Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Ditropan's dilemma

Here's something ironic.

Today while watching a commercial for Ditropan - a once-daily pill that supposedly helps OAB (over-active bladders) by reducing the frequency that people need to go to the bathroom - I noticed that one of the side effects was somewhat counter-productive.

While I watched the commercial and tried not to laugh, I heard the long list of side effects. One of those side effects is diarrhea.


Okay, yeah, that's a side effect of a LOT of different medications, but for a pill that is supposed to help symptoms such as "urinary urgency, frequency, leakage, or urge incontinence" the side effect of diarrhea pretty much turns you're whole medication to shit (no pun intended).

Hey makers of Ditropan! Something you might want to think about: Replacing a person's "urinary urges" with diarrhea...probably not a good idea.

Monday, March 28, 2005

N.F.L. - Not For Los Angeles

Every time I hear Paul Tagliabue says he wants to get the NFL back in Los Angeles I can only try not to cringe. Not only do I not like that idea, I don't think it's as doable as the commissioner makes it seem. I can think of five solid reasons why the NFL should stay out of LA as well as why it would be difficult to get a team here.

First, who's going to make the move? The seemingly easy way out of that problem would be just having an expansion franchise in Los Angeles. That's not going to happen. The NFL recently expanded to 32 teams and as a result realligned all NFL divisions from five five-team divisions and one six-team divisions to eight four-team divisions. That occurred in 2002 when the Houston Texans became the 32nd NFL franchise.

So what's wrong with a 33rd franchise? Well then you have an odd number of teams. Doesn't seem like much of a problem, except when you think about the fact that with an odd number of teams, not all teams can play in a given week, meaning that at least one team will have to have a bye week during each week of the season. One team will have a bye during week one and during week seventeen. If that happens, then some teams will have a schedule of twenty consecutive games including preseason.

That's the problem the NFL had between 1999 and 2002 when the Cleveland Browns came back to the NFL as a 31st team. They were a part of the six-team AFC Central. During that time, weaker NFL teams suffered by getting stuck with a bad bye week.

Now that we've established that it is not very likely for an NFL team to be added to the league, the problem becomes trying to figure out which team will make the move to Los Angeles. There aren't many teams that could make that kind of a move. The only teams I can think of would be the Arizona Cardinals, San Diego Chargers, Cincinnati Bengals and maybe the New Orleans Saints.

These teams have recently been under-performing teams with dropping attendances in the last decade. But if you take a team's success into account when determining what team to relocate, what would the league do if the team they planned to move started winning? Also, these teams don't have much of a history like some teams in their current markets.

Some small market teams, such as the Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers, located in relatively "small" towns compared to other NFL teams might seem like potential teams for relocation to LA, but when you think about the history of these teams, can you really picture them anywhere but their current locations? The Los Angeles Packers? I don't think so! That team couldn't be anywhere but Green Bay.

Plenty of other teams are like that in the sense that they couldn't be anywhere but where they are: the Dallas Cowboys, the Denver Broncos, the San Francisco 49ers, the Chicago Bears, the New England Patriots. Each of these teams has left a legacy for the city they play in. The Los Angeles Cowboys? The Los Angeles Broncos? Yeah, right. Imagine John Elway's retired number hanging from a stadium anywhere but the mile high city?

The Arizona Cardinals don't have the greatest attendance in the league, and they have even been considering playing a home game in Mexico. Not exactly a great way to embrace your local fan base. They could make the move, but they are only one of really only two teams I could see making the move.

The other team that I could see making the move to LA is the San Diego Chargers. This seems like a much more realistic move than any other franchise in the NFL. The Chargers entered the league in Los Angeles in 1960 before moving south only a year later to San Diego. Most Los Angeles sports outlets focus on the Chargers as a "local" team. Their games are shown during the fall on CBS and FOX. The sports radio station 1540 AM is the self-proclaimed "home of the Chargers."

They might just be the team to make the move. There is - after all - plenty else to do in San Diego (which is actually a reason why there doesn't need to be a team in LA, #5). The Chargers don't have as rich a history as other franchises. They did go to a Super Bowl and were involved in one of the greatest football games ever (1981 AFC Divisional playoff game vs. Miami), but I don't know if that's enough to keep their roots in San Diego.

In ten years time, they might just make the move. I'm not sure of any deals the Chargers have with the city of San Diego that may keep them in LA, but if the NFL can get around any such deals, I would guess the Chargers would be the team most likely to make the move.

My second reason - which also would explain why the Chargers would be a good choice for which team to move - deals with Los Angeles football fans favorite teams. The majority of LA football fans mostly like either the San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Rams. The 49ers have been the state's most successful franchise. The Raiders played in LA from 1982 to 1995. The St. Louis Rams played in Los Angeles from their inception in 1946 until 1995.

By the way, don't look for the Rams to move back to Los Angeles any time soon after all the success they've experienced in St. Louis: two NFC titles and a Super Bowl win.

Moving any team to Los Angeles other than one of the four mentioned above would be awkward because not only would the NFL be taking a team away from its current market - which I don't really agree with - they would also be introducing yet another team to Los Angeles. There are plenty of Rams fans, 49ers fans, Raiders fans and Chargers fans here. LA is big, but introducing a different team to the area alienates fans of these four teams.

Thirdly, football fans in Los Angeles also have two other teams they can root on. The only difference: they play their games on Saturday. Both the USC Trojans and the UCLA Briuns draw enough fans to fill both the Coliseum and Rose Bowl respectively. This crosstown rivarly has the ability to keep football fans in Los Angeles more than occupied.

Both schools have very strong traditional programs. And the Trojans have had more recent success than any pro football team in California: two national titles and three Heisman Trophy winners in the past three seasons. If the two of these schools can fill two extremely large stadiums on any given week, then many Los Angeles football fans are getting their fill on Saturdays.

A fourth reason that I don't think the NFL needs to be back in Los Angeles is the fact that there are plenty of other sports teams in LA. And by plenty, I mean a lot. Actually, make that more than a lot. How about too many! The Los Angeles area has two basketball teams, two baseball teams and - if they ever get back on the ice - two hockey teams.

The Los Angeles Clippers, Lakers, Dogders and Kings along with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and Anaheim Angeles make up a group of six franchises in Southern California. Sports fans in LA have plenty of options when it comes to sports entertainment. And as if that isn't enough...

There is so much else going on in Los Angeles that the city doesn't need an NFL team. Yes, Paul Tagliabue would like to be able to use this mega-market to bring more revenue into the NFL, but there are very few - if any - NFL franchises currently losing money. It's not like any of these teams need the financial boost of moving to Los Angeles.

Other than the six previously mentioned major sports teams in the area, Hollywood is right here. Talk about major attractions. When people think of movies and celebrities, they think of LA. Travel down to Anaheim and you'll find Disneyland! Nearby there is also Knott's Berry Farm. What more do people here need?

Finally, the idea of getting a stadium for a football franchise in Los Angeles is not going to be easy. Unless the league puts the team in Orange County somewhere and tries to pull an "Angeles" by calling the team The Los Angeles Whoevers of Orange County, they won't have the marketability of having Los Angeles in the team's name. Where would a team play?

Would the Coliseum take the team? Would the Rose Bowl? I'm not sure. Both of those venues house big collegiate football programs, and getting those stadiums ready for an NFL game the next day would not necessarily be impossible, but it wouldn't be easy. An NFL team could potentially at the Home Depot Center, the home of the LA Galaxy, in Carson. Maybe they could play at Angel Stadium.

I don't know how much any of these venues would like to house an NFL franchise, but I'm sure that the NFL would want some major renovations or improvements to any local stadium to put in luxury boxes and suites.

Paul Tagliabue has set the date for 2009 or 2010 for when he wants the NFL back in Los Angeles. In five years from now, I'd be very interested in seeing just how the "Commish" plans to pull this off.

I don't think putting an NFL team here is necessary. My biggest problem with that would be the removal of an existing team from it's current location to move it to a city that doesn't need a franchise.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

What'$ gambled in Vega$, $tay$ in Vega$

This weekend I drove up to Las Vegas for a volleyball tournament with no real intention of doing any gambling. Yeah, right. Like that made a damn difference once I got inside what could only describe as a "classy" "resort."

So I sat down at a black jack table Thursday night (you can go ahead and ignore the fact that I'm not 21, because so did the casino) and got $20 in chips.

First hand, I cut the deck. The cards were dealt. Black jack. Already I'm winning. This is easy! Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight! Little did I know...

So I ended the night with $70 from that original $20 bill I put out on the table. Not bad. I was making all the right moves. Hitting when I needed to hit. Doubling down at the right times. I was making it work.

Up $50 after one night in Vegas, not too shabby. The only problem with that: I still had more time (and money) to "spend" while in town.

Friday night I went with some friends to the strip to check out some of the nicer casinos. I found a nice black jack table at Casino Royal, I think. Anyway, I put down at $5 bet, and first hand: BLACK JACK! I love this city!

Well, my friends who were at the table behind me playing craps were all crapped out and wanted to go back to our hotel to play because the dice weren't as nice at this casino. I left that black jack table (which only paid 6/5 on black jack) up $2. I was now at $52 in profit for the trip.

Then we went back to our hotel, a hotel that just one night ago had been very, very good to me.

Not anymore.

I sat down at a minimum $10 table and placed a $10 bet. First hand: BLACK JACK, again! I am not even joking. Three times when I first sat down at a table I got black jack. All three times I cut the cards (single deck black jack), and all three times I won. At that point, I was up the most I would be the entire trip: $67 in profit!

I eventually moved to a $5 table (there were no seats available when I first got there) and continued to play. Hand by hand, though, everything I had worked to win was slipping away. I'd have 8-3 and double down with the deal showing a 6. She'd then flip over a 5 and hit a ten, and I'd be stuck with an ace that didn't help the 11 I had.

It was probably the worst string of of luck I've ever had at a black jack table. I couldn't win a hand. It was insane. And it's not that I was playing the cards wrong, but every single time the deal just had 21 after 21 after 21 with an occasional 20 here and there.

I ended up losing all the profit I had made since arriving in Vegas along with an extra $20. Total trip earnings: -$20.

Let that be a lesson to anyone planning a Vegas vacation:
What you win in Vegas somehow stays in Vegas!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


For weeks I've been hearing about Terri Shiavo (pronounced shy-vo, not shee-ay-vo) and if her feeding tube should or shouldn't be taken out. Well it's out, so anyone who wants it put back in has about a week left to get the proper legislation passed before Shiavo does too.

Over the past few days, so much information about this case has been presented in several of my classes, and I can't keep my mouth shut on some of these issues anymore. Here's my thoughts:

Michael Schiavo's wife collapsed in their home in 1990 suffering from heart failure. 1990! It's been 15 years. Since then, Michael has found a new girlfriend and had two children with her, yet people are making a big deal out of this.

Look, his wife is in what has been determined to be a persistant vegatative state and is never expected to recover in any way. Why should he not be allowed to move on with his life?

What some people don't understand is why if he still has a girlfriend would he care about Terri. He can't divorce her if she isn't in a reasonable state of mind and is unable to sign divorce papers! Michael is essentially "stuck" with her until she eventually dies (which doctors agree will happen with her in this vegatative state).

Once Terri dies, he can then remarry his new girlfriend and try to start a new chapter in his life. Fighting this battle with Michael are...


Bob and Mary Schindler's request to have the feeding tube put back in their daughter has been rejected over and over and over again by numerous different courts. They believe that their daughter is capable of getting better, despite what numerous doctors say.

Their daughter is 41 years old now. How are they still able to even relate to her? How can they communicate with her. If even Terri were to come out of this persistent vegatative state, just how much do they expect her to recover? It's a shame that this is how they will remember their daughter. It's a shame that they won't have the memories of their daughter from the last 15 years other than her in a bed hooked up to a feeding tube.

No parent would want their child to die if there was a chance of recovery, but here there doesn't seem to be that chance. How much pain would parents want to put their children through? I don't know if it should be their decision or the husband's decision, but each has an opinion about how Schiavo's life will end.

She didn't have a living will, and many say "how could she be so stupid?" What people don't realize is that she was 25 years old when she went into this state. How many 25-year-olds have living wills?

I would be willing to say that before this case, an overwhelming majority of 25-year-olds did not have one. I do know that because of this case numerous people are making a living will to prevent something like this from happening to them.

Years from now when this case is over - and Terri Schiavo has died either from the removal of her feeding tube or from naturally dying after years in this state - this case will set the precedent. People will look back to Terri Schiavo as the yardstick for similar cases.


If this was my daughter, I would be heartbroken. If there was any chance of even the slightest recovery, I would fight to the death for that chance. I would most likely not accept a doctor telling me that there would be no chance of recovery - at least in the beginning.

I do believe, however, that I would eventually be able to move on with my life. That is not to say that I would forget the existance of my daughter, but after 15 years, I would like to think that I would be able to accept the reality that my daughter will never be the same again.

In the past 30, only one person has ever come out of a state similar to the one Schiavo is in, and that man was in that state for only seven months - that's one twenty-fifth of how long Schiavo has been in this state. I personally don't think she'll ever recover to live anything resembling a normal life.

I don't believe that removing the tube is murder. I understand that it is going to lead to her death, but I don't believe it can be considered murder. Her husband says she wouldn't want to live like this because she told him so, and frankly I believe him. He doesn't have anything to gain from her death other than the ability to marry a woman he already has two children with.

It is a complicated matter - one that the Supreme Court has rejected several times because it is such a sensitive issue.

Ultimately, I don't think that Terri's parents will get their way, and the backlash caused by her death will be great. There will be outcries that Michael Schiavo did a terrible thing by not giving Terri a chance to come out of this condition. To that I say bullshit! She's been like this since 1990. That's 15 years. If she were to come out of this state at this point, that is nothing short of a miracle of God!

Terri Schiavo's life is ruined. Her parents - Bob and Mary Schindler - will most likely never see their daughter recover. Her husband has an opportunity to start a new chapter of his life but not until Terri passes. It's unfortunate, but sadly that's how this will end.

Stealing a house

When I heard about this story, I couldn't believe it. I was checking to Houston Chronicle's website for information about an explosion at a plant in Texas City, but I couldn't resist clicking on a link to story about a "house stolen brick by brick." See for yourself:

East Texas house stolen brick by brick

LINDALE — When Smith County Constable Dennis Taylor got a call reporting a stolen house, his first question was, "Is it a trailer house, ma'am?"

"No, it's a brick house," the real estate company representative replied.

Board by board, shingle by shingle, for nearly three months, thieves dismantled a three-bedroom brick house in this East Texas town and carted it away until only a pile of rubble was left.

Authorities allege Brandon Ray Parmer, 29, and Darrell Patrick Maxfield, 44, both of Tyler, took the house apart and sold it for drugs, in plain view of everyone cruising by on U.S. Highway 69, Lindale's main street. Both men were arrested this week.

Taylor said the men worked slowly and haphazardly in daylight, with no one questioning their work, because everyone assumed it was the work of Wal-Mart or Lowe's, the two large retail stores laying new foundations nearby.

"It's the strangest case I've ever worked in my life," Taylor said. "Everybody drove by and waved at them."

But the home actually belonged to Dallas-based St. Ives Realty.

Authorities also arrested Jesse Gino Vega after executing a search warrant at his Lindale home Tuesday. Vega, 36, is accused of giving cash and methamphetamine to the other two men in exchange for the materials from the home.

All three suspects were charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, a second-degree felony, and released from Smith County Jail after posting $10,000 bond.

Authorities recovered lumber worth about $25,000 from Vegas' house. They also found plumbing, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, fence materials, doors and windows.
Officers got "about five trailer loads of property that came out of that house," Taylor said, then paused. "Well, it didn't come out of the house. It was the house."

The investigation is continuing, and at least three other people may have been involved in the crime, Taylor said.

Is that not the most ridiculous thing you've ever heard? I've been to Lindale numerous times in my life and must say that is a town where something like this could happen. It's small-town East Texas. Other than Tyler, there is no real "city" atmosphere. Everything is spread out, so who would have seen this going on? No one. And the result...a stolen house.


It just seems recently that there is too much to do. Too much work. We just got back from spring break and already I am swamped. Maybe that's because I didn't do any work over the break.

This weekend I am going to Las Vegas for a volleyball tournament that I most likely will not play in (and even if I did play, that wouldn't take away from all the work I still have looming over my head). Instead I'll be sitting on the bench (which I still don't understand, but whatever) worrying about all the work I have.

Within the next week, I have a 5-essay midterm, marketing project, broadcast journalism story, and two papers I have to turn in. How the crap do I let it all pile up like this?

I guess I'll somehow manage. I hope I will. But until I get through all that, I'm just going to be working myself stupid.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Greatest

The Cowboys re-signed the NFL's all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith so he can retire as a member of the team he helped make great during the '90s. Emmitt will finish his career with 18,355 rushing yards (1,629 yards ahead of Walter Payton), 164 rushing touchdowns and 4,509 carries; all are NFL records.

Five years from now, I will tune in to see Emmitt standing at the podium in Canton for his Hall of Fame induction. Aside from maybe Jim Brown, Emmitt Smith is the greatest running back in the history of football. The only reason Brown may have been better is because we don't know just how much more he would have done had he continued playing.

But Emmitt continued. Emmitt perservered. Emmitt went for the record...and he got it. He deserved it.

When Emmitt first came into the league his goal was to be the NFL's all-time leading rusher. Here we are 15 years later, and who is the NFL's all-time leading rusher? Yes, that would be Emmitt Smith.

While some might argue that Emmitt wasn't that great, I just have one word for them: bullshit! Some say anyone could have broken Payton's record with an offensive line like the 'Boys had during the '90s, but you still have to hit the hole while it's open. And Emmitt did.

And as Michael Irvin has pointed out numerous times, he made it look easy. Watching Emmitt run, it never seemed like he was doing anything magical. He wasn't plowing over linebackers like Jim Brown. He wasn't avoiding DBs with ankle-breaking jukes like Barry Sanders. He just kept running...right into the record books.

I grew up watching Emmitt Smith run for the record, and we may very well never see another running back like him. He was an amazing back, and the NFL is better off today after Emmitt's run with greatness.

The only regret I have looking back on Emmitt's entire career is the handoff he took against the Seahawks in 2002 when he broke Payton's record. It was 2nd and 7 on the Dallas 30 yard line. The offensive line had guys like Andre Gurode, Flozell Adams and Solomon Page. The handoff came from Chad Hutchinson. And the fullback Robert Thomas, well, he wasn't wearing #48.

If only it could have been Troy Aikman handing off that ball to Emmitt. If only Moose was in there blocking. Every member of the dynasty teams who could make it to Texas Stadium that weekend was there to watch Emmitt break the record.

But Emmitt outlasted them all. The back who was too slow and too small coming out of college has now sealed his name in the record books...where it should be.

Friday, March 18, 2005

National Bracket

And for anyone interested in the percentages in the national bracket of the percentage of people who thought Bucknell would win, here's the numbers:

3. Kansas (98.1%)
14. Bucknell (1.9%)


I'm sure Bucknell fans are going to be upset with what I'm saying, but to them I must ask:

Did you really, honestly believe you had a chance at winning before the game?


Of course you didn't!

Don't worry. I don't blame you. Let's say the roles were reversed and USC was playing Kansas in the first round. I'd pick against 'SC because I'm a realist. 'SC has a bad team and nine times out of 10 wouldn't beat KU. Well nine times out of 10 clearly doesn't mean shit in March because all it takes is one.


When I got online and checked my bracket, I couldn't believe my eyes. Who is Bucknell? I didn't even remember seeing them when I filled out the bracket. That's because I was too busy moving Kansas into the final four (or at least the elite eight)!!!

I filled out five brackets, each with a few upsets thrown in the mix. None of those upsets were a first-round Kansas loss to some school whose name I didn't bother even reading while filling out the bracket. I looked them over as if they were a 16 seed.

You know how you never even look who the 16 seed is. You just take the number one seed and put them through to the second round. Granted, a 16 has never beating a 1, and 14 seeds have taken down 3's, but Kansas was the preseason No. 1. Where the HELL did Bucknell come from?

I can't believe this. I don't even wanna watch the rest of the tourney after that. A second round loss by Kansas...I wouldn't have liked it, but I'd understand. I'd get over it. But a first-round exit to a team that no one except perhaps the most die-hard Bucknell fans picked, how was anyone supposed to see that coming.

I'm not complaining because they single-handedly ruined my bracket (I have plenty of other teams to thank for that), but I'm a KU fan as well. What a rough year for the Jayhawks. At leat, what a rough ending.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The best night of sleep

Two nights ago as I sat in my apartment at USC preparing to come home, I did lots of homework, did a sink-full of dishes, took out the trash and packed my bag all from 9 p.m. Sunday night to 3:05 a.m. Monday morning.

After all that work, I set up my DVD recorder to tape a few shows while I was gone and went to bed. I fell asleep around 3:20, just two hours before the shuttle would arrive at my aprtment to take me to the airport for my 7:45 flight. I woke up after only an hour and 45 minutes of sleep.

The plane flight was torture. I was in a middle seat between a smelly man and a talkative guy who was determined to keep me awake for the entire flight. Actually, he eventually put on some headphones and I zonked out sitting upright without the slightest hint of legroom.

Actually when the man in front of me tried to lean his seat back, he'd hit my knees, and his seat wouldn't move. He gave me a dirty look as if I was deliberately not letting him lean back. It's not my fault I have long legs. Don't blame me that there's no room between my knees and the back of your seat.

So I made it to Dallas having only slept a total of three and a half hours since waking up Sunday morning. Monday night I went to bed at 10 p.m. and woke up this morning at 11:30 a.m. That was probably the greatest night of sleep I can remember. I did wake up around 7 a.m when Alice called, but after we got off the phone I was once again unconcious - out - gone.

So now I'm wide awake and probably won't be able to get to bed tonight for another few hours because of how much sleep I got last night. I don't mind though. I am on spring break after all, so it's not like there's somewhere I have to be or work I have to do.

Good night.

Buckner and the bus

I just heard this on the Ticket. It's probably the funniest thing I've ever heard said about Bill Buckner, the first baseman from the World Series losing 1986 Red Sox team.

They were talking about how Buckner was so upset after the World Series....

"You know Bill Buckner jumped in front of a bus."

"Oh my god, really!?!"

"He's okay, it went through his legs."

NFL heads to Mexico City

I couldn't believe it when I first heard it. I was half-asleep this morning when I heard on The Ticket that the NFL is going to announce within the next two weeks a regular season game to be played in Mexico City.

The game would be played between the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals with the Cardinals playing as the home team.

When I first heard about the game, I thought this was terrible because it would essentially take away a home game from one of the teams. If I was running a team, I wouldn't mind an away game in Mexico, but no way would I forfeit a home game. But that's what Arizona is doing.

Then I found out that the Cardinals organization volunteered to have the game be their home game. Uh ... what?

The Cardinals front office has said that because 27 percent of their fan base is hispanic, a game played in Mexico City should bring in a lot of Cardinal fans. Here's what the Cardinals VP told a local newspaper:
"About 27 percent of our fans are Hispanic," Cardinals vice president Michael Bidwill told The Arizona Republic. "We think playing a game in Mexico City would be a great opportunity for us to continue to cultivate our Hispanic base as well as to develop new fans. It would be an historic and unprecedented event."
Okay. Go for it, buddy! Like I said, it's not my team, and I sure wouldn't be willing to lose a home game - especially a game against a division rival -- especially against the division rival who twice beat you to keep you out of the playoffs and a division championship. (But I'm not going to complain about the Cardinals lack of success against last years worst team in the NFL anymore. It would just make me too angry!)

Don't get me wrong, an NFL game in Mexico City should do wonders for promoting the league. Preseason games are played in Mexico all the time, and fans usually flock to the events. But if I'm running a team, I don't forfeit a home game. And in a Len Pasquarelli article on, he points out why an annual game would be tough to pull off.

The league would like to make an international regular-season game an annual event. But, as one league source noted, it might be difficult finding volunteers every year who are willing to forfeit a home contest. The Cardinals annually rank among the league's poorest teams in terms of annual home attendance and that almost certainly played some part in their decision to volunteer for the Mexico City contest.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Matt's analogy

It's things like this that reassure me that CalTech will be the perfect environment for Matthew:

I was talking to Matthew about him continuing to play club volleyball among other things, and Mattew came out with this analogy. I almost died laughing.
Matt: i guess the best analogy i can make (btw i suck at these)..
Josh: go for it
Matt: is like my laptop.. i got it 5 years ago and it was and still is awesome.. i love using it and i use it over any other better computer in the house...
Josh: but...?
Matt: but, its lost some of its luster.... and its time to move on.
Josh: lol!!!!!!
Josh: you're classic. you'll fit in great at CalTech!
Matt: (told u i was bad at this)

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Leno unleashed

When the judge in the Michael Jackson case lifted the gag order on Tonight Show host Jay Leno, I made sure to catch the monologue... and it was hilarious.

For anyone who missed it, Leno did an entire monologue full of Michael Jackson jokes. The whole thing. All of it. Ten minutes of Jacko-jokes.

The show started with a depressed Jay Leno talking to his stage director about the gag order, but when the stage director tells Jay about the gag order being lifted he breaks into a moonwalk and dances down the hall to the set.

While I think I'm going to miss the guest comedians (such as Dennis Miller, Carrot Top and Drew Carey) who told the Michael Jackson jokes for the past few shows while Leno was under the gag order, it's nice to have the Big Chin center stage once again.

Friday, March 11, 2005

New link field

For those of you who have kept up with this blog for a while, there's something new:


In the sidebar of this blog, there are currently links to, an addicting game I always find myself playing, and - last but certainly not least - the Pretty Boy Jeff Quotes page.

These links aren't permanent, and I'll be updating them from time to time, so make sure to check back for links to some fun sites on the web.


I can't stand it! I play Madden 2005 virtually every day, and I can't deal with it anymore. I'm a competitive person, and I'm getting my ass kicked by the computer ... by the NFL Europe teams ... as the Panthers.

I don't completely suck at this game. Actually, I'm pretty good. But when I play on All-Madden mode, I can't beat anyone, regardless of what team I am. And it always starts out the same:

We'll be all tied up after the first quarter, either at 0-0 or 3-3 or a low score like that. Then in the second quarter the computer will take a slight lead before I get a touchdown. Then just before halftime the computer gets an interception - or three - and the game is out of reach before the third quarter even starts.

I can't stand it. There's a reason I purchased the one year warranty when I bought a new PS2 controller - which is the same reason I had to get a new PS2 controller - which is the same reason I've already had to use that warranty: I get angry and break controllers because I'm too competitive for a game that I have no chance to defeat!

I get so mad because it's just a video game, yet it still for some reason it makes me so FREAKING mad. Why the shit does the computer always find some seemingly craptastic way to seize control of the game midway through the second quarter? I shouldn't be letting this game determine if I'm having a good day or a bad day, but when the computer gets a fumble returned for a TD and the one I get is reversed by a challenge I swear I'm gonna lose it!

Maybe I should just not play anymore. Or maybe I should just play on the All-Pro level or just the Pro level - where it's virtually too easy for me to defeat the computer. But DAMN IT this game can ruin my day, but I just can't stop playing it!

The Stranded

Last Tuesday when I found out that club volleyball practice was cancelled that night, I talked to the team captain who coordinates the schedule and specifically asked if there would be a tournament this weekend.

"Yes. There's a tournament the weekend before and after."

So I planned my trip home for the break around the knowledge that there would be a volleyball tournament the weekend before and after the break. While there is still a tournament next weekend after the break, this weekend's tourney is no more.

No one on the team wanted to play the weekend before the break. Good thing I was informed. It's just frustrating not having a set schedule to rely on.

Now I'm stranded at my apartment in Los Angeles until my flight home monday morning. If anyone has any suggestions as far as what I can do for two days, please let me know.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Thin Mints

Today Brad got back to the apartment after buying girl scout cookies in front of Tommy Trojan. I asked him what kind of cookies he got. His reply:

"Samoas and double dutch chocolate chocolate."

What the crap is that? Sure, those are both great cookies, but where the hell are the thin mints? I would just like to make a note that I am very disappointed in Brad and his girl scout cookie purchasing decision. I can only hope that in the future he will not be so thoughtless.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get to Tommy Trojan, see how many boxes of Thin Mints are left, and clean 'em out!


With spring break only days away, I'm trying as hard as I can to remain focused on these last few classes. Once I get past tonight's midterm in my polysci class I'm virtually home free. I can't wait for spring break!

The problem is going to be getting past that midterm. This is my blow-off class that meets once a week. The only graded works are two midterms and a final. Tonight is the second midterm. If anyone knows anything about Supreme Court cases dealing with advocacy and the free exercise of religion clause in the constitution, please send that my way.

Actually, I'll do the same thing I always do for this class: study a lot the few days before the test, make a B+ and go back to my life pretending this class doesn't exist.

Sunday, March 06, 2005


Friday and Saturday at the 'SC mens volleyball matches against BYU I did play-by-play ... and I was good. I'm actually in the process of trying to acquire the broadcasts (the student broadcasts of 'SC sports can be heard on through Yahoo! but you have to pay for it), but once I get a hold of them, I'll post them so you can take a listen.

It was actually a lot of fun. In both matches the mens volleyball teams lost to BYU, but I still enjoyed calling the game. It was really great getting that experience. Ideally I'll be able to do more of that as the season continues, but my club volleyball schedule conflicts with a lot of the dates I would normally do it.

Either way, I'm definitely going to keep this up next year. And don't worry, there's no Madden effect where I tell you that a team doesn't have a chance to win unless they find a way to score more points than the other team.

Why is this news?

I don't understand this. Why is this story news?

During their tsunami relief visit, former Presidents Bush and Clinton used a government plane equipped with only one bedroom. On the trip, Clinton let the 80-year-old Bush get the bed while Bill slept on the floor.


Why do I care about that? More importantly, why did choose to have that as one of their main headlines on their homepage?

Sometimes, I just don't understand the media, which worries me considering I'll soon be one of them.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

stupid people making me angry

I probably should have punched him in the face and asked my question.

Tonight after my Civil Rights and Liberties class, I was going to ask the TA about the midterm we would be taking next week. Nothing too complex. I was just wondering to what extent I should review the second red scare in the United States. That's all.

As the class cleared out, I made my way up toward the TA, who was dealing with several students at the time. I just stood back and waited. Finally the congregation of students surrounding him turned into a half-dozen, then two, and finally one student stood between the TA and my question.

I say again:
I probably should have punched him in the face and asked my question.

The TA, after the professor left the classroom, gave students a brief overview of what to expect on the exam and how to prepare for it. Nothing major. During that time, he pointed out that because the midterm will consist of two essays, it's difficult for him as a grader to grade objectively. Therefore the rubric used consists basically of looking for key elements in the essay that answer the question. That's what he told us.

So this jack ass of a student decided to engage the TA as to why the test should be an essay and how that is fair?

First, he asked if the test would be in the same format as the last midterm. I rolled my eyes upon hearing this because the exact same question was asked at least twice during the TA's review session just minutes earlier. C'MON MAN! YOU'RE WASTING MY TIME!

Then, as if it would make a difference, he told the TA that he would prefer multiple choice tests to the essay tests in this class. Oh, okay. Let's change the whole fuckin' class for this jack ass because he doesn't like essays. The TA explained to him the pros and cons for essay exams versus multiple choice exams for this type of class and that the professor likes students to write essays, not take multiple choice tests.

So the student decided to see if the TA agreed with that philosophy.

I reiterate:
I probably should have punched him in the face and asked my question.

The TA told the student that this was how the professor wanted to do things, so that's how things would be done. The student proceeded to let the TA know that he did think that as long as the test was going to be in essay format that he particularly liked the way the questions were presented on the first midterm.


I probably should have punched him in the face and asked my question. Instead I waited patiently as this moron wasted a good five minutes of my life. Next time, I'm punching someone in the face.

stressed out

I'm sitting in a review session for my Civil Right and Liberties class right now wondering how exactly I'm going to complete all of the work I have to do.

I haven't even started procrastinating (on most of it).

Over the next week, I have to turn in more papers and essays and journalism articles while taking midterms and planning projects before spring break hits.

I still don't know how I'm going to juggle it all, but the next week should be interesting ... if I survive it.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Tonight, after my ATVN shift, I went over to the gym for club volleyball practice at 7 p.m. After last Friday's loss (which I ranted about in a previous post), our team gathered together and talked about how we could fix stuff for the upcoming weeks. I got the impression that after that embarrassment at Biola, things would change.

People were not gonna half-ass it anymore.

Guys weren't gonna miss practice anymore.

We were gonna come together, fulfill our potential, leave no doubt as to how good our team really is.

...apparently not.

Tonight I - along with four other teammates - showed up to an empty gym. We waited, wondering where everyone was. Was practice really cancelled? Not after a match like last Friday. We couldn't cancel practice. We have so much to work on.

By 7:17 p.m. I got a hold of the team president who told me that practice had in fact been cancelled. Fantastic. So much for my evening. I've got enough going on as is that I don't need to be showing up to cancelled practices.

When I got back to my apartment, I saw that there was an email in my inbox announcing the cancellation of practice. Time sent: 6:31 p.m. Start time of practice: 7:00 p.m.

Is that a joke? What the hell happened to refocusing? What happened to fixing the teams problems? Last time I checked, cancelling a practice is probably the worst way to improve a team. But apparently that's the method this team has chosen. Whoopee!

I decided to send the following email to the team:

Forget rolling down hill...this is an all-out free fall off a cliff. Of the 22 guys on this email list, we couldn't get 12 to the gym tonight? After the match against Biola (for those of you who weren't there .... well, let's just say it wasn't pretty), I was hoping that we could come together and refocus. Instead I showed up to an empty gym ready to practice tonight along with a few other guys who didn't "get the memo" in time.

After matches like the one last Friday, the last thing we can do is cancel the next practice, regardless of the reason. We only have 4 hours a week in the gym. That's only four hours to get better each week. And right now, we've got a way to go to reach our potential. But nights like this make me wonder just how much we - as a team - truly want to reach our potential.

Like adam said, let's show up this Thursday with our A-game. We've got some big tournaments coming up, and if we want results different from the ones we saw last Friday then we need to get to work. Let's make Thursday's practice something to be proud of ... along with the rest of the season.

Let's hope things are different - in a positive way - the rest of the season.

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