Thursday, March 30, 2006

Mason News

I had fun Steelers links the week before the Super Bowl, and since the result of that game went well, I thought I would have George Mason links for the Final Four.

The students at the Mason campus in the United Arab Emirates are very excited! One quote from a student there, "Please win for us to make us popular."

Were you looking for stories about Mason guards Tim Burns and Makan Konate? I only found one too. The Worcester Telegram & Gazette points out that they played at Worcester Academy.

There's an article in the Washington Post about Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer," which has become a theme song used by the George Mason Spirit Band. I'm sure I'll get hate posts for this, but the article didn't mention that the band's version isn't all that good.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

TV Programming

I like VH1. I like the movie Caddyshack. However, I don't understand why VH1 is currently showing Caddyshack. Besides Chevy Chase being the Star of Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al" video, I don't see any relation between the two.

Of course, the most random pairing of a movie on a TV station that I have seen has to be "Office Space" on Lifetime. I didn't think Lifetime was allowed to have comedy unless it's the Golden Girls.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

New Links

On the right side of the screen, you may notice that I've added a few more links. They are primarily sports-related since, well, I like sports. However, there are some fun ones like seeing what Steeler Ike Taylor is up to and following a guy who is writing a book about the Colonial Athletic Association. He picked a good year to follow the conference!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Go Mason!

I'm still amazed. While Mason reaching the Final Four does not equal the Steelers reaching and then winning the Super Bowl or the Penguins during the Stanley Cup years, it's pretty close. The fact that no one believed they could do it, even rationale Mason fans, makes it so special. Take ESPN's Doug Gottlieb. He was on Sportscenter Sunday morning talking about Mason, saying that would keep it close, but that UConn would win. I'm OK with that. I didn't hear anyone saying that Mason would defeat UConn. However, Gottlieb called Lamar Butler, "Jamar Butler" the Ohio State guard. The best players on any other team that were playing in the Elite 8 would be known by the top college basketball analysts.

One more rant: Paul Zeise had a chat today on the Post-Gazette's website. I generally like his college sports coverage. Anyway, in his chat, he wrote that "I didn't even think _ and still don't think _ George Mason deserved to be in the field of 65 to begin with." How you can he say that they shouldn't have been in the TOURNAMENT when they made the Final Four? They were definitely more deserving than say Seton Hall.

On to the links:
* Michael Wilbon's weekly chat was almost entirely about Mason.
* ABC News has a piece about Coach Larranaga. This is really big time!

Sunday, March 26, 2006


This is just amazing! I'm a pretty big George Mason fan, but I never thought that they could make the Final Four. I'll have much more about this over the next few days.

Summons for Jury Duty

Back in September, I wrote about receiving a jury questionnaire and speculated that I may be called to jury duty. Yesterday, I received the official "Summons for Jury Duty." I am scheduled to appear on April 18th. I am actually a little excited about it as I'll be doing my civic duty. Plus, the summons says "There are unavoidable periods of waiting while on jury duty. You may bring a book, laptop computer or some other quiet activity to help pass the time. Internet wireless access is available in the jury assembly area." I guess this means I can post messages directly from the courthouse. Cool! Of course, I'll be doing this as part of my civic duty.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Does anyone out there have a MySpace page? The reason I am asking is because I'm wondering if I should get my own. I'm already on Friendster, but I barely use it and don't even have my picture there. At 30, I'm probably outside of the MySpace demographic of high school and college students. I honestly don't want to put much work into it and it would probably be a pretty lame page, but that seems to be the place for all of cool kids. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Music Scene

On Saturday night, we went to see The Legwarmers, an 80s cover/tribute band. It was AWESOME! Every song they performed was a hit such as Eddie Money's "Take Me Home Tonight," "Jenny (867-5309)," Bon Jovi's classic "Livin' on a Prayer," the "Safety Dance," Blondie and much, much more. It was such a great time, we barely noticed that the last song didn't end until about 1:30. That's about 3-4 hours later than we usually stay out.

In other news, Celebrate Fairfax! has announced the headliners for its 25th annual festival:

Friday, June 9: Collective Soul
Saturday, June 10: Sister Hazel & Sugar Ray
Sunday, June 11: .38 Special

Not too shabby.

Monday, March 20, 2006


As of today, this little part of the internet has had 10,000 visitors since it began last January. Thanks to everyone out there who has been looking for information about Flavor of Love (or just Flavor Flav or Hoopz) and Kevin Pittsnogle. In all seriousness (sort of), thanks to the 10 or so regular visitors...who happened to visit this site about 1,000 times over the past 14+ months!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Another NCAA Tournament Related Post

The real reason for this post is to if this picture worked. If it does, you can see George Mason's mascot, Gunston, behind Coach Larranaga. I'm not sure how to describe Gunston, but a few years ago, it was fun yelling "You are the worst Gunston ever" to an uninspiring mascot. This year's Gunston has been much better.

If you are looking for more Mason articles, check out The Washington Post article by Camille Powell, ESPN's recap of the game and Stewart Mandel at Sports Illustrated.

Update Monday morning: Two more Mason stories to start off your day: the first by Michael Wilbon in The Washington Post and the second by Kyle Whelliston at

I Feel Better


If you have been watching George Mason for the first time over the past few days, the loud whistling sound you hear throughout the game is by Coach Jim Larranaga. He may be the loudest whistler EVER! Go Patriots!

A Little Depressed

I am really disappointed with the result of the Pitt-Bradley game. Bradley was more aggressive, created more turnovers and Pitt (Krauser, Gray, Graves and Kendell) was in foul trouble throughout the game. Pitt could have used Keith Benjamin and Tyrell Biggs (who missed the game due to illness and injury), but I'm not sure if that would have helped. Anytime Pitt seemed to get close, Bradley would get fouled and hit free throws. Overall, Bradley made 26 of 32 (81%) of its free throws. Completely unrelated to the result of the game, does Pitt's Levon Kendall's hair ever get messed up? I don't think I've ever seen him sweat either.

The George Mason game has started and only a few minutes into the game, North Carolina is up by 9. Ugh.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

More College Basketball Notes

* I'm currently watching the GW-Duke game. Look out Duke! GW is ready to make a run!

* There continues to be a huge debate going on between George Mason and Hofstra fans. Gregg Doyel on CBS Sportsline has an article about the teams. There is also debate on the main CAA blog. The bottom line is that both teams deserved to make it.

* Maryland proved today why it did not deserve to make the NCAA Tournament by losing AT HOME to Manhattan. Earlier this year, Mason won AT Manhattan.

Duke is now up 13 with 10 minutes to play. I still think it's going to be close at the end.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Enjoying the Couch

On TV: George Mason vs. Michigan State

On my computer: Pitt vs. Kent State

Me: Not going anywhere for a while

UPDATE 9:30pm

Congrats to the George Mason University Patriots for the huge upset win over Michigan State! While I was rooting for Mason all along, realistically, I didn't think they could match up with the Michigan State guards (Ager, Neitzel and Shannon Brown) without Tony Skinn. I am very happy to be wrong. Mason could have made it a little easier if the team made more free throws down the stretch. If North Carolina beats Murray State, the match-up between Jai Lewis and Tyler Hansbrough will be fun to watch.

Meanwhile, Pitt had six players score in double figures in defeating Kent State. I don't think Aaron Gray or Ronald Ramon ever missed a shot.

A good evening on the couch!

NCAA Tournament 2006

There are no government holidays between Presidents Day in February and Memorial Day in late May. I would like to propose that the Thursday and Friday of the 1st round of the NCAA Tournament be an official holiday. The first four days of the tournament are really my favorite time of the sports year. Constant action and you always seem to be rooting for a team/school that you know nothing about or anyone associated with the school. I really am going to take these days off one day.

The George Washington-UNC Wilmington game this evening was terrific. At the beginning of the second half, Wilmington hit every shot and built an 18-point lead. GW followed by going on a 19-0 run. Each team made big shot after big shot with GW finally prevailing in overtime. GW will give Duke a great game and may even win on Saturday. You heard it here first!

Today is the big day for the teams that I follow closest all in action: Pitt, George Mason and West Virginia. Quick prediction: Kevin Pittsnogle will score over 20 points and there will be at least two mentions of him being a new father.

I'm a little disappointed this year that CBS did not make a Spring Break Shark Attack II. I loved the commercials (and the actual TV movie) last year.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Very Expensive Orange Juice

Here's another part of my San Diego trip...This past Sunday morning, I had the opportunity to have brunch at the Crown Room at the Hotel del Coronado. Opportunity is probably too strong a word since I really just showed up and was taken to a table. Click here for the history of the Hotel del Coronado, but it is best known for hosting ten U.S. Presidents and the movie location for "Some Like It Hot" starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. Anyway, I don't think I mentioned that brunch was $56.99 per person, easily making it the most expensive brunch (and possibly meal) that I've ever had. While the food was outstanding, especially the strawberries dipped in chocolate from the chocolate fountain with whipped cream from the waffle station, I definitely did not eat or drink $56.99 worth of food. Fortunately, the $100 gift certificate I had really helped.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

NCAA Tournament

I am having a tough time going through and making picks for the NCAA tournament. Going with my heart, I want Pitt (my hometown team) to go far plus I have connections at Ohio State (grad school), San Diego State (worked there), George Mason (my "new" hometown team) and to a lesser extent George Washington (worked there). I'm also a biased towards Big East teams since I watched them more than other conference. I feel like certain teams that are ranked high (Iowa, Tennessee, Syracuse and Boston College) are going to lose fairly early in the tournament but I can't seem to pick at 14, 15 or 16 seed team to win in the first round.

In case you were wondering, I currently have Pitt and Ohio State (with UConn & Texas) in the Final Four, SDSU beating Indiana in the first round before losing to Gonzaga, Mason losing to Michigan State (only because Tony Skinn is out) and GW winning in the first round before losing to Duke.


If you haven't heard the news, former game show host Peter Tomarken died in a plane crash. It seems like only yesterday that I was watching him host one of my favorite shows of all time, Press Your Luck. Actually, I DID watch Press Your Luck on my flight yesterday. Although I really haven't seen or heard anything about Tomarken in the past few years, it sounds like he was doing something very worthwhile when he died.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Flavor of Love Finale

I've talked about Flavor of Love many times over the past few months but since I was still on vacation, I missed last night's final episode. So today on the return flight from San Diego, I was really hoping that jetBlue's DirectTV was working (since it did not work for most of my flight last week) and that VH1 would show Flavor of Love again. DirectTV worked, but there was no Flavor of Love...until 1:00pm. I was able to see Flavor Flav with Hoopz and New York on their trip to Mexico; however, the flight landed at 1:45pm so they turned off the TVs before the winner was announced. This is probably the first time in the history of air travel that someone was disappointed that the flight landed 20+ minutes early.

Anyway, I still have not seen the ending or officially know who won. Based on the number of referrals I have received today and the mention of the ending from the Sports Guy, I know who won, but I'd still like to see it.

Guess Who's Back

I just flew in from San Diego and boy are my arms tired!

Anyway, I'll talk more about my trip including thoughts about jetBlue, the weather, The Sopranos, Flavor of Love, the NCAA Tournament and much, much more over the next few days.

All I can report at this time is that I knew it was early in the morning when we left the hotel before the bill was left under the door (don't they do that at midnight or 1:00am?), we were at the airport before security was open and once through security, McDonalds was not open yet.

Time to read through my e-mail, see what is going on in the world today and possibly take a nap.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


I'm heading to San Diego tomorrow and taking JetBlue to get there. I'm excited about having my own TV, but I have no idea what will be on tomorrow night. Anyway, has anyone ever flown JetBlue? If so, how was it?

NCAA Tournament

With the Colonial Athletic Association tournament concluding last night, UNC Wilmington has earned the automatic conference bid. The big question is whether or not George Mason and/or Hofstra or neiter will recieve an at-large bid. This should be interesting to follow over the next few days and into (and after) selection Sunday. I hate to say it, but if Mason makes it (which I feel that they should), I don't think they have a chance with Tony Skinn out due to suspension.

The Big East Tournament starts tomorrow! There are going to be some fantastic games. While Pitt is definitely in the NCAA Tournament, I'm sure that the team and the selection committee will feel better with a few wins. I would love to see a 3rd Pitt-WVU game on Thursday.

Here are some links if you want to follow the CAA and Pitt.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Sunday Night Notes

Quick final thoughts from last night...

I ended up 7 for 9 with my picks. I decided to have one upset pick with Capote over Brokeback Mountain for Adapted Screenplay even though I thought Brokeback would win. Of course, I lost on Best Picture.

Did I miss it or did Jack Nicholson not open the envelop for Best Picture and just thought he would say Crash?

Dustin Hoffman may be an amazing actor, but he is a terrible presenter. He just seemed to smile and talk about nothing in particular, and he did the same thing at the Grammys a few years ago.

Finally, George Mason lost to Hofstra, which means they may be on the bubble for getting in the NCAA Tournament. I think they deserve to get in, but I may be biased. If they do make the tournament, they will have to play without one of their best players Tony Skinn, who will be suspended one game for punching a Hofstra player where guys should not be punched at the end of the game. Not too smart.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Oscar Diary

Welcome to my diary of the 2006 Academy Awards. To let you know the importance of the Oscars, I taped Flavor of Love earlier today so that I won’t miss it tonight. If I get bored or during commercials, I’m going to watch Flavor of Love and will keep you updated on whom Flavor Flav picks: Hoops or New York.

On to the show…I thought Jon Stewart did a good job and my prediction is that he’ll be invited back in the future.

Best Support Actor: George Clooney. I’m 1 for 1.

Tom Hanks just got hit over the head by a violin for having too long of an acceptance speech. That’s funny.

Why is Ben Stiller in a green suit? Not a real suit; it’s more like green long-johns. He looks really stupid, but I’m laughing.


As you can tell, my diary is running a little later than I was hoping. I have been taking written notes and should be caught up any minute now...

Naomi Watts is presenting an award. Maybe this is really short-term memory, but what was she nominated for in 2004?

My second prediction: Owen or Luke Wilson will never win an Oscar.

Congrats to Rachel Weisz on winning for Best Supporting Actress. With Wallace & Gromit winning, I'm now 3 for 3 on my picks from earlier today. Go me!

If I was Rachel Weisz, I would not be happy with my intro while being called on stage. The announcer said that she is best known for her roles in "The Mummy" and "The Mummy Returns." While that is true, why would you say that? Did the announcer say: George Clooney, who started his career on The Facts of Life? Of course not.


Huge news. I started watching Flavor of Love and it’s a summary of the season. I really thought it was going to be the finale. If you haven’t watched the show, you may be missing one of the greatest TV shows of all time.

I enjoyed the "political" commercials for and against the Best Actress nominees.

"March of the Penguins" just won for something. I’m not even paying very close attention at this point. I have no idea what the winner is saying and apparently, neither does Morgan Freeman. Morgan looks horrified and I’m sure is thinking, “Did I really work on a movie with these guys?” The winners are all holding stuffed penguins. Nice touch. I’m sure the stuffed animals would play just as well as the real Penguins. Actually, maybe one of those stuffed animals is really Sidney Crosby or at least Sergei Gonchar.

I don’t get this whole Meryl Streep-Lily Tomlin thing. Can someone please make it stop.

Wait a minute; why isn't Grey's Anatomy on?


Next prediction: Three 6 Mafia won’t be performing at the Academy Awards again.

Three 6 Mafia just won. Maybe they will be back. Oh, the delay just kicked in. Someone said something they shouldn’t have. Maybe they won’t be back. I’m just happy it came from a movie I saw.

With the Sound Editing win, King Kong has won 2 or 3 Oscars now. Another movie I saw!

I'm starting to get sleepy. I'm not sure how much longer I can keep going.

Did anyone know that the Adventures in Babysitting producer died? I feel like I should have know this.


Philip Seymour Hoffman wins for Best Actor. I actually have no idea if they have done the awards for Screenplay yet, but my current picks seem to be 4 for 4. (I go 4 for 4 and I'm magic on the mike.)

Wow, a John Travolta sighting. What was the last movie he was in?

Look out Charlize! There's something on your shoulder. Don't move. Oh, that's part of her dress.

Reese won. When will Legally Blonde 3 come out? 5 for 5!

I feel like my Screenplay predictions are a little shaky.

OK, I'm done for the night. Time for sleep. Let me know if I miss anything big.

Oscar Picks

Even though I have only seen two movies on this list that have been nominated ("Crash" and "Hustle & Flow"), I'm making Oscar predictions (in bold). Feel free to make your picks. Check back throughout the awards show as I will be running an Oscar diary.

Best motion picture of the year
"Brokeback Mountain"
"Good Night, and Good Luck."

I really liked Crash, but there is way too much buzz for Brokeback.

Best Actor
Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Capote"
Terrence Howard in "Hustle & Flow"
Heath Ledger in "Brokeback Mountain"
Joaquin Phoenix in "Walk the Line"
David Strathairn in "Good Night, and Good Luck"

Best Actress
Judi Dench in "Mrs. Henderson Presents"
Felicity Huffman in "Transamerica"
Keira Knightley in "Pride & Prejudice"
Charlize Theron in "North Country"
Reese Witherspoon in "Walk the Line"

It will be a huge upset if Reese or Felicity Huffman, who did her best work in "Sports Night," does not win.

Best Supporting Actor
George Clooney in "Syriana”
Matt Dillon in "Crash"
Paul Giamatti in "Cinderella Man"
Jake Gyllenhaal in "Brokeback Mountain"
William Hurt in "A History of Violence"

My original pick was Giamatti (I actually saw the movie he was in), but I feel like Clooney has to win one award tonight.)

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams in "Junebug"
Catherine Keener in "Capote"
Frances McDormand in "North Country”
Rachel Weisz in "The Constant Gardener"
Michelle Williams in "Brokeback Mountain"

Weisz really deserved a Best Actress nomination for the "Mummy" so the Academy is making up for its earlier mistake. Keener may also get some votes from folks who loved her performance in "The 40-Year Old Virgin."

Best Director
Ang Lee - "Brokeback Mountain"
Bennett Miller – "Capote"
Paul Haggis - "Crash"
George Clooney - "Good Night, and Good Luck."
Steven Spielberg - "Munich"

Best Animated Feature Film
"Howl's Moving Castle"
"Tim Burton's Corpse Bride"
"Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit"

How can you vote against a clay dog?

Adapted Screenplay
"Brokeback Mountain"
"The Constant Gardener"
"A History of Violence”

Original Screenplay
"Good Night, and Good Luck."
"Match Point"
"The Squid and the Whale"

Last prediction: ABC will show at least five commercials each for "Sons & Daughters" and "Miracle Workers."

Friday, March 03, 2006

Your 2006 Washington Nationals!

It's tough to be pessimistic about a baseball team at the beginning of March. As a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates my entire life, I am optimistic about the team's chances to do well nearly every spring despite the fact that the team has gone 13 straight seasons without a winning record. Living in the DC area, it was very easy to jump on the Nationals bandwagon last year. There was finally a local baseball team and the Nats played great well into August, exceeding all expectations. This brings us to the 2006 Nats team. Brian Lawrence, the team's #3 starting pitcher, is out 4-8 months after shoulder surgery, outfielder Jose Guillen, arguably the team's best overall offensive player, may miss 3 months with a wrist injury, and team's biggest off-season acquisition, Alfonso Soriano, only wants to play 2nd base, which is a huge problem since that is Jose Vidro's position. Soriano actually said that the team has three weeks to fix the situation. Obviously, he is not very popular at the moment. Oh yeah, the team still does not have an owner, Major League Baseball and DC's City Council have been "negotiating" a new stadium deal for over a year and only 43 of the 162 games will be shown on local TV. This could be an ugly season for the Nats. At least the Pirates have looked good so far this spring. It helps that they are playing the Nats.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Welcome Back

With the Olympics over, it was great to watch My Name Is Earl and The Office again. Dwight Schrute is the best character on TV. Want more Dwight? Check out Schrute Space and MySpace page.

Completely unrelated to Dwight, I just don't get the whole MySpace craze.

Extreme Job

Is there a job with more extremes than working at an ice cream store in a city with four seasons? Take a typical Friday night. In the winter, the store will probably be empty. In the summer, the place will be packed. For folks in Pittsburgh reading this, how is the Ice Cream District (aka Forbes Ave. in Squirrel Hill) able to survive in the winter?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Katrina News

By now, I'm sure that you've seen the AP story and video about the briefing President Bush received by FEMA and Max Mayfield of the National Hurricane Center prior to Hurricane Katrina hitting New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. If not, you can go to Yahoo or The Washington Post among other places.

The video clearly shows Bush being told that the storm could breach the levees and put lives at risk in the Superdome. Four days after the storm, Bush said, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." So was the President lying or did he not understand the briefing? Is there another option I'm missing?

In response to this story, "the White House and Homeland Security Department urged the public Wednesday not to read too much into the video footage."

"I hope people don't draw conclusions from the president getting a single briefing," presidential spokesman Trent Duffy said, citing a variety of orders and disaster declarations Bush signed before the storm made landfall. "He received multiple briefings from multiple officials, and he was completely engaged at all times."

How can you not read into the video footage? I just don't get it.

A quick personal story. I had a brief foray working in the emergency management field. There are skilled and talented professionals who prepare for such emergencies. It seems like these folks (even Brownie who sounded competent in the video) did what they were supposed to do in informing their superiors about Katrina. However, their superiors, primarily President Bush, did not respond to the concerns.