance Armstrong, Chuck Norris, David Hasselhoff, William Shatner, Hank Azaria and Jason Bateman. In addition, Dodgeball reunited Office Space stars Gary Cole (Lumbergh) and Stephen Root (Milton), which in itself, deserves a thumbs-up.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Eric Roberts - Music Video Superstar

It's been a good year for Eric Roberts on VH1 and MTV. He has played major roles in a video by The Killers and two for Mariah Carey. Maybe he found his niche. Speaking of Mariah Carey, I really can't figure her out. She has one of the top songs and albums in the country, and has sold millions and millions of CDs the past 15 years. While she is definitely a diva and superstar, I don't think she gets a lot of respect as a singer/artist. If we were having a discussion of the greatest female pop/R&B performers of all time, I think that the candidates would be Aretha, Madonna, Whitney and possibly Diana Ross. I'm not sure if Mariah would be and I don't know why, although I suspect that "Glitter" has something to do with it.

Friday, June 24, 2005

I Need Help

I deleted the last few posts from when I started having this problem. I don't understand what changed with the blog, but it seems to be something with the template. I don't understand html code well enough to try and fix this. If anyone (preferably someone I know and trust) would like to try and and fix it, please let me know. Thanks.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Jose Guillen

I've said this since 1999, but I still think the Pirates made a bad deal trading Jose Guillen. Guillen was traded in his third season after having 70+ RBIs his first two years. I know he struggled in Tampa Bay and he has some attitude problems, but I still don't understand why the Pirates gave up on a productive player who was so young. Was getting Joe Oliver and Humberto Cota worth giving up on him? Even in the past few years, Guillen has said he wanted to come back to play in Pittsburgh. Oh well.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Hitless Week

The line-up for this week's Hit Me Baby One More Time may be weaker than the 1984 Pittsburgh Pirates, featuring legends such as Jason Thompson, Doug Frobel, Dale Berra, Lee Mazzilli, Jim Morrison (not the singer) and Benny Distefano. Hit Me's line-up this week is Billy Vera, Club Nouveau, Glass Tiger, Thelma Houston and Greg Kihn. Billy Vera's song is known from being on Family Ties (not the theme song) and has an annoyingly long ending. While I really like Club Nouveau's version of Lean on Me, can a group win for doing a remake? I also like Glass Tiger's song, but I don't remember the song being huge. I'm too young for Thelma Houston, and I never heard of Greg Kihn until I read his bio. The only reason I know him is because Weird Al did his song "(Our Love's in) Jeopardy" as "I Lost on Jeopardy."

As much as people (like me) have been making fun of some of the performances the past few weeks, there were some real stars. Irene Cara won an Oscar, Arrested Development has a few Grammys and Vanilla Ice and Tiffany were HUGE. Howard Jones and Wang Chung could easily take this week's group.

With all of this said, I'm sure I'll be watching on Thursday! :)

Dependency on Computers

Maybe it's just me, but I never realize how dependant I am on computers until I don't have access to them. We have had a problem with a worm at work the past two days, so that computers run slow at best, but generally programs just freeze and nothing can be done. It's very difficult doing work without Outlook, Word, Excel and the internet. We actually had to shut off our computers completely this afternoon. I hope it's better tomorrow, although I said the same thing yesterday.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Getting in Shape - Summer 2005

While I have lost some weight over the past six months, primarily by cutting down on food with high cholesterol (cheese, eggs, more cheese, cream cheese), I am still not in the kind of shape I would like to be. So my goal for the summer is to get into better shape. I started by joining an ultimate frisbee league for the first time since summer 2003. We lost our first game 15-9 on Wednesday night, and I probably looked like I didn't play since 2003.

On Saturday, I was a soccer ref for four games, where I was the only ref. Being the only ref meant that I had to be in position for everything. I may have missed an offsides call in the final game, where the one team ended up scoring a goal as a result of the non-call (well, more accurately because the defense and goalie didn't do anything to stop the shot or goal). Of course, the coach whose team gave up the goal knew for sure it was offsides since he had a perfect angle about 30 yards away.

Anyway, Sunday I played tennis, where again I looked like I had not played for over a year. I hit more shots off the fence than winners.

Finally, I played in a pick-up frisbee game tonight. I'm not sure if I'm in better shape than I was last week, but I know I'm tired so I'm going to sleep. Good night.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Mark This Date

Today, Saturday June 18, 2005, I started a new can of shaving cream. It is the Edge Progel economy size (9.5 oz). I shave everyday, yet it takes months for me to finish a can. Therefore, I am marking today's date so that I can see how long it takes me to go through the shaving cream. This is not nearly as excited Jason's beer count, but it's something.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Hit Me

With a reality TV show for everything (want to be a Hilton, want to be with Jerry Hall, etc.), there is one show that I am actually watching. And I'm actually watching it right now. It's Hit Me Baby 1 More Time on NBC. Before I discuss the show, does Britney Spears get any money for NBC using the title of her song?

I've watched part of the first two episodes, but tonight is the first time I have watched the entire show. Here are my thoughts:

Since these artists have not performed in front of a national audience in at least 10 years, it would be nice for them to perform their ENTIRE song. At first, I thought NBC just wanted to run more commercials and there would not be enough time for the whole song. My new theory is that some of the performances cannot sing the entire song. Sophie B. Hawkins was completely out of breath about 30 seconds into her song. When she realized she couldn't win with her singing, she went with sex appeal (like Tiffany did in week 1).

To whoever wrote the script, you don't have to say "and now he's/she's/they're back" before every performance.

I know this was from two weeks ago, but what happened to Arrested Development? They were really good and then fell off of the face of the earth. Was it because Dionne Farris left for a solo career?

More shocking than the runaway bride's eyes is Wang Chung performing Nelly's Hot in Here. Even more shocking...they did a great job.

Cameo doing Bowling for Soup's 1985 is not nearly as good.

I was wondering what happened to the voting machines that were used on Love Connection and Who Wants to be a Millionaire. I'm glad to see they are still being used.

9:51 - I'm writing this before the vote. I think Wang Chung is going to win. They were solid for both their song and the cover. Irene Cara was outstanding for What a Feeling, but not as good for her second song. Howard Jones could have an outside chance. Cameo wasn't as good as I was hoping, especially with 1985. Sophie has no chance.

Irene is the winner. I'm a little surprised, but the audience really did get into the song. She should be singing Fame to close the show, but what do I know?

Party of One

I caught part of the MTV Movie Awards being re-run during the week. The cast of the movie Mean Girls won an award for something. I can't tell you what. Anyway, Lacey Chabert has really grown up from her days on Party of Five. I don't think it's a stretch to say that she is hotter than her former co-stars, Jennifer Love-Hewitt and Neve Campbell. She may even have a better career right now than the other two.

Clearing a Rumor

I want to dispel a potential rumor before it starts.

There have been a few times I've been around that track, so it's not just gonna happen like that. Cause I'm not a Hollaback guy. I ain't no Hollaback guy.

I hope that clears things up.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Vote for Clark

I don't drive to work very often, but when I do, I pass what has to be the former Wesley Clark for President '04 headquarters. At the very least, it served as a Clark office. Now that the Democratic primaries have been over for nearly a year and the Presidential election was more than 6 months ago, it may be time to repaint the outside of the building. It just looks really odd.

This is what is sounds like, when doves cry

I really have no interest in discussing the Michael Jackson case, but I'll admit that I laughed seeing the coverage of a woman releasing doves outside the courthouse when Jackson was acquitted. Apparently, she rented 11 doves for $150 to set free so they can "fly with freedom, much like Jackson will." Was the $150 a deposit, where she would get some money back if the doves were returned? Were the doves rooting for a Jackson acquittal so they could get away from her? These are the important questions that no one seems to be covering.

Happy Birthdays

to my best friend from college, Kim, and to Sarah who both turned 30 yesterday. Welcome to the 30 year-old club. Apparently, they share a birthday with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who turned 19 yesterday. So happy birthday to all!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Washington Nationals Baseball

I attended the Nats-Mariners game today, where the Nats won their 10th straight game. The team is now 1.5 games ahead of Philadelphia in the division and has the best home record in baseball (24-9). Here's my question: can the Nats make the playoffs? I can see good arguments for both sides. On the pro: the team is generally solid defensively, has a good #1 starter in Livan Hernandez, may have the best bullpen combination in baseball with Luis Ayala and Chad Cordero (1.13 ERA; 19 saves), and have a good line-up with Vinny Castilla, Nick Johnson & Brad Wilkerson. On the con: not too much depth although getting Junior Spivey to replace the injured Vidro should help, I'm not sold on their starting pitching in big games and the line-up could use another power guy.

I'd be interested in seeing the opinions of folks inside and outside the DC area on whether or not you think the Nats can make the playoffs.

Why Not?

I'm still awake, so I might as well write something. I attended a local festival that I used to know very well on Friday night and Saturday. It was different (mostly not in a good way) from the event last year, but it was nice seeing and catching up with people that were a significant part of my life the past few years. I really hope that the festival and its organizers can turn itself around, but major changes would have to take place if that were to happen. I may talk more about this over the next few days/weeks/months, but that's it for tonight. I haven't been awake this late in months, if not years! I might be really hurting tomorrow (Sunday) or Monday.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Sorry Dan

What is wrong with Katie Holmes? Seriously. She was on Good Morning America this morning smiling the entire time and repeatedly saying that Tom was incredible and amazing. She reminded me of some girls from my Junior High who had crushes on and knew everything about the members of New Kids on the Block. I have a feeling that she was in love with Tom Cruise when she was 11 and still can't believe that she's dating him. She was actually talking about getting married to him this morning. By the way, I have as much interest in seeing the new Batman movie (Holmes was also plugging the movie, but mostly gushed about Tom) as I do in seeing the movie about pants that travel.

I'm not sure why this is upsetting me. I guess I feel like there is way too much media attention on this, and much of this seems to be orchestrated by Katie & Tom. I don't think I ever saw Holmes go on TV to promote her relationship with Chris Klein.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Not Much Happening

Besides work being really busy, there really isn't much going on today. The Pirates won again tonight. I finished the book "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." I'm still looking for a Steelers jersey. Former Steelers offensive lineman, Terry Long, passed away on Tuesday. The Post-Gazette's obituary also mentioned that former Steelers linebacker David Little died on March 17th. I must have missed this. David Little was one of the jerseys I was considering.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Pirates Win!

It's hard to get excited for a team that's 27-30, but the Pirates have been exciting to watch recently. Losing 5-0, the Pirates scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 6th and 4 in the bottom of the 8th inning to defeat the Baltimore Orioles. They have now won 7 of the last 11 games. The Pirates aren't on TV very often in the DC area, so it was nice seeing them tonight.

In case anyone is interested, my fantasy baseball teams are struggling. In my #1 league (the one I've been in for 13 years), I'm in 10th place out of 12. It's a miracle that I'm in 10th! On the bright side, I may have the first ever combination of Humberto catchers (Humberto Cota of the Pirates and Humberto Quintero of the Astros). In the #2 league (head-to-head), I'm in 7th out of 10, but having a really good week. I guess it's not too early to prepare for fantasy football. I'll have to remember NOT to draft Vikings RB Ontario Smith.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Pittsburgh Trip

It was very nice going back to Pittsburgh this weekend. Here are some notes from the trip:

* Kennywood was not nearly as crowded as it was when I was younger. (How many times can I write "was" in a sentence?) I'm not sure why, but I have some theories. The increased price is keeping some folks away. It was a beautiful day, so more people went to the Sandcastle water park. People went to the Dave Matthews Band concert and/or the Three Rivers Arts Festival. I hope it is one of the last reasons because I certainly do not want to see Kennywood in decline.

* While I still think Kennywood is the best neighborhood amusement park in the country (Cedar Point & Six Flags are not neighborhood parks) and I love going there, a few things bothered me. There is a new area of the park called Lost Pittsburg. Why is it not Lost Pittsburgh? The "tunnel of love" type ride has been around for 100 years. While the Old Mill wasn't the most exciting ride ever, I feel like Kennywood sold out a little bit with Garfield's Nightmare. When you first enter the ride, you now see a Pepsi and Lays chips in 3-D. Finally, in the "I feel old" department, Noah's Ark has been redone and you no longer enter through the whale mouth (I'm sure this sounds odd if you have never been there). I asked someone working there where it went, and they replied that it has been gone since 1996.

* Very nice win for the Pirates against Atlanta (sorry Jason). Matt Lawton hit a monster home run and was a triple short of the cycle.

* If you are not going to drink beer at a baseball game (or at other sporting events), I highly recommend signing up to be a designated driver. I have seen a booth at several stadiums. All you have to do is sign a paper saying that you're not going to drink and wear a wristband and you receive a free small drink coupon. When it is 80+ degrees and you're in the sun, the free drink is great. The Pirates also had a drawing for everyone who signed up to be a designated driver. I ended up winning a Pirates jacket, that probably sells for $60. Definitely worth it!!

Back to reality...

Friday, June 03, 2005

Traveling (Pants) to Pittsburgh

I'm heading to Pittsburgh this weekend for a trip back to my childhood. On Saturday, I will be going to the Kennywood amusement park, and on Sunday, to the Pirates baseball game.

Since I mentioned it (sort of) above, I laugh every time I hear the title The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I just picture pants floating from place to place. I feel like there will be traveling pants at a rest stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike this weekend or possible getting gas or food in Breezewood, PA. Do the pants travel internationally or just stay within the United States? Here's the real question: do the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants fight? Is there bitterness and distrust between the groups and a history of hatred between the two sisterhoods?

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Ithaca College Women's Crew Team - NATIONAL CHAMPS!

Unless you are going to the actual Ithaca College website, this may be the best place for Ithaca College news. Over the Memorial Day weekend, the Bombers (that is IC's nickname) won the Women's Crew National Championship becoming the first school to repeat as NCAA Division III Women’s Crew champions. Way to go Bombers!!

Three members of the crew team also earned all-America honors from the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA). (Yes, I'm taking this information from the IC website). Fourth seat Meghan Musnicki was a first-team choice and coxswain Bailey Frye and seventh seat Robyn McCann were second-team selections.

I certainly do not want to take away from their efforts. After all, they were part of back-to-back national championships. However, how do the coaches determine all-American honors for crew? Crew seems like the ultimate team sport where the team must work together to win. Therefore, how can certain individuals be differentiated from the others? It's not like other sports (I think) where you can determine who has better statistics. Right?

A Tale of Two Running Backs

Congrats to Ravens running back, Jamal Lewis on being released from jail today after serving four months for being a part of a drug deal. It will be nice to see Lewis return to the classy and honorable Ravens organization.

On the other side of the spectrum, the personable and all-around good citizen Jerome Bettis will be at Fair Oaks Mall about 20 minutes away from me this Saturday. Of course, I will be in Pittsburgh on Saturday, so I'll miss The Bus. The PSGameGear store is hosting the event, where they are charging an autograph fee of $65 per item, $95 on PREM Items and $20 per Inscription. Maybe the store will give some of the money to the Jamal Lewis's lawyers!